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randomly observed

various things of interest—

—jonathan pie has been pretty solid of late with the takes on the Extinction Rebellion and center-left discourse being 100% on-point. at one point he mentions the Notre Dame tragedy, whose ‘rescue’ by the wealthy has been noticed by more than a few. the Catholic Church has probably spent the cost of rebuilding the cathedral on legal fees regarding child rape cases in America alone, so maybe they should be the one to foot the bill for a fire.

—speaking of America, i just can’t deal with news from there anymore. the fucking institutional obsession with the Mueller report is only more evidence that center-right liberals will do anything to find a way to blame the 2016 election on Russia. this shit is like Alex Jones level obsession for people who believe shopping at Whole Foods is a political act.1

—listening to Spotify in Spain is pretty dope because whenever an ad comes up it just sounds like a conversation I don’t understand. I wish I could always get ads in foreign languages. (current musical obsessions: new kids,2 old hats,3 artsy and trash pop.

      Notes
  • it was disgusting years ago when people were defending Obama and Hilary Clinton as being ‘politically left’—at this point it’s simply fucking stupid to look outside of American institutions as the reason for their failure. greed and money run the country and this president reflects that pretty accurately.
  • i know eilish is 17 and for that age group but christ i am so glad smartphones weren’t around until my heavy show-going days were almost over. this new crowd scene looks like a terrible time; watching a show through everyone else’s screen? i get i’m an old now but fuck that noise
  • Planes is still the best band and this performance is ultimate

12:00 / 21 April 2019
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Names in Lights in Green

there’s a Version of the Internet that is fondly remembered by all who were a part of it. This Internet was the mid-90s to maybe 2001 or 2002, basically everything before Facebook and eBay. that time online was strange because everybody knew that it was cool but had no clue what it actually was. then capitalism came along.

driving around, i listen to the radio. today the DJ made a comment about buying vinyl and I just cringed; I’ve nothing against vinyl records or collecting them, but the simple fact is that listening to topics that surround consuming or purchases or advertising has become simply exhausting. So much of our day-to-day conversation in America is about money. People who don’t know anything about sports still know athletes make a shit-ton of money.

when I was growing up I used to hate the store Banana Republic, joking that they were the type of place that would charge just to breathe their air. Online, this dystopian idea of someone capitalizing on simply existing is true: you can’t click a link without somebody out there making a dime. the internet sucks now and it’s because capitalism has been let loose to consume anything meaningful in the name of profit.

16:00 / 22 March 2019
Posted to Opinion

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Barking at the Birds

there was a bit on John Oliver last week about how it’s an unfortunate reality that the president is legitimately funny—that he does shit like call Tim Cook by the name Apple. and we may live in a hellscape of nationwide nervous breakdowns induced by late-stage capitalism and internet memes, but we also get to live in a time when the President of the United States of America is talking shit about a dead man—who many consider to be An American Hero—on national TV. like this shit is hilarious.

I’m already sick of Election 2020, because the only good scenario (Bernie) remains a long-shot, and the Time of Dipshit Thinkpieces is upon us all: the year before an election when unsubstantiated and/or preposterous claims can be made that will all be forgotten once a winner is declared in 20 goddamn months.

Trump has a better chance at re-election than I think most people think, which would be about as funny as him taking a dead John McCain to task if it wasn’t so goddamned sad.

13:30 / 20 March 2019
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a sign flashes (Applause) to the audience and the lights fade

the internet each day presents an endless supply of evidence of Things To Be Concerned About. stories about the Injustices of Our Own Making; wrongs that could be righted—wrongs that should never have occurred to begin with but are required to Keep The Wheel Spinning. The System Goes and Goes.

(today: the story of Ramsey Orta, who videotaped the infamous Eric Garner murder)

the world encourages us all not to pay it any mind, out of fear the weight of its brutality will shatter our individual lives and leave them to fade with time. these systems are all invented, their repercussions a mass of panic, sadness, the feeling of being trapped. none of this is human.

11:45 / 13 March 2019
Posted to Personal

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Cityscape

the last time i was getting ready to leave Portland, I knew that it would not be my final time here. now as the studio begins to clear out and my Official Residency is no longer in oregon, and I look at the city through more a lens of the past than the present or future, i can’t find much of a reason to return.

Portland is a wonderful place to lose yourself but a terrible place to find yourself in. its appeals have all but faded in the past decade: financial interests have moved in, motivations—and the people who own them—have become suspicious. it has become self-serious in a way that casts aside the various oddball subcultures that were appropriated for a television show.

