21 January 2009

Ode to 9/11

This song, as well as others from the Glitter soundtrack, was my playlist the day the Twin Towers fell. Was I having dance parties to celebrate in my room? Well, no. The album came out on Sept. 11, 2001 and I was not going to wait to buy it. I remember well forcing my brother to stop at Barnes & Noble on the way home from high school so I could pick it up. We didn't talk much on the way home that day, it seemed the whole day was a prolonged moment of awkward silence, nobody wanting to acknowledge the elephant in the room.

I've always thought this video, and the whole failed Glitter media spectacle was very interesting, somewhat for reasons that were beyond the producers' control. Something about it was so "pre-9/11," which is a very obvious thing to say, let alone hard to technically counter-argue. But what I'm referring to is the way I feel it captures part of the free-spirited, apathetic American mindset, before we were all injected with a shot of Islamic-extremist saltwater to awaken us from our overdose on hyperreality. Of course, we hastened to deliberately take up the addiction again once our beloved former President encouraged us to, but that tangent is for a different time, a different thought, perhaps a different grad school thesis.

I've been thinking about 9/11/01 a lot lately, I think it has to do with the fact that my country feels really close right now, as well as the fact that a lot of us are looking back into our recent memories. It was absolutely a different world on the tenth of September that year. Now, we feel much more at ease about certain things than even a few years after 2001, but there's still this omnipresent mist of paranoia, like we're all Oedipa in Crying of Lot 49.

The whole fallout from the terror-spectacle of that day was absolutely intriguing. The news networks replayed the moments of the crashes and the buildings' respective falls repeatedly over a 24-hour span; they had to be sure that the shock-therapy they were imposing on the American public would be 100% successful. Clearly it was. We threw our emotions into product transactions, offered our faith to a Texan cowboy, and tossed our rational minds into garbage bins. They only things we kept were fear, and the hope that the devils plaguing us could be solved with a simplistic, old-world perspective.

Even since then such actions have caught up to us. Now we plug into broadcasts of other people's seeming realities on television because we are dissatisfied with our own, and the nation itself is caught in an economic mess that was created by artificial, imaginary mercantile exchanges.

And once again I come back to the question that revisits my head everyday: "What happened to reality?"

20 January 2009

Blogging About Blogging About Feelings

I am in an absolute emotional state of despair.

Of course, actually saying that publicly makes it seem less than authentic, but I'm hoping this post will simply help vindicate my feelings at this moment and not so much paint me as some tragic tormented fool.

I really don't know why I've been so hopelessly sad over the past two days. The only thing that has happened to me personally is that my roommate moved back in after a few months of leave, and I honestly can't let myself believe it is that which is causing all this trouble. I also have an oral exam tomorrow in my French class which I found out about a several hours ago, so that's a little stressful, but it's not the forefront of my worries. 

The thing is, by most standards, it's been a great day. Obviously my country started a new path today, and renewed its relevance to the rest of the world for at least four years. I also managed to finally enroll in a class that I've been petitioning to add for weeks. Additionally, I got to go to work and get paid to listen to an interesting author (Jim Shepard, I believe?) tell of his creative process. I had a lovely, peaceful morning drinking coffee and the day went rather smoothly. I told myself I'd channel my inauguration inspiration into positive personal efforts and I successfully studied a lot of French today and really accomplished a respectable amount of personal duties. So what's my problem??

This is partly why I'm so bothered by the whole situation. I really can't put my finger on why exactly I've been fantasizing about leaving UCLA for UCI and living at home with my loving family. For many 21-year-olds, I think the idea of moving back home is a sick joke. How could this possibly seem appealing to me? 

Shoot I keep forgetting to call my friend back. Damnit. Robert, if you read my blog, I'm sorry for not calling you back. I got your message when I was drunk so I forgot about the whole thing. I'm a horrible person.

I'd love to keep typing out my issues but unfortunately I have to put my inner-self aside and force-feed some French into my psyche and then flesh it out in the form of a comparative essay and later tomorrow an oral exam. Bon nuit.

19 January 2009

Why I May Want to be Wealthy One Day...

...so I can afford to dress like this.

Although I will add that I prefer the monochrome looks shown on the runway. Kind of. 
...Actually, not so sure any longer. Who am I?

