It was a strange year, not least because the apocalypse we were hoping for in our darkest heart of hearts never occurred. So now here we are in 2013 with no game plan. Our credit card debt is still intact. There's nothing to do but pick up the pieces.
I collected ten pieces I wrote that are for some reason in my mind worth revisiting. I know I write an awful lot every year, so even regular readers are bound to miss something. I generally leave everything written in the last few months of the year, too close, so this is mostly from last winter, spring and summer... I hope you won't think me vain, but I had a lot riding on the end of the world, and now I need every last scrap of past self to move forward... if you're at all damaged by end-of-the-world euphoria as me, may these posts' scattered wisdom help you remember how awesome it almost wasn't.
"In the end the mainstream wants all the things it takes from [we artists] to be good, never considering whether or not we invited them to even taste a sample. Thus we make ourselves deliberately bad to scare away success, for success means having to be surrounded at all times by douche bag entourages and clingy fans and thus be unable to hone our craft in isolated anguish cocoons. So our sophomore album is bloated, and the AOR guys throw us to the cut-out bins and now not even Nightingales wants us back. " (more)
"... but this mechanical man is SKYNET's distant cousin, reaching from beyond the well-guarded door to hopefully scribble something accessible and profound on the pad before it, something like: "I'm sorry, Dave. I can't let you do that." or "we think of the key, each in his prison / thinking of the key, each confirms a prison." instead of just that same damn picture of a rocket in a moon's eye, instead of just one more piece of image-based branding. (more)
"And on that level Lawrence's characterization is a sublime modern metatextualization, illuminating the way actors pretending to love one another onscreen are no different than those 'in love' in the 'real' world. Each believes with vengeance what they know deep down not to be true. What Fleetwood Mac forgot was that players believe they love you when they're playing --only deep, deep down is there a part of them who can admit it's all just Liaisons Dangereuses-style seductions undertaken to impress our Marquise de Mateuil-du jour. Only later does it dawn on us that the Marquise was playing us too, the whole time. The hunter just got hunted!" (more)
"Robinson's devotion to his chosen craft was full and total so it's fitting and courageous that he uses his impending death from terminal cancer to transform what might have been just a so-so or even hammy moment into something very, very beautiful. The film never spells out directly what's to come as Robinson enters this gleaming white cube of a place called "Home" but we have a pretty good idea and it makes the kindness of the assistants and the air conditioning extra vividly etched. For all the sorrow and misery in the rest of the film here finally is some grace, an example of why humanity is worth saving, because it's willing, at last, to kill itself. Just knowing that Robinson will at least have a beautiful 20 minute drugged-out trip into the yawning blazing white yoni light of death is enough to make us happy for him. He's like a painter who at last steps back to see the big picture." (more)
(Acidemic #8 - August)
The TV works you like any good cult brainwasher: terrorizing you and then comforting you, back and forth, over and over. In its overall guise as a continuing soap opera it hides the fact that it's your soul that's being soaped cleaned of its wallets and keys and sanity and precious dirtiness. Like raging waters in a flash flood that never ends the TV draws you under, promising any moment now the bubble bath soap salts will be added to the water and will cut you loose from the lead albatross of your body, blocking the sight of all the flooded black oil death below, and leaving free you to wander in Elysian Fields and to Wendy's and through the mall, and the monsters taking shape in the distant tornadoes shall be made once more too small to worry about... yet. (more)
Butler of Orbs: THE MASTER (9/25)
"If you have a cat, it's recommended you fire up the laser pointer, if you have one, and get her chasing the red dot around the room while watching these ghost shows, to situate yourself in a metatextual fractal chain. The cat finds the very elusive, impossible strangeness of the glowing red dot both baffling and exciting, sometimes frustrating, but always beguiling. Are ghosts perhaps the red dot God flashes around to keep us amused, to keep us running around, interested and engaged in an otherwise rather uninteresting environment?..." (more)
So 12.21.12 came and went. There were no aliens, no volcano erupted, no meteor crashed, no new anything happened and yes haltingly I stumbled like an off-guard republican at a press conference. I should have cried, or conveyed my sadness, which was even then too deep perhaps to voice. Ah, I said, but the change is within. The change is within us all. The 2012 event horizon is where the personal and the universal meet.
The Floyd came to prominence during a phase some Brit musicians, like David Bowie, would like to forget, the "Lord of the Rings" era, the immediately following the landmark success of Sgt. Pepper's but before the glitzy decadence of glam; a time when everyone sang a dopey bubble gum fantasyland of merry elves, unicorns, and children playing around the maypole while the snow queen admires her magic rings, etc. Tyrannosaurus Rex probably pulled through it best, inventing glam rock and changing their name to T. Rex. Bowie took the twee element and brought in some Weimar cabaret androgynous decadence and made Hunky Dory. The Pink with Syd made albums like Piper at the Gates of Dawn filled with weird sound effects and bizarre tales of Emily playing, controls set for sun hearts, bikes with baskets, bells and things that make them look good, Corporal Clegg, and interstellar overdrive...