Tuesday, June 27, 2006

My Name is No One

And I go a little mad.

What I lack, and oh people don’t get me wrong because I lack so few things, so listen closely disciples, what I lack – is direction.
I feel a bit like untapped pool, without the heart to find a single thing that means everything to me. Instead, I am cursed to find that almost everything means something to me, and it’s a lonely, appeasing living.
Well, I guess the upside is it’s not a completely lonely boat. Lacking direction is hardly unique. Just plain desponding.

So I finally got my hands on Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2006… yes I know I’m well over a month late on this one, but my dad’s a Time hog and it’s pointless to have two copies in one house. Interesting everybody! Check out some of the basic info at http://time.com/time100 but I would suggest you get your hands on a real copy. Condoleezza Rice wrote Oprah’s entry, and it’s one hell of a charged read. Where I’m going with this, oh yea of little faith, is the opening line reads “I believe influence is the union of power and purpose.” And if Condi believes it then I fucking well do too. So If you’ve been paying attention at all I’m just whinging about having power with no purpose, and don’t really have anything relevant to say here.

I feel a WOO coming on! If you post “woo” anywhere within your comment, you’ll win a special Round Here apathy prize pack (the sneakier the apathetic-er). If you can name the source of my WOO oncoming, you win an even bigger prize pack: my grudging respect. Maybe.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re very bored. Not of my writing, I assume, otherwise you’d be lost long back, but in general, hence your vague internet wafting. SO! I think you should all Google “Slavoj Zizek” and do yourself a favour.
Especially if you’re doing a cultural studies unit as I seem to be. It’s gold, it’s all gold, it’s mysterious, hilarious, grand literary hoax mystique gold. And no one knows a thing, not even I, your omnipotent savior.

AND HEED! We are now past the solstice! Our mighty annulations are beyond the bisect! We march onwards.
I log my blog. Oh what a great sentence! It’s at once über, über po-mo po-mil technorati crap , plus it rhymes! So I log my blog, right, and I just noted that I opened my year’s worth of entries with the words ‘Clandestine openings and slamming departures!’
WELL! We are now at the midpoint, the nadir perhaps, of our 2006 together, and creeping through these clandestine openings are the tendrils that have built our lives! At this point our year’s openings have now made themselves subtly, if not pressingly clear, and it is all downhill from here friends! Oh, yes! Beware the golden threads to choose to tug at now will be slamming departures by the end, and we are well and truly on the path now, no turning back!
I choose to name this point in my year ‘The Walkway’, in between the openings of the new year, the new friends, ventures, hopes, challenges and hates. We are walking, the pathway locked and enclosed towards a slamming departure of this period in our lives, we are tracing the lines of our beasts, and hold friends, HOLD!

That might just be my favorite Shakespeare moment by the way. God, what a dorky thing to have, a “favorite Shakespeare moment” as if we all have 5. No, when Lady Macbeth is soliloquizing, she finishes the most powerful speech that a woman gets to make in any Shakespeare play, and does so with the words “Hold! Hold!” I really like it. It says something to me, many things, those powerful pair of identical words. Like a drowning man remembering all that he did wrong to the one woman he loved, crying silently kilometers undersea, Hold, everyone. Hold.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Political Crap

I just plain don't believe in politics. The affiliation thing makes me FURIOUS, because it bags you into beliefs you don't hold, just to support ones that you do.
Rosie made me do this test thing, and whilst the questions were few and with poor choices, this reflects the polarity of my political opinion fairly well. I'd say I agree with most of these percentages.

Your Political Profile:
Overall: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Social Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal
Ethics: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Can't Live Like This

Is there anything that I could do, that someone doesn’t do for you?

I’m that’s how it is, isn’t it? You know in primary school how everyone tells you that each individual has one thing they’re good at, one special thing they do better than anyone else. Well isn’t that bullshit and a half. For every talent you may have I can guarantee you’re not considered world #1, and even if you are that’s only for so long as it takes for someone else to come along and knock you off.

You know in that movie with Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson… ah I forget the name… well there’s this bit where they’re Instant Messaging after they’ve broken up, and Jack types “I Miss you”, then erases it letter by letter, and it’s sad not because Diane’s character never knows he typed that, but because we audience know he did. And that thoughtful, weary, deletion of emotion is EXACTLY how I feel right now. That one scene in that one movie captures most exactly this week.

I must have typed at least 10 messages on my phone to various people, only to press the little red X. I keep thinking about going out, and then getting to my letterbox and thinking the better of it. I can’t even make toast. I put some bread in this morning, then just popped it up straight away and re-bagged it. Then ate an apple. I was only seconds away from deleting the first pointless paragraph of tonight’s blog, when I thought it might be more productive to talk about this compulsion.

