Monday, April 30, 2012

what i feel, i can't say

this randomly comes on the radio sometimes down here, once when I was grabbing a drink in the convenience store, I apologized for spacing out to the clerk because it came on mid-transaction and my brain filled up with exclamation points... eventually mustered a, 'i just love this song,' paid him, and ran out the door.

Werner Herzog's Note to his cleaning lady

"Rosalina. Woman.
You constantly revile me with your singular lack of vision. Be aware, there is an essential truth and beauty in all things. From the death throes of a speared gazelle to the damaged smile of a freeway homeless. But that does not mean that the invisibility of something implies its lack of being. Though simpleton babies foolishly believe the person before them vanishes when they cover their eyes during a hateful game of peek-a-boo, this is a fallacy. And so it is that the unseen dusty build up that accumulates behind the DVD shelves in the rumpus room exists also. This is unacceptable.
I will tell you this Rosalina, not as a taunt or a threat but as an evocation of joy. The joy of nothingness, the joy of the real. I want you to be real in everything you do. If you cannot be real, then a semblance of reality must be maintained. A real semblance of the fake real, or “real”. I have conquered volcanoes and visited the bitter depths of the earth’s oceans. Nothing I have witnessed, from lava to crustacean, assailed me liked the caked debris haunting that small plastic soap hammock in the smaller of the bathrooms. Nausea is not a sufficient word. In this regard, you are not being real.
Now we must turn to the horrors of nature. I am afraid this is inevitable. Nature is not something to be coddled and accepted and held to your bosom like a wounded snake. Tell me, what was there before you were born? What do you remember? That is nature. Nature is a void. An emptiness. A vacuum. And speaking of vacuum, I am not sure you’re using the retractable nozzle correctly or applying the ‘full weft’ setting when attending to the lush carpets of the den. I found some dander there.
I have only listened to two songs in my entire life. One was an aria by Wagner that I played compulsively from the ages of 19 to 27 at least 60 times a day until the local townsfolk drove me from my dwelling using rudimentary pitchforks and blazing torches. The other was Dido. Both appalled me to the point of paralysis. Every quaver was like a brickbat against my soul. Music is futile and malicious. So please, if you require entertainment while organizing the recycling, refrain from the ‘pop radio’ I was affronted by recently. May I recommend the recitation of some sharp verse. Perhaps by Goethe. Or Schiller. Or Shel Silverstein at a push.
The situation regarding spoons remains unchanged. If I see one, I will kill it.
That is all. Do not fail to think that you are not the finest woman I have ever met. You are. And I am including on this list my mother and the wife of Brad Dourif (the second wife, not the one with the lip thing). Thank you for listening and sorry if parts of this note were smudged. I have been weeping.
Your money is under the guillotine.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

home is when i'm alone with you

officially dubbed maverick and i's song.

The White Noise Supremacists

“The White Noise Supremacists” (from the Village Voice, 1979)

