Thursday, November 18, 2010

Quotes To Take Seriously. (Internet = Death)

People commonly use the word "procrastination" to describe what they do on the Internet. It seems to me too mild to describe what's happening as merely not-doing-work. We don't call it procrastination when someone gets drunk instead of working
Paul Graham

It’s hard not to think “death drive” every time I go on the internet. Opening Safari is an actively destructive decision. I am asking that consciousness be taken away from me. Like the lost time between leaving a party drunk and materializing somehow at your front door, the internet robs you of a day you can visit recursively or even remember.
Alice Gregory

I dont generally go in for hysterical visions of technology, but when you start to think about it, the ubiquity of screens, the incessant escape from one place into another, the secret passageway of iPhones and BlackBerries, the glazed, ubiquitous expression, I-am-here-but-I-am-not-here, is a little unseemly. Say your train of thought, as you are reading to your baby, goes something like this: Goodnight moon. Goodnight cow jumping over the moon. J.Crew summer sale 20% off, can you turn in the piece by Friday? Apologies, xx, should we meet at 6:00 at your place? Goodnight bears. Goodnight chairs. This moment suddenly seems to contain within it the entire decline and fall of civilisation...
Katie Roiphe

Myself, I’ve set up a second computer, devoid of internet, for my fiction-writing. That’s to say, I took an expensive Mac and turned it back into a typewriter. (You should imagine my computer set-up guy’s consternation when I insisted he drag the internet function out of the thing entirely. “I can just hide it from you,” he said. “No,” I told him, “I don’t want to know it’s in there somewhere.”)
Jonathan Lethem

"What you have to do," he explained, "is you plug in an Ethernet cable with superglue, and then you saw the little head off it."
Jonathan Franzen

If you forget what you’re doing with your mind, almost inevitably you also forget what you’re doing with your body.
Sakyong Mipham

Friday, October 29, 2010


The impulse to recount Billy stories was/is widespread. Initial responses below.

It's a more ordinary, appropriate, boring world now. But less so since he made a huge positive contribution to so many lives, mine included.

Sad news. What a fun, sweet, complicated guy. Unique dance moves..! RT @SamSifton Billy Ruane died last night, 52.

I remember when I was leaving Boston he showed up at Ginza after hours to give me a fistful of Roger Miller CDs.

I have a desert island list of films he recommended--all melancholy arthouse. This he scrawled out after some wild punk show of course.

I remember Billy Ruane showing up onstage at Helldorado, early days, having just seen Cocksucker Blues and regaling us with his cover version I remember him eating whole meals during matinees at Brattle in the 80's. #BillyRuane #BillyRuane That DANCE MOVE. I remember when audience was sittting on the floor like hippies. Only he was dancing. Trenchcoat. Beer Bottle.

#BillyRuane Fuck. No one expected that guy to live forever when he was in his 30's but he looked great as a 50 yr old guy so just perhaps..

Billy Ruane invades this video halfway through. DISRUPTIVE. ENTHUSIAST. /c4lukw

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This Blog Has Officially Gone Fishing

Tweeted this today:
Going on a social media break til after 5771/Rosh Hashanah. Reach out to me via email/ /

Of course, I haven't used this blog in months. Social media killed it. The whole notion of documenting my responses to art and life here seemed so long-winded and archaic--and the immediacy of Twitter seemed to enbolden me to carry on in some less artificial voice. At first, at least.

This blog is a pretty solid archive/catalogue of my obsessive interests. Perhaps in 5771, post Rosh Hashanah it will make sense to continue it in this or another form.

For now, there's more than enough to last through the end of 5770.

Here's one of my first entries to go out on:

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Rant on Rebuilding my Studio

I want to be like Hokusai, who changed his name & moved to a fresh new studio & took up a new artistic identity at the same time. Instead I would buy cats (if I weren't so allergic) so that the police could find something living in my apt. among the newspaper clippings when I die here.

I am engaged in a project I call "rebuilding my studio". Once I named it, the physical difficulties all seemed to make sense. I am supposedly purging my supplies, reference material, decoration and equipment. Each category of CRAP has its own box with a LARGE BLACK MARKERED description so I can wrap my head around it. Like "DRAWING MATERIALS" "BIKE STUFF".

