Who am I, if I'm not myself?

My photo

A compulsive sketcher with a love of comicbooks, film, and politics.  A tired, yet happy father.  Torn between his liberal, long-hair heart and his cynical, balding head; his joy is tinged with cynicism, his sorrow with a laugh. Twice the man you are, unless you weigh over 105lbs or are a woman.

Monday, June 16, 2014

It's weird feeling nostalgia for something I have no interest in returning to.

I used to post on message boards at GameFAQs.com a lot. Enough to become a mod, to show up in fan fics (where I had a surprising streak of not dying), to make friends online and in real life, and to waste a good chunk of my late teens through mid-twenties. At some point, I even began to sometimes think of myself (in mental self-referential address) by the initials of my main handle, 'Bastard Knight'. That online life lasted almost 8 years, but then (finally) I got bored, so I left.

I had promised myself sometime prior, I would never make a thread about leaving. Those always annoyed me. If I left, I would just get the fuck out. My final topic was, "You are boring," where I offered to probably not tell anyone who posted in the topic how mind numbingly uninteresting they had become. No one took it as an insult, because I insulted people there all the time.

Anyway, today, I was trying to remember something from back then. So I did a quick search online, and found some archives of old forum detritus. I don't miss being there at all: refreshing every couple of minutes, staying up all night to argue inanities, watching over boards and posters as a mod, eventually being disconnected from it all, but behaviourally addicted. But, just now, I sort of miss the time when it was fun, and (to a lesser extent) the now irrellevant format of the old Internet.

Apparently, there were rumours that I had died after my absence was noted, as well as an abortive, faux screenplay written about users searching for my online persona. It didn't get so far as them discovering my corpse or anything, though, so I guess I remain immortal in GameFAQs related fanfiction. That's something.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

...see no evil...

"'Can I get a witness to all this poverty?' There's no need to, brother. Everybody can see," Joe Strummer sang, but I think he was sadly mistaken.  As I used to argue in non-defense of the G. W. Bush administration, the rich and powerful are so generally and fully ensconced in their rarefied territory, they are mostly unaware of the underclasses. Thus, actions which, with greater understanding, might be seen as intentionally evil, are merely ignorant (though arguably still evil).

This helps to explain Bush's approach to Katrina, black people, the poor, public schools, and those foreigners he tried to help free with two wars in their homes; Catherine the Great's inability to tell that her tours of supposed Russian towns involved the same actors, playing the same roles, and using the same set over and over; Marie Antionette's "Let them eat cake;" the casual cruelty of roving gangs in Fist of the North Star1; and Republican efforts to somehow help the poor by cutting SNAP funds and unemployment benefits. It also helps to explain the way in which those not discriminated against have trouble noticing just how much discrimination there is, why no one cared about (or saw) Bomani Jones' takedown of Donald Sterling's highly evident, and actually harmful racism until after we all got to feel really good about ourselves by calling him a (boorish, but implicitly harmless) racist years later, and why most still don't seem to care about the real problems Sterling represents. It also explains the idiocy of our (mostly) highly intelligent, highly educated, stylishly racist-by-pretending-to-be-colorblind, right-wing Supreme Court members, and their ridiculous decisions regarding voter's rights, affirmative action, and the like. And the fantastical denials of racial politics playing a role in the right's treatment of Obama. And so forth, ad infinitum.

Though Jones never makes a policy prescription in his much deserved, righteous rant about some of the nefarious doings in housing markets that continue (in echo and act) to plague minorities and their communities to this day, you can infer one. If housing discrimination and ghettoization helped cause the violence in Chicago's south end and similar areas, then maybe some social engineering aimed at bringing people of different ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds together (in housing, in schools, and thus in opportunity) might help ease the problems. But, as those who haven't ever suffered from these things will surely tell you, such heavy handed, freedom stifling measures are no longer necessary. And, as those who claim to advocate for poor communities might object, that would be evil, evil gentrification (or lead to it).

So I have an idea. Let's not do anything, or at least nothing worthwhile. Let's all just twiddle our thumbs while we feel good about calling Roger Sterling a bad person because he didn't want his mixed-race mistress to be seen in public with the black guys she was screwing. I like twiddling my thumbs. I'm doing it now.