The other day I was talking on the phone with a friend who hangs out on the CBGB's scene a lot. She was regaling me with examples of the delights available to females in the New York subway system. "So the train came to a sudden halt and I fell on my ass in the middle of the car, and not only did nobody offer to help me up but all these boons just sat there laughing at me." "Boons?" I said. "What's boons?" "You know," she said. "Black guys." "Why do you call them that?" "I dunno. From `baboons,' I guess." I didn't say anything. "Look, I know it's not cool," she finally said. "But neither is being a woman in this city. Every fucking place you go you get these cats hassling you, and sometimes they try to pimp you. And a lot of the times when they hassle you they're black, and when they try to pimp me they're always black. Eventually you can't help it, you just end up reacting."
Sometimes I think nothing is simple but the feeling of pain. When I was first asked to write this article, I said sure, because the racism (not to mention the sexism, which is even more pervasive and a whole other piece) on the American New Wave scene had been something that I'd been bothered by for a long time. When I told the guys in my own band that I was doing this, they just laughed. "Well, I guess the money's good," said one. "What makes you think the racism in punk has anything special about it that separates it from the rest of the society?" asked another.
"Because the rest of society doesn't go around acting like racism is real hip and cool," I answered heatedly.
"Oh yeah," he sneered. "Just walk into a factory sometime. Or jail."
All right. Power is what we're talking about, or the feeling that you don't have any, or how much ostensible power you can rip outta some other poor sucker's hide. It works the same everywhere, of course, but one of the things that makes the punk stance unique is how it seems to assume substance or at least style by the abdication of power: "Look at me! I'm a cretinous little wretch! And proud of it!" So many of the people around the CBGB's and Max's scene have always seemed emotionally if not outright physically crippled-you see speech impediments, hunchbacks, limps, but most of all an overwhelming spiritual flatness. You take parental indifference, a crappy educational system, lots of drugs, media overload, a society with no values left except the hysterical emphasis on physical perfection, and you end up with these little nubbins: the only
rebellion around, as Life magazine once labeled the Beats. Richard Hell gave us the catchphrase "Blank Generation," although he insists that he didn't mean a crowd with all the dynamism of a static-furry TV screen but rather a bunch of people finally freed by the collapse of all values to reinvent themselves, to make art statements of their whole lives. Unfortunately, such a great utopian dream, which certainly is not on its
first go-round here, remains just that, because most people would rather follow. What you're left with, aside from the argument that it beats singles bars, is compassion. When the Ramones bring that sign onstage that says "GABBA GABBA HEY," what it really stands for is "We accept you." Once you get past the armor of dog collars, black leather, and  affectations, you've got some of the gentlest or at least most harmless people
in the world: Sid Vicious legends aside, almost all their violence is self-directed. So if they're all such a bunch of little white lambs, why do some of them have it in for little black lambs? Richard Pinkston, a black friend I've known since my Detroit days, tells me, "When I go to CBGB's I feel like I'm in East Berlin. It's like, I don't mind liberal guilt if it gets me in the restaurant, even if I know the guy still hates me in his mind. But it's like down there they're striving to be offensive however they can, so it's more vocal and they're freer. It's semi-mob thinking." Richard Hell and the Voidoids are one of the few integrated bands on the scene
("integrated' -what a stupid word). I heard that when he first formed the band, Richard got flak from certain quarters about Ivan Julian, a black rhythm guitarist from Washington, D.C., who once played with the Foundations of "Build Me Up Buttercup" fame. I think it says something about what sort of person Richard is that he told all those people to get fucked then and doesn't much want to talk about it now. "I don't remember anything special. I just think that most people that say stuff like what you're talking about are so far beneath contempt that it has no effect that's really powerful. Among musicians there's more professional jealousy than any kind of racial thing; there's so much backbiting in any scene, it's like girls talking about shoes. All musicians are such scum anyway that it couldn't possibly make any difference because you expect 'em to say the worst shit in the world about you." I called up Ivan, who was the guy having trouble at the pinhead lunch counter in the first place. "Well, I was first drawn to this scene by the simple fact of a lot of people with musical and social attitudes more or less in common. No one's ever said anything to my face, but I overheard shit. A lot of people are just ignorant assholes. I don't think there's any more racism at CBGB's, where I went every night for about the first year I lived here, than anywhere else in New York City. Maybe a little bit less, because I find New York City a million times more racist than D.C., or Maryland and Virginia where I grew up. There's racism there, outright killings around where I lived, but here it's a lot more insidious. You get four or five different extremes, so many cultures that can't stand each other. It's like, when we toured Europe I was amazed at the bigotry between people from two parts of the same country. They'd accept me, but to each other they were niggers, man. And at CBGB's it's sorta the same way, sometimes. Mutants can learn to hate each other and have prejudices too. Like Mingus said in Beneath the Underdog. forty or fifty years ago, in the ghetto, the lighter you were the better you were. Then you'd turn another corner and if you were somewhat light, like Mingus, there'd be a buncha guys saying 'Shit-colored mutha' ready to trash your ass. My point is, regardless of how much people might have in common
they still draw away. There are certain people on the scene, like say this girl in one band who's nothing but a loudmouthed racist bitch--it's obvious we want nothing to do with each other, so I stay away from her and vice versa. "I'll tell you one thing: the entrepreneurs, record company people and shit are a hell of a lot worse. People like Richard Gottehrer, who produced our album, and Seymour Stein and a lot of the other people up at Sire Records. They were totally condescending, they'd talk to you differently, like you were a child or something. I heard a lot of clichés on the level of being invited over to somebody's house for fried chicken." I was reminded instantly of the day I was in the office of a white woman of some intelligence, education, and influence in the music business, and the subject of race came up. "Oh," she said, "I liked them so much better when they were just Negroes. When they became blacks . . . " She wrinkled her nose irritably. "Race hate?" says Voidoids lead guitarist Bob Quine. "Sure, it gives me 'n' Ivan
