Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Gala Half-Mooniversary Cancelled

I had been planning a gala celebration in observance of the half-mooniversary of this blog - set to go off this coming Saturday July 29th - but unfortunately this has been called off. Due to circumstances not especially foreseen by me, I will be attending Los Angeles on that day, and on several of the days surrounding. I assure you it has nothing whatsoever to do with my screenplay. In fact, I'm not even bringing my screenplay. Those bastards wouldn't know what to do with my screenplay even if I did bring it to them, to show it to them. They'd probably want that crazy guy to do a do-over on it, just because it vaguely rips off his established themes. I mean, "riffs off". I swear, if one more person tells me that my screenplay is a go picture if I can only get Paul Giamatti in the role of Paul, I'm going to shit an ape. I mean a live ape. I keep telling people, no. Paul Giamatti is not what this character is about! A young Paul Giamatti, maybe. Before he was so settled into that expected mode of his (which he does so well and which I certainly am not knocking - I was going to call it his 'Giamattitude' and I deliberately didn't, so as not to sound dismissive). I mean, certainly, we're talking schlub - but we're talking a young, cocky schlub with magnetism to burn. Only he keeps it on the inside. Maybe a schlubbier, shorter young Jeremy Piven with worse posture is what we're after here. Or an American Tom Hollander, but I mean thoroughly American - not some actual Tom Hollander faking an accent. This character is unique to the Eastern seaboard, I need someone of a certain time and place who can convey that.

But like I said, it's not about the screenplay anyway.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Beauty is Eternal, but it doesn't last

The human foot. On most people, a most pedestrian appendage. The humble platform from which our bipedal lifestyle derives its forward impetus. Functional. Homely. Utilitarian. A veiny assemblage of tendons. But once in a great while, the foot can be something...more.

My feet, for instance, are beautiful. I wish I was a sculptor. I could sculpt a marble likeness of my right foot that would make Gerard Depardieu wonder who done it. Just like that marble foot in Camille Claudel that Isabelle Adjani carved: smooth and supple, yet with a hint of godlike strength and restraint. The shapely bulk of the foot, the vein detail just beneath the blemishless surface...the toes like perfect soldiers, lined up for inspection.

I don't recall my feet being so beautiful before. I only really noticed this a week or two ago. In fact I remember years ago, standing in line at the Custard Corner down by the beach, looking down at my bare feet and thinking they were big and ungainly, ugly and veiny. But that was...oh, I must have been 11 years old at that point. I must have grown into them.

Or perhaps the veins have receded. It could be a sign of poor circulation. They may need to amputate! If they do, I hope they give me enough notice. I will want to set it up so that I can have these beautiful feet of mine bronzed.

On the other hand, maybe this is just some phase that my feet are going through. Perhaps in six months time, they will revert to ugly! I should probably have them bronzed right now. Just to be absolutely safe.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Tossed salads and scrambled eggs

Has anybody tried that? I imagine many dedicated Frasier fans must have tried it over the years. Just to add a theme dish to their little Frasier get-togethers and Frasier viewage marathons. I imagine that they might put it all together in a big wooden bowl, in some delicately-balanced, perfectly-herbed way; sun-dried tomato mingling with the large fluffy eggs and the rare esoteric greens, maybe a kiss of vinaigrette.

I'm not really a guy who should be blogging about Frasier. I've seen probably 6 total episodes. Or perhaps I've seen 24 episodes and what I've retained has collapsed into 6. I feel as though there was a time when Frasier came on after something that I regularly watched, and half the time I kept watching Frasier, too. Yet I don't seem to recall the specific sits. I do recall the com. I know the characters, the way they want you to know them, know them as if they were friends of yours. To feel fondly disposed toward them. To cherish their quirks. And I do! They seem like nice people. I wouldn't weep for Niles and Daphne, but then I understand that they married at some point after I was no longer watching. I hope it worked out for them.

I think that the show played an important role in the humanization of the snob, in the eyes of the general populace. The Frasier character, when he was first introduced on Cheers, was just a sort of a genial joke at the expense of the upper-browed. But over the years, and particularly with his own series, people began to understand and even empathize with him. Frasier and his bro Niles took effete pickiness and made it comprehensible to the masses. They gave it a box to live in. They began to be admired for their wit, their refined tastes, and even their self-importance - attributes that would have garnered little admiration in the Everyman 80's. And now look! We've got gourmet this, organic that, imported the other thing - all for the picking at your local supergrocer! The Everyman is now allowed to be a snob. That's a good thing right? I mean, I have refined tastes.

