Aviedid you check your MySpace blog comments this afternoon? Well, let me say this to you because when I read anything written, in a book, in a magazine, in a comic, in a blog, in a stone tablet, I ask myself. Hmmm, do I do that? Am I guilty of that? Is she, or he talking about me? Does it matter? If not, why not? Et cetera, ad nauseam...
Of course, like any hot-blooded Dylanista worth his own sense of wayward mystery tramp, we all think Bob Dylan has written directly to us as individuals for the past forty years, and you have even picked up on the phenomenonwith your praises of many of the notes I have sent you the past couple of months. But let me be clear. I DO NOT think you have come on too fast, nor am I afraid of boldness and directness, or anything we have or have not shared, but I will tell you that those early heady days of Facebook jollies were just that, a newness, a folly, a guilty pleasure, a time-killer when I was home sick for weeks on end, a journey sure to end on an anti-climatic note, an odd take on reality, a complete waste of time except for the enjoyment we created.
I can kick ass with the best of the headbangers, but I'm more comfortable with a book or a philosophical treatise. You should have noticed by now that I have abandoned most of those Facebook apps that are nothing more than will-o-wisps I can blow away with the might of a well-sculpted paragraph, and prefer reciprocity in that arena to the pokes and superpokes with their respective one word iconographies in play.
Believe me. I'm not trying to strike a pose as a superior being or some nonsense like that. I had fun when I was having fun. But the bubble has burst for me. You and a couple of other friends welcomed me to Facebook with a bang. I thank you for that bit of personal ego stroking.
The long and short is I spend hours every day in study and in writing, keeping my blogs at operational speed. My radio station has been running on autopilot since September. My need to paint, and show, and sell them suckers doesn't get enough properly structured and vested time as it is, what with the symptoms of this broken down thyroid I carry in my throat, my bulging waistline, and creeping age all toss memostly sinus and skin allergies to the cotton clothing I wear, fatigue, tremendous aches, pains and head smog, all leading to a generalized exasperation in struggling to do all that I want to do without attaining anything of value much more than the rare passersby making a two-minute web visit for any of it.
I press on because the alternative is absolute stone cold unassailable darkness and its ugly cousin, loathsome failure.
We almost never entertain in our home, and rarely go out once we make it home after returning from our daily grind. I am simply more jealous of my energy now that my own death seems closer to me than when I first launched The Scenewash Project in 1996, as an early pioneer. Point is I'm a haunted individual, not all joy and vigor as many see me I've learned. There's the public Gabriel that the underground music scene loves or loathes depending on one's sense of punk, and then there's the private Gabriel, lost in this world, unfruitful, weary and disappointed, thwarted by the dualing zodiac signs of the Libran sheep, if one is of a mind to believe THAT yack.
And since you never take up any of my offers, two issued to visit studio, which drew silence, two to gallery shows, both of which you wanted to attend, but didn'tI don't hold any of that against youI just don't know how to accommodate you at this point.
But I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last week during our snowy trip to North Adams, MA. Pictures on their way.
Cheers, beers, and steers, and maybe you weren't talking about me at all, but...
My interview with Tim Peyton. This was a written exchange conducted over a popular messaging protocol, so the push and pull slingshot of spontaneity was very much in play. The utilitarian nature of the interview escapes me as of this writing. It was for some school project, or publication, but I forget, or never really focussed on the trigger in the first place. I do recall it was a referral from Crash, some I presume Peyton is a university student from a school in Illinois.
TP: Gabrielwell here I am back in the "lovely" midwest after a nice visit to my hometown of Seattle. It was nice to get a little culture: good food, good drink, good smoke. I've got just a few questions for you regarding Scenewash as well as some other issues. Do you think the Internet is a good tool for building communities of individuals united by shared sensibilities?
GT: On a limited basis, the Internet is the absolute tool for building such communities for select individuals seeking something more than the corner bar chit chat & barf or whatever issue-bonding totems other established unity pairings have offered them within the realm of their own specific walk, for those who still feel themselves cut off from the chain reactions of encouraging social valences (for indecipherable reasons) beyond the spitting fires of definitive psychologies.
These often impenetrable or conflictive reasons of individual discontent at the initial stage of community-building, controlled or open, great or small, positive or negative, while seemingly of great importance to social philosophers and activists of various stripe, are meaningless to the aspiring, desperate, or even casual seekers of community.
This Internet valence-building tool, however, is somewhat limited by its virtuality which can mask much of the authentic with imposture and meaningless word-baiting albeit no more so than the swag postures of professional and intellectual cons in the other public arenas, while the Internet tool is strengthened exponentially by its outreach capabilities which stretch far beyond other contemporary venues in both its ease of immediacy and the sheer numbers possible in reaching others who commiserate at a certain level of communication a shared collective of sensibilities.
