Friday, January 01, 2010

ring in the new

There's a lyric at the beginning of a bad song by Britney Spears called "Circus" that resonates with me nevertheless: "There's only two types of people in the world, the ones that entertain and the ones that observe."

For the second year in a row, Einstein Simplified was invited to perform during First Night Knoxville, the family-friendly event in and around Market Square. We drew a standing-room-only crowd to an auditorium in the TVA West Tower despite competing with a Tennessee Vols bowl game. I find it much more fun to entertain than to stay home and observe "New Year's Rockin' Eve."

After the two performances, I did get to do a little observing. A pair of fire jugglers were doing their tricks on a street corner. They dropped their batons quite a bit and I probably wouldn't mention them at all except that I liked the effect of the slow shutter speed on the pictures I took with a used camera that I got from a reader in a pay-it-forward deal. I tried taking a picture of the jugglers' faces but they had spun 180° by the time the camera registered the push of my finger on the button.

First Night events throughout the country are intended to be alcohol-free. However as midnight approached, people who had been drinking spilled out of the surrounding bars and into Market Square. I think it would be impossible to prevent, even if you had a cop at every bar. Like us sober folks, they just wanted to see the ball drop and the fireworks rise.

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