Evrybodys talking about revolution, evolution, masturbation, flagellation, regulation, integrations, etc.
"Ev'rybody's talking about revolution, evolution, masturbation, flagellation, regulation, integrations, etc."

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Inspired by Yoko Ono and John Lennon's notorious 1969 bed-ins held to protest the Vietnam War, KEXP is hosting its own horizontal show of peace and unity in its Gathering Space at 7:30 am January 20. (Bed and mattress donated by Goodwill.) The event happens shortly before Donald Trump gets sworn in as the United States' 45th president and will include live music performances by bedin_blogwimps, Gabriel Teodros, Tomo Nakayama, DoNormaal, and Grace Love. Then at 9 am, Stranger arts editor and KEXP DJ Sean Nelson will lead a sing-along of Plastic Ono Band's “Give Peace a Chance.” You can view a live stream of the event on KEXP's Facebook page between 8 and 9:15 am. In a press release, KEXP Morning Show host John Richards said. “KEXP has always felt through music and community we have a responsibility to make the world a better place."

However, not everyone's feeling warm and fuzzy about KEXP's Bed-In. Former Stranger music editor Jonathan Zwickel, for one, thinks the idea may be "counterproductive," as he elaborated on Twitter yesterday.





Sean Nelson—who is waking up much earlier than usual to perform at the Bed-In—addresses Zwickel's criticisms.

I'll allow that gathering for 5-10 minutes in the morning of what is certain to be a long day to sing a song might lack the radical grandeur of the direct political actions on which Jonathan Zwickel has built his reputation as an agent of revolutionary change. But I hope he will forgive us our “toothless"ness (as we forgive those who misuse the word “performative” in the course of passive-aggressive, cliche-strewn tweet threads).

It's hard to deny: making a conscious reference to an agitprop art installation from 1969 may not be as original or useful a gesture as talking shit on Twitter.

But as far as invocations go, you could do a lot worse at a moment like this than John & Yoko, or peace for that matter. Especially when you are a public radio station that—as Zwickel points out about 19 times, without ever pausing to consider the implications of —is constrained from taking explicit political sides. Prayer is always inappropriate, never more than now. And

Opening with a song, as a group, before heading out into the worst day in recent memory feels right to me. Or at least right enough. As Grace Love put it, "I'd rather be in a room full of people with frail hope than none." I'm looking forward to standing in that room with her.

And if that's not a sufficiently radical demonstration for a senior editor of City Arts magazine, I suppose we’ll all just have to try and live with it.

Would that we all had the revolutionary fervor, the dauntless commitment, the (I’m not afraid to use the word) courage that Jonathan Zwickel has demonstrated throughout his years of engagement with the cause of freedom.

Would that we had his perspicacity. His fire emoji passion. His righteous wokeness.

Alas.

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We can’t all be heroes. We can only do what we can. I’m going to wake up early and sing. I trust it won't distract you too much.

Not to worry, however. “Give Peace a Chance” is only about 5 minutes long, so all participants will have plenty of time to join the thousands of concerned citizens at the vastly more right-on and effective protest organized by Jonathan Zwickel.

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