Monday, October 22, 2007

My friend John Samson is completely insane.

I really need to travel out to Colorado. What a great dude.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I keep on calling a person who is in some state of transgenderification by the wrong pronoun. I think of this person as a male, but they would rather be referred to as a she. When I met this person, I did not think they were female even for a minute, despite signifiers in dress. The facial structure and such confirmed a history. Maybe people think I am an asshole, or being conservative, or something, because they keep on correcting me. I just keep thinking "I calls 'em as I sees 'em" because I can't see the person as female, even if that's how they view themselves.

In other news, the Steven Millhauser novel Edwin Mullhouse is pretty great, working in a fairly different way than his other short stories. His next short story collection, Dangerous Laughter, comes out next year, and if that contains all the stories I think it will, ("A Precursor To The Cinema," holy shit) and if the things I haven't read live up to that standard, that should be quite the book. But Edwin Mullhouse is a hell of a thing, completely misrepresented by its back-cover copy. It hints at a large number of themes while really elucidating childhood. Whether it evokes all childhoods or just the stuff of my demographic is kind of outside my power to say, but considering the age gap between Millhauser and I it seems to safe to go with the bolder claim. I have already promised to loan my copy out to someone because of how excited I was to talk about it after having finished it this morning.
Whoa dude, Bongwater


I am referring to the band, who I haven't heard until now, when I began downloading their record "Too Much Sleep." I also downloaded a 1990 peel session, which is kind of terrible- most tracks are collages of disparate parts in a way that's just kind of annoying. But this, this, the first few tracks at least, are THRILLING. Adventures in sound. One member of the band is the producer Kramer, whose sound hasn't grabbed me in the past. But here, on his own, mostly, oh boy, it's like Joe Meek meets The Butthole Surfers or something. ("Something" could just as easily be "Faust.")With a girl singer. It's not a collage, it's a freeflowing river. Alex, download this. I would post about it on the Collected Animals board but that is a place that is growing in uselessness at a startling rate. I'm four songs in, it might fall apart, but every time it's seemed to fall apart at the beginning of one song it's found a beautiful place by the end. I would compare the experience of listening to this to the new Akron/Family record, "Love Is Simple" for the first time.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I've been working at the Capitol Theater for the last two years. Half the time I've spent in Olympia, and my involvement was probably the thing that sold me on Olympia. A couple of months ago, the guy who hired me, in a volunteer capacity, and taught me how to be a projectionist, was fired. I liked him a lot, but other people found him eminently disagreeable.

When this happened I felt weird and stunned. I don't think I had any idea how to process it. Luckily, the guy who told me that Jeff was fired followed this up immediately with talk of a strike. Which gave me a context.

After the meeting amongst all the projectionists about a strike, I thought about the idea that if I were the fired party, I would leave town. He was going through a brutal divorce, and then got fired, but got a chunk of money to prevent him from suing. If that were me, I would go on to new adventures. Probably I think this because it is that this guy is the lens through which I view the Olympia Film Society, and Olympia by extension.

He didn't do that, he stayed around, and we had a strike for a while. Over the course of the meetings, it became articulated that the projectionist community and some other people felt really alienated from the Film Society, and this was kind of a dealbreaker. It wasn't about the firing- although that was my reasoning behind the strike, as I viewed it as a labor issue- it became symbolic of general malaise. Every month that passed without a single good movie playing had been problematic as well for volunteers that were essentially paid in passes to see movies they didn't want to see. The decision was made to try to amend the Film Society's bylaws that the Board Of Directors be elected by members, rather than the Board being a self-electing, and thus autocratic, body.

The paperwork and petitions went through and a meeting was held. In a lot of ways, the spectre of that firing loomed large. So large, actually, that the rather reasonable idea of having the board be elected didn't pass. (There was a second part, that the board by immediately dissolved and a new one elected, which I understand people's hesitation about.)

This infuriated me, as I sat in the theater. People clapped as the decision for there not to be voting passed. When a woman got up to call bullshit, she was booed and told it was over. I looked around, wondering "God, who are these fucking assholes?" and I saw one former professor of mine who I didn't get along with, and who kicked me out of the class.

I kind of freaked the fuck out, existential-crisis-ly speaking. This thing that I gave a large chunk of my time over to, that I liked, and that made me like Olympia, was in the hands of the same assholes that represented everything I didn't like about Evergreen.

I just kept on thinking "evil will prevail." This was last Saturday.

It's worth pointing out that the majority of people who voted voted for a democratically-elected board. But not the two-thirds needed to change the bylaws. It lost by nine votes. I wasn't there in time for the vote, because I had to work. I didn't know I could just drop off my vote in advance, or something. I thought that people had to sit through the whole meeting, and hear both sides of the issue, etc. I was wrong, a lot of people dropped off their votes, some without knowing the issue, and then left.

Since then, a lot of people I liked who worked for the Film Society have quit. I don't think they're leaving Olympia. I spent an hour talking to someone who's actually a paid staff member, who was thinking about quitting not because of the election- they didn't have a personal stake in the race- but because their work is a lot harder if a lot of volunteers quit. She said that if she quit the Film Society job, she would probably also have to leave Olympia.

That conversation and others kind of lead me in the direction of not quitting the Film Society, even though it seems like it might get shittier in terms of people I deal with there. I really can't understate that community element, or how alienating it was when the election went the way it did. Hypothetically, it would be like me liking Olympia partly because of how liberal it is, and then finding out that the majority of people who lived there voted for Bush, because the liberals are actually in the minority, and just make up the overwhelming percentage of people I deal with on a regular basis. Finding out that it's not the people you deal with on a regular basis who make the decisions, but a group that might as well be called a cabal.

