Archive for April, 2005

Unfinished Sympathy

Posted in Blog on April 14, 2005 by trevorgregg

It’s all very picturesque, in a strange way.

Surrounded by laptops, wires, cds, modernity, I sit hacking away into the wee hours struggling with the internals of the Cursed Robot. Despite what Will Smith told me in that movie, the fuckers are complex, so here I sit, bleary and unshaven. And yet, the programmer’s despair doesn’t weigh heavily on my soul, as it normally would. At least not in relation to this project. Forward Progress, that vicious and fickle mistress, coaxes me deeper into the night. And like I said, in a way it’s very picturesque. Replace my tacky curtains with black velvet, decorate the room like a Radiohead album cover, and replace all that sour and weary stress with a dark, artsy brooding… you’ve got yourself a hell of an image of the postmodern twentysomething. If only it were a montage, instead of actual hours of toil.

There’s always that flaw, though. That depressing seriousness, the eternal threat that breaks down the quaint pleasantries. Failure, in all his glory, waits impatiently at the doorstep like a door to door Mormon. Fuck, so much to do. The day I’m free of this trivial backbreaking horseshit programming, which is hopefully about eight weeks away, is the day I’m born again.

I didn’t intend this to be a rant, but we both know about my latenight habits. Lamenting the loss of my youth to this hateful drudgery has become almost a habit. Trouble is, when all the bitching is done, I still have to smash my face against this monitor and pound my knuckles into these keys until the fucking shit works. There is nothing I loathe like working on these networks programs. It’s a losing battle that I can barely bring myself to fight.

Sleep deprivation has obviously scrambled my brain, my coherence decays and my clarity of voice begins to crack. I’m slipping quickly into the Weird and Bitter, a landscape I know all too well. Technically speaking, I suppose I’m too young to mourn the loss of my youth. If I start in on it now, what will I spend my time on when the regret really sets in? Fuck it. Fretting does nothing. Just another weakness in the pantheon of the pathetic. No time for that now.

And so I turn my red eyes to better days, for they will come. Statistically speaking, it’s a sure thing. Soon, things will be changing.

Back to Brazil for at least a while, thank god. A land free of all the familiar deceit. It’s a glorious thing to play the foreigner. Escape from all that uniquely American vanity and tedium. Not that Brazil or anywhere else yet discovered is free of such things, not by a long shot. Some new evils would at least stir things up, though, if only out of novelty. I get tired of hate, hating the same things and people day in and day out. All the despicable and loathsome crap, like Faith-based government and interior decorating, like pretty treacherous women and cowardly men, it gets to me. I grind my teeth and snarl at the undeserving, I explain myself pointlessly to the confused and deaf, and catch myself looking longingly where I shouldn’t. And I don’t want to.

Some days it’s a deprivation; like somehow I got scammed out of the revels and laughter that the college life is so famous for. Fools tell me that I’ll miss it, that “work” is a greater burden than I understand. I say, with a quiet objectivity, that it can’t be worse than this. Can’t be worse than constantly sinking deeper into the murk and finding it harder and harder to claw my way back out. Christ I hate programming. Should have been an English major.

Things are never so dark as they seem at 2 AM. I’ll get up tomorrow and burn another 14 hours on the bot, hopefully moving forward, both literally and figuratively. A shower, a bed, and a chapter or two of Humboldt’s Gift will restore me to at least a partial working order. Zero 7, Portishead, and Tricky are all doing their part as well. Thanks.

Let’s talk about something else.

Exciting possibilities for the future, for the ultimate goal: Liberty. Independence in every sense, free of all debt and obligation, I await the day when a paycheck and diploma mean never having to say I’m sorry, at least when I don’t mean it. Without spending my days strapped across the academic rack I envision a sort of peak. Hard work that gets rewarded. Physical and mental fitness. Spending my nights in the San Francisco City Library with a book and a laptop, or in an academy getting stronger and faster and more dangerous. Spending my days at a job I don’t despise, what a wonderful thought. It’s a bit unnerving to realize how much of this all hinges on The Almighty Dollar, but whatever. Sometimes you have to pay homage to the lesser gods, if only to get them off your damn back so you can do what you want. Oh, the projects, friends, oh the projects. The escapades you’ve seen up to this point… they’re nothing. Petty timewasters squeezed in on weekends and afternoons, between classes and homework and all manner of obligations. The Pirate Adventure is just the beginning. The Kung Fu movie? Yes, it’s glorious, a triumph of modern cinema. The sequel? FAR FAR greater. I’m talking road trips, high speed burns from San Francisco to parts unknown with enough money, expertise, and self defense training to make anything possible. New York for the weekend. Backpacking in Montana. Resurrecting an El Camino. Writing, writing all the damn time. And not the twitchy slop you read now, the good shit. Refined, revised, all American beechwood aged prose like what. Imagine that… Rewriting! You fucks should be so lucky. Creations of all sorts, mechanical, literary, electronic, musical… trips and stories and scars and new ink on the passport. Elaborately orchestrated adventures that are undeniably awesome, in success or in failure.

I can’t damn wait.

