10 March 2011 § Leave a comment

blind alleyway, morning breath disaster.
shake the static, burning welcome mat.

the sasquatch blues.

8 March 2011 § Leave a comment

I know of few places on the planet where a zombie sasquatch can walk into a pub, order a beer, and play some blues. It just isn’t generally heard of, though at least one person will disagree.

Want and Need are different things, and sometimes we confuse them: we’ll place needs above wants because it makes more sense to be responsible and plan for tomorrow, however far away it is. We’ll toss wants in the trash bin, or embrace them as luxuries. Everything in moderation. You prioritize one way, I another. Maslow drew up a simple and pretty pyramid outlining the hierarchy of needs, and some people have the foundation to achieve self-actualization, which is coincidentally the sugar and sweet things category in the food pyramid. I hop from one level to another, my foundation a river, because even in the shadow of pyramids, we are not static.

To think of the audacity it takes to tell an autobiography is astounding. Is it a craving for attention? The teacher’s instinct? What’s your story? And why is it worth the time of seven million people reading?

Spend the rest of your life as you. I’ll do it too.

Every time the media says that something’s absolute, give those words a sidelong glance and a minute of your thoughts. Words are not always truth, and truth does not always come in word form.

Day 46: The Bamboozle invaders broke down the barriers on the north side of the fort. We drove a van (fully equipped with a sink and toilet and 8-track player) through the woods to distract them from the mine. Luckily, they’re a bunch of illiterate and destitute children with ADD and fetal alcohol syndrome, so painting a teddy bear blue, filling it with jolly ranchers and playing hide and seek tends to keep them busy for a while. We need more time to sift through the mountain’s DNA. Someone send a couple of playstations and a suitcase full of coke in a care package. The rebels will regret this.

In the shade, Jar of Flies amplified. Ribbed metal tunnel underneath highway. Pacman and his cronies. Snow polishes smiles. The cracks in the ice go down into forever. Break off a piece of that driftwood from the sandbar – it’ll be a weapon of mass destruction in the next life.

Love is not a victory march, says the strat-playing passion inside burning and neon-lit coffeeshops. You have to get used to the sound. It took me a while. Now it’s one of my favorite reference CDs. BWhen we were still getting to know each other, I could only trust it through the NS-10s, but now the world has opened up the green velvet curtains made of dresses and curses, and I’m in awe of the day.

(With the help of a airplane, I’m traveling to New York City in a couple of days. I have bouts of indifference between moments of believing that this trip will mean something, will achieve something, or I will through it, break out and away of one me – shedding skin, so to speak – and find another. I wonder how my preconceptions will fuck with reality. I’m not overly concerned with what they’ve created there, but I’m interested enough to take a look in the mirror, and for a half a second, believe that behind me, I see someone I recognize.

You.)

war and paranoia in the 22nd century: revolution update

6 March 2011 § Leave a comment

Oh, wait. We’re not there yet, are we? We’ve still got to bucket those misunderstood dictators and their kids – equally well-versed in denial tactics – that drop bombs to merely scare the protesters that might overthrow the same regime they were born under. And nevermind the senior Gaddafi’s spectacles – straight out of the 80’s. (I usually have to update mine, lest they blur my sight. A lesson for the old man?)

But that’s not the only thing happening in the world. Apparently, Chinese facebookers are organizing protest rallies for themselves, to create their Jasmine Revolution from the heart of Hong Kong. They are ten or twelve people strong. Elsewhere, police blanketed entire areas rumored to host protests. Big China is vying mostly for stability, so they say. As their economy grows steadily to the top of the world food chain, that little group of pro-democracy protesters hopes to expand, to grow, to take over.

In light of Shi’a protests in Saudi Arabia claiming discrimination by the Sunni state, King Abdullah banned protest rallies entirely. Having just returned to his country from a three-month absence, the monarch did a few interesting things: as a Sunni monarch without a parliament, he denied any discrimination against the Shi’a people (the lesser numbered sect of Islam. Their differences are rarely peacefully resolved).

He also issued 37 billion dollars in benefits to the Saudi people. Then he sent ten thousand police forces to make sure no protests were going to happen. Coincidence? Bribery?

Libya, meanwhile, has turned into an all-out war. Protesters are arming themselves with Kalishnikovs and anti-tank artillery. Gunshots echo over NPR in the sort of unlooped audio clip you’d hope for in a typical pop song, but never hear.

Bahrain, a nation also with an absolute monarchy, is in its fourth week of open protest. Thousands hold down the prime minister’s Manama palace demanding that he step down and that someone take an industrial-size eraser to Bahrain’s 2002 constitution, which gave the king all the power in the land. Thousands of people demanding change don’t just back off, guys. You should know that by now.

Saleh, the Yemeni president, seems to be doing all he can to quell the protests, amid supposed al-Qaeda attacks against his soldiers. The death toll is at 27, and probably rising. Sana’a is heating up by the day, and Saleh, who rose to power in 1978 (right around the time most of the currently-being-overthrown leaders took over their respective countries) thinks he’s still the guy for the job. Of course. They all do.

Meanwhile, the world up in flames, one might think Americans are sitting on their couches, eating ice cream and watching youtube videos of 16-year-olds making fools of themselves. Well, most of us are.

