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Thursday, September 05, 2002 

Gentrify This!

Tube, found in the Old Town District, is a monotonous and elitist bar paying homage to the television and the power structures that use it as an instrument to coerce passivity. With the profits from their excessively high prices the owners of this sterilized hole are able to create a disquietingly bland, yet highly expensive, minimalist milieu. The interior of the bar has been coated with layers of fiberglass, and the walls are bare except for a flat screen television. An unfortunate square of grass is placed near the window to remind patrons that life is truly elsewhere. Completely isolated in its location from others of its kind, this bar is the first solid attempt at gentrifying a district that has for years remained distant from the hands of the bourgeoisie.

The space now occupied by Tube, located at 18 NW 3rd Avenue, was once the home of the Martial Arts Gallery, a politically radical, youth-oriented work space, which had regular music benefits, supported the Homeless Liberation Front, and even featured a large indoor skateboard ramp. Unfortunately last year the Martial Arts Gallery fell victim to an eviction to make way for the chic Tube, and to further the city’s greedy gentrification scheme.

On September 5th a small crowd of over a dozen revolutionaries and activists returned to the space with a lead-weighted guillotine that could only be described as exotically alluring, and, without a doubt, a surrealist object. Placed on the sidewalk in front of the bar the guillotine executed its first television, which provoked an exasperating response from the owner of the dismal bar. Following the execution the sidewalk was chalked with class war statements, and the guillotine escaped unharmed, forever to be remembered as an inspiring tool of negation, and the manifestation of poetry in the service of revolution.

As surrealists we are enthused by any contestation of capitalism’s reign over space, time, and creativity. It is an absolute necessity, if we are to transform this current repressive situation into one that values freedom, love, and poetry, that such moments of lucidity and imagination become increasingly contagious.

MK Shibek and Brandon Freels

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