something to do onstage: The Defiant Ones. " But the ease and insight of the Voidoids are somewhat anomalous on the New York scene. This scene and the punk stance in general are riddled with self- hate, which is always reflexive, and anytime you conclude that life stinks and the human race mostly amounts to a pile of shit, you've got the perfect breeding ground for fascism. A lot of outsiders, in fact, think punk is fascist, but that's only because they can't see beyond certain buzzwords, symbols, and pieces of regalia that (I think) really aren't that significant: Ron Asheton of the Stooges used to wear swastikas, Iron Crosses, and
jackboots onstage, but I don't remember any right-wing rants ever popping up in the
music he did with Iggy or his own later band, which many people were not exactly
thrilled to hear was called the New Order.
In the past three years Ron's sartorial legacy has given us an international
subculture whose members might easily be mistaken at first glance for little brownshirts.
They aren't, for the most part. Only someone as dumb as the Ramones are always accused
of being could be offended when they sing "I'm a Nazi schatze," or tell us that the first
rule is to obey the laws of Germany and then follow it with "Eat kosher salami." I've
hung out with the Ramones, and they treat everybody of any race or sex the same—who
they hate isn't Jews or blacks or gays or anybody but certain spike-conk assholes who just
last week graduated from The Rocky Horror Picture Show lines to skag-dabblings and
now stumble around Max's busting their nuts trying to be decadent.
Whereas you don't have to try at all to be a racist. It's a little coiled clot of venom
lurking there in all of us, white and black, goy and Jew, ready to strike out when we feel
embattled, belittled, brutalized. Which is why it has to be monitored, made taboo and
restrained, by society and the individual. But there's a difference between hate and a little
of the old epater gob at authority: swastikas in punk are basically another way for kids to
get a rise out of their parents and maybe the press, both of whom deserve the irritation.
To the extent that most of these spikedomes ever had a clue on what that stuff originally
meant, it only went so far as their intent to shock. "It's like a stance," as Ivan says. "A
real immature way of being dangerous."
Maybe. Except that after a while this casual, even ironic embrace of the totems of
bigotry crosses over into the real poison. Around 1970 there was a carbuncle named
Wayne McGuire who kept contributing installments of something he called "An Aquarian
Journal" to Fusion magazine, wherein he suggested between burblings of regurgitated
Nietzsche and bad Celine ellipses that the Velvet Underground represented some kind of
mystical milestone in the destiny of the Aryan race, and even tried to link their music with
the ideas of Mel Lyman, who was one of the prototypes for the current crop of
mindnapping cult-daddies.
On a less systematic level, we had little outcroppings like Iggy hollering, "Our next
selection tonight for all you Hebrew ladies in the audience is entitled `Rich Bitch'!" on the
1974 recorded- live bootleg Metallic K.O., and my old home turf Creem magazine, where
around the same time I was actually rather proud of myself for writing things like (in an
article on David Bowie's "soul" phase): "Now, as we all know, white hippies and beatniks
before them would never have existed had there not been a whole generational subculture
with a gnawing yearning to be nothing less than the downest baddest niggers. . . .
Everybody has been walking around for the last year or so acting like faggots ruled the
world, when in actuality it's the niggers who control and direct everything just as it always
has been and properly should be."
I figured all this was in the Lenny Bruce spirit of let's-defuse-them-epithets-byslinging-'
em-out in Detroit I thought absolutely nothing of going to parties with people like
David Ruffin and Bobby Womack where I'd get drunk, maul the women, and improvise
blues songs along the lines of "Sho' wish ah wuz a nigger / Then mah dick'd be bigger,"
and of course they all laughed. It took years before I realized what an asshole I'd been, not
to mention how lucky I was to get out of there with my white hide intact.
I'm sure a lot of those guys were very happy to see this white kid drunk on his ass
making a complete fool if not a human TV set out of himself, but to this day I wonder how
many of them hated my guts right then. Because Lenny Bruce was wrong—maybe in a
better world than this such parlor games would amount to cleansing jet offtakes, and
between friends, where a certain bond of mutual trust has been firmly established, good
natured racial tradeoffs can be part of the vocabulary of understood affections. But beyond
that trouble begins—when you fail to realize that no matter how harmless your intentions
are, there is no reason to think that any shit that comes out of your mouth is going to be
understood or happily received. Took me a long time to find it out, but those words are
lethal, man, and you shouldn't just go slinging them around for effect. This seems almost
too simple and obvious to say, but maybe it's good to have some-thing simple and obvious
stated once in a while, especially in this citadel of journalistic overthink. If you're black or
Jewish or Latin or gay those little vernacular epithets are bullets that riddle your guts and
then fester and burn there, like torture- flak hailing on you wherever you go. Ivan Julian
told me that whenever he hears the word "nigger," no matter who says it, black or white,
he wants to kill. Once when I was drunk I told Hell that the only reason hippies ever
existed in the first place was because of niggers, and when I mentioned it to Ivan while
doing this article I said, "You probably don't even remember-" "Oh yeah, I remember," he
cut me off. And that was two years ago, one ostensibly harmless little slip. You take a
lifetime of that, and you've got grounds for trying in any way possible, even if it's only by
convincing one individual at a time, to remove those words from the face of the earth.
Just like Hitler and Idi Amin and all other enemies of the human race.
Another reason for getting rid of all those little verbal barbs is that no matter how
you intend them, you can't say them without risking misinterpretation by some other
bigoted asshole; your irony just might be his cup of hate. Things like the Creem articles
and partydown exhibitionism represented a reaction against the hippie counterculture and
what a lot of us regarded as its pious pussyfooting around questions of racial and sexual
identity, questions we were quite prepared to drive over with bulldozers. We believed
nothing could be worse, more pretentious and hypocritical, than the hippies and the
liberal masochism in whose sidecar they Coked along, so we embraced an indiscriminate,
half-joking and half-hostile mind-lessness which seemed to represent, as Mark Jacobson
pointed out in his Voice piece on Legs McNeil, a new kind of cool. "I don't discriminate,"
I used to laugh, "I'm prejudiced against everybody!" I thought it made for a nicely
charismatic mix of Lenny Bruce freespleen and W. C. Fields misanthropy, conveniently
