Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Playground Covered in Vines

So, Saturn's the only planet in retrograde right now, but a lot of weeeeird elements of dredging up repressed or forgotten memories seem to be a theme.For one, Bleach started this awesome storyline that took place long before the "present" of the series. Two, Dollhouse's new episode features psychedelics and unveiling of repressed memories. Three, Brendan and I have been getting into the third season of Venture Brothers, once again with many episodes dealing with the elements of the story's "past."

It's not that big of a deal, and I might be making more of something out of nothing since I can loosen my sphincter over doing psychoactives these days, yet I'd rather follow the connecting elements than let them just dangle as if they had no personal relevance. I am experiencing it, after all.

Bleach doesn't necessarily make itself into the "best cartoon series ever" category, but its soapy long-form story, subtitles and style-heavy visuals make it a good subject for iTunes shuffle experiments. Usually, I pick a song that fits the tone of the opening credits for the story arc, and just let the shuffle go from there. It lines up more often than not, but sometimes the shuffle starts working in verrrry mysterious ways.

I could go into the elements in Dollhouse, but I won't. It's too fresh. However, I would like to touch on the half of Venture Brothers season 3. The episodes seem to be structured more around film than TV plots this season, and it's getting real freakin' heavy real freakin' fast. Regardless of the intent of the writers and directors while working on the series, the interrelated nature of some of these characters gets mind-blowing: Dean Venture and the Ape Monster/Boxing Orangutan manifesting after his freakout, Hank and Dermott, Brock trapped in a room with the Atom-like fellow, the Moppets in general. I feel fucking dense looking at some of these elements. I feel like a silly, small little man probably looking too hard at something meant to be a gag, but I feel like there's something else there. The "strange places" feel really, really strange in that David Lynch kind of way, where it's juuuust familiar enough that characters seem more parts of a gestalt than framing for gags. I know what it's building towards since I've seen the last episode (and only the last episode before this viewing), but the material leading up to it just makes the end even more striking.

Well, guess what I'm gonna have to do?! Yaaaaay regression. Fuck.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

"Tiny Pieces Come to Me..."

The new job, even though for a few days a week, feels like one of the most daunting developments so far. I had expected a calming, spacious shepherd sort of situation but instead received a luminous evolutionary bolt. Frankly, I got what I need.

Anyhow, I was poking around the internet and came upon the possible dwarf planet Quaoar. The Trans-Neptunian object's named after the Tongva creator deity, associated with wave function and "music," which eventually gave rise to his son Weywot, representing dimensionality. What startled me was that astronomers first found this object in the constellation Ophiuchus. Now, Ophiuchus has this rap in the New Agey community as the "13th Sign" of the Zodiac, found somewhere between Scorpio and Sagittarius in sidereal astrology.

Ophiuchus has a few post-Homeric mythological parallels, most of which feel like someone trying to win the Marvel No-Prize and failing. Howwwwever, the Orphics of early Hellenic society and the Ophites from early Gnostic Christianity relate to a creator function personified by a serpent coming out of the Chaos.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Someone's Laughing.

So, while I was sitting in Chapterhouse, a local coffee joint, this fellow brings in his Boston Terrier. Now, the place has these little strings with mirrors on them in the windows, and they were throwing these little reflections all across the floor. As expected, the little dog was going nuts, chasing the reflections across the floor with utter verve and gusto. Just about everyone witnessing this, me included, were lauging in amusement, cuz frankly... it was fucking adorable. This still got me wondering: what are all of the stupid instinctual things we keep doing with no result? Who's laughing at us?

On a less cerebral level, this place is starting to get like the Last Drop with its music annoyance level, but instead of playing Modern Lovers or Klaus Nomi, it's this horrible sterilized folky stuff that sounds like someone's killing Tracy Chapman in slow motion. It makes it hard to think. At least the other stuff was irritating in general; I can tune that out. This mellow nonsense turned allll the way up to the point that it drowns out the Raveonettes on my headphones completely annihilates my concentration, to say nothing of my hearing.

I've been scratching away at this writer's block that's been a lifelong issue. Getting from Idea to Implementation's been a chore. Sure, I tend toward a process-oriented mindset anyhow, but for how much I adore narrative, I'd like to be able to get through a story without losing time to some "creative" fugue state that leaves me exhausted during almost every creative endeavor that requires conscious delineation. It's a matter of figuring out where my mind keeps getting off track and losing itself in the current. It's like an out-of-body-experience. Either way, it's being worked on.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pre-Vernal Blather

My playlist feels like a '90s heroin film. I feel like I need to load myself up with necklaces, wearing an army surplus jacket with no shirt underneath, and do whatever I can to make my sunglasses lens-flare into a camera.

