April 28, 2005
I have been way not up on this blogging thing, eh? Here is a summary of recent events:
- Moved into my new apartment. Its a studio in Oakland that is pretty nice, though furnitureless.
- Changed my cell number to a 510 (Bay Area local) number. Giving up on the 413 was a tough but necessary move.
- Saw Zizek!, a new doc on the man, the miracle. The movie is still in its infancy (I was at the first showing of the final piece), but it should be coming 'round your way in the coming months. I highly recommend it. It succeeded in lessening some of my misgivings about him and his work. More to say, natch, but not now.
- Nobody has yet to contact me through iheartnybutimnotinheartwithny.com, though everyone seems to like the stickers. I am a sucker and keep sending them out for free.
- Played Katamari Damacy with Colin for 6 hours straight. Plan to play much more once I get a television of my own. (There's a sequel coming!)
Until I've sorted out internet access at my apartment (and someplace to sit), updates will be sporadic/nonexistent. If you know anyone in the Bay Area with hott furniture they want to get rid of, send them my way.
ps. Patty's coming on the 21st! We will play Karaoke Revolution until our neighbors are sick.
April 05, 2005
I watched the Against Me! DVD, We're Never Going Home, last night while I was trying to sleep. It was mostly ridiculous (in a generally positive way). The disc is made up of both live performances of songs, miscellaneous footage from a 2004 East Coast tour, and bits of interviews with various people: band members, ex band members, friends, and fans. It's a strange document which I don't totally get. If it were interspersed with video of skateboarding I would understand it—it has that kind of energy and scatological presentation. But there's no skating and the band members don't come across as the kind of assholes that would make that kind of video. In fact, it turns out to be much more serious and, dare I say, genuine than I expected.
Half way through the disc two people from Universal Records show up trying to woo the band to the label. This launches a whole discussion about signing to a major. A surprising number of people express acceptance-tinged ambivalence towards the idea of Against Me! signing to a major—enough people seem okay with it that I started to wonder if the DVD wasn't laying the groundwork for the band to make the leap. The last scenes, however, are snippets of the band members saying things like “if someone wants to buy me a drink I'll let them buy me a drink. But as far as signing to a major, it's all bullshit” and “I'm not going to sign my life away.” It seemed a very calculated maneuver which lends the sense of genuineness to the whole thing.
The major/independent discussion is yet again another example of the ethics/politics problem. To my eyes, staying on an independent label should be seen as a political strategy designed to build viable, local, not fucked-up economic and cultural institutions and practices. Instead it is cast as some kind of ethical lapse: your band is now a sellout and therefore sux, QED. What should be seen as collective political practice becomes personal politics (are you okay with it? do you feel like you are compromising your politics?), and what are personal politics but ethics? And, ultimately, doing the ethical thing is not doing the politically useful thing*.
So how to change this? How do we extricate the ethical from the political and start to build an explicitly political (that is, not-ethical) left/radical culture?
*There's more to say here about the supposed parity between the ethical and the political. We often judge others' actions because we think they are compromising a certain politics. But at a certain point the political context which made that parity logical shifts, rendering the politics no longer relevant but leaving intact the ethical framework.
April 02, 2005
new favorite word
Papabile, able to be made Pope (more or less).
March 31, 2005
Whenever someone dies at work on a cop show they interview the person's co-workers and they're always indifferent. I used to think it was so unrealistic — if a co-worker of mine died, I defiantly thought, I would be in such a state! — now I am starting to understand. I have almost no interaction with half the people in my office and if one of them kicked off and the cops came around to my cubicle to interview me I'd give a few “didn't really know him/her. seemed pretty quiet”s and beg off with an “I've got to get back to work.” Just like on the television.
My I Heart NY But I'm Not In Heart With NY stickers have arrived! They are pretty. People like them, too, which makes me feel good. If you want one you will have to beg.
March 10, 2005
I had a difficult conversation with a friend of mine yesterday in which I tried to represent my intellectu-academic interests re: “the Left” and “politics.” I was completely unable to remember and communicate any of it in a coherent way. I realize now that some of my difficulties came from the fact that, insofar as I am interested in Left critique, I don't have a strong sense of the object of my critique. Left Legalism/Left Critique is able to be so smart because it has a very clear sense of it's subject. I talk a lot (mostly to my self, I admit) about “the Left” but don't have any way of pinning that down to specific things, which means I get to be really slippery and maybe not say anything particularly useful. So what is this thing that I like to call “the Left?” I think this is one of the big questions that I came up with a long time ago but, like most things, had forgotten: what is the left and what does the left think it is? Relatedly, what power do we (as left-identified individuals and as the left in general) have, what power do we think we have, and what power can we have?
March 06, 2005
According to my stats, I got almost 8200 hits on February 21, the day after I posted about Paris Hilton's phonebook. That's too many — take them back.
On a stranger note, my div III was hit 78 times in February and 17 times already in March. Are people actually reading this thing? That is a potentially frightening thought.
March 03, 2005
Today I sent out this image to get stickers made. I've been sitting on this for a year and a half, and now that I'm finally making some dough I thought I should make it happen. On a whim, I googled around and found that somebody had already thought of this! Really, I didn't expect that I was the first, but still. Fortunately for me, there are only three links that Google could find that mentioned it, here, here, and here. And those are old, so I am still some kind of creative genius. If you want a sticker or two, drop me a line and I'll send you some. They should be here in a week and a half.
February 20, 2005
Paris Hilton's T-Mobil address book has, apparently, been hacked into. You can view it here. Most interesting people listed: Newsom, San fran gavin; Famous, Rich not; Feed the children.
It has begun: I didn't get into Berkeley. Poop. Still some other places to hear from, of course.
WordPress 1.5 has been released. I highly recommend it for teh Blogging. It takes about two minutes to set up and has a great theme system to make your blog look all gorgeous and stuff. I'm probably going to switch over sometime soon, so be prepared for a new look.
February 02, 2005
These Times, This place
I have officially returned to the Bay Area, for now and not even for hire! Yes, a job I have at the East Bay Express. I am the Layout Editor, which sounds all incredible but is not. Not to say I do not like the job — so far, so good — but Layout Robot would be a more apt title. I do mostly repetitive production work. But!: It's a job, it pays, and it means I am officially no longer completely uncertain about what I will be doing in the coming months.
Thoughts of note:
- Waverly Films is a few fellas I know who do great filmic work. Click “our work” to browse. Be sure to watch The Werewolf Solution, Fatboy Slim - The Joker, and Darude - cowboy sandstorm. Furthermore, be sure to watch their meteoric rise to stardom!!
- Quilted recently launched. A web design group that I am somewhat involved in. Nice website, too (go Peter!).
- Do you like kitties? This is Tegan and Cupcake, Patty's new loves. Joy!
- My grad school apps are finished as of Decemberish. In the final days I realized that A#1) I really only want to go to Berkeley, and B#2) I'm pretty okay with not going this coming year. I can/should put off a life-long commitment to Acadumbia for at least a year while I settle into the not-college life. Right? Right. Of course if I get into Berkeley that house of cards will come crashing down.
- Pitchfork relaunched and it's uuuugly.
IM me if you get the chance: nonemoreradical