Oh Japan, how I love you
Sorry for the long blogging break. At first I justified it by my trip, then when I got back it became about collecting my ideas to finally flesh out the dozen entry stems I have waiting in the wordpress lineup. After long enough I just turned against blogging in general. The self importance that fuels its updates. The cringing, whirling feeling of self-loathing that envelops me every time I press that deceptively tranquil blue “publish” button. If only the word itself sounded a little more dignified, and less like a verb for hocking up phlegm. It definitely stacks up negatively by the facial feedback test – as you say it -“blahhhging” your face is drawn into a grimace, which in its subtle way physically reinforces any sentiment you had to begin with (I actually don’t know of any research to back up the correlation between the emotional charge of a word and the parallel expression formed in pronouncing it, but it’s long been my suspicion that it’s no coincidence that “happy” draws your lips up, imitating a smile, and “sad” does the opposite.)
However what drew me back, and draws me in in the first place, is that removed from all its douchey associations, at its core, blogging is really just self publishing. By using an interactive forum where I can be held accountable if I suck or fall behind, I have motivation to improve my writing, and ultimately, clarify my own thought. But I can’t pretend that blogging still doesn’t make me feel like an asshole. There’s comfort, even vanity, in keeping thought limited to its private, transient swish within our own mental spheres. Yet it can also be deluding, and I’ll often find that my intellectual self esteem fails to hold up when it comes to real interpersonal life. Blogging strikes me as a chance to start to bridge that communication gap.
I’m in Chelsea, England. It’s a famous, lovely, and pretty globalized little town that has seen some shit go down in its days (at various times it was home to Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, and the Rolling Stones, in addition to being the birthing ground of King’s Road hippies and British Invasion punks)
We’re staying in a house with my dad, sister, and stepfamily. Hotel prices were so expensive and rental prices were so cheap we decided to go with the latter option. It’s a little creepy because the family has pictures of themselves everywhere, so it feels like we’re squatting. My theory is they are kept them all up so we would see them more as real people, thereby easing our klepto urges (if you ever want to make sure your stuff doesn’t get stolen, put a picture of a baby somewhere – I read about some study that showed people are much more likely to return wallets with pictures of babies inside, as opposed to pictures of puppies or yourself)
I have very little idea what time it is. The morning sometime. There seems to be no way of finding out – none of the automatic clocks are set in the house, and this laptop is on Atlanta time. True I could just look up what the time difference is. True I could search out a traditional clock (I actually think I hear one ticking in the background). But all of these options require effort – besides, I’m kind of enjoying letting the morning play out just by its light and not by its time label.
In my psychology e-book there was a section on how lights have caused people to live by an unnatural 25-hour day schedule. When they barrage animals with the kind of light schedule we have, they adopt this schedule too, and become more groggy, confused, and lethargic as a result. I can honestly only remember a handful of times in my life when I’ve woken up totally refreshed and energized, but I bet back in the day that was the norm. It never seems right that we live lifestyles where at least a quarter of the class is half-asleep every morning, and where many need a caffeine jumpstart just to function at all. This kind of thing brings out the uni-bomber in me.
So in a week we’re taking a ferry to Belfast, Ireland, where we’ll be checking out my stepmom’s house, among other things. My entries will probably be sporadic as usual, but I’ll try to get down the trip highlights!
People don’t think enough about monkeys. I’d like to change that.
Mr. T monkey
Owl Wannabe monkey
Benjamin Button monkey with freakishly human-like hands
wind blown monkey
(bonobos are more closely related to humans than to gorillas)
And of course: THE WONDROUS ORANGUTAN
Count Bass D
Nashville raised rapper Dwight Spitz’s super cool and jazzy (if the name didn’t tip you off) tunes. Having worked with guys like MF Doom (hear him on the MM…Food song Potholderz) I don’t know why he’s not better known, but I’ll gladly take the early discovery credit while I can.
Orgasmic instrumental grooves. Clutchy Hopkins has this whole shroud of enigma around him, which works well because the music is so ethereal that having anything solid and human to connect it to might threaten to ruin the magic. Like Boards of Canada, who almost never tour, and who didn’t even reveal that they were brothers until about 10 years into their famed career in ambient electronica.
By the way I’m stealing these links. That’s probably not ok, but while my readership is still in the finger counting arena, I’m willing to risk it. So enjoy.
anthropomorphism + unnecessarily bright and/or unnatural colors + randomly dispersed meticulous detail + creatures oozing things that they should not be oozing= the ultimate formula for ensuring a hipster’s artistic delight.
Here’s some stuff I like that comes pretty damn close to that ideal. Click on the pictures for links to the artist’s sites
This British guy’s art is actually based on a comic book, which you’ll see if you click on the site. He also sells sweet shirts and posters which I one day hope to buy.
The model for my above formula
I’ve got a few big entries in the works, but until they’re done, here’s some music by a beautiful Argentinean singer, Juana Molina. Her music is like a big warm South American hug. Her looped, acoustic, one woman masterpieces are pretty much all I listen to these days.
Anyone who hears a loud elevator and feels the urge to sing has my instant affections! I once had a similar reaction to the harmonic whir of refrigerators in an airport Sbarros, but there were too many people around for me to act on it. Damn inhibitions.
Another good profile, and how I first heard about her, is on this Radiolab episode. Radiolab is a radio show that deserves it’s own entry on a future date, but for now here’s the link. Worthwhile to check out if only for Jad’s remix of Un Dia at the end.
Some of her albums:
Son (my favorite)
Hey, I’m in Atlanta and haven’t had much time to write, but the rapid decline of my view counts following my facebook status announcement makes me feel bad that I’m doing nothing to encourage the few stragglers still bothering to stop by. The visit stats are pretty interesting – post status publicity brought me from 0 to 52…which then went down to 12 the next day…then 2, where it has since been disconcertingly hovering. I’m attributing the drop to short attention spans rather than the shittiness of my writing. I know I always stalk the blogs of my acquaintances with utmost focus and persistence. I’m always part of that 1 or 2 member readership. So don’t feel self conscious if you’re reading this.
As for the Calvin and Hobbes, my former study hall bffs were always going on about it. Though I had previously taken that conversation topic as a signal that it was time to contort my neck uncomfortably and take a pseudo-nap on my forearms, I looked it up the other day, and it’s pretty awesome.
Apparently yeast has sex? Apparently yeast is living? Am I the only one who previously only thought of yeast in two terms:
1. infection. ew.
2. that ingredient that Moses decided to make bread without, creating the miracle of matzah
But other than that, this picture of yeast getting it on has my vote for best cartoon erotica of all time. Yeah, even better than you creepy sailor moon anime porn. A yeast porno better be in the works.
The article of course is fascinating too, but I don’t currently have the energy to tackle the kinds of issues it raises. Like the ambiguity sexual reproduction in certain species (like yeast) and how it challenges the definition of sexual reproduction in the first place. And why do beings have sex at all when it makes more survivalist sense just to asexually clone, like hydras and sponges and that one kimodo dragon (seriously, look it up).