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This Content From 2003 (or earlier) see index

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  Praxis Poetics  

Action Du Jour I'm participating in a Lysistrata Project reading on Sunday at Siberia bar: 356 1/2 West 40th Street (between 8th and 9th look for a black door with a red light above it). There's music at 5:30 and the reading begins at 6. It's a great bawdy lyrical translation. Lots of fun and free to boot!

February 28th So Long, Feb

Awww, cripes. Look at this. There's a little hope for peace in the news today if you connect the dots. I've got another post on Stand Down which explains my thread of a dream. I also sent encouraging emails to all the UNSC members who are opposed to or undecided on the war resolution. I don't know if it will help, but I enjoyed writing the letter.

Ok, Koenig, lay off the politix. My real interest is culture. Here's a new operative emergent term I'm going to promote: "The Subculture of Truth." Methinks there's something there, something to be had in confronting the bullshit vernacular that pervades everyday American life. We've got to take a stand on something. Truth is a contagion.

What must the Deli-Man think of me when I come in twice in a night buying Ben and Jerries and beer? What kind of depraved American fantasy am I living in here? Reguardless, the combination was well-recieved: I had pleasent dreams of snow and young women. This morning is well lubricated too, reaping the benefits of a trip to the coffee shop: my stove-top espresso kettle is back in action. Rocket fuel. Whoo!

Good talk with Franko last night. Apparently his mom found my page on him, which precipitated an interesting discussion of the content contained therein (which I've since updated). Frank has a, shall we say, diplomatic relationship with his folks -- similar to how I related with my father in the past -- which makes my implicating him in my own reckless and illegal drug experiementation a potentially touchy subject. However, as it turns out the conversation was all about ADD, in actuality a far more interesting topic.

Also, a big Shout Out to Jake the Great Artist who Made me the Best Shoes Ever. Hard to believe that was way back in August. Frank's mom gave me some really nice slipeprs 'cause Franks Bro Jono honestly said he wouldn't use 'em. 16-year-old cousin Jake made immaculate silver designs on one of them, which I've subsequenally sprayed with fixer in an attempt to cement. They're fucking cool. I'll be picking up my camera today, I hope, and a picture will be forthcoming. Maybe I'll send a snapshot to Howard, update the crufty old spraypainted moon-shoes with the genius of Jake.

February 27th Beat

Two great links from the Franker: Bet on the Beginning of Bombs over Baghdad, and a razor-sharp virtual journalist simulation.

I'm beat this morning, just no energy to speak of, even after my two cups of joe. Mr Mark tells me he's going here for a few weeks. Lucky bastard, communing with gaia and all that jazz. The poll is running strong for focus and intensity. I'll give it my best, but I think I'm in need of a quick tune up. Wish I knew what that meant.Website wrangling is on the agenda for the next few days. Critical mass tomorrow as well. I suppose there's plenty to keep me busy, but there's an unwelcome feeling of enervation seeping in around the edges.

I've been hitting the Gym pretty hard the past week, trying to kick-start the old metabolism into high gear, so maybe I'm just adjusting to a higher calorie-burn. I love the Asser Levy most of all because it's reminds me that I'm a blessed pasty minority, both in this great city and on this great earth. It's also usually fairly free of distracting eye-candy and full of community vibes. A good place to rev ones engine in relative peace.

February 26th On the Wagon

Bawlitix update: the Virtual March is on. I got through to Hillary, but havn't gotten past "all curcuits are busy" to speak to Chuck or the White House. I take that to be a good sign. Also, the NYC Council anti-war resolution has been postponed for two weeks due to people being out of town and such, but looks likely to pass according to my councilperson's office.

First thing in the morning, a couple links via Tom Tomorrow. You might have already seen this, but here are a lot of photos of peace protests from around the world last weekend. The picture of NYC shows maybe 4 of the 40 blocks that were full of people, but I guess no one has those photos from those helocopters that kept flying over us. There's a picture of the gathering in my hometown too!

Also, this is what the new war on drugs looks like. Never mind that this part of the country is HQ numero uno for the regional manufacture of crank (very cheap, low-grade speed), which has decimatd the working poor communities of the northwest; get those damn bong-peddling longhairs! Back home I know local narc squads are rightly primarily focused on busting meth labs, but it looks like the feds have other priorities. The question is why.

It's been bothering me for quite a while how the focus since Bush took office has been back on Marijuanna and also now on Esctasy. These anti-drug campaigns full of the same kind of misinformation and exaggeration that made the "just say no" campaign so counter-effective in the long run. Not only that, but these are the wrong drugs to be going after in the first place from any kind of health standpoint. What? No middle-class white kids in Texas OD'd on heroin this year? Cool! Back to busting potheads.

