Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Great Life

A few days ago, my mother called me. (After our disastrous attempt at shopping together for a picture frame around Christmas, I haven't spoken to her since then.)

In this phone-call, she said she'd received an official-looking tax letter from The State of New York: "So, how should I get this to you?" (You live 2 miles away from me, Mom. You have a car and I don't. How do you THINK you should get that to me?)

ME: The State of New York? OH... I owe them state tax from when I lived there. I think $800. I already made arrangements years ago to pay them off $25 a month. So what does that letter say? I should be paid off by now!

MOM: It says there is a warrant for your arrest.

ME: WHAT? I've been PAYING them!

MOM: [reading legalese ad infinitum] Oh... The "warrant" indicates that your debt has now been paid.

ME: Well, THANKS for scaring me!

MOM: So, what else is new? Did you get that job? [the downtown job I'd been so excited about]

ME: No, they hired an office-lady with more experience. I was really upset when I didn't get it.

MOM: So, what have you been doing?

ME: I got another temp job; have been doing that, then coming home and doing freelance stuff for a publishing company after hours and on weekends. I'm working something like 60 hours a week; it's exhausting!

MOM: What a great life you're leading.

ME: Yeah, well, it's a lot better than when I was unemployed and lying in bed watching TV and crying all day wishing I were dead.

Monday, February 25, 2013


Years ago someone shared with me (after I accused her "helicopter" painting of being merely egotistical) that she once thought that helicopters were tracking her movements.

At the time, I hadn't heard of such a mental phenomenon before. After being reassured that I wasn't just a "mere helicopter"--one of many--circling her and that the painting had nothing to do with "suitors," I was assuaged. (Talk about my own egotism!) And didn't think about helicopters any more.

This Sunday, though, while returning books at the library, I randomly picked up the latest book on Manson ("Charles Manson Now" -- poorly organized, but thoughtful); by Marlin Marynick, a 40-something psychiatric nurse whose own frightening early visions after his mother's suicide led him to seek meaning in the philosophies of other "dark visionaries" such as Manson. Marynick ended up meeting with Manson at Corcoran Prison several times in the past couple of years. And in his quest to learn more about Manson, he also came across figures peripheral to Manson today: Stanton LaVey (yes, that's his real name; grandson of Satanist Anton LaVey), and Matthew Roberts, probable biological son of Manson (former med student, now a DJ in Los Angeles).

Stanton LaVey, stereotypically, does see many Satanic/universal patterns in the Tate murders/conspiracy to target Manson that continue to reverberate today. And he's right in the middle of it:

"...That's why they don't want me talking to you, or anybody. But, at the same time, they can rely on the fact that everyone thinks I'm about ninety percent crazy."

I had no idea who "they" could be. I didn't press for details.

"There's a helicopter overhead, everywhere I go," Stanton insisted. "They follow me around. There's always a helicopter over me -- I kid you fucking not."


Unlike Stanton LaVey, who's milking his famous connection and presenting himself as a far-out, bad-ass Satanist with "impeccable" lineage, Matthew Roberts is a much lower-key, much more intelligent, thoughtful guy whose mother is known to have slept with Manson in the '60s in California when she was a teen; Roberts looks exactly like Manson, though Manson has refused a DNA test in the case. While I was kind of rolling my eyes at the dumb braggadocio of the Stanton chapter, the author's interview with Matthew Roberts was more interesting to me:

He [Roberts] told me he thinks schizophrenia is a condition through which a person's mind advances enough to see the relativity of all things. Synchronicity will then seem to increase in that person's life to such a degree that he is left with the dilemma of deciding whether to believe he is the creator of his life's events or merely the observer.

Said Roberts:
I think I'm hyper intuitive and I think that ties in with the schizophrenic thing quite a bit because, ultimately, if you are synchronously experiencing things as a function of intuition, then you are simply living the life you are supposed to live, whether that's being in the right place at the right time or actually predicting things. A schizophrenic believes that he's predicting events, that he's creating reality.