Spring's such a fucked up season. How does the modern mind handle the animalistic urge to co-mingle juices and still remain respectable enough to look itself in the eye in the morning? It's like a light turns on and all of the sudden we're all squirting pheromones around and social interaction returns to that endless sizing up and dance of body language. Shit's easy in winter: it's usually just the booze and the rather dainty "teehee" that dagga gives folks, but then the heat and onslaught of serotonin turn that giggle into something a little more throaty.

The plants have their growing pains as the leaves rip out of the branches, and the salty pant of a morning's run whisps down the block from the growing collection of joggers and runners as the Earth's axis tilts a little bit, inch-by-inch, toward the Sun. It's the time of year to hide out with the cool kids, bowls, straws and 40s passed around while the sun peers through the slats of the bleachers. The gods return to life. Ragnarok ends. The birds return. We can smell again, between nectar and bus exhaust. We shed our musty layers and bathe in rain.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Throwing the Lamp onto the Gasoline

It's about quarter to ten, and I haven't gotten a call to let me know when I'm going to start orientation at the second job. Ordinary men would have given up, but I... I am no ordinary man. I am an Extraordinarily Stubborn Tool-bag.

I'm not good at this. I mean, no one really is. I don't feel like I'm set up for a world where "work" means "job" with everyone scrambling for these little credits that were meant to signify involvement in the human collective. I mean, you have dudes just rolling in this stuff, and have routinely screwed everyone over for the sake of it, just to die after a tedious, flashy, meaningless motorboat ride of a life that just spews oil around and annoys the fuck out of everyone else not on the cock-extension of seafaring vessels.

I want to pretend at fun and games, being the goofy heel-clicking spaz who blurts out randon pieces of science and TV trivia, but... deep down I'm watching humanity attending its own funeral, after a handful of thousands of years blown through like lines on a mirror at 3 a.m. Kids're treating holy shamanistic tools like X-Ray specs, blowing their minds apart into self-interested drivel, terrified of the gaping blackness that weaves in between our senses. A film reiterates the atrocities which we must commit upon each other to even consider progress, and the viewers snicker at a flaccid penis or pick at whether or not it remained "true" to the material from which it was inspired.

I don't know what's left to value, any more. A part of me really, really wants to help people, really wants to encourage people to consider the value of introspection and resolve anthropic bias, or whatever will educate us into looking each other in the eye and seeing ourselves in all sources, regardless of financial, cultural or genetic variation. The other part won't miss the radiowaves and foul emissions busting up the world, or the idiots killing each other over ideas and the other idiots fucking their integrity over for some imaginary shit that's supposed to pass as liquid assets, to say nothing of those who routinely deny what it is to be an animal, who use guilt like a maniac with an automatic rifle, firing it at anyone who won't collect under their particular banner of "-ism"s. I doubt we'll all pull together in some Fullerian utopia, yet that's the world I want to see. It just... requires other people, and so far the only constant in my life seems to be that I can't rely on anyone.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pre-Lepidopteran ignition

I have gone for days thinking that I would have something interesting to share, and yet each time I sit down to this page, the process devolves into some self-referential neurosis about my impending technological obsolescence, perhaps fueled by some itch at the back of my head inspired by what may very well be a worm/trojan cranky ad-splosion waiting to happen, a la ATHF's www.izzard.d. I'd done so well without anti-virus protection, and now my computer's gone done got the clap.

Lately, my dreams have been consumed with the potential varieties of beer and food. I expect to consume vast American Glutton-style portions of pho, dim sum, daal, and whatever maddening variety of brunch food comes across my way. "Can I get some lamb saag with a wheat beer and a stack of kiwi pancakes? Great, Thanks!" No, ladies and gents, om nom nom does no justice to the sounds of a black hole's accretion disk whose event horizon begins at my uvula. Yes, I will be drinking at brunch. hic.

Next, I shall fawn over anything and everything showery, lotiony and shavey. Goat's milk soap? Toner? SPF 15 facial moisturizer? Mmmmmmaybe some BPAL? I'm overdue for some BPAL. I'm the only dude I know who refuses to smell like either ambergris or Axe. I wanna smell like fucking vetivert and passion flower, dammit! Gimme some jasmine neroli mandarin rose pepper nonsense!