Here's the thing about "soft" drugs (pot, esctasy, hallucinogens): they're only dangerous from a moral or cultural standpoint. None of them poses a significant health risk compared to, for instance, beer, which is to say nothing of meth or smack. Every time a crackdown on these substances comes around, the motivations are never really about public health; the numbers just don't add up. It doesn't take a genius to figure out there's an agenda at work here. Mr. Ashcroft just doesn't like it that people get high.

Now, I'm no big fan of stoner or raver culture -- pretty boring shit really -- but that doesn't mean they should be locked up. The government, especially on the federal level, should not be even remotely involved in the business of dictating morality or culture. Ashcroft is a moral crusader, and I'm sure in his mind this is just another hard day spent protecting American families from their purient urges. Unfortunately, that's a huge crock of shit.

February 25th Resolutions

Today's NYT has two good columns by Kristof and Krugman, and a rather dissappointing editorial containing some troubling hawk doublespeak. My notes on the editorial are on Stand Down.

"No offense but this site is about as outlandish as testicular cancer. Get some holocaust porn, you fag. P.S. How come I'm not on people you know?!" -- Sam

I've been meaning for a long time to add a bunch of heads to the people section. I don't mingle with the technorati too much. I have a couple of friends who blog, my papa has a livejournal, and I gave Jeremy a website for xmas (most pomo gift ever, he said, but the page is still undeveloped) but for the most part, my friends aren't the type who have their own websites. I havn't added any new peeps to my list in a while, and it was actually part of the New Years resolution package we got through. I've been making good on some of the other stipulations (re-joined the gym, waking up early, etc) and so I aught to follow through on the other stuff. Updates coming real soon now.

February 24th Jingle Jangle Morning

Quick, while your boss isn't looking, play Gulf War 2. Tons of fun.

Happy Monday all. I'm feeling a turbulent and wild, and it looks like a slow morning from the work perspective, so the plan is basically to just get juiced up on a few cups of joe and spill guts, k?

In need of some spiritual stretching. The gym takes plastic and now I'm sore. Frank's elf-like dyslexic ballerina companion tells me it's from crystals of lactic acid that need to be broken down through further exercise. I know this already, but I don't mention anything because I'm getting a pleasantly painful arm-twist out of the deal and it's nice to talk. I've lately been intensely feeling the repetitive nature of conversations, the seeming redundancy. It's creating pressure, a lot of things on my mind.

I usually try to keep things PG-13 on the front page here, what with my parents reading the site and all. However, I'm an adult (slouching towards manhood) and sometimes I crank out a little mature content. If think you'd prefer some of that to the usual immature prattle, try this link: Outlandish Josh's ruminations on his recent spate of man-sluttery. It's not really any more or less salacious than what you'd find in Cosmo or Maxim, but perhaps a little more complected.

I've been reading Acid Dreams: the complete social history of LSD which I ordered a while ago on an Amazon.com whim. Some of it is entertaining and interesting, and it's caused some reflection on my own experiences and the value they have. It makes me want to argue more with my father, who has a PhD in Chemistry, about why things should be legal.

It's also got a lot about radical politics and how that all started. More information about the Diggers, who I'm more impressed with than ever. If you want to change the world, you need to have that media savvy sex appeal, but you also need to have the real-life praxis too, and more than anything you need to make sure they can work together. That takes a lot.

And on a higher level, I'm drawing a lot of parallels between the underlying problems of that era and this one. Too little critical thought, too much status-quo. Too little honesty and generosity, too much fame-seeking and power games. Maybe there's something to be learned. How can we freak enough people out of their flickering florescent cheeseburger somnambulence to get things rolling in the right direction? The pendulum has to swing back sometime.

So it goes. Stay busy: you go to sleep in this kind of cold you might never wake up. Rumble young man rumble. The next thing will be exciting.

February 21st Moving Up Slowly

Posting from alt.coffee (my new favorite place to kill time) after having my tit looked at; one nipple's been bothering for quite some time. Everything is fine, no nefarious infestation, which is good peace of mind. Let me tell you, New York Adorned has some hot people working there. I should have asked dark-eyed piercing girl how she knew about High Preistess in Eugene, could have maybe sparked some conversation. Ahhh women... I love them all, whether it works out or not. Sometimes they're tall and sparky. Sometimes they also work in advertising. Sometimes they're too hip and sometimes I don't call them. Sometimes I'm too freaky for my own good; sometimes too square. It would be easier for me if I had a genre or something. Too much muddly middle in-between, everything always new and challanging.

I don't know if I'm being trolled or what, but I've been exchanging emails with some totally outlandish pro-war people. Nothing new with the corrispondence -- I've been at that for a while -- but my latest interlocutor is really out there, the first person outside of the sewers of LGF to really use "they" kind of language. As in, "they should all be punished," and so forth. Whacky.

