Monthly Archives: August 2006

Sent off in Style

Just wanna give a quick shout-out to all the people who made me feel like I would be missed. To the SilCity crew, the cake was delicious, and I’m sorry I took all my shit home. It had to be done. Y’all made my last shift a total blast. I may not technically be employed there anymore, but I know I ain’t leaving that place. Thanks to Matt, Rachel, Damon, Stacey, Sean, Devon, Nicole, James, Sharaya, and Derek for your thoughtful goodbyes. Thanks to Katelyn for treating me to my last meal. One two three FLOOR!! SilCity 4 LIFE!!!

To my hometown crew, stay sane during the school year. Gill, thanks for the solemn advice, Bing for helping me to understand the universe, Jay for actually driving to Pitt my last night, Gabrielle for that rad John Lennon photo, Brodie if your still alive you’re pretty cool, Greg for opening my eyes to the possibilities afforded by moral ambiguity, Erin thank you for your sporadic telephone calls, they shall be returned in kind.

Why do I feel like I’m writing a grad write-up? Oh yeah… shit, I just graduated. Anyways, I’m gonna try to post on here as much as possible while I’m away, so it’s like I won’t even be gone. To the people that didn’t take time to say goodbye to me… get bent you selfish assholes.

Advertisements

“The End”

This time last year, I had just finished recording a cheap home-made album with a couple of guys named Brad and Pat. Though we may have had creative differences, crappy recording equipment, and zero-producing experience, I must say we produced a pretty nice piece of art. The background noises, offbeat strumming, and cheesy sound-effects are what give the album its charm. I still listen to it all the time, and I can honestly say that I genuinely think it is good music (for the most part). But if you ever listen to it, you gotta keep in mind that most of it was recorded between classes and work, over pizza and beer, and at unusual times of the day, and with no solid direction whatsoever. All things considered, “The End” is a bizarre yet admirable achievement. An experiment in randomness. The kind of thing most so-called ‘artists’ don’t understand because they are so damned afraid of breaking free of the rules. Good art, after all, usually sucks at the time, and is appreciated later on. That’s how I think of “The End.” You might think I’m ratioinalizing the production of a crappy album. But that is wrong. All I’m saying is that it won’t sound good if you are expecting to hear the same old shit you’re used to.

A Pacified Life, Disguised as a Teenage Dreamland

Youth. One of its charms is that it makes you feel like you will never grow old – that you will never have to face the realities of the world. It’s so easy to cruise through your youth with a carefree spirit and a disdain for responsibility… but there will come a time when your pretty girl-friend will leave you for a guy with money, your friends will migrate away from your home-town one-by-one, and you will be left hosting the bunk-ass party that has become of your life, drinking alone because nobody cared to show up.

There is a great deal to this world… a great deal more than meets the eye… a great deal more than can be crudely pinched through the hypnotic trance of the television screen… a great deal more than can be explored in a two-hour series of moving pictures. After all, they only create the ILLUSION of persistent-vision; meanwhile your true senses of sight and sound have become blurred – accustomed to the ever-familiar sound of late-night infomercials, and the hollow gloom that is created in a room lit exclusively by a cathode-ray tube.

You will never know new ideas, and will thus not learn how to make new ideas. You will be sucked into cyclical replication, equating the trivialities of the pop-cultural dream-machine with the utterly contrived narrative you vainly try to use to rationalize your wasted time. Denial will run deeper and deeper until it permeates your core, and then you will become a lie – as programmable as the TV – emptier than the bottle dangling loosely from your tired fingers.

There is an entire world that (believe it or not) has no airtime, no record-contracts, no blockbuster screenplays, and no promotional campaign. It is the world waiting just outside your fear. So put on your goddam shoes and seriously consider why society needs you… and if you can’t think of a reason why, then I suggest changing something.

Wait… There’s a LIBERAL Media Bias Too?

It’s so easy to point fingers at the right-wing of the political spectrum and say “You guys are skewing your new reporting – shame on you!” Well, let it be known that there is indeed an overarching liberal media bias that is so immersive that few people are capable of detecting it. The following is a video forwarded to me by my political arch-nemesis Jeremy. It shows a CBC report “covering” a Harper press conference, it is then succeeded by a CTV segment showing the entire conference in context. Watch how the CBC, using subtle editorial omissions, and thus paints Harper as having utter apathy for protestors:

Don’t be fooled by the liberal media: they will lie to you and coerce you just as readily as tighly-regulated media would. There are special interests behind every news organization, and their will to skew opinion is not righteous simply by virtue of being left-wing. Reporting like this is puts the CBC to shame, and is a shrewd example of the kind of hinderances facing democracy today.