What a privelege it will be, to be free.

sometimes you soak
sometimes you burn

-T.

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Getting ahead in the lucrative field of artist management.

Posted in Blog on April 12, 2005 by trevorgregg

The word, I suppose, is anticipation.

A bit bland… It doesn’t carry the subtle innuendos of dread, of hope, of frenzy that I’d like it to, but it’ll do.

First, I will relate a True Anecdote as an example of Our Times.
I was sitting in the UU, reading quietly. Two dudes with stacks of paper approach me; not an uncommon sight at Poly. A normal person walks through the UU and sees me, I’m just another person reading by himself. A (insert completely trivial major here i.e. marketing, statistics, sociology, etc.) student walks through the UU and sees that same person, but with a two-story neon sign above his head which reads Please Come Give Me Your Survey Or Perhaps A Little Flyer About Meaningless Shit That I’ll Immediately Throw Away.

These two gents, well, they belong in one of two categories: Extremely Ballsy or Remarkably Unobservant. Beats me which column they fall in to, but seeing as how they selected me from amongst the sea of weaker prey sprawled across the benches, I conclude they must be one or the other. They introduced themselves, but I can’t remember their names. Forgive me, I do that. Chances are their names were Mike, so we’ll go with that.

Mike: “Hey, my friend Mike and I are in an advanced reporting course and would like to ask you a few questions. Would you mind?”
Me: “Is this about Jesus?”
Mike: “No, no it’s not.”
Me: “Ok then, go ahead.”
Other Mike: “Are you aware that the Tribune recently published an article revealing that more than 70% of Cal Poly professors are Liberals?”

Here we go. *shnickity shnick* out come the claws. I take a deep breath, as I set down my (no joke) copy of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test on top of my binder with the anti-war rally flyer taped to the top. Somehow these fuckmooks seem to have mistaken me for one of their own horrible brethren. Either that or they didn’t see the tearstreaked, cowering faces of the dismally unlucky Campus Crusade for Christ kids who fled from their attempt to give me a survey last week. Either way, they continue.

The Mikes proceed to ask me ten or fifteen questions, all of which I do my best to answer without setting them on fire, or cussing. Before you accuse me of weakness, or dishonesty, know this: Nothing frustrates a republican like an articulate and informed response. I tell them, in my most condescending Bay Area intellectualite voice, what I think. Hidden between the lines of my calm and straightforward responses, however, lies the true message: Everything you believe in is horse shit and you’re ruining my country I hate you. Hard to hide something like that between the lines; such a sentence requires a bold 40 point underlined font at the bare minimum. Still, I tried.

One of my favorite little… quirks of people like the Mikes is the way they say liberal. Someone unfamiliar with the true definition of the word liberal could, upon hearing a Mike ask the question “Do you think it’s ok that there are many more liberals than conservatives in our academic community?”, come up with a variety of different possible meanings based purely on intonation and context.

“Do you think it’s ok that there are many more lepers than conservatives in our academic community?”

“Do you think it’s ok that there are many more rapists than conservatives in our academic community?”

“Do you think it’s ok that there are many more demon-possessed wart-ridden foul-mouthed ruthless murdering drunken cannibals than conservatives in our academic community?”

Harsh and dangerous interpretations for a word that is defined as one who supports liberty. And ya’ll know me, I’m just whacky for liberty.

My memory escapes me at this point. Many of the questions blur, and when I close my eyes to try and recall the specifics of the rest of our interview, all I see is red, red and hate.

Let’s reverse engineer these questions. Are you suggesting that the State, in whatever its manifestation, set up a sort of Affirmative Action for conservatives? I’ve heard faint rumblings of this in the last months, caught faint, sulphurous whiffs of this bullshit on the wind… You can not be serious. You can not ask me these questions with a straight face. It’s beyond the scope of human ability.

These are the people that want a Supreme Court Justice removed for banning the death penalty for minors. One article I read said that the ban on EXECUTING CHILDREN was part of the Supreme Court’s “War on Faith.” What? Words escape me. Perhaps my memory of the Bible fails me, but I don’t really recall a part where Jesus goes to bat for killing sixteen year olds. Maybe he snuck it in there somewhere between turning water into wine and telling everyone to love one another, and I just missed it.

The downward spiral of dumbness continues. Each day western civilization loses ground to the fanatics and the idiots. Even my own beloved California isn’t safe. Like killer bees, the terminally stupid have crept into our backyards and become an outright infestation. Fuck it. Freedom was fun while it lasted, but I suppose all good things come to an end. If these tools want to throw away things like rights, or peace, or economic prosperity then there’s not much I can do to stop them. It’s just unfortunate how many decent Americans they’ll take with them, when the Shit goes Down. Idiots.

There’s always Europe, or….

Brasil.

Wheels are in motion, friends. Vague, vaporous plans for a glorious return to paradise are solidifying. Nothing is settled per se, but I can nearly guarantee a big Just Graduated Get The Fuck Out in the near future. Salvador, Sao Paulo, Rio. Oh yes.

8 am lab, looks like I’ll have to cut this short. Peace.

-T.