I'm now an authorized contributer to nowarblog.org! Zang! Last night I watched some PBS -- an interview with Don Rumsfeld on the News Hour, and then a Frontline special on the war -- and had some interesting discussion with Alex and Laura downstairs. We were drinking port wine, so I might have been a bit overbearing. In any case, I posted my observations on Stand Down.

Things are flexing around here. I'm trying to drum up the cash to re-join my gym, but all my paychecks are a few weeks off and some serious hoarding is in order to make sure the rent gets done. Maybe I can talk the good people at the Asser Levy down. We'll see.

February 20th Vacilation

The truth comes slowly, in a kind of creeping form. I've been living by my wits and having a ball since I got back to town about a month ago. Things have been busy and blustering and fucking cold but tons of fun as well. I've been getting laid and having conversations, going to protests and waking up early to apply my mind. I've been riding in the snow and wondering how it will all come together. I'm currently in a little bit of a tizzy because calls are out and calls havn't been made and my love life is a big confusing marvelous ball of electricity. Coming out of such a dark and uniform time, it's a little much to confront. I don't know where it's going, but I'm going to keep riding this gut-breathing reel.

Earlier Today
More loop-de-loops for my confidence levels lately. There's something inherantly unstable going on here, something choppy and rapid. I seem to waver by turns between turgid strength and almost infantile weakness. Nothing really to worry about, just some of the old 10th-grade style insecurity creeping in around the edges. Maybe some full disclosure is in order. I'm not being tortured by anything in hiding -- secrets and silence are the seeds of madness -- but I am wrangling with that whole public/private issue. The truth always feels better, but sometimes letting it all go can be a little daunting. I'll take it under advisement and report back when the dharma has reached high tide.

In other news, someone is suing Lowes Cinemas for playing ads before the films. Bravo!

Bill O'Riley aught to quit posting his transcripts. He reads even more like an ass than he sounds. "I'd follow you to Denny's." Sheesh. I realize they just arrested this man (though the charges are rather hazy), but I still find O'Riley's bellicosity to be cringeworthy to the point of stomach-turning.

February 19th Gimme Sommmore

Here's a fascinating thread of discussion: the denizens of slashdot discuss an article about why nerds are unpopular. Anyone who's ever enjoyed tripping out on high school will find this fascinating.

A lot of politics here lately. Sorry (well, not really), but I've been fired up, and not too inclined to relegate it all to my sub-blog. Just too many fantastic tidbits, like this article Frank sent me about Iraq kicking Fox News out of Bagdhad. Nice to know they're paying a price for being so "fair and balanced."

Based on the "would you use comments" poll I've been running for the past week, I'll be switching from my homebrewed frontpage mechanism to some autoblog tool to power this section at the end of the month. Movable Type seems to be the king of the ring at the moment. They power a lot of great sites, like this, and I've heard the couple who maintain the code are real cool. Anyone with other suggestions?

February 18th Humming and Singing

Paul Krugman, you are my American Idol. In a stunning, comprehensive and devastatingly witty evisceration of the hawkish American news media, my now-unquestionable favorite NYT columnist posits a rather obvious yet little thought-of reason for the suddenly chilly relations between the US and Europe. Top notch.

Conversations abound. Real conversations, thank the maker. My original internet inspiration has at long last broken his silence about war, and it seems that everywhere I turn the dialogue is beginning to thaw. In the end, what separates me from what i would estimate to be about 25% of the pro-war population seems to be little more than truth and fear.

Many pro-war types are solidly set in their ways, enthusiastic about the use of American force to transform the globe, made up that the left is nothing much more than a pack of churlish rabble. These are the same kinds of people who backed the Vietnam war up until the end, who voted Goldwater, who would have loved to see a third (or fourth) term for Regan. They're committed to being wrong.

However, I would estimate that at the very least 1/4 of the pro-war camp is really acting out of a state of misinformed terror. As we spread the hopeful message and begin to counteract the half-truths and misinformation that the Administration has been slinging, more and more of these people are starting to come around and see that there's no good reason to slaughter Iraqis and endanger US credibility.

February 17th Furry Flurry Fury

Wow... I had a transcendental protest, but apparently Matt didn't have such a good time. He's a mind-mannered fellow, so it's really something to read him so pissed off.

Can we talk about the weather? It's a snow day! I'm from Oregon, and although in childhood days in Iowa we saw some blizzards, this is my first as an adult. It's exciting and fun... the usual rules break down. It's a disaster, but the only casualties are the daily grind, and possibly the homeless.

