The New Thing Is Happening
November 28th Turkey Day
It's been a sparse time. New content coming though: class prejudice! Also, here is some required readin for the holiday weekend: love your enemy.
The Sister is in town, and we're on our way up to Peter's to have food and conviviality. Last night watched Dazed and Confused which got all the high school nostalgia going something feirce. Such a beautiful beatific tale, the lost generation of rock and roll, next stop postmodernity. Oh yeahhhh... It makes me want to chronicle the travails and tales of my own adolescent arc, the whole scene, from geeky isolation through to boozy swinger popularity. Someday I'll plop down the important bits in the life story section. Not now though, too much else happening.
November 27th Funky Kingston
Jeremy laid something sweet on me last night, Toots And The Maytals' Funky Kingston. It's giving me that good old feeling. There's a cover of "Country Road" that's pure homeland divinity, deep soil fertility acceptance distilled at maximum volume. I always dug John Denver, but let's admit it: he was kind of square. Anyway, Toots sings it into my heart.
Jeremy's also tells me he's going to start his own blog, which I think is just plain good news. He wants to chronicle the trials and tribulations of working in an Upper East Side bookstore, something like True Porn Clerk Stories, but will less smut and more class resentment, I think. He also has a lot of musical and literary knowledge to offer the universe. Everyone with something interesting to say should publish themselves online. Get it all out there!
In other news, street theater is going down on Friday as part of buy nothing day. I'll be playing the Television God, the bad guy who goes to preach the virtues of sweatshops and violent union-busting. At some point my minions of hypnotized consumer slaves will be exorcised and returned to their selves by the Reverend Billy. I like playing over-the-top villlans, so it aughtta be a gas.
I'm devouring that good book of Ginsburg interviews. Ever since I can remember, I always wanted to be a beatnik. Growing up in flower-power town I automatically had respect for the Hippy movement, but when you're an adolescent and everyone seems to like the Greatful Dead, it's natural to try and differentiate yourself. I wasn't about to go mainstream, so I decided that chess-playing, coffee-drinking, poetry-writing, black-wearing, bongo-beating beatniks would be my coutercultural idols. I dug all the wild rhythm, the ecstasy, the tighness of their jazz, the working class criminal junky element. It seemed more exciting than boring old longhairedness, more substantive.
My early affections were all for Kerouac and Burroughs. Howl was/is a mind-blower, but I never got too deep into Ginsburg, I suppose because most of his substantive writing is poetry, and I'm not much of one for sitting down to read poems. I love listening to a poetry reading, but it doesn't do a lot for me sitting on the page. But damn these interviews are sharp. He's after the truth and the self and the real thing, connecting to other people, dropping the mask, plus he's a world-class interlocutor. There's a fantastic transcript of him and William F. Buckley sparring in '68 on Frontline. Divine visions of heaven and hell and human gods and devils, hope for the future and inspiration from the past and so motherfucking generous and full of sweet love through it all. He's someone I can morally get behind.
November 22nd Time out of Mind
Flying high on life tonight. Just saw some dynamite theater, a one man show by a student at my alma matter. Look out for Alex Gideon, because he's really fucking good. I also picked up a couple books at the Strand (there is no such thing as "just browsing" there) -- Faster, an account the increasing pace of modern life which I recall reading an excerpt from a while back, and a collection of interviews with Allen Ginsburg. On the train ride home there was a really good subway musician, a man playing a custom drum set with his bare hands,one of the ones you give money to in the hopes that it will keep them coming back. Steady rhythms, helping me to reclaim the dignity of my own experience. Yes, I started believing in my own philosophy again.
Shakespearian reference is in the air. I was watching Condi Rice talk on the PBS News Hour (just about the only TV news I can stomache in this era of "fair and balanced") and though I don't like her politics, I do like her vocabulary. I've been off the map lately due to illness. Some kind of flu shit hit me hard on Tuesday. I'm still quite unwell, but the sickness is giving me time to ponder things. I've also been working for Sam (my partner in Valhalla Theater) painting stuff for an opera, which while not helping my health has been assisting the meditation. There's lots of introspective mulch being composted. Soon it will bloom and flower, scout's honor.
November 18th Zeitgeist
Once again, JT and I are strangely in sync again. Maybe that's the zeitgeist. I'm feeling a little swept up in it all... powerless and isolated against the tide of crass consumerism and self-serving morality. That's probably because I don't leave my room often enough. I did hit the gym today, and it is a good feeling.