A Tuscan herd of elephants are murdering crows on my front lawn. I’m sitting in a leather-backed chair, that has vinyl instead of leather, on my porch. At times, I feel like stopping the elephants, and at other times, helping them. But the most important thing is that there never seem to be any less crows, and the elephants never seem to tire of the murdering. On the other side of the green grass, a red letterbox has a big yellow envelope showing through the blue glass. I’ve been waiting to receive it for many weeks, but I’ve decided not to go and get it until the elephants are done, partly because I don’t want to be stomped, but mostly because I don’t want to interrupt their important work. I already know the contents of the letter – it’s a census – but I still feel the same anticipation as if it was a big black box with a giant question mark on it. So to pass the time I’m building a radio. On Gilligan’s Island the professor makes one out of Island materials, and I feel I can do the same with Verandah ones. Theoretically there are all kinds of atoms floating around in the air, just in such small proportions that some people don’t even think they’re important. But for every copper atom that floats by my way I’m ever closer to real entertainment. Currently I can only pick up a few AM stations and John Safran’s Sunday night Triple J program, but life is about the little steps, and I understand their value.
Under the Umbrella Tree the crows are mounting an offensive. Wouldn’t it be silly if Umbrellas really did grow on trees, reads a large flashing neon sign stapled to it. Really though, it only has umbrella shaped stalks and leaf arrangements. The crows are planning to use the famous “Pincer” formation, and one of them is flipping through a copy of ‘The Art of War’, but crows can’t read so it wasn’t performing any meritable service. I have seen the crows launch infinite offences, and I know they will launch more. Crows just can’t take down elephants, it’s an obvious fact. But by giving up, they would be wiped out. This means they are fighting a war they will never be able to win, only prolong, and are choosing to do so. Neither the elephants nor the crows can decide if this is ignoble, but I can see it deep inside one elephant’s left eye that she believes it is. That eye, however, was one pecked out by crows, so it may be biased.
So there is a Sisyphean struggle unfolding on the lawn, and as such the chances of receiving my census are looking ever grimmer. Without it though, the government might not know I exist, and without that I lose my nationalistic acknowledgement. How can I be here if I am not censored; freedom is to have never been born. And if I have never been born, then it is obvious my ears cannot listen to John Safran, and I fear the silence.  

I fear the silence.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Minor Wigglings

I’m trying to centralize my ever-increasing internet operations here, because I happen to like this site, and the good people at Google who keep it easy to edit and Ad-free, so it’s undergoing some renovations. If something is screwing up in your browser, doing things that you think it shouldn’t, please tell me.
I’ll hopefully be messing around with some weird features, and obviously they might not be completely user-friendly at first.

So just to start with there’s some purdy pictures and a jumpbox to my various comic pages, and soon, to all relevent pages. Yay for that. Soon, layout playing and interactive features like myspace music playing or animations. As always, comments are nice.

Oh, and if I haven’t accosted you already, my 24 hour comic entry for this year is available via the link above.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Eclectic Neuron Firings

Ann Lindbergh wrote that to write is to do more than live, it is to be conscious of living. I take this to mean that by writing we gain a deeper understanding of our own thoughts, expressing them through the funnel, if you will, that is coherent language.
You might know exactly how something feels, or looks - anyone in all of existence has been able to do that. But to express it as a knowable concept through other known concepts, thus broadening the range of available knowledge, is truly a feat to be admired.
The only definition of genius that I can come up and be satisfied with, is someone who contributes to human understanding in any meaningful way. The more it influences and contributes, the greater the genius is. I see genius as something which takes form in levels.
Example – Albert Einstein. Einstein is almost undisputedly denoted as a genius, because his contribution to knowledge and the way we see ourselves within the universe, was so monumental. His contribution was to influence what is now almost a century of revolutionary thinking.
Beethoven, Shakespeare, Isaac Newton, any rarely disputed holder of the title genius does so because of the level of influence. Beethoven’s music changed perceptions, endowed listeners with an inner power which changed them internally, thus changing the external world they influenced.
So genius can be construed as levels of contribution. I draw a circle on the pad of paper next to me, and have thus contributed to the universe, at the most insignificant level, this is an act of genius, just not very much. Circles have been drawn before, my circle presents no great new understandings of the circle, people who see my circle will not be changed in any meaningful way (i.e. – it affecting their actions or thoughts). Many people have written, and had published, novels. These contributions to the world are at a higher level of genius, but each has had a profoundly different influence. Allison Goodman wrote a novel that’s on my shelf of no great import at all. Few will ever read it, and those that do will not find anything greatly distinctive about it. Some genius involved though. Terry Pratchett has written novels of great importance to many people. Provided you find that sort of humour and social satire pleasing, you must acknowledge the powerful, extensive, and unique contribution he has made. Plenty of genius involved. James Joyce has so many essays written about his four central works that printed they would be over 2000 times longer than his actual body of writing. For every word he wrote, someone has written 2000 words about it. His influence on the English language, the teaching of English, human understanding of their own basic functions, observations on life, death, and dreaming, is massively important, bringing new concepts and processes to our world. This equates to being very high on the genius scale.
Murakami (Who you’ll remember as my recommended reading for this month) writes that a theory may be considered worth pursuing solely on the basis of a lack of counter-evidence. So provide me with some, dear readers, and I won’t blab on about my genius-o-meter any more.

