Sunday, December 12, 2010

André Malraux.



He looks quite a bit like Nabokov in the photo I used for this post. Maybe it's a staple of photographers to try and capture the "darkness" of a writer, staring lurching and heaving in the corner, sacrificing an animal in the middle of a dinner party. You have to be dark to write, and you have to suffer. And an artist doesn't need to study, they need to create. And to be an author you have to study the great works of literature. And to be an author you had to have been something, anything beforehand (do all the past jobs I've had count?). And so many other stipulations - are they in the best interests of aspiring authors or are they blockades to try and preserve the market?

Malraux once stated "Art is the rebellion against man's fate." This has stuck in my mind due to its implications. On first glance I thought it mirrored artistic rebellion against political oppression, but then it seemed like it spread deeper into how an artist wants to change the past and form the future, to escape their the people in their lives. Just come face to face with what's disturbing you and try to change it. Like the recent scandal at York University where I study - how could someone who was a university professor, married, and described as being an outgoing positive person also be into child pornography?

On the subject of Malraux, I believe those interpretations I listed are all dependent on whether or not the idea of fate is to be believed. Personally I don't believe in fate - I believe existence is to be lived in the best way we can try to live it. That sounds like the whimsy of youth but it should be upheld. Fate is reminiscent of the Calvinist doctrine's idea of absolute predestination, which states that certain people have been selected by God to go to Heaven and some haven't. This type of selective thinking is unnecessary but people buy into it. I apologize if you're a Calvinist and reading this, but no one should blindly follow any religion without questioning it and placing it in the greater context of their lives. Neither should anyone believe that their religion is better than others, or force their beliefs on other people.

It could be argued that fate is a method of classification, and in many instances classification is a form of control. A society where a domineering train of thought is to control other people isn't what I have in mind when I think of the place I'd like to spend my days. These days I'd rather be in a Bohemian atmosphere, where people want to go out on adventures where the people are friendly and mature and considerate, the architecture's nice and the air's always fresh, and she's there. You can write that off as being trite and unrealistic, caught in a flailing North American dreamscape, but it holds a lot of promise for me. To get older and say to myself "I just kinda go with the flow" isn't what I would commit to.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The White Flash.

Today I heard that if you meet an author you should avoid them, because they'll eventually write about you and it most likely won't be a positive depiction.

It's funny how I heard this at a time when I've been trying to create more exposure and sent out a story to a writer's group recently which could be seen as based around someone I've met in real life. It's funny because, well...I've found all the negativity that comes up in writing nowadays is numbing to the point of grim humour, but it's more depressing than anything because this is another misconception about myself and my life that I have to defend myself against. I would never meet someone then commence to write a story entirely based around them, or provide a description of them. I've never based my work around creating a mirror for someone I've met, to reveal "what they're about" to the public, to categorize them.

On this website I've written the very rare true anecdote that includes people I know in real life. I was never fully comfortable with it so I've gotten rid of them. It's inevitable that a creation is going to draw upon someone the artist has met no matter if they're successful or not. But I'm not a hypocrite and I don't want to seem like one, so I've learned from what I've heard today. But what I've heard today doesn't fit me into a mould by any means either.

I might get inspired by people I know, but I would never write about them as I know them. There's never been any fictional character in any of my writing that I've designed around people I've known, and that's the truth. No characters in Disssociation or my poems or short stories are depictions of people I've known. Pentimenti is an exception - it's based around someone I know but it's solely out of respect. They're manifestations of my own thoughts. I wrote some poems for girls before, and I shared them with said girls before showing them to anyone else. That's it. I've had a story written about me, and I was uncomfortable with my depiction as well. I haven't spoken to the author in a long time because I couldn't handle the issue. I understand the problems it creates.

But the hard fact of the matter is that people might not believe me. But that's alright - I've told people before that I wouldn't base anything I write on their own lives. No one can trace any of the characters I wrote to anyone in real life, because they're wholly fictional.
There's nothing else I can say about this matter. As I've stated earlier it's just another misconception in writing that I have to bear the brunt of. So please don't avoid me.

But I shouldn't overthink it. And now for the good music.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cute and sweet.

William Faulkner stated that an author needs three things to succeed - imagination, wisdom and observation, with any two of those able to substitute for the other. The issue of substitution is reassuring for me - I've always known that imagination and observation can lead to wisdom but for Faulkner to have mentioned it provides me with a strength that allows me to diminish the stress set in by not feeling 'old enough'.

But as I've mentioned in the past I don't conform to the stereotype of the author wherein we're considered to be lurking in the shadows, trying to listen in on people. I think that's what people have in mind. But that's not what observation is. It's not found by going out and looking for something weird that people are doing. It's a very sad image to me, an aspiring author furiously scribbling notes in their small notebook as some bizarre event is unfolding in front of them on the street. I don't believe that observation is genuine if you go out looking for it; it's genuine when you come across something by chance, and it remains in your memory. I believe that's one of the keys for an author to have - a strong memory.

But a strong memory isn't always fortunate, especially when I've been exposed to something disturbing. Then it's a struggle not to think and to move on from what I've seen. For too long I've had to deal with rejection, relying on my own self to combat whatever ugliness comes around. It brings to mind the struggle between 'thinking' and 'feeling', basic as that sounds. Don't think, just feel. Don't concern yourself with the ramifications.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Weltanschauung.

The definition of a weltanschauung is "world view", or your complete set of views that comprise your understanding of the world.

It's a lush word (another being boustrophedon which means numerous lines written from right to left and vice versa), one of many that define my enjoyment of language. They say the more words you learn and absorb into your active vocabulary, the lesser your chances of growing senile.

But what I'm trying to accomplish with this title is the fact that the world view of many people doesn't include an innate sense of health. So many people pine for good health - and it's there for you to achieve. That's the problem - the answer is there and can be realized.
I don't smoke, I rarely drink coffee, I rarely eat fast food and think its domineering presence in North American society is ridiculous, I scrutinize my saturated/trans fat and cholesterol intake, I watch my sugar/salt intake, and I don't do drugs (I drink occasionally but I'm weaning myself off of it gradually). I don't judge people if they do partake in any of this. I exercise; I take care of my body. And I don't have anyone to motivate me - it all happens by my own resolve.

Is that a problem? Do I not fit into the traditional role of an author by maintaining this level of self-respect?