ignoring Lenny's delirious, nigh-psychopathic inability to resolve the contradictions
between his idealism and his infantile, scatological exhibitionism, as well as the fact that
W. C. Fields's racism was as real and vile as-or more real and vile than anybody else's.
But when I got to New York in 1976 I discovered that some kind of bridge had been
crossed by a lot of the people I thought were my peers in this emergent Cretins' Lib
This was stuff even I had to recognize as utterly repellent. I first noticed it the first
time I threw a party. The staff of Punk magazine came, as well as members of several of
the hottest CBGB's bands, and when I did what we always used to do at parties in
Detroit—put on soul records so everybody could dance—I began to hear this: "What're
you playing all that nigger disco shit for, Lester?"
"That's not nigger disco shit," I snarled, "that's Otis Redding, you assholes!" But
they didn't want to hear about it, and now I wonder if in any way I hadn't dug my own
grave, or at least helped contribute to their ugliness and the new schism between us. The
music editor of this paper has theorized that one of the most important things about New
Wave is how much of it is almost purely white music, and what a massive departure that
represents from the almost universally blues-derived rock of the past. I don't necessarily
agree with that it ignores the reggae influence running through music as diverse as that of
the Clash, Pere Ubu, Public Image Ltd., and the Police, not to mention the Chuck Berry
licks at the core of Steve Jones's attack. But there is at least a grain of truth there the
Contortions' James Brown/Albert Ayler spasms aside, most of the SoHo bands are as
white as John Cage, and there's an evolution of sound, rhythm, and stance running from
the Velvets through the Stooges to the Ramones and their children that takes us farther
and farther from the black- stud postures of Mick Jagger that Lou Reed and Iggy partake
in but that Joey Ramone certainly doesn't. I respect Joey for that, for having the courage
to be himself, especially at the sacrifice of a whole passel of macho defenses. Joey is a
white American kid from Forest Hills, and as such his cultural inputs have been white,
from "The Jetsons" through Alice Cooper. But none of this cancels out the fact that most
of the greatest, deepest music America has produced has been, when not entirely black,
the product of miscegena- tion. "You can't appreciate rock 'n' roll without appreciating
where it comes from," as Pinkston put it.
Musical questions, however, can be passed off as matters of taste. Something
harder to pass off entered the air in 1977, when I started encountering little zaps like this:
I opened up a copy of a Florida punk fanzine called New Order and read an article by
Miriam Linna of the Cramps, Nervus Rex, and now Zantees: "I love the Ramones
[because] this is the celebration of everything American-everything teenaged and wonderful
and white and urban. . . ." You could say the "white" jumping out of that sentence
was just like Ornette Coleman declaring This Is Our Music, except that the same issue
featured a full-page shot of Miriam and one of her little friends posing proudly with their
leathers and shades and a pistol in front of the headquarters of the United White People's
Party, under a sign bearing three flags: "GOD" (cross), "COUNTRY" (stars and stripes),
"RACE" (swastika).
Sorry, Miriam, I can go just so far with affectations of kneejerk cretinism before I
puke. I remember the guy in the American Nazi Party being asked, "What about the six
million?" in PBS's California Reich, and answering "Well, the way I heard it it was only
really four-and-a-half million, but I wish it was six," and I imagine you'd find that pretty
hilarious too. I probably would have at one time. If that makes me a wimp now, good,
that means you and anybody else who wants to get their random vicarious kicks off White
Power can stay the fuck away from me.
More recently, I've heard occasional stories like the one about one of the members
of Teenage Jesus and the jerks yelling "Hey, you bunch of fucking niggers" at a crowd of
black kids in front of Hurrah one night and I am not sorry to report getting the shit kicked
out of him for it. When I told this to Richard Hell, he dismissed it: "He thinks he's being
part of something by doing that joining a club that'll welcome him with open arms, trying
to get accepted. It's not real. Maybe I'm naive, but I think that's what all racism is not
really directed at the target but designed to impress some other moron."
He may be right, but so what? James Chance of the Contortions used to come up to
Bob Quine pleading for Bob to play him his Charlie Parker records. Now, in a New York
Rocker interview, James dismisses the magical qualities of black music as "just a bunch
of nigger bullshit." Why? Because James wants to be famous, and ripping off Albert
Ayler isn't enough. My, isn't he outrageous? ("He's got the shtick down," said Danny
Fields, stifling a yawn, when they put James on the cover of Soho Weekly News.) And
congrats to Andy Shernoff of the Dictators, who did so well they're now called the
Rhythm Dukes, for winning the Punk magazine Drunk as a Skunk contest by describing
"Camp Runamuck" as "where Puerto Ricans are kept until they learn to be human."
Mind you, I like a cheap laugh at somebody else's expense as well as the next
person. So I got mine off Nico, who did "Deutschland Ober Alles" at CBGB's last month
and was just naive enough to explain to Mary Harron, in a recent interview in New Wave
Rock, why she was dropped by Island Records: "I made a mistake. I said in Melody Maker
to some interviewer that I didn't like negroes. That's all. They took it so personally . . .
although it's a whole different race. I mean, Bob Marley doesn't resemble a negro, does
he? ... He's an archetype of Jamaican ... but with the features like white people. I don't
like the features. They're so much like animals.... it's cannibals, no?"
Haw haw haw, doncha just love them dumb kraut cunts? And speaking of
dumbness and krauts, my old pal Legs McNeil has this band called Shrapnel, who are
busy refighting World War II onstage in dogtags, army surplus clothes, and helmets that
fall over their eyes like cowlicks, while they sing songs with titles like "Combat Love."
Personally I think it's not offensive (well, about as offensive as "Hogan's Heroes") that
they're too young to remember Vietnam it's funny. The whole show is a cartoon (it's no
accident that they open their set with the "Underdog" theme) and a damn good one.
Musically they're up there too- tight dragstrip guitar wranglings that could put them on a
par with the MC5 someday, combined with a stage act that could make them as popular as
Kiss. The only problem, which has left me with such mixed feelings I hardly know what
to say to them, is that the lyrics of some of the songs are nothing but racist swill. The
other night I sat in the front row at CBGB's and watched them deliver one of the hottest
sets I've seen from any band this year while a kid in the seat right next to me kept yelling
out requests for "’Hey Little Gook!' `Hey Little Gook!'" the whole time. [Robert]
Christgau, who considers them "proto-fascist" and hates them, told me they also had