“The Smartest Guys in the Room”

The magnificent skyscrapers dotting the corporate American cityscape – they seem so untouchable; so permanent. But are they really built on such solid foundations? The following picture shows two men; Jeffrey Skilling, and Kenneth Lay… Chairman and CEO of the now infamous Enron Corporation:

Enron

These guys cooked the books to a crisp. The story of Enron is an incredibly profound reminder of the effects of greed on the men running the corporate machine. It is, after all, these self-serving individuals that have prompted so much public ill-faith towards the corporate sphere – and why not? They knowingly took millions of dollars from investors by outright lying about their financial success of their company – a company that was, in fact, billions of dollars in debt.

Who knows what really happened? Maybe they had too much foresight, and not enough time. Or maybe they got too cocky and thought they were invincible. One thing is clear: leaving such tremendous power in the hands of a couple of insecure balding men is not good for the economy.

I HIGHLY recommend the documentary film about the Enron Bankruptcy entitled “The Smartest Guys in the Room.” It takes a lot of mental energy to sit through the film (and its unending economic jargon), but if you pull through ’til the end, you’ll be rewarded with a fairly rich comprehension of the problems the corporate entity has faced – the problem evidently was the company’s crooked accounting policies… but ultimately, the problem was rooted much deeper – in the personal choices of a few ordinary men.

Matthew Good: An Artist Like No Other in History

That’s the funny thing about the Internet… it has the capability to transcend fame, and bring an artist as close to his fans as he chooses. Im talking, of course, about my long-time hero Matthew Good, local composer/rockstar/blogger. I’ve been following his blog fpr several years now, and I feel like I have come to the know the artist in a way that was impossible 10 years ago.

For example, I remember attending his show at Van-East Cultural Center a few months ago… and it was the best concert I’d ever seen because there was something in him that had changed, and he got that across without saying “I’ve been forced to divorce my wife”… even I could feel through his lyrics and vocal style something was up: “She parties, I pay the bills.”… it made me think a bit.

I could tell from seeing his blog (and thus, seeing her blog), that she was a social climbing, party-loving Prada girl… and I could hear in his lyrics that he resented it. It was an interesting connection to make… but I still wasn’t sure what had happened to his marriage. In recent days, he has modestly exposed a certain pain regarding the divorce, WITHOUT exposing his wife in any negative light. He’s making it clear that he has re-connected with his family, and even altered his relationship with his dogsetc… simply by posting pictures on his FlickR page. It’s a true testament to the power of the Internet to connect people… I don’t even KNOW this guy “Matthew Good,” except for through some interpretive lyrics, chord progressions, MuchMusic interviews, and music videos…. and yet I GENUINELY feel for the guy! And you should see the support his fans gave him in their comments. Incredibly moving stuff.

The distance between art… and the life that insipres art…. is getting smaller. Matt Good is much less a rock star to me now… but much more of a man.

In any case, this man has written some profound thoughts concerning love, life and war. I highly recommend his blog, because his mental stream is more like a raging rapid of brilliant art. The Internet is just making his art more immediately translatable to me… and that is an incredibly profound development in human communication. I can’t help but wonder if Matt Good would ever visit MY site? He might read this, and feel a closer connection to one of the many random faces in his many loyal crowds.

Matthew Good’s Blog

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” – Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde’s only novel is called “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” I have read it roughly five times, and it is byfar my favorite book.

Oscar Wilde

It is difficult to say what this book is about. I would say it’s about youth, beauty, morality and art. The premise itself is brilliant: an upscale metropolitan man has his portrait painted when he is a “flowering bud of youth” (Oscar Wilde was openly gay)… but at some point in the novel, Dorian wishes that HE could stay young, and the portrait grow old, instead of having to watch his portrait remain untouched by the decay of time. He wishes it aloud, proclaiming that he would “trade his soul” for such an opportunity.

And so the novel goes on, recounting Dorians life of heinous sin and unabashed supremecy… and all the while his youth and his looks never leave him. The portrait on the other hand, gradual decays into a portrait of an aged evil-looking man. Dorian spirals downward into a meaningless life of drug-abuse, sexual deviance and murder, all the while holding on to the attractive glow of an optimistic young aristocrat. An absolutely fascinating read, and an ending that will surprise. I highly recommend to any who enjoy classic novels.

Snappy Decisions

Every time I make an impulsive life decision, it turns out good. There’s something to be said of the charm of an unplanned and unforseen life decision. Afterwards, you have a hard time trying to imagine what your life might have been like had you decided AGAINST it.

In late 2003, I made a snap decision to go to France with my old buddy Greg. We landed, spent a day or two in Lyon, hit the slopes a couple times, worked at a shabby little hotel bar, popped ’round Istanbul, played chess every now and then, and had a few laughs here and there. It was fantastic.

Then I came home. I had three years of school left, and I had to become a slave to the wage in order to sustain myself for that time. I discovered that any job will produce a curious duality every time: Assholes in charge, but a good group of friends to work with. That’s what I have at the theater, and it’s good times all around. But in no way does it resemble or replicate the feeling I had in France. The feeling of being somewhere.