on being smart: stupid me..

Richie stopped by today. we drank hard cider. his day sucked. his kid ripped off Walmart. stole a video game. so Richie was running me through his punishment scheme. "he's 16 for fuck sake. i thought i taught him right," he said, "he can't work at the pool this summer, that's it, it's pulling weeds." Richie wanted to know if he was being overenthusiastic with all the punishment and such.

i said, "how about i grill you the best beef dog you ever had." i was more interested in consequences. punishment is a strange word, that to my mind indicates a god, a lord, a more powerful being that leans into my behavior as if it falls outside the possibility of behaving immorally itself, immune from being a bad boy.

consequences are much more useful to me because it's the behavior itself that bites me in my ass. the first time that i smoked, i vomited. I have a hundred more of those ass bites too. but i'm guessing that Richie's ass hurts more than the kid's ass. i say stand back and watch the kid suffer his own consequences. the kid, perhaps if he's not too distracted by the gods of punishment, like me, will come to know just how stupid smart people can be.

and Richie? he liked how crunchy my hot dogs were on the outside. "just like Coney Island," he said.

"I would there were no age between ten and three-and-twenty, or that youth would sleep out the rest; for there is nothing in the between but getting wenches with child, wronging the ancientry, stealing, fighting."
--William Shakespeare


on loneliness: pasty nakeds @bonnaroo?

a few minutes ago i finished up the speed review of Bonnaroo in the New York Times. i had a feeling I missed something, everything, and nothing all at once. i thought perhaps i'd have a beer, instead i checked my email.. nothing. not even a little late night spam.

i'm not sure if Mr Pareles was even there. the voice in his Times review is distant. the voice of hands outstretched toward pounding low frequencies and the gods of music commerce. the voice of stage echo. no voice of human flesh in camp-out city. only -most notably- that ticket sales were down over 07, Bonnaroo is now more than for hippies, and nobody seemed to know Metallica songs.

but where are the pasty nakeds in the mud, sweat, cheap beer, and first or second hand bud smoke? did anyone cry, moan, have a baby, smell like sewage, fuck in the woods or any other such stuff that togetherness is made of? yet, when i think of it, i never notice the stuff of human flesh when in the city either. i only notice myself, alone in a sea of people i so long to be together with. perhaps i was hoping that Mr Pareles would meet some people at Bonnaroo for me so that i wouldn't feel so lonely tonight.


on obama: the swirling sceptic

As I listened to the presumptuous Barack Obama deliver his "sermon" last night claiming his nomination, I realized one more time that I am not a fan. The word fan makes me think of moving air, cardboard on a stick, passed to the perspiring at funerals. The word fan makes me think of the word fanatic, synonymous with breezy words like maniac, extremist, diehard, and zealot. I'm far too much a septic for those sorts of things. But Obama knows me, the skeptic, he knows me well. For the New York Times he said, '"I am like a Rorschach test. Even if people find me disappointing ultimately, they might gain something.'” Rorschach has more than his share of skeptics of ink dots. I am more than disappointed Barack, I'm skeptical.

In the best Obama piece yet, Michael Powell skins the fruit to the pulp. He quotes Abner J. Mikva, "...but oh that speaking style. Too many ers and uhs, too Harvard and not enough South Side. Mr. Obama did not argue the point; he began paying attention in church. “He listened to patterns of speech, how to take people up the ladders,” recalls Mikva, now 81. “It’s almost a Baptist tradition to make someone faint, and, by God, he’s doing it now.” Fans faint. Fans faint from the heights at the top of emotional ladders. Fans fainted every Sunday in my father's church, in my church. I fainted too, fainted from the wind that was said to change my painful wretched soul into an angel of god. But I'm not ruling out the idea of fan completely. I haven't seen Tom Waits play live yet.
Carry on then,

Tom Waits, "I Been Changed"


on blogging: my mercurial love affair

I have a rather mercurial affair with the idea of the blog. To begin with, I'm not much of a believer, and to blog, I have to believe. I have to believe in things unseen, namely people. I have to believe that subscribers are people, people with heartbeats. People with the fear of dying. People who are confused. People who are lonely. People who laugh, cry, argue, sing, dance, and on occasion have interdependent orgasms. But I don't even know your names, only subscriber 54, subscriber 23. It's all a very strange nothingness.

Despite this nothingness, I am typing. I am typing stuff into a little box known as a 'browser'. Ok, I suppose if I were writing a novel I wouldn't know my readers either. But if I understand Kierkegaard correctly that belief is absurd, then blogging is absurd. I am absurd.

Yet, I can't live without absurdity either, that would be sensible, and to be sensible is inconsistent with living. I don't see anything sensible about most of the poop that comes my way just from waking up in the morning. Loving, for example, all the waiting, the massaging, the trusting, the hoping, when who knows, she might just throw it all in a square bag with a telescoping handle and little plastic wheels and roll it out in the middle of the night in the middle of one of my dreams.

Blogging then, I've reasoned, is a sensible absurdity.

Carry on then,