just another narcissistic prick

usually i try to tie the song to some certain topic that’s in the blog and today the blog is going to at least start out being about me(are they all? jesus i hope not) so i thought about using that de la soul song “me, myself and i” but when i played it back i realized that i don’t like that song very much so i went with “do it clean” because i found a real good performance of it and have been watching it quite a bit and figured i’d share it w/the most engaged readership on the web and that means YOU. hope you enjoy it, and while for a brief second(can a second be briefer than a second?) just now i mulled over switching topics and writing about cleanliness it   seems that might be construed as disingenuous(good word if i spelled it right) so it’s back to me, narcissistic prick that i am.

anyways for the 1st time last night i was a main character in someone ELSE’S blog(guess who? name begins with “W”) and it was rather strange and accurate and flattering too, it was a good story that i was familiar with and it was nice to hear it told by someone else. now that i’m thinking about it i guess the really novel thing about it was how accurately it portrayed me PERSONALLY, i mean reading about yourself from another person’s perspective is pretty stony to begin with and when that person has some level of intimate insight into you it’s even stranger. i’ve had to read about myself in the past but it’s been in an exclusively ABSTRACT way, not really about me personally and written usually by a stranger. that’s because i was in a band that got a fair amount of press(of the non-mainstream ilk) and the weird thing there is that instead of reading about yourself per se you’re confronted with someone else’s opinion about what you DO which is something that is obviously connected to you but cannot be referenced as such. in fact music critics are writing about themselves a hell of a lot more than they’re discussing you. and they are so often wrong that it really doesn’t matter anyways. my band hardly ever got bad press but for some reason the music confused a lot of people to the point where they seemed unsure about what kind of a opinion they had in the 1st place. it was all pretty abstract and the only actual review i remember anything about was a negative review that seemed like a positive review until the critic stated his position explicitly at the end. i remember that it had the phrase “casual aggression” in it and to me that sounded like a compliment but like i was saying the whole thing was confusing, so much so that i have now officially confused myself in the present and must take a break and switch topics.

again, another song unrelated to what i’m discussing, which at this point is vague at best. and i would say that clarity is overrated if not for the fact that it’s actually UNDERrated, the world would be a totally different(and better) place if people were not always trying to obscure what is actually going on. maybe it sounds naive or over-optimistic but i’m pretty sure that if people had access to accurate information, unfiltered and unclouded by self-interest, they would generally come down on the side of common sense and also achieve a higher level of sympathy and understanding towards themselves and others. i meet a lot of people who simply do not trust their own judgement about many issues because they know that the information they are getting regarding certain topics is at best slanted and at worst total bullshit. take the case of extremely rich and/or powerful people. now it’s pretty obvious that the vast majority of people in those positions did NOT get there because they worked harder or deserve it more, in fact the idea of someone “deserving” more than others is a rather odious viewpoint. okay so most people got into those “high places” because they got a head start through financial or other connections and in that way end up on the winning side of a rigged game. now although it’s obvious that the game is rigged it’s not always obvious HOW and on top of the general confusion there is the fact that from the time that we are very young we get a one-sided story where the people at the top of the heap have earned their place in a system where anyone can make it if they apply themselves which just means that if we aren’t able to climb the ladder it’s because of our own personal failings or stupidity or because we’re lazy or undeserving in some way. the day that this story is no longer accepted is the day that things start to change for real.

and now that we’ve come full circle and wound up where we usually do(with me ranting about the unfairness of the system) it’s a good spot to sign off, i’ve got shrubs to transplant over at wookie’s mom’s place and leni gets to go shopping for new shoes so the weekend has officially begun. enjoy it.

happy friday


is anyone else having a hard time focusing this morning?

the glory of a cocoon-like sleep

it always struck me as a bit odd that so many blues musicians(at least known ones) were blind, i wonder why that is? although now that i’m thinking about it one obvious answer comes to mind which is that when people can’t see they’re more prone to get the blues and a good way to deal with the blues is to put all those feelings into something productive and music is a productive experience for the listener as well as the musician which makes singing the blues a very generous approach to dealing with being bummed out by vision-impairment or anything else for that matter. so make sure to thank your local bluesman from time to time because whether he’s blind as a bat or not he’s fighting the good fight.

