Sunday, November 30, 2008

time travel... again!!!

Tonight on KCRW I heard that old 90's song by the Primitive Radio Gods. I think the track was called... well actually I have no idea what it's called. But regardless, if you're over 25 you probably remember the song. It's the one that had the sample of, I believe, Martin Luther King, Jr. 'I've been down hearted'.

We on the same page? Cool.

Remember this song? I do. It amazes me how the simple keyboard tones of something like this can overwhelm me with a nostalgia that hits on every sense at once; in fact I believe this to be a kind of sixth sense itself – when touch and smell and taste all seem to meet in the middle of some big, soft swirling feeling in the middle of your head, and you’re standing in the rain ten years before, walking out of a place you used to work surrounded by people you used to know – it’s something else. I’ve talked here before about my belief in time travel through the senses and I take this to be a pretty good example of it. Back then I might have been looking forward in time to this exact moment now where I write this, but I hadn’t touched it before with any of my regular senses, so my brain couldn’t decode it yet. Now, I’m looking down the opposite end of that corridor and even though my ass is still firmly planted in this chair in my kitchen I’m also there in the Bedford Park UnderPaidSlaves parking lot.

I can smell the fucking place.

All that from a song I don’t even particularly give a shit about. Wow.

It's a common problem and one, I think, that is probably not really that difficult to overcome in the grand scheme of things, this inability we 21st century humans exhibit in not being able to Remember forward. Time is a loop, obviously, so why are we restricted to one side of the curvature? Or are we? This is all so 4:00AM-stoned-as-hell (guilty as charged) but really, how do we know the future if we haven't seen it yet? Maybe I had visions of this exact room ten years ago while working the sort at UPS, zoning out with the trance of repetitive labor. How would I have recognized it then, having not been in it or known any of the stuff that would be in it yet?

These are the questions that keep me going...

Thursday, November 27, 2008


... I am thankful for the fact that it's not too much longer now until GWB leaves our lives forever. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out. Well, actually now that I think of it, let it hit you in the fucking head a couple times maybe, not that there's that much to damage up there...

David Foster Wallace's INFINTE JEST is, academically speaking, kicking my ass. This is the hardest book I've ever read, regardless of how enjoyable it is (mostly). I've been working on it for probably about a month now, off and on, and I'm just about to crack page 300.

300 of 981 (1079 if you count the footnotes).

One of the things about the book that is difficult while also being extremely cool, is the fact that the tone of the prose changes constantly, as if several different writers were all working on it together. Some is light and breezy. Some, ie the crack-addicts, are ten pages of (literally) one or two run-on sentences. Then there's the academic parts, where I don't understand half of what is written on the page. This is because Mr. Wallace uses technical and medical terminology and jargon, as well as abbreviations, as if everyone reading will understand them. Not that I'm complaining, it just slows the flow.

But the book is definitely good. As in I'm enjoying it. As in I feel it is 'good' for me to read something like this. As my friend Walter has pointed out, some things are just 'good' for you to ingest - he said this in a conversation comparing Goodfellas with The Godfather movies, the latter of which I dislike immensely even though I've not seen them in well over 10 years. Goodfellas is a good time, like listening to a Pixies album, while The Godfather is more stoic and not s easily rewarding, like listening to Puccini. Now apply that comparison to Infinite Jest vs. say, Stephen King. King is going to have more hooky-choruses and toe-tapping drive, like the Pixies, and Infinite Jest is going to reveal itself in layers, making you work for it's rewards.


Not sure why, maybe just because I feel I tend to neglect this blog since starting the one, but I feel compelled to prattle on today about nothing really at all, just enjoying the feeling of my fingers dancing and jabbing over the keyboard for now. So prattle I shall, you've been warned.

Thanksgiving '08 playlist thus far: Let's see, Frank Black and the Catholics, Pistolero; The Bronx (all three are eponymously titled so it was #2, #3 and #1); Soundgarden, Superunknown; Sugar, Copper Blue and that makes us current. Next up will be Luscious Jackson's Fever In Fever Out and later, when company arrives Tom Waits' The Heart of a Saturday Night, Tom Waits' Mule Variations, Tom Waits' Swordfish Trombone and finally of course Mr. Waits' masterpiece, Rain Dogs. As you can tell I'm hip-deep in a big Waits jag. I've always loved the guy but sometimes it seems the later period (83-present) tends to repeat itself a bit. But then I'm starting to wonder if I'm not seriously wrong about that, being that I've somehow made that judgement while owning just a small portion of his prolific (to say the least) career.

We Sail Tonight For Singapore...