Monday, September 29, 2008

Reviews, Reviewers, and Reviewees

I hate music reviews... Okay, maybe hate is a strong word. I really, really, really, REAAALLY dislike music reviews. This is kinda unfortunate because lots of people that I generally like, including my brother, write music reviews pretty often. In fact, most artists/taste-makers/socially-conscious individuals tend to indulge in ink-based blood-letting, AKA criticism.

Now, it's not that I have anything against music-reviewers personally, but their function is something I find disgusting. Why is it that we need to classify our music in to genres that reflect a person's opinion of the tunes in question, rather than what it actually is? (If such a thing can even be objectively determined.) Why does someone need to listen to an artist's CD and then write out their own interpretation, expecting us to accept it as factual, as opposed to simple perspective? It's art. It's different for everyone.

The whole paradigm of reviews pretty much pisses me off; book reviews, music reviews, food reviews, art reviews, sports reviews, on and on and so on... It seems like people are too lazy to figure out what to think, how to think, by themselves. Can't we make our own opinions anymore?

My point is, is that what someone else thinks of something is just their opinion of it. A new song, or an up-coming book, or some recent art exhibit, is not what they say it is simply because they took the time to write down the first impulse to trigger their fingers into moving across the keyboard in time for a deadline. These things shouldn't be defined by one person.

I say, make up your own mind as to what is what in the world, because for every expert that tells you he's sure, there will be ten in the back yelling that he's wrong. And when it comes to critics, they're just someone who tells you what so&so did, tried, and wanted, neverminding that the person who actually wrote that book, played that song, or made that cake, could tell you just as easily, if not more so, because they're the ones who actually did it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Books you people need to read

I've been meaning to get this blog back on track as a (mostly) credible source for music, factoids, randomness, cultural trends, political/economic developments, and of course, choice reading.

I have three books all of you out there in internet-land should read - or at least say that you did.

First Book: Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto

Chuck Klosterman is hilarious in this collection of pop-infused essays on myriad random topics that all tie together into one cohesive theme of: what the hell is going on these days. I read this over the course of a week or so, and fully enjoyed it. I laughed out loud so much that people didn't just stare, they actually asked me if I was alright. The references Klosterman makes are sometimes obscure, if not downright esoteric, but fully worth exploring for the wealth of useful useless information it can give. (All of which is easily accessible through the internet.) Read this and you'll never have trouble coming up with topics for conversation for a few weeks.

Second Book: Bright Lights, Big City

This was recommended to me by my brother, and I must say is one of the best books I have ever been told to read. Jay McInerney is funny in a way that makes you cry - or maybe sad in a way that makes you laugh. The novel is told in second person and follows the exploits of the unnamed narrator through 1980's New York life. And for a book of such "literary merit" it was a really easy read. The ending snuck up on me and I found myself flipping back & forth through the pages wondering how I got to the end like this. I'm not sure if readers who aren't 1) white 2) male and 3) interested in literature will enjoy this book, particularly given it's second-person narrational form, but for you basically young white guys out there, it's gonna speak to you like a weird close friend.

Third Book: God's Middle Finger: Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre

An insane narrative by Richard Grant on his travels into this shady (to say the least) area of Mexico. For those of you who enjoy stories from - and on - the road, this will definitely capture your imagination. Lost Indian tribes, old Spanish ruins, Mexican gangsters, drugs, shooting, rapists, murderers and ghost stories; this has all the adventure you'll need. However, don't let any of it into your head that such escapades can be done; the rather embarrassing ending will wake you up to the pleasures of a safer existence.

Happy reading, cheers.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Manifesto

You see, here at Saboteur Academia we like to promote the unusual and unexpected, something that isn't actively fighting to not be mainstream, but just turns out that way. We want to recognize people who are normally shunned by both regular society and unoriginal noncomformists. This blog is a symbol of their efforts to bring about the greatest movement that doesn't change anything in the entire history of greatest movements that didn't change anything. (I'm looking at you Christian countercult people.)

But seriously, this is about letting things that don't make sense, even to the crazies, get some attention/recognition/good ol' fashioned ridicule. Take in the surprising ideological manifestations apparent in the Anarchism without adjectives movement, or learn about the continuing fight against prejudice by The Foundation against Intolerance of Religious Minorities, or appreciate the political/pop-cultural tendencies of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), or explore the ever growing (sorta) religion of Discordia, or even enjoy a little Post-cubist Dada-esque Art. It's about letting go of that sensibility, folks. Can't we all just love everyone's everything?