However, a little group of hackers called Anonymous, some of whose members are busy hacking their way into the websites of multi-national corporations – Visa, Mastercard, and Paypal most notably – to help along the idea of free speech and expression: they brought down those websites when the companies moved to keep donations from getting to WikiLeaks.

Anonymous is also, naturally, helping along the Arab World Revolution – they flooded Tunisia’s and Egypt’s government sites with requests, shorting out the sites. This is the dawn of cyberprotest – of our wired generation taking up digital arms to speak up and out, to create change, to make obsolete the laws that govern stagnant societies into the ground.

Brilliant. Keep it up, guys and girls.

on ambivalent winter days, just fall up.

5 March 2011 § Leave a comment

The bruise on my thigh, right behind my left pocket, has yet to decide its color. It was a bluish grey yesterday, not unlike the color pf the pen that caused it, and today it seems to be confused somewhere in the range of pale yellow to dogfood brown.

I went cross-country skiing yesterday, for the first time in ten years.

Ten years. I’m that old, that I can start doing things I did when ‘I was a kid’ and more than a decade has gone by. I suppose this has been the case for a while, because I’m conscious of this (and perhaps a little insecure) and keep track of these sort of things in my head. It’s not like I keep a written record of the things I do, outside of this wordpress mess and black notebooks that can travel with me across oceans and continents, yet I manage to lose in the course of a boring day at school. So much lost. It can be someone else’s burden now, wherever it ends up. But let’s get off this subject. It makes my heart ache.

Skiing. Right. I rented an abused ski set up yesterday from the student rental place, which had some special going on in which it was very bloody cheap for anyone who wanted anything for the whole of spring break. So there I was, at the Campbell airstrip in the middle of this massive park, recalling techniques and movements that I learned from my 8th grade history teacher, Sid Mauer, who doubled as ski coach after school. Precision, rhythm, and grace.

I was not.

Sometimes, in those moments of lone confidence, when actions are no longer practiced but done with ease, for the sheer pleasure of it, when, for a few moments, doubt is no longer present in your mind. It’s not a question of whether you can do it well, but when others come around the corner, through the low orange sunlight over the light blue hue of the snow and the branches and trees, protruding from the ground at every angle, the streams sweeping beneath them, sneaking their way to the sea (they haven’t got far now), it’s knowledge dressed up like a lycra-clad antelope, and I can learn their ways, the movement of their feet, the rhythm of the poles, the three-one or the two independent moving parts.

I flew down slick ice hills with the control of a recalled Toyota. Like that night, when a little turn left to stay on the road sent the car into a spin, I tried carving, not knowing how to do it, and a second or two later I ate powder.

I laid there in the dying sun, underneath the Alaska winter sky, that pale and heatless blue, and I smelled the beautiful scent of burning pine. Ghostly and destructive.

Oh, it just happened. One of those times I feel like I never want to write another word. ever again. Where does that come from? Is this what being high is like? Small matters are made into significant issues, massively profound in fact, and later you figure out that it really was all a bunch of bullshit.

I want to write about irony. It’s been on my head lately. And it criss-crosses (do you remember that board game? it was awesome) over lines that shouldn’t always intersect. There are so many levels of it in this right now, I’m swimming in it and laughing until I cry. I can imagine, now, what it was like for villagers back in the day when they committed a crime and had to spend a few days in the stocks, on display for everyone to see and judge for themselves. Why put them in jails, where they will be forgotten about, when they might receive gifts of rotten tomatoes or carrots as retribution of their sins? There is hope for them yet, but not much.

Sometimes I don’t speak in metaphors.

It hangs on the vast white wall, gathering all the attention of the room to a small and square coffin, tragic and elegant, the opposite of subtlety. It is composed of blood and wine and broken hearts, scrolls surely full of hatred, soaking in oil or kerosene. It is a history book and time traveler, a mirror all in one. No, photographs are too impersonal – she was there inside the art, perhaps its eye, to see the look on my face when I first took in this madness. Her free and unstained feathered head looked up and away, like the Hans Solo stasis scene from a Gothic-style Empire Strikes Back.

The title wrapped up in a bow-tie everything we’ve ever been about. Its source and acquisition, inspiration, and somewhere along the way, a touch of misconception in a cereal bowl of same-level dynamics and a little bit of give and take. Sprinkle it with sugar, or the dried crust of red wine when it’s left out in the air for too long.

Irony is everywhere. I’m going to New York City for a Journalism conference. Of all places, of all things. And you, reader, won’t understand that. I know this. Because you never heard my tireless rants on the depravity of objective writing while I carried ‘Anthem’ around in my back pocket, or my conspiratorial musings on Lexus cars in south Florida. And you never heard me say that I wanted to go to New York, because you heard fear in its place, a quivering self-doubt – that I would have met my match, that I wouldn’t be able to make it there, of all places, because life’s just an adventure for me, and only in death will I take it more seriously like those Big People seem to. No, those were the last tirades of a once-passionate teenager intent on having his voice heard, but only here and there, or there and now, or now or never.

Here’s a clue – it’s always been conditional. But those conditions were not like others’. They were selfish and knowing, and demanded knowledge of freedom and equality and other things I thought composed ideals. Certainly not mine, for I could not wrap my head around these things, and could not expect anyone else to either, to care enough to. For themselves. For anyone else. The scooter-to-the-wheelchair incident notwithstanding, I have learned to make mistakes. To allow for them.

And they’re fun.

Where Am I?

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