Continuing with my political momentum, here's a letter I sent to NYT columnist William Safire today:

Mr Safire,

In your recent column, you write:

"The menace of Saddam has driven a wedge in the world, with Paris-Berlin-Moscow-Beijing on the side of unending delay, and with the great majority of democratic nations with Washington and London-led Europe on the side of action."

This is plainly a blatant act of spin on your part. Who are the "great majority of democracies" of which you speak? Italy with their self-pardoning media-mogul president is hardly a model for democracy. The governments in Romania, Poland, Hungary and the rest of Rumsfeld's "new Europe" are even less democratic than Russia. In Britan, Tony Blair continues to push war in spite of overwhelming public opposition, so while you can make a case that the government in London is behind Mr. Bush, it's highly fatuous to claim that the nation, let alone the people within it, are on board.

In fact, the US is the only country where the public opinion numbers on this proposed war are anywhere near 50-50. At this time I'll refrain from making any statements about the state of American democracy vis-a-vis the 2000 election and move right along to why we're the only nation who's populace seems to even tentatively support war.

A cursory examination of poll data and the tactics used by the administration to generate political momentum for attacking Iraq reveals a comprehensive campaign of fear and misinformation. Many of those who support war also believe that one or more of the 9-11 hijackers were Iraqi, which is not the case. Opinions which contradict the Administration are kept out of the mainstream media, causing those with peace in their hearts to feel isolated and alone. Information about the war on terror is released on a highly intentional and timed basis in order to keep the pressure on for the general public.

In spite of all of this, as this weekend's massive worldwide events have shown, the people have not been fooled, and the lies are beginning to crumble. I believe it is high time that you stop spouting war-mongering rhetoric and hew to whatever journalistic ethos remain within you.

February 16th Optimistic

It was a fantastic weekend for peace and justice, if not the truth. It seems that people here in the US are finally coming alive and understanding that they're being sold a false bill of goods, that they are being manipulated with fear and mislead about the administrations intent in their plans for war. Though it's still sad to me that we the American people allowed ourselves to be hypnotized by the totem of 911 for so long, I'm happy to report that an awakening is finally under way. All the change in the air is making me feel like there might be a future for beauty on this earth.

I was at the protest in NYC, and I'm so damn proud of my town right now. 1st avenue was full from 51st street (maybe even 47th... there was a whole crowd of other people behind the stage) up into the 80's, into the 90's according to some folks. In addition to that, because the NYPD radically underestimated the turnout, possibly equally as many people as were actually at the rally on 1st ave were unable to reach it because the cops didn't now what to do and started turning people away. The MTA even shut down several key subway lines in the early afternoon to keep people off the upper east side. These patriots -- many of them my friends, so I'm speaking from 1st hand accounts -- were not deterred, filling 2nd and 3rd avenues, stopping traffic, demanding to be allowed to join the protest, creating their own protest march in spite of the fact that they lacked a proper permit.

I've spoke with my mother and some others from around the country in the past days. The spirit was everywhere, from Eugene to San Francisco, and in smaller towns too. This wasn't a case of everyone pilgramaging into an urban area to create big numbers: it was the real deal. Honest, widespread, impassioned, local opposition. What with everything happening I wasn't able to keep a very close watch on the media, but according to people in the know the coverage has been good. Even the NY Post, chief Murdoch shill-machine, was remarkably fair and balanced. They played it like battle lines being drawn, but that's actually an accurate appraisal of what it's going to be if Team Bush proceeds in the face of outright rebuttal from the world community.

In the midst of it all, I must tell you I felt real hope for the first time in a long time. With this many people, half a million at least, willing to come out in the freezing cold, there's no chance for lasting support of Bush's war at home. And you can forget about real support from any other nation: London's protest dwarfed our own. Tony Blair can't stay on board without explicit backing from the UN, and he's not going to get it. Without the UK, count out Australia, and that leaves Spain, Italy and a bunch of former Soviet Satellites as candidates for our "coalition of the willing." Furthermore, if those states stay on board, it's because their leaders know they don't really answer to their citizens (e.g. Italy) and/or their citizens are apathetic about the issue.

I apologize for any hawk readers (though I doubt I have any, though let me know if you are: I'd be fascinated), but the democracies of the world have spoken. The task for Bush and co is now to find a face-saving means of backing off. Just ask yourself this question: could you get this kind of turnout for a pro-war rally? Not in a million years. To quote a great playwright, "Yes to life, no to death! Yes Yes Yes!"

February 14th V-Day

Took some direct action this morning, waking up early and heading into outer Brooklyn with Frank, armed with masking tape, clever posters and handbills for tomorrow's big protest. The posters are neat little takeoffs on ESPN's "Without Sports" campaign, which is in heavy rotation on the subway, offering various "Without War" compositions. We rode in on A, C and E trains, sticking up posters and trying not to do it in front of any NYPD, who are on increased subway patrol since the fear level was racheted up. Handed out some handbills, made a little eye-contact. Felt good to do something pro active.