I like garlic-stuffed olives.

Monday, July 24, 2006

10 COOL THINGS TO DO

As many of you know, some of the more sensitive and tender parts of the country are being gripped hard by the hot hand of heat. As the swelter progresses from swelterier to swelteriest, we here at Consider Your Ass Kicked! bring you 10 COOL THINGS TO DO:

1. Subscribe to the Journal of Pediatric Psychiatry.
2. Discover a band that only you know about. Tell everyone you know how great this band is.
3. As a hostage in a bank robbery, defuse the situation by appealing to the common human decency of the bank robbers' leader.
4. Take some time to reorganize your wardrobe, with an eye toward refining your distinctive 'look.'
5. Write outraged letters to the editor of the Journal of Pediatric Psychiatry, threatening to cancel your subscription.
6. Think seriously about purchasing one of those hybrid automobiles. While you're at it, investigate whether those rumors of possible post-accident electrocution hazard hold any water, and get back to me on that one.
7. Give someone a cake in honor of an occasion not normally commemorated via cake.
8. Start a blog and don't tell anyone about it.
9. Find out where the action is going to be, and mill about in the background.
10. Cancel your subscription to the Journal of Pediatric Psychiatry.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Special Guest Shot: MC Funkee Duncan Pt 1

Funkee Duncan: Yes, yes it's a pleasure joining you here today my man, dogimo as you're calling yourself for some reason - what's up with that?

dogimo: The other one was taken.

Funkee Duncan: Ah, yes.

dogimo: So, what have you got for us today, MC Funkee Duncan?

Funkee Duncan: Well I'd like to talk a little bit about my work, what I've been doing...some of you may not know but the dogimo dog here used to be something of an MC in his own right, isn't that right dog?

dogimo: Yeah well, we don't talk about that here...I'm not ashamed of it.

Funkee Duncan: Rightfully so, you're not! Used to be a very good lyricist, if not a little too esoteric at times. Whatever, we've all got to voice our own concerns, can't all be talking about...

dogimo: ...party, dancing...

Funkee Duncan: ...partyin', raising the roof, act-a-fool type stuff. Sometimes you have to be conscious as well.

dogimo: Thank you.

Funkee Duncan: Thank you myself, I'm a definite party boy in my own right, but lately I've been taking it up to a more profound level in what I do. I've been going to these, acca pella rap contests where they...

dogimo: ...poetry slams, they call it a...

Funkee Duncan: ...well, shit, it's poetry! Hell yes it is. Nobody can tell me what I do is not poetry. But I've been going to these, it's more of an underground thing and a more intellectual thing going on, I'm finding it to be a real outlet.

dogimo: How so, Funkee Dunc?

Funkee Duncan: ( laughs ) You got to have that "interviewer voice" don't you?

Both: ( laughing )

Funkee Duncan: Well, as you say, these people are real poets, they have real skills that I can appreciate. But I think that someone like me, they haven't had a chance to appreciate the intensity, the rawness that I can bring to the party.

dogimo: So how's that working out for you?

Funkee Duncan: Oh, I'm undefeated so far.

dogimo: Nice!

Funkee Duncan: Like I said, I don't think these people really have the background for that more intense level yet. They're very intense with their core experiences and digging into their feelings, but their whole style to the way they even battle, it's so elliptical. They don't really seem to know how to directly reference their opponent, or respond to a taunt properly. This one b____, I went on for two verses about how stupid her hat looked, she left crying! But I think I'm having a more positive influence, to where I can really help people work on those deficiencies if they keep coming back.

dogimo: You're putting on a clinic.

Funkee Duncan: Precisely.

dogimo: You didn't actually call her a b____, did you?

Funkee Duncan: Oh, no, well...you need to be able to judge a room, to be able to judge the crowd, see what the mood is. These coffee houses...it wasn't that kind of party, it's a little more refined than to be calling anybody a b____. Let alone a woman!

dogimo: So, how is it for you without a backing track, no music? That's got to throw you off a bit?

Funkee Duncan: Hell no it doesn't! I've got my own internal rhythm, I can bend it flex it any which way and just build the beat myself with my voice. That don't befront me.

dogimo: So you beat box?

Funkee Duncan: Don't be...beat box! That's trifling, I don't mess with that weak bull...uh. Am I supposed to be cursing on here?

dogimo: I don't know.

