it ain't easy being Green(ie)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

perhaps maybe who knows

i'm just drunk enugh to start this again. may be this will last but i know i need an outlet for my thoughts and a forum to talk to as many people as i can (which perhaps this is not but that remains to be seen??) it's been a while and a lot of things have happend to me.

i'm in a difrent time zone Pasific standard time to be spicific.

i have two jobs
one rules but doesn't pay
one sucks but pays

i live with three of the best people i know.
one of whom shouldn't drink beer anymore(leson learned at Edinburgh castle trivia night)

and i need to try and finish something so that i can start on my path to some kind of life or who knows?

i'm thousands of miles from almost evrone i know and it's not so bad
not to say i don't miss all of you

i just think i could actualy make something of my self here
trying trying

always trying

thank you for listining.

i might change the name of this blog to reflect my new environment
or i might keep it the same to reflect my stead fast roots

but that dosen't really matter
what does is that i'm going to try

and really thats all that every matters

if we all tried things would always get better


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Aspiring Dead Rock Stars

How to Succeed on Bedford When You Still Have a Pulse

So, I live in Brooklyn, now a while ago this would mean one kind of stereotype (perhaps the same one tragically employed by the domino's "Brooklyn style pizza" commercial (a kind of Italian-American/mafia/caustic cabbie world of incomprehensible thick accents and violence). But these days Brooklyn congers up new and different images. Hipsters, modern day dandies in "designer vintage" and American Apparel.
Now, admittedly i don't live in Williamsburg, the mecca of hipster nirvana (mixing religious metaphors, meh). I live in Park Slope, which has its own specific images, which I can discuss at an other time, but still I see the hipsters here, and really they're spreading to all parts of the city and even the globe. but as for the hipster image, I have noted a trend that I think goes to the very heart of the style. It strikes me that all of these people from the trust-funders to the the truly broke are all, at the very core of their persona aspiring to be dead rock stars. And by this i mean that so much of the ideology of hipster-dom is intense identification with the musician as martyr. A natural reaction to the idea that for a musician to truly be great he must expire at the exact peak of his creative prowess, and that one must be consumed by your work, in a profoundly literal sense.
Now, I'm not saying that everyone who walks the blocks of Bedford Ave. is profoundly suicidal or self-destructively reckless (though an argument could be made for the later). I think the problem is a much more subconscious one. There isn't an active seeking out the tools of a literal self-immolation but there is a lot of emotional pathology that push the hipster towards decisions that promote a metaphysically consuming life. They set up the emotional dominoes without realizing what they are aiming at. For some the target is honest (though, at times, motivationally tainted) suicide, though for most it is the self destruction of excess, whether drugs/alcohol/ or lust. To be honest though I don't believe that many reach their marks and it is far too early to tell what the entire cultural significance of this movement will be. But for the musicians of Williamsburg there is a clear, if only semi-conscious obsession with death.
Though it is not just the musicians who fall prey to the archetype of artistic martyr. The idea works on many levels of the creative society of Williamsburg. there are legions of aspiring writers who pulverize themselves with liquor, desperate emulations of Bukowski and Fitzgerald, as if it were a novel (pun intended) idea. And the artists, painters, sculptors and photographers who all appear to be scheduling their gallery openings for the day after their funerals. Not to mention dozens of other scensters, promoters, and hangers-on who wait for death like evangelicals wait for the rapture, but who don't much consider what merits they should become famous for.
Not to say this is a bad thing. So much of New York's greatest cultural moments in the arts came when the specter of death was so close it could be tasted. But these specters, the crime and violence of the 70's, war of the 60's, and the AIDS crisis of the 80's were real, and very truthfully dangerous. The specter that haunts New York today is a phantom created out of the collective breath of entire enclaves of hipsters and wannabes that have so much faith in their martyr complex they are willing to invent their own death.
Ss the hipsters learn to come to terms with their future and start to turn into their own version of yuppies, (and move down here to Park Slope to raise kids and dogs) they may finally see their specter for what it is. A fear that having a pulse mean more then having talent.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

