Wednesday, December 21, 2016

an end of year slap in the face

nothing wraps up a year better than hearing a dear friend tell you things you've known all along. not only is it loving, it's affirming. affirming enough to make you realise, 'yeah, those changes you've been thinking about making for the past five years? now's the time because you're getting old and soon you'll be in that place where, if you make the decisions then, you'll be that old guy doing stuff that mostly younger people are doing, and that makes you weird."

sure it sounds a little ageist, but that's ok because i'm embracing it. i'm a little bit ageist. i'm a little bit a lot of things, and rather than exorcise them from my system on this faux-virtuous path to modern-day, politically correct perfection, i'm going to continue to embrace all the little naughty quirks that have made me relatively ok in the 35 years i've been alive.

i'm also going to do a lot more complaining. complaining is my jam. it's how i best communicate. fuck how my parents said complaining won't get me anywhere. i can complain with a certain eloquence over a variety of formats: poetry, prose, spoken word, etc. i tend not to complain over anything too ephemeral, say a facebook status, because that complaining goes nowhere and contributes to the false sense of activism that makes the world a sick place and got social miscreants like donald trump in office. my complaining has the edge of bukowski, the melody of hemingway, the depth of pound, and the colour of fitzgerald. but it's still all me.

i'm going to complain and complain and complain all i want and it's going to sound great and people will pull up chairs to listen and they'll never need to ask any questions because it's all there. crystal clear, like a bell on a cold winter night. stark, straight, and the slap in the face we all need to hear.

to a 2017 filled with complaining.

Friday, October 21, 2016

they just don't get it

the problem with today's kids showing off stuff from the past is this tendency to always put some fucking soundtrack over it. i found myself, as i often do, craving the beeps and boops of the print shop for apple iigs. i headed to youtube, sure i'd find some sort of run-through of the program, and, sure enough, i did. i clicked on it, and instead of the beeps and bopps, i heard '99 luftballoons.' while they may have shared an era, i don't recall '99 luftballoons' having anything to do with the print shop for apple iigs. and the rage ensued. this is not YOUR thing, it's mine. while the vintage-ness of old shit may hold some ironic enchantment for you, i need the authentic beeps and boops in order to get the full effect.

the SAME rage that i feel all too commonly while watching playthroughs of old video games. there's no reason--listen up, gen Zers out there who have seemingly occupied the faculties of youtube--absolutely no reason to replace the genius 8-bit soundtrack of super mario 3 with some bullshit early 2000s ballad that belongs on 'one tree hill.' so stop doing it.

and lastly, contrary to what you might think, there's nothing odd about watching video games being played as though they were films. nothing at all.


Wednesday, September 07, 2016

on the fence about nightmares

i woke up today after a lengthy nightmare playing out over a series of episodes. due to the timeless quality of dreams, there's no way to tell how long each episode lasted, or exactly how many there were, but the message--the main plot--was clear as day: i found myself conflicted over the idea of making a gus van sant-directed porno film with gian paolo.

based on such an idea, you can see it wasn't a typical nightmare, as in full of scary monsters or a horde of attack rats, but what ticked the box for me was the resulting poor sleep and sense of anxiety that pervaded both the dream and the time immediately upon awakening.

what tickled me, however, was the level of deliberation i put into this decision. on one hand, i said, "one should never do porn. it will always come back to bite you in the ass." the other hand, however, chanted, "gus van sant. it's gus van sant. it's not really porn if it's gus van sant."

i didn't even realise i had such a thing for gus van sant films.

turns out i was right: i didn't. after imdb'ing gus van sant, i realised that the director in my dream couldn't have been gus van sant. he simply doesn't do films of that nature. perhaps the 'gus van sant' in my dream was an agglomeration of several directors known for one controversy or another, a mashup of vincent gallo, lars von trier, even a dash of larry clark.

i imagined chloe sevigny giving head to some guy for ages on camera. sure, that happened, but it wasn't in a gus van sant film. it was with vincent gallo, in vincent gallo's 'the brown bunny.'
honest mistake, really.

but what i'll take with me is the satisfaction that, every so often, at intervals that lie in between my far too common dreams of pursuit, no doubt brought on by my constant state of procrastination, manifest my apparent high-brow aspirations of associating myself (and gian paolo) somehow with a gus van sant film. or any of the above.


Friday, June 24, 2016

keeping order

as anyone who knows me will tell you, i love rules.

i love rules.

i love lists of rules, regulations, dos and don'ts, various signage indicating proper behaviour for any given area.

rules are good. they establish and maintain order. they answer a great many questions that, relieved of the ambiguity surrounding them, can help you to have a great time wherever you are, whatever you do. a carefree time, even, just within the confines of these rules.

i fully agree that sometimes there is some truth to the old saying 'rules are meant to be broken.' not all rules are good or fair. but most are.

i also think the world is in great need of more rules. i think we need a rulevolution to better equip society to deal with one another. little regulations regarding etiquette and behaviour in this age of technology. case-in-point: cameras. in a way, we're not humans anymore. we've become a society of cyborgs, equipped with the ability to record one another, make videos, even go live when, how, and where we see fit. life is seen through a digital lens and no longer the proverbial one, and while the benefits of this widespread technological embellishment are evident, the side-effects are almost too evident, creating a sludge of slow-moving people after the 'perfect shot' of themselves with some well-known scenery in the background.

working in close proximity to one of london's best-known landmarks, my daily life is littered with more than its fair share of tourism and--as a result--a simple stroll out to fetch lunch turns into parkour course. dodging and swerving constantly to avoid colliding with people engrossed in the activities of their smartphones.

for me, though, it's not the inability to walk in a straight line for more than two metres that grinds my gears. it's those you find in art galleries circling the various pieces of art with their phones, barely paying the art any mind with their actual eyes, opting rather to 'capture the moment' on digital record. i won't go on about all the ways this is fundamentally wrong (i mean we all know they're never going to watch it again) so instead, i take it upon myself to police these people back into acceptable social behaviour.

i go to the tate modern at least once a week with two intentions of equal importance. the first is to see the art, take the time to appreciate whatever aspect calls out to me that time, and spend as many moments as necessary to express my love of art to the actual pieces that inspire me. the second reason is simple--to walk in front of people trying to take photos and videos. i feel by sabotaging their ostensibly noble efforts to 'take it all in' i am teaching them a valuable lesson. art belongs in a museum. not your motherfucking phone. the most common reaction comes in some form of an apology, which i usually ignore. what is there to say? "that's ok?" no, because it's not ok. "no worries?" certainly not--it is a worry.

no, instead i allow them to stew in their shame as i make my way to the next piece of art or situation in which someone is trying to take it home with them, stored in the digital bowels of their smartphones.