Watching UNSC stuff via cspan. It seems like eveyone agrees what's going on: Iraq is being less than fully cooperative with weapons inspections. No one is surprised by this. The question seems to be, what is the objective here, and what's the best way of acheiving it. The stated objective of the US administration (according to Colin Powell today) is to disarm Iraq for the purpose of making America safe. I'll pass on commenting as to the hazy correlation between these two goals, and move right on to the substative issue: what's the best way to disarm someone? What is the way most likely to succeed and to harm the fewest people? Inspections, even non-consensual ones, are better at finding and destrying WMD than bombing. War carries enormous costs. The answer seems clear to me. The international community (the audience at the UNSC) applauded statements by the French, Chinese and Russian representatives and pointedly did not applaud the statements made by Mr Powell. Isn't that a pretty clear message? Am I taking crazy pills?

I hear that a lot of people are afraid. I'm worried about a lot of things, but I'm not afraid and I don't think you should be either. The fear is a fantasy that's being projected onto you, and although it's powerful and contagious, it's based on lies. We must retain the belief that the truth is stronger than lies. The truth is love, the truth always feels better, and it is the truth that will set us free from fear.

That being said, things are getting more and more 1984 every day, the doublespeak level almost maddening. Something has to give. The latest sad charade has been Colen Powell trying to sell that audio casette snakeoil. As Paul Krugman mentions as an aside in today's fine column:

"The tape calls Saddam Hussein an "infidel" whose "jurisdiction... has fallen," but says that it's still O.K. to fight the "Crusaders" - and Mr. Powell claims that it ties Saddam to Al Qaeda. Huh? All it shows is that Al Qaeda views a U.S. invasion of Iraq as an excellent recruiting opportunity."
One wonders why the man is seemingly so willing to sacrifice his reputation, which is already suffering. Yes, something is going to have to give indeed, and soon.

February 13th Fascist Giraffe

Yet more evidence that I lead a strange and charmed life. Show at the Publik house was shaky -- I'm not at all used to working with microphones -- but well received. Free beer didn't hurt it at all. 2003 appears to be the year of Josh Time, and the truth is setting me free in amazing and wonderful ways. I'm in such a good mood not even the impending doom of Valentine's day can bring me down. Everything is good except the war, which really seems inevitable. If you've got the stomach for it, check out what it's going to look like: gun-camera footage from Afghanistan.

Now I am become Shiva, the destroyer of worlds.

February 12th Zipity Doo Da

Here's a pretty little link. A college student from Pennsylvania reports on taking a trip to Iraq. Simple. Effective. True.

I'll be performing tonight at the GoatFish Theater Collective's Open Stage event at the Williamsbug Public House (Union and Grand, just South of the Lorimer L-train stop). The event is from 7 to whenever, with no cover and free beer from 7 to 8pm. I don't know when I'll be up, but I'll be performing a version of this piece from more than a year ago.

I went digging through some old school stuff looking for a teacher's email address -- keeping up connections is job number one in the artsy world -- and I happened on some old papers. Aside from a number of stylistic glitches, I'm surprised by how much I liked what I had to say. I've been working on a big Praxis document, a kind of life plan thing, and I need some specific artistic resolutions to go with it. It's a shame I didn't keep digital copies of more of my work from undergrad.

February 11th Witch Tits

I live in a house full of dudes. We yell in the hallways, leave crap all over the bathrooms, etc. Tonight we're drinking Polish beers and watching Born on the Fourth of July. It's making me hate the idea of war more than ever. Goddamn Oliver Stone and his drug-addled directing techniques, making me drunk and emotional. Usually my opposition to war is intelligent and reasoned, but when confronted with something like the story of Ron Kovick, all I can think of is the people I know who will be over there when it comes time. IT'S NOT FUCKING WORTH IT. Even if it's a cakewalk. Human lives aren't worth what we've got planned. The cause is not worth anyone dying for.

In other news, it's fucking freezing again. Sunrise over the BQE unveils a world ensconced in frozen salt-water and diesel exhaust. For a while it's beautiful, something to wake up to, and then work calls.

I've been writing software for the past two weeks, taking something I created two years ago (with two-year-old tools and two-year-old skills) and updating it for the now. I enjoy this kind of work, and I need it for paying the bills, but there comes a point when mind-melding with the machine becomes detrimental, where I start getting strange and irritable. I remember the first time this happened, when I was first getting into the .com thing and I wrote some perl script to talk to a fledgling open-source database. It had an incredible amount of {[brackets]} backs\ashes 'and' single "and" double-quotes, all working to make two very different syntaxes cooperate to store some simple data. After writing it in a five-hour caffeine frenzy, I had a hard time speaking to other people, my mind so conditioned to mechanically parsing language.

