Manifestos

terrorish

What follows is an amalgamation of approximately one dozen half-started blog posts, curated and cut up- then purged- for a fresh start to what amounts to a “dear diary” six of my friends read.

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ten things i know with certainty

1. Nobody really gives a shit about the thing you’re anxious or insecure about, so relax and keep on. Your new haircut looks fine, as does that sweater.

2. Be nice to servers, customer service and your bus driver. Nobody likes a cunt.

3. The ocean and mountains will kill you- you have to respect them. Do so by staying completely away, or at the very least pack some layers and a granola bar.

4. Empathetic and understanding are two of the best things you can be.

5. If you have a shitty heart, things will be shitty.

6. If after you turn 30 years old you can still eat cheese mid-day and go about your business unhindered- call it a win.

7. “Talk shit, get hit.”

8. Walking is still honest.

9. You can totally judge a book by its cover, because that’s where they put the pull-quotes and reviews that will tell you whether or not the book will be of suitable enjoyment to you. But that applies to books and books alone.

10. Drink lots of water.

sonnets for suckers

Are you who you want to be?

I mean at this very moment- right now, not tomorrow, not next week after you hear back about that promotion, car loan, that new jacket that you want but don’t really need but might go on sale during Easter weekend so why not, right? Are you who you want to be? Before what happens next- between the hours at sleep and the hours at work. You’re already thinking of that thing, yeah*? And once you have it or hold it or feel it or experience it, you’re just so god damn certain that it will provide a completeness that otherwise falls apart under prolonged scrutiny.  Will it finally satiate those tremors of jealousy that itch the back of your throat when you scroll through other people’s cherry-picked musings and snaps on social media? And does recognizing that you’re having those feelings bother you more than Julie’s album of her fifth fucking trip to Mexico? The one she uploaded like the goddamn second she got off the plane and found WiFi?  I mean she makes decent money so good for her- have fun, I guess- but go visit another fucking country, right?! You’re 38 years old and half Italian- go to Italy, Julie!  Christ. Or at least take photos of more than just your 9AM margaritas and the guy who fell asleep next to you on the plane. (And while we’re on the subject, those panoramic shots of you staring out at sea that you post every couple of days make you look like a fucking cunt, Brad**. Knock it off!)

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worked shoot

Unless you’ve been living under a rock- in which case you have bigger problems, such as the structural integrity of your home- you’ve heard that renowned business tycoon turned reality TV schmuck turned unabashed crotch-grabber Donald J. Trump was elected to as the new president of the United States of America.

You’re probably somewhere between angry, confused, anxious and terrified- or you’re totally cool with it, in which case you’ve got bigger problems such as the structural integrity of your fucking soul- but those emotions and others are normal when a fascist animal takes the throne of the country with the most weapons and white people.  Trump ran a campaign as fast and loose as whatever it is that he puts on his gross head every morning before he greets the world with a half smirk and a condescending “Okay?”  He villainized minorities, women, intellectuals and the other all the things he is not. But what will his presidency look like?  How is he going to co-exist with other world leaders? Is it fair to judge him as a pending failure before day one in power?

Yeah, probably.

 

swipe right

Online dating is like a sewer: I’ve always been aware of its presence, vaguely understanding of how it works and what it’s for. But until you rip off the manhole* and dive face-first into the abyss… until your senses are dulled by the stark change of environment, and you realize everything that made you comfortable** doesn’t exist anymore***… until you your knees buckle under the weight of a hundred new social constructs raining down**** as if every member of Hitler’s advancing troops on Poland were replaced with Rip Taylor clones*****… until you grasp around in darkness, unsure of what your hand will touch but all things considered you’ll take anything… I think I’m over the sewer metaphor. It’s not coming across.

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grand theft whatever

I wish we could keep score. A running total of miscellaneous data to analyze, reflect on and ponder. Imagine:

Times cursed
Hats worn
Most pain felt (physical)
Most pain felt (emotional)
Hugs given

Would you be able to find patterns? Would you want to?

Hearts broken
Number of scars
Cars driven
Cars stolen
Times you heard AC/DC come on the radio, said”Awe, fuck AC/DC,” and then changed the station

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brain droppings

Nothing sucks like when one of your favorite artists releases a new album days after your four year relationship ends and it’s chalked-full of tracks that describe your exact state of mind, each song creating a unique cocktail of emotions including but not limited to: overwhelming sadness, equally unjustified yet defiant hope, trepidation, lament, melancholy, headaches, nausea, diarrhea and night terrors, regret, mild to moderate crying, punchable confidence, and the strong resentment to scientists in general because time travel has yet to be invented.

