story time

there was a story in the news recently about some cute pictures a woman took of a bear sitting on a couch. like this one.


there’s something wrong with this picture.

i love cute things so i took at a look at the story. yes, the bear was cute, but that wasn’t what stood out to me about the pics. what stood out to me was the fucking garbage dump the bear is obviously scavenging food from. and that made me sad — sad that the animal is either starving out in the wild and driven to scavenging trash, or has become habituated to our trash and finds it easier or tastier to sort through instead of eating normal, healthy bear food like berries and salmon.

sad to see other life on this planet having to contend with the disgusting byproducts of our disgusting existence.

sad to see mountains of human-made trash that will virtually never break down.

sad to know that most people can look at pictures of a bear living in a garbage dump and think “cuuuute” rather than “oh god, i am a part of the most insidious, thoughtless, destructive force on this planet, and i am ashamed of this.”

it wasn’t a heart-warming story at all. it was depressing.

the end.


it feels good to feel good

for the last week or so, i’ve been feeling really good, really happy, and it’s weird what a vicious cycle feeling good is — being happy about some stuff in my life makes me more appreciative of other things, like friends or good times for example, and being appreciative of those things and feeling lucky (or “blessed,” barf) makes me even happier. it’s like i’ve been on a positivity bender for a week now.



and it feels great.

it’s a nice change of pace from my usual disposition, ranging of ‘slightly depressed’ to ‘very depressed.’ and while i feel like i should somehow prepare myself for this all to come to a crashing halt, for the moment the happy things stop occurring, i feel too good right now to worry about it. i know the end will come, the misery will return, and things will go back to normal but i’ll deal with it when it happens. no point in getting bummed out while i’m still feeling so good.

why am i feeling so good, anyway? steph and tony’s wedding, seeing lots of great friends i don’t see very often, the suit i put together looks great, we’re building a garage, we bought property up island, i got five new young hens, one of my adult hens went broody and is now sitting on 8 fertilized eggs i bought for her, i finally set up a micro drip irrigation system for the vegetable garden, the new twin peaks is as weird and fantastic as ever…that sort of stuff.

something else i want to note about this happiness bender: it makes me prone to the sensation of emotions welling up. like, i’ll get a text from a good friend and i’ll almost want to cry because i feel so grateful to have that friend in my life. similarly, if a really killer anti-humanistic song comes on in my car, i shudder with utter contempt and contemplate the of plunging all of reality — people, planets, the entire universe, all of time — into an endless void of nonexistence: a “red surge,” as i recently heard a convicted killer call it, except i associate red with rage and anger so i’d probably describe my welling up of negative and abstract feelings as more of a “black surge.”

anyway, being happy is just making me feel really emotional in general, i suppose. it’s kind of interesting. i like feeling things.

i don’t feel

i don’t feel much like blogging lately. i think it’s because i was blogging a lot for the last few weeks and burned myself out on it. for the last several days whenever i have checked in here, i’ve felt bored and annoyed, like i was just here out of some sense of obligation.

of course, that’s no fun so i’m making a point to blog less until such time as it starts feeling less forced.

however, there are a few things i want to get off my chest before receding into the abyss once again.

#1. i saw in the news that comedian kathy griffin posted a photo of herself holding donald trump’s bloody head. i don’t really care about this either way, but then i saw that old rocker ted nugent called her picture “downright vulgar, obscene and a genuine variation of a death threat.”

this is coming from the same guy who said barack obama could “suck his machine gun” and hilary clinton was a “worthless bitch” who could “ride one of his guns into the sunset.”

what a fucking hypocrite. it seems like lots of politically active people want to say incendiary things, mock people who take offense and call them “snowflakes,” and wave a flag for freedom of speech — only to cry foul when someone with a different opinion says something similarly inflammatory. it’s a bunch of bullshit. everyone should get some thicker skin, go ahead and talk shit, and not take offense when anyone else talks shit. then i’d never have to hear crowds of hypocrites calling each other snowflakes.

#2. last night i saw a well-dressed middle-aged guy, gassing up his very nice all-wheel drive volvo. his car had an “i [heart] vancouver island” sticker on it, and one of those annoying thule roof rack-mounted cargo boxes. he clearly thought he was a hardcore islander.


you know you’re a wannabe outdoor enthusiast when…

then he tossed an empty plastic jug of windshield cleaner in the trash can and drove off. i wanted to say, “i see by your car, sticker, and cargo box you’re a real outdoorsy type, so perhaps you’d be interested to know that plastic like the jug you just tossed out is being found by the ton in teeny, tiny pieces throughout the guts of fish and birds in even the most remote regions of earth. since you’re so rugged and adventurous, i thought maybe you’d like to help preserve what’s left of our rotting world by recycling that fucking jug instead of tossing it carelessly in the trash.” but instead, like a coward, i said nothing, and now i hate myself as much as i hate him.

