CONEY ISLAND, N.Y. — June 18, 2011. Brooklyn is a magical place that draws a crowd — Kings County is the most populous county in the country, and Coney Island is a glittering jewel in the King’s crown.
Every Summer Coney Island hosts the Mermaid Parade and Brooklyn celebrates its diversity and pizazz.
This year was no exception — the parade was held on Saturday, June 18 — and NLN’s Carol Caver was there to capture the moment.
The annual Mermaid Parade is special. Herbert Marcuse argued that the corporate state allows human beings at best a fractured existence, an existence wherein we are defined solely by what we consume. But Coney Island and the Mermaid Parade exist out of step-time. Coney Island resides in the Aesthetic Dimension where freedom is still possible. It allows Art to exist in the streets of Brooklyn. It allows citizens to be whole…to revel in their humanity.
Caver’s photographs capture that surreal Moment in which humanity triumphs over the oxidizing corruption that is the logic of Capitalism. Hers is a chronicle of Kerouac’s subterranean impulse. And so it seemed appropriate to use a subterranean hymn as the background score to a slideshow composed of Carol’s images.
My son once told me that the Verrazano Bridge was named after the man who discovered it.
It is that kind of “Beginners Mind” that informs the works of a musical duo known as Heth and Jed. The brothers Weinstein can often be found performing for free in NYC’s subway or in the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. Two saints of a modern psychedelic symphony, the Weinsteins offer a style that is totally original yet simultaneously embodies the spirit of Pink Floyd in their prime. It is no surprise that Heth’s singing has been compared to David Gilmour.
I first found Heth and Jed performing a gorgeous song called “Future Memory” in the St. George Terminal, while waiting for the Ferry. I managed to tape the performance…it can be found on Love And Struggle, NLN’s sister entity, where it continues to draw fan mail.
While editing Caver’s photos it occurred to me that Future Memory was the perfect song to accompany the illustrations. It is a song of Hope. It is beautiful and it is unique. And just like Coney Island, it is a celebration of Life.
I’m pleased to call Heth, Jed, and Carol, friends and comrades in the struggle to provide adequate housing for all who would dwell in the Aesthetic Dimension. Enjoy the music, enjoy the photographs, celebrate Life.