Funkee Duncan: Well in any case, beat box, that's some trifling nonsense. I don't need to rely on some played-out gimmick like...make no mistake, there's obviously some staunch pioneers of the game who have incredible talent when it comes to beat box...it's not trifling for them because they're good at it. Your Doug E. Fresh, your Jonesy from Police Academy. It's trifling for me though, to resort to that.

dogimo: Well said.

Funkee Duncan: Even some of your young bucks like Matisyahu, he's got amazing talent in that area.

dogimo: I'm surprised you're into that, Matisyahu.

Funkee Duncan: I don't know why you should be. You know I like a sunshiny reggae vibe to chill to, time to time. He brings a lot of flavor to the form.

dogimo: Yeah, he's alright, but I was just surprised you thought so.

Funkee Duncan: Why, because he's Jewish?

dogimo: Well no...heck, I'm not even sure he's all that Jewish!

Funkee Duncan: No, he's all Jewish. He's got the full hair and beard and plain mode of dress of the hard-core Jew.

dogimo: Well that's the problem, I know that's part of his selling point and all, but I'm just going by the words. When you listen to the songs...quite a bit of the science he's dropping doesn't exactly jibe with what you'd call Orthodox Judaism. Like all this...I don't recall the exact words but he talks about, after we die, returning to the light and then coming back and stuff...he's talking metempsychosis here.

Funkee Duncan: Well perhaps he's more of a Buddhist reinterpretation of the Orthodox Jew.

dogimo: That's Unorthodox though.

Funkee Duncan: Anyway he's not Orthodox, he's Hasidic. That's not the same thing I don't think.

dogimo: It isn't?

Funkee Duncan: See now you're just displaying your ignorance here. You need to look it up before you go complaining about a man's religion.

dogimo: Maybe so, point taken. I was out of line on that one.

-END OF PART 1-

The Hegemony of the Young pt.1

When I was a kid, I couldn't wait to be old. I remember standing on the asphalt yard during Recess, working out in my head just how many YEARS it was going to be before I could finally stop going to school. It was going to be almost 11 more years.

I was either just starting 2nd grade at the time, or counting wrong.

Whatever the actual year was, it was already clear to me by then that adulthood was where it's at. Adulthood. Grown-up. You could eat ice cream at any time; nobody could tell you otherwise. You would be able to look anyone right in the eye and tell them just what you think, without them saying "oh, isn't he so cute to say that! What a little man!"

People would say from time to time, oh, treasure these carefree days, outside in the sun, playing with toys, no responsibilities - you're going to look back on it and miss being a kid! They didn't say that in response to anything I said on the topic. No, people just naturally seemed to volunteer that shit.

I wasn't buying it. It was quite clear to me that a grown man who wasn't a complete wuss could still play with toys if that's what he really wanted to do. You call your own shots as an adult. You might take on some additional voluntary responsibilities, sure. That's your shot to call. And you'll probably be gently coerced into sacrificing some of your time towards putting a paycheck together now and then. That's understandable, the world doesn't owe anybody a living. But apart from that, you're on your own say-so! And you can do what you want.

That was always my impression, as a child. I enjoyed my childhood, I had fun with it and with growing up and learning things, but I was so bored at the limitations. I wanted to be a grown-up.

I have to say, I haven't been disappointed. Adulthood is everything I expected it could be. I do from time to time have some regrets. Sometimes I wish I made the time to do more - accomplish more, on a personal level. Paint some canvasses. Write more songs. Not that I haven't written enough songs already, that nobody's using. But the backlog of unwritten songs in my lyric book and tape-recorder is really starting to pile up, to the point where it's oppressing me.

But that's all extracurricular stuff anyway. No one relies on me for that. Some days I'm equally satisfied if I can put together a really virtuoso nap! And because I hold down a job, because I put in the time and effort it takes to do a damn good job, I feel pretty good about paying my social obligations. I feel pretty good about having the rest of my time to myself, and what I do with it.

Adulthood rules.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Trendiness Is This Year's Eternal Verity

All the cool kids are making it up as they go. In the Halls of Hottest Style - known to the less-than-savvy as the American Junior High School - a new feeling is sweeping away the good with the bad, all in the name of "out with the old!" Last year's ergonomic wrist-brace trend is officially over. The classic wool bustier is making a big comeback - as a hat! Athletic shoes outside of gym class? Not on one's life! And hemlines are entirely passé.