lyrics on the order of "Send all the spics back to Cuba." I mentioned this to Legs and he
seemed genuinely upset: "No," he swore, "it's `Send all the spies back to Cuba.' "
"Okay," I said (Christgau still doesn't believe him), "what about `Hey Little
"Aw c'mon," he said, "that's just like in a World War II movie where they say
`kraut' and `slants' and stuff like that!"
I told him I thought there was a difference between using words in dramatic
context and just to draw a cheap laugh in a song. But the truth is that by now I was
becoming more confused than ever. All I knew was that when you added all this sort of
stuff up you realized a line had been crossed by certain people we thought we knew, even
believed in, while we weren't looking. Either that or they were always across that line and
we never bothered to look until we tripped over it. And sometimes you even find that you
yourself have drifted across that line. I was in Bleecker Bob's the other night, drunk and
stoned, when a black couple walked in. They asked for some disco record, Bob didn't
have it of course, a few minutes went by, and reverting in the haze to my Detroit days I
said something about such and such band or music having to do with "niggers." A couple
more minutes went by. Then Bob said, "You know what, Lester? When you said that,
those two people were standing right behind you."
I looked around and they were out on the sidewalk, looking at the display in his
front window. Stricken, I rushed out and began to burble: "Listen ... somebody just told
me what I said in there ... and 1 know it doesn't mean anything to you, I'm not asking for
some kind of absolution, but I just want you to know that ... I have some idea . . . how
utterly, utterly awful it was...."
I stared at them helplessly. The guy just smiled, dripping contempt "Oh, that's
okay, man . . . it's just your head. . . ." I've run up against a million assholes like you
before, and I'll meet a million after you so fucking what?
I stumbled back into the store, feeling like total garbage, like the complete
hypocrite, like I had suddenly glimpsed myself as everything I claimed to despise. Bob
said, "Look, Lester, don't worry about it, forget it, it happens to everybody," and, the final
irony, sold me a reggae album I wondered how I was going to listen to.
If there's nothing more poisonous than bigotry, there's nothing more pathetic than
liberal guilt. I feel like an asshole even retelling the story here, as if I expected some sort of
expiation for what cannot be undone, or as if such a tale would be news to anybody. In a
way Bob was right: I put a dollop more pain in the world, and that was that. There is
certainly some-thing almost emetically self-serving about the unreeling of such confessions
in the pages of papers like the Voice—it's the sort of thing that contributed to the punk
reaction in the first place. But it illustrates one primal fact: how easily and suddenly you
may find yourself imprisoned and suffocated by the very liberation from cant, dogma, and
hypocrisy you thought you'd achieved. That sometimes—usually?—you'll find that you
don't know where to draw the line until you're miles across it in a field of land mines. Like
wanting the celebration of violent disorder that was the Sex Pistols, ending up with Sid and
Nancy instead, yet realizing the next day that you still want to hear Sid sing "Somethin'
Else" and see The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle, and not just because you want to understand
this whole episode better but to get your kicks. These are contradictions that refuse to be
resolved, which maybe is what most of life eventually amounts to.
But that's begging the question again. Most people, I guess, don't even think about
drawing the lines: they just seem to go through life reacting at random, like the cabdriver
who told me that the report we were listening to on the radio about Three Mile Island was
just a bunch of bullshit dreamed up by the press to sell papers or keep us tuned in. And
maybe if you go on like that (assuming, of course, that we all don't melt), nothing will
blow up in your face. But you may end up imploding instead. A lot of people around
CBGB's are already mad at me about this article, and the arguments seem mostly to run
along the lines of Why don't you can it because there's not really that much racism down
here and all you're gonna do is create more problems for our scene just when this Sid
Vicious thing had blown over. I mentioned Pinkston's experience and was told he was
paranoid. Like the people at Harrisburg who didn't wanna leave their jobs and actually
believed it would be safe to stick around after the pregnant women and children were
evacuated, these kids are not gonna believe this stuff exists until it happens to them. Hell, a
lot of them are Jewish and still don't believe it even though they know about the
neighborhoods their parents can't get into.
When I started writing this, I was worried I might trigger incidents of punk-bashing
by black gangs. Now I realize that nobody cares. Most white people think the whole subject
of racism is boring, and anybody looking for somebody to stomp is gonna find them
irrespective of magazine articles. Because nothing could make the rage of the underclass
greater than it is already, and nothing short of a hydrogen bomb on their own heads or a
sudden brutal bigoted slap in the face will make almost anybody think about anybody else's
problems but their own. And that's where you cross over the line. At least when you allow
the poison in you to erupt, that can be dealt with; maybe the greater evil occurs when you
refuse to recognize that the poison even exists. In other words, when you assent by
passivity or indifference. Hell, most people live on the other side of that line.
There is something called Rock Against Racism (and now Rock Against Sexism) in
England, an attempt at simple decency by a lot of people whom one would think too young
and naive to begin to appreciate the contradictions. Yippie bullshit aside, it could never
happen in New York, which is deeply saddening, not because you want to think that rock
'n' roll can save the world but because since rock 'n' roll is bound to stay in your life you
would hope to see it reach some point where it might not add to the cruelty and exploitation
already in the world. In a place where people are as walled off from one another as we are
in America now, all you can do is try to make some sort of simple, humble, and finally
private beginning. You feel like things like this should not need to be said, articles like this
should perhaps not even be written. You may think, as I do of the sexism in the Stranglers'
and Dead Boys' lyrics, that the people and things I've talked about here are so stupid as to
be beneath serious consideration. But would you say the same thing to the black disco artist
who was refused admittance to Studio 54 even though he had a Top Ten crossover hit
which they were probably playing inside the damn place at the time, the door-man/bouncer
explaining to a white friend of the artist, "I'm not letting this guy in- he just looks like
another street nigger to me"? Or would you rather argue the difference between Racist Chic
and Racist Cool? If you would, just make sure you do it in the nearest factory. Or jail.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