What happens if I post this photo of a protein/vitamin supplement powder - Bodyflex AM - which I think is excellent and use on a regular basis? Maybe a real artist isn't supposed to endorse any product, and in doing so becomes a sellout. Maybe, since the devil is much more appealing than God, my strength as an author is diminished.
It has always been numbing to me - how there should be a measure of self-destruction embedded in an artist for their work to gain recognition. Maybe that's just a role people buy into. The role that my peers all over the world buy into because this is the time period in which they're supposed to do what I aspire to do for a living - write. The mid-twenties ennui that creates countless drunken poems and stories, ideas which never came about because they weren't supposed to. It makes me laugh, how ever since I was a child I wanted to write - and now that I'm in my twenties and writing, I'm only seen as fitting into a mould that's expected of my age range.

But I don't laugh too hard or too long. I never fell to the bottom of the hole of self-destruction. I'm focused on self-development. Whether or not this is going to become detrimental for my future, I'll have yet to see.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

David Foster Wallace.



I first heard about David Foster Wallace in 2008 in a university class for grammar. The professor handed us an essay written by Wallace on SWE (Standard Written English). The very next week, our professor told us David Foster Wallace had committed suicide. I still remember how he said it...not to talk badly about my former professor, but he was very matter-of-fact and almost amused by the news of Wallace's death.

The fact that he's more popular after his death is something I'll overlook in this post. This video is important to me based on how he, an author of talent and stature and intelligence, doesn't put a lot of stock in publicity and making appearances.

The reclusive, hidden author who's always out of the public eye, creating his or her latest masterpiece...does this maintain the traditional legend of the subversive, effective author? Fitting into old, respected romantic roles... .

I can understand his discomfort with reading his work aloud - I personally can't decide on what sections of Disassociation to read aloud because every paragraph falls under a greater context and reading one out of context to people who haven't read the book is always a difficult task.

He expresses ennui at going to bookstores and performing readings, saying how an author is relegated to a quasi-celebrity as a result. And I can understand how it would be stiff and impersonal to read passages from a book people have already read, not caring about the content and just wanting to see the creator and how he or she sounds.
But I don't see the discomfort on his level. Maybe it's a less intelligent level. I wouldn't have a problem going to read my already-read work to audiences. I say 'already-read' because whenever I do readings I know the work I read hasn't been read by anyone in the audience before. But I don't see anything wrong with giving audiences...admirers...maybe even fanatics...? a taste of how I look, and how I read. Maybe I wouldn't even read from the work I'd be promoting. I could write entirely new poems and stories and weave the novel/collection I promote into the contents somehow...neglecting my commercial publishers' intents in a middle finger to corporate agendas...
...when you go to a concert and the band plays a different version of the song, are you excited or disappointed? Similarly, if I go to read a passage from the book I'm promoting but put a new spin on it (somehow, without sacrificing the strength of the rest of the book), would that be enjoyable or just confusing and unappealing?

Throughout all of this speculation, I don't have a fame complex, I can live without ever gaining mass fame. I believe fame is a byproduct of creating meaningful works of art, and not the means to the end. It's the same with money...but the argument against this should be a separate post.
To give an audience what they want is completely acceptable to me. After all, I don't believe the strength of my work would suffer as a result. It's a lesson to learn, how writing is really a social act instead of the private suffering act we're pushed to believe in. But there's nothing wrong with subverting the expected... .

Fields.

video

But throughout all the negativity... how this isn't something an author of any merit would undertake, how it's considered juvenile and commercialized in the...

...Well, why overthink it. I should just allow it to mean what I want it to mean. It's just fun and challenging. This was the biggest drop-in I've ever done. It was at the Winnipeg park at the Forks. I was trembling after I did it for the first time, which was on a previous morning and not filmed. It was an overbearing mental boundary that I overcame by myself, as with most problems in my life.

I rolled away clean the first time I did it. This time I rode over the bump in the middle and fell, but it doesn't really matter. In retrospect it's only a stepping stone for me to start skating vert the way I want to - because I did this, now I can drop in on the vert at the Vanderhooft park, and after that the 10-foot vert ramp at the CJ park, and then the 11-foot extension there as well...and that'll be the beginning of a new beginning.

It's an activity I enjoy - not a lifestyle (although I can't stand the way it's portrayed in mainstream media, MSM), not a hobby, not a closet full of skeletons or a cross to bear.

Friday, October 1, 2010

"Everybody needs a hobby."

I always feel depressed and angry whenever the overwhelming feeling of being used happens - even in this website, sometimes it feels like it's just a tool for my thoughts and discussion to be copied/used in order for people to further their own literary ambitions (because so many want to write a bestselling novel strictly to become rich and famous). This is not a statement made from lack of recognition/fame, it's made from the pitfalls I've been exposed to throughout my life. Can you imagine what kind of life it would be just to exist as a forgotten benchmark, never to reap the full benefits of your efforts and morals?

And this relates to the domineering encumbrance I have to try and forget whenever I write - the idea of authority. How writing is nothing more than a method to exert authority over objects, other people, anything. How people just use writing to classify others, to drive them in a corner and prepackage them in method of storytelling to try and appeal to the public's sense of stereotype and therefore sense of control. Gore Vidal was once quoted as saying "I want to destroy younger authors." All the competition and nonstop classification, scrambling to get the upper hand all the time. No wonder a lot of established authors are reclusive - all they wanted is to forge their own path and write the best literature they could, not to be exposed to people clawing at their heels and trying to undermine them, most likely starting from when they were young and continuing to their current age.

This is only one part of the overall stress that I have to fend off every day. But I should make it clear that I'm very well aware this can be seen as expressing my frustrations, which Virginia Woolf would warn against as I've mentioned in the past, or bordering on "singing my distress" as André Breton wrote...
...but it's still necessary. And I know why.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Depth of focus...

...is an example of an aspect of life that I should've been familiar with for quite some time now, instead of in the past couple of days.

Whenever I look at the documents that comprise the beginning of my next novel I always wonder why I'm not spending more time on it. It's still a regular occurrence.

It's easy to say that it's the intervention of university, and how it falls under the ironic spell of education getting in the way of my progress (although I've been learning quite a bit about literature, and how to write properly). But it's more than that...

...it's a matter of continually developing style, for one. It's been said that an author's life doesn't lie in their deeds and accomplishments, but instead the progression of their writing style.

This is a disturbing idea to me - how perception of the level of dedication and what you have to sacrifice reaches the level of your actual accomplishments outside of writing taking a back seat to the writing itself. If I get married, is that of lesser importance than the inspiration to write that I would garner from getting married?

