I see a lot of bitching on my social feeds about the state of music today: “There’s no good music anymore.” “The radio makes me weep for the future.” “These kids have NO IDEA what good music is, no one will ever be as good as [insert an icon here].”
Most of these are from my musically inclined friends and accquantances who are nearing or long past 40. Take Ben Lacy, who’s a fucking guitar wizard.
If anyone has the right to complain, it’s him. And he does, but it’s still tiring to see constantly, and it’s still a lousy way to think. Trust me, I was a kid who thought rap was garbage when I was 13 or 14; and then it kinda crept up on me. I picked up the Fugees, I got to know some people who really dug underground work, and I realized that rap was no different than any other genre. Like Sturgeon says, 90% of everything is bad; but the 10% that’s left can be amazing.
What it really comes down to is the natural part of aging when you lose time to explore things. You don’t have the time to try out new records, or more importantly, explore new avenues of discovery. So you turn on the radio or flip to MTV for a minute and your ears bleed and your brain melts a little, and you have such a strong negative reaction that you assume every musical venture is that way now. That’s not true. What is true is that those particular avenues have always been pretty terrible, except for what you heard when it was relevant to you. Ben Lacy’s huge on Van Halen. Ben Lacy’s about 10 years older than me, so he grew up at Van Halen’s peak. Personally, I find Eddie and Co. to be cheesy and overblown. I still think Nirvana was a force of nature; I’ve heard plenty of college-age kids dismiss everything about it from Kurt’s “bad” guitar playing to the nonsense lyrics. It’s all a matter of perspective and age.
It’s a shame to dismiss everything because the most commercially appealing stuff sucks.
Pope Francis has called on world leaders to end the “cult of money” and to do more for the poor, in his first major speech on the financial crisis.
Free market economics had created a tyranny, in which people were valued only by their ability to consume, the pontiff told diplomats in the Vatican.
“Money has to serve, not to rule,” he said, urging ethical financial reforms.
Found here. I’ll save my plain rant about the Catholic church for another day (or week; it’s pretty long). I’m just extremely amused. Considering the church was built by amassing wealth under the guise of proselytization over centuries. The church that has its own wealthy nation-city completely inside of another nation. The church that has more than a millenia’s worth of valuable artworks and artifacts worth billions alone and yet still takes collection from its members.
Is there a patron saint of fools? I’m just curious.
note: So late! I started this a few weeks ago. I’m still disappointed that Normandy Invasion didn’t win.
I’ve never been to the Derby, and probably never will. I’ve never even been to Keeneland. I like horses, and I like watching them race. No idea how the betting works, but I’d be willing to throw down a few bucks if I ever make it to a track.
That said, I was thinking about this state and it’s inhabitants, and what we look like to all the states not abbreviated “KY”. Specifically, the industries that define us; both from the outside and the inside. So what are we?
*Horses- Nice, but the racing focus means that there are a lot of animals being bred for a purpose that can kill them or shorten their lifespan. I’m not going Peta on anyone, and I think the purebred dog industry is far more disgusting and widespread. But for a sport in which suffering happens naturally, there’s high enough stakes that cheating is a constant. And cheating in racing tends to involve things that either directly injure or increase the chance of injury to the animal.
*College Basketball- We have a money machine at UK called basketball. And it’s great. Except for that its financial value to the university extends little further than association and propaganda, and our athletes are risking injury and trading what really should be a paid contract for a subpar education and a slim chance at NBA recruitment.
*Tobacco- This is great for everyone and doesn’t at all cause health problems. That’s why UK does a shitload of cancer research.
*Coal- We dig up fossil fuel in ways that are both dangerous to the workers and devestating to the land and the communities that support it. And we encourage an industry that uses people’s pride in their heritage and culture as a means to exploit them.
What a record. Obviously, that’s not the entirety of the state; those are just the major footnotes. Maybe someday we’ll figure out something else- something different, whose benefits outweigh the drawbacks. I’m sure Twain could tell us when.
As frustrating as it’s been not finding employment, it’s equally frustrating (though not as unexpected) to run into nothing on the art front either. The etsy store was up for three months, and there were a few spikes of activity, but only about 2 views per day on average and no actual sales through the site. I got a commission request a few months back that was held up on the other party’s end, and I’m starting to doubt that’s going anywhere.
I finally heard back on Friday from Manifest, and the works I’d submitted for two shows were rejected. That’s normal, and I’m not devastating or anything, just a little disappointed and out 36 bucks (which at the moment is particularly a big deal). The good news is that all five submissions to the local community action council’s art auction were accepted. Not only that, but 3 of them sold at the reception. Not just sold, but- importantly to me- sold to people who don’t know me at all. Having friends and family who value what you do and will pay you for it is a blessing, but it’s not a good measure of your worth outside of that circle. Having a total stranger pay for something you made is validating on a bigger scale.
I haven’t been paid yet; I have no idea what the final bids were, and I’ll only get half of it- probably enough to get more frames and pay a couple more submission fees. But it was worth it to have it shown and bought. Plus the two pieces that didn’t sell were personal favorites, and also hung near the back exit (I’m not sure any of the work in that section was bid on). So there’s that, and I’m sending a few pieces down to a gallery in McComb this summer. It’ll be neat to have work somewhere in my birthplace.
