I went to every last one of my classes today.
I'm not a hero.
I'm just a man
with hero blood
and a hero haircut
and a t-shirt that says
Feel free to ignore any parades in my honor.
Hey! Let's play Awesome Things/Weak Things.
AWESOME THINGS: Spring Break in South Beach
WEAK THINGS: Getting all the money stolen from your bank account thanks to mysterious ATM fraud
You can play too!
So I'm on Spring Break now, theoretically, since I only have class M-T-W. And I slept through my first two classes today (I had EVERY INTENTION of going, too, I made all kinds of promises/threats to myself) and, intending to use all that class-going energy on my third class at 4:55, I was actually kinda disappointed when I showed up to find nobody there and remembered it was cancelled. I was gonna attend the shit out of that class to atone for fucking up the other two; it was a little like spending all morning sinning then being bummed to find the confessional booth closed that afternoon. Wackachussets.
A lotta people are outta town already: Dominic and Dan are in Aspen for Checkout, as are Matt, Steve, Daniel as of this evening. It's a little bit of a ghost-town for a minute, but I been productive: I've written half the scripts for the new episodes of The Culliver Family Variety Hour that Hammerkatz is hoping to shoot sometime soon. (You may remember "Culliver" as the five-minute show I wrote that got nobly trounced at Channel 102 so we decided to go rogue with it, you can see/download the pilot here). I have every intention of getting them done before Donald/the twins/myself leave for Miami on Sunday. Ideally more intentions than I had of going to class this morning.
That's all I got for ya. If you haven't already, go over to 102 and watch both eps of Puppet Rapist. It it every bit as dark, deep, funny, and intriguing as its jokey title in no way indicates. Best 10 minutes you'll spend all day.
Recent AIM conversation with Gregor:
Aperockets: holy shit! the library is so crazy...all the non-basement floors just closed so everybody studying for midterms just SWARMED the basement
Aperockets: plus there's a test fire alarm going off
Googs218: the library is weird
Aperockets: dude...okay, so Battlestar Galactica is a GREAT show
Googs218: i hear this
Googs218: i hear this
Googs218: i just finished freak and geeks
Yep. In rapid succession I declared that the library was a crazy place to be, and professed my love for a show about adventures in space. I am also wearing a pink shirt with a grey tie and earlier I listened to a streaming Belle & Sebastian concert with a HUGE shit-eating grin on my face.
Please understand that I want to beat me up.
(I tried to assuage the nerdness by telling a cute girl that walked by, "Shorty, you killin' it." It did not help that I said this inaudibly under my breath.)
To keep with our theme of nerd pursuits, here are some thoughts on the art of comedy. You are forwarned.
I'm in a Creative Writing class, which is, for a bunch of liberal arts, history, politics, and drama majors a temporary respite from learning actual stuff and then applying it, and for me, just another chance to make shit up and get class credit for it. We've been doing poetry. A kid wrote a very angry sonnet about the Bush administration (every morning a barge takes all the angry sonnets about the Bush administration produced by NYU kids and dumps them at a specific spot on the East River. In three weeks we will have a manmade island rivalling Manhattan itself.) and it ended in a funny couplet that wasn't in the exact same tone as the rest of the poem.
This girl (whose notes and work I usually find pretty sound) WENT OFF on it. She couldn't stand that here was this angry poem and it ended, gasp, funny. Had to be gotten rid of, she said, didn't fit. Diminished the rest of the poem with its non-seriousness. Serious and non-serious can't mix and shouldn't. It upset me for the rest of the day.
I don't know, I just feel like (and it wasn't even my poem, don't know why I was so bothered) I'm gonna be fighting that my whole life. The idea that comedy is all well and good so long as it stays in its ghetto and doesn't taint the realm of The Serious. I tried to argue that the line kept the poem from being entirely pedantic, humanized it, but nobody was trying to hear it. That shit infuriates me. Life doesn't bother to try and keep a straight face, life is wonderful and terrible and the fact that it can be all those things in a day (or a second) means it's funny as fuck. And the things that can balance the wonder and the terror and the laughs in as close a proximity as possible are the most lifelike and ring the truest. Not necessarily the most "dramatic," in the amped-up four-cliffhangers-an-hour sense of the word: 24 doesn't have a whole lotta laugh breaks, and 24 doesn't come off terribly true. But The Sopranos does, The Wire does, Rescue Me does, fucking Battlestar Galactica does, because you never get the feeling the producers of the show said "a certain amount of time has to elapse between somebody laughing and somebody dying."
Because it doesn't have to elapse. Played right, dying is HYSTERICAL, and played right, a laugh will make death feel more real and that reality will make it hurt more. It won't just be okay to have comedy and drama in the same hour: it'll be essential.
And going with the assumption that couplets make things feel less pedantic, here's one I call "The Difficulties Inherent In Creating a Squck."
I have a squirrel and I have a duck,
I don't have a way to get them to fuck.
The 813 Tripplecreek Terrace Lounge For Time Travellers and other Interdimensional Beings is located on the planet Earth at 121.272753 degrees west and 45.884317 degrees north from 7 AM Mountain Standard Time Saturday morning, March 11th, 2006 'till 12:30 PM that afternoon, because at 12:30 I have to go to soccer practice.