November 17th I've been to the Mountain
Savagely drunk last night, and destressingly hung over today. Wes and I walking to Rock and Roll Macdonald's in the rain, through the dirty streets of Greenpoint, me silently hangover-philosophising about the criminal undercurrent to the working class world, wondering if I'll become sick as a result of the cheeseburgers or the Dr Pepper. I haven't been that plastered in quite a while. It wasn't all that fun, just the local bar with it local action, but being forced to take it slow today was nice. I feel kind of spiritually at ease when the pain and nausia of a hangover lifts. It's like the simple peace when you bike in the cold rain and finally make it home to warm dry clothes.
I've also been thinking about girls a lot, and how I need to meet more of them. I sense an upswing of activity in that quadrant of my life. On my way back from reading a very neat play my friend Joe has written, I ran into an old aquantence from NYU on the train today, a woman who'd there'd been vibe with at some time or another. She's going to California to perform her one-woman show (Brass Logic) at the Transparent Theater in Berkeley. It's playing during the stretch of time I plan on being there to visit my main man Luke. I should remember and go see it. At the reading was another woman (boyfriended) who I've had a long-standing yen for. I also recently traded long emails with my big ex girlfriend, who still plays into my psychlogy more that I would like to admit. I don't talk about her much because I feel that talking of exes long past is a sign of weakness, so it's mostly my secret.
But I'm trying to get out of the secrets game. At the risk of being too self-referrential, it's almost a year that I've been at this website building business (see my first entry), and one of my original under-the-radar goals was for the website to be a means of goading myself towards a more interesting and truthful life. It was something of an identity exercise. Today I come home to find Frank reading nerve.com because I put a link there to it in my last entry. As a result of this we have an interesting discussion. It's not until later that I realize the circuitious nature of how it arose, but the conversation allowed me to do a little more excavating of my subconscious, talking about my superficial attraction to intelligence, how I'm turned on just by the mention of an ivy-league diploma or the words "master's thesis," and how I think this is maybe the result of my unrealized teenage crush on the editor of my high school newspaper. That causes a recollection of a flirtatious conversation I had with that girl, describing my desire for witty repartee in highly sexualized language, something about "surmounting intellectual obsticles." This clearly (to me) links my lust for brains to my fascinations with power and competition. I hadn't put these bits together in just that order before, so the old website is at least causing a few new gears to turn.
Later on, sitting in the bath reading an old New Yorker article (mom sends me the ones she's done with, as well as her discarded Harpers) about the chef/progenitor of Babbo, a hot restaurant in the Village, I realize and set forth one of my defining character traits: I enjoy craft, the combination of quality, creativity and care. Now, at first I thought this might clash with my (classist) prejudice against luxury, my distaste for the ostentatious and debased nature these things take on. People get all into the conspicuousness of their consumption and miss out entirely on the heart and soul of things, and that makes me mad because it's a waste, and I don't like waste. Reading about this guy reminds me that there are some classy things that are worth going for, and that there's no inherant need for shame in the face of pleasure.
Got a link from from old logreport pals that let me to the euro-BSDcon, where they've been this past weekend. It brought back memories of this summer's trip to the Netherlands and the SANE conference. Lots of familiar faces. In keeping with my girl-obsession and linking to old posts, I ran across this picture. Forget the bald head, check the woman on the right. She's the belle of the Dutch hacker world. I remember her from SANE. As one presenter noted, "she is our Princess Leia." Quite a siren, as I thought a the time.
Lastly tonight, there's a bit in the NYT Magazine about Conner Oberst, one of the prototypical hipster indie musicians. I was turned off by the photo and the title, but it was actually quite interesting, seing as the interview came in my home town, and revealed a guy with quite a following and a seemingly growing political consciousness.
"I thought I would never sing political songs, but now it seems like the only thing worth singing about," he says. "It's difficult to think about anything besides the war."I've said before that the anti-war movement needs more practicing rockstars to set it out there. More hip-hoppers, if you want to be serious about things. Mos Def is a good start (though he could be more vocal), but if we really want to turn the kids off on war, we've got to get Emenem to come out against it.
November 15th Fight Fear
Julia turned us back on to nerve.com to look at her ex boyfriend's profile, which she claims reveals the depths of his dispicableness. I don't know if I agree, but reading the personal ad of a person I've met a few times (one meant to be read by women) is an interesting experience. Of course I troll quickly to see who is available in NYC, looking through the women. It gives me the personal willies, these personal ads. I don't have anything against them; in fact in principle I see the internet as a big part of meeting people in the future. But I can't seem to muster the juice to do it for myself. Something, some deeply internalized prejudice or fear of rejection, stopping me.
