Well, here’s the deal folks. Don’t do what I Did. Stalking is illegal in pretty much all states and just about anywhere you go. Even online stalking, which seems harmless, still is bad. Let me explain. It puts the person on the receiving end in an awkward position. They don’t know whether to entertain your interest or simply ignore it. It can be confusing to some. Not only that, it’s weird because it’s observation and observation is gay, apparently (don’t quote me on that, its what I learned as a literature major). All the great writers were gay, they told me. Anyway, if I really wanted to stalk someone, I’d probably get bored within the first half hour because how does it end? Not in any real positive situation I suspect. I mean, romance is a two way street. And stalking is usually one way, so yeah. I’ve solved the mystery. Why do we continue to do it? Well, I don’t know, about of immaturity, boredom and lonlieness. And maybe some regret. Or as Billie Joe ARmstrong would say ” you cant go forcing something if it’s just not right”. I guess I thought it would help me clear my intestinal problems that I’ve been having. Or maybe I thought it would bring me good luck, sort of like astronomical calendars. I hasn’t really brought me much, and most people just smell it on me now. And that’s too bad because I never meant to hurt anyone. As a matter of fact I only meant to say hi, but the person on the other end thought that I was proposing marriage or something. I wouldn’t propose marriage like that. I don’t know how I’d propose marriage, I Guess it would just depend on the circumstances. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I wanted to show that I was active on social media and then casually say what’s up on social media. But the problem was was that I don’t use social media at all. So, I just said fuck it i’ll just favorite one of their tweets. Well, this turned out to be a bad idea because apparently they have quite a large following of other twitter users. In no time at all the mob had diverted their full attention onto me. I felt very unwell as I hate being in the hot seat, even more than I hate watching football or talking about sports in general. I hate it very much but I didn’t quite no how to exit the situation. I’d never really done anything like this before, so I weighed all my options. Well, as soon as I faved them, I knew I’d fucked up. So what I did was I tried to play it off like I was really trying to get into using social media. I started tweeting regularly, about random stuff mostly, but I would retweet politics, weather, sports. Sometimes I would comment on daily journals or what have you. I’d even made a few followers. It all came at a tumultuous time in american political history because as I was firing off mad tweets, Donald Trump was announcing his bid as the republican nominee and I was so entirely confused as to the legitimacy of this announcement that I couldn’t think of anything to do other than watch as the United States of America descended into ‘fake’ apocalyptic sobriety. The American people were as confused as I was, I imagine. Obama needed a successor and the only two options were about as similar in rhetoric as Jon Stewart is to Glen Beck. So, I couldn’t help but pull my hair and bulge my eyes as I witnessed the media, the entire American media, point it’s spotlight directly onto the business mogul turned tv actor that we now call the president of the United States. Anyway, this is old news. He’s since won the election and much in the confusion of it all, many people will eventually lose their health care, homeless populations will rise, low cost labor will soar, the rich will get richer, the poor will get poor, and everyone else will remain in exactly the same tax bracket because we DONT LIVE IN NARNIA. the point I’m trying to make here is that you can call it stalking, you can call it obsessive, or ridiculous, I don’t care what you call it, but I won’t call that maniacal idiot MY PRESIDENT. There I’ve said it. If that makes me a communist, a gay boy, a poor loser, a childless mooch then at least I’ve saved my dignity for the moments that people will actually remember. Life is not a fashion contest. And it sure as hell ain’t a fucking high school dance. And if you think conservatism is good than you can go walk up 10 stairs in your favorite building and take a look in any direction. What saddens me most about conservatives, is that many of them are actually very good conversationalists. They are solid communicators, for this, I will say that. But, as well as know, being a good communicator doesn’t make you an expert on anything. Shit, Hitler was a great communicator (one of the best), Stalin aced his communication exams, Pol Pot, Columbus, Cortez – these guys were all great communctors, and do you know how I know? Because they got exactly what they wanted- no matter how fucked up and strange what they wanted was. Ok so, getting back to conservatism; It buys into an American dream. The American dream is a myth. Sure, you can come to the U.S., start a business and a family. Sure! YES! Hooray! It’s a beautiful thing! But, you’re not gonna get rich. You will never get rich, ever. Do you know why? Because THATS NOT HOW IT WORKS. Do you think the rich people in this country want to share their wealth? would you? – Ok, so there is no point in going around trying to act like one of these rich guys, because that shit just aint gonna happen. So do you know what you should do instead? You should fucking register to vote, and then you should go down to the fucking polls and vote for the person who is gonna tax THAT RICH WHITE ASS. That’s right, tax that asSSSSS. Do you know why we want to tax that RICH WHITE ASS??? BECAUSE that money is gonna come back to us. It’s gonna get me braces, acupuncture, lights in the park; its gonna get your kids computers and gadgets in school. it’s gonna get people paid higher salaries, it’s gonna keep kids out of trouble, its gonna make driving safer, it’s gonna make people happier because they are safer now. We are all living here together, so we might as well work together. No one is above anyone else.