anyways the song up above is i think my favorite blues song by who is certainly my favorite blues artist and i hesitate somewhat in saying that because i heard or read once that it’s also eric clapton’s favorite song and between me and mr. clapton there is no love lost, i mean in a career spanning many decades he recorded maybe 2 decent songs and yet for some reason enjoys a level of adoration fit for kings and/or other minor deities plus in one weird turn of events the phrase “clapton is god” was coined and has attained a sort of cache among people who think they know something about music but who apparently are mistaken in that assumption because clapton actually just sucks. i mean john lennon would only go as far as to say that the beatles were “more popular than jesus” and while that may be a bold statement at least nobody’s going to mistake lennon for the big guy upstairs anytime soon. plus lennon wrote so many quality songs in his life that talent-wise he’s actually much closer to at least SOME sort of lord/savior than clapton could ever be. but how’d i get on this topic?(here’s one of my favorite lennon songs):

that makes 2 beatles’ songs in a week, i thought i was a stones fan?

but here’s something worrisome: as i get closer and closer to 200 posts i’m getting farther and farther timewise from some of them(actually all of them)  and remembering what songs i’ve already posted is getting to be a real headache, so please bear with me, my long-term memory is really pretty good but in the shorter term things go missing, just ask wookie. in fact there’s a series of things that i keep telling wookie that i’ve already told her a hundred times like the fact that i need to put guzzy on a diet or how i hate my hair when it grows out and now that i’m thinking about it i’m realizing that my short-term memory is SO bad that i can’t even remember all of the stuff i’ve told wookie over and over and i guess that means that this particular topic has been exhausted.

anyways the night really is getting darker and the ground really is getting colder and the rain has started now for real and that means a cocoon-like existence for the next 6 months or so which has its benefits, like it’s easier to get leni off to bed on time because it gets dark earlier and i have more time to work in the morning because it stays dark later and leni likes to sleep when it’s dark and i like to work when it’s dark so everyone’s happy and nobody’s got the blues and also nobody’s blind yet except wookie without her glasses and also my eyes are getting worse fast but it’s hard to slow down the marching of father time. the dentist forgot to give me laughing gas yesterday and i didn’t ask for some reason so i had a very conscious teeth-scraping but it was short and it wasn’t too painful and now i’m good to go for the next 3 months. i had a very different topic in mind for today but it struck me as being a tad overbearing and i’ve become wary of my own soapbox tendencies so i’ll just suggest that you listen to the minutemen’s “definitions” while googling the words “capitalism”, “communism”, “socialism”, “democracy”, “fascism”, “anarchism”, and “long-winded” and see what you come up with. and always try to remember that definitions are your friends.

bring on the fall

well the equinox came and went and the fall is upon us and in portland that means color and rain and the color started about a week ago and the rain started just today(nice timing) and while the color unfortunately only lasts for about 3 weeks the rain hangs around ’til about june which used to be a good enough reason for people to stay the fuck out of our sleepy little town but greed trumps weather which means that when there’s a housing bubble(like there was in california before 2007) people sell because they are able to get way more than their house is actually worth but having done that they still need a place to live and since they don’t want to waste all their hard-earned(?) profit they look elsewhere for cheaper real estate and a whole lot of these folks(ESPECIALLY those from cali) looked at portland and saw that they could get a house here for half of what it would it cost back home so then they buy a house here and what  you get is soaring housing prices, gentrification, destruction of generations-old neighborhoods, the poor and minorities get driven out of the city and into the suburbs, i have to move further east(though not to gresham, thank god), there’s suddenly way too much traffic and way too many upscale boutiques, the rents are way too high, and basically portland has been transformed from a cheap, semi-empty, very liveable city into just another annoying example of how people with money ruin everything. so happy autumn, everyone!

wookie has to go to a conference today for work even though she doesn’t officially have the job yet, nothing stops wookie which is why she’s already started spending money from the budget to hire outside help and that’s money that actually IS in the budget, it just happens to be in a budget that’s only available to employees and at this particular moment wookie isn’t one, i mean she is but she isn’t but she’s on her way to a conference nonetheless, have fun wookie! i have to go to the dentist to get my chompers scraped and lucky for me i like my dentist, he’s a russian fellow who always enters the room with a big “hey!” and shakes my hand before giving me the gas. then he leaves for a bit and when he comes back he says “do you feel the gas?” and i always remember to say “maybe a little” or “not really” which hopefully inspires him to crank up the fun a little bit so that by the time he starts cleaning the chiclets(google it!) i’m at least SORT of floating in space. there’s also a tv with movies about sea creatures and a nice russian staff except for cammy who’s nice but not russian and sits in the receptionist’s chair but seems to wear many hats around the office. anyways the news from the dentist is never great(my teeth are FUCKED) but hopefully today won’t be too bad and afterwards i have to go do some painting for a man who has the exact same name as my dead best friend. it’s a small world, fall or otherwise.