Le Nuage Vert

13 January 2009

Did I Miss Something?

Wait, Bernie Mac is dead?

...He died a while ago?

How strange. So that's where he went.

08 January 2009

Yet Another

" Destruction is awesome because it’s so fast and powerful. It’s a morbid fascination, like always staring when you drive by a car accident. I think this feeling is very common to people, especially in America, especially with all those films like Independence Day, or The Day After Tomorrow. I also got a kick out of the destruction - there was a kind of emotional catharsis to destroying a city of toys after a rough day at school feeling inferior. But destruction and construction go hand in hand, and I spent far more time as kid drawing infinite futuristic cities and building theme parks on that computer game 'Roller Coaster Tycoon'. "

Just this is enough to make me a newfound fan of Brian Kenny.

Ugh I really need to graduate fast and move to New York again.

07 January 2009


William Burroughs wrote Naked Lunch cooped up in Tangiers hotel room for three years.

I can spend some nights alone locked in my apartment.

...Then again, I read that novel, and if shit like that starts going on in my mind, I should probably reconsider this rationale.

I guess I'll just keep off the heroin and see how this all pans out.

05 January 2009

Winter Days

It's interesting how mundane significant events are when you live them. It's almost like one's surprised that in this extraordinary circumstance, the laws of physics still exist and the world looks the same and no beacons of light or dramatic music begin to play. 

Like when I totalled both of my previous cars, there was no extraordinary feeling when the crash boomed and my head flailed forward, inches from steering wheel. The only feeling was maybe that of surprise, but honestly not even that of shock. And then when I got out of the car (both times) to survey the damage, the material effects of the crash bore no glowing spectacles and were not seen in an impressive film-like perspective. Not only was its appearance so typical and ordinary, but my resulting actions and emotions were as well. I had to do tedious work like ask for insurance information and blah blah blah, totally obnoxious things that are neither glamorous nor spectacular.

Additionally, when I got arrested, I didn't feel like I was part of Newport's Most Wanted--there wasn't even a siren or flashing lights. I had to walk down the sidewalk and into the police car like any other pedestrian, the only difference was I had metal around my wrists that was exceedingly uncomfortable. But my reaction again was neither one of trauma nor of despair. In fact, it only occurred to me the next day that I might have to tell my parents. Looking back, I'm surprised that I could be so thick as to think I'd go clean with a misdemeanor charge held against me, all without telling my parents or asking for their help. 

I was reminded of the ordinary appearance of unusual events just tonight, when I smelled something burning and realized I had left the empty oven on. I then imagined a fire coming from the oven and myself using some source of water to put it out. If it got larger, would I call the fire department? If it's not that big, what's the big deal? I can put it out myself. It's just a fire, it's not like it's a scene from Backdraft. These were literally the thoughts that came to my head, and I have to question myself: isn't that a little problematic?? Shouldn't the prospect of a blaze coming from my oven make me want to dial 911 immediately and then pull my hair out? Why do crucial events, when they actually play out in reality, seem so quotidian?

I feel the answer lies somewhere in media (this is where most of my answers lie). I probably would have reacted more strongly to the hypothetical fire if news headlines were spewing out of the oven too, or perhaps if I was playing some tragic music in the background that was loud enough to overcome the piercing emptiness constantly running in my mind. As for the car crashes, maybe if there was a huge TV monitor on the street corner playing hollywood-produced replays of my accident, I'd react stronger. For then, I'd be that victim on television, the star of the accident at PCH and Seal Beach Blvd. They'd scream my name, loving me and asking if I was okay. It would all be so tragic that my car was totalled, and the massive screen would serve as a spark plug for the outpouring of human sympathy and notoriety I would receive. When I was arrested, I might have felt like more of a bad-ass if there were hoards of people and paparazzi crowding my space, angling to film me at my life's lowest moment. Maybe later I could play back those video captures and see the glamourous, grisly wreck I had been, conveniently heightened in reality by the film crew and their reality-defying cameras.

But the whole thing that confounds me is the need for artificial images and excesses of stimuli in order to make something holy. These events may not be ordinary, but they happen on Earth everyday. There is nothing inherently fantastic about any of these occurrences, the only fantasies are those replayed nightly at the ten o'clock news hour.