Considering that after 8 years of living here, I can't find the kind of erasers I use in a shelf containing boxes of bicycle supplies that I fantasized using, mixed with a kind ofpaint I used for a project 5 years ago this is probably a good idea.

Most of what I need I can fit into a decent sized backpack. What IS all this STUFF?

Anyway the "desired outcome" is "A functional studio workspace I enjoy working in with adequate and clear storage for supplies I need, archive completed work, accessible storage for related and front burner work-in-progress." (My mission statement on this motherfucker.)

This is all a delusion. At some point I will just get fed up with interior decorating my soul and just flail out and make new stuff again until I find myself backed up against the wall of all the old crap (some of which is the stuff I have been making) and, gasping for air, begin to repeat the whole activity again.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Last Night A Tshirt Vendor Saved My Life

America's Most Beloved Silkscreen Fiend modelling a shirt we did in less than 24 hrs. It was my uniform for the "black tie" event at Lincoln Center thrown by Coca Cola, Delta Airlines, The Visa Company and Purveyors of Gourmet Frozen Pizza.

I had some great Moscofilero and (absolutely sincerely) the greatest tuna sandwiches I have ever had in my life.

Someone took a picture of me wearing this under a suit walking a red carpet. With my Santo mask.
Yeah, I mean it. Those "quality of life" moves that you hear about which thin the herd of street vendors could easily have left us with a fireball on 42nd St on a Saturday night. As Jane Jacobs said in another context: "keep your eyes on the street".

Friday, April 30, 2010


"Organizationally, we were committed to to a few basic principles: Treat everyone with as much respect as he deserves (and no more), Avoid people who appeal to our vanity or ambition (they always have an angle), Operate as much as possible apart from the "music scene" (which was never our stomping ground), and Take no shit from anyone in the process."


Friday, April 23, 2010

Should I Drive An XKE or a Tractor?

No good links to The Young Adults "It's A Complex World". Anyway, an utterly obscure reference. YouTube has this.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bukowski Stealth Tribute Header

I think Buk wd like the idea of a tribute page in a bar. Whether Terroir|Tribeca is too fancy to have earned his appreciation we will never know. We do know that when he died, the last bar at which he was a regular cancelled/reduced their riesling order since it was his constant consumption of the stuff that kept inventory moving.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Saul Bellow is my Co Pilot


"It would not be practical for her to hate herself. Luckily, God sends a substitute, a husband. "
— Saul Bellow (Herzog)

Twitter Ate My Blog, Then Had My Mind For Dessert

Twitter is reenacting the development of tech & communication but at jump cut speed. We, the participants, are experiencing this meta evolution in dizzying fashion. Even Google and Facebook's respective arcs of development seem normal and measured by comparison.

The history of film was an accelerated version of the history of painting--and with painting as a model that medium accelerated pretty wildly. But even with Eisenstein, Riefenstal and other formal innovators it still took a few decades to get to Godard. There may have been other formalists I am not thinking of but JL Godard seems to represent the meta-moment, when narrative conventions are well enough understood to be truncated. The editing form also becomes part of the content. Literally "cut to the chase".

The evolution from the days of your Geocities site to your carefully designed & manicured Home page to a blog like this one to, to, to: 140 characters and being at a benzedrine fueled cocktail party 24/7 seems to have happened in the space between the frames.

I haven't posted to this blog for awhile and honestly it seemed like a kind of (outmoded)scrapbooking activity which might or might not address the question of "what am I looking at or thinking about" but it was never clear if I was really communicating or just writing a Dear Diary in public.

The nutty-as-a-fruitcake feedback loop of Twitter lets me know my ideas were heard in some fashion. Perhaps closer to brainstorming at a fun party with a lot of slightly drunk & hyped up smart people. I also think years of working in restaurants prepared me for the multithreaded bullshit sessions, sparring, goofing off and, lately, pretty interesting moments of connection with others.

At the same time, is it intoxication that leads to further insight or am I just turning into a drunk? #Infohaulism. Hrrm.

