Sunday, October 30, 2011

Misc: Life, Void

REALITY, October 30 – In the last half of 1993 and first half of 1994, I did very little with my life. I’d moved to the south, to a large house on a block where nothing ever happened. I learned to ride a bike, played a lot of basketball, and watched a lot of MTV. Although I did have a seasonal job around Christmas to pay an old IRS bill, that was my only adult responsibility. Rent was $95. By any possible measure, I was a lazy sack of slob.

Whatever karmic debt I incurred by my year of sloth has now been paid for with the last few months. It’s hard to describe how busy I’ve been, especially because all the projects I’m currently toiling over won’t come to fruition until next year. I can’t sustain this pace, and I feel bad that I’ve had to let some important things slide, like my blog, or hygiene. Last week, for example, I realized I hadn’t bathed or changed my clothes in three days. I did this a lot in 1993 as well, but back then it was because I was too lazy for grooming. This time around I was too busy for grooming. Either way, it was kind of gross.

On Saturday night I took a break. I went to my friend Anthony's house in LA, watched TV, and ate a lot of bad food. I made sure to shower first.

Anthony had the new Void LP on Dischord. I’d been so busy with my life that I’d forgotten it existed. Last month, I’d considered pitching some magazines about reviewing this as The-Last-CD-I’ll-Ever-Buy type piece, but then it was too late, and doing a review would have necessitated getting a review copy, which would have negated the concept in the first place. Also, I was intimidated to hear it. Many, many times over the last quarter century I’ve stepped into a record store and thought, there’s no new Void record, so why am I here? My bluff had been called, and it felt weird.

It was weird, too, hearing these songs stripped of their scariness. If you watch CNN while listening to their 12-song side of the Dischord Faith/Void split, it will appear that the world is rapidly disintegrating. The demo tracks included on this "new" release, in contrast, were merely sketches, fun - in that junky, generic way of primordial hardcore - but not particularly unique or inspiring. The singer's voice did not yet approximate the Dover clip art of demons and monsters that decorated their LP art (this record just featured an assortment of photos, including one of the singer, sullen in his prom gear). I grew momentarily depressed. This wasn't really a new Void record, because, of course, there can be no new Void record. The drummer has already passed away; someday we will all die. The universe will come and go, but there will never be another Void.

Then we watched “The Jerk” and I felt better again.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New: bugs

THE INTERNET, Oct 5 – New column up, on the bug pit of Uzbekistan. You should read this while you are eating because I would find that funny.

SEMIRELATED: This is the first October I've been able to enjoy as an adult. Those of you with severe arachnophobia know what misery Halloween season can be. Every public space is decorated with garish, monstrous spider decorations. Sometimes those decorations are in places like supermarkets and banks and Laundromats where one's presence is mandatory. If you’re scared of spiders – giant, cartoony, or otherwise - it’s a long, torturous month.

Hypnotherapy has changed all that. I had to buy some Dayquil at Walgreens recently. While I was waiting in line, it took me a moment to realize that I was standing in front of a 2-foot cloth tarantula. This would have caused me acute distress just a year ago. Now it’s an afterthought. Seriously; if you’re someone who suffers from a major phobia, consider hypnotism. Cost less than $500. Changed my life.