Daily Archives: December 20, 2010

The Sixties: It Didn’t Have To Happen Like That

It’s not easy contemplating the decade in America between 1960 and 1970. Generally, the part most worth discussing is the latter half, mostly because so much happened it is hard to sort out. It’s easy to figure out the early years and the 1950s. For the first time in human history, men and women did not have to fear being surprised that someone was going to kill them because the nuclear bomb put an end to that fear in a certain corner of the world called America. It is not a coincidence that “The War To End All Wars”, World War One, brought the Roaring Twenties, a time of booze, less clothes and lots of dancing in the same manner that the Fifties brought the same damn thing.

When you don’t fear death anymore, you can start to play. But if you play too much, you’ll forget that there are children on the playground somewhere with ouchies, who have just fallen down. Some are being tormented by bullies. But all you know is that you have never swung so high on the swingset before, and it is glorious. It sounds like everyone is laughing, because you have become dizzy. The sun is out, it’s April, you have nice clothes on. What could be wrong?

That will do, a decent metaphor for the Sixties. Anyone who lived there, if they are honest, will tell you the same thing. What they do not want to tell you is how they fucked it all up. That is a story for the first children of the seventies to tell you and, quite frankly, they haven’t told us the whole story either. That is because they are dead or dying. The swingset flipped upside down, and America hit the concrete.

Why? How could it have been so great, and then so grim?

Because we honestly thought we could have kept playing forever. Even my German Shepherd will roll over and say “I’m done, I need water” after half an hour of ball chasing. I swear, it looks to me like I could just keep throwing and throwing and he’ll keep running and running until he has a heart attack and dies. But at some point he will say to me “I’m tired, Daddy, let’s go in”.

This is what America forgot to do. Get tired of itself.

You boomers, you all thought it could go on forever in blue jeans and tie-dye. That it was always April. You forgot one thing; that someone was dying somewhere else so you could play on the swingset. You are all of a bunch of fucking morons. You saw the headlines. You watched your leaders die. But for some reason, it was OK to keep goofing off. You would think that when you lost your president, that perhaps what you were doing was wrong. You should have gone back there and find out what JFK had gotten himself into before you starting taking all that acid, or at least perked up when Eisenhower said the military was spiraling out of control. But you didn’t, did you? You told him you wanted to go to the moon, and when he put you there, you wanted to go…well, wherever it is one thinks they are going when they are delusional. They call it psychosis these days. You called it a “real good time”. You said “fuck it, there’s the swingset. I used to have a really good time there!”.

Some of you may know who Bill Hicks is. A comedian ahead of his time, of this there is no question. It’s hard not to listen to him and say “well, goddamn! This guy is right, isn’t he?” And he was. Then, as he progressed, he become very philosophical and began to say things like “We can live forever and go to space together if we end poverty now!!!!!”

It’s the type of statement that is so exciting, you might think that a comedian had figured out the secret to life and all we would have to do is follow Bill Hicks and everything would be One.

Bill Hicks died from believing in this idea. Many of you are dying on your feet thinking that someday, someone will appreciate what he said and we will go to space together.

If you think about it just a little, it is probably one of the stupidest things that has ever been said. However, knowing what I know about religion, we’ve been believing this stupid shit for centuries.

Here’s what I think has happened: we have been afraid for most of our monkey lives, either of ourselves, other predators larger than we, or the reckless fluctuations of nature. We have done so much thinking about how scared we are that we have scared ourselves shitless. We have been tormented by fear for a long time, fear of our own home. The Earth has a tendency to do that to people. It is literally the most violent thing we have ever seen. To our little eyes, nothing could be worse than this.

Now I must ask; does the endless void of Space sound any better? Supernovae? Liquids boiling at 10,000 degrees, ice cold death in places where suns do not shine? Black holes that will allow you the opportunity to disintegrate for eternity?

All I can say to Bill Hicks, rest his soul, is fuck you, bro.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have to look very far to find out what a mess we have made right here on Earth. I shudder to think what the Universe would do if an idiotic species like ours decided to go swing on its swingset. In case no one has noticed, the Earth is already getting tired of us. It has given us a fairly strong signal. It reads: keep fucking with me, and I’m going to make it very hot here and then you will wish you were in space. I like it here, personally, which is why you can all go to space for all I care, and you can take all of your designer clothes and your credit cards and your good times and your Paris Hiltons and your Bill Hickses and charge up a fortune somewhere else. Because when you finally kill yourself from hanging upside down from the swingset EXACTLY like your sick, aggrieved mother told you not to, I will look up from my ouchies from across the playground and I will laugh my ass off. I will not die from any of this poison, because I will remain quiet and wait for you to get the hell away from me. I take the small pleasures I need and the love I have and do some real living. The type of living that takes so long that it will seem like an eternity before I die.

