Nav More

Kiss The Bottle

I don’t often write much about addiction because of how my personal views and experiences drastically differ from the common American concepts. Also, being on day 139 of not drinking, I don’t really have anything positive to say about sobriety.1 If anything—this now being my third major stint without a bottle in my life—every time I sober up long enough to look at the world, the disgusting hypocrisy I see surrounding the entire concept of addiction takes all of my willpower to not just go to the local pub and grab a shot of anything. (That, and have you actually read the news lately? There’s very little reason for self-preservation.)

I’ve known plenty of drunks, stoners and addicts in my time. Some even to the extent I was/am—functional enough to keep a constant grasp on a flask and still somehow exist in society without too much damage done or incurred. Within that crowd is always the same dialogue buzzing overhead; I really need to quit. And American society generally agrees.2

As I’m not a big social media user, I didn’t know about the #nospend trend until I read about it. This is the type of thing that really gets to me as an addict: these people are just as bad in terms of the actual concept of addiction.

It’s About Substance

I’ve known men who lurk on Instagram all day and women who can’t go three minutes without refreshing Facebook. I know people who would freak the fuck out if they lost a connectivity signal for more than a couple. Who own four iPhones just because. I know people who have racked up five-figure credit card debt for no reason other than to fill the time with shopping. It isn’t that they are any better or worse than me when I would sit at the end of a dark bar for days. It’s that to America and its social narrative, there is a stark difference.

To America, the alcoholic is a danger,3 a scourge, while the nonstop technology consumer is an Early Adopter. To America, the addict is a problem to be jailed or pushed away while the person shopping on Facebook all day is a Patriotic Consumer, a standard of the Millennial Culture.

My point with all of this is that I’ve known people who can down two bottles of wine for lunch and still work 10 hours a day and contribute to society.4 While for the most part, any addiction is detrimental to the individual, those who are always on their iPhones or getting Amazon packages delivered contribute to these massive corporations that fuel the economy—and specifically line the pockets of the true influencers who have actual power. In no way will you find a mainstream narrative demonizing their actions, regardless of how they may be destructive to people as individuals: they’re making the rich richer.

Call It What You Will

We live in a time of mass inequality, global chaos, cultural depravity and social decay. People want an escape. Some see plotless, bullshit movies. Some drink a bottle of vodka. Some play video games. Some sleep with strangers. Some buy shoes. Some hound social media. Some smoke pot. Some have Amazon on speed dial. Some re-watch the same television shows.5 Some do whatever it takes for more followers. Internally, it’s all chemistry: a release, a way to feel relief from the incomprehensible tragedy known as real life.

There is a worthwhile conversation to be had about addiction—especially in the time of an opioid crisis that was created to profit a select few6—but you can’t fucking convince me that my friends back at the bar are somehow more a problem than the teenage girl who influences millions of followers to contribute mindlessly to an economy of conspicuous consumption, vanity and greed that is perpetually proven to do nothing but harm to a majority of the world.7

What I would pose is that the heads of major corporations use the power of advertising and media monopolization to exploit the fact most people need at least something of a vice; and then these sociopaths at the top use our human nature to divide us all in how we try and get through the day with the perpetuation of social judgments and common fears of the unknown to vilify some, exalt others, and finally profit for themselves. And that is the true danger to society; they are the actual villains. A vice is a choice that may harm the self; those fuckers choose to harm others for their own benefit.

      Notes
  • The lack of hangovers are nice, especially given once 30 hits they get worse. However the boredom is quickly consumed by other bullshit I enjoy far less (digital games, bad television; absent-minded screen time in general) and in the end seems equally detrimental to the human brain. It’s just a different kind of destruction.
  • Alcoholics are constantly vilified in mainstream American culture, because the trait is commonly associated with a way to give a character a negative slant. Whatever; it’s not that a drunk asshole isn’t an asshole when they’re sober. They’re just better at lying.
  • One of the great dangers of alcoholics is drunk driving. Well, so the fuck is texting while driving. I’m not saying either is acceptable—but if the qualifications for alcoholism being a negative social attribute are the danger it can incur to others, why the fuck are social media obsessives off the hook? (this is a rhetorical question)
  • I was one of them.
  • As if there needed to be any more obvious qualifier, Binge is a term that is now not only widely accepted but encouraged behavior because of who benefits; another indication of the importance of common language and that what we call something truly matters
  • Let’s also not forget the whole history of the US Government and its involvement with illegal drugs for the purposes of oppression.
  • And I’m not saying the girl who probably doesn’t know any better should be blamed, either: it’s that the invisible systems, the American narrative, about what is good and what is bad are so warped toward the goals of capitalism and consumption that it is meant to channel people into addictions that will be the most profitable for the fewest at the top.