I like to window-shop though. It makes me wonder where all these pretty bookish witty woman are in realspace. Raises the old hopes.
Fearmongering over at CNN has set me off yet again in the politics blog. I just can't stand it when people use 9-11 fear to sell war in Iraq. It's not just rhetorically underhanded, but it's supremely disrespectful as well. However, this it too great not to cross-post: Mad Magazine's Gulf War II: Clone of the Attack.
Otherwise I'm doing ok. Got a call back from a temp agency, so maybe I'll get a little paying work in sometime soon. That'd be nice. Living frugal and going to see some old friend theater tonight.
Here's a thought; why doesn't someone make a good old fashioned fighting tournament movie, ala "Enter the Dragon?" What ever happened to that venerable genre? Where are our cartoonish kung-fu action stars these days? I suppose "Gladiator" is similar, but that was too high-class. I mean, has reality television (e.g. UFT) put this formula to rest? I for one certainly hope not.
November 14th Josh the Exploder
This is possibly the coolest thing happeing on the web right now: the mozilla tinderboxes. This is the realtime creation of software, going on 24 hours a day seven days a week, by volunteers and professionals. Note all the specialized lingo. It goes beyond techspeak: they've developed community dialect. And because it's groovy open source, the product will be available to all, like a well made plaza, or road, or public transportation system. Open source is the infrastructure for the future of the web. All hail the builders!
Whooo Hot! I'm thinking life needs more character, more outlandish, more pushing of the proverbial envelope. Style. Going on with what I've been doing isn't going to get me where I want to be.
November 13th Solo Dancer
It's steady Charles Mingus tonight. Regrets and recrimination. Flirting! I need to re-learn the art of flirtatiousness! Tonight at ye olde hipster trivia saw the tall blonde one again, with a whole court of boyzos, rightly enough. Made nothing but eyes, though clearly that was a mistake. The moment failed to present itself... or at least I didn't seek the moment quite stridently enough, which when I think about it is really a self-esteem issue.
I want nothing less than to be seen as overbearing and boorish to a woman, yes if I really had a good idea of myself I'd realize that it's possible for a fellow such as me to courteously express interest without incurring scorn. But I don't so I don't and c'est la vie. I aught to go on a flirtation regemin though, get mojo working and soforth. With this one it is coming dangerously close to becoming a Thing, not making a move. The beauty of flirtation is to balance lightness with the promise of substance. So far I'm 0 for 2. Three strikes and I'd probably best forget it.
On the other side of things, poppie has a new puppy. It's a good lookin' hound, though I like the humourous horse pictures the best.
I did some spreadsheeting and it looks like even without a steady source of income I will survive the holidays (many thanks to the Daditude for footing a plane ticket on the ol' frequent flier miles) and that puts me at ease.
I've decided to gird up for a blockbuster new year. 2002 was a bit of a fizzle to be honest. Not all that bad, and at a few times quite high flying, but suffering from a dearth of breakthrough moments, a lack of substantial progress. I feel like I've not grown all that much; maybe a little more mature and reserved and intelectually honest, but not much more of a person. I feel that it's time to take a step, and it's been time for a while.
People I know (west coasters in particular) suggest lately that NYC isn't doing me much good and maybe a change of scenery is in order. I have to conceide that point somewhat, but I don't know anywhere else I really can be. For better or for worse, I really like a lot of things that are hard to get anyplace else: the theater, the biz, the 24/7 stimulation. You don't get that cocktail anywhere else I've found.
Yet there are a lot of things that grind me down here as well. Honestly, a lot of it comes down to money. Which brings us back to my class prejudice. I be working on a little ditty explaining that one, actually. Must find a way to be "away" without being on "vacation."
November 12th Demeaning Day
Spent a fruitless morning at the temp agency. Apparently I don't have enough experience being subservant to qualify for a crack at their admin support jobs, and there's not much going on in the "creative" or "tech" departments. The whole thing left me with the feeling that we're surrounded by lies. Like, I could have come in with a re-written resume (not lying per-se, just emphasizing different things) and been put to work at yet another do-nothing job. Instead I came home and coded a little. I seems that I'm not cut out to KowTow to the square world. I'm too far outside the box, can't make the obsequiousness look sincere. That's not helping the bottom line though.
Maybe manual labor will work in a short-term hitch. There are few questions asked there. But let me send out another scad of solicitations and see what Dr Crawford may have cooking up in Westchester before I take that step. Still, the work outlook doesn't look especially good until maybe January.
