my favourite painting

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That picture you see above is my fave painting. I guess it’s not technically a painting but I don’t know what to call it. It’s more like a black and white picture that has been printed in dark brown on a beige fabric. If someone knows what this style of art is called, please enlighten me.

I’ve had this thing for a long time, almost 20 years. I got it at a thrift store when I was about 20. Since then, my tastes have changed numerous times so I’ve gone through a great many pieces of art, but this one has always made the grade. I loved this one the second I saw it, and I still love it now. I tried to find a similar image online but had no luck so I thought it would be a good idea to document the thing here in case it is ever destroyed in a blaze or something equally awful.

I like this piece for a number of reasons. I like how stark it is, both in terms of its subject and its execution. I mean, a dead tree on a hill is pretty fucking stark, and it’s two-tone colour scheme makes it feel a little like an overexposed photograph.

But I like that it also doesn’t overstate anything. It’s just a dead tree, which I feel is tastefully stark — it seems too easy for most pieces of dead tree art to incorporate a noose, or a full moon, or a spooky fucking ghost into it, and turn themselves into silly goth things. Do an image search for ‘dead tree art’ and most of the stuff you’ll find is goofy shit like that. I think this piece quietly suggests morose things, but ultimately leaves that interpretation up to the person viewing it.

I also like how obviously 60s/70s it is. This fabric print thing screams that era to me, the beige/brown combo screams it, and the matching dark brown frame accentuates it.

This piece gives me the same feeling that my fave Doors songs do: it’s like a haunting, sad, creepy, vague snapshot of a bygone era. For my money, you just can’t beat that.

I often wonder what other people think of this piece, even though I know that even people who share my tastes may not dig it. It’s impossible to predict what anyone else will like. But I think it’s so great in so many ways that I can’t imagine anyone not liking it. That’s a nice feeling to have about something that has been hanging in your house for 20 years. I really got lucky when I stumbled across this thing.

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i don’t believe in disposable

i feel guilty about every god damned thing i put in the garbage so it’s not surprising that i loathe stuff like disposable cups.

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the sign of both a good party and a whole fucking lot of waste

red solo cups particularly raise my ire because of the association between them and good times, and that fucking toby keith song. it bothers me a great deal that we enjoy and even take pride in doing something that ultimately ends in throwing tons more plastic waste into landfills, oceans, sidewalks, etc. we should be ashamed of such waste, not writing pop-country songs about it. besides, why can’t people use normal fucking cups at parties? at burning man, everyone who wants a drink at any bar has to bring their own drink container. i find a lot of burning man incredibly annoying but that’s a practice i can get behind 100%.

coffee cups are similar. there is less plastic involved with them, which is good, but they’re way worse in the aspect that far more of them are consumed every day by habitual morning coffee drinkers who are too lazy to bring a god damn mug from home. as if they’re too busy to wash a mug each evening.

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you’ve got a lot going on, too much to bother worrying about deforestation and the great pacific garbage patch.

i’ve also been getting pissed about all the fucking non-recyclable bags that most of our food comes in, too. it’s all that crinkly silver shit that goes straight in the trash. i wish more companies would start using reusable, recyclable, or at least compostable bags. i won’t hold my breath for that though, not until more people start making a stink about it.

this stuff actually bugs me so much that when jenn and i saw the cure at an outdoor show in vancouver late last spring, i had a hard time relaxing and enjoying being there because i kept noticing ridiculous, redundant waste. for instance, i bought a 7up from a vendor and rather than give me the can, they poured it into — guess what — a red solo cup. so in addition to the aluminum can, there was now also this fucking cup that had to be dealt with. furthermore, there were virtually no recycling facilities at the venue, so all the cans and cups just went in the trash. god, i’m getting depressed even writing this. what sort of a promoter in this day and age wouldn’t have adequate drink container recycling at an event where you know people are going to be guzzling beers? so every time i looked and saw a weak-chinned or bloated goth (or ‘dark rocker’ as i started calling them)…

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this is what i found most cure fans looked like, hence the ‘dark rocker’ term rather than ‘goth’

…i was distracted from the fun, good elements of the experience. i realized i will probably never be able to enjoy a typical festival atmosphere again. what a bummer.

we are colossally wasteful.