But that's not the half of it. Today's hot trendsetters are ripping the braces off their teeth with pliers, starving only the left half of their bodies, and withholding sex in exchange for test answers. You go, kids! It's important to be responsible with your young lives. Remember that whatever you do, the rest of us are looking to you for our cues to what's cool!

It's up to you to set a bitchin' example.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

, he reminisced from past the point of success

That first novel was just an excuse for the rest of my career. You couldn't pay me to write like that again. You can't sell tickets to a personal hell.

My cup was full of blood in those days. People would stop me on the streets for hours. Needless to say, next to nothing I said made a difference. To them, I was a candle passed from hand to hand, to ward off the darkness of light and sanity. In the end, the kindest thing I could do was laugh.

It all seemed so freighted with special purpose.

I remember when she let me know that it wasn't. She told me "I suggest we keep our friendship on the same great basis that enabled us to reach the point where this even came up." Of course, she was right. We didn't have a "relationship" in the usual sense of the word.

But in another sense, every person on Earth has a relationship with every other person - even if it is only a positional relationship.

Personally, I've never found that sort of relationship very satisfying.

Sprite of '76

So here's what I found out. If you put a quarter in the Coke machine in the break area and then hit "change return", it pops out a different quarter! Which means, hypothetically, anybody who was collecting bicentennial quarters for his dad could just wait 'til nobody was around, and keep feeding through quarters until he scored a sweet bi-cen-tenn!

The moral dilemma is that if the machine can't/doesn't route the inbound quarters to the change slot...then you'd just be filling up the collection bin, and emptying out the change-making bin. Meaning that the next poor thirsty soul who comes along with a dollar bill is not going to be able to quench that thirst with an icy beverage. He'll get stuck with the angry "USE CORRECT CHANGE" light. I've felt that pain. I can't deprive that poor thirsty soul of the life-giving sustenance that an ice cold Co'Cola can provide.

I've got to go find me a Pepsi machine.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

HATE PT. 2: Why Hate?

I was heading through the parking lot on the way to my car after work. I passed this green dumpster that's always there. Today, on this dumpster, written in bright silver...I don't know what it was. When I got close, I couldn't tell if it was silver paint or silver tape. If it was tape, it sure did lay flush to the surface of that dumpster like a coat of paint. If it was paint, whatever they used to apply it sure did go on in straight, even lines like pieces of tape. But what it said was:

"WHY HATE?"

Actually, what it said was:

"<--------WHY HATE?" There was a long silver arrow pointing at nothing, to the left of the message. I stood there looking at this, pondering the undeniable truth of those words. And then I saw the deeper truth: just in front of the arrow's point, scratched into the scratched, dinged, dingy, rusted, peeling green surface of this dumpster, was a tiny swastika.

This floored me.

That someone would be so atrocious as to deface this large, inoffensive metal box with the infamous crooked cross of Nazidom seemed hard to believe. But then, that they would do it in such a tiny fashion that no one would ever be able to notice it, seemed ludicrous! But someone had noticed it. And that someone was not going to let this barbarous act pass unremarked.

What was the motive of this second, more heroic vandal? And where did he get that amazing tape paint? There's nowhere one can go to find out these things. And that is what kills us all, in the end.

Monday, July 17, 2006

HATE

Did you ever feel hate? A real, blood-saturating hate that made your breath seethe from between clenched teeth as your eyes goggled, trying to locate the source of that hate?...or a tool with which to extinguish that source. Has your hate ever been so focused, so needle-specific, that you saw that hate seeping into every pore of every cell membrane of that person, that you almost could feel that it was your hate that gave that person shape? Did you ever feel a hate so intense that without wanting to, you heard yourself emit an audible moan, just from the force of that hate hitting home?

Hate starts in the head, but it's carried rapidly through the veins to the heart, where it pushes and stretches its way inside in the most painful way possible and cannot be dislodged except by the most invasive surgical procedures. Have you felt that hate pushing in, felt it ache and throb and accomodate itself to its new home? Can you feel it still? Have you ever felt hate, real hate?

Yeah...me either.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

It's Already Been Thought Of Before

While typing out the previous post, I went through a whole range of emotions the moment it occurred to me to ask myself whether I'd better check first to see if anyone else has ranted about upside-down globes before. Because, one hates to be unoriginal.

But why does one hate to be unoriginal? On the face of it, in this instance, it's first-off a pretty dumb idea. An obvious idea. It would be extremely odd if nobody had thought of it before! But if by some freak no one had, and I was the first, that would hardly qualify me as the colossal genius of our age.