Several obvious downsides exist however, including the growing domination of the machine intercessor usurping the authentic life of human interplay and the increasingly threatening appearances of Big Brother into the bit sniffing business.
TP: What's your cocktail of choice?
GT: I'm sorry, but could you rephrase the question? Just joking. To respond [to your question] in a completely different manner, I'd answer: the bird in the hand. I try, and mostly succeed in avoiding the ridiculousness of the Alcohol Wars.
TP: Do Scenewash members regularly communicate with each other via the SWORG list? What kind of issues do they discuss?
The universal resides inside us, like the kingdom of god, not some external force or set of rules handed down from a mountaintop or ivory tower. The external is the particular, the specific orbits of our lives, the intruder upon the universal, the crusted world and its mantle of beauty and ugliness, order and chaos, attraction and repulsion. The universal is non-changing. The universal is the life-force no one can describe without resorting to particulars, externals. The SWORGsters are considering this problem.
GT-: Yes, since the SWORG SWILL list was founded in November of 1998, most of its charter members have corresponded regularly in great volume of thoughful insight and documentation. There's no hiding the fact that splitting hairs in philosophical posture is the purpose of the SWILL. Issues? We launched with no native foundation, allowing our issues to greet us like spring pollen. But I coined a phrase in a rather casual tossway that struck a chord with the others. The word was GEOSIFT. Since then, all talk is filtered through this concept, which I frankly admit still has not been adequately, or should I say, succinctly defined. But we tackle topics that range from the alpha to the omega leaving no stone unturned as we are pretentious enough to publically suggest we are seeking to map out a unified field theory of human existence in the global sphere. Each of our members are knitted with a different cloth of experience and aptitude although there are binding notions which help to provide us a common language in this Age of Babel we find ourselves swilling to define. Copping to the point, we use the best, we use the rest. We believe that many answers to the human condition might be found in a comparative study of the social with the geological. We beg, borrow, and steal any idea with which we might fashion a better truth than that old truck our grandfathers drove home. Namedropping is as bogus as reinactment ploys, but who can avoid either? We both love that what we can scavenge and loathe that which we find repugnant and false in the Situationist theories. The Christian theories. The Marxist theories. The pop culture chaos. The mythos and the concrete. We have yet to explore the sensual topics to any degree, fostering notions of geosophy at present which will offer us the tools of this projected geosift-in-progress, that is to say, the Scenewash Project, an often rude but progressive stare into the stuffy battleground where the arts and politics beat each other's brains out as the rest of us remain none the wiser but all the more insecure and otherwise cyncical to the core. All is flux. Nothing is static, not even the past, if we subscribe to all the rantings of false histories and recouperated lives that plague the pumping heart today. But we human entities are framed in both time and space despite postulates which tease us into believing otherwise. Our time and space activities have been accelerated, but we remain fixed in both. But then again, the impossible today is possible tomorrow. Yesterday proves nothing but today under dissimilar circumstances. We as individuals ALREADY sift through the anthro-rubble and the socio-fortresses of the past looking for and clinging to a haphazard matrix of clues with which to buttress our present and our future, but we suffocate in the end because we had embraced collective lies and half-truths, parables of stretching possibilities, but learning nothing of certitude. This in effect sheds light on the chasm between chaos and order. Therein lies the proper problem I think we seek to address. The SWORG theorists seek merely to quantify and qualify this natural intuition and its pitfalls, and in doing so, exert a certain amount of energy in building better more feasible tools with which to sort out of the wheat from the chaff, the eternal sift so to speak. This aim is not unique among philosophers, but we are, as noted, first and foremost, among the best minds of our generation, naked, starving, hysterical. . . locked into the times and the spaces of that nebulous generation, and therefore must work within the ranges of our own particulars with one eye on the universal and another on our own orbits, and thus be challenged by the historical aim of presenting a unique generational viewpoint which in turn will wither away as another generation is born and must therefore react positively to the world they have inherited. Let me say I have always, since my first hearing of the word in its traditional negative connotation, considered myself to be a reactionary, and see the term as the only possible grounding from which a human being can successfully operate. The universal in inside us, like the kingdom of god, not some external force or set of rules handed down from a mountaintop or ivory tower. The external is the particular, the specific orbits of our lives, the intruder upon the universal, the crusted world and its mantle of beauty and ugliness, order and chaos, attraction and repulsion. The universal is non-changing. The universal is the life-force no one can describe without resorting to particulars, externals. The SWORGsters are considering this problem. It's more than a game of semantics. It a war of attrition that no one across the ranks seems to be is winning, but why?
