Of late, my web host Globat of several years has several times outraged me with forced opt-out automatic upgrades for garbage I don’t want or need, cleverly disguised as regular emails I would normally immediately delete. I never got screwed, but I refuse to continue subscribing to unscrupulous sales and marketing extortion tactics.
As a result, deepsicks and its many tentacles will be moving to a new host, with hope this weekend. I also hope it will be completed this weekend, but I suspect it may take more time than I’d like.
Thus, should you visit in the near future and find a 404 wasteland, never fear: d6 is in deep training, getting tough and terrible.
I’m also moving in the real world, a pleasant face on eviction because my neighborhood has not been gentrified enough. The notice said lady we said white and rich. My kickass apartment will be converted into a loft with a ratcheted rent, a racket, a ripoff. Fernwood, I barely knew ya. Probably just as well, I’m tired as hell of everything being described as “funky.”
For continuity’s sake—I don’t think I’ve said it explicitly here—yeah, I’m still living in Victoria. My four-month internship turned into a yearlong affair. I’ll be back in Van January ’09 to finish my library degree. I’s a bit sore, seeing my friends graduate (I was supposed to be done this May myself) but I’m getting great work experience, punching out debt and oh I suppose, what’s the rush anyway.
I finished a journal last week—another volume in the life of megh, bringing with it a sense of accomplishment “I did it!” did what? and the ominous intimidation of a brand new blank book waiting (though my journaling is sporadic, I already have another one gilded flowery). The last one took me about a year, late July to August. Strange to attach ending and starting over to a life continuous—forcing meaning on the last page, looking forward on the blank of the next, and the most curious impulse to control, to censor myself in the unknown, fear-grudging the judgment of my future selves.
Not having re-signed the lease at my Prospect Park home of two years, I don’t know where I’ll be in September. As of last week, Minneapolis was settled for me, having landed a job in a library at the university. I applied elsewhere—everywhere, countrywide—to no avail. I know how I feel about this.
Last Wednesday morning I decided to drive to my internship to avoid bikemuck on my back riding in the rain. I opened my car door and oops, what’s the ashtray doing in the footwell? Eye wander. Aw hell. Yes. My first car stereo heist. The thief busted the lock on the passenger side door permanently damaging it, cracked the console and rifled hrough my CDs… but didn’t take any, despite their full case and insert resell viability. I should be thankful for that, but really, all I feel is ignominy that the inconsiderate asshole who stole my stereo also thinks my taste in music sucks. What violation. What crude discrimination. I keep reaching for a volume knob that isn’t there, a blind hand pushing through the wire-creeping hole, the technobeating heart torn out of my vehicle, and t’s the least of present worries, really, it is, but constantly announcing itself with its silence.
(Mars Volta’s much me-lauded Frances the Mute was in the player at the time—many thanks to Fake for replacing it for me.)
In other news, a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of tagging along to Lake Tahoe with my friend Colin and various other cats. Colin won airfare and nine nights accommodation at a million dollar condo. Yep. And he invited us all along, because he rules (I visited for only the second half, but it was plenty). We stayed in luxury in Incline Village, Nevada, and did loads of not a damn thing at all, swimming, kayaking, hiking, sunsoaking, saunaing, Reno gambling, grilling and general merrymaking. I’m tanner now than I’ve been in years with freckles I haven’t seen since I was twelve. Viddy the evidence.
Regular visitors have likely noticed a lack of updated news. Hard in coming it is these days, and I suspect it shall be worse with an intensified work schedule and the possibility of no home internets, at least for awhile. I love you, deepsicks. But I want to love other things too.
Coming home from work Wednesday, pulling off downhill parallel parking with ease, some ten-year-olds on cool bikes accost me as I get out of my car. “Do you want to buy a C-Book so we can buy a new teacher?” “A new teacher?!” “Yeah, and we don’t have any gym stuff, either.” “Huh. What’s a C-Book? Can I see one?” One of them digs into his backpack and shows me a sample coupon book for restaurants I don’t eat at and places I don’t shop, entertainment I don’t find entertaining and services I don’t need. “How much?” “Twelve dollars.” I wonder how much of that will go toward the cost of an educator and basketballs. “What school you from?” I know very little about the Minneapolis school system, but one of ‘em says something ending in Montessori. Now… having done a little research, apparently there are public Montessori schools in the Twin Cities, but I didn’t see one that sounded like what he said in Minneapolis or Saint Paul, and I doubted these kids trucked in from the ‘burbs on their bikes. Which makes me think “private school.” Which makes me think WTF are private school kids doing fundraising the second week of class for a new teacher? Argh. Or even public school students, should that be the case.
