Friday, September 5, 2008

Worst. Blogger. Ever.

    I can't believe how bad I am at keeping a blog. I shouldn't be surprised, really -- it's always been this way when it comes to me doing anything long term. By long term, of course, I mean anything that takes longer than Right Now. When I was younger my room used to be full of all these great looking journals, gifts from parents and aunts and uncles, mementos from museums in distant cities, and they all had about one or two incredible entries -- and that was it. Only now do I realize that I was really writing the same first chapter to the same novel, over and over again, disguised as my own voice. 
    So I guess that's why I'm doing this -- kind of like I wrote earlier: just to see if I can. Can I start something that doesn't necessarily end? Or at least, doesn't necessarily end in rapturous applause? I've already beaten my own expectations -- see, the question used to be, Can I start?
    Yes. Yes I can.
    Yes we can. I have such strong, mixed feelings about Obama. (As George Carlin (R.I.P.) would've said, "I don't do transitions".) On one hand, I'm thrilled by the man. His presence, his politics -- that he actually has beliefs, and ideas, and real PLANS for how to make them realities. I have the rabid stage five Beatlemania fandom disease that you can only understand if you've had a Bush or Clinton in the White House since the day you were born. Think about it. Follow me...
   You know the way brand names become accepted nouns? For instance, once upon a time there was "tissue paper". And now? Well, now we have "Kleenex". So kids growing up, eventually, won't ask for a tissue, they'll ask for kleenex -- maybe even A kleenex -- and that'll be that. This is what the American presidency is for me. If people were to ask me to hand them a president, I'd hand them a Bush or a Clinton. I've never known the position -- the product, in this analogy -- to be removed from the people that, in so many words, OWN it.
    Obama doesn't own the presidency; despite all the "inexperienced" bullshit the talking heads spew, I believe he's earned it. Why? Here's a big one: Sometimes, the man writes his own speeches. Stop right there. He sits down, thinks for a while, and writes language that can move millions of Americans -- young Americans, no less -- into political action? After our country's been run (into the ground) by the human equivalent of a kleenex for the past eight years? Really?
    I'm sold.
    However, I say my feelings are mixed because - what do I know? Is Obama really the politician I think he is -- someone with relatively few political ties, a true humanist, with the ability to write poetry and execute carefully laid plains? I just dunno...he could be someone different at a time in my life -- apparently, my entire generation's collective life -- when I'm just desperate for ANYTHING different. Fuck "Change I Can Believe In" -- how about just Change?
    That's more than I've seen in twenty years. Aside from the obvious, how do I know Washington's been a phantom limb, too sidetracked by its own selfish ideals, for my entire lifetime? Because at least with change, when something goes dreadfully wrong, it's a surprise -- it's unexpected because it's new, even if it's catastrophic. On the other hand, with the same tired politics, the same divisive cultural pandering...I mean 1300 foreclosures a day. In California alone. And We Saw This Coming. Shit. Then again, if you don't vote for someone who stands for change --  even if he's just that: just a symbol for something different -- then at least you can say you saw it coming when those biblical waves arrive and bleed our two countries into one big, red-and-blue mess.
    If it hasn't happened already.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Something New

I'm exhausted, but I still want to keep this damn thing moving forward, so, in lieu of an actual's a rinky-dink cover I recorded tonight of one of my all time favorites. If you know the words, sing along. (Trust me: you know the words.)

Just copy and paste the link and download away. And excuse the sheer insanity of me thinking I could go ahead and cover such a perfect song.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Still Here

    Honestly, it took every ounce of will power in my being to not erase this damn blog. I'm glad I didn't, because now I don't have to start all over again in a couple weeks, when it sounds like a good idea again.
    That's all. Just wanted to write something, anything down, to keep me from stalling...which is something I do, oh so often...
    More later...if work tomorrow is as wonderful and absurd and excruciating as I think it will be (my C.E.O. is in town for a visit/hanging), I'll have quite a bit to talk about...