16:00 / 30 April 2019
Posted to Opinion

Tagged:




Various Verticals

Get The Shot

For The Ages

Uphill Battle

Street Ways

Absent Halves

Old Gods

Waiting

Walk Along

the Light here is both incredible and an incredible pain in the ass. European architecture seems constructed practically for extreme lighting—dense shadows spanning long, narrow alleyways from dawn ’til dusk, balconies and terraces creating geometric darkness while archways of nature speckle everything with organic inconsistency. It’s a fun challenge, far different from the bland American urban landscape, prioritizing business and signage far above people, transit and a social environment.

10:30 / 30 April 2019
Posted to Work

Tagged:


Day 14

—planning the future, one destination at a time. no future exists otherwise. it’s a strange way to be. none of the elements of my past exist in my present; their meaning and presence in space and time is now only a confluence of memories and emotional response. electrical signals conducting physical response to send electrical signals, to consider a physical future.

The #3 bus stops at the end of the street, about eight blocks down. so far, of the five times I’ve walked to the stop, the bus has arrived as I’ve been a block away three of them. It’s not a good ratio. everything feels as if I’m on the wrong wavelength, that I’ve shifted off-course. an unsettling feeling to have alone in a foreign country. an unsettling feeling to have in general; distance from one place to the next is meaningless without a home, and I’ve never been anything but alone.

23:30 / 29 April 2019
Posted to Personal

Tagged:

for what it’s worth

constant exhaustion… myself, the world at large, everything in between. we are at the end of history and nothing matters; the celebrations have begun. where that leaves me, in a lifelong quarrel with meaning, is simply behind.

i have never been one to ‘fit in’ and most of my practices with others—school, business—have been for naught. only on our First Friday events at The Warehouse, a bottle of wine in one hand and a guitar in the other, have i felt at place in this world. it’s better than nothing, to feel at home even if but for a minute before the end.

society worldwide is reaping what it has sewn, a grand picture easy to see, difficult to avoid. should i have given up like the rest, sat in an office and collected dividends on the labor of others?

there are many types of loneliness, madness and misery paving the way. the projection of happiness, the falsehood of this society, the complete lack in its art. sobriety is a state of constant disgust and anger. coming to terms with my own demons does not take much effort, but trying to relate to that of others anymore is nearly impossible.

those who would be content with monetary wealth in this world have destroyed it, for purpose and potential arc to such heights above that invented oppression, yet are so easily controlled by its gravity.

16:00 / 29 April 2019
Posted to Personal

Tagged:


Day 13

regardless of my life+what is happening+how i am dealing+the rest of the world, can’t beat shit like this

22:00 / 28 April 2019
Posted to Personal

Tagged:


Day 12

it’s quite fascinating to me how feeling foreign manifests itself in different ways. the most obvious is skin tone: though urban areas can be diverse, most countries have large swaths of geography with a rather uniform coloring. not matching up is a good way to feel awfully bad very fast.

the next obvious division is linguistic; though English is predominant in most of the world today, there are enough variations—from regional accents to major dialectic differences between, say, American and British spellings and definitions of the same words—that even within one language there are plenty of ways to discriminate1

and then there is, perhaps, the most psychologically dominant but least natural: the law.

laws and the flags they are defined by are the most useless division of humanity and also the most terrifying. these are the borders, along with their enforcement agents, created to force this uncomfortable feeling of being foreign.2 their presence takes the mundane and makes it, if not awful, at least nerve-racking.

today I drove a car, dropping a couple people at the airport. It was a ten minute drive on mostly main roads, the only difficulty being three roundabouts along the route. It was nothing. I’m a fully legal driver—with an International Driving Permit along with a US drivers license and insurance. but still I felt different, nervous, and worried. the constant concern of something going wrong, of possibly interacting with Police, had me on edge.3

feeling different is never a Great Time and fearing repercussions for those differences is just as much: nothing new, experienced by most and overlooked by the powerful in favor of perpetuating said power. but the constant action of questioning myself—What If this, What If that—is the worst way to feel apart from those who are around you. our natural differences are difficult enough to overcome, as greed has shown throughout history: the fact humanity designs more impediments to understanding just goes to show, maybe there is no saving us, maybe there is no point