November 11th Day is Done
I hit remote lounge tonight for emily's birthday. The scene is interesting and quite 21st-Century, but I wasn't in the right mood for it. Stopped off at the palace for a couple beers and Monday night football (plus free ziti!) and that was much more my speed this evening. Tomorrow the temp agencies. Keep on rocking in the free world.
Julia didn't dig my last love entry, sent me a contrary but encouraging email. I think it was more my corse language than what I was actually saying which threw her. See, I copied direct from a lengthy email response addressed to the Girth, so when it was written I was speaking in the company of men. But I suppose that's a little bit of truth as well, so maybe it's insighteful as well as offensive.
November 10th Porno
Reading Porno by Irvine Welsh. Not as raw and true as Trainspotting (he's got artifice and fame now, so it's probably not possible) but a cracking good time nonetheless. Highly recommend it.
Made some posts and layout changes in the politics blog. A moment of meta-site-thinking: what I'd eventually like to do is start creating different categories or "channels" for content here at OJ.com, having the default frontpage show stuff that's general life-updates, important notices and pointers to featured content, then organize another area that shows more content on one topic. Getting ahead of myself there though.
It's harvest time, and I'm having a bit of an identity crisis when it comes to me and the ladies. I've been whining about it. Good old The Girth writes:
Dog, I keep readin your shit about moral dilemmas, who you gonna hook the j-bone into and all. I just don't get it man, the chick probably thinks about this shit less than you do, and when you're thinking more than the girl, it's no good, might as well give it up and become a castrated social worker. Just get some action man, it won't ruin her, or you for that matter. You'll both feel better, let things happen.
Strong words. Y'see, I've had a few ugly moments that I'd rather not revisit that were the result of just letting the j-bone do as it will. The j-bone and the j-man are usually in pretty good harmony, but sometimes the j-bone will make compromises the j-man has a difficult time reconciling.
How do I resolve this? The love page tells all... (warning, mature content).
November 9th Shenanigans!
Ahh Monkey Business... I like monkeys, and I like my mac, and I went to NYU, so I really dig this.
Josh Koenig was a good guy. He didn't need this shit. I'm currently in the midst of a pretty believable moral kick about who I might hook up with. I like that about me, keeps me feeling good in many ways. However, it does lead to a pretty profound vaccum of warm stuff to hang on to in the middle of the night. Over time that evolves into something of a rather crushing loneliness, and I'll confess: I've had impure thoughts as of late. But still, dangling temptation vibrations from clearly boyfriended girls is just... well it's a bitch and a half. But I zonk out alone again tonight. Score one for the good guys.
November 8th Money Grubbing Capitalism
I'll say this for these election results. I was right that the Left was soulless and that it would cost them. Maybe now that the cat's out of the bag we can get down to business. More of this in the politics blog.
Speaking of getting down to business, I need cosumer goods and I want to buy gifts for people and I'm not interested in piling up any more credit card debt than necessary, and I need something to structure my time between now and then. Well, I sent out more than 10 resumes to dastardly temp agencies. I'll be heading out for some in-person pavement-pounding on Monday. It's not that I'm broke or anything, but I don't have anything to do for the next 5 weeks or so, and I figure I might as well earn some cash off my spare brain-time. Do you have work for me? Check the resume.
I prefer to freelance, but these times call for these measures.
In the meantime, nowarblog.org continues to delight me. I think this forum has the potential for getting important commentary and insight out to the world. It's quickly become one of my "must read" websites. I now hit it more times a day than the NYtimes. Why? It has cross-spectum participation so I can count on the commentary not to be too far skewed. Because most of the invited bloggers seem reasonable and educated folks, I can count on accurate and intelligent information as opposed to chest-beating or hand-wringing soundbytes. Because it's not a personal soapbox, it stays on topic and avoids ranting. In short, it's everything the internet promises to be and the mainstream media isn't: a means for motivated intelligent individuals to share information and ideas with others. It's a website that treats me like an adult. My experience reading this site over the past two weeks has been similar to when I first discovered ./ in 1999, except the subject is anti-war politics instead of technology.
November 7th Correction
Kristi's hot halloween outfit is here. Sorry for the confusion. Not much free time these days, producing theater and debating my fellow producers. But this is fun. This is not.
November 6th Morning After
The elections went down. Needless to say I'm a bit dissappointed. See the politics blog for the hand-wringing details. If you want to see some neat theater this weekend, go get tickets for The Mouse That Roared. I'm currently doing some sound board opping for people that we traded for space. It's an interesting play about race and love in Harlem. Busy with that for now. Good to be busy.
