Friday, June 27, 2008

Things On My Mind.

A random, somewhat disparate, collection of t'ings I been t'inkin' about.

In no particular order...

Zimbabwe: Wow. I've been listening to a lot of news stories about this (the scary side effect of streaming NPR all day at an office job). But, seriously, it's like "The Last King of Scotland" all over again only this time, lets substitute Mugabe for Idi Amin. You forget how precious it is to be able to vote without getting petrol fuel poured on you because you dare to support the opposition. Our democracy is fragile (and it's been beaten to shit over the past 8 years) but we face none of the terror (yes, terror) that these people are facing right now. Beware the strong man of Africa... the nasty, lingering effects of colonialsim? Maybe.

The Gun Ban-Ban or the 2nd Amendment ruling or Why our Supreme Court can kiss my M@#tha-f!#@$g ass: Any hardened Hillary Clinton supporter need only take one look at this decision and consider John McCain's statement that he wants a court full of Roberts and Scalias and Thomases. This decision is a nightmare. The idea that the framers wanted every American to have a Glock in their home is lunacy. We have a standing army and no one's trying to overthrow the King. The constitution's genius is that it's malleable and the notion that our laws should ahere more to the realities of 1776 than 2008 is, in a word, assinine.

Wanted: The new Angelina Jolie movie. God, it looks awful but I love James McAvoy so much (yet another "Last King of Scotland" reference). Word is that it's despicably violent which I find curious given Ms. Jolie's reputation as a global humanitarian....I guess I find it odd that someone so concerned about the plight of refugees (usually fleeing their country because someone is out to the kill them and their entire family) would then turn and make a film that gratituitiously gorges itself on violence. Not to get too Tipper Gore circa 1987 on your ass, I do believe there is a correleation between what we are seeing and what we are doing... Count me among the moral majority. Hmmm, is this just an uneasy combo of art and activism?

Gallery Hopping in Chelsea: I am. Tomorrow. Going gallery-hopping. Taking my New Yorker and doing the art walk. I will report on the state of contemporary art on Monday. I am mildly hopeful.

Adventure: I am dying for it. I am in-between shows and this is never a good thing because then I have time to think (hence Rodin's penseur) and the wanderlust really creeps in. Not creeps so much as slaps me against the face and, like a devil, takes over my body, exorcism-style. I long for bigger and better things, dramatic, novel-like adventures like being a war correspondant or working for "Doctors without Borders" or, closer to home, engaging in, for me, debauchorous, unhealthy, behavior... In short, I become petulant and teenage.

Pity the individual with a romantic sensibility (I do).

Monday, June 09, 2008

Staples makes me sad.

I couldn't tell you why but I have had this odd prediliction since I was a child. A strange sensitivity almost or maybe I am just trying to dress up my affection for being maudlin or my fondness for being blue.

Shopping in Staples makes me sad.

Sometimes shopping in a Duane Reade brings on a similiar melancholy (I sound like the Edgar Allan Poe of Strip Malls) but for some reason not as bad...maybe the make-up section still makes it

Staples though brings home alienation to me and 21st century class structures and makes them manifest. I am almost always shopping there because I've been sent on a duck-duck-goose run for labels for some temp job I'm at. Everyone in there is usually some kind of business person or, rather, the underling of a business person looking mildly annoyed as they search for the "sign here" labels or "toner cartridges" while "Steely Dan" plays overhead. The workers are all in uniform and are usually very nice to whatever asshole they are dealing with. In those moments searching aisle five for "poster-board spray adhesive" all the Nietchszean-style nihilistic thoughts, all the suspicion of modernity comes flooding in and it's like "this, this is progress"? Maybe, I should move to Oregon, get a bow and arrow, and eat with my hands.

But, instead I pick up whatever I've been sent for, get in line, and fully wallow in the utter sadness that is part of the contract you sign when you are brought into this world.

Now that wasn't easy.

Thursday, June 05, 2008



I am thrilled that he won the nomination. Obama, of course.

Side note: I don’t want my 30 days of continuous blogging to turn into a watery regurgitation of what I’ve heard on NPR. But, in truth, politics is always on my mind to some degree or another. Or maybe it’s not politics but culture, the big picture, what’s happening locally, globally and how are my fellow, human-being-animals reacting to it? Chalk it up to A LOT of history classes in college. I don’t entirely understand people who proudly announce that they’ve got no interest in politics (again, for me, politcs = big picture). To me, this is like proudly announcing that you’ve got no interest in art?! Curiosity is currency and it should extend to all avenues of life, no? Wow. I am in danger of sounding like an Generation X Dear Abby.. But, really, really, isn’t it all so fascinating? All of it, life, culture, people, art, and that includes politics (again politics = BIG PICTURE).

We are, of course, in a verrrrry interesting political period here in these United States and the hope (yes, it’s a corny word but for lack of a better word, hope but I use it with a caveat: it’s DESPERATE hope), the desperate hope this primary season has produced is palatable. The desire for, yes, here’s that other word again: change. And, for better or worse, vast numbers of the American populace (and the world apparently judging from the headlines fom the rest of the globe) have rested their hopes firmly upon the sinewy shoulders of one Barack Obama. Who, I note, have noted, and will say again: I love. And yet, ahhh the inevitable “but”, I am mildly weary of the degree to which there seems to be some mass kind of transference happening between him and the people, as it were. The pinning of all of ones’ (here’s that word again) hopes on one person to me seems a little frightening, frankly. . To me, there seems to be a desire of so many of us to see this one person, a man (a human man, it should be noted) Obama to absolve us, the American people, of the sins of the past 8 years. As if his presidency would prove to us, once again, that we are indeed the country of tolerance and openness and reinvention and truth and justice and not the land of Guantanemo, and Katrina and foreclosures and Iraq and Abu-Gahrib and utter indifference to all of the aforementioned.

Maybe I should just relish in this moment and in the fact that for now, for this instance in my still relatively young lifetime, I feel that history is not static and that progress is tangible and not just read about in the Chapter on the Sixties in that high school textbook. Maybe I should let my eyes well up with tears every time Obama talks about the “fierce urgency of now” and forget about the pandering speech he just made to AIPAC (just one day after he got the nomination it should be noted) declaring Jerusalem off-limits to the Palestinians.

See? Human being in a very corrupt system. I still love him but, deep down, I know that anyone, and I mean anyone, who is about to touch that much power is bound to disappoint.

It’s part of a noble tradition.

30 (continuous) Days of Blogging

In an attempt to inject my life with discipline, rigor, and Victorian self-improvement I am committing myself to 30 days of blogging.

Who's keeping score? No one!

Like Van Gogh painting for an audience that never came (save Theo) the joy will be in the doing. Or not. (Insert tired anecdote here about Vinnie's ear getting cut off though, apparently, it is now in heated dispute whether or not Van Gogh cut off his own hearing device or if Gaugin did it while they were both in the throes of an alchoholic infused night out on the town).

I feverishly hope, of course, that someone will stay tuned from now until the middle of July as I record my wry, ever-so-slightly vulnerable observations on living in the surreal life of the 21st Century.

Oh dear, what the hell do I have to say that is not on Gawker or the Huffington Post?

Stay tuned...