And RE the helicopters:
I told Matthew about Stanton's experience with surveillance, his belief that helicopters follow him everywhere. "Really?" Matthew asked. "I moved into a friend's house for a while and he told me that helicopters flying overhead went crazy; he hadn't experienced them that way until I moved in. All of a sudden they were flying right over us; it literally felt like they were going to land on the roof..." I asked Matthew to interpret this bizarre experience. He explained that, with thermal imaging technology, every person on the planet is visible from space. "Everyone lights up like a firefly," he said. "This might be my ego, or delusions of grandeur, but I believe I glow very bright. I do think they track me; maybe they think I'm some sort of threat."


What's most interesting to me is: Why THAT PARTICULAR mental phenomenon? How does THAT thought-pattern arise? There's obviously a basis for it. Not just a random "nutty" idea in one person's head. (Well, it IS a "random" idea when one experiences it alone. When other accounts start to show up and be documented, though, a more universal pattern starts to emerge.)

Rock Art

At work right now I'm adding captions for these geological formations. I just sat there and STARED at some of them, they were so gorgeous and, yes, profound.
The first is a cross-cut of limestone. (Looks like something from Klimt!)
The 2nd and 3rd are the same cross-cut of "volcanic rock fragments in Tuscaloosa sandstone surrounded by iron-rich calcite cement," shot with plane-polarized light and crossed-polarized light. (I kept seeing these as the front and back of an album cover.)
The last is a "volcanic rock fragment in Tuscaloosa sandstone." (This one I'd like a 6' x 4' print of on my wall, so I could just lie and immerse myself in it. The universe in .25mm.)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ghost Busters

In general, I like watching "other-worldly" reality shows that attempt to explore "haunted" places or that feature mediums reading people or places.

But this "Ghost Adventures" show on the Travel Channel (a marathon I caught tonight while channel-surfing) is annoyingly stupid.

The premise of each episode is that the team of 30-ish very trendy butch guys (about the least spiritual, subtle people you can imagine) go around to various "haunted" places like Indian burial grounds or insane asylums and spend the night there, trying to delve into the place's secrets. There's an interesting bit of history about each place at the beginning of each show, but then comes the stupid part:

Once the guys (with their spiked haircuts/shaved heads/goatees and Ed Hardee shirts) are camped out in the place for the evening with cameras and mikes, here's how they "interact" with each other AND the spirits that they're trying to encounter (actual quotes from the shows I had on in the background tonight):

"That is weird, man. That is totally weird. That is so bullshit!"
TO SPIRIT (yelling): "If you're in this room, I want you to come to the light! OK? OK??!"
"Dude, I saw something. I swear to god. I swear to god. I swear to god. Dude, I swear!"
"Something weird appeared in my head, man."
TO SPIRIT: "If this is the portal of hell, why don't you come up here and git us?"
"I don't know if they [the spirits] understand English: Talk, TALK! SPEAK!"

It would TOTALLY make the show (and my day) if some otherworldly entity responded on the ghost-cam: "Dude! Chill out! What're yew yelling about, bro? I'll come to the light! I'll come to the light, bro, OK? It's all good! Awesome, man! This is amazing! Have a good one!"

Saturday, February 23, 2013

New, Just No Different

This week I started (yet) another full-time temp job.

The good thing about it is that I get to do publishing stuff! (Hooray for that! I'm in my own office -- albeit a small, dark one -- and I don't have to answer phones or smile unnecessarily or order catering or make travel arrangements. And in general I like intelligent, odd publishing people a lot better than generic State Worker office people.)

The bad thing about it: An hour-long bus-trip each way to a barren work "campus." No more quick 20-minute jaunts to/from the workplace downtown; no more invigorating lunch hours sitting on a Congress Avenue bench watching people or walking a couple of blocks for library/post office/drugstore errands.

I've just been doing this for 3 days; and the job ends in maybe 3 weeks or so. What the daily lengthy bus-trips far away from the center of town remind me EXACTLY of, though, is the commute I had back when I lived in Weehawken, Jersey, and worked a 6-month temp gig at a publishing company further upstate. An hour and 45 minutes each way. And also a completely isolated, barren "campus" reached only after traveling through miles and miles of highway and strip-mall. (I enjoyed watching the Canadian geese hanging around the grounds and pooping bizarrely large dog-sized poops, but that was all that was interesting about the environs.) 6 months of that!

