In the haze of light filtering in through the crispy off-color shades in my room, I awoke much earlier than necessary and felt the weight of another enormous day leaning on my subconscious. Packed previously, the daily rinse, brush and dress included a new subroutine in which I obsessed about every article of clothing or bath item I came into contact with, twice, before allowing the pre-programmed actions to continue on. Despite redundancy and procedurally filling in a mental checklist of preparedness, I knew I had time for mental lubrication.
California is cold. I walked down the dusty sidewalk almost alone except for the mothers and children strolling to school. My local 7/11 was run by Pakistanis. Three old ones, one young one on Sundays. I filled up on of my eco-friendly mugs with coffee and left the store. Vegetarians, ecologists and hippies would not allow me to join their cult, but I do think they’d be impressed with my considerate nature over the whole thing. Besides the butterfly effect theory, I don’t really think big change is possible without enormous and swift societal swings. Also, those swings are impossible without a horrific catalyst. Otherwise life is slow, and people let the world rot before they replace the foundation.
Lo! Phone! My ride arrived early, quieting the miniature ulceric knot in my stomach. He was not a local of Los Angeles, but I thought he was a perfect fit for the phony mold cast by a hundred years of nerdy jews trying to fuck beautiful farm girls. As he lit half a cigarette and tailgated a Mercedes Benz in the carpool lane, we snotched about sports. Then jobs. Then girls. Then sports one last time until arriving at the airport.
He reminded me to pay him for the drive, an unlimited insult in the midwestern world of close friends, but a regularity for meaningless labor on the west coast. It was nothing talk about, yet dirty as if he’d made me eat ash from his cigarettes. Fine. Whatever.
Into the anthill. Armed with and e-ticket and attitude, I circumvented fat bickering families in claustrophobic cheese mazes, for the convenient solitude of the faceless machine. I swiped my credit card. It had no idea who I was. I entered my name, first and last. Still nothing. Next, my middle name. Nope. My cell phone rang, the multitask began. The struggle of malfunctioning touchscreen menus mixed with an intern from the office who could not understand how to complete the very redundant and mundane task I had assigned her the day before. Eventually, I was able to fix both problems with the same method; lowest common denominator instructions.
Security was next. I knew my luck was dry, but was not prepared for the hundred or so people snaked around the array of metal privacy invaders. It was an uncomfortable treck to the head of the line. The nature of a snake line allows for one to pass the same obnoxious people more than once, as well as increases the number of assholes one’s likely to encounter. There was a baby crying, an Indian man on the phone, a strange looking Hollywood-type who stared at me funny, and a younger guy who had too many buttons undone in front of his chest and was obviously trying to make eye contact with anyone who might realize he looked just like Leonardo DiCaprio and would make the best “next” actor.
When I did reach the front, the seemingly endless line jutted in six directions, and a portly and unconditionally bitchy woman checked everyones I.D.’s and sent them in a direction. She smiled disgustingly at my drivers license, and sent me after what looked like a retired couple from Ohio, a high-priced hooker, two yuppies that might have been activists and a woman who was probably an executive for a consulting firm, because she was the only one who stripped, gripped, packed and pushed her personal belongings onto the security conveyor like she’d done it every day of her life. I wasn’t too bad myself, except that I had to remove my belt, which I wasn’t used to traveling with. It’s always embarrassing to put a belt on a conveyor. It always reminds me of making a cow eat steak or when a schizophrenic finds out he’s not quarterback for the Denver Broncos.
The Ohio couple bickered and was very slow to remove their shoes. They argued with the security guards and had an air of general snootiness towards everyone. He was probably an accountant who had never had to stand for a whole day. She was probably a high school guidance councilor. The guards were pissed by the time the two were through the metal detector, so they overreacted and threw the Indian man into the “random” pat-down area of security and made sure to hassle the yuppie couple behind him. I felt the executive in front of me heave a great sigh at the same time as me. She was practically forcing the conveyor belt to accept the yuppie’s luggage. I didn’t blame her. But I did notice a small mustache on her top lip.
The Ohio couple backed the Indian and the yuppies up, unable to process all their meaningless shit fast enough. Not a word was spoken in the awkward slot where the bins came out. My gut told me there should be a “guy rule” about the whole “reclothing after the metal detector” thing, like a urinal situation with only two toilets. But there were no private parts hanging out, so I couldn’t think of a good way it would be implemented.
