Monday, August 08, 2005

Damnit, Not Damnit

I became extremely ill earlier this year (hence the hiatus) after a metaphorical hit-and-run and it gave me some real insight on how easy it is to leave tire tracks on others, driving off in the family wagon, and not looking back. Some weird heart thing manifested and because of this, I lay in a bed for a couple of weeks musing about what was going to happen if I did actually bite the big one.

It seems to me that religion gets knocked around like a crack whore and philosophy is like a teenager's gum stuck on a bed post, something chewed until it becomes a gray, rubbery mass with echoes of some kind of flavor. People who decide not to rely on a god can either deify themselves (the ubermensch, a misunderstood and misused excuse to justify one's own foul behavior and lack of conscience; a good way to deny the humanity of oneself or others), or choose to rely on what people call fate. I think fate is an accidental architect, a dodgy, unpredictable cohort that somehow gets to do god duty when the concept of a creator or master worker is on vacation or better yet, non-existent. Philosophy on the other hand, relies on a mode of discourse that (to me) appears to be as much bullshit as post-modernism. A way for people to feel each other out, take stock of the verbal tenacity of another, and decide whether or not they have the stones to go ten rounds. Forget the point, because it's all either irrelevant or's just perceptive juju, as ritualistic as a circle jerk but with less depth.

I realized that rising gas prices are more important to many people than rising death tolls. This says so fucking much. Then I started laughing. This is very likely why I fought to overcome the weird heart thing that popped up after what was the most wretched moment of discovery I've thus far experienced. The entire situation and the people involved just suddenly seemed absolutely ridiculous, so utterly absurd, that I laughed until my stomach hurt.

My big realization was that I will never stop being amazed at how casually we regard the basic human rights of others, whether through our beliefs in higher causes, beings, events, or ourselves. Most spirituality is just our monkey way of making sense of this thing called fire and the only redemption on the menu comes from a sincere effort to make right the wrongs we've done, even if it seems impossible.

This is what separates me from most other people and why I'd rather have the perspective that keeps my chin out there (ready for an inevitable sucker punch) than tucked gently into my delicate little wing. Someone may actually succeed in knocking me down briefly, but thus far, they've all turned out to be little more than interlopers, desperate for a piece of my action. As soon as I saw that clearly, I got back up and watched with a mixture of pity and mirth as they slunk back into their holes like the smack talking cowards they are and out of my sight.

Now, I'm having such a great time, I can barely remember why that other shite mattered in the first place. It's a head shaker, folks, why sometimes we think we have to dwell in Oz when those slippers could have chucked us right back to Kansas all along.

Ahem, without further ado:

The Mighty List of Things I Can Recommend if One is Either Laid-Up or Bored

Portishead's "Dummy". I've just bought my third copy of this album since 1994, the other two having been worn out and/or loaned to my sweet little pal, local poet Doug "Bandit" Saretsky. Trip-hop sounded kinda silly until I heard this album. It's all blues and haze with a white chick singer and some weird scratchy d.j. thing going on. It shore am good.

Pefume Tree...the summer of '95 or '96, it's kind of hazy, but ah what a time we had. Ambient Camping at some god forsaken backwoods place in Texas, all of us on acid, cops coming to say we were making too much noise (it was ambient music for fucks sake and we were a bunch of techno-hippies! How rowdy could we have been?? Also, you simply haven't lived until you see a d.j. wearing fluffy bunny-ear headphones sagely reasoning with a park ranger) and Perfume Tree had just released Lifetime Away, one of my favorite albums. It's relaxing, it's girlie, and sounds really good even without the drugs. Which is more than I can say for most people I know.

Neal Stephenson...writer who seems like an ego maniac with a cheesy beard, but hell, he's a great writer so hats off to him. And to his beard.

Million Dollar depressed the hell out of everyone but me. I never get bummed out when people do cool shit, even if they only get to do it once.

Vanity Fair...sweet christ I loved this movie. Made by the chick who did Monsoon Wedding, which also rocked pretty hard.

My friend Jay. Weird Korean physics guy who sleeps on a mattress made of bamboo. He says it's more comfortable. Ok, Jay. Ok.

My friend Joe. The only noble person I've ever met. One of the few people I've known with both an ounce of character and an interesting past that he didn't have to invent (yes, as creepy as it might seem, I've met people who are so afraid of being boring that they've invented half their lives instead of living them; probably still out there inventing-not-living, too). Might be as weird as Jay. Does a very interesting puppet show where there are no real words, only gestures and it entertains the hell out of me.

This one guy at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival. Oh, how I love him. Ten thousand of his babies kind of love. Plus, I have a grudging admiration for actors. They're attention whores but at least they're smart enough to get paid for lying in order to make people love them. I can respect that level of self-awareness.

Ren...from down under. Such a nice fellow and didn't mind when I got piss drunk at the Sydney Opera House and got weepy during Handel's Messiah.

People who are are not flakes. It's hard to find 'em but they're out there.


So...this is me dancing off into the sunset, till I come back and bitch about something and let me just tell you now, I am so angry that I can't bitch about Robert Novak anymore because haha, who doesn't know what a moron he is. Damnit I hate it when people jump off my list with no minute, a pompous blowhard, the next, a redneck cursing at James Carville. I feel so empty...*sniff*...