Sunday, February 05, 2006


I was just watching an old episode of the Sopranos on the pc on a lazy Sunday afternoon. They played a Cake song ("Frank Sinatra") over the end credits as one of the mob guys scrambled around doing his mob stuff.

The young mob guy was slick in his suit and tie as he was shuffling toward his Lexus with an armful of newspapers about the latest mob hits. And in the background they were playing the band from Sacramento, those wacky Cake kids.

Yeah, we have nothing much to write home about, we Sacramentans. But there was a chain of memories associated with the suit and tie and the music. Please indulge me for a few minutes.

Last month I was crooning in a karaoke lounge lizard session in some swanky new Vinohrady cafe. Vinohrady is the Prague neighborhood where all the 'hip, monied' foreign expats live. By 'Vinohrady expat', I mean those kids who came to Prague but really never left home. They've got flats with satellites for fuck's sake. And dishwashers. And clothes dryers. And maids. The poor Czech families next door to them still hang their undies on the balcony to dry.

So, there I was, crooning away like, bada bing (pardon my Sopranoisms, I am very impressionable coming from a nowhere town). I saw a lot of my favorite local karaoke personalities there, including some I hadn't seen for a while. This one kid from the Zizkov neighborhood anarchy bar (now Zizkov, THERE'S a friggin neighborhood...) showed up and I didn't recognize him. He was minus the mohawk. He was minus the Elvis sideburns. But what really freaked me out was the suit and tie. I grabbed him and yelled 'BEGONE, BEELZEBUB! YUPPIE FROM HELL!' or some such drunken nonsense. 'What's with the TIE?'

He gave me the universal symbol for cunnilingus, the V finger with the vibrating tongue. I'm not sure if he was calling me a pussy, or whether the reason for the suit and tie was 'the pussy.' Who understands these young people?

Later he belted out a Cake song on that karaoke bar stage. I took him aside and told him I forgave him for his yuppie sins and transgressions, suit and tie and funny finger gestures and alleged business handshakes. I said 'Cake, brother!' He looked confused. I said 'Sacramento, REPRESENT!' and beat on my chest with a follow through salute. He still looked confused. Christ, these young kids these days. All that internet and no street cred.

Later on the owner of a prominent local English language website came up to talk to me. I know the guy. We had a few words about my photography business. He suggested that I might wear a suit and tie to let people know that I take my business seriously. I was shocked. I was also drunk and I believe I laughed and told him what he could do with his suggestion. I'm not very deft with tongue and fingers or I would have provided the 'ex punk in suit' answer.

If anyone hires me simply because of how I dress, I QUIT. If they can't see my photos, I mean, see something in there worth talking to me about, then they should hire the man in the monkey suit, the man with the corporate leash, the man with the fake smile.

I didn't come all the way to Prague to chug corporate cock for loose change.

Pardon my French, but photography is a passionate subject with me. My photography is a huge part of my life. So is living in a place where you can make your own life anew without all of the 'western' stereotypes about doing business. A place where people show up to work in offices unshaven, wearing track suits and sandals. A place where you can speak your mind without fear of being nailed to the wall by the p.c. speech police. Or the corporate fashion feds.

Well, it's either that or I watch way too much 'Sopranos' on a Sunday afternoon.


Anonymous dc said...

Craigu so good to hear you rant again. you forgot the part about how when you lived in sac the lead singer of cake was the rudest waiter in town. i would like to represent SAc, but our beloved MId Town is a yuppie hell and after reading this story of Praha, that wonderful place doesn't have long to go till there is a Starbucks and Jamba juice on every corner and only the very rich can live anywhere within 10 miles of the city center. What's to become of us downtrodden masses?

3:22 AM  
Blogger praguelodyte said...

Yes, indeedy...Gentrification aka 'yuppiescumification' is the subject of my next rant. Ostensibly the developers take a crack hood patch up the old buildings, drop a Starbucks and a yoga/juice/bar in and in come the yuppie scum with their stupid materialistic lifestyles. The rent goes up, and out we go. Artists and crackheads need to unite to fight the yuppie hordes.

9:43 AM  

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