I guess the point about what I'm doing now is: "been there, done that." The first time in Jersey was physically draining (and I very much missed not seeing New York City daily for those 6 months--"I did not move up here just for this!"). And now I'm doing exactly the same thing: 2 hours of bus-commuting, 8 hours of a completely sterile environment. Yet without the promise of at least getting to go into New York City on the weekends or being able to look at its glamorous, inspiring skyline from just across the Hudson, a mere 5-minute walk from my Weehawken apartment...

When I was working for the past 4 months in downtown Austin, it was neat: Despite all my years here, I'd never experienced the downtown part of it (except going to bars after midnight). I LIKED it. It felt good going to work there. Not just because I had a new way of seeing "my" city, but because the "vibe," the "energy," was just plain happy and positive, and I gratefully soaked it in--regardless of my "thoughts" about it.

Today, though, I don't consider the highways/strip malls of the northern part of Austin to be "Austin," or to be anything. They're exactly the same as the highways/strip malls I saw while I was commuting in Jersey. (As said highways/malls are the same in any part of the country, I now know. Got it. Don't need to have the same picture shown to me again and again!)

I've completely stopped advancing. I'm just circling back over old, faded (because xeroxed) material. Is that what it means to be "middle-aged"? In the past, if I felt too antsy, there were always a couple of dreams in the valise (like moving to NYC) that I could unpack when desperate for their "getting me out of my rut" value.

There are no such reserves left right now. At this point, I've pretty much jump-started myself as much as I feel like doing. And I'm curious about the middle-aged thing: Seriously, is the only path left "the path of least resistance"?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

"Being Better": Alexander vs. Arias on Blogspot -- "Travis Alexander's Being Better Blog"

"Favorite" bits:

(1) The fact that his posted photo (shown here) is titled "Pres. Alexander."

(2) His blurb about himself on the front page includes that "I'm a [sic] owner of clothing company (CAFGSS) that promotes modesty amongst the ladies."

(3) On 2008 about to be the best year of his life (posted 4/16/08):
...I will be worthy of all the great blessings the Lord has to offer. I will have a 32 inch waste and be at my Pinnacle health. I will have earned the six figure ring, succeeded at real estate, and have multiple streams of income from my other entrepreneurial endeavors. I will be a published Author and effortlessly doing what I was meant to do to better my life and the lives of others. I will associate with more successfully minded people to be a teacher as well as a student. I will travel this great country and this great planet gaining rich experiences found by very few. I will find an eternal companion that enhances me exponentially and countless other goals that at one point I dare not even dream. Through all this will 2008 be the best year of my life, which will lay the foreground for 2009 to dwarf the accomplishments of 2008. This year will be the best year of my life and I will succeed!

(4) From "Creating an Amazing Day" (4/22/08):
...Let me give you an example of what a day would look like, here is my list today.
1) Prayer 2) read Scriptures 3) Read 10pgs of a good book 4) Listen to 30 Minutes of Personal Development 5) work out 6) Money making stuff 6A) East Vally Email 6B) Team email 6C) Plan conference call 6D) plan colorado Training 6E) Update Calendar 7) journal 8) Ensign Article 9) Affirmation 10) Visualization 11) Yoga 12) 30 minutes of Spanish 13) Walk 2 Miles 14) Pack For Colorado 15) Passport Stuff 16) Apply for Corporate credit 17)Clean House 18) Touch up paint 19) Finish Blog 20) Mail Package 21) Buy Camera

Now That is a full day, with getting things done in mind. It's a lot but because Ive been doing this everyday for a while slowly I have been able to get more accomplished, Granted it's not creating Oceans and Countless animals but based on the same principles that our Father in Heaven followed, I am able to create my own amazing days. May you live all the days of your life, we have a limited supply of them and the clock is ticking.

(5) From his last post (5/18/08), on "Why I want to marry a Gold Digger":
...Around then I realized it was time to adjust my priorities and date with marriage in mind. Not to ask some one on a date because I planned on marrying them, but to date someone to look for the possibility of marriage with them. This type of dating to me is like a very long job interview and can be exponentially more mentally taxing. Desperately trying to find out if my date has an axe murderer penned up inside of her and knowing she is wondering the same thing about me....

