(pic left from Flickr page of Jeremoss). I for one have grown completely numb to the co-opting of cool culture for nefarious commercial means. If the Strangulated Beatoffs had a song appear in a McDonald's ad, I probably would not bat an eye at this juncture (though if they do decide to do this I sort of fear for humanity what the band would be doing with their check). So, while I am right onboard with everyone who feels that downtown's identity has been clomped over by the high-rent boutiques, wine bars and luxury condos, I can't really feel that the amount of creativity in the city has been scaled down, just sort of displaced (to places with varying degrees of accessibility). I was truly saddened by Tonic's demise, mainly because it was such a central hub of important activity for so many artists who are somewhat more scattered now, but I never got that weepy over CB's. The last show I saw there was the Chain Gang, a good couple years before it's closing, and I think I hadn't been there since 2000 before that. Hence, the fact that John Varvatos decided to buy the old CBGB space and turn it into a fancy retail outlet that happens to preserve the club's graffiti, stage, lights and postered icons amidst racks of $700 jeans isn't as appalling to me I guess as it is to all of last night's protesters down in the Bowery. The difference between 315 Bowery becoming this or a Starbucks is what seems to be really rubbing people the wrong way; I mean, if the current realty office that owns the old Pier Platters space in Hoboken decided to put a box of Flying Nun records on their reception counter I'd probably applaud them. Perhaps someone who has respect for the careers of Graeme and Peter Jefferies may be the kind of person I'd like to rent an apartment from, who knows. Regardless, I'm glad there's still a spirit of protest alive (who's headed down to the LES to get a slab of that Bruce Willis-as-roast pig effigy happening?), though I did get a laugh from a comment on Curbed, whether it be facetious or not (thanks Doron): "I can't wait to protest this abomination, I'll meet everyone at the Whole Foods on Houston at 8PM!"