don't you dare

Friday, April 27, 2012

social mixer

clip from "IT", 1927, featuring Clara Bow. social mixers were so not this cool in middle school, that's where i have left all the awkward chubby girl moments to fade into non-existence. (I'm not even sure I exist.)

false reflections of a [pro/re/ag]gressive dystopia

"As every past generation has had to disinherit itself from an inheritance of truisms and stereotypes, so in our own time we must move on from the reassuring repetition of stale phrases to a new, difficult, but essential confrontation with reality. For the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived and dishonest--but the myth--persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. Mythology distracts us everywhere--in government as in business, in politics as in economics, in foreign affairs as in domestic affairs. But today I want to particularly consider the myth and reality in our national economy. In recent months many have come to feel, as I do, that the dialog between the parties--between business and government, between the government and the public--is clogged by illusion and platitude and fails to reflect the true realities of contemporary American society." - John F Kennedy

Freedom at 21


The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Jack White - "Freedom at 21"
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive


Thursday, April 26, 2012

nice dreams help deal with drole realities much more easily.

Oh, the alluring, enchanting affluent man from a big shiny city in my dreams last night: while on a family vacation someplace, I met him, we entangled, but then asked me to leave with him on a helicopter to the big shiny city with him... even though I knew my family would forbid me to leave, I left anyways... in a diamond encrusted dress ... he held me the entire length of the ride (in my head, I kept worrying that I wasn't supposed to be doing this... but was too into this sort of moody rich guy, near my age..) I looked down and out as we approached - it was the most beautiful city I'd seen, and once we arrived, had to mingle with his counterparts (which was fine, I can mingle with anyone ...) he just kept kissing me and regarding me as the most important thing he couldn't let go of. It was very pleasant.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Candidate for photo of the year

(Recent headline of the San Francisco Chronicle. Female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spiderweb of crab traps and line weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, tail, torso and a line tugging in her mouth. GOS)

That literally gives me the shivers. TOO profound. Okay, finally something to draw. (my own version of this, yahhh...) 
is it just weird lighting or is the whales eyes looking in the opposite direction? Like he don'trust us. "Guess I'll have to keep putting up with you cruel blue acrobats, but on ONE CONDITION: I will not go to your themepark with you, and do your human gymnastics! Deal?!" "You got it, dude!" [insert whichever preferred: *fist bump* *thumbs up* *formal or secret handshake* *slapped in the face by a giant fin*]

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

America's Dirty Little Secret.


Wanted to post an excerpt of Matthew Taibbi's 'Griftopia' I was reading on the bus but'a'mere hour ago... and whilst jamming to Arcade Fire (listen: The Woodlands National Anthem) I will type this up!

First, just my own thoughts: I think Taibbi pinpointed the basic gist of why we need to encourage the American People to not vote in this election, as the ultimate act of defiance that is so simple, yet in reality, feels laughable and impossible to consider, although it would be nice for the People to have the 'last laugh' when it would show that the only the 1% voted, and no one else. That's all calm Gandhi style to give a giant finger to the Man, right? ...... right?

p.31-34 in Chapter, 'The Grifter Archipelago'

