please stop tickling me

In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Everything Is Temporary

So, in case you've been wondering where I spend my weekend evenings, the Project continues apace.
It's teevee, baby, and boy do we have some ideas to share with this here ol' world.
The idea, at base, has gone from being a pointed parody of the news media (which I was kinda saying is being done better by people far more talented than us anyway) to an almost Twin Peaks-esque soap opera format in which attractive people wander around talking about issues never addressed in your average soap.

We've been doing quite a bit about the Federal Reserve, the stock market and the abstraction of capitol. We filmed a fake PBS-style interview in which I describe the Fed as being a basically Fascist (in the economic use of that word) aspect of what so proudly describes itself as a free trade economy. I describe corporate churches as 'an abomination'. I point out that the twin hipster kids from the future who have filled my head with these ideas are worth listening to regardless of whether or not they're time travelers because "I've heard a lot of decent theories, observations and statements from people standing on street corners pissing their pants from too much malt liquor, too."

(Back up: Twin Hipster Kids from the Future?)
Yes. After we meet Rich Bachelor three years ago, on the eve of our invasion of Iraq, we establish that he is the renegade scion of an obscenely wealthy family (mostly media and resource-extraction based wealth. For some reason, they're Danish), and has gone into hiding. He is a degenerating alcoholic who is lucky enough to have an administrative assistant named Zero from some shadowy org. headed by an even more shadowy figure named the Human Resourceress. It is also noted that a comet the size of a small planet is headed for the sun that evening (true, by the way; there was). It resembles the Eye of Horus.
Last night we filmed the scene in which I stumble into the back yard, drunk, and see two incredibly attractive young people emerging from the forest: they have static where their eyes should be.
The girl of the two steps up to me and slaps the cigarette out of my mouth. She then asks if 'they've taken the internet yet'.
I mutter some lame shit about broadband, and ask what she's talking about.
"Can you still look at porn on your computer?"
I say yes.
"Good. Then we're not too late."

Art and Life keep crossing over in their usual way, in this production. Rich Bachelor is trying his damndest to not destroy himself as he notes that, however many battles he's fought in the past, there will always be more, and they'll just get bigger. He is being aided by a far more organized assistant who he secretly has a crush on. He alternately wants to hide, and wants to muster the forces to fight the hideous evil he sees on the way. He knows that saying the right-sounding thing in the right place will change minds, and also that humanity is Asleep, and enjoys being that way. He knows a lot, and knows too that that might not necessarily matter.

For this production, I may have to just make myself healthier: it's what the character becomes. In the three years being described here, he goes from a lazy, socialite garbage fly to someone who is the spokesperson for a movement, and can beat The Bullshit Engine at its own game.

I know that grace and flexibility are required, and have been doubting whether or not my magic is functioning, of late. I feel old and tired, but the brain is still working in here. I have been feeling sorry for myself for far too long, and I knew it, but I'm just not sure where to take it next.
And there is magic in the world, by the way; nothing you haven't already noticed. The power of Words, for example. We all know that you can do anything you want with them, and the most devious of us amongst you will deny to the end that they're anything more than stick figures with which we poorly represent ideas. They're more than that, though: they're triggers.
That again, is the thing. Simple as stepping off the sidewalk and into the street, and every bit as dangerous: once you've noticed it, you can't really go back.

I ended up feeling a little better the other day after talking with an ex. I was forced to note yet again that she is emotionally unavailable until she decides to be a Pest. Her magic and illusion are strong, but once you notice what's been in front of you the entire time, there's really no other way of viewing it.
And this was in response to a pretty cold thing said to me in that conversation. I often whine that I wish people would just be nicer to me, but actually it does seem to be abject cruelty I respond to in the most dynamic way, and even more darkly, people seem to like me better when I'm being a mean ass bastard. I'm trying to draw a usable conclusion from this.

We're getting near a place where we have enough footage for a first episode to be podcasted. The impulse here (and this has already been a problem) would be to fine tune the damn thing ad infinitum, and never actually reach a final product that can be shared. We are, at various points, going to be discussing just about everything that can be discussed, so the impulse is understandable. I intend to suggest that we get to a rational finishing point, and release the first salvo. It should be titled, I think, "Everything is Temporary".


