Sunday, October 22, 2006

R.I.P. C.B.G.B.

Legendary New York nightclub CBGB closed its doors on October 15, after a long battle with the landlord and developers intent on urban renewal in the Bowery. I recognize the importance of urban renewal to some extent. However, when it comes to a landmark as important to our culture as CGBG’s, the birthplace of punk, I think this is a tragic loss.

CBGB always championed alternative art and culture, and perhaps that is why the powers-that-be did not consider it worthy of saving. If you look back on past works of art that today are highly valued and appreciated, they were often ignored or even suppressed by society in their own era. They also were usually very critical of the status quo, which is most likely why they were suppressed! I am confident that future generations will recognize the important contribution CBGB made to our culture in its relatively short life.

I tend to be a conspiracy theorist, and I could go on and on about how these are the same people who want to censor or neuter artistic expression, or how developers only do these things so that already wealthy landlords can make huge profits, but I won’t. I will say, however, how sad I am that I never got to see a show at CBGB before it closed!
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