Yet one wants to be first. One wants to be original, even in a dumb idea. In the field of Ideas and in the field of Art, "first" outranks "best."

Well, speaking as an artist with a pretty lofty idea of himself, I think it's time to give this "newer is better than better" attitude a long rest. I love much of the art that Modern Art produced, but the theory that it begat has reduced Art to its current marginalized and laughable position in society.

At the dawn of Modernism, there were so many suffocating restrictions, preconceptions, conventions, and barriers to break down that a certain mentality set in: that breaking down those barriers was in itself the purpose of Art. The importance of creative expression and technical excellence was usurped. In the esteem of critics, patrons, artists themselves, and much of the general public, the only really important aspect became the novelty of theoretical conception on display. Art was only to be considered valuable to the extent that it breaks a boundary, pushes an envelope, blazes a trail.

But if so, what a low, grubby purpose! And how futile an exercise, when any trails blazed are fit to be trod by the trailblazer alone - lest any who follow be judged derivative, unoriginal.

Certainly, where boundaries obstruct the true objective of the artist, break them, break them! Don't let some stiff conventionality keep you from your goal, whatever it may be. Express the soul of humanity, or confound the viewers' hypothetical hypocrisies, or meditate on the nature of consciousness and perception, or explore a specific form to its fullest - lose yourself in a design, in a composition! An artist with no other goal in mind but the breaking of barriers...such a person is not an artist, only an art critic with pretensions.

Art theory has the approximate relationship to Art that Film criticism has to Film. The purpose of Film is not to advance Film criticism. The purpose of Art is not to advance Art theory. But Art that does nothing new for Art theory gives critics rather less to write about, and so they either ignore or censure it. Yet at the same time, they busy themselves running around gabbling such apocalyptic nonsense! "Oh, no boundaries left to break, no new frontiers left to explore! What are we to DO?!"

Well, how about this for an idea: you could go make some ART.

By the way, this whole post? Somebody already thought of it before. Almost certainly.

What's Up With The South? A Global Problem.

I was down in the village, in this cool store that has everything to do with Maps, Globes, Flags, Geographical Knicknacks, etc etc. I purchased an inflatable transparent beach ball globe. But it struck me that they were missing something important: where were the desk globes mounted with South on the top? I've never seen one for sale. I'm sure that many a drunken Aussie has remounted a globe in such a fashion, but in that case all the lettering will be mis-oriented. Why can't they make a proper globe, with the lettering in the right direction only facing top-South instead of top-North?

I'm certainly not the first person to propose this. It's a pretty obvious idea. I'm sure it's been jokingly discussed in certain circles, geography wonks, antipodean pride movements...but it doesn't seem as though the movement has gained sufficient force to really place at least one upside-down globe in every store that sells globes, maps, flags, etc. They ought to shake a leg. They could really clean up, at least, with me!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Great Themes of Our Times

So, I'm trying to think of a theme for my blog, because...it seems like it would help to bring the whole thing into focus.

I think that with the advent, prime, and inevitable decline of postmodernist thought and scholarship - with its dismissive stance toward the very possibility of any valid knowledge, objective truth, or moral absolute - it would be appropriate to use this blog to examine some of the fundamental techniques and assumptions of the postmodernist movement; perhaps even to come to some conclusion as to whether any of what postmodernism had to offer still retains any force or vitality - or indeed, utility - whatsoever.

But more than that, I plan to use this blog to crusade against the run-on sentence.

The third theme of this blog is the nature and purpose of embellishment in a putatively autobiographical medium. To better explore this implied dichotomy, all incidents and persons described in the blog are fictional, excluding the author (except as noted otherwise, or as they do correspond to actual persons and incidents, or where the author fails to correspond to an actual person or incident). Also, any "favorite" movies and music listed in the profile are more "into lately" than "all-time."

As time goes on and these themes become more fully developed, the interplay between them should bear interesting fruit. I invite you, the reader, to journey with me on this path, as I plumb the depths of humanity's soul by making shit up off the top of my head.

---

AW MAN!

I thought there were more templates to see.

EDIT: That's better!

All I can say is, boy was that a breeze. Who knew, who knew how easy it could be.

I'm going to try to go with a maw frequent posting schedule, even if it means skimpier posts. At a minimum my goal would be at least 4 Thoughts of The Day on a weekly basis. Today's thought of the day is a stellar example of the likely quality to be expected:

"Men and women have different ideas as to what constitutes an inappropriate generalization."