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This is Irene and me reading ‘El amor es una farsa que nos da sentido’ at Almohada Surrealista in BA last weekend. Pics by Soledad Ochoa.
Stacey Teague - the second sex by simone de beauvoir, it felt game-changing for me to read it, it made me actively think about all sorts of things, not just feminist theory. it’s dense, but rewarding
Johnny Bryan - Mike Young’s Look Look Feathers, ‘cause it made me laugh many times and cry at…
ONE YEAR AGO a very special person came in my life and you all welcomed him into yours. We shared good times and bad times and in the end we all learned a little something about what it means to love. Ladies and gentlemen, I invite you to relive the story of the man from my hostel who wore the same Thundercats shirt every day and never said a word, Bill.
I posted this on Facebook last Thursday and I forgot to post it here so I am posting it here now:
On this day last year I woke up in the morning in New York City and took planes to Chicago then Miami then Bogotá, Colombia, having told about 30 people, not including most of my friends, that I was leaving the country indefinitely, because I am an asshole and that is my idea of a practical joke. I still think it is funny by the way. I got to Buenos Aires in the middle of January and planned to leave in May, then in June, then in July, and now, due to reasons that are none of Facebook’s business (yet), I am announcing that I have cancelled all plans to return to the States for the near future. I’ve missed a lot of weddings of people I care about and that sucks but also I’ve been continuing this madness for a year and that’s cool. I had been thinking of “celebrating” this day by posting a long list of the crazy shit that has happened over the last year in chronological order, or posting an in depth story of my first day of travel where I asked a pilot if he’d let me check out the cockpit during the flight and he laughed at me, or “some valuable thoughts about personal growth,” but I either don’t think any of that matters or I’m not ready to tell it yet, because lately I’m feeling kind of tired of the overly-analytical posture I always take toward life and in the end I’m a lot happier than I was and I’m sure I’ll be a lot happier in the future and what else matters really
I think Barry Lyndon sits far above all but a few other films ever made because it is about those moments where we feel ashamed and beaten and promise ourselves we will never let those things happen again and they always happen again because there is nothing we can do to stop them. It is about how we can live an entire lifetime trying to avoid feeling any emotion and when it finally does come out it is too late to change anything. I think that if people want to change the best way to do that is by looking at movies and literature and other stories we tell because when they are good we can feel the effect of all the mistakes we can make without having to make them. I love this film because what I want most is to control things I cannot control and as I learn to not do this I am happier. I constantly forget this and need to relearn this. Stories work because the mind is inherently dumb, simple, and lazy and this is good because there are just a few universals that affect everyone and it is also good because we wind up telling the same stories over and over again because everyone is always forgetting them.
BACK IN THE EARLY 2000s I went to see my cousin’s band play at an Irish bar & grill in my town. The crowd was mostly middle class people in sports clothes who came out I think to watch a football game. When the band was starting my cousin asked me if I wanted to sing so I took the microphone and said, “Good evening ladies and gentlemen, this is our first song, ‘Your Mother Is My Toilet,’” then started screaming and rolling around on the floor. The owner immediately stopped the show and kicked us out. He was friendly about it. Then a very drunk man offered my cousin a recording contract in the parking lot.
BACK IN THE 90’s I went to a computer show with my friend George and bought a CD-ROM called “Forbidden Secrets.” It was mainly a collection of zines and newsletters from the early BBS days of the Internet and manuals on how to hack public telephones and soda machines. It also had archives of thousands of UFO sighting reports and instructions on how to do things like summon helpful beings from the astral plane and alternate breathing through your nostrils in such a way that it would cause enlightenment, which I read repeatedly. In those days I went online using AOL on the family computer, mostly to write goth poetry with friends, harass people in chat rooms, and use phishing software to pretend I was a hacker, but I became obsessed with these mysterious people who were responsible for the content of “Forbidden Secrets” that operated in some kind of dark Internet.