***BONUS*** (I've really been getting in to bonus material.)

Alternative Job Titles

1. Urban Explorer

2. Electronic Arts Critic

3. Cyberspace Astronaut

4. Generational Relations Manager

5. Linguistic Reclamations Agent

6. Sub-Cultural Anthropologist

7. Professor of Unapplicable Knowledge

8. Contextual Comprehension Assistant

9. Nubile Exhibitionist Inspector

10. Imaginary Awards Host

11. Book Binder

12. Hipster Detoxification Specialist

13. Non-Athletic Sports Coach

14. Foreign Music Journalist

15. Face Painter

16. Representative for the Right to Bare Breasts Movement

and 17. a Special Olympics Event Coordinator

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sleep isn't here, but would you like to leave a message?

To all the nocturnalites out there in cyberspace and the city...and those of you rooting around outside my window. (Or is that just me being a lil' paranoid?) These webtoons/random picturesque are for you.

I think on some level, all artists are insomniacs. How else would we actually get stuff done?

But I also wonder what it would be like to wake-up in the morning instead of going to sleep in the morning...meh. Probably isn't that good anyways.

Cheers, folks.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Are you moving on or just plain moving?

Today has been one of those days where I do nothing and love it. I woke up at nine o'clock and went back to sleep. Woke back up at eleven and just began to write. This is officially my most productive day EVER. I edited over twenty poems, wrote outlines for three new stories, read a book, and watched two movies I've been meaning to see. If you've been following this blog you'll also note my two posts for today - this one and that one. I guess that isn't really doing nothing...I only say that because I basically haven't gotten out of bed. Didn't shower or shave, still wearing my PJs.

But that's not the intent for this post. I was looking at some inane Yahoo news article. (That website is SO skewed towards a female audience.) The article was about how to "let go of your past" so you could, conceivably, have better relationships in the future. Okay, that just annoys me.

You cannot "let go" of your past. You can't seperate it from you anymore than you can seperate your right arm from your left arm. There is no "letting go", no "moving on" or "getting over it". Your past is part of the foundation that makes up You. You're persona depends upon the culimnation of experiences you've had; it's what gives you a personality, kids.

When someone talks about dealing with personal problems they always seem to forget that life is not simple or easy. You can't forget the tragedies or successes because they're a part of you. Aside from amnesia, you're stuck with them. Or that is to say, they're stuck to you. Pulling them off will only result in ripping yourself, pain & agony that ultimately accomplishes nothing but your own bloodshed.

I think that what you need to do is embrace. Accept it. Understand, comprehend, and fucking live with yourself. Did your parents abuse you as a kid? Okay, accept that they were shitty and that you came from them. Accept that you've got to live with those memories; let them give you strength to never make those mistakes and be a better person. Did someone die who was close to you? Okay, fine then. Treasure the times you can remember. Hold those memories closer because they are all that's left of the person you loved. Take consolation that by honoring them, internally or externally, you keep them alive in a way that transcends mortality. You've given them a life beyond themself that shows the depth of your friendship/relationship.

This isn't simple, and it isn't exactly rocket-science. I can talk about it, but only by doing will you know what I mean. Be the person you want to be by BEING them. Be the change you wish to see in yourself. (And in the world, too, if you want.) I know all this sounds like are beautiful sentiments, but they're a deep aspect of how I survive when it feels like somethings should have killed me. Depression, death, regret, heart-break, and despair are some badasses, but they're not invincible. The fact that shit is still here should be proof enough of that.

And fuck any pop-infused psycho-babble that only wants you to buy the latest hair-care products or new cologne, because they'll help you "embrace a new dating vocabulary" or some shit. I don't need a commercial to make me happy - I need to live.

Gives a whole new meaing to the term "emo-bag."

Today we live again

Congratulations!!! You didn't die in your sleep last night.

Every day you wake-up is a new day of your existence. (Existential of me, huh?) See, yesterday you got ready for the day and maybe you hit your toe, or maybe you didn't catch the bus like you usually do, or maybe someone made a randomly rude comment, or maybe your not feeling so fashionable/beautiful/handsome today. The point is, your almost-perfect day was not quite. Buuut, today - which was tomorrow - is your new chance to repeat the life you were working towards the day before. It's like hitting reset, but without the numerical "high-score".

