I’m pretty damn sure Dave Chappelle wasn’t planning on hanging out with 5-10,000+ of Portland’s finest tonight. Rather, I’d put a reasonably large bet on him being stashed away in some swanky hotel room at The Heathman, drinking Blue Label and crackin’ jokes when his manager came in and told him we were all waiting, expecting him to show up. WE, the PEOPLE brought him out that hotel room. What was he supposed to do? Be a big fat jerk and not come? That’s crazy talk.
I won’t lie, it was more exciting in the hour we waited for him than once he actually showed up. The mini-amp and plug in mike were…let’s go with underwhelming. My computer speakers are louder than that crappy excuse for a sound system. But then again, as a kind Po-Po informed me, no permit, no sound. Looks like the party was doomed from the start.
But it’s all good. It definitely gave us all something to do on a Tuesday night other than watch TV and drink beer, albeit very very good beer. It was just such a waste of a crowd. Think about the possibilities of that scene. We were primed and ready for something great. It was unrehearsed, organic, community. There were people drinking whiskey and getting naked (and arrested for getting naked) on the roof of Starbucks for God Sake!!! No, this was real. No marketing or advertising gimmicks to ruin the moment. Just grassroots, networking and word of mouth proving weight in gold–or maybe iPhones. Everything is so intentional and scripted these days–even so-called reality TV. When we get a glimpse of the unexpected, the spontaneous, the surprise with no ulterior motive to be found–we have no choice but to form a Twitter flash-mob and surround it. It’s such a rare and precious gift. I suppose, that, in and of itself, is what really made tonight special. It wasn’t Dave Chappelle (sorry Dave). It was people gathering around a mustard seed of a possibility. If you were there and saw how many people showed, I’m sure you can attest that we grew those grassroots into a tree. And that’s pretty fucking cool if you ask me.
Let’s just hope the rumor starters pick a venue where we don’t need a permit next time!