8.10.2019

Ignoble Sacrifice

Mr. Epstein dead.

I can't believe he wasn't on suicide watch. I can't believe he wasn't kept like a rare flower, protected from the elements and under constant surveillance. Not that he deserved the care, but his victims did. They deserved their day in court, a full accounting of what happened. They deserved to take small comfort in the fear that those not-yet-caught must have been feeling when there was a chance Epstein could talk. Not only does it anger me that a big piece of this puzzle is now missing, that he and, most likely, others, will get away with it, but I'm angry that, especially given the nature of these times, whatever idiots were in charge of this whole situation didn't even have the pragmatism, well outside of the realms of justice or morality, just the day-to-day selfish self-interest, to prevent what will now come: the conspiracy theories, the perpetual speculations, the increased distrust in institutions and authority figures, and, in case morals are actually present, the impossibility of anything approaching justice.

Of course, I'm being, though, fucking, really, fucking, naive.

The "post-truth" era is ultimately not destabilizing to power; the opposite.

Myths make deities.

If anyone gets fired, I'm guessing, eventually the people who took orders make less money and the people who gave them, more.

I Don't Have Twitter Pt. x of x

Why does Google ask me to justify my decision to dismiss ads? I'm not even complaining about the ads themselves (gmail is free, after all). I'm not even leading towards some sort of complaint about Corporate or self-pity at My Complicity (cheers!). Just, what, I can'd delete them without having to answer to someone? As if I am being abnormal somehow? Even ads that are relevant don't need to persist past the point of "data internalization", do they? I mean, even if the ad is "your favorite band is releasing a new record!!!" I'd be "yay". And then what, keep the ad? Until the 10th anniversary reissue? The 20th anniversary reissue? The super-deluxe 25th anniversary bonus track reissue? Do I still need to know that the album is going to come out then?

This is why I don't have twitter btw.

I Don't Have Twitter Pt x of x

DJs are the cover bands of the 21st century.

8.05.2019

Quick Obvious Statement

Well, should be obvious, but I don't see it written often so I will.

When Corporate intervenes in political culture and cultural politics, it's, whether deliberate or inadvertent, a means by which to delegitimize the state as a means of rectifying social problems.

8.04.2019

Nobody Left To Talk To

I'm here again for a moment. I miss doing this. I keep saying it, don't do it, though.

At some point in the past, you would come to this website and see, underneath "Airport Through The Trees", "To Suffer As A Genius Without The Genius". It was just, you know, a bit of a dig at myself, lighthearted, really, to just, you know, relax. I think I've written about this before, maybe not, but I think I stopped writing the more people cared that I wrote because the expectations of others causes me to feel a very intense anxiety and to lose myself and my voice. It's not just in writing. Music, too, or really anything. It's not just anxiety, though. I seem to gain my best insights into the world in solitude, and so, even the readers I began to imagine as a handful of you began to give a shit oh so many years ago, would begin to impinge upon the reverie so necessary to bringing forth whatever it is (it's not your fault, keep reading, it's my problem!). Which is the whole point of "to suffer...". It's not like I'm the smartest motherfucker of all motherfuckers and so it's a bit silly, this portentous distancing, this, I dunno, like, Moses going to the mountain and bringing back a takeout menu for a Chinese restaurant. God hath spoken, and the General Tso's chicken shall be $8.95 at dinnertime, including white rice, whilst being only $6.75 before 4pm, including both white rice and an egg roll, in what our Lord hath decreed be known as a combination special. Delivery fee two dollars.

I don't know that I have much to say because I don't know that the world has changed sufficiently for me to add anything to what I have already said.

We need a word for this shit. Neoliberalism isn't right. We're certainly past postmodernity because postmodernity was very contingent on modernity, right? Like the sense of rupture no longer has a subversive charge when signifier and signified are detached a priori and it's annoying that I even am vaguely referencing Baudrillard, who I probably haven't read in a decade or so, as if. As IF! Now it's all normal.

It's a weird time in my life, a bleak one, but not bad. My return to New York has been a total dud. I was pretty inspired when I came back, but I feel like I've been running my head into a wall for a year now, and all the mental energy that I should be expending on caring about art or music or literature or whatever, well, I'm desperately hunting for a new apartment and a new job and a new computer monitor and staring at my bank account flush with cash, or at least, well, flush isn't the right word. I've upgraded, though. I went from being a starving artist to a lower-middle-class service worker with enough money to take a nice vacation and then spend a year replenishing. I won't be taking that vacation, though. I'm middle-aged. Time to start thinking about retirement (ten years ago). Woo.

It's just such a weird time. Once, I could romanticize my struggles.

Once nothing can happen, what does one do?