Another weekend is another paradox like soft rock or sweet and sour sauce. ˈper-ə-ˌdäks: “a tenet contrary to received opinion”. Weekends are conversation fodder for people you didn’t hang with. Weekends are also ways to get back at the system that likes to lock you up in an overly air conditioned office building.
Pink’s rock palate recalls a time of coke and alcohol fueled ballads and what I like most about this aesthetic is his sensitivity towards his online audience. It’s like, he understands B2B and P2P entrepreneurship better than I do. I never pirate Pink’s shit. Pink is the singer who made me rethink my pirating habits. And for that I owe him a sock in the gut (probably because I want to see him spit in front of me while hunched over holding his stomach). He’s a pop guru. So when I go to my mom and ask her what she thinks I should do with my life, she replies “anything”. And when I listen to Ariel Pink and think, what kind of girl should I try and sleep with, he strums an F major 7 and sings “any girl in the world, bud”. To which I’m humbled and later frustrated by when she treats me like a piece of meat on a stick.
Oh Ariel, gone are the days of coke and alcohol fueled studio sessions with label execs throwing hundreds in the furnace. For that I offer my sincerest condolences. But when all is said and done, Ariel is the sort of guy who would’ve walked out of the studio too high to even grab his paycheck. So, when Ariel is sitting up in his lonely, wine stained apartment logging in and out of instagram, facebook or whatever app strikes his fancy, what he’s really saying is “I’m sorry I never got to fake a drug habit with my dad while the eagles played on a ghetto blaster- and I’m sorry that all my friends think I’m Sofia Loren in a man’s body.
Does anyone remember late last year when Joe Corre, the son of the Sex Pistols manager burned 5 million British pounds worth of punk memorabilia on the river Thames? Well, in case you missed it, Joe Corre, the son of the Sex Pistols Manager Malcolm Mclaren burned 5 million pounds worth of punk memorabilia. Why did he do it? Sources vary. I would speculate that Joe grew tired of the mythologizing of punk rock music. When was the last good punk band you heard? Probably something from the 70s that you streamed on youtube, in punk fashion. Punk means very little today. The DIY movement was bastardized with diyers who owned pinterests and who bought ad space on blogs. DIY became exactly what punk rejected. But this is no time for irony. The only irony here is that he hadn’t done it sooner. But what I am dying to know is how did punk get mythologized in the first place? I mean, I know green day and I’ve always been a green day fan from the beginning. And in spite of the fact that they’re songs started to bland over time, they messages of the songs only seemed to get more and more punk the further they went. Green day didn’t sell out, punk was too attractive of a genre to let spoil in the piss smelling corner of a dingy nightclub. The idea behind punk was that a bunch of kids who hated their parents and school and simply loved music more than either of those things, could hang out and share similar interests. It was like group dating on tinder but for kids who had sexual fantasies with guitar riffs, skinny jeans and anti-establishment logos. It was a way for the youth to sidestep traditional avenues of art to something that relied solely on the inhibition of young teenagers. Bands like the replacements and the buzzcocks and not to mention, the sex pistols fostered these inhibitions so carefully and delicately that their only method of appeal was through carelessness and recklessness. A punker could only sabotage his mediocre life as an office assistant by doing everything in his power to revile the affections of the ‘office types’ the executives, corporate junkies, investors and businessmen. To wear a suit, was suicide.
Wear the patch, sing the songs and be part of a movement that looks like socialism, but functions like fascism, smells like anti-socialism, but fosters group love and self-empowerment, tastes like piss, but gets you high like heroin, feels like rock, but makes you think like a college boy. Punk needed no understatement, no banners, or logos for the average adult to understand it’s importance. The meaning was unequivocal and self-implied. So when Joe Corre, took a torch to his expensive shirt, what he was really saying was “punk is not a label”. Punk is a belief system. It’s the feeling that you get when the world wraps it’s cold wrinkled fingers around your throat. It’s the feeling that opens your eyes to something that you felt when you were still young and didn’t need an excuse to want to care about people. It’s the feeling when you saw life as it made sense to you, and not as someone else wanted it to appear. Over the years, many have listed punk musicians in their influences list on wikipedia pages and band interviews, but few have actually embodied the term. The true believers, the ones who played with their heart because their brain didn’t know any better, wrote songs for people like me, who just needed someone to tell them that it was okay to not give a shit. Punk said what people needed to hear, whether they liked it or not. Punk gave people hope that the rich white faceless men who ran the country might have a pair of ears, and at the end of those nerve endings, a brain that could add 2 + 2 and get 4. It wasn’t enough for punk to reach teens, but it gave kids the story that they needed to hear. There is no glory in speaking the truth because the truth hurts, and is unpleasant to hear. So now it’s time to four chord out of this bitch because life is short and so is my sex pistols tee.
