RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Thursday, October 22

SONG OF THE DAY: Pop Soul Sega

I believe that life’s most important moments require my nicest track suits – ones that show a cohesive philosophy, and aren’t worn down by overuse in difficult physical situations. I don’t go tromping around abandoned factories in my finest track suits. They’ve got to be fresh for those most important times in life – meetings with benefactors or people fronting you some shit, talking about buying a customized truck cheaply, fostering zoo orangutans, ring announcing battle rap events, loan approvals… you know, important shit. I’ve got a couple track suits actually still folded up and unworn, waiting for events important enough to bust them out for the first time. I’m prepared for life’s most important events, in advance, knowing I have to be my freshest to step up for those events.
When you get down to less important events, the closet full of track suits still works. Some have lost their luster, aren’t as crispy as they once were, or you wore them for a couple too public important events. Maybe you tore a hole in the pants climbing through barbed wire, so you mix and match track suits that are mostly the same, or maybe even in different but complementary colors for less important events. I’ve even put giant back patches on some track jackets, to add new life to them for those higher level less important events, like sneaking through a large urban freight yard for the first time ever. But there’s a rough process involved here that understands what importance actually means, and respects that, and shows it understands and respects that through the philosophy of track suit application.
Somehow, folks are beating everybody over the head with the same old THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT AMERICAN ELECTION OF OUR LIFETIME, which frankly, has been said almost every time since 1988. And I mean, it certainly feels fairly fucked right now, and like it could be an important moment in American history. But I’m not entirely sure the system itself got it shit together to bust out the best track suits. This feels like a pair of raggedy track suits my uncle used to wear way too often, to every cookout, that he thought brought him good luck at Spades, even though nobody ever wanted to be partners with him.
One is absolutely fucked up, and not my style at all – one of those red fleece track suits with the white trim that old ass dudes walking through Costco buying up multivitamins and industrial sized packages of Italian meatballs swear looks good. That shit is so alien to my ideas of freshness, I couldn’t even contemplate wearing it, or what AARP catalog people still order it out of.
The other is not as garish, but pretty fucked too – dark blue windbreaker track suit, with white trim as well, looking all 1982 business-like, the type of shit worn by dudes who think they understand the plight of urban America because they’ve watched The Wire and listened to a couple podcasts about it, even though they also naively think there’s noble Lester Freamon’s in every police department, instead of accepting the fact it’s a giant army of Sgt. Herc’s just running around fucking up anything and everything they can. If I had to choose between the two track suits, obviously I’d go with the dark blue one, but honestly, I’ve got about nine whole track suits laying around right now that I’d wear before I ever thought about pulling that one out the bag. In fact, a sizable portion of my less important, well worn track suits are still far better than that dark blue piece of shit.
I think perhaps the problem is the limitations of material. The fabric of metaphorical American track suit is trapped in that small notion of dark blue, red, with as much white trim as possible. In fact, whiteness outlines any track suit cut from historical American fabric. Personally, I find this material too narrow, and not bold enough for my tastes. Where’s the neon green, or orange, or even just a good basic dark green – we don’t even have to be day-glo about it at first. And no purples or pinks anywhere to be found. Where the fuck is all the purple and pink? There’s not a lot going on here, when you consider the actual possibilities, beyond what we’re limited to.
So I can’t really see this as a super important moment, simply because they ain’t got shit ready in terms of the track suit we’re supposed to be wearing for this moment. A couple of stale old brands, uncomfortable on the one hand, or doesn’t really protect against the modern environmental elements on the other hand, and in those same played out tired useless colors that nobody wants to wear any more.
One of the track suits I’ve got that’s never been pulled out yet is a super dark green one, with black trim and stripes. It’s some eastern European club, that I got on clearance, and refuse to share what club for fear they have some fucked up history of hooligan supporters who back fucked up politics. All that’s visible of that would be the crest on the front, which has railroad shit on it, so I give it the benefit of the doubt. I also put a back patch on the jacket, even though I never wore it yet, of a baby goat standing on a Nazi helmet, chewing on grass, that says GREEN Anti-Fascist. There’s a skull in the helmet, though it’s hard to notice without looking closely. I’m probably gonna wear that track suit for the first time ever, on Election Day. I’m not voting in advance, and ain’t even sure if I’m voting the day of to be honest. But I’m gonna wear that track suit and at least walk up to the voting precinct, scope out the lines. My voting location’s only about three-quarters of a mile from where I live now, and it’s a nice little walk, over some hills and curves, past an old Mennonite church covered in ivy, past a cool guardrail where the kudzu has grown over the top of it, unrelenting, nature re-invading the allegedly settled world. And whether I vote or not, regardless of how I vote if I do, I know I’m gonna look fresh as fuck, and looking like my best self, as important moments are actually supposed to get.

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