Finally the executive woman was through in front of me, and I shoved my bin and bag through the metal detector and quickly went through the body check. Security never hassled me. Ever. I’m not even threatening compared to a retired couple, I guess. I think it’s because I smile and understand the bullshit the guards go through. Who wants to work in a people industry? I sure don’t. Especially one where people are trying to “pull a fast one” by bringing toe-nail clippers onboard. Enforcing silly rules gets old fast.
Eventually I made it through and hobbled and hopped away from the checkpoint as I tried to retie and slide-on my converse shoes. They weren’t easy to slip on and off. In my delirious sleep-deprived hurry I’d decided style was more important. Hence the converses. Hence the belt. Usually these items made the “pack” not the body.
Airport food was always overly expensive. I had a bagel and coffee for eight bucks and sat down at a table and stared at a couple of thirty somethings and their two year old trying to eat. They were arguing about where to put the luggage, trying to keep the kid contained to his chair, and smiling at each other like it was the best vacation they’d ever been on. I’ll never understand parenthood, from what I hear, even parents aren’t always sure about it.
The plane was an hour late, and I had a lot of time to answer yet another phone call from the intern at work and re-tell her how exactly she was supposed to do her job for the day. I also had time to call a friend, write a novel and stir up enough political buzz in Canada that they were almost ready to invade Alaska by the time I was ordered to board the plane.
We boarded by section. The people who payed two hundred dollars more than the rest of us got on ten minutes before me. They got to sit in their tiny seats and stare at everyone as they got on. They also got better magazines. I guess that’s worth the convenience charge, since there’s no food or video entertainment for anyone.
The pilots did not come on the comm. We did not leave the gate. The stewardesses nervously paced back and forth between the cabins and their small stewardess-checkpoints. They “managed” people’s luggage problems by offering “positive” criticism on how certain individuals were loading their bags in the overhead bins. They paced nervously some more. We still didn’t leave.
It’d been fifteen minutes. Then twenty. Finally after twenty three minutes one of the women came on the intercom and told us the pilots had not landed at our airport yet. That we were waiting for them to make it to our gate. The plane had been an hour late boarding, now it was twenty minutes late leaving the gate after we boarded.
When the pilots finally arrived, it was forty minutes after we’d all been sitting there. They apologized, weather over the city they’d flown from prevented them from taking off. Airplanes were run by a business. Businesses were sometimes prone to mismanagement. Yadda yadda yadda. There would still be a charge for snacks. But everyone was entitled half of a can of coke and a very suspect and miniature bag of mixed nuts courtesy of the airline we had spent over a hundred dollars on for a seat. But nobody wanted justice that early in the morning. They just wanted to get the plane off the ground and get to the destination.
Traveling, fuck it.
A violent rise of energy is just the ideal antagonist to being stuck. That creative itch that nags at you for a lifetime becomes a rash easily enough when you cannot satisfy it with an outlet. The fucking midwest is like a stretcher, fastening your limbs for protection while at the same time restraining you from saving yourself. Art, in the middle of the United States, consists of a framed picture of a barn in the wintertime. Art, is a sketch of fruit next to a bowl purchased at Marshall Fields in the fifties. Art is a mix of squares in a quilt pattern, which more importantly has a practical use in the winter.
Practical is not something many Art Schools teach. Practicality is almost the opposite of Art, if you were to simply the term to expressionism. Yet here, in the midwest, it’s practical that is celebrated, and not the opposite. That’s why the racist attitude towards Mexicans does not exist here. People have no problem with Mexicans taking lower-income jobs, that’s practical. They just don’t understand why Mexicans won’t learn english (impractical).
Practical is the reason mid-life crises exist. Head-down, full ahead speed at the most practical life is a great way to miss out on real experience. Straight through college, data-entry jobs, kids and a house, taxes, death. Not the ideal list of exciting life-choices. Yet the people of the midwest launch themselves towards these goals as if they were the bees knees…that phrase brought to you by the midwest. Then in the middle of their lives, it’s always the same “Oh Shit, what have I been doing?” It’s time to look back on their lives and wonder why they were so practical. Then they buy a car that makes their dicks feel bigger…
Practicality breaks the spirit and promotes the bored. It puts helmets on our football players. It puts the rubber in sex. It’s the reason we haven’t got jet-packs.
Jet packs. I’ll rest my case here.