Lastly, I plan to curb my rampant abuse of psychedelics and alcohol with some good olf fashioned opiates courtesy of exercise. See, if I trick myself into thinking of it as a cheap high, I might actually do it. Self destruction can be such a great motivator. I'll be one of maybe three people who, while running, may seem as if they're actually running with a purpose, even if that purpose is to high five the talking statue of Commodore Barry in Independence Park before the trip turns into a soul-searching fugue. What fun!

After adequate narcissistic ventures, maybe I'll... y'know... actually contribute to humanity. If this could include adventurous PG-movie hijinx, then we're definitely in business.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Screaming Caveman

Tis the fucking season.

So, in the Julian calendar, the astrological sign of Pisces comes as the first "mutable" sign of the zodiac. Now, we could go on about personality traits and all of that magillah, but I'm going to do my best to focus on the meteorological parallels in the temperate climate.

In the Western astrological model, the signs come in three modalities: Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable, further split between the four Aristotlean elements of Fire, Earth, Air and Water. In the Western Tropical astrological model, the Cardinal signs begin with the Solstices and Equinoxes. Aries begins Spring, Cancer begins Summer, Libra begins Autumn and Capricorn begins Winter.

So, we're left wondering, "Well fuck! It starts getting hot out long before the Summer Solstice, and winter doesn't begin to rrrrrrreally suck until February. What gives?" See, here's where the modalities pick up. Cardinal begins, in that we collectively go "Okay, I guess it's not summer anymore. Time to get out the sexy boots and sweaters, bust out the moisturizer and drink chai." Fixed signs tend to be unmistakably of their season: more days in Aquarius are wintery than not, and it's statistically colder than any of the other months. The mutable signs tend to exemplify when the season's definition falls apart, where the winter gets warmer at random, when hurricanes kick up in the summer, when we get drippy noses.

So, the big thing that a few people have noticed are that the extremes of the mutable seasons have grown. The outdoors is a nice 45 degrees and the sun's gone down, yet the high tomorrow will barely breach that. Most of my friends have headaches and feel ill, especially those who've investigated metaphysical phenomena on a regular basis. This, at least for me, seems to indicate one of the most immediately noticeable effects of environmental screwups on humanity's part. That, however, is a story for another time.

Anyhow, you get it: Once a mutable sign (Pisces, Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius) starts, the weather gets crazy.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Planted Zygote Narrative

It's been a weekend of eating ducks, bats, and a dry, curt laugh watching people funnel out of a theater.

The trailers before Watchmen, aside from that Night at the Museum crap, were pretty freakin' cool. Transformers looks like the "bad robots fuck things up, good robots stop 'em" formula from the first, but this time without any of those pesky character moments. Leave your left hemisphere at home. Say, does anyone else get really uncomfortable when folks have a very strong opinion against Shia LaBeouf? I mean, sure, he's a little geeky for the action movie roles he's in, but the sheer amount of venom folks spit about him seems a little out of proportion.

On a whole other track, the trailer for the next Harry Potter film is probably one of the best trailers I've seen in forever. It's everything I wish a trailer was: archetypal whisps of the plot, psychedelic shifts in imagery, a handfull of reaction moments to remind us of terror, quick cuts between a series of dread-inducing yet unrelated scenes with nothing given away aside from the notion that Everything's Going to Hell. Sure, we've all got it in our heads what happens in Half-Blood Prince (I fell off the wagon at Goblet, but working in a bookstore handled that just fine), yet the movie stil seems to paint this picture that we're not going to know what Unspeakable Blackness will drag through these characters. If this movie came out when I was 8 (in a magic world where we had that kind of special effects tech in the early '90s), this would have been the movie that I'd make a big fuss to see. Shit, I'm 18 years older than that and I want to see it.

The last of the trailers worth mentioning was, of course, Star Trek. Mo-Ther-Fuckers. Having watched all iterations of the damned show, even a few episodes of the epicly dull Enterprise, the preview of this movie might be the first time I've ever experienced a hard-on for the franchise. I mean, the little snippet of the space battle looked, well, exciting for once. Mmmmaybe this time someone will have the foresight to install seatbelts in the Enterprise for when "the inertial dampeners go offline" or whatever shitty line they give for the cue to flop about like a spaz.

So, here's my problem with the Watchmen: the audience. Thus far, that's my only valid gripe about the movie. If you don't mind having questions raised without any easy answers, if your emotional maturity has evolved past that of a prepubescent boy, if you can handle having no immediately discernible mustache-twirling antagonist, and if you really like good musical cues, then this movie's for you. If you're afraid of seeing penises, then maybe you'd be better off with Madea Goes to Jail.