The reading public might think so. My work would be of more importance to them than my wife herself, so it's logical. But that wouldn't be the same for me, it's possible I'd hold my marriage in higher regard than my work. Which is a very complex subject that I probably shouldn't expound on with no knowledge, it's actually kind of humorous.

Inspiration is another factor... in the back of my mind I believe that something has to happen which hasn't previously happened. A couple of years ago I wasn't in university, and just worked as a dishwasher and read and wrote. I know I can write with the same intensity, yet something feels like it has to happen. But at the same time, I believe that's whimsical thinking as well - it's just as simple as sitting down to the computers and my notebooks and working.

As I've mentioned before, Flannery O'Connor wrote in an essay that the best writers she knew also painted, because it gave them a method of seeing. I paint, although sporadically - I've been doing so since I was ten. And a couple of years ago, during the same time span when I just worked, read and wrote, I also painted. I'll post pictures of my work in the future.

Science shouldn't be a mystery... .

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Words Alive Festival 2010



It happened today. I didn't arrive there.

I woke up this morning feeling sick because I left my window open all night. I was exhausted and didn't think I could go, and started pacing around my room. I eventually worked up the energy to start getting ready. It was a very positive experience when I went last year and I wanted to be a part of it again. I tried to print my work but my printer wasn't functioning for the first time since I've owned it. So I had to write it out.

I left at 11:42 and thought I'd arrive in time for the 2:30 open mic. Michael Helm and Myna Wallin were going to be there and I wanted to see them.
But the buses took too long, including one being out of service along the way. By the time I got to Newmarket I was told that the next bus for Sharon would be arriving at 3:15 and would get to my destination by 3:30, which was when the festival ended. So I headed back home.

Along the way on the bus there was a drunken kid, bigger than I was, who got on the bus and met his friends. He looked much older than they did. He sat down and started swearing constantly and very loudly. No one was saying anything to him (although the seats on the bus were cramped and full of passengers) or his friends. I had my earphones on, listening to music, and could still hear him.
So out of the whole bus I turned around and asked him to be quiet. He was for a moment and then started doing the same thing, so I turned around again and shouted HEY at him. The guy beside me got up from his seat and moved away. The kid opened his eyes wide and clenched his mouth, and his friends said they were getting off at the next stop.

The stop comes up, the kid gets up with his eyes still open and his mouth still clenched. He walks up to me, trying to stare me down, and I'm sitting down and staring back at him and not saying anything. Meeting his stare. His friends call for him to get of the bus and he starts swearing at me saying "Get off the bus too, fucking pussy" then he leaves. Didn't try to touch me, just had that ridiculous expression on his face, trying to be hard and wanting me to buckle down. A guy sitting close to me with his girlfriend came up as the kid got off, ready to help me if he started to fight, and said "Fuckin' idiot, huh?" to me. As soon as he got off I stopped watching him, but I could hear him hitting the bus as we drove away and could hear other passengers being shocked at his behaviour.

The strange part is, after the bus went out of service and we had to transfer, the kid and his friends were on the new bus. I was sitting farther away and wasn't close to him. I could them all faintly talking though. After five minutes these two girls started telling the kid to be quiet, and it quickly escalated into a large argument. The guy who'd gotten up to help me earlier rushed from his chair and started yelling at the kid.

I didn't go up and add to the argument, but I walked to the bus driver and told him he'd have to remove the kid and his friends. The stop came up quickly and the driver announced "Okay, who's getting off?" Didn't get up from his seat at all. The kid and his friends got off. The two girls who told them off got off later.

The girls were smiling when they left. So was the kid and his friends. It ressurected an old feeling of mine: as though behaviour like that is desired, so we can fight and feel the excitement of standing up for ourselves, the tension and unexpectedness, the words that come out of our mouths and the spontaneous wit that we're delighted to unearth in ourselves. Maybe that's what the people on the bus desired. But I wasn't looking to start a fight when I intervened.

When the kid got on the bus and was swearing loudly, no one said anything. I was the only one to do something about it. Before I did, the thought came to my mind that I was going to a literary festival to read poems to people...and I'm just going to let this kid ruin everyone's day? I'm not going to do anything, just bow my head down, turn the volume on my MP3 player to maximum and let it happen? It was a matter of autonomy, as I've discussed before - how could I feel comfortable with myself reading my work if I didn't do anything about the garbage happening right before me? There's been other instances like this as well.

So even though I tried to attend, I wasn't able to. It's a shame - I don't know if I'm going to be in Toronto next September, that's based on opportunities from different universities for my Masters degree and if I find a woman.

It's my birthday in a week and I don't want to spend it by myself, I want to spend it with a girl. I can't stand this loneliness. I don't trap myself in loneliness, I don't want it. I never did. I wrote this ghazal awhile back for university and people thought it expressed a desire to stay lonely.
That's never what I wanted. It comes so easy to so many people.


Pentimenti


Marble and chrome, Inniskillin, raucous laughter, kismet.
Rooftop parties with old friends on summer evenings, watching the sun set.

Romanticism and loneliness, dreams of foolish goals.
Trapped inside them but not defeated as of yet.

“Gemstones mean nothing to the value of human life.”
But I’m still joyous to see hornets encased in cut garnet.

Remembering her love of nature, and my desire to nibble on her earlobe.
Always with me as I watch Night Jessamines sway in the breeze, deathly quiet.

Years pass by and swell with her accomplishments.
I only sit in the middle of a room with a high ceiling, at work on a tercet.

Not able to forget the dreams of running into each other on the street.
Growing ever more nervous at how memory is considered an asset.


Rest in peace Moshie my cousin.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Nabokov and deceit.



Reading Nabokov's Lectures on Literature led me to come across his claim that authors must be experts of deceit - he argues that nature is deceitful and authors follow in nature's footsteps.

But I don't want to deceive people when I write simply because I'm not that kind of person. If you're willingly deceitful, is that a positive quality to have? When I published Disassociation I included a note at the beginnng stating that none of the events within the plot occurred in my real life and that it was all fiction. People have read it and believed that the story was based on my own life regardless of the note I left, which isn't the case. I never had two best friends who were violent and dangerous, I never went to Juvenile Detention and I never moved to Montreal by myself. I'll admit that it's somewhat flattering to hear people say they believe the plot actually happened - I was glad I wrote it realistically enough for that to happen.

But I never led them on. I never tried to deceive them and say that it really did happen, like other authors who've sadly gained attention and adulation for doing so which is completely idiotic. I came across a similar quote in Neil Gaiman's work of all people which stated that "Writers are liars."
I can't fit myself into these expectations. Sometimes it feels like authors say these things to atone for their own transgressions/guilt, but I'm not saying that's the case here. I just want to write and not try to fit into any expectations.
Not caring about what other people think, doing what feels most comfortable to me.