The word "cabal" was kind of thrown in the direction of my projectionist clique as well in our campaign. It struck me as really weird, but I guess we are that alienated. It's like being told that the group of people you see are the time are "hipsters" and are actually very exclusionary. Or that they're elitist in their taste, even though it seems to you that you like all the same things and it's all very popular. It's a paradigm shift. Only, you know, I think those people are wrong, who are throwing these terms around. I don't think they know what they're talking about, but they're maybe not aided by the people in question being kind of inarticulate geeks.

Maybe my feeling of wanting to quit is adolescent and unprofessional. I will concede that on the basis of that being the Film Society I want to be a part of. I want it messy and fun and not trying to compete in a capitalist market. The idea of "unprofessionalism" makes me feel like I'm not a volunteer for an arts organization, but free labor for some kind of bastard corporate machine that's nominally a non-profit.

I feel really conflicted about it. I definitely feel like the bastards won. I feel impotent and disenfranchised. The conflict comes in when questioning what to do when that's the way you feel about a thing.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Evil will prevail.

There are two things I want to write about, one important, one unimportant, both infuriating to me right now.

Okay, most unimportant thing first. The bigger thing will get a meatier post.

My roommates insisted on a party. I pitched a theme- Cat burglars. Everyone comes dressed in black, climbs in through the window, the lights are off, people bring their own flashlights.

Flash forward to now: What is this bullshit electroclash.

Backtrack to one roommate inviting the most people, me inviting no one.

Her friends have cat faces painted on. They are playing shitty electroclash. Before this was the Spice Girls. It all makes me want to get into the goddamn fetal position. If this were someone else's house, I would leave right now.

I did know this would happen.

The other more important thing I will write about in my next post is the


reason why I really wish there was a party tonight, I could very much get drunk and dance and be around my friends. But this thing is a fucking disaster. I need to move. I think I'm going to go to the woods right now and bring a fucking book.

EDIT: I went to the library and read Gary Panter's Cola Madnes, and when I came back I find out that the exact same songs are playing. One mix CD, on a loop.

Monday, October 08, 2007

This is a note to myself, posted in public so as to make me feel more accountable to it. The notes about waking up early like an adult would do were always kept pretty private, and so they are easier to ignore.

So on this message board that I post on that is kind of turning to shit, there was a thread about clothes. At first, the idea of thrift stores was brought up, and then it was lamented "oh man it's all about thrift stores these days, all these debutantes shop there now, I blame the Olsen twins, and now the prices are going up and it sucks." Then the idea of making your own clothes with silkscreening came up. This was also lamented as being in fashion right now. This is a music message board, for a band that's blowing up, (this is kind of what's turning the board to shit) but not as much as The Shins or something. I mention The Shins because they were a band I was into in high school and now feel weird and territorial about. I actually started to feel weird about pretty much all music since I moved to Olympia- I'm sure I've blogged about that feeling, where I realized that the private thing I had was actually a social thing for most people, and I had a different context that felt more pure to me.

Maybe it helps that the last Shins album wasn't so good that allows me to come to the conclusion I am getting to.

Fuck it, eyes open, okay, it's not weird and awkward. It's life, it's just part of the weird awkwardness that is life. But that's no reason to be territorial about it. No reason to be self-sabotaging, which is what I've been doing since high school at least. This isn't to say I'm going to embrace all the stupid modern bullshit that accompanies the things I like in this day and age. It's just meant to signify going for it, being a weirdo, with the understanding that at some point in the near future what I like and what the world likes will probably intersect in a way that will actually be advantageous to me. This is probably presumptuous. I'm not saying it will happen. But it's an option that I should be aware of, probably.

Another note, to the public at large: It seems like L.A. is becoming a thing. Not in terms of Hollywood, or that there are people I know who live there, but this scene I'm aware of from the blog for Sammy Harkham's store Family and ANP Quarterly. This could also be connected to Arthur magazine, and the venue The Smell. That seems interesting to me. Moreso because of the whole Hollywood and friends of mine thing, although I think it's pitched at this "art" level that those people don't give a shit about. There's also the whole Upright Citizen's Brigade theater thing, and the fact that the Comedy Death-Ray people are getting a TV show is very exciting. Not to say that I will move there or anything, but I'm aware of it's thing-ness and am pleased in the way I am whenever I get the idea that something is a thing.

Word through the wire is that the future trend is weird psychedelia. This is from a Grant Morrison interview in Arthur, and also elsewhere, a general "these things run in cycles, this is what's next" type of prediction that I was excited about when I read it in 2004 I think and that seems like it actually is a thing that's blooming, as I listen to Animal Collective shows being broadcast on NPR. I've been here all my life dudes, but maybe now is the time to start investing in land, art-wise, if my meaning can be gleaned.

(It was pretty cool in the new Arthur when the woods of Olympia were discussed in the C & D music column.)

All this means is all it's always meant, that I should make more movies and write more books or whatever. Be less self-defeating, and less inert. Part of that includes waking up early, fine, so be it. The alarm is set.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I know I write about Shary Boyle all the time, but she just updated her site with a bunch of new drawings and exhibition photos, and the announcement that she'll have the back cover and two pages in the next Kramers Ergot, and these are all very exciting things. The new drawings have worked in space and planets, expanding the range of the alternate worlds that were previously largely occupied by human bodies in the "Porcelain Fantasy" series. This is more geology than porcelain, and its reaching towards the cosmic.

The Kramers thing looks great, but next year will also bring a monograph called "Otherworld Uprising" which I think will probably be very much a thing as well. Seriously: My favorite contemporary visual artist.

Blogger is being weird about links right now, but: