Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

If you think that's funny...

Adam Curtis is my favorite documentarian, I guess if you made me pick one. His work centers around historic political and social trends: the invention of Public Relations, the rise of violent religious revolutions and neoconservatism, the fear we have of each other. His style of composition is decidedly subjective and the atmosphere of the editting and narration encourages curiosity and suspicion. Most of his early work had been in the form of 3 part series' for the BBC, most are readily downloadable from this internet.

Here he is interviewed by my second favorite, Errol Morris, the man with giant balls behind the Robert McNamara interview'in "Fog of War".

Please, do yourself a favor and start watching Adam Curtis' "The Power of Nightmares", "The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom", and "The Century of the Self".

Here's 2 segments, part of his involvement in the new BBC series "ScreenWipe"

Thursday, February 4, 2010

How'd you get up there?

I've been back in St. Louis for more than a season now, and I'm enamored with the place. Give these fine midwestern folk the chance and they'll surprise you with their generosity and chumwithyness. So that's good.

My friends Eric, Ashley, Tom and I have started a band. It's called Doom Town and it's tremendous if you don't mind my saying. So that's good.

I need to put in some time pouring concrete in my basement. My studio gear is all strewn throughout the house and I haven't done any recording in 5 months. There are a bunch of amazing new bands with wonderful people in this town; I want to spend long hours with them in an underground bunker.

I got a job as a shoe salesman. I just finished a job working for the World Bank in South Africa, making the website of an alternate reality game for tech-school students to get to know each other. The premise was so weird I had to do it. I posited the moral question of working for the World Bank to my boss. It went like this:
Me: Does it concern you that we're working for an organization that makes loans to underprivledged nations?
Boss: Whadja mean?
Me: I mean what if they can't pay. Usually when a poor African country can't pay, and they usually can't, the banks have to recoup their investment someway. That tends to be children having their feet cut off and lowering them into diamond mines. I mean a contract's a contract!
Boss: I dunno, I don't think our website can do that.
So that's good.

This weekend is Buckminster Noodles' first birthday. He's daring and nimble, affectionate and appreciative, all fine qualities a young boy should have. I feel as if I'm raising a brave son who will someday take over my estate.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Monday, November 9, 2009

Attn: Repatriates

Fig. 1: your St. Louis Cardinals.
Moving back is a practice in keeping your eyes in your head. I was twitchy with anticipation before my own return to St. Louis, and I want to reassure the reader those sort of emotions were well founded.

Before the move you might find your thoughts fogged with regret and hope. I promise your current true friendships will remain sound, and a marshmallowy cushion will fill the space that lost time and distance create. You're all going to be alright.

When you come back you will be reacquainted with people you are certain you've never seen before, others you're not sure what impression you left with. Don't take these idiots for granted, some of them grew up and some of them grew teeth. Usually you've guessed wrong.

Still, your instincts will be razor sharp at this turn in your life. Trust them unflinchingly, it's more fun that way. In no time your social dis-ease will melt away. Stay curious.

Go hang out with mom, once every 2 weeks. You really do miss her.

When you return, find an unfamiliar part of town that reminds you dearly of
the place you just left. Visit on the seasonal days and make phonecalls to the ol' gang. Bring a newspaper and 2 cigarettes.

Get the fuck back out of town. Frequent weekend trips anywhere are a staying remidy against snap-judgement cynicism.

You'll need to find a job. Don't be picky, and don't wait too long. Disorientation can accompany major shifts in life, mind that your lifestyle does not protract during this time of transition. You were never that motivated: many hours of the day you need to be told what to do for the sake of your own sanity.

This is a drinking town. Give yourself a couple of weeks of facedown imbibing and then stop. A couple more weeks and then have 2 if you're going out. Your aged softening brain don't bounce like it used to.

Make friends but for godsakes don't touch one. A romantic kerfluffle is not in your cards now. Oh and start a fucking band, like prompt.

It's still the midwest, you'll still make your own fun.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I have begun my summer.

This past week was spent in Austin with a few very close friends. 6 days in a van: chemical'd, exhausted from swimming and sun, danced out from Chaos in Tejas. A great vacation really can fit within a 2 mile radius.

At the end of this summer I'm moving back to my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. It's something I do for a number of reasons. The nicest reason is that I can't remember why I wanted to leave. I like the things I've committed to. For the first time in my life I want to know my family. There is much about leaving Kansas City that I'll be sad about, luckily I'm not a regretful person. But I am wistful, so I'll just have to visit often.

Most of the adventure of going home is involved in fixing up my house, writing new music, making new friends in a place that I have old romantic feelings for. It won't be Springbreak 98, but it will be wonderful.

It takes a fast car, lady.        The Cars - Double Life (MP3 6.3MB)

Monday, May 4, 2009


Ecstasy is called Wajd by Sufis: it is especially cultivated among the Chishtis. Sufis generally enjoy Wajd while listening to music called Qawwali, special music producing emotions of love, fear, desire, repentance, etc.

Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan:

Push the Button

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Excuse me

I love excuses. I can conjour them for any occasion. This morning I had to make one up to tell a mortgage holding company to keep me from working for them, because I'd much rather work for the greeting card company, so I came up with an elaborate and not entirely untrue excuse.

The secret of the excuse, as with all deceptions, is the deep but simple shading of truth. You don't want to pepper an excuse with too much truth, because it's hard enough to remember how real reality should be working, nevermind this marbled fish-story you've layed on this unwitting rube. Lies are blunt and final. but the excuse implies an ongoing relationship, so you have to remember all the line-items in the contract. My grandpa Staufenbiel might have told me once "Keep your tall tales tiny", and I might tell you the same. My grandpa Smith definitely told me that all jews are rats, but I would never tell you that.

I make excuses to visit St. Louis, when really I just want to see my friends, my home, and my mum and dad. I make excuses to put off chores, when really I just wanna listen to these 2 records. I make excuses to put off calling girls, because I'm just really bashful. But still, all of it gets done. I'm just tired of telling myself I need to make excuses.