(increasingly I find myself drawn to New York and Los Angeles—perhaps the reasons they are reviled are why I appreciate them: their is a stark and brutal honesty to the vanity and greed that are the backbone to their primary industries. capitalism is exposed, and while Silicon Valley spins itself as Saving The World (or whatever), LA and NYC just don’t care what anyone says unless it makes them some bank. and if that isn’t America Now, I’m not sure what is.

14:15 / 11 March 2019
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bitter words

on the TV listings for a visited set, Punk: A Revolution In Four Parts. punk wasn’t really a revolution, though. neither were the Beatles. paradigm shifts in arts and culture, perhaps, but no revolution. except, perhaps, in the marketplace.

this is a great victory of capitalism: the appropriation of language with actual meaning into being used as market-based metaphors. I saw this in the corporate world plenty, with company-wide e-mails about being In The Trenches sent out; corporate drones seeing themselves as soldiers in literally the least battle-like situation imaginable.

using art for advertising, linguistics for marketing; it’s all an unending battle between the truth of our humanity and those that would purge it to make a dollar.

15:00 / 10 March 2019
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“scale rarely seen”

a US Coast Guard lieutenant was arrested for planned domestic attacks on left-leaning politicians and mainstream journalists. stories like this, sadly, can be expected at this point. (if not expected, then perhaps unsurprising if and when they do pop up.)

what got me about the article, though, was some phrasing:

Christopher Hasson intended “to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country”, according to a filing to federal court in Maryland. Law enforcement officers seized 15 guns and 1,000 rounds of ammunition from his home.

Gun Violence in America has reached the point of frequency where there are levels. the frequency of mass shootings is at a point we’re spending time sub-categorizing them instead of dealing with the problem.

“…scale rarely seen…”. unreal.

22:00 / 20 February 2019
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(Trump is not The Problem)

nothing is going to annoy me more than liberals trying to convince me that not voting for Warren or Harris on 2020 is somehow sexist. it’s about politics, and it’s Bernie or Bust. it was in 2016, it is now. the political position of “incremental change” is ideologically weak and fundamentally stupid. start with passion, with a goal, and eventually it will get compromised down to change. start with weakness and you’re already beaten.

Warren is a capitalist and Harris a cop. decisive and uncompromising action is needed and there’s really nothing left to be said about it.

09:00 / 20 February 2019
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Under a Dying Sun

Joshua Tree · 2016

in August of 2016 the road was calling yet again; i found myself driving around the USA for the month. from Portland to Washington DC by way of Milwaukee and Cleveland, down to New Orleans and across the south, through Texas and then up the west coast. On the last night of my trip I found myself in Joshua Tree National Park.1

I’d never been to Joshua Tree before but was familiar with its lore. mulling about: the camp sites were overcrowded, the roads empty. i did not notice an excessive amount of Park Rangers, which makes the shutdown vandalism perplexing. why was this place a target for such destruction?

relating to the motivations of people has never been a strong suit of mine but some days i think it’s a completely foreign concept.

      Notes
  • the “last night” was supposed to be second-to-last, but I ended up driving Joshua Tree to Portland in one straight, 18-hour shot. it became one of those travel segments where keep going keep going was a psychic itch i couldn’t stop scratching. every chance I had to pull over for a motel, my foot pressed the gas onward.

10:00 / 16 February 2019
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“For The People”

man say what you will about the government shutting down or the endless bullshit that is the democrats trying to pin the election of Trump on Russia,1 but I’ve found this administration quite refreshing.

yes, Trump lies—but what he lies about often has to do with things that affect his self-image. (that, or it’s some insane escalation to distract from whatever the media is covering about him.) what’s interesting, though, are the things he tells the truth about.

nobody seemed to bat an eye when he said the most honest thing of the 2016 election—claiming he could buy anyone on the stage. it’s such a potent move, to just lay bare the corrupt nature of politics in modern America. and now, when he’s up there talking shit about one people or another, he’s doing what most politicans wouldn’t dare: openly admitting how little he gives a fuck about the people he supposedly represents.

it’s happened on both sides before—in recent memory with Hillary and Romney—when a recording is leaked and the world sees what these elitist fucks really think.2 Trump was elected by running on how corrupt the institution had become and he hasn’t really stopped with that. For all the merciless terror he’s waging on just about every aspect of American life, he’s at least being honest about his priorities.

      Notes
  • This entire Russiagate thing is getting out of hand. This is a Wired editor somehow trying to propagate that Bernie Sanders is a Russian agent who was just trying to fuck with Hillary in 2016. The neoliberal defense is getting to Qanon levels of delusion.
  • This year it’s been the Davos meetings where Tony Blair somehow laughs about he and W fucking up the world

17:00 / 27 January 2019
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Clear History

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