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Mixwatch: '06!

I generally make mixes as a seasonal thing, or as a response to trauma, as I've written before. The Summer Fun mix, in particular, is a serious rite of passage. It not only describes how I'm feeling, but how I hope the summer to go for me.
As I've also written, I'm sort of starting to hate summer. It has been, as far as the last few years go, all about people leaving me, or leaving Portland anyway. My mad season is fall, by the way: it gets better and better the closer I get to my birthday.
So, however belatedly, here is the track listing for Summer Mix, '06!

[ Side A,The Gentle Side]
"It's You"-Animal Collective
"River Theme"-Bob Dylan
"Behind That Locked Door"-George Harrison
"I Hear Good Night"-Low/The Dirty Three
"The Only Living Boy in New York"-Simon & Garfunkel
"The Sun Beats Down"-The High Llamas
"Pacific Theme"-Broken Social Scene
"Astral Traveling"-Pharoah Sanders
"Decatur"-Sufjan Stevens
"Amie"-Pure Prairie League
"Story of My Life"-Loretta Lynn
"I'm Not Dead"-Cool Breeze
(Cool Breeze is a guy who works in the coffeeshop downstairs. His ukelele-driven tunes are happy little miracles.)
"Ain't No Two Ways About It"-Ellen McIlwaine
(Ms. McIlwaine is an unfairly overlooked artist from the '70's who is easily the equal of Bonnie Raitt as far as slide-guitar playing and being red-haired goes.)
"Porcupine Pie"-Neil Diamond
(Easily his weirdest song.)

[Side B, the Exultant one]
"Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?"-Culture Club
"Come On! Feel the Illinoise!"-Sufjan Stevens
"Did You See the Words?"-Animal Collective
"A Perfect World"-Pizzicato 5
"Fire Eyed Boy"-Broken Social Scene
"Guided By Wire"-Neko Case
"Portland, Or."-Loretta Lynn and Jack White
"Street Fightin' Man"-Rod Stewart
"A Little Less Conversation"-Elvis Presley
"Thank the Lord for the Night Time"-Neil Diamond
"Here Comes the Summer"-The Undertones

And, due to intervening circumstances (and again, I'm starting to hate summer), it was followed up by an angry breakup mix, titled "A Fraction of the Sum". It takes its name from the Built to Spill track on here:
"And you've become, yes you have become
the thing you thought was dumb
a fraction of the sum"

[Side A, the really angry one]
"Spec Bebop"-Yo La Tengo
"I Still Get Rocks Off"-Blonde Redhead
"Let's Call It Love"-SleaterKinney
"Carry the Zero"-Built to Spill
"Wheels of Confusion"-Black Sabbath
"New Amsterdam"-Elvis Costello

[Side B, or, I'm starting to get used to this]
"I've Been a Long Time Leaving, But I'll Be a Long Time Gone"-Roger Miller
"Deteriorata"-National Lampoon
"Katie's Been Gone"-The Band
"Casimir Pulaski Day"-Sufjan Stevens
"Grass"-Animal Collective
"Captain Infinity"-Zen Guerrilla
"Street Fightin' Man"-Elton John (from an obscure 1970 live album; it's great)
"Run Runaway"-Slade
"The Purple Bottle"-Animal Collective
"Afro"-Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

So let's see. Stats?
Number of Rolling Stones songs done by other artists: Two
Number of included Animal Collective Songs, suggesting that I just might have a favorite band or something: Four, beating Sufjan Stevens by a margin of One point.
Songs that Everyone can sing along to: Three; "Amie", "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" and "Honky Tonk Women"
Song that Everyone will Eventually learn to sing along to: "Run Runaway"
Songs by Japanese people: Two
Degree of Roger Miller inclusion: 1/42

There y'go. I'm going to be doing another posting on "House of Cheer" today, but it isn't, as of this moment, finished. Go check it.