So, Practicality, fuck it.
There’s two forms of young artists. There’s the young bastards who grew up surrounded by art. They’re unstoppable and brilliant wildfires of talent. They blossom early and sell out quick. They’re bored by the time they’re twenty five. They’re divorcing and suffering by the time they’re twenty six. They’ve written their best work at thirty three and they’re seeking the ghosts of success for the rest of their lives. Or they’re happily swimming in alcohol by then.
Then there’re my favorite kind, the wildfires surrounded by allegorical blue-collar firefighters. These artists grow up in a “work hard, head down” landscape, few of them able to grasp an opportunity to express themselves. Art is there for fun, for social reasons, but it’s nothing that anybody above twenty understands to be a career. Spending time working on art is literally like stealing money at gunpoint from these artists friends and family. However, if able to break through the long suffering years of sarcastic comments and biting lectures, these are the ones that create the absolute best works of art.
Man, but the media’s just gone crazy with how bad alcohol is nowadays. And the baby-boom-tubers have come to believe everything they hear. Have a drink before seven o’clock or after seven’fifteen, you’re a fucking alcoholic. You’d better get your ass to meetings, you’re going to destroy the lives of your family and friends and ruin your own.
If you didn’t know a thing about Ernest Hemingway, you probably still picture him in your head with a mojito in hand. Or Fitzgeralds other love affair with gin. Writers and artists used to drink like whales. Nobody ever said anything. Point is, the beating and brainwashing of a value system that seeks to destroy self-expression can only be vanquished by liquor. Sure there’s health problems to come, but at the expense of a flurry of brilliant words on the page, I have to say fuck it. Let a guy have a drink. Let the girl fall all over.
Let the socially awkward bastards break out of their shells, drink, fuck, fall-down and write all about it on the way up. Alcoholism or art? Fuck it, art.
A couple weeks ago, A-List of celebrities went down to Comic-Con and raised the popularity of “nerdom”. The news stations covering the debacle cited popular movies and television shows such as “Big Bang Theory” or the recent “Transformers” and “Terminator” movies and the upcoming “Green Lantern” as reasons why “nerdom” was becoming such a big element in the entertainment industry. Yet when watching these A-Listers at the Comic-Con or reading their interviews, I got the succinct impression they were all brown-nosing the fans who paid to get in.
High profile stars taking command of comic book heroes means fuck all to the geeks or nerds who spend thousands of dollars to goto Comic-Con each year. In fact, the highest profile of star the average Comic-Con attendee wants to see is Dolph Lungren or Kevin Sorba. Mainly these greased ball, pale, socially awkward nerds care more about meeting the creators of their favorite stories than the idiots starring in them on the big screen. Stan Lee and Frank Miller have faces born for radio, but millions of collectors have their autographs on things as stupid as cereal boxes.
It was the equivilant of a group of high school jocks deciding the school’s “Magic the Gathering” club was the new “hip” place to hang out.
But I guess the thing that really pissed me off the most about the whole thing, is how horrible the zelous marketing creatives and money-grubbing producers have made the big-studio versions of comics. Did anybody see X-Men Origins: Wolverine? It fucking sucked balls. Or Daredevil? Or the recent “Terminator Salvation”, which was the “Jar Jar Binks” of movies. Maybe if the industry knew what made a great comic, or why the nerds migrated to Comic-Con each year, I would respect them wanting to butt in. But they haven’t gotten it right since the first Spider Man.
So, as for buying into the new popularity of Comic Con, Fuck it.
For once in the history of mass media and the 24 hour news cycle, everyone’s got their fucking tongues tied. Not many disasters have occurred like the oil spill. Everyone knows who’s to blame, there’s nothing the intellectual scum-bags on the hill can say to fix it, and there’s absolutely no way for them to prevent future spills. World runs on oil. There’s only an estimated amount left to last the human race till 2040, and not many of the cretins running things right now will be alive by then.
The therapeutic solution to the problem? Two schools of thought seem to be reigning supreme right now on that issue; the ostriches and the headless chickens. Half the world is digging their heads into the sand and pretending that there are no repercussions to the problems they are causing daily. They want to believe that things will gradually even out to the way they were in the past. The oil will magically regenerate on its own before we run out. The gulf spill will fix itself after a while. The price of gas and food shooting through the roof mixed with an already shoddy economy will not bring us to the brink of anarchy. Meanwhile, bigger problems are on their plate. They need to know if Lindsey Lohan will go to jail or not. And who directed that new Kate Perry video.