Yet when I consider Nabokov's intelligence...his reputation...his influence...it just puts pressure on me when I try to dismiss his expectations of deceit. Is the power of his wisdom/influence more important than my resolve not to fall into his pattern? Henry Miller once wrote in a letter to Anaïs Nin that he believed he was a great man. I don't have that level of self-esteem, should I? I consider that being egotistical. But sometimes it feels like I need that level of self-assurance in order to maintain my beliefs.

I believe in autonomy, that an author's own morals and deeds influence the way I regard their work. Some people would argue that their work stands independent of their own life but being a writer myself I can't agree with that. If I was violent towards people, abused women, abused my parents, was wasteful and conniving and hypocritical yet wrote well-crafted work could you really value my work considering how little of a real man I was? If my work was a way to make amends for my behaviour and to dispel my pent-up anger and angst, is that justifiable grounds for being destructive to everyone around me?
This ties into the argument people make that "Well, his work is so good that it's okay for him to act disrespectful to people around him" (thinking of Christian Bök here). I don't really believe that. In a previous post I discussed Jorge Luis Borges' view that people don't have the soul of a writer; they only view writing as a craft to be learned and practiced, and I think that applies here.

I think an author should be humble and have positive values for their work to be respected. That's not to say that they should write bland repetitive material, nor that they should act holier-than-thou, but they should be someone whom others can respect. Can you respect someone who's purposefully deceitful?

Early fall.



Back when I was thirteen, this song meant a lot to me.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The G20 Protests / Literary Readings / August in Photos.

video


I was present at the G20 protests that were held here in Toronto due to the summit. I saw a lot of odd occurrences and filmed a march. In the third photo, the police suddenly surged forward and we all moved back. It was hard to document anything through photography without feeling like it was in the interest of sensationalism. Maybe the whole ordeal was in the vein of sensationalism.





During that same weekend I did two readings of poetry in Toronto, at the Sweet Tooth Cafe in the first photo and at Central restaurant for the Plasticine Poetry series.


I rented a car for the first time and drove by myself for 11 hours to Long Island, New York just to get away and see a new place. The drive into the island, going through the peaks and valleys of New York farmland at early dusk, was one of the most tranquil experiences I've had in a long time. It almost made me forget how I was detained at the border, with guards telling me lies about how I couldn't take a rented car over the border in order to satisfy their racial profiling.

I visited a skateshop called Poets (named so b/c of Poet's Corner, although I'd like to believe they appreciate literature as well) which is run by one of my favourite skateboarders Gino Iannucci and his friend Matt Bell, who was very hospitable. This photo is of their 2-year anniversary party which I attended for a little bit. It was fun, but it's hard going to parties by myself and not knowing anyone there either. Everyone there was cool though. I wanted to meet Gino but he wasn't there - maybe another time. Their website's here.



And I saw Lou Barlow play live last night at the Horseshoe Tavern. The second photo is of him and the Missingmen playing an amazing fast-paced version of Home.
I met Lou. It was completely incidental. I went downstairs and there he was. I don't admire a lot of people - I don't fan out over celebrities - but his lyrics/music have been influential to me. I asked him for a photo and he politely said yes. I have the photo on my camera, but it's valuable - I don't know how internet copyright goes, so it'll have to stay there.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Leen Sleiman, one of the contestants for Miss Lebanon. Like myself she's majoring in English literature.


Marisa Berenson.



I've never been that shallow about a woman's looks. A woman with freckles shouldn't be ashamed of her features. I feel the same way about arm hair, but if it's thicker than mine... .


Back in the mid-90's I first heard the name Silken Laumann, a Canadian Olympic gold medalist for rowing, for the first time. It sounded so mysterious back then. It's still one of the most striking names I've heard.


Eva Green. The Dreamers was a tour-de-force because of her.

But even with these photos, some of the most numinous women I've ever seen I know personally.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The natural author.

I recently read a quote from Jorge Luis Borges wherein he mentioned his distaste for meeting fellow well-renowned authors whose conversations consisted of unappealing and base topics like 'smutty stories', and unintellectual discussion. He argued that they didn't seem like real authors and instead viewed writing as a craft, a technical skill they learned. It seems to me that he would believe they write for a living.

His discussion of this type of social behaviour somewhat echoes the feeling I have whenever I post anything on this website. Can I really be an author of any merit if I'm posting up pictures of motorcycles and funny videos to accompany them? "That's what adolescents and teenagers do on their walls." Not what ambitious authors (too much alliteration) spend their time on, I would think most of the literati believe.

At least I'm not posting videos of myself in the bathroom in the vein of peep culture, if that's the right term.

And I keep hearing it: this technology will destroy us. I was at the Trillium Book Prize presentation here in Toronto last Tuesday and the speaker, an anchor for the news, mentioned how Twitter and Facebook and the Internet in general is destroying creativity. That's the word she used - destroying.
I looked around - it was mainly older people in the audience whom I didn't think were steeped in technology as much as my generation - and it felt as though the anchor was appealing to the older crowd by persuading them that younger generations would never have the amount of potential and creativity that they have. Through her words the anchor was reassuring the audience that their aspirations in Canadian literature were safe against the pressure of youth. It was a source of discouragement as I left the ceremony - I knew that in part, the anchor could have mentioned what she did b/c she wanted to challenge and rile up the younger crowd present, but that didn't seem to be what was supposed to be gleaned... .

And I know that seems to be biased, almost angry thinking on my part, but this comes back to what I'll always believe - the fact that I'm a part of movements in increased technology doesn't mean I've lost anything. If anyone thought that the writing on this website showcased the extent of my skill and was a premonition for my actual published/disseminated work, they'd be mistaken. This is simple internet writing. Although it's associated with my name and shown to the world, it's still just the Internet. And although what I've posted may seem as if I'd share a smutty story with Borges if he were still here and receptive of my company, even if I didn't see that quote I'd know who I was dealing with and what was proper.

I would never post my actual work on this website because of copyright issues with this server and other people stealing my material. Real authors don't share their work until it's done. I've made the mistake of mentioning the smallest and broadest aspects of my work and I've never felt good afterwards.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

There's time.



The Triumph Rocket III. The fact that Triumph created the video below to showcase its manufacturing process doesn't hurt its rep.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ibsen.



I'm writing a study of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts, in comparison to Le Fanu's In a Glass Darkly.