Some of these speak for themselves, but I just wanted to add some comments about others:

RE #3, his definition of what would constitute the "best year of his life" (as granted by God, of course): a 32-inch "waste," a 6-figure salary, real-estate success, "multiple streams of income," associating with more "successfully minded people"... Really? "God" equates your success as a person with newfound "multiple streams of income"? And "He" wants your achievements to be "effortless" on your part? (As if the Bible teaches that truly meaningful things come "effortlessly"!)

RE #4, a look into an alleged day in the life: This sounds so darned wholesome, but where's "Call an ex-girlfriend and tell her I want to jack off in her face and then tie her to a tree and stick my d*** up her a**." He forgot to mention THAT part of the day.

What gets me is that Alexander says over and over things like, "There are no coincidences" and "God will bring you what you deserve." Really now? I'm not the one saying that Alexander got what he deserved when he was murdered; HE said it himself. Both with his words and with his actions. He lived a life of COMPLETE hypocrisy--overtly claiming to be "just a swell guy who loves God" on the surface, while secretly acting like a complete pig. All the while having the nerve to tell others how to live in his "motivational" speeches! According to Alexander's OWN theories of God and God's payback, he did get exactly what he deserved.


And then there's Jodi Arias's blog (that home photo shown here): -- "Something to Think About"

From 4/27/08:
...There is certainly a substantial amount of unfavorable attention that has been had concerning the subject [of religion]: Jihads and holy wars, hypocrisy, superstition, fear, fanaticism, ignorance, blind acceptance, self-righteousness, rigidity, inquisitions, dogmatism, cruelty, prejudice, persecution, animal sacrifice, human sacrifice, book-burning, witch hunts, conformity, morbid guilt, insanity, even genocide just to list some that fall under the broad spectrum of atrocities committed and conditions endured for the sake of religion.

How is it, I wonder, that an atheist might have a more highly developed sense of Christian morality, for example, than say, a Catholic who routinely attends mass or a Protestant who is faithfully attends church? The problem is not religion, the problem is people. People tend to be dogmatic. An atheist can be just as dogmatic about unbelief as a believer can about belief. Therefore, it is not religion or beliefs that we need to shake off, it is dogmatism.


A reader called "Vicious" responds to her above post: "Ok Great idea, but i lost you somewhere along the way... what is your argument for... atheist or against them..."

She replies: "Neither. My point is that it is not religion that is the problem. The freedom to believe, behave, worship and pray (or not) however one desires is our basic human birthright. It is dogmatism that needs to be eradicated. Those arrogant, stubborn, intolerant assertions of one's opinions onto others. Believe and let believe, so to speak."


From 4/29/08: "One little moment of clarity is all you need to unlock the infinite potential that lies within, and in doing so, you can become a source of miracles....The following is borrowed from Marianne Williamson's book "A Return To Love"...It doesn't just bear repeating, but it is in harmony with the theme of this post, and couldn't be more well written:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. ....


The above quote about the importance to her of not "shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you" was the opposite of what she expressed on the stand about why she simply didn't stop seeing Alexander if she thought he was a pervert or felt abused by him: She didn't want to make him feel bad. Also in this vein is something from her Blogspot User Profile, in the section of music she likes, about rap: "I'm all for it in the absence of profanity and degradation of women (no, I'm not a feminist)."


Alexander posted on his blog from 4/14/08 through 5/18/08 (2 weeks before Arias murdered him on June 4 of that year). Arias posted on her blog from 4/27/08 through 5/10/08. Nearly the same time period. (As usual, Arias following Alexander's lead, creating her own blog after he created his. She also posted a few laudatory comments on his blog; didn't see anything from him on hers, unless he used an alias.) I think she might have been sending him little signals about her true feelings with the "not shrinking" because of other people's insecurities, and her dislike of degrading treatment.

