Reflections of a Disco Infiltrator Part Six: The Social Network

Plausible deniability is an impressive bitch until it's your own ass

that gets bitten. By the early months of 2007, I was in a state of

increasing anxiety about my infiltration of the Poplife party scene. I had not told anyone

about the seduction process I had been through, the mix of intrigue and a

potentially excellent record deal offered to me, or how impressed I was

by how organized yet nonchalantly this had all been carried out

by people that never officially said they were working together, but

always seemed to imply that they were. The character of the disco infiltrator would slowly change in the months to come.

I waited a few months in early 2007, but then I started going back down

to Miami on Saturdays to where the new party was, and I began to ask

questions about how the party system worked. Why did the parties move?

How do they generate enough revenue for both the party and the venue?

If I'm in a political structure like the Democratic Party, I do things

the same way. How is power distributed? Stuff like that. Everything,

all human interaction involves social machinery, and that is what is

neat to me, so that is what I like to talk about.

So I continued going out, mostly to Circa 28 on Saturdays and to PS-14,

and occasionally to the Pawn Shop, where Poplife held an event that was

called Dirty Disco. I was invited to this event by the same guy who

offered the record deal in 2006: Lou Stadler. For future reference:

If the guy who offers you a deal through Universal Records also doubles

as a promoter, club security, and is referenced immediately after you

meet with him by a phone call from Poplife Barbie as "Lou? He is an old family

friend," red flags should be raised.

Circa Saturdays held at Circa 28

seemed like the same group of organizers, so I just went

there, and waited and periodically asked about what the hell this

Poplife group was all about and what did they want with me. The

responses I received were superficial and guarded. Even the ones

that were more directly suggestive that I was dealing with bad people

were couched in layers of plausible deniability. If I asked what made

them bad, the response was

"what haven't they done?"  No further answers came.

In early 2007, I met the nephew of the Diaz-Balarts,

the right wing anti-Castro congressmen in Miami, in the

parking lot at PS-14. We spoke about his family, Castro and Cuba, and he relayed his friendship

or social connection with the Poplife crew, or at least the people

running the party. When I discussed my concerns, he changed the subject. He seemed nice enough, but who gives a shit about nice when

people are in position to stop something that they know should not be

done but fail to act at time when they are in a position to do so.

This

is what I call the Nazi problem. It's the problem of all authoritarian

systems of power and hierarchy which attempt to focus group energy not

on those with power, but on weak and easy to attack targets. And even

when people know what they are engaged in is wrong, the pressure from

the side with power makes it difficult to swim against the tide. In any

event, he made it clear enough, in a nice, smiling way, and he knew who

I was enough to come up to me and talk to me in the parking lot. I

gave him a Catalonia CD and that was that.

I still

had hope that this was a misunderstanding of

some kind. 

So I kept going back to these two places, Circa 28 and PS-14, beating

around the bush and asking periodic questions of promoters about basic

mechanics of the social network.

On July 14, 2007, a time that overlaps

with the Dirty Disco, Circa Saturdays stuff, PS-14 stuff, I began to

receive messages from an anonymous profile on MySpace. While it appears

ridiculously sketchy enough in hindsight (the name on the account was a

jumbling of the letters of my name adding an extra e), the state I was

in by the summer of 2007 was one of a complete loss of control over

outcomes and that whoever was in charge of this had control of the

situation, and nothing I could do or say could stop it. I felt

completely helpless. So I engaged with this person or persons on the

other end of this profile until September 10th, 2007. I will lay this

part out next time.

Evan Rowe is a local songwriter and performer best-known as

Catalonia, a professor of political science and history at Broward

College, and a small-d democratic strategist with no party affiliation.

Each week, we surrender our space for his thoughts on the music industry

and how they relate to our region.


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