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Please Read Me

    This is not something I ever saw myself doing. Blogs, to me, have always been such an inane concept: it's like keeping a diary and then purposely leaving it on your mother's dresser, with a little "please read me" post-it attached. Also, I'm liable to spend the majority of each post trying to prove my own self-worth by using big, $5 college words. So before I even get a chance to dress myself up in a little tweed jacket and "I'd rather be reading" glasses, let me say this:
    Technically, I never graduated high school, although I somehow managed to worm my way into college. At least, a few months of it, before I was forced by the school board to go home and get some rest. I almost made it through first semester of Freshman year. Almost.
    And now I'm naked. I wish I actually believed, fully believed all the shit I used to talk about how faulty the "Western education system" is. How I've always been an "autodidact". How I don't believe in having a "plan B". Everything in quotes, I stole from other sources and applied to my life in some sort of desperate attempt to become the person I felt I had to be. 
    Boy. I really shot myself in the foot.
    Don't get me wrong: there's quite a bit of the real me within the self-conscious, trite, quotable-because-I-was-already-quoting-it shit I used to spew. As with most of us, however, the person I was presenting consisted of the few elements of my personality that felt worthwhile, amplified to such a degree that hopefully no one would ever hear the other, smaller voices, whispering the great truths of myself.
    I think we all have those voices. Certainly, I come from a long line of men and women who refuse to accept that someone knows something they don't. If I'm out to coffee, and someone asks me if I've read so-and-so -- you know, the Russian guy, the genius with the syphilis and that awful rat-fucking problem -- I say: "Yes."
    No matter what. Because the person I'm presenting, of course, would have read that guy. The person I'm presenting what have read everything he'd written, and loved it, all of it -- except for the novel they teach in eleventh grade. That one's bullshit. All the stuff no one's heard of, though...oh, that's great.
     Sometimes, when I'm having these conversations, I suddenly realize that the other person I'm talking to -- this cute girl, wearing her mom's old bell bottoms because isn't that just so fucking ironic -- she's doing the same thing. And so here we are, having this long-winded conversation about some great artist who very well may have never existed. What a strange, out-of-body experience it is, to find yourself in the middle of a meeting between two mostly fictional characters, invented by two insecure people as the leads of the movies of the lives they believe they should be living.
    I promise, that makes sense. 
    Anyway, that's basically how I got through high school; I had assistance from an invisible mask I pieced together from a thousand influences. Of course, that mask, that person whose life I chose to live eventually turned out be an asshole, also full of self-loathing, and insisted on taking me down with him. Finally, that person fell apart. So did I. We both fell apart. 
    And so, almost a year down the road, from out of the ashes comes...a blog?
    I guess so. Why not? If nothing more, it's a brilliant exercise: Sure, I could hide behind the ultimate mask, that mysterious code of language...but there's nothing there. The truth, I've found, can flow through me and into the people I love. Lies, however, just shine back like mirrors, until no matter where you go, your own false reflection goes with you. 
    I'm happy to say, I've stopped (for the most part) having the type of conversations I detailed above. Because those conversations become relationships, become girlfriends and best friends, and when the reel runs out and the house lights come really fucking sucks. Every chance I get, when someone asks me, for instance: "Hey, have you ever heard those early avant-garde Eno recordings from when he was holed up in Berlin, injecting horse tranquilizers every night with Iggy Pop's infamous gilded needles?", I say: "No."
    I say: "No, I haven't. Tell me about that."
    Honestly, this is the most liberating thing I've ever done. Accepting my own ignorance has been truly enlightening. I hope in the posts that follow I prove to be as ignorant as humanly possible.
    So I'll give blogging a try, if for no other reason than simply because my mom does it, and it helps her. Enormously. And, unlike a diary, her wit and insecurity and strength are able to touch the lives of everyone who reads her not-so-privates thoughts. It's the truth, and you feel it, and it works. 
    Trust me, kids: sincerity is the new irony.