When I was younger I loved video games. My first console I played on was a SNES at the house of my preschool friend, Brent. Actually, I never got to play because his older brother was playing a single player game, so I just sat and watched engulfed in the barrage of lights and sounds. Video games had a special quality to them. You could have work to do in one reality, and play in another reality all at once. It was like magic in a box. I could sit for hours solving puzzles, defeating enemies or choosing whether to spend the extra cash on a ferry to cross the Colorado river. Plus, games could hold my attention longer than my parents could, or friends for that matter. I could sit in my room and play a game for hours and not notice a thing outside of the 35 x 35 tv sharp tv screen perched on the dresser.
My favorite game was Zelda, that I never did end up beating. Truth be told I got too scared in the forest temple to go any further (a friend of mine later traded Majora’s mask for it which turned out to be much easier to play). From the time I unwrapped the N64 from under the christmas tree in 1996 to the time I plugged in the ps2, I chanced a perfect love affair with the ‘people at nintendo’. Super smash bros, Mario Kart, Banjo Kazooie, Perfect Dark, Golden Eye, Snowboard kids, Tony Hawk, Rampage, Vigilante 8, Wave Racer, you name it, my friends and I played it (but mostly I played it). It brought a science fiction fantasy to gaming that was unlike anything before. Playing pokemon on my gameboy color was one thing, but moving through new worlds with 3 other players talkin’ trash and getting ‘mad bro’ was something entirely different.
The older I got, the more games I played and the saga of multiplayer rivalries, bitter disputes, euphoric victories and the like only developed across multiple technologies, platforms and sofa cushions. Halo LAN parties and coop guitar hero tested my faith as a heterosexual male trying to maintain his relationship with his girlfriend and as the advent of online multiplayer swept into focus, the gaming world changed forever.
I was around 17 or 18 the first time I played online with my friends. (thats a lie). My first experience with online gaming was trying to logon to battle.net to play starcraft with Manny (rest his soul), before my dad got home from work. I don’t remember much of this event, suffice to say that I couldn’t really play multiplayer because my mom, dad and sister all needed the modem for their work. Right around the time Halo 2 came out, we got broadband and I started playing in lobbies with friends from school. This is what I like to call the golden age of online gaming: Halo 2. I don’t know if it was the caliber of players that I met that year, or the fantastic gameplay of Halo 2.
All of these experiences led me to a sort of fascination with multiplayer that continued with the call of duty series. (reader be warned: I don’t want to appear as though I only played video games for multiplayer experience. Hardly the case, I played all types of games). In time, I reforged my love for RPG’s that culminated in defeating the final boss in Final Fantasy X and the game unexpectedly shutting down and deleting every last scrap of saved data that I’d had. (Reader Note: ALWAYS save your progress). In any event, I petered out my video game trance on a bit of a high when I started to make video games of my own.
I’d taken an intro to programming class in college that taught us the basic elements of game programming. The first game I made was an alien spacecraft that the player had to take off and land successfully on a separate landing strip. I was introduced to concepts such as design, classes, methods and so on. I’d tried to program a few other ideas off hand but the fascination with video games I’d found was only skin deep. I simply loved the challenge of becoming good. I grew so fond of it in fact that my enthusiasm spread into other games like chess and games for the PC. Gaming consumed my life and it was fun.
But something was missing. Over all the time spent playing games, all the opponents desecrated, all the noobs massacred, I began to notice that the kick in multiplayer games was beginning to go away. I couldn’t help but think of times spent competing against my friends on first gen games as I heard the click of their controllers just feet away and as we both experienced the anticipation of the contest. It was simply incomparable to playing a faceless opponent. It didn’t matter if your friends were there when you were playing online, the fun came from playing your friend in a battle of skill, wit and sportsmanship. The best opponents stayed upbeat throughout the game, laughing vividly at defeat or parading a modest smile in victory. The best opponents knew their limitations, their weaknesses and knew how to turn the tide of the game with a simple gesture or exclamation.
I relish all of these experiences because they take me back to when I was just a small boy. I would sit in my friends room as we played ape escape on the ps1 and took turns getting as far as we could. Or staying up all night playing zelda, taking turns: one on the sticks and one reading off the walkthrough guide. Or 4 v 4 Halo Lan parties where the rivalry would subsist at the lunch tables well into the week.
“So” I asked myself late one night staring off into my bedroom ceiling where a particular water stain had formed what looked to be a pokeball, “what’s changed?”