in other news the football season is beginning and the baseball season is coming to an end and hopefully the giants make the playoffs, i personally wouldn’t give a shit one way or the other except that my mom spends a lot of time watching giants baseball throughout the entire season and oftentimes how they go, she goes, and it’s better for everyone when mom goes well. i’ve got 4 new pieces in the queue but need to get them glued down, one of them has 4 arab men on horseback w/rifles looking like american-style cowboys racing past a sign that says “now leaving the american sector” and it’s only a few pieces but is orange and purple and i like it a lot. i like the other ones too and i have to say that when you’re trying to be an artist it really helps a lot if you like the stuff that you’re producing, the more the better. elsewise(made up word) you might as well be working on a factory line assembling chotchkes, or gew-gaws, or thingamajigs, or whatchamacallits, or etc. my computer keeps telling me i need to restart it so some updates i just downloaded can get installed properly and i don’t have to go to the dentist for 5 more hours and all this talk about the changing of the seasons is making me tired so i will run along now, hope your equinox was great and that your town is still as sleepy as it ever was.


aren’t we all?

tomorrow never knows

i always thought you could break people down into 2 camps, people who liked the beatles vs. those who preferred the stones. the idea was that a beatles fan would be oriented more towards pop music(melody, harmony, mass appeal, a pint of lager) while a stones fan was looking for something more dangerous(monster riffs, edgier lyrical content, illicit drugs), something we might call “rock” music. i have always found myself in the stones(or “rock”) camp but have nevertheless come to appreciate what the beatles were as well and at this point am willing to admit that songs like the one above rank easily with the best the rolling stones had to offer and in terms of psychedelic music the beatles win hands down anyways, i mean the stones only attempted the psych thing once(their satanic majesties request) and it pretty much sucked. strawberry fields forever.

today they’re having a much ballyhooed mass action in new york city called the “people’s climate march” and in my opinion a lot is riding on the success or failure of this event in terms of any viable future for humanity, i know that sounds dramatic but it’s true. i’ve been listening to independent media(like democracynow! which has live coverage of the march from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM est, you should check it out) for about 14 years and that’s been the only place you could find an educated discussion of climate change/global warming right up to today, i mean the mainstream media still presents climate change denial as if it was a serious thing so fuck them anyways. over the years the science has become better and better and as that has happened the problem has grown more and more dire and as THAT has happened the warnings from scientists have become stronger and stronger until today when the overwhelming consensus seems to be that something needs to be done NOW if global warming is to be at all mitigated and it may well be too late at this point anyways. it’s decades too late for any reasonable response(such as limiting carbon emissions and at least STARTING to transition to more renewable forms of energy) to be considered “proactive” and there is no longer any way to avoid the affects of global warming so any actions taken are at this point defensive, an attempt to limit FURTHER environmental degradation. the action today might actually be the last hope for achieving even this small goal and there’s also a more radical action taking place tomorrow called “flood wall street” which will attempt to disrupt the business of the 1% and  will no doubt be met with heavy-handed police violence so i plan on following all these events and seeing what comes of it. tomorrow never knows.

me and wookie were talking about such topics the other day and she has a hard time fathoming how the people in power who make decisions regarding such threats as climate change could behave in such a way as to endanger not only the population at large but more specifically themselves and their children. knowing what being a parent is all about makes it almost impossible for wookie to square the overwhelming love and concern for one’s child with the insane and destructive actions taken by these people in the public sphere. it really is a kind of mental illness. but the demands of a capitalist economy dictate that the people in charge of making economic decisions do so with regard only for profit, their job is to maximize market share and shareholder wealth and if they don’t do that then they get canned and the board of directors puts someone in their place who WILL do that. you could say that it’s a completely self-destructive system except for the minor point that it destroys everything else too. it’s just complete and absolute insanity.

shit, i was planning on this post being a tad more optimistic so at this point i will now list things that make me feel good: music, family, wookie, guzzy, leni, art, brave acts by humane people, humane acts by brave people, radical leftist politics, the possibility of evolution, the possibility of revolution, ice cream, pizza, animals, good neighbors, kindness, the resiliency of hope, the resiliency of the palestinians, the resiliency of the human body, the expansiveness of the human mind, the strength of the human spirit, intelligent people who speak honestly, honest people who speak clearly, love, sex, naps, a nice pair of slippers, a good baseball game, a good basketball game, a good hockey game, a good football game, coffee in the morning, fixing stuff, creating stuff, the calmness of the early morning, autumn, and knowing that i never have to drink again.


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