These days things are easier -- thanks to php and a few years progress for the open-source/free-software movement -- but my problems have moved to higher-levels, managing the flow of information, insuring its integrity, changing its form and shape to suit the user's needs. These long days of binary massage are giving me strange callouses.

Does listening to Coldplay make me a goddamn sissy? I kept catching a nice piano reel in snatches on radio (I avoid that shit like the plague since ClearChannel took it all over) and finally someone told me that it was coldplay. To the musty corners of peer-to-peer file sharing I turned, eventually hunting down the song, "Clocks," and sitting down to listen. I like it, but am wary of its emo-pop simplicity. There's nothing wrong with a love song, but its so hard to talk about the good things in the world without sounding like a simpleton. Maybe that's the times. I find alternate solace in the wintery electronic soundscapes of the Boards of Canada, but they don't quite fire me up per-se. Do you know any good music? Hook me up!

February 10th Glass Beads

Still busy fomenting anti-postmodern polemic in the back of my mind, even as I practice the black arts myself. Hypocrisy and irony, vices of the day. I've been making plodding headway on Hesse's Magister Ludi, and while at this stage there seems little point to the whole thing, just a lot of pedantry and less than electrifying prose, the prophetic descriptions of the Life of the Mind are intriguing.

In case anyone wants to peek under the rock where the truly vile pro-war people hide, it's here. Here's another thought: with the economy in the crapper like it is, all this worrying about war is really really distracting. I can hardly get any work done and I feel the need to constantly re-load cnn.com over and over again. Mr. President, please help me boost the production of our nation by relenting from your ceaseless fear-mongering.

February 9th Josh Time

Second Sunday in a row I've woken up dazed, sated, scratches and such marking up my back and chest. Almost unprecedented. I suppose it really is Josh time now. My friend Kate from back in Oregon told me that my confidence and attitude seem to erratically waver between -- I'm paraphrasing here -- magnetic shining brilliance and cowering adolescent paranoia. I'm all too aware of this fluxus in my soul, would love to do something about it, and yet the spectre of hubris looms large. Getting to big for my britches, I wonder? Is this a solid foundation I'm laying down here, or a just a house of cards. I'm not sure yet, but I'm trying to do more like Allen Ginsburg would, and it's reminding me, pleasantly, that the truth really does always feel better.

Well, it turns out that state of the union remix I posted while back was from last year. Here's one that's more current, even if it is audio only: www.thesmokehammer.com.

February 8th Particulation

The blurred edge to another worky week swung past my head last night, disappearing in a sudden fit of lonesome contemplation down the dark narrow neck of a port wine bottle. It's in a warm place now, bathing in Lush with the rest of my earthly concerns. I got a little drunk and walked through the snows of Greenpoint and Brooklyn with Frank and Rose, a kind of clear-eyed longing for more innocent times rising in the back of my mind. We went to visit with J-Mo and her bristling energy-ball of a puppy and get very very high before bumbling our way downstairs -- conversations with foreigners in the classy wood-panelled elevator; we have fuzzy hats in common -- and into a cab headed downtown. I talked like a communist with the African driver; karma, helping one another, all the good things in life, as we sluiced our way through the East Village to see the midnight showing of Donnie Darko.

The movie is good, even great filmmaking. It's a compelling story, easy empathy for anyone who's ever been frustrated by the level of bullshit that surrounds us in our daily lives. The writing was full of wit and the performances powerful and nuanced. However, I left uncertain if I wanted to buy into the film's particular brand of existentialism. It was kind of like "It's a Wonderful Life," except everything is normatively ambiguous, left to the viewer to imbue with whatever flavor of ontology they prefer. While I came into the theater with no particular expectations, because the film was so well done and full of marvelously human specificity I ended up wanting more from it in the end, more than a shoulder-shrugging quasi-sci-fi pat on that back about accepting our fate. Fuck fate. What are we, Greek?

Rose spun a good interpretation based on the fact that we all end laughing, and that the moral of human sacrifice for the greater good is worthwhile. There's a good feeling in all that melancholy, but I'm still not quite there. I don't think laughing at the end equates to a life well lived, and I'm not sure if human sacrifice is the way to greater good. Don't lump me in with Adam Smith or Ayn Rand (that saucy tart), but I believe that saving the world lies in searching for, developing and propagating win-win situations. Life isn't a zero sum game, thank the makers.

