The following is a note I just sent to my German penpal, Ben Voos. I have never met him personally, nor even seen a picture but our correspondence has been quite interesting over the past six months. We actually first became acquainted after I emailed him pontificating contrarily to something rather cynically rah rah he had to say about information and the Internet he'd published on a Geocities page. Actually it was a very short interrogatory he had posed. Not that I disagreed with him at face value. I merely suggested that the Internet, and more specifically the Web was NOT so much about the dissemination of information since so much of which passes for information is bogus anyway, but about the opportunity for the many to finally have a canvas upon which to dynamically create a presence herefor unavailable by force of numbers and positions and glory reserved for the Hollywood & New York sensationalist top-and-bottomfeeder types. Of course I was speaking specifically from my own perspective, although at the time, I had barely had my Internet account a few weeksif I recall, my surfboard barely broken in. Since then, it has become painfully obvious that the corporate giants have rushed in and helped dwarf the "garage" artist once again, but I still maintain my original vision, where the idealistic individual is granted a greater control over artistic presentation via the web despite its flaws than ever before, and that's all the plumbing I need to appeal to me.
Yes, amazing! I was just thinking about you this morning, feeling guilty that I had not moved on some of the things I have promised you, like getting a German translator so that you could "go native" once in a while. Dumb American, that's me. I know I've not been sensitive to your translation struggles, raging on about this and that as if I were writing to myself, which of course I am, but you know what I mean. I had even lost track of who dashed off the last note, me or you? In good humor, it shouldn't matter. Your writing always intrigues me, and I simply love to find it in my mailbox, even under all these aliases, or rather friends, you steal in from nowhere every few months. Everytime I see that odd name in my box, I suspect, and am usually right that it is you, Ben, my friend across time and language. I feel that I haven't measured up to your expectations. I am always surprised when you seem to suggest otherwise.
I have been busy as God-on-uppers. I am currently writing what is turning into quite a long treatise on censorship and artistic integrity. As I said in my last note I am NOT a minimalist, although I often long for that rest, perhaps minimalism would bring to my increasingly stormy mind. I feel I have tumors, my head hurts in exactly the same spots as a few bumps I have sustained over the rough and tumble years on the back of my skull. Maybe I am simply inventing my illnesses, and just need more exercise, but I fear the worst nevertheless.
Speaking of God-on-uppers, I am not, not have I ever been a druggie by any means, occasionally diving into a month or so's worth of marijuana, a eight months to a year go by, and I smoke nothing until the next small amount of weed falls into my lap, but that's about it. Guzzle booze heavily one night a week or so, then nothing until the next one night stand seven to ten days down the road, although that ratio used to be every three days when I worked outdoors as a land surveyor in the war against the elements and caliber of crew when what I really wanted to do was create pages, mapping my thoughts, my crimes against self, and the renegotiating the penalties for making those choices and reducing those I never were even offered. What I once thought was a ball of twine I later lamented was instead a bowl of spaghetti. Never smoked cigarettes. Compulsive bad food addict and too much beer keeps me in gut and hell for nerves, but I never understood the angle in hard drugs.
Saw this 1979 Russian film with English subtitles the other day on cable called The Stalker. Have you seen it? I didn't see the very beginning but it was a most intriguing flick. I'll save any descriptions other than it centered around a mythical, mystical place called the Zone and three men including the guide, or stalker, who stumble around in this strange place seeking bestowal of its powers.
One of these days I suppose I will have enough of my WWW stuff in place to insist you to take a major browse, but I am still light years it seems from the body of work my own sensibilities require of me. Interesting how Geocities is coming along isn't it? Although my pages are still relatively primitive. Quite primitive. I have yet to compose my first image map.
Here's a ethical challenge you may find worth your while, or you may find it morally repugnant, politically exploitive, simply gross, but I would be interested in your opinions. I am considering hiring a prostitute in the near future for experimental video and clothing fetish purposes. And perhaps some light bondage. She will more than likely be a poor drug-infested African whore. I will pay here more in one session than she has probably seen from a single client in some time, according to my informer. I still have to formulate my full ideas, and am depending on this acquaintance of mine who is well-entrenched in this sort of streetwalker liaison to ease my initial mistrust in this sort of arrangement. I am doing this strictly from the video and photography perspective. This rather risky (in his own right) acquaintance wants the sex. I am not inclined. So, Ben, how do you interpret my motives? I may already have accomplished this transaction (but maybe not) by the time you are able to respond, but I am certainly interested in what you may have to say about this rather apprehensive affair.
Mother was right, as only she could be. I was not Henry Miller, but there were many others who were not Henry Miller either, and since I never said I was Henry Miller, after doing the math necessary to free myself from yet another curse she uttered upon me and my future, I reckoned I was standing on the simple side of common sense, and Mother, well, she was just a Mother doing what Mothers do, at least some of them, enough of them to have become a literary caricature. And it is a well-known fact that Henry Miller had one of those Mothers, himself. Many of us do. Some more so than others.
Perhaps I write like a boy. Not a man. Is that so wrong when I live in an eight minute song, when my topographies grant no sea level, when I stand alone against the skyline and the mountain range with nary a falsifying woman to tell me who I am, what to do, and why I should do it, when I face the darkness with the unquenchable thirst for life, more life, and none comes but the same old pastures of many colors I left to those who promised they would tend them, so that they may prosper, yet I saw them not, but when I was a boy I had all these things, and among them was a sense of beauty for its own sake, investigation for its own sake, a unified field theory single file motive without fear or courage for marching to the cafeteria for the greater good, for getting along with everyone, not cheating anyone, exchanging whimsical tongues for logical ones, swapping those later for dangerous ones for the greater good...
Feminization? Militarism? Do you know the difference? Chauvinism? Barbarism? Do you take offense? Just bring me my meals, and take strong care of my feet. The rest will follow.
"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""