I know education suffers everywhere, but turning kids into sales reps while making money for third parties is appalling. I wouldn’t even be buying a product—I’d be purchasing the opportunity to feel compelled to buy other products. If I could give them money directly, I would have considered it. But my own memories of shoving glossy magazines of overpriced chocolate in front of people who couldn’t afford it and didn’t want any chocolate haunts. Or how my brother playing football in fourth grade was required to sell $200 worth of similar coupon books (at $20 apiece), this after an activity and equipment fee of at least $40 and I’m sure much more. Or how I was expected to sell $5 West Fargo Packer window stickers for varsity basketball, propagating a class spirit I found hollow and jingoistic (and by not selling the stickers, I was a poor sport, a bad team player and all-around lazy—did I think I was better than everyone else, or what?). So how are kids supposed to raise money for these programs? both the extracurricular and should-be-established? I don’t know. Maybe funding education through taxes in the first place? Oh, but that would be a burden, wouldn’t it.
I told the boys I didn’t have the right change, which was true. I lied and said I didn’t have a checkbook. One of them suggested we go down to the gas station a couple blocks away and I said I didn’t feel like it. Their crushed yet smart enough to be skeptical faces sunk and sneered as they pedaled away. Then I felt guilty, went into my apartment, and immediately fired up my computer. Upon receiving an email from Howard Dean asking me to donate money to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, who is currently the target of a massive Republican smear campaign in ever-the-neighbor South Dakota, I did. And I do this a lot—I donate money over the Internet to progressive politics and friends raising money for neat causes. I don’t have money to throw around, truly I don’t. And I’m not pulling a “check me out in all my righteous fund-giving despite crushing debt” handclap. I just wonder what it means. Just simply that? A wondering what it will mean if everyone who is “poor” like “me” shuts up, sucks it up, and drops $7 here, $25 there? Or if it only means what it is, which is me feeling helpless in the shadow of Big Problems but too shy to volunteer time (which usually involves telephone work or canvassing people for money in person, neither of which I could ever do) so I give of myself what I can. Or what it means to do this impersonally. Over the Internet. To not see the light shine in these kids’ eyes, to feel guilty and had to feel good about myself (it’s guilty-making either way) then throw away the C-Book five minutes later.
msp.evidence has gotten positive feedback, including a link on Peter S. Scholtes’ TC Old-School Hip Hop Page, a fine (and growing) compilation of local hip hop photos, fliers and stories throughout the decades. I feel pretty cool. And speaking of such things, coming up on Riverside from the 19th Avenue bridge, deep in the brutal-brilliant mess of DJ Shadow’s “Blood on the Motorway,” I saw this and my heart screamed (shot from standing in the middle of the busy street—warning: is big. Here’s the close-up only).
I moved to four tens at work. Working seven to five Monday through Thursday ain’t easy—I have between five and six hours to myself after work before going to bed. That’s not much. But the three-day weekends are seductive superfine—a tradeoff I may find well worth the weekday drag. Yep.
Lastly, a show flier outside the Hard Times Cafe. I’ll probably go to hell for liking it… but it’s my dad’s birthday today, too (Happy B-day, Pa!), so it made me smile.
I have grown weary of the politics of not talking about politics. As Election 2004 approaches, we are bombarded with misinfotainment and general media absurdity (both ketchup and mustard?). Being blessed without cable television, I’ve been able to avoid the majority of the least common denominator noise brought to us by filled with blanks. But I can’t help but notice that while it seems to be the topic du jour, it’s also watered down, without substance. Well, duh, you say, but still. Everyone wants to talk about how important it is, but no one wants to discuss what it is that’s important. Too often too many act too carefully to cater to all—to not impose opinion or anything “devisive,” only to contribute to the general clamor.
And I admit, I do it myself—in the last news item, I threw down a link for voter registration but failed to say what I’m really thinking, which is vote for John Kerry or I will be very upset. Though where I stand should be clear, I’ve tried to keep deepsicks free of overt inclinations, wanting to push an emotional agenda, not a political one. But increasingly what I’m thinking and feeling is too tied to the world to define it with neutrality, to worry if a d6 visitor gets a negative vibe, is offended or feels left out. Enough of that—of typerote talking and preschool inclusion, of submitting to the useful idiot feeling strongly stance about the middle ground and my own fear of screaming too loudly in one direction so my words are dismissed or aren’t heard at all. Am I gonna make someone “feel bad”? Well, too bad, ’cause I feel horrible—about Iraq, the economy, human and civil rights and the overwhelming hypocrisy of what’s considered “compassionate” and “conservative.” Close friends and many casual acquaintances know how I feel or just assume given comments and assume correctly. But I do find myself actively avoiding thoughtful discussion and heartfelt rants, thinking it not worth it or worthless to even try… and it cuts off. Odd how that works—I’m either alienating others or alienating myself, and agreeing to disagree may keep office tensions low but does not and cannot work grandscale when backsliding policy affecting us all is implemented anyway.