#3. i have been thinking lately that when i’m at my most depressed, i wish i would just die and get the shit over with. conversely, when i’m at my happiest, i wish i would die so as to go out on a high note. i basically think there is never a bad time to hop off of this ride. i mentioned this to riley and he responded that this philosophy should be written in a breezy large print bestseller and promoted by oprah. i thought that was funny.

#4. i went into a lee’s famous chicken and then a tim horton’s yesterday to get junk food for a wedding party. both establishments were filled with the most wretched human vermin: hunchbacked, confused white trash; toothless drunks; mute yet incredibly rude and dismissive ESL students. it occurred to me that perhaps bill and i should go for dinner at lee’s chicken and then wash it down with a double double and some tim bits sometime, and soak in this rich cultural experience that the cowichan valley has to offer.

over and out.


yesterday i listened to type o negative’s dead again album for the first time in a long time, and my feelings on it haven’t changed much since i first heard it. it’s a weird record, and i’m a massive type o fan, so i want to talk about it.


i think dead again contains some of type o’s best and worst work. an ode to locksmiths may well be my fave type o song of all, and september sun and tripping a blind man are also excellent tunes in my book. the profit of doom, hail and farewell to britain, and the title track are all decent too. but while halloween in heaven isn’t terrible, it’s pretty stupid, and the female vocals are weak and seem out of place. she burned me down, some stupid tomorrow and the first half of these three things downright suck, so much so that i’m embarrassed for type o when those songs come on.

but it’s not just the inconsistent quality of the writing that is odd to me. i also don’t like the production much. the bass in particular lacks body and doesn’t sound thick or heavy enough, and there is something wack with the vocals. it sounds like steele’s mic etiquette was a little off, ie, he was pulling away from the mic to compensate for varying volumes in his vocals but he didn’t do a good job of it, and they did a lousy job afterward of trying to correct it with compression. it sounds amateur.

it doesn’t help that steele’s vocal performances are inconsistent too. some of his vocals on the record are great, and i think kenny’s vocals in particular are the best they’ve ever been. but steele’s spoken/yelled parts in the first few verses of the profits of doom suffer from the weird compression thing i just mentioned, and they also sound like he was drunk when he performed them. i have the same complaint about the vocals in a lot of these three things and parts of the title track.

but i think the worst aspect of this album is that some of the lyrics are just awful. i mean:

with due respect, heed these words of caution
if considering an abortion

that’s garbage. i mean, it’s preachy as all hell which i hate, but i could live with that if it was at least artful, if steele had put a little effort into the words he chose, or if there was some humour in it. but the above quote is some of the laziest, weakest lyrics i’ve heard since i first tried my own hand at lyrics back in grade 8. and the lyrics in she burned me down and some stupid tomorrow are completely fucking pointless.

meanwhile, some other lyrics on the record are fantastic. i love the lyrics at the end of profits of doom, and especially in an ode to locksmiths. they are classic type o in that they display wry humour and touching, insightful honesty.

in addition to great lyrics, an ode to locksmiths boasts strong vocal performances, interesting beatles-esque vocal harmonies, type o’s classic ‘jam three songs together and make one’ song arrangement, and a catchy, heavy as balls closing section.

such are highs and lows on this record. it’s nuts.

but this is probably what impacts me the most about the album. i was lucky enough to meet steele on the dead again tour, and it was apparent he was battling his same old demons at the time. he was a very friendly drunk but a drunk nonetheless (his live performance sucked for it), and he had what appeared to be track marks on his then emaciated arms. it made me really sad because in a way, i felt like i had managed to catch a peek behind the curtain and see some awful truths: that peter steele really was depressed, and that his trademark self-deprecation and humour were his way of making his melancholy easier for him to talk about and others to hear. after this realization, i began to see the humour that is so integral to steele and thus the type o package as a distraction from the great sadness that steele was actually laying open to the world. now when i go back to his earlier works and look past the silly double entendres and one liners, i realize that he was making light of his condition but he wasn’t kidding about the condition itself. that’s incredibly sad.

because of my experience of meeting steele when i did, i have a special, strange fondness for dead again. i feel like, having seen firsthand how fucked steele was at that time, i can understand why the record turned out like it did, and i can forgive its shortcomings.

type o rules.

it’s new years eve…

…and i feel weird. i don’t know what’s up but i’ve felt like this over the entire holidays. nothing has been bad though. this last month has actually been great, with a trip to hawaii full of amazing, memorable moments, and lots of good times with friends and family. yet throughout all of that, i’ve felt some kind of vague uneasiness. it feels like i’m not quite depressed but right on the brink of it, like it’s just hanging around the outskirts of my mind.