Tim asked me the other day what my top 5 albums for the year are. i.e. Albums that have been released in 2006. It’s still only half-way, yes, bu some pretty strong contenders are emerging. So, in order:
  1. The Hold Steady – Separation Sunday

  2. The Strokes – First impressions of Earth

  3. Augie March – Moo, You Bloody Choir

  4. The Flaming Lips – At War with the Mystics

  5. The Arctic Monkeys – Whatever people say I am that’s what I’m not

Very close contenders for the coveted spots for me included Pearl Jam’s latest, the Raconteurs album Broken Boy Soldiers, Fourth Floor Collapse’s utterly flooring (sorry) set Books with Broken Spines, The Grates album, and Morrissey’s return to form on Ringleader of the Tormentors. I’m still undecided about the Jose Gonzalez album, the Mates of State album and the Gnarls Barkley album. All too recent releases to judge properly. In conclusion, it’s been a good 6 months of
Oh, and I know that Separation Sunday is very technically a 2005 album, but it was only released legally in Australia in 2006. So it counts for me.

While I’m constructing pointless rankings, my top 10 songs of the year look like this:
  1. Trains to Brazil”, Guillemots

  2. “Steady As She Goes”, the Raconteurs

  3. “Cattle and the Creeping Things”, the Hold Steady

  4. “The Cold Acre”, Augie March

  5. “Drink til You Drown”, Fourth Floor Collapse

  6. “Ghosts have the Best Times”, the Panda Band

  7. “Mardy Bum”, the Arctic Monkeys

  8. “Vision of Division”, The Strokes

  9. “How a resurrection really feels”, The Hold Steady

  10. “Alibi”, the Mountain Goats

But so many missed out on that list, for no good reason really. It’s a difficult, difficult time for us all, list making time.

If you haven’t already, I strongly suggest taking around 30 minutes of your time and booking in a session to read Kafka’s “In the Penal Colony”. It’s as absorbing as it is disturbing, and it’s very much both. If it doesn’t make you think for a considerable time, one of us is lying.
A free and legal copy can be found here:

Now comment, bitches, by all means. What are your top album releases for 2006? What do you think of Kafka? Throw my genius theory askew. Let’s banter.

Stupid Internet Games Touch Our Lives

Give me a BS for Blog Stealing!. This is kinda like a much better voluntary e-mail chain letter. I stole it off Veech, who stole it off someone else, so it’s ok. It’s not stealing if it’s continuous.