I respect tremendously the highly visible people—musicians, actors and celebrities of whatever sort—who have ceased the backseat to what they’re thinking/feeling at the expense of losing segments of their audiences. I full heartedly support the Vote for Change tour and have appropriately thrown down to be blown away by Bruce Springsteen, REM and Bright Eyes on October 5 in Saint Paul (with a look of disgust in Governor Pawlenty’s direction after his disturbingly ignorant talk-radio criticism of Springsteen, claiming he “really appreciates his music but wishes he didn’t interject it with politics.” Someone needs some liner notes, hey). The bands and musicians associated with the tour may risk alienating fans (even governors of swing states), but for those of us who feel the same, we’re drawn all the closer and admire them even more, further motivated to speak out ourselves—not to mention move the cause with bottom-lining money.
So. In keeping: The presidential battle is not a matter of the party lines and loyalty to identities as democrats or republicans. It’s about examining values and determining whether these are truly being represented by the current administration. Inform yourself as a citizen instead of allowing yourself to be marketed to as a consumer. The institution of the government and all that bleeds down from it—from the size of your paycheck to the quality of your education to whose blood soaks what foreign soil to who you’re allowed to love and have it recognized—shapes our collective and personal lives, and it’s there believe it or not because we the people will it. So what do you want—for you, your family, friends, neighbors and future generations.
So. Yeah. I’ve added some Wormwood photos from a show August 21 in White Bear Lake. The boys drip hot in pursuit of EP completion, which I’ve been hearing for months though I’m inclined to believe anything that makes me happy (heh heh, just kidding—>seeing if you’re paying attention).
Also check out a new photo album of graffiti tags I’ve collected around Minneapolis and Saint Paul, tentatively titled msp.evidence. This section may or may not evolve into something more than dilettante me and my digital camera, but I figured I’d share ’cause really, why not.
Been disappointed in the lack of hot, humid weather this summer—it breathes the best, puts me in needed moods, and when I get bad, I tempt worst.
Also: I want to learn how to sew.
And how was your day? and how was your day? and how was your day at every moment step stop of the way could be doing anything, so I decided I would. Stop writing about writing, talking about talking, dreaming about dreaming. Now I do about doing. I am on sabbatical, become every bit as magical as pretends, as religious as I really am not, out of the world and into myself seen through myself and not the eyes of waiting for the next open wide big lie invitation, welcome to frustration and misunderstanding. When you dream, you don’t leave. It’s all you—all the time.
Uh… in other news… Kevin Kautzman of Cassiel Alpha interviewed me. Read the transcript and perhaps check out some others, including West Thordson of A Whisper in the Noise who graciously allowed us to hear a demo of their upcoming currently untitled sophomore release, with hope available in January. The album will eat the hearts of your teenaged grandchildren.
In rather inconsequential site news, the hit counter at the very bottom of the news page broke, so I got a new one, obtained here. I don’t know how many hits I had before the crash, so I’m starting at 3414 and calling it good. There’s no ads involved with this counter which oddly enough compels me to advertise for them. So check it out if you’re into webbish stuff and no ads, though maybe give it a week to make sure it runs smoothly.
Speaking of advertising, this past Thanksgiving weekend in the company of family I watched more TV than I have in the past year. It was nauseating, and I don’t know if it’s gotten really bad, or if I’ve become so jaded, but I get severely tense and malicious and angry and violent whenever commercials come on (which is about every ten minutes). I was trying to watch movies and nearly combusted. I will never own a television meant for TV. Not only does one have to deal with commercial breaks (which more often than not show the same ads, even within the same “break”—do they think that Teletubbie “again! again!” shite is necessary for adults, too?), they run the banners across the bottom advertising upcoming shows or throw their enormous, distracting, ugly logo in the corner. Yeah, this is ranting, but chrise. Are people not complaining? Do they think this makes sense? When cable television first arrived, you paid not for channel selection, but for not having to watch ads. Do you remember that? How about going to the movie theater and not having to pay eight bucks to sit through slide-show commercials and that asinine “Find the Coke bottles!” exercise in brand awareness? Are you aware that a proposed use for CGI is slipping products in TV show reruns—a can of Sprite on a countertop one day, a box of Cheerios the next?
Marketers, corporations, hell, even consumers themselves believe advertisers have the right to sell to me—everything is cluttered with desire for the empty, the promise to fill needs I didn’t know I didn’t have, all the while crushing social-cultural consciousness with the understanding that I’m not sophisticated or hip or hardworking enough to pay for things I don’t want when I tune out, when I turn away, when I say I’m not a have-not, I’m a don’t-want, well, fuck that noise. And it’s noise. And it’s everywhere. Take a marker and black out every ad in the newspaper and see how much you have left—news content, whatever that means, and ink in your marker. Think of every minute, every hour you waste every day paying attention, and how appropriate—you “pay” attention, because they’re not buying it, at least not from you. I hope you all participated in Buy Nothing Day. If not, just leave, you disgust me.
Tomorrow is my four-year anniversary as a vegetarian. I invite you to enter The Meatrix. …And leave it.
Have a nice day.