Monday, March 06, 2006

i've been riding with the ghost


hello my pets.

Where have I been, what's been going on? You never blog, you never call.

It's not important, really. I've been sleeping, okay? Nodding off into my lap between one corner of the Internet and this corner of "The Daily Show."

Forgive the inflammatory rhetoric, although, really, we haven't approached the matches yet. But I can feel it coming in the post. These things happen when exposed to a copy of 'Adbusters,' spine bent and left, incongruously, on a counter inside the gray concrete walls of a gray concrete office building that's a gray concrete feather in the cap of a gray concrete media conglomerate. This is where I work.

Things move slowly there. People move slowly, change moves slowly (if it bothers to get out of its chair at all). It's not often terribly offensive, it's better than a lot of places (sadly) but never ideal, and everyone wants Ideal. Nothing changes except the time, and that moves quickly. Like it or not. Hey look, a magazine. You see?

Anyway, yeah, Adbusters. No one within the sound of my encoded voice, I'd hope, is completely unaware of their wares and their philosophy. Good people, surely. I was, at least in an intimate capacity, unaware up to this point. Asleep. Certainly I'd seen their past issues, their provocative political-type covers, their self-explanatory name. "Yes. I get it. You hate ads, and you are working to stop them. "Bust" them, as it were. It's right there in bold sans serif and what a wonderful job you're doing, Ray Parker Jr."

The cynicism comes easily, you see. I am a target market.

I knew what they were against, sure, the proliferation of corporate monoliths and shareholder greed, the orange, barbed-tail silhouettes walking straight off the dvd box. Noble work, that. And it's all done with an angle toward activism and creativity that I can appreciate, well thought out poems and essays. It's a wonder I hadn't picked them up before with my lefty distaste for the current regime, the current social climate, the current proliferation of news masquerading as entertainment and distraction masquerading as news, and so on.

But I didn't.

I always walked by it, whether in Borders or, hopefully, in my Local Independent Bookseller, when I could be in the neighborhood. I never learned much beyond how expensive the magazine was to take home, and how expensive those previously described ideals must have been. Instead I stepped to the left and leafed through Paste, Stop Smiling, Magnet, any number of music magazines that feed my addiction, the collector in me searching for what's new out there to hear, what's eager to become my New Favourite (and yes, I think the 'u' is appropriate). I heard many things, i check this space (this=the internet) to learn more. I listen. I evaluate. I stretch my perceptions. I consume.

I won't stop. Forty-five minutes with a randomly placed magazine isn't about to fix that. I'm too far gone.

But,

I'm at a crossroads. It's not necessarily Adbusters-based, but it relates, I think. Before me sits a choice, all chimney orange and halloween red (as a friend might say). One is my home, my comforts, my gray concrete. My simple life of least resistance. My ability to enjoy the company of my loved ones as well as certain things I've grown accustomed to, which is all tied in with turning part of me off for seven to 9 hours a day in the hopes I can turn it back on again when i'm done. Just don't touch me, don't stain my clothes and we'll be all right. Three minutes or six years, I'll give you my time you give me my kibble, are we clear? And when we're done I'll quietly take my seat and see you tomorrow, deal? Deal.

On the other path, mystery. Potential to reach my own, yeah, potential, but a complete uncomfortable unknown. Fear, terror, discomfort and, yeah, rain. Lots of that. So, two choices, sun on one side, rain on the other. Safety over here, danger, peril and perhaps failure over there. Here I have the Johnny Olsen new car. There I have cheaper beer, tighter budgets and a pressing of the reset button, a return to start from all that's among the palm trees. On my/our own, away from the nest in figurative and, yeah, literal senses. Which way do I go, boss? Which way do I go. Safety? Stability? Insecurity? Rain? Shine?

Two songs, no wait, three songs. One's tied in with the subject, Mr Jason Molina doing his thing in a way that makes me happy. I've been told I grew up with him, or at least met him on the soccer fields of northeast Ohio when we were small. Who knows if it's true...you can't trust a writer. But you can trust a big guitar and a big voice raining down from the rafters like Neil Young in a dirigible.

One half I'm gonna use, to pay this band. The other half i'm saving...'cause I'm going to owe 'em.

"John Henry Split My Heart," by Songs: Ohia

Two more songs. One a velvet-gloved battle cry, maybe, one I don't think I'll ever mean. The other the sound of a slow search. I'm not saying the first, but I'm feeling the second. Sad, hopeful, beautiful, scared, uncertain. You have to give to get, so they say, and I've been devoting too much time to one side of the column. One way or the other, this state or the next, that has to change. I'll eat leather, I'll wear steak, but the gray concrete will never be safe, no matter how sturdy it seems.

"California," by Rogue Wave.
"S," by Labradford.



* Sorry about the mp4s here and there, it's all being done in the heat of the moment, in the interest of getting things out there while my head's hot and my fingers want to move. You don't like it, let me know, I'll fix it and go with the more universally loved and adored (and less corporately sponsored, I might add, mp3).


These just had to get out there. Welcome back, kids. It's been too long. One a day, that's all i want.

2 Comments:

At 10:36 AM, Blogger August said...

Chris-

Likewise, glad to be here.

Fear, terror, discomfort and, yeah, rain. Well said, and Jesus, it must happening soon. Damn. We're all with you regardless.

How does Molina sound so refreshing and open when he probably hasn't seen sunlight since the nineties?

 
At 11:04 AM, Blogger chris said...

Thanks, cap'n. Yup, Friday's D-Day, as it were. Thanks for keeping up with the ramble.

As for Molina, I have no idea. He completely peaked with 'Magnolia Electric Co.' For some reason he seems to have since put that shiny soaring guitar away for subsequent releases and that's not very smart...

 

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