When the airplane’s nose finally aligned west, the engines roared before a sudden burst of speed sent the vessel down the runway but then quickly upwards, mocking man’s limitations as we engaged in glorious flight. I left quickly, bags packed and emotionally shattered ass on an airplane within four days of the decision to go home. After the hours stuck in traffic on the highway, the goodbye, the four hours and 742 cigarettes outside of the Pearson terminal waiting for my delayed flight, the realization of the length of time left to endure stuck in a turbulent metal cylinder between two dudes seemed daunting. An intrusive thought struck, and I silently hoped that if the plane was going to crash that it happen earlier in the flight.

I haven’t read a newspaper or website in three weeks. I have no idea what’s going on in the world. It’s kinda nice.

I don’t sleep; I just watch TV

The issue of Rolling Stone that I just threw out because it had been sitting on my toilet for 3 months has a feature listing songs that famous musicians’ felt most influenced them and their work. Since I can’t sing* and will never be famous enough to be saddled between a five star review of the most recent U2 album and advertisement for sex-cushions and thus have little to no chance of gracing the pages of a mediocre publication in a dying media format, I decided to do what any young** scribe should do in the year of our Lord 2015: take to the internet and announce my opinions to an unsolicited audience that’s barely paying attention.

Outside of food and oxygen, I’ve long since felt that music has kept me alive. Sometimes I wonder slash kick my past self in the face for not seriously pursing an instrument when I was younger. Film school made sense at the time, and while I always enjoy a good flick or series, I find myself less inclined in recent years to deconstruct what I like about a particular show or analyze WHY it works; music has never lost that appeal, partly because it’s so easy to consume a four minute song compared to a two hour film. Why didn’t I get a guitar when I was 13? I was in choir in elementary school, singing all sorts of bullshit at recitals and practicing harmonies and pitches and other such musical terms I’ve long since forgotten the definitions of. I don’t remember why I quit, or why I never became one of those kids*** who brought an acoustic guitar to every social gathering. Maybe I could have been the next Jason Mraz. Think of the money! Think of the hats!

Anyway, below are five songs by five artists I deeply admire and I guess in some way shaped who I am- if you discount all my experiences, friends, family, morals, values and education. There’s also some words I put together. Share yours in the comments, all six people who will read this post.

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Dear fellow white people:

A lot of white people are embracing this small business owner’s terrible idea to host a “white appreciation day”. While neither the race of the business owner nor the scope of the celebration matters (10% off brisket WOW), the concept has galvanized racists to ask the question, “Why shouldn’t there be a day celebrating being white?!”

The notion itself, that white people require- NAY deserve!- a day akin to Black History Month, is disgustingly racist. The simplest answer to that question that your grandma asked on her Facebook feed is that every motherfucking day you walk outside and live your life without fear of persecution, whether it be walking down the street without cops taking a second glance at you or an old lady suddenly clutching her purse tighter, is a day you just celebrated being white. And if you’re a white GUY, in North America, well you hit all three of the sociological lottery numbers so just shut your mouth, live your life, and be nice to people.

Look, I’m an uneducated white boy so I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on race or class struggle. A few years ago, after the Trayvon Martin verdict, Questlove wrote a wonderful op-ed piece that’s stuck with me. If you’re one of those people who think we need some kind of bullshit day to celebrate being fair-skinned, please read the article in full, It will change your mind:

Questlove: Trayvon Martin and I Ain’t Shit

cobwebs, dust and the occasional milkshake

I’ve had this story kicking around in my mindchamber for about two years now. And it’s the best kind of story to be constantly thinking about because it’s all plot; there’s nary a theme or character arc within fifteen miles of the logline and poster that’s been burned inside my goddamn head since that one fateful afternoon I smoked too much pot and got a little too confident with the pen, crafting the outline for an intricately layered genre film while unabashedly borrowing pieces of works that I greatly admired* and others that presented interesting yet ultimately under-cooked ideas**. I threw it all into my usual mirepoix of dialogue-heavy black comedy and inactive protagonists, hoping for a ragged commentary on reality television and our fame-seeking culture. But hello darkness, my old friend: doubt surfaced and I began to fear and still fear I am not clever enough to write this shepherd’s pie of social commentary. It’s maddening because it’s like I have a bunch of nails and nothing to slam them into the wall with.

Plot without theme and you’re just running around looking for the fucking Wizard because you want to hang out. The Lion doesn’t get his courage and Dorthy doesn’t go home.

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