If you are not a time traveller, please forward this message in as many places as possible (science message boards, blogs, LiveJournals, etc.) in hopes that it will survive long enough that time travel will be invented and time travelers will want to converse with one another and share ideas and see what an early twenty-first century American living room looks like. If you are a time traveler whose device is capable of traveling geographically as well as temporally, just input the above coordinates, and if it is only capable of time travel, physically transport your machine to the location (please be as exact as possible) and travel to the year 2006. If using the second method, please try to lift your device slightly off the ground before time-travelling, because otherwise you are likely to end up breaking through my basement and my dad will be pissed. Though the damage to the space-time continuum that would result from my dad becoming pissed are unknown, it would definitely stop any future Triplecreek Terrace time-travel events from happening, and I feel this would be a great loss to the time-travelling/interdimensional community.
For weary time travellers, refreshments will be available in the form of a liquid called "Capri Sun" (served in travel-friendly aluminum pouches which may be a welcoming sight to visitors from a future in which drinking glasses are obsolete) and a solid pastry known as "Little Debbie Zebra Cakes" (with a complimentary brochure about zebras for anyone from a future in which they are extinct). There are two sofas and a love-seat, though my dad may be occupying the love-seat. I will do my best to accommodate beings composed solely of light or energy. A first-aid kit will be on hand for those who may have been injured running from dinosaurs in the past, or nuclear zombies in a post-apocalyptic future. There is a television and a primitive game system called Sega, which travellers are encouraged to scoff at as primitive, if only to convince my parents I need an XBOX.
No payment is required to enter the lounge, though any hover-bikes, lasers, slavebots, or any other examples of future technology brought as gifts would be graciously accepted. If this proves to be as popular as I think it will, the proprietor (me) may ask you for use of your time machine to allow his mom to go back to a time before Saturday morning and get more Capri Sun.
Today was Earn-Your-Spring weather: A damp slushy cold motherfucker that said "You can have all the unseasonably warm January and February days you want, March gon stay March." I remember my first winter here I thought March was like the finish line, this may have been because growing up in Phoenix March was warm anyway, and on all those big elementary school wall calendars March always had green plants sprouting and the happy sun coming out. A more accurate calendar would show a gravestone marking where a green plant had been, and the sun flipping you off from behind a cloud.
All's well, though: I am having my first ever Actual Spring Break, in Miami. Donald says Miami on Spring Break is like a rap video come to life. My standard on whether or not that's true is if, when we're down there, I'm able to roll down the tinted window of my gargantuan purple SUV and let weedsmoke roll out, so the smoke can transform a nearby clot of uptight bookish girls into strippers in fur bikinis.
I don't think that's unreasonable.
Man, old-school hip hop songs were LONG.
Tonight I used the Virgin gift-certificate Rachel got me for my birthday way back in December to get Big Apple Rappin': The Early Days Of Hip Hop Culture In New York City 1979-1982, a 2 CD set of obscure-ish old school. At first I was puzzled as to why there were only like eight songs on each disc, but now I know: only one of the cuts is under four minutes, most of 'em hover anywhere from six to eight. That'd be long even for a modern-day lyricist, but add to the fact that about the most complex sentiment in oldschool is "come on, everybody," and you have to restate everything at least twice ("everybody just come on") and you end up with something that feels like an epic poem, one in which Odysseus is exhorted to just clap his hands to the beat c'mon.
That said, this shit is so much fun. Something that I'd never thought of that the liner notes pointed out is that this was before the takeover of the beatbox, so the beats came almost exclusively from disco records. These songs were for block parties. It's interesting that when New York was inarguably more dangerous, it was ruled by songs about everybody having a good time, and now that it's vastly safer, the radio is all about crack dealers who want to shoot you. Not that I mind that: as long as they stay in the stereo, the crack dealers make fun songs too. It's that conscious shit in between I can't stand.
The liner notes also mention the numerous novelty rap cash-in songs that followed in old-school's wake. Here are some of those don't-quite-get-the-concept rap classics I wish they'd included:
"Do Your Taxes, Everybody, Everybody Just Do Your Taxes"
"Raise Your Hands Skyward And Allow Them To List Ambivalently"
"Quiet Down Now"
"The Rock Don't Stop (But Don't Contemplate The Rock Never Stopping Lest You Be Driven Mad)"
"Y'all Ain't Ready (But That's OK, We'll Wait)"
"Seriously, Please Quiet Down"
"Friend The Police"
"Hip Hop Won't Get Better Than This (I Said, Hip Hop Better Than This)"
I made a song tonight: It's a remix of Bonde Do Role's "Melo De Tobaco," which is a pretty weird, awesome piece of baile funk in and of itself. Mine's disco through-and-through and there's a Biggie cameo. Can't stop won't stop:
"Melo De Tobaco (Dope Ep Remix)" - Dope Ep, The Boy Without Fear
Talkin' music, Donald's been on fire lately. Remixes of Belle & Sebastian and Broken Social Scene and all sorts of craziness are available at his blog.
Talkin' things that are cool, Hammerkatz has a new video at CollegeHumor. Check it!