I like Ghosts, it's intelligent and accessible. I won't reiterate all the points of my study though.
I'd rather talk about more superficial (?) points such as his facial hair. What came to my mind was James Joyce's goatee. It was surprising to learn that Joyce wrote a poem about Ghosts and used it in his own work.
Maybe I should have a facial hair style. But by that token, maybe I should wear white evening dress suits like Tom Wolfe and Marshall McLuhan. And take a walk at an exact certain time every day like Immanuel Kant. Obviously I'm kidding, but who knows. There's a quote I came across in an issue of Contemporary Verse: "I like it better when artists look like artists." An undercurrent of thought - do I need to adopt a certain style or practice in order to seem like a progressive creative force?

Of course not.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Aimee Mann.





I was introduced to Aimee Mann when I first watched Magnolia years ago. I bought the soundtrack based on her songs.
It's embarrassing to say but her songs were a comfort to me. She seemed to take the side of the lonely man, and it was reassuring to listen to her music every once in awhile. Not a lot of female artists I've encountered take that side as clearly as she has.

This isn't turning into a music forum, and I'm not trying to wallow in self-pity with these sad songs.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Just read in the textbook Mass Communication in Canada: Sixth Edition that "...Television creates couch potatoes. Radio causes us to imagine. Books make us think and separate us from social interaction. Magazines involve."

I think it's justifiable to say that these sentences are overly classifying. Take the comment on books. Reading a book separates us from socially interacting with other people? Hmm. I remember reading an article in a small library newspaper years back about how books can serve as 'friends for the lonely'. So with these two standpoints in mind, books simultaneously draw us away from other people and comfort us when we walk away from them. The key is to listen to the radio and read magazines for optimal mental/social stability.
Because as we all know, nothing stimulates the imagination more than radio DJs and the commercials they play.
And nothing involves us with the global village on a meaningful level more than magazines with tons of advertisements and articles reissuing the same ideas repeatedly.

But you know...keeping people interested in something calls for a level of controversy (in certain cases) and I suppose the authors of the textbook wanted to provoke conversation.
And I realize that by pointing out the discomforting conventions of radio and magazines doesn't let me expound on the ones that are doing it right (for example some university radio stations and Adbusters magazine).
And I know I'm not the most social person right now but that's due to moving to Toronto and not really knowing anyone who lives here. The same author stereotype which I don't conform to keeps persisting at a time when I don't need unneccessary stress from people's unfounded views. What's ironic is that later in the textbook on the subject of news stories, it's mentioned how news reports often don't contain the entire story and as a result it shrinks our thinking down to binary opposites and simplistic viewpoints of others. Like the classifications of different audiences for different communication mediums doesn't?
But that's what happens when you play with fire - you get burned, yet you create sparks.

Besides, if I took the textbook's intentions to heart and started listening to the radio (at least the popular channels) I doubt I'd hear uplifting music like this.

Friday, May 21, 2010




I couldn't care less about whatever ramifications stem from affiliating this song with my name. Typecasted, dismissed...o the sad artist. It's a simple, sublime song. The video has style, but it's marred by Berry's mysterious-looking gestures. I always hear this song with a deep bass sound (in the style of the BG refrain) when notes are played at the beginning, instead of the more upbeat sound.

I've been caught in the thick of schoolwork, but should have more involved content soon.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010





Oxygene 8, the collaboration between Vangelis and Jean-Michel Jarré, is one of my favourite songs to this date. The video made for it, although crisp, doesn't illustrate what the song means to me. This remake sounds much better than the original.

The album Oxygene was released in 1976, ahead of its time. I own it, and the song that I chose to post is one of the shorter yet most powerful tracks. You might think, with the song's sound and the album cover, that it's reminiscent of horror movies but I didn't find that comparison until other people mentioned it. It's just originality, precision, power and beauty... .

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Neon lights.



Vangelis. This piece of music can't be forgotten.

Saturday, April 24, 2010



I watched Quiz Show awhile ago, a favourite movie of mine from the past.

I was surprised how much literary content surrounded the film with regards to Charles Van Doren and his family (it's been years since I saw it last). He mentions that he wrote a novel about patricide, has a PhD in Literature (and a Masters in Astrophysics), teaches literature, and his father is a renowned poet and professor.

With this sort of background, I had to wonder what the film was trying to say about the strength of literature affecting our beliefs and decisions. Van Doren's well-read, yet still makes the wrong decision and chooses to receive the answers to the quiz show Twenty-One based on the allure of money and fame. Is this to say that all the wisdom and wit passed down from all the literature one can be immersed in won't be able to instill and maintan fundamental lessons about right and wrong?

Rest in peace Guru.







Like other rappers Guru's lyrics seemed egotistical at times, but it never mattered much. His wordplay, intelligent lyrics and flow more than made up for it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Google Books Settlement Pt. 1



The GBS has been on my mind for some time. At first I believed it was going to allow readers to immediately download books as soon as they became available without paying for them, and then read them on e-book readers which eventually abolish printed books, adding to the idea that in the future the arts will become entirely free to all...for better or worse.

Whether this will actually be the case is anyone's guess. I've only read these three articles regarding the matter, so there might be loopholes that I haven't noticed.
Of course there are other issues besides allowing a new book to be downloaded for free instead of paying the artist their due. Notably the issues of how e-books could possibly pervert the author's vision of their work with advertisments, which is something I noticed in the Canadian article, as well as Google possibly censoring and rewriting certain works which is absolutely wrong.
There are issues that don't apply to me but I still want them to have their proper consideration, such as Google copyrighting and e-releasing books that have gone out of print, and Quebec authors not getting their due.
A saving grace of the GBS is that authors can freely null different options of it by filling out a form and sending it to Google. But even so, the deal extends to their publishing house as well which can overrule the author's wishes of not being a part of the GBS.

Personally, at this point in time I wouldn't mind Google taking sections of the books I write, for example a couple of chapters, and putting them online for free dissemination. You could liken it to downloading a song from an album to spark interest in a singer (although not in the case of a one-hit wonder. And even with file sharing and Youtube videos, there's still certain songs and shows that are kept from being enjoyed free of charge). Or it could be compared to a library carrying a couple copies of the book. It would allow for quicker access to my work, which is always beneficial. As long as they pay me for whatever advertisments they use my work in.