In Praise of Self-Absorption

Ok, so, recently I have heard and read reviews of many of the things that I enjoy, from books to music, as well as television. Most of them contain the phrase "Self-Absorbed" in some form or another. In all of these reviews this term has been used with the utmost contempt, the reviews themselves are often (if not all of them) positive, but in a certain cynical voice. They level the sort of "it is too smart" or "the critic's will love it" argument that plagues so much of entertainment. Now I will admit to the fact that I both consider myself at least partially "Self-Absorbed" and smarter then the average person, but more importantly then these facts is my opinion that the world is not improved by entertainment (be it film, music, book, or television show) that does not in some way challenge or expand the intelligence of it's audience. I'm not saying that we should abolish all forms of entertainment that aren't composed of SAT words and complex plots with twisting moral arguments and dynamic or innovative relationships. But I do believe that we should not automatically dismiss, or possibly worse, indulge them only as high minded critical darlings. Passing these things off as only meant for a snobbish elite does work to satisfy those of us who wish to be included in that category but does a lot more to the people who accuse us of being self involved and uncaring of the problems of others. And instead of "dumbing down" these programs we should instead encourage more people to give them a chance, instead of dismissing them or indulging them we should ask that they should be given a chance not only from the audience they are target to but also from those who could enjoy it if they put in a little effort.
but to get back to my original point. I think that the things that cause these kinds of entertainment, and here I will give some examples, "studio 60 on the sunset strip", the works of Dave Eggers, the music of Bright Eyes, and various other literary darlings, indi films, and emo front men, to be called "self absorbed" is the same thing that makes them good. These artist are so self examining and introverted that their expressions are made in the forms of them selves. They become the protagonist of their own creations, which while it does fit the definition of "self-absorbed" doesn not warrant such a negative connotation. Yes these characters are often pleading to be loved or indulged, but how many of us don't want those things. What is important is that these artist take what are common desires and explore them, dissect them, and extrapolate them to try and discover more about them and how to resolve them and what they mean about us as people. And I will definitely grant that this is a difficult thing to do without actually being self-absorbed but most of those things fall short on so many levels that the monacer of "self-absorbed" is pushed out of the review by words like: flat, blundering, or terrible. I will also admit that some of the things that I have mentioned above do fall short on some levels, sometimes Aaron Sorkin can be a bit pandering, and sometimes Bright Eyes can be a little to hopeless, and there are a boatload of flaws in Emo (which I contest have little to do with self-absorption and more to do with issues of sexuality and male posturing) but these flaws have nothing to do with the inherent "self-involvedness" of the work, they stem from the standard human flaws.
but perhaps I'm just to self-absorbed to think otherwise

Monday, November 27, 2006

Why This Man Could Build You a Deck

(now this is not the actual gentleman who inspired this debate he is a workable substitute)

while out with my great friend Amy (whilst she was still in this country.) we happened on a gentleman who looked much like this one. now the important fact, and one that my argument will hinge on is that we saw this person in line to see a rather sentimental kind of Emo band. this i think makes a big difference.
anyway lets get to the argument. i mentioned how this gentleman was quite attractive, and her response was one of agreement but she put forth the idea that he would be unable to build her a deck and was therefore not a suitable candidate for a relationship. now i completely understand her desire to not be involved with someone on the basis of deck building prowess, but i suggested that there was a chance that this fellow could in fact build her the structure that she desired. her hypothesis was based on the fact that he was a very well groomed person and that he was stylishly attired. now i certainly agreed with these two facts as i was initially the one who made the comment about him being attractive, but i proposed that these facts not automatically lead to her hypothesis. i first tried to defend the idea that his appearance made no promises, neither for nor against, his abilities as far as deck construction was concerned. for the remainder of our initial debate i took this position, a kind of human "you can't judge a book by it's cover" maxim. this line of discussion raged on as we waited for the doors of the venue to open and through a brief and somewhat awkward bit of flirting with an attractive young man in the line behind us. unfortunately by the time we had entered the performance space neither of us had budged on our ideas and when the opening band started to play we found ourselves united in the topic of how terrible their performance and lyrics were. by the end of the show our initial unresolved debate was forgotten and we moved on to the more exciting events planed for the evening.
but now i have a second line of argument that while i do not believe it will win the argument as Amy is vary head strong (and i believe enjoys debating against me regardless of her own personal beliefs). this new tactic centers on the important fact of where this encounter had taken place. as i said before we witnessed this person whilst waiting in line for a concert of a specifically aestheticed band, and i believe that this factor must be taken into account when looking at his abilities in reference to decks. i propose that because he was aware of the style of band he was about to enjoy as well as the attire that would be most appropriate for the event of a live musical performance no judgment can be made on his unrelated skills. i argue that he was dressed for this event uniquely and not in a position to display other talents he may have, especially ones that are not as broadly required (nor are easily displayed outwardly), such as deck construction. so, while i do not endeavor to make the argument that he certainly could build the deck that my friend desired, i do make the argument for the possibility of him to have such a skill. i propose that his general well groomed appearance at an event that prises this action makes no deceleration that he does or does not have skills of a more utilitarian nature.
of course i understand how the assumption could be made, and i would be entirely unsurprised if upon testing this gentleman he was in fact unable to construct the required deck. but i feel that just because there are others who both can not fulfill the request of a deck and maintain a similarly dandy-esque appearance does not establish that all who have this style have the same deficiencies.
in the end i wholeheartedly support my friend's demands for someone who is proficient in certain practical arts i believe she must discover a more accurate gauge, or testing criteria, before she can declare a potential suitor lacking in that skill.