The insurmountable hurdle for so-called populist movements is having the nerve to attack the rich instead of the poor. Even after the rich almost destroyed the entire global economy through their sheer unrestrained greed and stupidity, we can't shake the peasant mentality that says we should go easy on them, because the best hope for our collective prosperity is in them creating wealth for us all. That's the idea at the core of trickle-down economics and the basis for American economic policy for a generation. The entire premise- that the way society works is for the productive rich to feed the needy poor and that any attempt by the latter to punish the former for their excesses might inspire Atlas to shrug his way out of town and leave the rest of us on our own to starve- should be insulting to people so proud to call themselves the "water carriers." But in a country where every Joe the Plumber has been hoodwinked into thinking he's one clogged toliet away from being rich himself, we're all invested in rigging the system for the rich.
What's accelerated over the last few decades, however, is just how thoroughly the members of the grifter class have mastered their art. They've placed themselves at a nexus of political and economic connections that make them nearly impossible to police. And even if they could be policed, there are not and were not even laws on the books to deal with the kinds of things that went on at Goldman Sachs and other investment banks in the run-up to the financial crisis. What has taken the place over the last generation is a highly complicated merger of crime and policy, of stealing and government. Far from taking care of the rest of us, the financial leaders of America and their political servants have seemingly reached the cynical conclusion that our society is not worth saving and have taken on a new mission that involves not creating wealth for all, but simply absconding with whatever wealth remains in our hollowed-out economy. They don't feed us, we feed them.
The same giant military-industrial complex that once dotted the horizon of the American states with smokestacks and telephone poles as far as the eye could see has now been expertly and painstakingly refitted for a monstrous new mission: sucking up whatever savings remains in the pockets of the actual people still living between the coasts, the little hidden nest eggs of the men and women who built the country and fought its wars, plus whatever pennies and nickels their aimless and doomed Gen-X offspring might have managed to accumulate in preparation for the gleaming future implicitly promised them, but already abandoned and rejected as unfeasible in reality by the people who run this country.
But our politics- even in the form of "grassroots" movements represented by Tea Partiers (who line up to support a narcissistic, money-grubbing hack like Palin) or MoveOn (who rallied their followers behind a corporation-engorging health bill) - is silent about this. Instead, it grounds our new and disturbing estate of affairs in familiar, forty-year-old narratives. The right is eternally fighting against Lyndon Johnson; the left, George Wallace. When the Republicans win elections, their voters think they've struck a blow against big government. And when a Democratic hero like Barack Obama wins, his supporters think they've won a great victory for tolerance and diversity. Even I thought that.
The reality is that neither of these narratives makes sense anymore. The New America, instead, is fast becoming a vast ghetto in which all of us, conservatives and progressives, are being bled dry by a relatively tiny oligarchy of extremely clever financial criminals and their castrato henchmen in government, whose main job is to be good actors on TV and put on a good show. This invisible hive of high-class thieves stays in business because when we're not completely distracted and exhausted by our work and entertainments, we prefer not to ponder the dilemma of why gasoline went over four dollars a gallon, why our pension funds just lost 20 percent of their value, or why when we do the right thing by saving money, we keep being punished by interest rates that hover near zero, while banks that have been the opposite of prudent get rewarded with free billions. In reality political power is simply taken from most of us by a grubby kind of fiat, in little fractions of a percent here and there each and every day, through a thousand separate transactions that take place in fine print and in the margins of a vast social mechanism that most of us are simply not conscious of.
This stuff is difficult to unravel, often fiendishly so. But those invisible processes, those unseen labyrinths of the Grifter Archipelago that are indifferent to party affiliation, are our real politics. Which makes sense, if you think about it. It should have always have been obvious that a country as rich and powerful as America should be governed by an immensely complex, labyrinthine political system, one that requires almost unspeakable cunning and wolfish ruthlessness to navigate with any success, and which interacts with its unwitting subject peoples not once every four years but every day, in a variety of ways, seen and unseen. Like any big ship, America is run by people who understand how the vessel works. And the bigger the country gets, the fewer such people there are.
America's dirty little secret is that  for this small group of plugged-in bubble lords, the political system works fine not just without elections, but without any political input from any people at all outside Manhattan. In bubble economics, actual human beings have only a few legitimate roles: they're either customers of the financial services industry (borrowers, investors, or depositors) or else they're wage earners whose taxes are used to provide both implicit and explicit investment insurance for the big casino-banks pushing the bubble scam. People aren't really needed for anything else in the Griftopia, but since AMERICANS REQUIRE THE ILLUSION OF SELF GOVERNMENT, WE HAVE ELECTIONS.
To make sure those elections are effectively meaningless as far as Wall Street is concerned, two things end up bring true. ONE is that voters on BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE are gradually weaned off that habit of having real EXPECTATIONS for their politicians, consuming the voting process entirely as culture-war entertainment. The other is that millions of tenuously middle-class voters are CONNED into pushing Wall Street's own twisted greed ethos as though it were their own. The Tea Party, with its own weirdly binary view of society as being split up cleanly into competing groups of producers and parasites- that's just a cultural echo of the insane greed-is-good belief system on Wall Street that's provided the foundation/excuse for a generation of brilliantly complex thievery. Those beliefs have trickled down to the ex-middle-class suckers struggling to stay on top of their mortgages and their credit card bills, and the real joke is that these voters listen to CNBC and Fox and they genuinely believe they're the producers in this binary narrative. They don't get that somewhere way up above, there's a group of people who've been living the Atlas dream for real- and building a self-dealing financial bureaucracy in their own insane image.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

danger, will robinson, danger!

Save the little jalopy!

Mr. T is a naughty boy.

100 Year-old Tortoise acts as Mom to Baby Hippo

A baby hippopotamus that survived the tsunami waves on the Kenyan coast has formed a strong bond with a giant male century-old tortoise in an animal facility in the port city of Mombassa , officials said The hippopotamus, nicknamed Owen and weighing about 300 kilograms (650 pounds), was swept down Sabaki River into the Indian Ocean, then forced back to shore when tsunami waves struck the Kenyan coast on December 26, before wildlife rangers rescued him.

It is incredible. A-less-than-a-year-old hippo has adopted a male tortoise, about a century old, and the tortoise seems to be very happy with being a 'mother'," ecologist Paula Kahumbu, who is in charge of Lafarge Park , told AFP.

After it was swept away and lost its mother, the hippo was traumatized. It had to look for something to be a surrogate mother. Fortunately , it landed on the tortoise and established a strong bond. They swim, eat and sleep together," the ecologist added. "The hippo follows the tortoise exactly the way it followed its mother. somebody approaches the tortoise, the hippo becomes aggressive, as if protecting its biological mother," Kahumbu added.

The hippo is a young baby, he was left at a very tender age and by nature, hippos are social animals that like to stay with their mothers for four years," he explained. (from:

the jon stewart live experience

jon stewart was fun. being in a packed auditorium was intense (for me, too many people in too confined a'space) drinking a glass of merlot during was nice (except when trying to get through to my seat i accidentally spilled a drop on the lady sitting next to me's pants and she literally had to make me feel like the worst person in the world, but we gave her a napkin and my mom made me feel better... by saying, 'she's here alone.' also, had binoculars.) i fared with my crap vision pretty well, the bitchy lady in front of me heckled me for 'heckling' which pretty much any dude that did it was fine (and generally heard by stewart) but really, why do girls heckle girls who are just having fun?! bitchez be trippin'. I DID yell 'war on potatoes!' later, while he was talking about the war on everything. at one point my mom yelled something and I think it registered with stewart's ears, she was rebelling against floridians. and I think she was a 'thank god' to him for disagreeing with them. seriously though, people down here are pretty whack.

it's just emotion

“What men mean when they talk about their “crazy” ex-girlfriend is often that she was someone who cried a lot, or texted too often, or had an eating disorder, or wanted too much/too little sex, or generally felt anything beyond the realm of emotionally undemanding agreement. That does not make these women crazy. That makes those women human beings, who have flaws, and emotional weak spots. However..., deciding that any behavior that he does not like must be insane– well, that does make a man a jerk.

