Never has one man done so much for so cheap.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Dudes In My House Cold Gott to Scrub their Cookware.

Listen unto mine words with Reason and Understanding:

If Cookware such as Pots and the occasional Pan are not scrubbed with Fierce Regularity, there shall be a great Odor in the land and such as Rats and Vermin will be attracted to the premises.

The thing of Rats is that they will nibble at your eyes. Rats will cold nibble the flesh around the sides of your eyes in such a fashion that you will stare at the world as though through the jagged edges of a jigsaw puzzle.

I do not want your Visions to be thusly corrupted.

Time, brusquely, has arrived to Cleanse your Evil Ways from out the kitchen before such plagues are visited upon us all.

With courtesy,
The Management.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Giving God the benefit of the doubt.

If you've only just met me within the last four years, the notion that my mind still securely houses a fairly concrete Lutheran notion of theology might come as a shock. Especially since I devote a lot of time towards legalizing gay marriage and a variety of illegal drugs.

Yes, boys and girls, I'm a "Christ follower." A girl named Lara once threatened me with a table knife at Baker's Square over the revelation of this information. Of course, she still owes me $200 and is generally an unhappy human being so we'll let her mad little opinions slide.

Now let's clarify a few things. I've taken great strides and great comforts in distancing myself from the bulk of modern-day Christianity, most of whome come off as shrill, vengeful little suburbanites yearning to drench themselves in the blood of the queer as they round up all the homosexuals for extermination, paranoid mothers of "darling little lambs" all too eager to sign over the last vestiges of liberty to a vicious theocratic government that promises to "protect" her from all their manufactured threats, or otherwise sensible men and women who believe God directly told them to switch off their minds and circle the wagons because the Apocalypse is "right around the corner."

That may be the Christian religion at large but it sure as Hell ain't my belief.

My faith is lightweight and portable. My faith is efficient and practical. My faith addresses the core of the human problem and gives me hope through the very nature of its simplicity.

Ephesians 2:8-9; "For it is by Grace you have been saved, through Faith, and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not by works, lest any man should boast."

OK. There you have it. God's taken care of everything. All we have to do is say the right name at the door. Furthermore, it addresses the issue of pride, probably the biggest threat to faith today, that people think their own actions "earn" them a higher reward. Not the case. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We are all fuckups. We couldn't save our souls if we wanted to. I'll offer up an exhortation to those who claim to profess my same faith; start living like you're lucky. Consider everlasting death a bullet dodged.

Besides, even if the Apocalypse is right around the corner, it's going to be one hell of a show. Grab the popcorn, I say. Bring it!

It's taken me a long time to come here. I wound up in a Lutheran high school my sophomore year, way the hell back in 1995, mostly because I was too much of a pansy for public school and was getting my ass beat on a regular basis. This was a mistake. I should've toughed it out. It would have perhaps driven a splinter of discipline into my otherwise lackadaisical heart.

Lakeside Lutheran HS lead to another mistake; Wisconsin Lutheran College. Imagine, if you will, a tightly cloistered clump of red-brick buildings on the western edge of Milwaukee proper, tasked with making sure all that prime teenage Lutheran feeder stock winds up a pack of glassy-eyed xenophobes, coddled and sheltered and taught first and foremost that the world at large is out to get them.

I got accepted to UW/Madison and I went to WLC. That's probably the biggest mistake of my adult life. The last five or six years I've spent trying to compensate for that; I'm a film student at UW/Milwaukee finishing my second undergrad degree. Granted, a UW/M BA in Film is going to be just about as useful as a WLC BA in English from an automatic career perspective. But at least I've actually been able to observe "the world at large."

Politically, I've struck out on my own. I believe people need to be free to do whatever they want to do as long as they're not injuring others. Life, liberty, and property in the Jeffersonian ideal. That's my bag, man. That makes me by default a Libertarian although the stench of 40-year-old dudes gathering in their moms' basements to wank off over a picture of Ayn Rand is a bit of a turnoff.