I couldn’t get online in my room yet but I did have a computer from the mid-1980’s with a hard drive (516K) and I spent weeks programming a fake version of the way I imagined the dark Internet to be on it in QBASIC. It had fake bulletin boards, fake servers, and fake chat rooms filled with fake people who would have conversations with you and alter their responses based on what you said. It even had a fake way to hack into the computers at Area 51 which revealed that the government had contact with extraterrestrials but was keeping this knowledge a secret from the public. This fake Internet was probably the most elaborate thing I had ever done and I was motivated by the idea that I would become the coolest kid in school after having friends over and making them believe that I was really hacking into the government mainframe, but when I finished it I felt ashamed that I had spent so much time building something that wasn’t real so I never showed it to anybody else. A few years later when I moved I threw out the computer.
The questions of is there a god and what happens after death don’t bother me because I’m sure it’ll be fine whatever happens. The amount of pain and loneliness we can feel on our way there and how to help with that does concern me more than anything though.
I think it’s important to get over this idea that we have lost something. I think that implies that we might not find it. I think what matters cannot be talked about in terms of finding and losing because it is just too ordinary for that.
I also recommend this.
WHEN I WAS FIFTEEN I got a job at a Dunkin Donuts by my high school. A kid that worked there told everyone that I was gay and that he was going to kick my ass. When we worked together he told me he didn’t want to talk to me because I was gay and he was going to punch me in the face. A girl who was into White Zombie defended me. I also worked some of shifts with a girl from Kentucky who was so short that she won a college scholarship for short people. She asked me lots of personal questions and implied she wanted to lock the doors and “do it” with me on the counter while customers watched through the big glass windows. This made me uncomfortable so I ate lots of munchkins and vanilla kreme donuts. I still liked working with her because she was the only employee as weird as me. After a month at the job they fired me, but I went back a lot after school to eat donuts. One day there was a sunburned guy leaning against a red pickup truck outside the store and he asked me if I knew the short girl that worked there. I said yeah. He told me he was her brother and she had run away from home and he had come there to find her and bring her back. He wrote down his name, Kevin, and his phone number on a piece of paper and told me to call him every day and leave a message describing what his sister was doing. I never called him and waited a few weeks before I went back there. I never saw him or his sister again.
BACK IN HIGH SCHOOL it seemed like the coolest kids in my group of friends all played guitar so I found my dad’s old guitar and started learning some “cool songs” in secret. The kid that intimidated me most was Chris C. because he was quiet and wore his hat backwards and could ollie a skateboard really good. One day we were the only ones hanging out after school and we took the bus back to his street and smoked pot and hung around outside the A&P. An old lady put her keys between her fingers to use as a weapon in case we attacked her when she walked by and we laughed about it and I felt like that made us friends. We went back to his house and watched “Searching For Bobby Fisher” on TV. During the movie I made some chess jokes and he laughed. It built up my confidence. I picked up his guitar and started playing the coolest song I remembered, “The Distance”, and Chris slapped the guitar out of my hands and yelled “Don’t play Cake on my shit!”
I SPENT MY FOURTH night in Paris in 2007 drinking wine and meeting cool people on the steps of a church at the top of Montmartre which resulted in a feeling that everything was going to be all right in life. I was walking home at 4AM and came around a corner and an Asian man in a plaid suit holding a Heineken stood alone on the street. He said “Hello,” and I had the impression that he had been waiting for me there. He had a bowl haircut and horrible teeth and thick black glasses. We started to walk together. He was from Shanghai and had been working as a radio journalist in Paris for 13 years and had just gotten back that day from a business trip through China, Kyrgyzstan, and Belgium. He said he had to work in the morning and kept repeating, “I got too drunk.” I asked him what Kyrgyzstan was like and he said “I met this girl, with big black Yoko Ono hair, and a big hat, but when she smiled… two big fangs!” He put his fingers up to his mouth to indicate how big the fangs were then muttered something, in a defeated tone, that sounded like, “not fuckable at all.” I said, “Not fuckable?” and he yelled “NOT FUCKABLE!” so loudly it echoed down the street. He asked me if I wanted to come to his place for a drink and I declined.