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devour planet and move on.

the impending summer of satan

jenn and i like going on big summer road trips. one of my fave memories of our many trips is not of a place or activity but a weird feeling i experienced one year when i read robert nye’s faust while on vacation. it’s a great book and really affected me — i felt happy and good about summer and all the fun things we were doing, like exploring forests and small towns and lakes and various sights, but there was also a feeling of dread, of fear, interlaced with all those good times and pleasant vibes because of faust. it really added a strange and fascinating dimension to the trip for me. it was like the specter of the devil and all intangible evil cast a shadow over all the wholesomeness of our summer fun.

and i loved it.

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good book. i recommend it. even jenn liked it.

it was because of this experience that i recently ventured into russell books with benjamin (sorry if that tidbit gets you divorced, benny). i was in search of well-written dark books to enjoy on upcoming road trips. not stephen king “and then the vampire swooped down and said lunch time as he bit her lovely milk-white neck” stuff. i wanted stuff that was more multidimensional and less goofy and stupid — more stuff like faust. so i described my impossibly specific tastes to an enthusiastic russell books employee who did a fantastic job of recommending and finding copies of all kinds of suitable things i’m excited to read. ben also did a quick search on his phone for ‘best satanic books’ and came up with some more good suggestions. i walked out of there with five novels, sure to ruin my summer perfectly.

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it’s going to be a goth summer. these guys look like cenobites from hellraiser. christ, can you imagine wearing all that pleather and PVC in the heat? i bet they stink under there.

and now i can’t wait for the next road trip. offsetting all the fun with a bit of spiritual desolation makes the overall experience much more emotionally and psychologically stimulating. it means i can have lots of fun with my wife, exploring natural wonders and swimming and hiking and whatnot, but also feel a little terrified for the safety of my soul or spirit. it’s a wonderful balance.

maybe if jenn was down to listen to akercocke and voices on the trip, i wouldn’t need to read these books to get my dose of satanism and misanthropy. that will never happen though so i’m glad i’ve got this plan B sorted out well ahead of time. there is no way i’m leaving evil at home on this road trip.

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i’m dying.

not any quicker than usual or anyone else. i just like to ruminate on the fact. and not because of any goth tendencies. in fact it’s because of quite the opposite, and very hippie dippy: i think death can be a beautiful thing.

Fantastic scene of happy children running and playing carefreely on green meadow in nature

“hurry tommy, it’s almost time for us to exit this mortal coil”

i think about all that great cycle shit, how plants and crap grow from dirt and water, we eat them to sustain ourselves, and eventually we die, decay, and also become dirt and water. i like to think about my body becoming the soil that will grow corn or trees or whatever, that parts of me will be in those plants, that animals will eat those plants made from me, that parts of me will become become parts of those animals or be shat out to become dirt again and give rise to more plants and feed more animals, and on and on. i won’t be recognizable but the tiny particles that make up my brain, bones, and meat will continue on in these various other incarnations. i think that’s incredible.

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we probably believe some of the same stuff, but she’s a whack job.

we get really focused on us and our problems — i want to go on nice vacations, these red peppers are too expensive, i don’t want to do this fucking online course —  but in the big picture, none of that junk matters. sometime in the not so distant future, we will disperse and become part of the earth and all the myriad things on it. that inspires a real sense of grand unity in me, a sense of oneness that is based in reality rather than the incoherent ramblings of some incense- and chime-cloaked hipster yoga dipshit driving a sporty mini cooper. and i like that.

and looking at the even bigger picture, when this planet is eventually swallowed by our sun, all the dirt and plants and animals will turn to ash and dust and likely scatter throughout space, or get sucked into a blackhole, or something along those lines, and end up becoming part of something else. that’s amazing! so i like that too. all that ‘we are stardust’ nonsense isn’t nonsense after all.

and that’s why i like death.

living is great too. i’m having a good ol’ time. i’m just not too worried about what comes after.

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“he tastes like shit.”
“yeah but he’s content.”

