As I walked through Market Square on my way to the recycle center, I passed these guys and did a double take. They didn’t look like any buskers I’d seen there before. The group played a polka and sang about the virtues of beer. This seemed a little edgy to me, given that we are very serious about our open container laws when we want to be and we are keeping an eye on buskers in particular. I asked them why they were here and one of them coyly responded, “Because we were told to be.” As I continued to look throughout the square, I realized all buskers not in a military uniform had been removed (or re-clothed?).
Bill and Jake, pictured above, were no where to be found. Days later I went to court to find that their case had been moved to a later date. Very suspicious. Where are Bill and Jake and what have you done with them?
As I walked toward the stage on Market Square I realized just how determined the military has become to thwart this little busking problem before it can infest the city with any sort of cultural illusions: The entire stage was full of military men and women (Army, from Nashville) and one extremely pregnant woman in red. They even had a soundboard manned by the military. A female military type sang a song extolling the virtues of keeping God, who I thought was free to go where she wanted, in America.
To confuse those of us who might suspect these weren’t our usual buskers, they added a guitar player in sunglasses, just so we couldn’t be certain which of our buskers might have donned the camo and gone electric.
Apparently even the military can’t be trusted to busk within bounds in Knoxville, so the KPD kept a watchful eye on the whole event.
Not to be outdone, but continuing the trend, a few days later I found a smaller military contingent from another branch of the military working the same portion of the square. The musical style seemed similar to the first bunch. I miss our old folk music. Bill, where have you gone? Whereforth art thou, Jake?