Time Allotment

I’m very bad at keeping up this thing, which was supposed to be a way to keep some interest in my site. But I haven’t had anything published in a while. And when I tried to upload a comedy video it was annoying and I ended up forgetting to follow through. So this all just seems like a pointless internet vanity project right now.

I can’t help it – I just have more fun actually tinkering with creative shit than doing stuff to build up marketing or whatever. I don’t think I’m alone in that.

It’s been a decent life as of late though. I did a few comedy shows – I drove two hours each way for shows two nights in a row, in different cities. It was like it used to be. There’s something fun for me in the long drives, the playing music, the stopping at random gas stations or hotels. It’s an adventure. I would probably get tired of it if I did it for a living month after month.

The world seems to be a bigger place out here (North Carolina, where I live now). In Florida it was literally narrow – you could drive up and down that state, but it was time consuming to go further. I used to work a desk job as a reporter, and I didn’t have time for it then. I could drive up and down Florida, that thin tube of a state, but the rest of the country seemed a big mystery a lot of the time. It’d been a while since I left.

Now I have the range to drive in different directions and potentially enter two or three other states. I visited Colorado last year and am going to Texas this year. It all seems broader now and I think you need that.

I have been reading a bunch of shit all at the same time – Marx’s Capital and a Keith Richards biography are two of them. It’s not so bad. The Marx is really something – he sure has a lot of ideas. I feel like I’m giving myself the forbidden education that was never in the curriculum when I was in school. I got the old fashioned American dogma so I’m going in another direction now. Here’s hoping a bunch of Republican senators don’t find out. The Keith Richards is good too. He’s a strong writer; funny and to the point. Rock stars can occasionally really pull this shit off.

Politics is the same as ever – endless culture wars dominate while the rich get richer. Seems like the status quo. They are talking about a war with Russia now. I’m sure that’s going to be an entirely noble thing, born solely of good will for the underserved people of the Earth. I’m also very glad our military budget is in the hundreds of billions while nobody can afford rent or health care. Great system.

I’ve been thinking more about anger lately. We all have to live in the world, and the last two years if nothing else have spotlighted just how bad a lot of service workers have it. The animosity directed at them. They get the brunt of the anger from short-fused, small-minded idiots and it sucks, because they are just trying to survive. Now, I would occasionally get drunk and send off some kind of angry email to a politician chastising them for being full of shit. But they aren’t reading those emails. The ones who got the brunt of my own wrath were hapless interns or something, also just trying to make a buck. So the anger becomes impotent. If you’re really deserving of that rage, you’re insulated from it. Money can be a buffer in that way and you can go on and do the same horrible shit you were before.

I think there might be a joke in that. This is how I write jokes. I just sort of type out a bunch of stuff and hope a punchline can be gleaned from it like a nugget of gold. It’s a work in progress.

Anyway, this has all been a hodge podge of random thoughts. Here’s some stuff I’ve been enjoying lately:

MOVIES: TITANE was good. Interesting and artsy and vague in the best ways. Art’s supposed to make you feel things and challenge you. This did that.

MUSIC: Right now I am playing the first Jimi Hendrix Experience album. There’s something to the brevity of it all. The simple, direct musicality. He had something to say and he said it. Also been playing some Voivod. Their Post-Society EP is so good. A true free-thinking band.

Blunt

As far back as I can remember, I never had much of a filter. I was always saying too much, occasionally saying the wrong things. A bit of a loudmouth. I just never had tact as an abundance. This, I think, informed both my journalistic career (got to cut to the heart of any issue) and comedy, in that I was always saying things when I maybe should’ve just shut up. But the point is that I just never liked beating around the bush. I’d say what was on my mind a lot of the time. Sometimes it got me in trouble, started fights with friends. It was just part of growing up – finding some kind of balance in this regard, of saying things truthfully but also learning to respect some general boundary. You do end up needing some tact in life, just to make sure you can still pay your rent and have something like a normal social life.

There’s a point where that goes too far, though. There’s large swathes of cold hard reality we as a society just seem to completely brush over.

Colin Powell died a few days ago. Here’s a guy who was a major architect for the Iraq War. Millions of people died because of that. Whatever misgivings he had don’t really matter to me. But every news report was mostly just this very stiff, straightlaced report on his life and legacy. People are complicated, but until we can just come out and say “this guy’s mistakes were murderous, horrific things that caused widespread death and pain,” I think we’re just pushing everything down, and that won’t lead to anything good.

Then you can go further back and find all these examples of people like George W. Bush and Henry Kissinger being treated like they’re just these nice old statesmen. No mention of war or bloodshed. Bush gets to pal around with Ellen Degeneres and take pictures with Michelle Obama. Paints his pictures in the countryside. All these guys, they just get to live in peace, and the larger machine of polite culture will whitewash their sins and never really talk about the damage done by our wars and our presidents. It starts to become something out of a horror film. The terrible things unseen lurking below the surface. As if a kind of hypnosis has been cast over everyone, and the words of the truth would somehow breach a seal of some kind.

Then it bleeds over into just your average political discourse. You’re told to talk respectably to these people who are just content with the gears grinding us along into the oblivion of climate change and inequality, these people who just think it’s all business as usual and we just need to keep voting and that’s the only thing they really do. You can find reports of young people becoming increasingly anxious and despondent over the climate disasters that will be dumped in their lap by the time they’re in the position of true responsibility. But our political machine just churns along with these career, corporate-funded old men having debates and whittling down what they’re going to do about the climate and about inequality, and oh well, guess they tried. Keep voting, though! The levers of power having remained constantly in the hands of geriatrics who are increasingly removed from the material reality of the world is normal and fine!

There would be times at work they’d say never mention your salary. That’s a whole lot of propaganda and service for the company, isn’t it? And I never got why we weren’t supposed to talk about religion or politics at the dinner table. Those are pretty big parts of life. I think some more clarity there could be healthy.

I’m sort of just ranting at this point. But maybe it’s time we quit talking in such polite language about all of these things. Maybe we’d actually make some progress.