It seems to me that people who claim to live "in the moment," who don't worry about what's happened or what's going to happen - ignoring anything remotely close to regret - are simply hiding the fact that they just want to indulge in the quick pleasures of daily existence. They'll order iced-mocha-flavored encounters; they'll sing booty&bling driven radio trash; they'll take love like fast-food. These are the people who fuck and suck dispassionately like machines, who buy shit they don't need and constantly compare their lives to reality TV, and who over time turn so completely fake that even going through the motions of sincerity becomes as half-hearted as the organ inside their chest. But don't worry - another cocktail and in an hour they'll be able to feel something. Maybe.

Then there are those people who spend all of their time working towards this one big thing, the labor of a lifetime. In their head they're so far ahead of now that you can actually seem them pull out of being inside themselves whenever someone else jostles them on the street, or asks, "is that all, sir?" These people don't ever enjoy their life because their life isn't going to really begin until twenty-to-thirty years later. Happiness to them is defined in very clear terms: house, marriage, two-point-five kids, dog or cat, soccer-scarred minivan, and a four-door luxury coupe parked on the driveway of some suburban house that will never be confused for a home. This future of defnite expectations is all it takes - they don't want a surprise or an unasked gift. But when you ask them about it, they'll always say, "someday." They're in no hurry to feel that the start of their life is just a quiet tragedy.

So, when I say Today We Live Again, I mean that today is another attempt to perfect the life you want to lead. Today you can remember your basic routine: wake-up seven-fifteen, shower, dress, starbucks with an iced-blend, office before eight, work work work, lunch thirty minutes but you'll make it twenty today, work work work, too late now for anything but something quick - Burger King, McDonald's, Wendy's, watch whatever's on TV just till you finish eating, then sleep, then reset. Or is it rinse & repeat? Funny how commericals can echo the instructions and rhythms we take for granted. Is it enculturation via advertisement or are they simply saying what we've already been told? The difference gets hard to tell when you don't even have time to go out anymore.

Or maybe your basic routine is: wake-up ten-thirty, fight the hangover, lose, get up from the toilet to the shower, meet that nice girl, ditch it for a quick trip to the bad girl's, back home, watch TV till it's time to go out, another shower, apply hair-gel, hundred-dollar jeans with holes in the pockets, collar-popped, forehead greasy as your soul, at the club no dancing just desire, grope several women, take home the one who didn't mind, fuck fuck fuck, then sleep, then reset. Or is it use daily? You're not sure what's exactly immoral nowadays because, honestly, who can tell anything after two vodka tonics and a case full of corona. (With the lime!? Yes, with the lime.) You'd have said sorry if you thought it offended somebody, but then again, you don't think you would've meant it.

Don't think this isn't cross-gender; girls, you're just as capable of being a bitch as a man is a douchebag. You spend your lives in the gym instead of in-front of the TV, but you're still alone. You still cover yourself in make-up and plastic implants and ten million diet pills, and wonder why you don't have a boyfriend. You're climbing the corporate ladder to break that whole "glass ceiling," but you don't really want the money or the work, just a little recognition. You're buying smaller clothes and cutting off circulation to your brain. You fuck so much that you can't remember what it was like to make love. And to hell with sexism - I'm not a bigot, just the Truth.

Let's try something different, shall we? Today you will wake-up and stop. You will not drink yourself into oblivion, or eat more food that's basically shit. You will not go to work you hate, or fuck people you don't really like. You will not do one single thing that is not something you want to do, love doing - and not because you think it should be, but because it really is. You will live your life if it fucking kills you. And really, compared to yesterday, what's the difference?

Every second is a lifetime when you look back, and every year ahead becomes forever.
Your singular perspective of living isn't how it's meant to be done. You're not supposed to be simple and watch only what's in front of you. Look around for once.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Questions I've always Wanted to Ask

1. Is there a reason for having socks with multi-colored toe sockets besides kooky fashion?

2. Why did you abandon me when I was six and pretend to love me when I was sixteen?

3. Did anyone ever ask a question that was better as an answer?

4. Where's the best place for dying?

5. How long does it take to live a life?

6. Do you love him?

7. Can we change ourselves?

8. What's your favorite cartoon character?

9. Is there anything like flying?

10. When do you know yourself?

11. Do you deserve to be happy or sad, and why?

12. What's your super-power?

13. Why'd you have to die?

Deep enough to bring blood tears out of the stones underneath the sea. But like all things massive and ambiguous, the answer is not what you want. What I want is someone to tell me it's going to be alright...because even I can't laugh at some things. All I can do is wish I knew how to cry.