The Republicans still talk a good line about keeping their mitts out of our financial business, which makes it a real shame that (at least on the national level) it's all lies. The recent Democrat sweep of Congress wasn't so much the Dems winning as the GOP losing.

I think it was P. J. O'Rourke who put it best; "Politicians, like diapers, need changing often. And for the same reason."

So, these days, generally speaking, I vote against the incumbent. Even if they're all crooks, this way none of them are in there long enough to do lasting damage.

On the gay marriage thing. That boggles a lot of people I know. My own mother was all "But they're burning in HELL!" Alright, so, what about the millions of atheists, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, Hindis, SubGeniuses and various other non-Christian believers who get married every year? Technically all of that's as much a violation of the Christian sanctity of marriage as a couple of hypothetical dudes named Adam & Steve.

That gay marriage is a "threat" to the institution of marriage is another one of them lies our Government has told us in the interest of controlling us. Truth is, Christians get married twice in this country, once on the altar before God, their families, and all the world, and then, once more, out in the hallway when they sign a little piece of paper for the sake of the Government. That little piece of paper is the only one that matters to the Government and the only one that the gay marriage movement has a legitimate right to pursue, and I say give it to them.

It's just a dang old contract regardin' burial rights, inheritance, and income tax discounts.

And if you, as a Christian, are opposed to gay marriage because then they'll be getting a tax break, Shut the Fuck Up, Please.

The income tax wasn't even constitutional but this ain't the place for that diatribe. Point of fact, taxation is more or less theft and it's in everyone's best interest to avoid as much of it as possible.

Here's what I'm saying. Government is 100% a tool of force. It is raw coercion, and our country was quite brilliantly set up to protect the average citizen from the abuse of that power. Power being what it is, though, more or less a magnetic fluid that feeds on its own density, a lot of it's crept back in to the institutions. If you value freedom, if you value your God-given inalieable rights, don't go around barking for the Government to meddle with the rights of people who aren't violating yours.

Same goes for drugs. Hell, I like chaos. Same goes for prostitution and parking tickets.

The Crusaders tried using violence and oppression to spread the message of God. Yeah, that worked out REAL good, didn't it? Real fine role models.

Horse puckey. Religion has one true method: non-coercive persuasion. You want to change hearts and minds, the worst thing you can say is that they have to do it your way or else. Coercion breeds contempt.

This post is more or less a direct response to the few contacts from WLC I've reconnected with, primarily Hannah Schmiege, who sad to say has really taken up the whole flaming-sword-of-truth-and-righteousness trip. I mean, hey, it's like the song, whatever it is, do it, do it, do it 'til you're satisfied, but I've seen that trip. I've even been on that trip for a short distance. That trip cold gets old. Ain't appropriate for polite company no more.

So, Hannah, publicly I ask thee to Chill, woman! Your electronic Jesus machine could peel paint! We'll all be kickin' it in the sky with Pappy, Junior, & the Spook in enough years anyway.

Be decent, y'all.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Things I do, slightly revised

About that last post; that's more or less 100% esoteric bullshit I pulled out of thin air for my friend Margaret Manning's junior project. Essentially, she wanted a travelogue written by space aliens for space aliens on the subject of visiting Earth.

The discussion rapidly diverged into this, a rambling polemic about a theoretical plane of existence made out of pure emotion designed to support the idea that human beings are essentially sponges for negative emotional energy. It is what it is, I cannot apologize.

In other news, I blew off my classes again today and at 2:00 in the afternoon, am sitting at my computer in my bathrobe, showered but unshaven, generally unkempt.

The following are significant things I need to do in the very real short term:

2 projects for my AfterEffects class
1 fairly large paper on Rear Window for Film 114
1 multichannel video installation for the video art class I'm taking
2 or 3 finished 10-15 minute segments of "Catch This Fox", or else fail my senior project grade, incomplete since last semester.