People are going to get confused now because it sounds like I hate a guy like Bill Hicks. Simply not true, he had a clear moral vision, one that most of us would be jealous to have if we had any sense about us. I’ll take a mad shaman like him any day over the people I see around me now. Bill Hicks may have been the physical manifestation of what could best be termed as an allergic reaction. He hated life. He hated you. He hated himself so much that he spent his life trying to tell you how much he hated you and life. And he reacted like an ugly hive. That hive he became turned into cancer. He died of that cancer, and that upsets me greatly, because none of you deserved Bill Hicks. He was dumb enough to get close to you.

I ain’t. I hate quietly. I live longer that way. That is why the sixties failed. We loved ourselves way too much, and we forgot that other people were suffering, that everything was suffering and it was requesting silence instead of freaking the hell out. I’ll throw my pearls at people who need pearls, not swine who will stomp up and down and ask for more, for ever, for eternity, for all of the things that we want except for the things we have.

High Art? High Art? What Is It, Anyway?

Art is one of my favorite things to look at. I like to hear it too, I try to create it but this was all the stupid world allowed me to have, the gift of writing. So you get this, a gnarled, desperate scream masquerading as a “personal website” as if that were not a contradiction in terms. Art reminds me that someone is still here even when they are dead. That is why you like art, in case you were wondering why it “says something to you” even if you can’t figure it out at the moment you engage with it. My wife and I are discussing Diego Velasquez (we finished very quickly because we are very brief people, there’s a lot to do in a day) and she has noticed that he was pretty damn good at drawing the human figure.

Yet one more reason why my wife does not know how beautiful she is. What she did just now was sum up a 200 year experiment in technique, subject matter and composition by answering me when I said “Wasn’t he great at painting us?” She said next, “Wow…just wow, he really was!”

The moment she said that, Diego Velasquez’ soul said “Thank you, I have been waiting for someone to notice.” Look at that. He even said it in English so I could tell you. Diego worked really hard on that.

Art= “I love you people so much that I am going to enshrine your personage in one of my works because you fascinate me so”.

When you don’t realize this, and you give it to a king or a museum curator, you have basically put a gun to the head of your artist. Why do you think all of your heroes die, take drugs, make a mess of themselves and die early? Because you turn them into heroes, you stupid fucks. That is NOT why Diego Velasquez painted. Diego Velasquez painted because he knew he only had a finite amount of time to tell you that he loved you so. He gave you a gift called a painting to say so. He may have drawn you doing your worst. But he did it anyway.

If someone had just thanked Diego, and didn’t turn him into dust by sticking him in an art history book, Diego would have lived much longer. But no. All he is now is a curio.

It’s simple misunderstandings like this that can cause entire civilizations to spin wildly out of control. Nietzsche wrote. He wrote a lot. He basically was trying to say how amazing he thought everything was. But no one heard him, not even Ree’s wife. He died insane and on drugs, and now is known more for being associated with Hitler than for writing “Thus Spake Zarathrustra”.

I have not read it. I haven’t got the balls to try. I am content to read his buildup to it, because I love progress. I am also content to read his decline into madness, because in order to retain what’s left of my humanity the least I could do is listen to him scream. I cannot read “Thus Spake Zarathustra”, it is art of the highest order, it’s a poem from a heart that KNEW that the world had lost it’s shit, and that’s why it sounds like cosmic background radiation to us instead of “I love you”. It’s all art, but do you follow? Nietzsche wrote so hard and so well. He was like a left handed child using a soft lead to make a poem for you.

If Nietzsche were alive today to meet his fans, he would say, “I was right. You are as stupid as I thought you were. I’m going to go get drunk and talk to a horse, because the horse understands my writing more than you do. I didn’t even write it for the horse!”

History said afterward that Nietzsche was “mad”. Yes, he was. He was mad at you. Diego Velasquez has forgiven my wife today. But he still hates all of you.

Everyone Uses Facebook, And No One Knows How It Works

Let me preface this by saying that I have never, ever understood Facebook. I don’t think I ever will.