That's that, folks.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Web of Supermonkey

Okay, we're still going on about druglessness, if only because I'm surprised how much I stick to my guns when surrounded by the influence in social settings, without being "that guy." The party itself was great, almost made moreso by the fact that I had a great time without having anything aside from snacks while there. I walk in and it's some ridiculous girlygirl dance party going on, with all the dudes cowering in the corner. Seriously, you want to see straight dudes get really fucking uncomfortable, start playing obscure musical numbers and dance around in impromptu choreography. There's absolutely no way to join in when a dude's positive experiences with musicals begins and ends with Reefer Madness and The Who's oevure. Once that concluded I ended up meeting tons of great people by discussing art, drugs and music in totally different circumstances. It was a helluva mix of people that seem to follow that strange Philadelphia Social Net rule.

More than a lot of places, Philadelphia seems to create these unusually large social networks, with tons of parties interconnected. I mean, for being the 6th largest city in the US, you'd figure people wouldn't run into each other that much, or that you could actually have unrelated groups of friends, but it all inevitably winds up whittling down to 3 Degrees of Kevin Bacon (a Philly-area native, har har). I've stopped asking how people know each other, and chances are I've either seen or met my friends three or four times before officially meeting them. "So how do you know Sasha?" "Well... she used to be a regular at [insert retail gig], and we worked together at [insert new gig] for a month before the car crash, and we met like a year and a half later one random night at Oscar's, and it turns out I met her boyfriend before at the comic book store..." You get the point. I've stopped caring how people know each other, unless it's a cute girl and I want to know if she's dating someone.

How doesn't seem as important as why, in many of the circumstances that I've encountered. "How" seems almost subservient to figuring out "why," and oftentimes asking the former without the latter deals with the latter being invented in one form or another in the mind of the individual. Sometimes I wish in social encounters more people would ask me why, rather than hound with endless musings and doggedness about my path in life, mostly pertaining to my personal stance on "higher" education. It fits a system I want as little to do with as possible. Being a caveman's cheap, and I doubt I'm going to feel any manner of contentment in retiring, seeing how I tend to fall into a catatonic panic when I have nothing to do with my time (as I sit here blogging instead of doing a host of other useful things).

It's funny: all I want is a second job and I'm making friends, and when I had a full-time job all I wanted to do was spend more time making friends. Somewhere, there's some metaphysical cartoon character laughing at my expense as my wallet dries up and my hospitality needs grow. I'm hoping I don't have to start hitting the street corners just to pay the bills. Kidding, but still... fingers are crossed.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Life outside the Fractal

It would be nice to forget about money for a while. I mean, this period of feeling panic at the very mention of it's getting kind of boring. "Oh, wait, I can't get any new fancy soap because..." "Hey, I'd love to go out drinking and embarassing myself and everyone around me but..." "Oh, gee, getting high as a kite and blowing out the gummed up pipework in my mind would just float my boat, but I might run into a drug test while interviewing for a second job since..." So, I'm out of Lush soap and coming as close to that "good kid" that I used to be soooooo very many years ago when my stiffest drink was shandy (Sprite and Beer mixed together. It was as good as it sounds).

I've learned a lot from this dry period. Going from stoned on a daily basis to cold turkey has helped me gain an appreciation for how much of what I experienced was just my own mind. I chased a lot of phantoms in that period, and a lot of that came from the projection and objectification of the tools I was using at the time. Each dose was a hope that somehow I'd get launched into one of those mind-blowing religious experiences, and frankly, they grew few and far between as time went on. My jaw was always clenched in some neurotic fit, and it was tough not to fall into smug self-reference.

Even though those big enlightening fireworks would go off here and there, and I know that there're patterns I'm missing while "clean," a lot of things I've learned while under the influence have stuck, to my surprise. The time away seems to have reiterated what's really important: it's just a little easier to navigate without the sensory and intuitive barrage. Trust me, I'm nowhere near getting a sensible haircut and getting a cubicle job to find a boring hot chick that'll squirt out some kids before we inevitably split and I lose both custody of the kids and the cool half of everything I own. I'm still not getting a car or going back to college: both seem equally ridiculous straight as they do stoned. Maybe when it's not 1 am I'll get into it more.

Despite all that, the real reasons I want to get this money situation handled are still a) getting drunk, but with friends. b) tripping out, but only to face some demons and get to know myself and c) Lush products, but... more of them so I can smell frilly all the time.