On the other hand, there are the headless chickens running around. They’re aimlessly pointing fingers at everyone. They’re calling for the end of all oil drilling, all nuclear dependancy, all mining and logging operations. They’re no better than that dude on the sidewalk with the “apocalypse is now” signs. They have no idea what repercussions the end of such ventures would have on the world, the balancing act our world leaders and big capitalists actually play keeping everything running efficiently. How would fruit get to the Midwest without oil? What would happen to the ivy league schools without electricity? Every headless chicken out there refuses to hear stories about the daily riots in Greece. They’re the test run for when everything goes to shit. Better save up for that gas mask.
And of course, both sides curse the other for being the evil harbingers of death and destruction. That’s nothing new. Thanks to mass media, we have been led to believe that emotions must play into the sides we choose. News is boring. But opinion on that news is entertainment. And emotional persuasiveness is the quick and dirty hook they use to reel us in day after day. Vice President Biden reminded me the other day on the Tonight Show, something the fathers of the constitution truly believed (except for Aaron Burr), “No matter what side people are on, they’re trying, they truly believe, they are working to make a better (America)” I’m sorta paraphrasing, I think that’s close anyways. At least that’s promising. Maybe there’s a secret group of birds formulating a plan for the future. I hope they’re not geese, I hate geese.
So Fuck It — to the headless chickens and ostriches.
Life is centric. Experience plays a large hand in that. You can project yourself into someone else’s moccasins as much as you want, but the truth of the matter, is nobody will ever understand anyone else. There’s an interior in each of us that we constantly attempt to share. That’s why many conversations start with the weather. If two people can agree on that similar experience, in twenty five more ideas, they could be soul mates.
But the great depths of experience hollow out our similarities as life goes on. That is, as one progresses onward in life, his unique experiences increase and the chances of similar or shared experiences with another decrease. For instance, whereas many people who grow up and live in the same town all their lives tend to relate and befriend others that do the same, a person from that town who moved away and has traveled all their lives would not relate to such experiences. Same thing happens to friends after college, too much shifting happens and suddenly only very small amounts of shared experience are all you can relate to each other.
I know that’s fucking obvious, but here goes what I’m getting at:
With the internet, a whole other realm of experiences lies at one’s finger tips. The internet builds a entire alternate set of unique experiences separate from physical reality. Something as simple as the understanding of emoticons can alienate you from your identical twin. Kids talk about websites like they were pages from a novel, articles in a magazine. They breath information people just didn’t have in the past. The internet has taken those twenty five sentences to “soul mate status” and turned it into two hundred fifty thousand and seventy five steps.
My friend Adam’s parents liked the same two bands when they met. They liked The Mommas and the Papas and Jim Croce. These two bands covered enough common ground in their relationship that they were able to comprehend each other on a deeper level. They’ve been together for 30 years or so now. All from two bands.
Anyone fucking reading this that has only listened to two bands in the last two hours?
We’re the casual sex culture, we’re the lost communicators. Those few people that can dig in with another individual are burying their heads in the sand and turning away from the world. There’s a band on the North Eastern shore of Ireland that I fucking love. Never seen them. Have you heard them? Do you understand why I love them? Can you draw from the millions of other musical experiences that i can? Then I can’t connect with you.
But even if nobody else sees the throw away culture and lifestyle a waste of time, I stand proudly and say Fuck It! What a mess almost everyone I know is. Everyone distant from each other pissed off at the less-than-instantaneous communication texting or instant messaging provides. Everyone leaving a voicemail. Everyone sending an email and holding on. Everyone skimming through pictures of other young singles on websites trying to read “life experiences” in a list and find someone with enough “almost similarities”.
A few of my past relationships have been killed by long distance. Fuck it. If I had really wanted them, I would have gone and been with them.
Fuck it, fuck it, fuck it. Goddamnit open your fucking eyes to the world. Grab a friend by the hand, turn your phones off and walk through the park. I guarantee the world will end instantly! And no, I’m not technophobic, I love it, I’m a big fucking fan of technology, but as far as building a relationship with others, finding a real friend, being lonely online and playing farmville or some shit on Facebook, why not just reach out to those friends. See them in person. Put the screens on power-save and go have a catch.