But like I said, it's a good film and I recommend it. Postmodernism is mostly a giant cocktease, but sometimes the makeout is pleasant enough to justify the blueballs at the end. That was how I felt about Adaptation, for instance, and to some degree also Waking Life. It's till not getting laid, and a far cry from making love, but it's a damn sight better than the evening news, potato-chip crumbs and going to bed alone.

February 7th And I wake up and it's snowing

What this shit is this shit? The NY Sun (local neoCon rag) is praising city hall for blocking up the Feb 15th protest permit request. Lines are being drawn. Take note.

Maybe I should re-juvinate my peaceblog, or perhaps just start posting more politics stuff here, because it goes on like this... check out this neat dissection of post-invasion rebuilding plans for Iraq done by some Japanese students of the Japanese occupation after WWII, which is a model for most Hawks post-war fantasies. Scroll down a bit to get to the good stuff. Choice quote: "If U.S. plans for Iraq bear no resemblance to the Japanese example, why, then, does the Bush administration persist in such a spurious comparison?" So politely phrased, yet such a good question.

Back to personal stuff. Got some inspiration late last night on some things I've been writing. I'm currently working on four pieces: a one-man show, a short performance about dancing vis a vis sex, a short story and a life-plan/manafesto. I was listening to my fancy new mp3 player and drifting off to sleep when I was hit by a rush of images thanks to The Boards of Canada's "High Scores". Maybe you'll see some results here soon.

Date last night was pretty good, as these things go. I hate dates, havn't been one one in about a year and a half, but it was kind of unavoidable to have at least one date-date. I just find myself so stuck in performance mode, trying to impress this person, listening to what I think is working, modifying my bit. I don't even do very well at that, in spite of all the training. I talk to much, usually about the wrong things. I tense my shoulders. I make awful faces. However, I have an inkling that maybe she was a little keyed up too. That or she's just a little spastic. Either case is fine with me. Looking forward to more casual times.

Speaking of times, the New York Times that is, excellent one-two punch in the editorial section today. I just can't stay off politics, but these are great pieces to read. I've pulled google-news links for all you non-registrants, so click away.

First of all, I fucking love Paul Krugman. He's the motherfucking bomb-diggity: a public-minded economist. I want to be him -- or maybe have my friend Luke be him so I can be his friend -- when I grow up. Choice quote: "You know, $570 billion here and $570 billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money." Nicholas Kristof has been hit or miss for me. He's an Oregon boy, but seems to waffle on the war quite a lot. Today's column was insightful though, drawing comparisons between Iraq today and Lybia in the 1980s, arguing quite lucidly for containment. He's saying what we're all thinking: "Ok, so Saddam's bad and shifty and hiding stuff from inspectors. That necessitates war, invasion, occupation and $1B+ in spending by what logic?" Spot on, you cleft-chinned Oregonian son of a bitch. Spot on.

It's a great combo of ideas because it really highlights how Team Bush are cramming us into this handbasket and trying to get it loaded on the rocket-train to hell: ballooning deficits and ill-advised military adventures are not the keys to an enlightened and prosperous 21st century, fellows. I don't know who told you that, but you should check their credentials, make sure no one slipped you a rufie or something.

On the other hand there's Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post: "...opponents of war now have a little problem. If Powell was sufficiently convincing that Iraq has stockpiled dangerous weapons and lied about it, we're not going to try to disarm Saddam unless France says it's okay?" I would refer them to the previous point. Does disarming Saddam justify invasion? In case somehow you were blinded by the light of Mr Powell's presentation, let me remind you that invasion is a crappy way to destroy WMD stockpiles and carries enormous human, diplomatic and economic costs.

February 6th Heating Up

Things seem to be getting hot on the international scene. With the meticulous but unsurprising performance by Powell the other day at the UN, the talking heads are making one last push to catalyze war fever. Any bets on when we'll have Bombs Over Baghdad?

Today I'm off to Grand Central to help an old teacher of mine, Steve Wangh, with a political performance he's conceved. We'll be giving a fake press conference with Steve as Lex Talionis, 1st World Press Attache for TIT, the Terrorist International Trust. He'll be praising America for their bold plan to invade Iraq and ignite a culture of righteous retribution, and remark that future generations will record the US and Terrorists as religious allies on the path to Armageddon. I'll let you all know how it works out (maybe w/video).

February 5th Big Day

Big errand running production today. I also have a date tomorrow night and work to do in the mean time, so I'm generally riding high. The news brings me down on schedule though; my response to the day's events at the UN. Although this is f'in hillarious.

Also bawlitical: Bill O'Riley tells his guests to shut up when they disagree with him (tom tomorrow). It's really something to watch -- or read a transcript of -- one of the #1 right-wing windbags disintegrating in the face of someone with truly held convictions. The bullshit is starting to overwhelm the perfume, my friends.