I’m halfway through writing a post that’s pretty critical of Kentucky, so for a little context I thought I’d share this.
It’s been a while since we had a player at UK like this. I was seeing pictures weeks ago of Nerlins with Kelly hanging out in the hospital; a personal gesture to a friend in a bad situation. I saw the Derby story yesterday, and my response was all, “fuck, that guy is nice. What an asshole for making the rest of us look bad”. Which is a great compliment, by the way (when you’re on the dick side of humanity).
We’ve seen – figuratively and literally- more of what this kid is made of than most UK players, and it’s a shame he’ll be off to the draft next month. Really though, if I were obscenely tall with a funny smile and the last fan of Kid n’ Play (and too young to remember that no one actually liked Kid n’ Play at the time), the last thing that I’d want to be is an ass.
Someone sent me a link to an article on here, and I cringed. Both at the article and the site itself; it looks like Jaded Punk has about as much of a clue as those celebrites. The thing about punk, whether you’re talking about it as a cultural movement, a social group, a lifestyle, a fashion, or strictly music, is that there’s no satisfactory definition. Jaded Punk seems to take the mantle of the angry early-90s punk crowd I knew: everyone is wrong and stupid, and we should be venomous about it all the time. It’s a fairly immature and antagonistic way to see things. It was appropriate when I was 15; it’s really pretty tiring at this point, on the same level as people who post comments on youtube that “this person is a hack, no one will ever be as good as ____”.
Really. I never thought I’d say it. Aside from the jokey, parody shows (Celebrity House and Joe Schmoe), I’ve generally loathed reality TV.
But Penny Arcade sucked me in:
Seeing actual artists doing art is awesome. Watching a competition between people who behave and react like people without the obvious overly-dramatic editing and music is compelling as shit. As a reality show, it’s proof that this can be interesting and entertaining without being forced. Getting a taste of all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into webcomics is icing on the cake. I hope I get to meet some of these people someday.
I was clearing out the cache of unfinished drafts (46, I believe) earlier and wondering why I abandon so much. I’ve said before a lot of it’s a timing/motivation thing; I lose motivation to finish a topical thing until it’s no longer topical. And I said that some things are just personal, which is true insofar as they involve other people. But a lot of them are personal on a personal level. I write a lot about depression and anxiety, a lot about really pervasive fears, and I post almost none of it. One reason for this is that the writing doesn’t always make sense- some days I go from lucid prose to nonsensical imagery and back in the same thought. The other reason is that a lot of aspects of these things that trouble me are constant. I struggle with many of the same things I did five and ten and fifteen years ago. It’s frustratingly cyclical, and the writer in me hates to sound like a broken record.
But I’m going to try to examine the crazy again. I want a baseline first, a place to start so I can avoid repeating particular topics.
I’m 32. I finished my bachelor’s in art studio five months ago. I haven’t been employed in nearly a year. I haven’t been employed full time (as in 40 hours a week) since 2000, and I haven’t been employed in the just-under-40-hours “full time” since 2004. I have severe clinical depression and anxiety, arthritis in my hands and feet, diminished hearing and worsening myopia.
Those are the basics, that’s where I stand right now. I’ll try to dig around specific problems later.
I’m going to Lynaugh’s in an hour to remember my friend Noah. He died last week; he’s had health and alcohol problems for a long time. I saw him make some bad decisions. Choices that drove away his friends, that hurt his career, mistakes that a lot (if not most) people make- but he never made up for them and he never got past them. He was hardheaded and stubborn, and he suffered for not being able to reconcile his sense of self with reality. I watched it happen slowly over the years. I’d go to the bar and see him and we’d talk a while, but he was never really there in the moment; he was living in a past he couldn’t let go of.
As for me, I’ve got five pieces that will show at an art auction in a couple of weeks. It’s a juried show, so I’m exited…. I try never to get my hopes up, I just submit like I’m being paid to do so. I’ve submitted the installation beast and two pieces for the MAGNITUDE small works show, so hopefully I’ll get in one of those shows. Aside from that it’s all painting and watching shows.
All my online job resources are running dry lately, unless you’re a trucker, certified nurse, or a pool salesman. I’ve discovered a new pet peeve though: craigslist postings that are written as though they charged per character. Listings barely a paragraph long, with misspellings or typos, and ZERO mention of what company the job is actually for.
I don’t know if it’s just a weird mind-game type of thing or what, but if I were looking to hire someone I’d probably think to fucking put the name of the company somewhere. Otherwise, it looks like the next step would be an interview in uncle joe’s basement where he keeps the knives and gasoline.
I used to indulge a fair amount in high school, but I stopped smoking up after a while. Mostly because dealing with, well, dealers was a pain in the ass. Weird, paranoid people they were. And so were the serious stoners with their silly rituals and shit.
But right now I’d really, really love a bowl. I can’t afford it, and I always thought the whole “420″ thing was rather stupid. Maybe it’s all the posts today, or that I’d really love some company and don’t have any. Or I’m just down from being out of work in a long distance relationship with an uncertain future. Perhaps the meds aren’t working right. I don’t know. I’d just like nothing more than to get buzzed enough to let go for a minute.
Meh. Guess it’s just rum and painting then.