CTF is more or less in the can, and now it's just a nightmare of editing. Fox is down in Indiana seeing his family in a time of grief, and presently I'm feeling more or less like dung for the pressures I've put on him to give me access to that. I wanted to be there, to express through Fox and his personal tragedy something real, something universal and yet intimate enough to connect on a one-to-one basis. It'd make a great balancing counterpoint to all the outrageous cartoony "Miles Fox Is Your Leader" stuff we've got. I don't want to make a cartoon of him, even if the cartoon he's made of himself is the only part he's keen to publicize. Let's face it, I haven't mastered the art of making a camera sympathetic. I don't know how people do that. I want to be able to do that, to be able to build that level of trust, but sometimes the same cheap, exploitative manner in which I deal with myself winds up coloring the way I deal with other people. My God, I am an asshole with a camera, and that's dangerous.

In case you haven't heard, I'm on both sides of a documentary camera these days.

Seeing a thing changes a thing. Tomorrow night I'm once again hosting the intrepid one-man film crew that's been making a movie about me for the last year and a half. Now, me, I harbor no secrets. Regardless of what my family and friends think about me I've gladly and willingly corralled them in front of the camera in the hopes that they'll say something interesting about me. Good, bad, I don't care. In fact, I'm almost keener to see the bad stuff. It must be something pathological in me but in my more fanciful daydreams I imagine what it would be like if everyone were omniscient.

What is it to truly know the mind of another human being? I picked Fox as my first legitimate experiment in that field and it's been a longer, stranger process than I ever imagined. Especially since at first glance he presents himself as a fairly simple-to-understand type of person.

The truth is always infinitely more complex.

I've done casual research over the years on Asperger's syndrome, a form of high-functioning autism the result of which is essentially not being able to percieve a consciousness apart from your own. People with Asperger's are routinely highly intelligent yet socially handicapped. I have that in common with them. Still, it's an easy label, which is maybe a bit disingenious.

I am at a point where I'm even starting to doubt what I know about my own mind.

I want an easy label now. I want an excuse for deliberately and self-destructively avoiding anything that smacks of work. There has to be some sort of psychological term that makes debilitating laziness socially acceptable.

Clinical depression?

I know it's a catch-all but maybe they're right. I can't afford antidepressants, however. Since I haven't even paid so much as a dime for tuition this semester I can't even see the free campus doctors about the water that's been in my ear for the last week and a half, all affecting my balance and auditory capabilities and such, let alone see the free psychologists they've got. A free psychologist, for the record, is the only way I'll go to see one since I still have deep-seated guilt over the money my parents spent on expensive ones for me when I was younger.

If I do wind up getting back in to see their free psychologists, I'm going to ask for a different one. Dr. T's a nice enough fellow but it's hard to talk about body image issues with a 300+ lb. man who hates life more than you do.

And I'm saying this fully aware of my increasing disdain for the field. After all, we're talking about an institutionalized industry devoted to inventing excuses. Excuses for not functioning properly. Excuses for not getting things done. Excuses for freaking out and not using your brain to its fullest potential.

One of the most tragic yet beautiful things about being human is that we can concieve of things that are better than reality. We can concieve, theoretically, of perfection. Perfection is not an option available to us. Not in this lifetime.

The nice thing about computer games is that if you screw up, you can just load a previously saved game and start over. I'm 26 years old and I'm running out of real-world do-overs, and the fear of that is starting to consume what little sanity I have left.

I have human wants. I want financial security. I want a certain measure of fame. I want these things on my own terms for my own sake, which is probably immoral or something. Beyond all of this, and I've realized this only recently, I want love. Real, actual, reciprocated love of the type between a man and a woman. That's not something I've experienced.

But we're going to stop right there because that is hell of lame to put in a blog. That is borderline emo or something, and emo kids get punched in the face by life. Life sneaks up and punches them in the face. And they're all about that.

Not me, boy-o. Not this one.