Last night I went with Julia to this fun East Village event. It was a spaghetti dinner and performance cabaret. Reminded me of Axiom, but all grown up. Put on by a company called "Great Small Works," and has been an institution for nigh on 25 years. Much fun and inspiring, gives me the resolve to be the wild and crazy character that I am.

February 4th Syn Chronis Itty

I was talking spam with the roomies last night over to-die-for salmon dinner (thanks Rose!) and lo and behold, today I got something I really appreciated. It's a little geeky, but then again so am I.

February 3rd When Will the Next War Begin

I havn't made much mention of the recent NASA Columbia tragedy. Don't know what to say other than "holy crap, those poor brave souls." I really hope the media attention somehow spins out more enthusiasm for space, or at the very least a little more space rhetoric from people in power. I've always felt that the Space program was one of the great projects our nation might focus on and in doing do generate many dividends for the world. I mean, hell, we've got to get off this rock sometime. Space is the place.

Frank and I have been joking since December about a "Bombs over Bhagdad" pool to bet on when the high-explosive festivites will commence. Looks a lot like soon, unfortunately. In case any of you need more convincing, Tom Tomorrow has some interesting sleuth work backing up the notion that the idea of attacking Iraq has been in the hopper for a long time and that "terrorism" and 9-11 are merely the cause du jour being used to sell the product.

There's a lot planned for the 15th of February here in NYC, but the organizers are still having trouble getting a permit. If anyone sees this today, check out who you can call to weigh in. I just did. The mayors office recorded my opinion, but the nice lady at the police commissioner's office (646-610-8526) took my name and address for a list right then and there. Hopefully that means I'm helping out, not setting myself up to be survailed.

February 2nd Josh Koenig is Sated

What a vastly pleasing weekend it's been. We had a rip-roaring success of a party out here at The Meek, about a hundred or so people showed up and we put to rest three kegs of pabst and a full bar. There was dancing and laughter all through the building, and it would seem that a very good time was had by all.

I had an especially nice time, floating high on a wicked speedball of accomplishment and flirtation. My general policy is not to kiss and tell -- I take the Irvine Welsh view that being enigmatic is worth more stud points than any amount of detail -- but there was a lot of heat in my quarter. I feel very similar to when I was on my way back from Holland at the beginning of this past summer.

I remember walking over the bridge in Ahrnem with my backpack on and my shirt off, just a man in boots and jeans with a wife-beater and a cup of poisonously strong Dutch coffee, listening to the White Stripes and letting the rhythm of things give the whole scene some drive. I was a little bit sweaty and in the absolute best of spirits, feeling blessed and holy yet full of turgid passions, like some kind of dionysian half-god or a genuine sex machine. I wrote in my journal at the time that I should seriously endeavour to import some of this Dutch swagger back in the states.

At the time, I wasn't able to maintain enough internal gyroscopic energy to keep it all on an even keel. It was pretty much crash and burn, setting the summer up as a long lazy downward spiral into a paranoid and frustrated autumn. Now the worm has turned, and in the harsh arctic winds of the season, I'm finding the eternal fire inside. It's a good thing: the heart is a perpetual motion muscle for as long as we live. When it stops, so do we. Like all great truths, this is applicable both physically and metaphysically.

I remember the first time I took LSD, Frank mentioned that he had to go back to St. Louis to get some heart-work done. He was talking about wearing an EKG machine to track some irregularities that had popped up, but in my accelerated state I immediately seized upon the many possible meanings of "heart work." I thought, wow, that's really the end-all be all of life, heart work. Soul satisfaction. Artwork is heartwork if everything is going well.

I need to get cooking on some of that as well. Artwork. Ideas abound, but when do they not, so it's once again time to put the theory into practice.

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Trips in Space and Time 8/02/03

Big Wheels in Berkeley
I scored a set of west-coast wheels today at the Ashby BART station flea market. It's a very tall schwinn road bike, black, deceptively heavy but smooth-riding. Thirty-five dollars to boot. I oiled and cleaned the works, dialed in the bakes and took it out for a shake-down cruise immediately. Nice riding on a beautiful saturday, realizing how out of shape I am as I wheezed my way though the hilly area behind the Berkeley campus.

After about an hour I started to get the swing of it. Made some minor mechanical adjustments (including a free wheel truing at the bike collective on Shattuck), drank a few liters of water and started finding my groove, cruising up and around and ending up with a beautiful view of the whole bay. The roads here are not kind to the speed inclined -- too many stop signs and crosswalks and lights -- but it was good to get out and proj for a while. This changes my summer dramatically.

...older trips...


Smother Me With
Filthy Lucre