Go to your music player of choice and put it on shuffle.Say the following questions aloud, and press play.Use the song titles that come up to answer each question.NO CHEATING.
How does the world see me?
The City of New Orleans, by Arlo Guthrie. Which you could interpret to mean the world sees me as a kinda folky lyricist, or a train wreck. Or, conceivably, as a destroyed music capital.
Will I have a happy life?
The Truth doesn’t make a Noise, by the White Stripes. I guess that’s a no. Abuse for all.
What do people really think of me?
Finding Your Own Way Home, by Duncan James. Yep, that settles it, folky and lyrical.
Do people secretly lust after me?
In the Backseat, by the Arcade Fire. Hehehhee, backseat of the car eh. That might just count as a “yes”.
How can I make myself happy?
Don’t Let Me Explode, by the Hold Steady. This is the best one yet. Not exploding WOULD make me incredibly happy. Actually, just listening to my favorite band is making me happier already. Maybe it’s trying to say I’d be happy if I took a road trip around America’s north-west. Three counts of smack on correct.
What should I do with my life?
Thrasher, by Neil Young. Hmm… become a farmer? Oh, wait, I get it, move out of this shithole farming town and head for the big lights. Good advice Neil.
Will I ever have children?
No Children, by the Mountain Goats. Ha, I’m kidding. I was really hoping that came up, but I guess life can’t be like that. It was Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out), by the Arcade Fire. That either means I’ll have three, or I’m impotent. Great. Fucked either way.
What is some good advice for me?
Music, By the Beautiful Girls. Yeah, that is good advice. Impressive record so far.
What do I think my current theme song is?
Protons, Neutrons, Electrons, by the Cat Empire. Hey, isn’t that EVERYONE’S underlying theme song. I mean seriously, that’s a pretty good theme song for life if I ever heard one.
What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
Tom’s Diner, by Susanne Vega. Now this just doesn’t make sense at all. Which perfect, because everyone really probably does think I’m as random, pointless and catchy as this song. Nice.
What song will play at my funeral?
Tribute, by Tenacious D. HA! Perfect. “The greatest man in the world” I like the sound of that. Kind of appropriate, but I’d have preferred “Hard Fucking”. Or “With Karate I’ll Kick Your Ass”, and then I was played like a puppet, karate chopping screaming funeral attenders.
What type of men/women do you like?
Cubs in Five, by the Mountain Goats. Either this means five year olds, or baseball players. Since I really can’t stand either this is the first one that’s been completely useless.
What is my day going to be like?
Wonderwall, by Oasis. That’s gotta be a good sign. Or maybe it means my day will be lonely. They all are people, they all are.
Why am I here?
The Element Song, by Tom Lehrer. I’m here… FOR SCIENCE! This falls under the same category as “Protons, Neutrons, Electrons” – it’s everyone’s reason they’re here.
What will people remember me for?
Game Shows Touch our Lives, by the Mountain Goats. Great. I’m destined to be Andrew O’Keefe. Just great. I wish it was “Touching Game Show’s Wives”… that’d be much better to be remembered for.
What song will I get stuck in my head tomorrow?
Wordless Chorus, by My Morning Jacket. I have it stuck in my head now, thank you.
What will this year be all about?
Crucifixion Cruise, by the Hold Steady. So religion and drugs. I can totally dig it.

More actual insight from me later. Considering how much music is on my media player, that’s a pretty limited selection. It doubles up artists a lot.

Friday, June 02, 2006

I failed, by the way.

I said I’m sorry to Maria for all the cold hearted things that I have done.

I’m actually kind of proud of all the cold hearted things that I have done. I know a lot of people who disagree. I’m guilty with lack of guilt.
So I’m watching Four Weddings and a Funeral… forgot how good that movie was, back when Hugh Grant was still good looking and funny. Tempus fugit. What it got me to thinking was that I have attended, and only attended, exactly that. Four weddings and one funeral. That’s not to say I haven’t known more than one person to die, just that… I’ve only ever been to one funeral. I didn’t go to my grandmother’s and I can’t remember why. That’s now really troubling me. Sorry, I’m lying through my teeth. That’s not troubling me at all. I was about 9. It troubles me as much as a stubbed toe that year. I probably cried more over the toe. Oh my god I’ve never cried over a dead person. How odd. I’ve cried over much much stupider things. Maybe I should. I cried over a dead bird. And a dead fish. I HATE fish, but I still cried when mine died. And yet dead people… don’t… oh wow. I should stop thinking about that, It’s creeping me out a wee tad with the extent of my own massive heartlessness. It’s in a different place.
Look, I’m tearing up over this movie right now because it’s going all unrequited love one me, and there’s a terribly lonely speech. But all those dead grandparents, good night.
So yeah, four weddings and a funeral. The only vaguely interesting wedding was my uncle, who actually did the whole kilt thing. This is getting very ironic. Then I went to one just because a friend of mine was singing, and much respect to that. The actual people were almost delightful irrelevant though, and even had the little pastoral symphonic music playing the cliché as they walked down the aisle. Another was outdoors, and had those white plastic chairs with lattice backs… wow, weddings are so tremendously predictably uniform. How shocking. It’s like those townhouses all the same, painted different shades of the same colour, and with a different shaped door, because “each is individual”. Jack White has the right idea though… canoes all the way. Then technically there was my parents, but I’m too young to remember that.
As depraved as this may sound to people who don’t know me, and in fact, to most of those who do, I’m really looking forward to someone dying who’s close enough to me that I can give a speech. I think, if anyone was analyzing my character, that’s a good quote. Just saying. Everyone seems to find death powerful.
Chance encounters that wind us all around each other, and little missed opportunities that kick you in the face much later. Or there and then. Things fall apart, the center cannot hold. But Hold Steady, world. Hold still while I caress you.

I’m sorry, for all the cold hearted things that I have done. But I had to do them. And I would and will again.

I hope, one day, someone will have the courage to return the favour. And mean it.
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