It would be horribly glib to say, "Guess he should've listened, huh?" But I AM struck by the vastly differing natures of their brief, month-long public blog posts. They looked at the world completely differently. Alexander, worshipping a god that would give him lots of money and less fat. Arias, asking for something to allow her to not be degraded.

I have a weird theory that, on June 4, Arias finally decided to put her true beliefs into practice. To not "shrink" any more, to let her (albeit very dark) "light" shine in "one little moment of clarity" killing the hypocrite/her personal representative of the World's Hypocrisy. There's nothing more absolutely clear than that.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

White People Reading

Gorgeous day today (65-ish, clear blue skies) and, having no freelance stuff to do or people to do things with, my get-out-of-the-apartment errand for the day was picking up some hold books at the downtown library:

Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz (by Cynthia Carr)
My Heart Is an Idiot (Essays by Davy Rothbart, creator of the "Found" website. For anyone who hasn't seen that site--consisting solely of items/notes that readers have randomly found--I highly recommend: Oh, the humanity!)

I arrived at the library shortly after its 10am opening, so I didn't have to wrest a table from one of the homeless men who populate the reading tables. (Though this is the main branch of the Austin library system, there is woefully little space to sit and read: maybe 20 tables total on only ONE floor, plus 10 or so seats on the entry-level floor. A new, larger main branch opens next year, but it'll be further south, by the river, not nearly as convenient to get to by bus.)

Secure at my table with a great view of the trees/hills/architecture of downtown, I hung out for about 3 hours reading "Fire in the Belly," 'til the loud rumbling in my own belly forced me to pack up in search of lunch. I REALLY wasn't ready to go back and be cooped up in my apartment on such a nice day; nor did I want to go sit among pretentiously pale bearded slackers in plaid shirts and pay $10 for a crappy sandwich in one of the cafes near my apartment...

I had weeks ago seen/covetted some clear, thick-glass cereal bowls at a Dollar Store further north that also had a large pizza place in the same strip mall... I had plenty of time to kill, so made the bus trek north, got a couple of the bowls (in an insanely ill-organized store; at least 20 people waiting in EACH of the 2 check-out lines that were open, with 4 fat Hispanic female employees joking amongst themselves by the windows, not making any effort to help the 2 harried checkers; my own--skinny, black, older--check-out lady kept up an ongoing stream of checkout-slowing conversation with every customer, complaining about how little she got paid, etc. I was gritting my teeth with impatience and ready to leave, but REALLY liked/wanted those cheap bowls...).

Dollar bowls FINALLY safely wrapped, I went over to the pizza place, hoping to be able to relax a little with a salad/slice/drink and some leisurely reading at a window seat... Ha! The place, even at 2pm, was a madhouse: Turns out there was a buffet going on, and apparently every working-poor Hispanic family in the area was taking advantage of it. 95% of the seats taken, shrieking kids running everywhere. And something like $9 for the buffet! Ugh. (How were these families affording that? My guess: buying one buffet and the other 5 people in the family all eating on that, as well.)

By now I was STARVING...McDonald's it was. At least it was cheaper, and, hey, there were window seats with good views of passersby, and reading there would be OK, kinda different... Unfortunately, another jam-packed madhouse. More Hispanic families with screaming kids, a couple-a black families with screaming kids. I just ordered something to scarf down quickly; and as I ate, some clearing out DID happen, and I was still contemplating doing some reading in the newly quieter atmosphere...until I saw who was sitting at the booth right behind me: A middle-aged white guy in glasses with a STACK OF LIBRARY BOOKS on the table in front of him! Nursing a soda, poring over one of his books. ONE of us random, disconnected white people reading alone at a McDonald's because it was cheap and got us out of the apartment was, perhaps, "quaint." TWO of us, though...WAY too much!!

When I saw my doppelganger, I flashed back to Woody Allen's character in "Manhattan" when he for the first time meets girlfriend Diane Keaton's ex-husband, whom she'd been describing as a real stud... Turns out it's Wallace Shawn (an even physically schlubbier version of Allen's character).