And when men do this on a regular basis, remember that, if you are a woman, you are not the exception. You are not so cool and fabulous and levelheaded that they will totally get where you are coming from when you show emotions other than “pleasant agreement.”

When men say “most women are crazy, but not you, you’re so cool” the subtext is not, “I love you, be the mother to my children.” The subtext is “do not step out of line, here.” If you get close enough to the men who say things like this, eventually, you will do something that they do not find pleasant. They will decide you are crazy, because this is something they have already decided about women in general.”

— Lady, You Really Aren’t “Crazy” (via Tumblr)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

furrow yer freakin' brows

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

more of an update than usual

the nicest southern breeze, a silly lad playing james brown and a bit of my favorite reminiscent drink, whiskey & diet coke [slowly enjoyed mind you.] haven't had it in forever but it's the nicest of the highs when properly managed... proper management is where I've made my most progress, in many areas.
this year may have started out /and or/ has been my most quiet year, but it's definitely been the most awe-inspiring. maybe I'm due to let it all out sooner than later, but those who really know, I will and can talk to someone as little... or as much, as possible, (and properly mind-surveyed throughout.) or how dead I am for answers when old men at the bus terminal (while waiting or inside moving vehicle) want to have conversations with me, and I let them get away with all the numerous "well if I was your boyfriend I'd do this for you's" and pats on the back and head (only one guy, but not gonna let him pull that on me again) I'm just so exhausted, fighting it would just make it all the more torturous. although you think with the giant headphones and exasperating fatigue after a heltery skeltery one and 1/2 miles powerwalked/shifty eyes behind sunglasses, no one would bother. not quite. you are, in fact, the most susceptible person there.
my leg has been looking a little funny and hurting more than usual... trying to rest it as much as I can... it's just strangled my life enough, to where I need it to be up to pace with me, but it's not quite there yet. hopefully it can be a worry that slowly disintegrates into nothing.
dassit for now, going to the funky side of town.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

almond joy or mounds

which would you prefer?

attenti al gatto

What do I do when I get home from work?! Eat some pad thai, then notice that a friend created a fun internet meme... so naturally, I took part in the action!

in solidarity with #iamdisappoint

the 'it's warm in here' version

lil' sir and his pet

Monday, April 16, 2012

pink like a deco umbrella

don't care what anyone says... i will always like these songs.

isn't it about time you....

finally watching all seasons of The State! because something I did one day had Chris exclaim: "I'm gonna dip my balls in it!" and I'd mentioned wanting to see it for quite some time, so he downloaded it and wah-lah, instant television. As if I didn't like Showalter, Black, and Wain already enough, now I'm getting into the two dudes and lady I've seen on Party Down and Reno 911.

Haven't had Monday off in about a month and it just feels so wonderful to just laze with the scat cat and watch a silly american comedy troupe. (Chris last night: "It's sad America has so little few funny people." (not verbatim))

Sunday, April 15, 2012

massive dump... of photos

started on a doodle, inspiration from Beth Maciorowski.

random photos from recent:
 loco gatito

the beginnings of my humble quest

laura palmer -- i mean, the little mermaid, washed up onto Clearwater beach at approx. 5:27pm. cause of death unknown; could be Scientology linked.
 if you look closely, you can see michael jackson beating it.

was given a two for one deal after beach shennanigans!

while that was documented by chris, i had done my own documentation of a small portion of downtown tampa the week prior....

trippy ski[pp]ies

a canine headmaster-ran institution (actually art building of univ. of tampa)
 hip to be square

this area is under constant _____ ?!??

jfk, frozen in carbonite.

while his thoughts billow and bloom above

thee concrete jungle.

in all its... staggering 'opulence?'

it truly is a cock and balls industry.

... that can afford fun spirally things to reflect upon.

 at different angles.

which reflects upon ITself!

at least there were birds in the trees...

earlier this evening: went on a sunday solo excursion to the sponge docks just to take some random odds & ends i hadn't already documented yet ...

happy go lucky

I will be patch adams-esque for anyone who needs laughter and smiles.

when the amateur goes professional.

if i keep saving money at a decently paced rate, am beginning to consider options of moving to a more urbanized center (have been mulling over chicago and baltimore for a long, long time) at the end of this year. talked to chris about it last night, he understands where i'm coming from when i say i thrive better in such areas where the skills that make me shine could be heavily focused upon living by myself for the first time in my life. just a thought for now, but i'm ready to prepare for the next big step. it's just something that HAS to happen.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

big fat mamas are back in style again

magik hatter

work hard, clean well, make room for magic on wednesday nights.

Monday, April 9, 2012

stop-motion is taking over my life

saw Otesanek a while back in Southwick with my stepsister and friend Robyn, thought it was disturbingly hilarious... so now I'm going to watch every possible thing by this director, starting with Neco z Alenky... I think I've found another artist who has played a giant role in the sculpting my dreams. I mean, how could it have taken me this long to re-stumble upon him and come to the ecstatic realization that he is responsible for inspiring my favorite crockpot animations ala Terry Gilliam? So, if there were no Jan Švankmajer, there could have been (no/less of) Mr. Gilliam.

also, on a similar note, Chris and I started watching this last night, and will hopefully be finishing it when he gets home from work, which is hopefully soon... I mean seriously, in INCREDIBLE DYNARAMA!


Sunday, April 8, 2012

do i feel lucky?

Doodle compilation

Things drawn in the past few months that haven't been posted:

MS paint portrait of Mr 'whatever guys, i'm going home.'
 30 minute MS paint kitten

doodlin with pencil, vine charcoal, n' sharpie
 mistah cloudy owl.

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