Eveybody's talking about the future of the printed book, and how reading will change. I would much rather prefer reading a book instead of reading a screen, but at the same time I'm not averse to technological changes. I mean, when it comes to literature I'm always reading a book. I've never listened to a book on tape or CD. I haven't tested a Kindle or any other e-book reader. But technology doesn't have to be detrimental to the reading process, nor does it have to reformat our attention spans/memories (although as I've mentioned earlier Socrates said reading in general degrades our memories so we may as well step on the gas?). That's why I hope that the GBS doesn't take away any money from authors or diminsh the meaning and quality of their works.
It's still disturbing how reading is fundamentally changing in my lifetime. And of course this adds to my many levels of stress about my future in literature. Yet no matter what happens, the quality of the work always comes foremost.

These are my initial thoughts on the subject, anyways. I'm sure I'll have more posts about it as new developments arrive.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010





Two long, epic songs. The visual imagery doesn't do them justice.

But even so I've lost touch with them.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sherwood Anderson.


With his second wife, Elizabeth Prall. Sublime photo.





I was first introduced to Sherwood Anderson through a poem by Charles Bukowski entitled One for Sherwood Anderson. And for the time he wrote in, I expected him to hold typically racist views about minorities. But when I read the two books above I didn't find any racist sentiment involved. These two books were very refreshing due to their clear, direct writing style mixed with the complexity of the content that they discussed. It was surprising to see how direct and concise his writing was at the time it was published, the early 20th century.

But my one reservation with Caucasian writers during the early to mid-20th century is that they're explicitly racist towards one minority. I don't have any desire to read Hamsun or Pound (yes), for example. And I looked for racist overtones in Anderson's writing.
Autonomy is important to me, both as a writer and a reader.
From what I've studied, I couldn't find any racial bias towards African-Americans, or Semitic people, or any others in Anderson's writing.
From what I've studied he wrote in racist voices (the 15 year old in I Want to Know Why, which parallels Huck Finn) but he rallied against racism even in those times, which is documented here. Did he think the segregated school system in 1928 was wrong and spoke out against it? I would say so. But maybe I'm wrong, and my whole outlook on Sherwood Anderson and my acceptance of his style and literary efforts are all for naught. No matter how much I appreciate his work, no matter how painful it may be the truth is more appreciated. The sublime photo will turn ugly as a result. And the world will grow dark yet again. I'll be reminded why I haven't done a post on any Arabic authors (which is coming) again. And I am thinking of it, and researching it.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

Title Photo.

I've got money in the bank again after years on end. And once again I'm devising ways to spend it without considering the bigger picture. The title photo above alludes to this in how I have an overwhelming desire to buy a vehicle and go traveling. I haven't owned a vehicle in seven years and this time I'm much wiser in going about it.
But there's still a level of compromise that I don't want to think about, namely either buying a model that doesn't appeal to me or simply just waiting for another year. I don't plan on buying a vehicle until the end of this year, which is a long time in itself to wait...

It's been so often wherein I've dreamed of going on long road trips to places I've always wanted to visit in North America. The vehicle has to be a convertible. Going with a partner, listening to music loudly, her long hair flying around in the air (not during the winter, though). You know, the old romanticism.

I know this isn't subversive and provoking, qualities that a writer needs to have, and as a result this website might seem too self-ingratiating.
But I would much rather dwell upon issues like this than say, for example, American right-wing conservatives who make openly racist comments and try to hide them under the guise of humour. I don't feel the need to name them and thereby give them more exposure. People will say that we need to continuously be challenged and offended to keep each other sharp and aware, but sometimes it feel like that thought process has been fostered too often for there to be progress. But that's worth a week of posts in itself.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Health is wealth?



Only recently have I heard about Irish Moss. I'm planning on trying it out, it's been said to have many health benefits. I've tried out other lesser-known foods such as sei-tan and bulgur and they've been worth the effort.

This weight gain diet I'm on is very hard to follow. You'd think that merely eating more food per day, or at least fulfilling the amount of calories/protein I'd need, would be easy. And for many people it would be, but I've always been used to eating smaller portions of food. And there's the mental factor - I get stressed that I'm overloading my body with nutrients. I also eat a lot of the same food, such as eggs, peanuts, chickpeas, whole wheat flax bread, chicken and others, and I was told that if you eat the same food for prolonged periods of time then its nutritional value decreases. But I've already planned out what foods I need to eat based on their fat/protein/carb levels after extensive research. Do I have to switch it around again? This is where more research comes into play. Exercise is like politics - there are so many different opinions, usually overly outspoken and self-confident, that you have to wade through so much of them just to find out the real truth.

I mean, I've gotten stronger and bigger but not as much as I'd like over the past one and a half years. But that's because I haven't made necessary steps that would bolster my confidence level, such as keeping a diary and continuously measuring my weight. A lot of exercise is mental - when I'm lifting a weight for the final two reps and I'm dying, the amount of time I've spent on exercise and all the food I've eaten rings inside my mind and gives me additional drive to complete the exercise. That's just me, though. I haven't gone about exercise in a comprehensive manner, but I've always got the desire to exercise and that's fundamental...

"I don't hit the ball because it'll only slow my bat down." - Mike Watt
"No hope gives me guts." - D. Boon

Saturday, March 27, 2010



It encapsulates a lot.

I should rethink what I write on here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010



I'm sorry for the lack of posts. I've been steeped in schoolwork and life situations, but that's no excuse. There's really no excuse for neglecting something important in your life (potentially or clearly or otherwise). Maybe spending my time on said issues might be a gain towards my future. But maybe not. If people close to me can't tell me what they think of this website...

Thank you Anonymous, Aaron and Laura.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Between grass and hay they say.

It's 14 degrees Celsius outside and I'm spending the day indoors, healing a lower back injury from gym exercise. I can barely bend down.
It's just another weird occurrence in my life, out of many that have happened recently. But the thing is, I'm not too stressed. I've been through multiple back/leg injuries before, what I was doing wasn't too strenuous (although it was a rookie mistake - a combination of inadequate stretching and too much weight), it was nice out yesterday as well and I got a taste of it...I should be fine by Friday. I'm feeling better than yesterday evening, already on the come-up. It's good, it's good.

But rather than attempt to create a segue (lazy) I'd like to discuss some advice from authors I've read recently.

Virginia Woolf said that writing should not consist of expressing one's frustrations.

Alex Haley said that in order to be successful one should want to write, not want to be a writer.

Lorrie Moore said in How to be a Writer that one should try to be anything else, first of all.