      Notes
  • though i prefer ‘proper’ english to the American version, I still can’t call a lawn a garden or the ground a floor. it’s just strange
  • which is absolutely absurd
  • it’s a feeling all Americans, especially white men, should probably experience. I’ve had it many times—Morocco being the most unnerving—and it’s impossible to get used to. it’s a combination of paranoia and doubt, a constant fear that even doing things right is doing something wrong. it amplifies with each action that could, at some point, involve the governing body of the state to be involved in one’s individual life.

00:30 / 28 April 2019
Posted to Opinion

Tagged:


Tomorrow I’ll Be You

on the 3 bus

wasn’t sure if this guy was drunk or just in his own world, his movements were awkward and he wouldn’t stop smiling, bobbing his head around, eyes alternately opening and closing out of sync. he kept to himself, hands and head shaking awkwardly from time to time, signs of age or illness or both. we both exited the bus at the same stop, he clasped his hands behind his back and walked slowly down the street, a slight hunch and i thought there i go, somewhere lost in time and I turned left and won’t ever see him again

18:30 / 27 April 2019
Posted to Personal

Tagged:

Day 11

a constant and disturbing factor of being an American is the lingering sense of responsibility—or perhaps opportunity, and the rejection of each in expatriating—toward society and culture back in the States. when I was still there I could recognize the magnitude of anxiety that everything from the zeitgeist of culture to the shitshow of politics were having on my psyche. however the scope of that bubble was impossible to see from the outside.

perhaps it’s an over-sensitivity to the passing of time, or perhaps things really are that bad: every time I browse the news, it feels like i’m Peter Parker, Spider-Sense tingling as if a building was crashing down upon me. even nonchalant activities like looking over an Instagram feed are plagued by notions that no hope remains in the world. no lessons were learned in the reckoning that was 2016, or the fallout of 2017, and the entire damn thing is just going to shit.

I ease myself down into a lounge chair, absorbing the glowing Mediterranian sun, as if it’s not the same that provides each dimming dawn to my homeland. Just because I don’t recognize borders doesn’t matter shit to the people with all the guns, and just because a few of us can see the overwhelming flaws of capitalism in the modern landscape of technology and culture won’t stop the bankers laughing all the way to their exclusive clubs.

The overwhelming anxiety of The People worldwide may make them believe that there can be no sense of calm: I believe it’s only because they have yet to see the severity of The Storm on the horizon.

01:00 / 27 April 2019
Posted to Personal

Tagged:


Reprieve (Measured in Pages)

13:15 / 26 April 2019
Posted to Work

Tagged:

Day 10

(though I knew that the AP style calls for writing numbers over nine out numerically, I double-checked anyway, and then proceeded to nerd out on grammar rules for it all. i am great at parties, obviously.)

my work right now consists of a web redesign and light branding efforts, of which the finals will be posted in portfolios eventually, but at least today I had some fun in drawing out some floral patterns and testing color palettes—

—it is interesting being in Palma. for a few years I lived in Ketchikan, Alaska—another island-based tourist town—so i have plenty of experience with how these places work and what cultural showcases are a put-on versus what are actual. however here it’s interesting due to the fact it’s additionally a tourist destination for the ultra-wealthy. while Alaska may have seen a yacht or two occasionally, this weekend there’s an entire showcase for the rich to show off or purchase boats.

so i find myself walking around listening to the new La Dispute, lost and feeling as if I’m on an observation deck, relating to but not a part of the communities overthrown by the influx of wealth, the artists on the street trying to sell their work for pennies on the dollar, a necessity of living that also contributes to the continuation of this imbalance. if the world were to ever be a good and just place, it would be places like this that would be a showcase of what that looks like—where beauty would be for all, shared, and not simply for the few who could buy it

00:15 / 26 April 2019
Posted to Personal

Tagged:



Clear History

(even though this web site has operated with a blog—in some form or another—since 1999, it has undergone semi-annual design changes and annual database dumps throughout the years. thus, the "Archive" is actually only evidence of what has not yet been deleted.)