what’s worse and totally counter-productive is that this makes me feel guilty. i feel guilty that i seem to not appreciate the wonderful things i’ve been lucky enough to experience lately, even though i DO appreciate that stuff. i’m sure that, in the future, i’ll look back on this month very fondly: beautiful hawaiian sunsets, sneaking into the posh resort’s hot tub at night, finding baby tortoises, expansive views of hawaiian islands, dancing with pals to my fave retro tunes at festivus, relaxed xmas dinners with mine and jenn’s families, casual get togethers with pals — and tonight, new years eve at drew’s party in vic.

for the most part i feel pretty good about all of that, but i’ve also been quietly dwelling on a lot of the little negative details about all these things. the heat in hawaii was tough for me to deal with, some pals didn’t make it to festivus, our friends are all split up doing different things tonight…these are the kinds of minuscule things that have been bothering me lately.

i definitely worry about losing touch with old friends due to physical distance, gradual changes in our respective values, horrible choices in significant others, that sort of thing. but that’s not new. i think about that stuff a bit normally and it doesn’t usually bother me much, so i don’t know why it’s lurking about in my mind so much and having a greater effect on me lately. same with the heat in hawaii. fuck, i can deal with heat without getting stressed about it normally.

so i don’t think i have any good reason to be on the verge of feeling depressed. i wonder if there’s some physical/chemical reason for it, like my body is not producing enough serotonin or something lately. who knows?

and what can i do about it?

nothing really, except keep living like usual and wait so see if i feel normal again soon.



the shame of the father

yesterday i was chatting with a woman of german heritage about my trip to berlin and how impacted i was by the crash course in WWII history i received while i was there. she mentioned how impacted she was by the same history, even though she is about my age and grew up here in canada. she said that as a teenager, she felt a lot of shame in her german ancestry, as if she were in some way responsible for the genocide of millions of people.

while i don’t think it makes sense to feel guilt about something you had no part of, i can still understand why she would feel that way — i’m sure i would too — and it got me thinking that there is probably a huge number of germans and people of only partial german heritage who felt or even still feel the same shame as her. i mean, the holocaust was such a significant event that it’s basically omnipresent in our collective social consciousness. if you felt guilt about it you would probably be hyper aware of any reference to it — each mention of jews, hitler, the holocaust, german history, etc would be another needle into the already pin-cushioned flesh of your pride and self-worth.

that would be a fucking hard thing to live with, i think. i think the effects of such a constant shame would be felt in most aspects of a persons life — work, romance, friendship, whatever. if that is so, then there must be a massive sub-culture of people of german heritage who struggle with that guilt every day. but i’ve never heard of such a group of people or such a guilt complex, so i wonder: is this a documented thing that i’ve just never come across; or is there a large group of depressed people who are good at hiding their problems; or am i needlessly dreaming up a guilt complex for a group of people?

who knows. boy, there’s always a good reason to feel rotten, it seems.


as part of my job, i had to step inside a church today during sunday worship (or whatever it’s called). when i left, i looked at the sports cars and SUV’s in the parking lot and wondered how religious people reconcile their beliefs with daily life. i mean, what do they think god’s position is on the vehicles they choose to drive? if i were religious, i would imagine i’d feel even more compelled to live humbly. i feel guilty about the enormous consumption and waste involved in almost everything i do, and think i’d feel even worse about that if i believed in a god watching me, shaking their head in disappointment at my wasteful lifestyle.

then i started thinking about how basically everything bums me out. i see cars, i think of the environmental destruction involved in mining the metals and shit used to make the car. then i think about the extraction and refining of the gas and oil which that car is going to need to run. then i think about the pollution it spews out when it gets driven. same with food. i think about the toxic chemicals and pesticides used to grow food, the shitty ‘use once and throw away’ plastic packaging that everything comes in, all the uneaten food that ends up in the fucking garbage. everything humans do seems to be like that. we’re horrible, greedy, wasteful vermin, just using this planet up as fast as we like, dashing madly, heedlessly, towards a cataclysmic climax. i constantly think about this.

then i remembered what a friend told me about a therapist they saw a while back. my pal said they moaned about a bunch of stuff to this therapist, and the therapist said, “you know what that is? that’s the voice of depression talking.” and that helped my pal. but while i thought, “my inner dialogue sure sounds like the voice of depression talking,” i don’t feel any better about it.

the problem is, i think my concerns are real and valid. i think our situation on earth really is that bad, so i don’t want to delude myself with the idea that everything is just fine when i truly believe it’s not.

so what do i do? i think it’s right to feel like fucking shit about virtually everything i do but it’s not very pleasant for me or anyone that has to deal with me. as much as i think everyone should be just as fucked up about this as i am, i don’t want to be a person that everyone hates seeing because everything i say is doom and gloom. i don’t want to be a caricature, an eeyore.

it’s a fucking tough balance to be miserable yet pleasant but i’m not sure there’s a better way. i guess i just need to re-read some of my old blog posts and cheer the fuck up.