Out of these three imprints of advice, I can relate to Haley's the most. I've seen it before, people who want to make money or be famous based on a book they want to write. I won't lie, I've entertained these thoughts as well but they don't comprise my drive to write. Money and fame are only by-products of creating a substantial work of art; they aren't the overall goal. If I write a book which ultimately makes me enough money to live on, I won't quit writing thinking that I've accomplished my 'goal'. Which I'm sure people would scoff at based on my youth and the fact that I'm already immodestly billing myself as a novelist, but it's the truth...

I don't necessarily agree with Woolf but she makes a good case regarding quality in literature. Writing for therapeutic release is a very healthy practice, and I do agree that other people should be exposed to it, but to an extent. I always think of the divide between writing something and publishing something - what causes someone to take the publishing step. If you honestly believe that people will benefit from reading your work, and you believe it's original and well-written enough to create a mark in literature, and you care about the state of literature itself and not just how you can profit off of it, then I would say it stands a chance...
In my life, I was always attached to literature. I always had a talent and appreciation for it. I read constantly, often books that weren't targeted towards my particular demographic. A small memory I have is of a science fair I attended when I was twelve - there was a girl there my age with an exhibit as well, and she was reading The Partner by John Grisham, which I was also reading at the time. It surprised me and I wanted to tell her but didn't.

My life has been saturated with literature. Which brings me to Moore's point. Although reading and writing have been staples of my life I still haven't been born and bred for a writing career, like say politicians or princes and how they know from a young age where their lives are going to lead. But at the same time I don't see how aiming for a writing career is ill-advised. I think Moore's advice is controversial because it places a limit on how people should understand the writing world. It might sound naïve to say but I've had many small jobs before, all not involving writing - does this mean I'm exempt of Moore's advice?
She could mean that I have to have initial career plans not involving writing at all, and writing should strike me at any given moment (I might be exempt of this possibility as well - I started taking Environmental Studies in my first year of university). Does it mean that I should have a career I've spent years on while writing on the side, finally reading for my chance to shine (which is a strong possibility for me as well)? Maybe I should check out the entire book, right?

I'm talking about myself too much.

It's spring, when a young man's fancy turns to love. I never liked the word 'fancy'. And I've always wanted a girl's love no matter what season it was. Maybe restricting myself to conventional 'parameters' like the aforementioned would increase my chances of finding love, because it's what people expect...



Saturday, March 6, 2010

And yet and yet!

Not to sound coy but there's a divide growing in my mind as to what I should share on my website and what I should keep for my own personal writing...thoughts that can't be categorized, that seem too important for my own writing to be shared (and most likely claimed as copyright) on this Internet service...

This website is too important to fall into repetition (e.g. claiming I'm going to write posts regarding topics and then not doing so) or to fall into languishment. I just have to climb out of the hole.

We can always be better.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

By the beer of your profit.



This is a book that I've tried to read by itself, that I've done research into, that I know requires another reference book to properly explain itself to the reader, that will supposedly drive someone insane trying to read it all. It's an amazing book to say the least.

Maybe the world isn't ready to read on the level that Finnegan's Wake demands. Or maybe we're not supposed to.

But why place limitations on the potential of someone's attention span for reading?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Humble Beginnings.

If I don't do this post now, I'll regret it later. Some of my favourite books from nine to eleven years old in descending order.

The Secret World of Og, Pierre Berton. A Canadian milestone.



Zoom Upstream and Mischief City, both by Tim Wynne-Jones, another Canadian writer. I also enjoyed The Metallic Sparrow and The Outlaw League by Lance Woolaver though I couldn't find photos of either. I met all three writers when I was younger, Berton at school and Wynne-Jones and Woolaver at a young writers' fair...


Batman: Knightfall, Dennis O'Neil. I haven't read this book in some time, but when I first read it at ten years old it stunned me with its writing style.


Star Trek: Vendetta, Peter David. I was never a stranger to pop culture back then, a marked change from now. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? But to each their own. Like Knightfall this book was also infused with style when I first read it. I always liked The Next Generation but never really got into any of the other series.


The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson. Who didn't? Garfield, the Far Side, early FoxTrot, Peanuts and Beetle Bailey as well. All eye-opening cartoons on different levels of wit and content.


When I was eleven I read To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time. Although Harper Lee's style was advanced I still read through it. I didn't read too many great literature novels because I didn't feel like I was ready to understand them, to put as much time into them as they needed...but I still read this book - with that same cover as well.
Just a few out of countless others...books I can only remember the contents of, not the titles...books I don't want to share to the public...the ones I read when I was younger that I can't find the right images for...and so on.
Trips down memory lane, of reading alone, reading at dinner, some of the books still carrying stains from the food I dropped on them.
The last book I read was Thomas More's Utopia.
Thanks for the Og picture and enjoying my site, Laura. Her site's here.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

If there's one image I try to remove from my mind it's one of me 'blogging up a storm.' I never liked the word 'blog' from the first moment I heard it - it's another example of ugly portmanteau words that are supposed to reflect modern times. A couple of years ago I read an article in a prominent Canadian newspaper (I can't remember which one) that had suggestions of new words for the 21st century. I can't remember any of the words either - but trust me when I say that none of them looked/sounded like anything I'd add to my personal lexicon. Sometimes I like to joke around and say that the new English words of the 21st century will be found in captchas...but I'm sure that's already been done in the past, with an author wise in computers who used a program to generate as many random words as possible, then attached different meanings to them and tried to write a book out of it all. But successfully achieving a task like that seems like the rarest accomplishment in literature - id est Finnegan's Wake, and Joyce had no idea of computers or their eventual impact on the world, which I'm sure has been expounded on elsewhere.

And while I'm on the topic of words, why am I finding the word 'interesting' being used so frequently nowadays? I take umbrage at it. But since language is excessive and pseudo-intellectual, why bother worrying? Whatever works, works - keep it going.
First you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the woman.

And as much as I hate to expose one of my favourite bands, a fault of mine where I want to keep what's lesser known and amazing to myself so it doesn't get overexposed (is it a fault? They'd want the exposure - I guess it's a symptom of youth, keeping secrets)... this is The Sea and Cake. Oui is one of the best albums I've ever listened to, as well as The Fawn and Everybody. Sometimes I feel like writing about how literature and music are wrapped around one another. Until then...

Thursday, February 18, 2010



I was in the midst of creating a larger post but I'm exhausted. So instead I'm sharing a video/song I was first exposed to when I was eleven or so, which still stuck with me. The song's name was in the back of my mind for years, like some others. It's on my mp3 player but I very rarely listen to it. I can still appreciate some of the video's imagery. And this is the only song I know by her.