For every "me" roaming around out there thinking she's so free and independent and unusual...there are millions of other sad-sacks EXACTLY LIKE ME trying to get out of their tiny apartments for the day! Dammit! (I'm also reminded of the lines in Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" -- "...Then took the other, as just as fair / And having perhaps the better claim, / Because it was grassy and wanted wear; / Though as for that, the passing there / Had worn them really about the same...")

Thursday, February 14, 2013

How Dangerous am I?

Really, it is pretty sick to spend $18 on 3 lbs of candy... (I was so impressed with my decadence that I went to the Jelly Belly site to see if anyone else shared my proclivities; soooo got off on the shameless reviews, like "Gift for hubby, we like to eat them together." What a Slut we are!)

Love and Communication

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


The last photo of Travis Alexander alive. (God, the look in his eyes.) Taken by his lover/murderer Jody Arias. The next shots from the memory card of the digital camera are of him bloody and dead on the floor of the shower after being stabbed 29 times. (Arias had thrown the camera in the washer afterwards, which ruined the device itself; but the memory card was salvaged.)

Lesson: Don't decide to keep sleeping with someone that you and your frat-boy church friends have deemed "not marriage material" and a "skank." Don't tell her that there's to be no more "vaginal intercourse" or kissing--just anal sex and blow-jobs. Don't tell her AFTER fucking her that you're taking someone else to Cancun.

Girls don't like that, Playa.

Hilary Farr is Hot!

"Love it," don't "List it," baby! :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Where's my damn LIFESTYLE?!

In the past couple of days, I've at various times simply needed some glue, some band-aids, a sandwich, some reserved books at the library, and a visit to my bank's ATM for some cash. Now, in the Olden Days (a week-and-a-half ago), I could have walked to get any or all of these things downtown during my lunch hour...

As it currently is -- dramatic SIGH! -- the glue and band-aids and cash have to wait for my weekly bus-trip to the supermarket; today's "quick bite to eat" involved a 2-mile hike along ugly, barren streets and non-existent sidewalks; the books took a special Saturday bus trip -- and once there, I couldn't even lounge around and read on a perfect gray, drizzly afternoon 'cause the homeless contingent had taken over every single table. (Oh, those thoughtless, selfish Homeless!) :)

So, dammit, yes... now that I'm no longer working downtown, my LIFESTYLE is now officially defunct.

Though, I AM extremely lucky in having a 1-month temp full-time copyediting job that starts next week; and also in having several months of freelance copyediting work to do at home at a huge pay rate (40 hours this week, then 15 hours per week once I start the month-long temp job, then back to 40 after that thru May if no other day job turns up--that stuff is going to pay all of my bills through next December). So I can't really complain... OR CAN I?? (heh-heh-heh)

Really, I should probably just shut up! And maybe go back and read some of my blog entries from 2010 or 2011 when I quite often just had something like $12 to my name at any given time (enough for a 6-pack and a pack o' Marlboro Red Labels)--in pennies and dimes! :)

And come on: For the next few months, I get to do what I like to do -- copyedit -- and NOT have to smile and answer phones and make travel/room/food arrangements all day. The actual subservient job duties of the Job-That-Got-Away... I hated with every arrogant fiber of my Leo being! :)

I may not have a quick walk to the corner to get a sandwich or band-aids at lunch. But I am, for the time being, FREE. (Well, sort of. I don't have to answer phones. Or be at a place at 8am every day. But...the closet capitalist in me still protests: I want a sandwich or slice when I want it!)

Saturday, February 09, 2013

"If you go home with somebody...

...and they don't have books, don't fuck."


The above motto from someone I don't know, but who's now following my Joan Crawford Twitter page.

That is actually very GREAT advice!

I will ALWAYS remember my first (1989) lover's "library": a copy of one of L. Ron Hubbard's Scientology books, and a copy of "Lolita." Those were the ONLY books in her apartment. Seriously.

She did have really advanced FURNITURE, though -- turquoise-and-black mod, circa 1960, in the living room; and a king-sized red-velvet-headboard bed, a gift from her mother (!) when she was 16 (!). (Myself, I slept in the same single white/gold Princess bed from age 5 to age 18, when I left for college. Boy, was that red-velvet headboard my virgin idea of sexy...)