Also i almost definitely could not build a deck, but i can bake you a cake.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Things change, and I Had a Plan.

now not so much.
things are spiraling, not really out of control more like out of existence.
tomorrow is my last day at BN and as much as i really (really) am happy about that i felt a lot better about it when i had something lined up after words. today i got the email that i did not in fact get the job that was supposed to conveniently fill in the employment gap left by the BN. now i have to start selling my soul to temp agencies and look again for a job. and I'm just oh so excited to send out 15 resumes and get all of zero responses from any of the people i send them to. i know I'm at least qualified enough to call in for an interview, and at the very least just tell me that you don't want me. sitting and waiting by Gmail every day is starting to cause me physical pain.
Pointlessly successful Subway flirting last night on my way home from voting.
voting results made me feel better. perhaps my country isn't completely screwed. now i just hope we can round up someone decent to run for president in 2 years and really fix this country.
also National Novel Writing Month started last week and so far i have all of 1153 words written (less then two pages) i need to accomplish something soon or my life really will suck.

now that i have no plan i need a job and some kind of motivation.


PS new book review should be up sometime tonight

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Future, The Future, Always the Future!

So there are many things that i have learned in the past few days: i want to go to grad school, i need a new challenge. and I'm not sure if I'm going to move with Caitlin(as much as i want to.). i need to start living on my own and not let my self wait on the actions of others before i make my next steps in life. as much as I'm happy about where i landed on this last bit of life i know i need to have something more closely resembling a plan. and the only thing I've actually wanted to do for the last 23 years of my life is write so i think that i MUST apply to grad school, and figure out how to work out my life from there. of course i could completely change my mind by the time i wake up tomorrow and decide that this is the worst idea I've ever had. that remains to be seen.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Topical Timely and Relevent

So, if you haven’t heard some stuff went down at the Grey's Anatomy set. Now I’m not going to go into the main drama here. Feel free to read it just about anywhere on line that deals in news or celebrity gossip (or those places that think that celebrity gossip is real news) what I want to talk about is the resultant drama of Mr. T.R. Knight and his some what forced exit from the closet.

First I want to say thank you. I wish more people in the public eye would come out and provide role models and give us visibility. And especially as Mr. Knight is not a fashion designer or a techno musician or "Diva" as much as I appreciate those people in the world, (I watched the first season of Queer Eye religiously (but I was also trapped on my college campus without much else to do)) what I really want is for more people who don't fit the stereotype to come out, especially in the world of TV/Movies/Music. I’m tired of people coming out who everyone either assumed or knew was and was bound to some kind of non-disclosure contract, that doesn't have any kind of social impact or broaden the horizons of the definition of a gay man. This is why when Lance Bass came out I was neither impressed nor particularly surprised. First of all just about everyone assumed that at least one of the many, many boy-band members were gay. So Lance's revelation was more like a foregone conclusion. "Oh wow one of the 'golden voiced' and 'clean cut' pop band boys just came out! Alert the presses!! Someone needs to get this boy on the cover of a magazine so that every one can hear his surprising and uplifting story" Bullshit. Other then the fact that no one other then a few very naive and inattentive people were surprised isn’t the only problem with this. He also wasn't the first. There were at least two British boy-band stars that came out before he did. And they were added to the increasingly long list of openly gay British musicians (granted most of them make nearly the same kind of music) proving that we in America have a long way to go before we really can consider ourselves tolerant of homosexuality.

My other problem with Lance's coming out was that it happened nearly 5 years after his groups last album. At this point coming out will not affect his career, he doesn’t have a career anymore. Making this a completely risk less situation (not to mention that he was basically forced out of the closet by his boyfriend and on of the many gay bloggers). He is at a point now where reveling his sexuality will not matter to him, his record label, his fans, or really anyone. Making it doubly pointless, no one was surprised and no one cared. We need more people to come out in the middle of their careers, like Mr. Knight. And perhaps he didn't really want to do it and was some what forced out by the recent controversy over his show but at the very least he owned up to it. And I especially like the way he worded it "While I prefer to keep my personal life private, I hope the fact that I'm gay isn't the most interesting part of me." now he falls back on the "personal life" thing that I don't really like (yes I realize that it is your life and you don't want to go blabbering about your entire sexual history to everyone with a pulse but this question is both simple and important. all you have to say is "yes I prefer dudes" or "I wouldn't be apposed to dating a man" or "no but I appreciate your curiosity" and you could do a lot of good) anyway. Back to what I did like about it, I like that he said that he hoped it wasn't the most interesting thing about him. And that is very important, as for most of the people who are openly gay in American celebrity culture their sexual orientation is the most interesting thing about them. All of the people they parade on TV to show us that they respect us. Most of them are shallow stereotypes playing their sexuality for a laugh (there are however some great gay comedians out there so don’t think that I hate funny gay people). I’m glad to see that some one is being honest about who he is and I hope that it doesn’t effect his career negatively (I highly doubt it as he is on one of TVs most successful shows) and this will prompt more people to actually take a risk with their coming out. We need more variety in the gay celebrity community, we don’t need any more pop artists, hairdressers, fashion designers, or gay vague leading men. We need admittedly gay people who show that there is more to us then just good taste and the ability to accessorize.

PS this would have been more topical timely and relevent if i had finished it when i started it two days ago