For a magazine that just moved from Boston to Washington, New York seems like an odd location for The Atlantic???s 150th Anniversary party. But as Andrew Sullivan says, ???You can???t have a party unless it???s in New York.???
Fair enough. But that doesn???t explain The Atlantic???s venue choice: a theater in the village. With a full audience, the party was one-part open bar, one-part performance piece. While we drank, we couldn???t help but feel bad for The Atlantic fans in the crowd who had to watch a New York magazine photographer take pictures of Jared Kushner. The New Yorker festival seemed modest by comparison.
The speeches and performances, which is presumably what the audience had wanted to see, were weaker than the house fruit-tini drinks. P.J. O???Rouke joked about how awkward the set up was, which only made things weirder. One Atlantic editor claimed, ???The media is the American idea itself,??? which he might have stolen from a political science senior thesis from Tufts.
Patti Smith???s performance was half-music, half-proselytizing. Her act almost made us proud to be an age nearly devoid of political music. A spy caught Moby in the bathroom during her set, which might just be the coolest thing Moby has done in a long time.
[Film Credit: Zach Golden]
Dear Jossip, while we agree with your general opinion that the Atlantic anniversary party was underwhelming at best, especially after waiting 150 years, we were very moved by Patti Smith’s presence, performance and politics. I know you are just a gossip column but really, in the middle of your own country dissolving into a third-world fascist state you are embarassed by passion and real patriotism?! Patti herself admitted she’s no guitar god, and no one would argue she can “sing”. But she is an artist with a voice, coming straight from her heart and soul for thirty plus years with something to say we still need to hear and should be listening for. If you want to make this a generational thing fine: you should be ashamed of a generation almost completely devoid of art that responds to the current political, military or social circumstances of our time. We feel it is better to flounder making even bad political art than remaining silent for fear of appearing to be half-proselytizing. The failure of current artists in general at responding to this administration, war and the attacks on Democracy itself make them as complicit in these crimes as the silent, sarcastic and sycophantic media in our country. If you’re not a part of the solution…etc. We all have a lot to answer for in our own hearts. Patti is not one to play generation against generation; for starters in your “re-education process” try to find a copy of Patti circa 1978 singing The Who’s MY GENERATION. (I believe it is included as a bonus track on the remastered rerelease of “Horses”, her 1975 debut album that most critics still include in their best of, most important, and most influential rock n roll albums of all time. And, oh yeah, Patti was sampling, from the brilliant Van Morrison’s GLORIA, in 1973-4, before Moby was out of diapers.) Moby, and Jossip, should come out of hiding from in the bathroom, face the music, join the party (of their choice), fight the good fight and learn to (politically) rock n roll. By the way we actually do like Moby and his music, we bought all his CDs, legally. And we really enjoyed Josh Ritter’s too brief set. Thank goodness for net neutrality so we have the opportunity to voice our opinions. The people really do have (some) power. Thanks for listening. Peace. Michael and Iwona
Posted: Nov 10, 2007 at 4:11 pm
Yeah, jeez, she’s an artist… why is she always expressing herself??!
Anyhow, could someone please tell me the name of that song?
Posted: Nov 11, 2007 at 4:29 pm