The metaphor of alcohol seems appropriate in many ways. Infohaulism is much like alcholism. As an occasional purveyor of webstuff for clients I have felt like an Alcoholic Sommelier of Information (tm). It's the hard stuff and I not only give out a tasting glass of the latest toys, tools and concepts. I am hitting my own private stock but my vices are not limited to boutiques. Infowise, I gleefully devour Sterno as well as Burgundy for breakfast often side by side. Twitter gave me a place to put all of that monkey-minded surfing, reading, clicking. Even worse, I got sugar pellets of approval at irregular intervals to reinforce my shitty habits. (Not my insight, I will attribute when I remember)

Am I preparing a yummy meal that will also sustain or (as Merlin The Mann said recently) am I just manufacturing potato chips all day and all night? Not even the cool kind, it often feels like we are mechanically, obsessively forcefeeding one another car trunkfuls of rotten Pringles.

The "We Were Promised Jetpacks" side of this: all the cool toys have been appropriated by businessman douchebag types. Is the ecology of Twitter somehow resistant to being digested this way b/c it empowers Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions graduates of Al Jaffee University? Or are we doing Satan's work for him by developing such advanced Weapons Of Mass Distraction?

Enough for the moment.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Great Interview with Berkley Breathed

Read the whole thing.

Vice: I’m curious as to how the writing process for Bloom County worked. Did you always know where you were heading, or was there an element of discovery as you wrote? Did you think in terms of seasons, sort of like television writing?
Berkeley Breathed:
Your question presumes a reality so distant from the experience that any questions about process are meaningless—but perfectly reasonable. The problem is that you’re asking a guy who didn’t think of any individual strip or story line longer than it takes to read this sentence. I drew in a manic, sweat-flinging state of deadline panic EVERY week. Not most weeks. EVERY week. For ten years. I drew what occurred to me as I stared at the same blank strips I’d been watching for six days, and only because the plane that would deliver them to my syndicate editor was due to take off at 5:30 AM, about seven hours from that moment.

This is not how a comic strip should be drawn. This is not how ANY deadline should be handled by any reasonable, conscientious, grown-up professional. But as I wasn’t, they weren’t. The flip side of that confessional coin is that Bloom County would not have been what it was—whatever it was—if I’d been that thing I just described. It was art and writing born of chaos. It was the poison the madness needed. The new book—with all the chaos intact and not edited out, as it was in books before—shows that rather intriguingly.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Vic Chesnutt

I saw Vic Chesnutt open for Jonathan Richman a few times, most notably last summer when he closed with this song-which I think is terrific, blunt, real and funny.

(Via @bradleysalmanac) From @KristinHersh a donation page for those who would like to help Vic Chesnutt's family and some words about Vic.

Friday, January 08, 2010

I like animated subway maps of nyc, tiled.



Click here to see it with the blinking subway map. I just don't have time to figure out how to embed a webpage in a blog entry.
Yes, I have a looming deadline, why do you ask?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Churchill: Role Model or What?

This documentary was invigorating in many ways. Witness the pure power of FDR's Reality Distortion Field--I mean, "lend-lease" is insanely great. Churchill's "regimen" and carefully designed schedule even better.

(Churchill) said this siesta, a habit gained in Cuba, allowed him to work 1 1/2 days in every 24 hours.

From American Experience The Presidents: FDR

Doris Kearns Goodwin: When Churchill came, it was like a cyclone that hit the White House. His whole schedule was totally out of whack with Roosevelt's. He, of course, loved to stay up late at night, drinking, smoking cigars, and Roosevelt would sit there with him until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, smoking cigars.

Alonzo Fields: Before breakfast, he preferred a tumbler of sherry and he would have that as his eye-opener. For lunch, he started drinking scotch and soda and he'd drink scotch and soda until he'd take a nap. And at dinner, he had to have his champagne and 90-year-old brandy. Then he would go to work.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Minimalist Flyer Style Web Page

Going to participate in an improvised exhibit of work on paper with David Shaw's Brooklyn20s theater group (Yeah. I know. ManhattanMiddleAgedAsDirt.Com is my own personal site...)

Uber minimalist web page in the style of a flyer is here. More TK.