1. [Not really. I just wanted to mention Fist of the Northstar. That series is at once awesome and hilariously bad. Watatatatatata!]

Saturday, April 19, 2014

I am going to buy some goddam earplugs.

I mean it this time. For years now, I have intended to purchase something to protect my ears, my precious, precious ears, from noise--particularly loud concerts I am likely to attend with my friend, Noizetrauma. Once again, I have neglected this duty, exposing my hearing apparatus's to a four show set at Seattle's Neumos featuring noise-rock, industrial metal, drum and bass, and ambient drone. Clearly, this was a mistake, as I am now suffering tinnitus a full day later. However, I do not regret going.

The opening set (by HREF
="http://m.soundcloud.com/la-fin-absolute-du-monde">La Fin Absolute du Monde, an appealing duo composed of one talented, handsome, black, male guitarist, and one Asian, mood-setting, beautiful, and less talented female keyboardist/computerist/singer) started off laughably bad, but was short, and finished very strongly with a distortion-laden peon to breaking up. With some packaging (including better production and some voice training), this group could put on a good show.
The second set (by the second of what would be three duos on the night--this one a nearly black-out-camouflaged, wordless guitar and mixing-board wielding mixed sex pairing entitled HREF
="http://houseoflowculture.bandcamp.com">House of Low Culture) was nearly mind-blowing. They were like HREF="http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MaSi7Gut7xM">Stars of the Lid, with less classicism and more feedback. Highlight of the night for me.
="https://www.facebook.com/afronoise">Cut Hands (formerly Whitehouse), the only solo act of the night, played an extremely loud, intense blend of industrial-noise and mid-90s drum and bass that sounded like it came from an English rave 16 years ago. Not my style, but the middle-aged performer seemed to really groove to it, and so did about three people in the audience. It was probably this bit that did my ears in. Around this time, an old football injury in my left shoulder started throbbing with the beat (which continued through the close of the show). Mothers, don't let your children play American football. It is dangerous, and nowhere near worth the fun they might have. Get them to play golf, or something.
="https://www.youtube.com/user/DrGonzo123456789">Godflesh headlined. They picked their openers well, as you could hear pieces of noize, DnB, and drone in their heady metal. There were moments where the various elements fused together wonderfully. As in every other performance that night, percussion was provided by a merciless, pitiless computer, which did not care one bit about my shoulder or my ears. My poor, poor ears. Yes, Godflesh was loud, too.
"ZZZZZZZZZZ!" says the tinitus, in one delirious, unending loop. But at least there are no computerized drums.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Hisashiburi da na.

(It's been a while, hasn't it?)

These are some things I have done since last writing:

-Cut my beer and desert consumption dramatically. My doctor says cutting these out altogether (along with wine and whiskey) allows most men to reach a healthy weight with very little effort beyond the massive will-power necessary to not enjoy these things. Apparently, women can't drop pounds quite so easily. There are trade-offs in life.

-Read the excellent chronicle of the early days of wildstyle, Hip Hop Family Tree. I remain convinced comics offer a unique and refreshing approach to history--even in the case of music, where one might expect the format to be at a loss. I am, however, biased.

-Watched the whole of Attack on Titan (a title dubiously adapted from its original Japanese, 'Shingeki no Kyoujin', or 'Advancing Giants'; a decision which requires the continuous mistranslation of 'kyoujin' ['giant' in English] as 'titan' throughout the series). It is essentially a zombie/post-apocalypse show, but instead of undead eating people for no reason but to do so, we get sexless giants with frozen expressions who do nothing but wander around and eat people (you know, like zombies). It would be too easy if their weak spot were the brain, as in the Romero style, so they are instead only killed by a strike to the nape of the neck (coupling the classical Japanese fetishization of clean, white neck nape, and the tradition of samurai washing the backs of their necks prior to battle or sepuku). Soldiers tasked with fighting the giants wear a pair of air-powered grappling devices which propel them though the air in segments which are at times spectacular and at others really quite silly--which is sort of the whole series in a nutshell.

-Seen my ridiculously happy son grow. He will be four in a couple days. I'm going to have to start lifting weights to be able to carry him.

-Not accomplished much of anything creatively, less a few sketches. I have wasted my free time in ephemeral contemplation, mostly.