I wrote, a million years ago, seemingly, that the problem with EDM (remember that shit?) was that it justified the conservatism of the purist end of the house and techno world. Somehow, my experience with Trump is the same. Nobody really has any idea of what to do with their lives besides being middle-class, and the ones who want it the most, and who don't have it, are the "radicals". It's odd to hear people, the kids, that I work with, to diss on capitalism, to mention capitalism, as the thing to blame, but it's obvious the right books haven't been read, the point has been missed, somehow.

I miss Mark Fisher.

Because it's maybe, I dunno, the weirdest iteration of Capitalist Realism possible, now: the critique of capitalism is that it no longer provides people the means to be selfish bourgeois individualists. So it (capitalism) has to be abolished. In the name of, uhh, wait what? The extension of hyper-individualist subjectivity to more people?

It's really a common thing, though, to be invested in the solution to a personal problem as a societal prescription. I remember reading some interview with some let's say indie 1.0 hero, and he was talking about how anyone could form a band and it was inspiring but also, like, wouldn't society fall apart if everyone just played guitar in an indie rock band all the time or whatever?

Leave those dead end jobs in those dead-end cities and come innovate fast casual concepts.

College should be free but until we have some better idea of what to do with it all then, you know, career, then, uh? I work with people with Ivy League degrees. One just quit. He's taking a 50% pay cut to do something more noble. Because his parents can pay the rent.

That's a change, something new, isn't it?

(By the way, that super-educated guy was one of those classic, as opposed to classical, liberals who had all sorts of high-minded, State-Department-approved, ideas about how to disembowel random people halfway around the world for the sole purpose of feeding an abstract notion so maybe it's better if less people go to college, really.) 

I was pretty angry, years ago, when I realized that certain careers were off the table due to having to start off unpaid. But now there are jobs that actually pay and require serious degrees from serious schools, but don't even cover the cost of living. I guess, probably, it's always been this way, to a certain extent. 

I like ranting like this. 

I don't know what to do next. I might have a lead on a new job, and a new apartment to go with it. A little more space, a little more money, or rather, the same amount of money, made on less hours, more hours to tackle the books that keep piling up.

I keep thinking I'm cynical, but I'm not. I used to read, a lot, I think, because I wanted to make sure I knew what the fuck it was I was talking about when the time came, finally, for me to be someone who might affect the world around me. Not, you know, all of it, but, maybe, some. Now I know it probably won't happen. But I keep buying the damn things. 

To suffer as a genius without the genius is to hear people talking and know:
all their efforts at trying to come to terms with the world have yielded antiquated cliches that, somehow, they consider to be their own thoughts
that they lack the self awareness to know this
that their ideas have already been proven worthless
that I have read the books that prove those ideas worthless
that those books, and the ideas contained within them, are cliche as well
that my ideas are cliches, too

So there's a double loneliness, of neither being recognized for being smarter (i.e. subscribing to better cliches) nor for not being recognized as a fraud (because the better cliches are still cliches).

Most people are not smart enough to both know that they are full of shit and that I am, too. That's the suffering. You have to be THIS SMART to know I am not, and you aren't. But not you, of course.

6.02.2019

Forget Your Self Esteem

Simon with a timely reminder to listen to Mercury Rev again.

Also want to publicly thank him for quoting the best bit of my recent drunken rant at the top of the above-linked page. 

I only discovered Yerself Is Steam a few years ago, but it made quite an impression. I think I had written off that whole psych side of early 90s US indie inadvertently. I was never really a huge Flaming Lips fan, and the ubiquity of "that sound" at "that time" nudged me almost towards active revulsion, so hearing Rev was, erm, revelatory as that album, and Boces, seemed to really somehow address my unexamined prejudice, a prejudice I still can't really define. 

Maybe it's just the touch of chaos, the feeling that the psych was actually that, not just a reference, but a state of mind and possibility. The guitars sounded sometimes as if they were not being made to scream by human intervention, but, were, in actual fact, screaming themselves.

The best kinds of people are the ones who just say yes. A few years ago, an October night, I was thrashing about my old apartment in Providence, listening to Steam, and I texted someone, kindly requesting that we set an appointment for the following spring. I had a plan, a plan that, on the first warm day, the one that reinvests the world with possibility, that we drive to some small and beautiful town in Massachusetts and take mushrooms and not leave until we had made friends with all the squirrels. Of course it never happened, wasn't even a good idea, but somehow, that yes would have made all the difference, and, in some ways, I'm glad I never got it.

5.17.2019

Another Short One

Probably most books worth reading should just be titled It's Even Worse Than You Thought, except for history books; It's Even Worse Than You Thought And It's Been Going On Forever.

That's why I need to buy more music books again, slightly better: It Was Good And You Missed It.