Holy crap. Look at my friend Kristi's hot Halloween outfit. She's Princess Leia in the gold bikini. Zang!
November 4th Drugs! Politics! The Future is Now!
Praise be, I'm on drugs. No, not that kind, the kind you get from a doctor (though the pseudoephedrine in the claritin I was prescribed has be high as a kite, reminding me a lot of adderall... faster, faster!). My mother's health insurance was accepted at my local clinic against all expectations, and I even got a discount on my antibiotics. Zang! I'm on the road to wellsville for only $35!
I set up and integrated some blogging software for my politics section so as to better engage with chickenhawk warbloggers around the net. Check out my nowarblog. Proof that this claritin is a bonafide upper, the first post is some utopian ranting. Make comments if you like. I figure at least this way me and A-Stock can have our enlighenting debates archived for discovery by future civics classes as evidence that not everyone in the early 21st Century was a slackjawed dittohead.
This means that I'll be doing most of my politiking over there, though it'll surely bleed onto the frontpage and I'll definitely links should I come up with stuff I like. The point is, if you're not being radicalized by the times as I am, this front page will be more mellow and palletable. If you're more the firebranded hothead type, maybe you'll make that your starting place. Watch the boy compartmentalize, hooyeah.
November 3rd Self Improvement
Spend most of the day away from the screen. Reading and writing quite a lot. Goofing around with frank about shit, trying to movitate myself to get started on a bigger artistic project, trying to kick start something grand that will take me up in the world. Hubris, how I loathe thee! I've been derided for my wonton postmodernism, but I'm a romantic too. Tough balancing act.
My friend Mat has a neat website too. Old Zetan Drableg was right. He's the only one who doesn't blog. But he does crazy stuff anyway. Ho Ho Ho.
November 2nd The First of the Month
It seems that the right half of my body is revolting against me. The right ear is infected, likewise the right nipple. My right hand is suffering painful blisters -- not from that you sick bastards, but yes it's been a while -- after helping Jeremy squeeze on new grips to his new handlebars. Maybe it's been my growing radicalization and political left-leaning; my own physiological right wing is pissed and it wants some attention.
If only it were that easy. The sad truth is that I'm kind of under the weather and I will need to see a doctor. This is a bit of an issue because I have no health insurance. I don't have a "job" in that sense, and heretofore I've been banking on my own biological resilliance to pull me through any nasty run-ins with bacteria. Given that, one might consider my lack of balanced diet and wonton consumption of alcohol to be rather unwise. Hindsight, phooey. Not to worry, I've got credit card balance to burn and I'm sure it won't cost more than a few hundred dollars to get my hands on the right pills.
But it does make me wonder whether or not we'll ever get it together as a nation and join the rest of the first world in taking care of our citizens. It's really reprehensible that we don't have universal health care in the United States, but I don't see anyone stepping up to put the hurt on the health insurance racket any time soon. I mean, even Hillary's plan threw billions their way. And why? They're inefficent and self-serving, profiteering off sickness and injury. There are some things that just aught not to be left up to the profit motive to operate, and keeping people healthy is one of them. Maybe with all the bioterror hysteria we can cram something in there under the guise of homeland security. Hey, don't laugh. It's how we got the interstate highway system.
There are so many wrongs in the world and not too many rights I feel like I can add to the pile. I suppose I'm having a crisis of meaning again: feeling like a bad person with little of value to contribute, feeling like there's not a lot happening that's worth getting out of bed for, feeling bored, feeling sour on a lot of things, really.
But it's the beginning of a new month, and I feel like I aught to get some endeavours underway. With my energy low, I'm experiencing a lot of self-doubt and paranoia about my worth as an individual and especially as a creator of things. However, I've come to the realization and the resolution over the past few weeks that I want to and will direct some theater in 2003. That likely means I will write some theater too, as I'm not entirely comfortable with (or excited by) the prospect of directing someone else's plays. I don't know how this will go down, but it will happen. I've got a number of ideas to sift through, and a number of plans to flesh out... only by putting one's self out there can one begin to make a difference, and I've been in here -- as opposed to out there -- for far too long.
So what is on the plate for November 2002? I will probably have to do some temping, and I will try to start writing a play. I have a long list of wishfull thinking, some unrealistic gumption forecasts and optomism accounting fraud. But maybe it will start clicking somewhere. Need a catalyst, I think. Something positive to get behind. Don't we all.
Back in time to October: A Hard Row To Hoe