I don’t even know how I got on it. If I had to do it again, I’d get angry and not do it. Walking in circles in your living room is more productive than using Facebook. By extension, running my computer chair out into a busy road near a blind curve with me in it is probably something I would do before I had to learn how to use it properly. This concern, that I can’t understand how to get you to “see” me, stems from the idea that I would like to write creatively, and would like you to enjoy what I enjoy doing. So I want to figure out how to share my stories to my friends and new friends. Anyone have any idea how to get me off the ground?

There are many problems that come with using something and not knowing how it works. Example:we could abolish half of the economy if we knew how our industrial machines behaved. That is because no one in their right mind would go near them if we really knew what they did. If you as an employee knew the catastrophic harm that EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOUR COMPANIES WAS DOING TO SOMEONE OR SOMETHING SOMEWHERE, you would not answer your alarm tomorrow, and become a muddy, oily puddle of depression and self-loathing. Thankfully, we often do not know, and your employers pay you for your silence in the matter. That is why you make 20 lousy dollars an hour, which really only amounts to rent, electricity, some modest entertainment for your rapidly growing and active family, and a few decent meals full of nourishing food and some alcohol when you break it down for your forty hours of soul torture per week. That is why you would prefer to bleed from the eyeballs for a month straight if it meant you never had to go to stupid work again, crying in red why god why god, eli lama sabacthani? All because you need to keep quiet about the affair, so you can stave off cell death and whore yourself for these terrible people. Street walking is more noble than straight jobs. At least you know who you’re fucking, at least you know who the benefit goes to, because you know that at least there is no harm done with an orgasm.

What the hell was that? I was trying to discuss why I can’t fucking work Facebook, and I channel a drunk materialist philosopher in the 19th century instead. This is one of the difficulties of being bipolar, and it is also one of the difficulties in following a bipolar’s logic. Because at any moment, I will turn on myself and you, say bad things and bellow like Linda Blair shot up with rat poison.

You never know where your posts are going on Facebook. It’s a mess. You have no idea what winds up on other people’s pages or if they are even winding up there. You have no idea what to say to people you used to know because… everyone and their mother, literally, is on Facebook too, watching your every move like the sick person she really is because you never told her what a fuckup she turned you into. You have co-workers there who do not know what an asshole you truly wish you could be and you are afraid to show them your dark side because people talk! They do! Unemployment is just a “damn” away! Excommunication from your family is right around the corner dare you say “fuck” because some event has finally made you have a genuine feeling.

Facebook is like having the world know you are shitting, and THE POPULATION is cheering you on, handing you extra rolls through the door as if that is any more fun for them than it is for you. And you will never get out of the bathroom, and you will die like Elvis.

I wouldn’t even do this in my college years for a laugh. What we are all doing on Facebook daily is FAR more perverse than saying “fuck” every now and then.

There I go again! I want to know how Facebook works! I want to “share” my stuff. I want to “like”, but I don’t know how to do it. (Most of what I say has a double meaning, just so the slower of you can catch up.) (Aside: word count hit 666 just now, so I know I am making sense.) But I have to be careful what to like. I have to “ask permission” to be a friend. What the fuck kind of maniacal shit is this? What the fuck kind of Nazi mass programming project are we really plugged into when we say things like “I am sipping a coffee” and expect ANYONE to enjoy saying “Me too! I need Starbucks every day.” Like! “Love ya, Nancy! We so share the same head sometimes. I can’t wait for Friday! Gail will be waiting and we can try the new drinks at Fafner’s! Kisses!”

I have to ask permission to listen to you go on like this?

Oh, we’re alike alright. We are alike in the quantity of pain we hiss at each other by just being numb and not saying anything of real import.

I’ve fucked this up again. All I want to know is how to be read by people who I like alot and I’d like to put it on the biggest platform there is. We spend hours on that damn site daily, we should know how to use it. But no one can answer any questions about how Facebook really works, and it is the best way to get noticed- so I am screwed. But you know, the big bitch of it all is that everyone is on Facebook talking to Gail, not trying to read a tiny but pugnacious blog by someone they have known for years who might have some talent.

Don’t take this personal. I’m only saying EXACTLY what is in all of your heads. You all have some talent somewhere, and I bet you are wasting it just like me. Someone knows how to use Facebook. Will you show me? I’d consider myself indebted, and always grateful for your expertise.

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