Yes, this is embarrassing.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"You figure it out, I can't." "I'm only the middleman." "I don't know what's going on."

I've heard it before. Each sentence in the title is from a different cartoonist, painter and photographer respectively. Is it the calling card of the real, successful artist?

Is it pointless to try and explain any artistic endeavour?

If it doesn't make dollars it doesn't make sense, some say. In the case of art this has long been the exception to the rule in most instances, maybe because people believe it has to be the exception...but even the word 'art' makes people renounce its definition in full due to its ubiquitousness...

It's funny how in an essay I read by Flannery O'Connor, she mentions how a lot of good writers she knows paint - not because they're exceptionally good but because they use it as a way of 'seeing'. I've been painting on and off (on a canvas and easel) since I was nine. I still remember how surprised I was on my tenth birthday when...well, why should I share that story here. I paint, but it's not often. It's more often than when I drink caffeine though, which is about three to four times a year.

I've never known because I''ve never been given the chance.

In recent e-mails with my Creative Writing professor Michael Helm he was kind enough to give me words of encouragement, saying that (this is non-verbatim) the development of my writing and the amount of work that I've created shows that I will (well, can) be an author in the future. I hope so, before loneliness and its comates destroy me. I've been through bizarre instances with the release of my work to the public, shallowness and ridicule, but once in awhile I receive a boost of morale and it means a lot. Professor Helm is a novelist whose work is widely respected - you can find it here at mclelland.com as well as in bookstores.

"Writing only leads to more writing" is a quote by the female French author Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, more widely known just as Colette. And while this is a famous quote, a piece of advice that she gave to Georges Simenon - "Now take out the poetry" - is one that looms more heavily in my mind. Also the fact that she passed away at eighty-one years of age (maybe this is narrowminded but I find that a lot of authors seem to live very long - recently JD Salinger and P.K. Page passed away and they were both in their early nineties. Rest In Peace).

Socrates denounced writing - he saw writing anything down as detrimental to the human memory and instead preferred to try and remember everything, functioning solely on speech. When I heard this my first thoughts were of personal humiliation, how it was just another block in the enjoyment I got out of my work (by block I mean obstacle - although I like the ambiguousness of the word in this instance).
I don't see Socrates' views as a continual source of humiliation though - the times he lived in were obviously much simpler. But to me, his views connect to the way people see the Internet as a source of creating decreased attention spans, like the way people saw TV when it came out. We should not - and this includes writers - try and prey on people's fears and potential worriments.
I don't and never did believe that if I watch videos on Youtube and write on my website, it's not going to allow me to concentrate on a book or my own personal work. There's an overflow of instability when it comes to someone's development and potential for a sound mind.
I'm not saying I'm completely enlightened. There are negative thoughts I have that stick with me. How I could only be seen as an experiment for study in the arts...how it's so easy to fail but so hard to succeed...how people including myself always want to hear the truth, just not about their own lives...how I place too much happiness in material goods (I'm halfway to buying a BMW - factory earnings), et al. But through all these blocks and many others I've never underestimated my ability to achieve my goals...

I wanted to have the next book I'm writing (I've only shared its name once) to have been done at my current age. And now I don't see it being finished for four years at least. There's a myriad of reasons why - I've got 650 pages of rough material to sort through (which is only ideas and structure, not drafts), I've got school and work (which is the weakest reason), I don't have a girlfriend (which many others would see as the weakest reason but I see as the strongest), and most surprisingly I find that some of the work has less meaning than in the past three years.
Not less meaning in terms of how important it is, but in terms of how I want to present it. This relates to Colette's advice that I wrote of earlier - the way that I present the work has been going through changes. Not radical changes (except in the case of one story and how postmodernism can enhance its content) but changes in how the work relates to the rest of literature and the world as a whole. Education is slowing my progress, ironic (and trite, and maybe eventually naïve?) as it sounds, with countless points of inspiration and imagination being found in common pathways to life I've never been able to explore yet.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Observatory Crest.



It's a great song except for the last 20 seconds, which I'm not even sure belong to the song. The video doesn't do it justice (the whole video in itself is bizarre but it was the only one I could find with an entire version of the song), but some of the imagery is fitting.



I've been wanting to watch this movie for years and I finally did today. I didn't know much about the plot - all I had to go on was the poster image and the fact that Neil Jordan directed it.
So I watched it and all I can basically say is that it's chaotic. Eamonn Owens is now the best young actor in my mind (or was, since the film was released in '97). I don't know much about acting but his performance is top-notch. The blend of drama and dark comedy seemed uneven to me at times but I'm still glad I watched this film at last.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Any guy would do this thing for me...why can't you.



When I was 19 back in the spring of 2005 and traveling by myself I discovered Dinosaur Jr's Where You Been album for the first time. It was in a small hotel room in Ottawa that had cable - I changed the channel and the music video for Start Choppin' was playing (a rare video in itself). I still remember Mike Johnson's vacant face staring into nothing. The next day I went and found the album in a used CD store. It became one of my favourites to this day.

Not The Same has since turned into my most beloved track on the album, with Drawerings a close second. The journalist who thought J. ruined Not The Same with his voice had it all wrong. When I first heard that people thought J.'s voice ruined Dinosaur Jr's songs it gave me pause(just like Stevie Nicks' voice, they say)...but I found that despite their claims, the songs didn't lose any of their appeal and depth.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Mcenroe is the maestrosity (for a second I was foolish enough to think that I had perhaps invented that word )behind Peanuts and Corn records. Some of the music he's engineered has been brobdingnagian in its quality. It just never gets old. I recently ordered a stack of instrumental CDs from the site and got an e-mail from him. Check their website here.

Sickles and Hammers.

video

There's a lot of things I could say about this video...the way skateboarding's been maligned in pop culture...how this side of my life could cause a lot of people to instantly negate my credibility/potential as an author based on skateboarding's 'young and dumb' rep...the quality of the skating itself (it's not the best I've got - after skating street for nine years I only started to skate transition back in the summer. Plus I've only been filmed three times in said nine years, this being one of those times. It's hard when you don't have any friends that skate because there's a lot of motivation that's missing. I've been trying to skate the vert ramp at CJs park here in Toronto. I wanted to get a clip of that but the park's far away and I haven't had time). There's really not much more I want to say about it, because I don't think it's necessary. I don't mean that pessimistically - I mean it pragmatically. Skateboarding's always been fun. That's all I have to say...

P.S. I don't know why it becomes unavailable after a period of time. I had to republish it in order for the video to work again. And apparently still have to...