So, I guess…
Casual sex culture? Fuck it. I want some meaning in my fucking life.
Sometimes I feel like my head is split in two. My crazy workaholic side likes to live in the office taking care of business pushing paper and shoveling shit. On the flip side, my destructively chaotic artistic self spends it’s time shooting off into light-space-time-clouds-dreams you name the cliche all the while plotting to put an Excalibur sized blade through the heart of the asshole who’s still delivering on someone else’s terrible tacky project. In the meantime, keeping the peace I guess, my conscious self becomes a shell of a personality while trying not to let the heated inner turmoil rise to the surface.
Work for what you want. Makes sense.
Go where the money is. Got it.
Stay in it to win it. …ok.
True talent rises to the surface. Sounds promising.
Now’s the time for sacrifice. Wait…what?
Sacrifice is what you do when you’re losing, remember? When you’re down a goal, you pull the goalie because you’ve got nothing left to lose. When you’re in a hell-hole on the battle field, one guy stays behind so the rest can retreat and get away. If there’s seven people in a life raft in the middle of nowhere with nothing to eat. That’s when you sacrifice. Not after you’ve completed umpteen years of school and are at the peak of your abilities. That’s not when you put aside your dream and hold-up the mediocre talentless fucks who haven’t and won’t ever figure it out.
Sacrifice is an enabling evil word. It sounds valiant and heroic. “Oh, I’m going to sacrifice my energy and spirit for the betterment of the whole.” Shit, dude, fuck, man, you’re getting played!
Day in day out, life doesn’t stop. Time doesn’t slow down. You’re either stuck, spinning or rolling. Mostly, the day we live in has produced a lot of stuck people. In twenty years you won’t see any films made about 2010 in which a graduate gets out of college and gets a nice cushy job at the most influential newspaper in the world. That shit just doesn’t happen anymore. There aren’t even any jobs at inner-city schools. No, we live in a society of stuck.
Or they trick you into spinning. Technology is changing everything, but business stays the same, that is, business stays ruthless. Bright eyed and bushy tailed wizards of the new age emerge from the tunnel of institutional education to find an “opportunity” with the trolls and ogres of the dark ages of corporate wars. What goes up, must come down. These cynical boomers can’t use their blackberries, but they’ll whisper sweet nothings in your ear until you’re the only wheel moving the train forward with no leverage to become an engine.
Who’s rolling, is anyone rolling? Or are we all spinning in sacrifice? Will the fresh, eager, spark of excitement over the endless possibility of life fade away before an adequate amount of sacrifice has been made?
Sacrifice? Fuck it!
Fuck you happy people. Or so it seems. Is anyone really happy day in day out? I used to think that was the case. Then I grew up and learned that adults are all messed up and always miserable. They just hide that stuff from the children. Man, head trip.
What drives me everyday to make myself into something? What takes the bag of bones out of bed every morning and breathes motivation into it? The hope that my life, my actions, my goofiness can invigorate some kind of amusement in others. I’m not too cool, I’m not all about the dough, I’m not a happy go lucky yokel. No, fuck it, I’m going to be fucking weird and make some people I know happy. Make everyone amused, slightly. That’s the new age. That’s what a baby or puppy video is all about. Are they grandiose truths etched together over ten years by a brilliant but troubled soul? Fuck that. They are bursts of pleasure. They tip the day’s scale of happy/sad.
What truths do I need to find? Fuck truth. It’s out there. Let someone else go boldly looking for it. If I ever come across truth, may it be random, may I be hammered and stumbling and may I mistake it for a yard sale. The truth is, I could use a good paperback.
What the bloodsuckers don’t realize is how often it’s only about helping yourself, and if I’m going to help myself, I’m going to help others. Not help society. Not help a company. Not feed some homeless people. I mean people that I care about. It’s about reach. Who’s out there you can make feel special? Stop looking in the mirror. Digging a pit of self pity and centric spacial relations is that path paved by the media mongrels who want you to buy things. That’s why if your ass is sagging, you have to buy shape-ups. They will literally help you “shape-up” your life. It’s a fucking metaphor, don’t you get it? Almost everything marketed is meant to allow the consumer to feel special, self-conscious and self-centered so that they’ll buy it. So, ok, the bloodsuckers get it, but they don’t have it right. Don’t listen to the bloodsuckers. Fuck vampires.
Pride? Fuck it. Sacrifice it. It’s the key to happiness.