TP: If Jesus Christ and Superman got in a fight, who would win?
GT: You'd have to qualify a perspective in order to even begin to suit up for a phat conclusion with that question, bud. When would this fight take place? Is this JC the lion, or JC the lamb, suited up as son of a loving god or stomping forth as the bejeweled son of an avenging god? Would Clark Kent grow his hair long, get funky, acquire the powers of Samson and knock that leonine JC's jawbone fat ass silly on the pretense that JC is out to do his beloved skyscraped city great harm with plagues and pestilences? The possibilities are hilariously rich. The Nazerene is said to have conquered the world by virtue of passivity and laissez faire. Did he win, or did he lose when he was hung out to dry, naked with anguish on his godforsaken lips? Clark Kent was a man of dazzling uniform with a well-publicized vulnerability to a rather easily obtainable element. Was the man in red, white, and blue dueling for dollars in Saigon when it fell, doped up with chemical nemesis, and simply useless to the cause? Did Superman like America finally lose one?
Unfortunately for those interested in a truly sifted response to your question, I must be one of the few non-elites of my generation who has never read a Superman comic nor have I seen any of the blockbuster movies which plagued the late 1970s and early Eighties, I think it was. Sure, I've caught snatches and scenes of the Superman mythos during dud moments of my mind. But frankly, I'm too fuzzy on the storylines and arch-rivals to articulate more clearly any further response, although I'd hazard a guess that it'd end in a draw and we'd be stuck with another thousand years of the same old same old. After all, one is a tarrying old buzzard, and the other's a busybody reporter and everyone knows what lazy leeches they are.
TP: What theories and practices have come out of Scenewash?
GT-: As mentioned earlier, the Geosift is the most prominent theory. As for practices, I had originally hoped that our group would immediately begin publishing online, fleshing out the broadband infrastructive I had already worked into place but so far little has evolved to the point where the sifts of the others have been added to the site. The group, made cohesive with the list, is still uncertain of the maturity of their own individual offerings, and therefore like JC tarries in the name of perfection of timing, or something like that. My own ambition is to tackle as many uber topics as possible, researching and publishing generalized mainstream opinions, and then tackling each of them with a scalpel and a sifting net in order to get at the true root and geneaology of these chunk issues of the day, whether junk or gem. It's an ambitious project, but one in which I have been collecting data in the form of clippings and other media for several decades now. I will be 44 in September, the old man of the crew I think. But while the web is a perfect venue for me, I am but one lone worker with the standard obligations to wife and hearth eating into my energies and inertia. The SWORG group however has raised my expectations for the Project. In time I suppose we will grow beyond the current stasis. Several of us are madly finishing up school. Jobs and other paraphenalia of modern life soak up much of the others' time. So yes, like my wife repeatedly reminds me, I must practice patience despite my insistence that I am dying from a lifetime gluttony of patience. From the website in the Rhesus section you can discover that our group is scattered across the globe - Nottingham, Sidney, Austin, San Francisco, Bowling Green, and Washington DC. We are a closed group, but open to folks who understand the loopholes.
TP: Do you have anything that you would like to say to the powers that be in the world of academia?
GT-: Yeah. They can talk about me plenty when I'm gone...but that's a theft from Mighty Quinn the Eskimo, so no, I really wouldn't care to hazard the traps of today's academia. All these religious icons and philosophersof the ages have eschewed the petty polemics of academia while siding up to the poor and outcast souls, but immediately threaten to cast them into the hellfire if they don't shape up. Western philosophers ad infinitum have all tried to speak FOR the common man, the man in the street. Well, why don't they just get out of the damned way, and let the man on the street speak for himself? I am that man. But as soon as this man begins to speak, the professionals, even among the self-schooled, immediately rush in to dominate and thwart this man of the street, suggesting that the common perspective just isn't informed, that his mind has been mismanaged with great skill, and only HE, THE TRUE SPOKEMAN FOR THE COMMON MAN has the key to unleash the new possibilities awaiting him after he throws off the shackles of teh enemy of the day. This so-called leader among the comman man also immediately piles high his particular lists of required reading, complete with special languages and codes to indicate status and true consciousness. Well. What can I say? Don't follow leaders.
TP: That's about it for now. Gotta turn in for the evening. Thanks for your time, and I'll catch you on the flip side.
GT: You're welcome Tim.
********* END OF THIS SWORG SWILL TRANSMISSION ***********
"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""