That-all, and the accompanying wall above of bondage implements, did partially make up for how utterly stupid she was. But not really. As a virgin, I had some sex-stuff to learn from her, for SURE. But after that... We couldn't have a conversation outside of the bedroom. (And couldn't even have a conversation IN the bedroom: Her constant "I'm your daddy; don't tell your mama" child-abuse role-playing also got very tiresome after a few months; I just wanted to fuck HER, sans always pretending she was my "daddy"--whose own walking-around-the-house-naked ugly grown-up dick and emotionally abusive behavior I'd been utterly repulsed by as a child.)

I might also expand the above advice to: If your parents ONLY have the following 10 or so albums (total) in their "collection" while you're growing up, you ARE going to end up extremely fucked up. If only because of the fact that your parents (born in '40 and '41) only managed to accumulate 10 albums between them by their mid-'20s. And THESE were the ones:

1 Jim Nabors (!) sings military songs (!)
1 Bill Cosby comedy album
1 Elvis Presley "Golden Greats"
"Pearl" by Janis Joplin

1 Caterina Valente hits album
1 Marlene Dietrich '60s live-in-Berlin album
3 or 4 classical albums (Mozart and Beethoven)

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Last Buying Spree (You Are Free)

Ordered online the last morning of the last Day o' Innocence last week at work, when I still thought the folks there liked me and that I had years of a cushy regular income before me (instead of just 2 more days of $12-an-hour temp work)...

Well, the empty days and weeks ahead will certainly give me plenty of time to read Kant and Hume, huh? That's what I WANTED, wasn't it?? Funny, I ordered these 2, plus a book on aesthetics by Dave Hickey (hasn't arrived yet), all because I was browsing through a "Chronicle Review of Higher Education" at work. There was a poll there of professors asking which philosophers had most influenced them; Hume was way ahead, followed by Kant. I'd heard of them, but had no idea what either believed. (The only philosophers I have any familiarity with are Nietzsche and Sartre and Camus -- existentialism was still very trendy when I was taking philosophy courses in the 1980s!) It really bugged me that I had no idea why Hume and Kant were so influential! The "Review" also had an extensive interview with rogue art critic Hickey, whom I'd never even heard of (though he'd spent time at UT-Austin). I was drawn by a quote from one of his essays on encountering Beauty:

The sudden unexpected harmony of the body, mind and world becomes the occasion for both consolation and anxiety. In that moment, we are at home with ourselves in the incarnate world but no longer in tune with the mass of people who do not respond as we do. We seek out, as a necessity, the constituency of people who do respond, if such a constituency exists.

And then later in the article, about academia and art:

In the same way that Rousseau observed that for moderate people, "it is in their interest that nothing be better," Hickey thinks that the entire supporting apparatus for art and artists--college art departments, museums, galleries, artists' grants--saps the vitality and beauty from art by regulating and controlling it, and worse, by crushing desire.

Interesting that this ties in with my just reading about the iconoclastic MONA museum in Tasmania (see the below "SNAKE" entry). (For more synchronicity: Cat Power's playing at that very museum in a few weeks! And the titles of the CDs of hers pictured here: "You Are Free" and "What Would the Community Think?" Ha!) :)

Of all the books pictured, though, guess which, of course, got opened first and will probably be the only of the bunch ever read all the way through! :) (Yes, the gossipy "Burnt Diaries" by Emma Tennant, who had an affair with Ted Hughes in the '70s!)

Monday, February 04, 2013

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

I've seen this film at least 6 or 7 times over the past 20 years, but I never got it until tonight:

The dead 16-year-old son of Martha and George, used as a psychological tool between them, is George himself at 16. And the events in George's autobiographical novel about a 16-year-old boy "accidentally" shooting his mother with a shotgun and "accidentally" killing his father in a car accident and being put in an asylum afterward, suppressed by Martha's powerful university father for career reasons, really happened to George when he was 16.

Knowing this is the saddest fucking thing. And the utter lack of illusion between George and Martha one of the most deeply profound. What will they do once George has left the guilty 16-year-old boy behind, killed him off?

(Edward Albee, the author, is gay. We've all seen too much horror, both outer and inner, far too clearly.)