Anacoenosis


Anacoenosis (an’-a-ko-en-os’-is): Asking the opinion or judgment of the judges or audience, usually implying their common interest with the speaker in the matter [and illustrating their communally-held ideals of truth, justice, goodness and beauty, for better and for worse].


I went to Chicago for a reason, with an accordion on my chest and a super-size styrofoam cup in my left hand. I had just graduated from George Washington Street Musician Academy—at the top of my class. Joan Mitchell, Robert Dylan and William Nelson were way behind me, still trying to learn how to set down their super-size styrofoam cups in the right place for maximal collection of coins and bills.

In addition to the street, I achieved some off-street success. My polka version of “All Along the Watchtower” briefly made the Billboard Charts, and my self-authored accordion solo “Roller Blade Inferno” became a standard at roller rinks across the country—it’s tempo was manic and complimented the cocaine stuffed noses racing wild-eyed around the rink. Sometimes “Roller Blade Inferno” would be played over and over for an hour or more. Skaters would drip sweat, push each other down, fight, and both men and women would tear off their shirts and swing them over their heads like lariats as they sped like a wolf pack around the rink howling and trying to bite each other.

Those were the days, and “those days” are what bring us all here together on this important day. Soon, you will process up here, and receive your super-size styrofoam cups. You have earned the title “Trained Street Musician” and your cups’ spaciousness signifies the nearly limitless opportunities that lie ahead. May your “cups runneth over” with determination, musical skill, and money.

We all agree, don’t we? There is no better life than the life you’re about to embark on. If you have to pawn your instrument from time to time to make ends meet, remember, your pawn ticket is your ticket to the future. Wash dishes, rake leaves, get yourself institutionalized for “observation.” Do whatever you can so you can use that ticket to bail out your hopes and head for the street again. Thank you.


Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

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