 

always make lemonade

a few weeks ago i met a 50-ish yr old guy who had basically lost everything — all his money, his house, his wife. he was totally depressed and at a loss as to what he could do to turn his life around.

i’ve thought before that if i wound up in a similar position, i hope that i would be able to see the positive aspects of my situation. if i were that guy, i think it would be a great time to say “fuck owning a house, fuck the job i’ve had for 30 years, fuck my ex-wife. i’m going on a road trip for the rest of my life.” what a great excuse to try living like a nomad. there are so many towns i’ve never heard of that i’d love to wander through and maybe spend some time in if it felt right, so many unexpected experiences i’d be excited to happen across. i could work odd jobs here and there so i could eat and keep a vehicle on the road, sleep in the car, sleep in a tent, whatever. or find my way into the wilderness somewhere and learn to live off the land. whatever. the thing is, if your situation changes drastically, it may be necessary to radically change your goals and expectations in order to reach them, feel successful, and ultimately be happy. if you’re not able to do that, you’re going to be fucking miserable.

i don’t care if that sounds like a lame ‘always look on the bright side’ outlook. i think it’s a real asset to be able do that, especially with situations that a lot of people might wilt at. despite what my wife might tell you, i think i’m pretty darn positive. at least, i am when things are shitty.

maybe i just like shitty situations. maybe i’m not actually being positive, maybe i just relish being unhappy so much that it makes me happy.

such a goth.

big box shopping, hating life

the other day i went to home depot for the second time in my life. it sucked. the people that work there all look like people who do their own renos and home mainetance — men with moustaches, that kind of thing — but of course they’re fucking useless when it comes to actually helping customers in the store. one sad bastard was slinking away with his little cart as i called to him, and it took him long enough to swing his low-hanging head around that i had wondered if he was pretending he didn’t hear me. he made it very clear very quickly that he couldn’t help me. i’d hate working there too but guess what, i’d find a different job then.

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this is pretty much who ‘helped’ me at home depot

next, i went to best buy to find a pair of headphones so i can do some home recording without driving jenn insane. the first thing i noticed before walking in was the parking lot was full of crappy teenager sports cars, like beat up acuras and civics with stickers all over them. that actually really captured the overall vibe of the store: all the people working there were overgrown kids, loser scum adults who spend a lot of time ‘gaming’ — lots of bad dye jobs on the chubby quasi-goth/gamer girls, and the boys are skinny acne-ridden basement dweller rodents.

but what bothered me the most was all the displays for various crap and how they tried to reflect cooler, more active, more attractive versions of the potential buyers back at themselves. like, “you’re cool. you’re tough. you’ve got an attitude. you live a wild life. you’re just like this beautiful person, and that’s why you need these headphones.”

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coooool, someone has finally designed headphones for crazy, badass chicks like me

i know that that’s basically what all ads are like but there was something about these ones that really bothered me. i think it was the fact that these degenerate losers both working and shopping at best buy might actually think they’re cool to start with — despite the busted, shitty cars; the horrible, sad jobs; the basement dwelling; the countless hours spent playing video games; the gross unhealthy bodies…maybe they don’t know, maybe they can’t see how disgusting and pathetic they are.

but here’s the worst part. the headphones i bought don’t fit my giant head. so i have to go back to best buy to return them.

somewhere, the patron saint of degenerate loser trash is laughing at me.

summer starts tomorrow but i’m ready to pull the plug on it today

jenn and i are going on a big road trip at the end of the summer and it’s going to be awesome. we’re going to head east to the rockies and see some shit there, visit friends along the way, then see dinosaur bones and hoodoos in alberta, then head down to montana and wyoming to see glacier and yellowstone national parks, then head back west through idaho and washington. we’re going to see and do so much awesome stuff, that i just want to sleep through all of this bastardly hot weather and get to the pleasantly warm, feel-good sunsets of september.

i think i made almost the same post last year. here it is. i basically bitched about how i get so pumped for the end of summer that i want to hurry through it, even if i’m having a great time in it. so far this one is going the same way. we’ve done a few nice summer things with friends so far and haven’t even gotten into the bowels of the season yet. i’m sure it’s going to be another great one…

…but that road trip at the end of it and all the dried up little ghost towns and golden light  and wicked sights and the general children of the corn-vibe is going to be the highlight of summer, no doubt.

oh no. i’m getting my hopes up. that’s a bad sign. i better rein it in before i end up coming home disappointed and blogging about what a shitty letdown the trip was.

i guess it will be ok, maybe. i don’t know. probably not.