I had no answer. I could only assume that gaming had just gone a different route. That, 90% of gamemakers, guys just like me who grew up on the same games that I’d grown up on, or that had played with friends the same way I’d had, had just taken a different stance.
I felt hopeless. Sure, Call of Duty was fun, but it wasn’t Halo fun or Zelda fun. I thought about getting a Wii, but I didn’t really feel like waving a wand around; I like sticks! So, I had to suggest a new theory. That games were losing their emotional drive. Sure, this seems like a lot to take in, but it’s really quite simple. Gone were the days of underground gaming fandom: Gaming had gone mainstream.
The thought continues to send shudders down my spine.
“But I thought gaming was already mainstream”, the tiny voice inside my head blurts out.
I don’t know when it happened, but gaming became mainstream. Gaming in the 90’s was like an eminem concert. Sure eminem is massively popular, but he has an intensely loyal fan base. You ever met an eminem fan? I rest my case.
Gaming was a boys game, in the same way that make-up is a girls game. Boys got together and played video games. Girls got together and read seventeen and applied makeup.
So, why did gaming go mainstream, and what did this mean to gaming? Well, gaming originally relied on relatively simple technology, you had 8 bit or 16 bit processors, until N64 which had, well, 64 bits under the hood, but once the gaming industry figured out that you could run games on even better tech, the shit hit the fan! Suddenly gaming became the cute little kid who dressed up as a flower for halloween when everybody else dressed up as something villainous. The bee gamers such as I made migrations as normal, but suddenly beekeepers with their end of year bonuses and corporate incentives came to join the party. With no regard for the color in the petals, the beekeepers snatched the flower, picked it of its natural beauty and tossed it aside as if to announce some kind of self imposed rebellion. I say bollocks! On this behavior.
But I digress. The new consoles were chiefly capable, astonishing and dare I say sexy. The design was sleek, intimidating and the picture was worth far more than 1,000 words. Of course, this was the “catering” corner of the gaming industry; because the true gamers stuck to their handhelds. But I refused to be marginalized into a handheld device. It was condescending and made me feel small, naturally.
What I pined for was a video game that surpassed all of my wildest expectations. I remember being 11 or so and seeing commercials for a new game and thinking “oh man, this game is gonna be so sick!”, but I was always oddly disappointed. This was obviously a result of me projecting my relationship with my mother onto my gaming habit, but still, something in me wanted to pick apart the game with such dexterity as to rebuild the game myself.
But the games that I internalized and the games that lasted in my cavernous memory were those that instigated a bond between competitors; fostered a beginning. These games were made with the INTENT to provoke surprise, tactic, skill and deception.
I want to make this point exceptionally clear when I say that gaming is in need of emotion. The emotion that we, the gamers want is AWE, SURPRISE, LET DOWN, PRIDE, BETRAYED, INVIGORATED, RELAXATION, ELATION.
Now, I get it, I mean, why drive halfway across town to play a video game when you can log onto xbox live and sit in your recliner eating snacks and garbling nonsense to your friend doing the same thing? Because it’s FUN.
The whole point of video games is to juxtapose an alternate reality with your everyday, ordinary reality. Sharing this alternate reality is great via online communication, but what could be better than sharing both realities at the same time! But, I digress; my point is not to dull you with a vague existential pseudo philosophy but to inspire a confidence in gamemakers that us ‘old time gamers’ are still out there, we still love gaming and we love our friends even more (what little friends we have). And to that end, we still relish the opportunity to beat the guys who slept with our girlfriends in mario kart double dash.
Thanks for reading
Here in san Dia haho you have a wide. Mix of people. Immigrants from far and wide descend upon the desert basin in search of wealth, prosperity and limited natural resources. I’ve chosen today to embark to a little known pocket of Asia aka convoy to find out more about who these people are, what kinds of things do they like, and more importantly, what do they EAT!
So, after perusing the merchandise several times over, I settled on the oils aisle (and sauces). I pulled ‘plum sauce’ from the shelf and examined the contents not to my surprise was mostly plums, however, I was disconcerted with the price tag. I called the clerk over and asked if there were any other plum sauces. He directed me to a separate section where he picked out one that was a few dollars cheaper and one that was contained in a taller bottle. (jar). I thanked him for his service and after he was out of sight I grabbed a bottle of oyster sauce that an older Korean woman had fingered but not added to her cart. Now armed with oyster sauce and chili oil of the sesame variety I left the store.
I chose the chili oil because it was the closest thing to “Mongolian fire oil” that they had. I used to chow on hash browns when I was younger and every now and then would use fire oil for a n extra kick. The sesame oil is obviously used for stir fry, so Ill have to add that to my cooking arsenal at some later date. And there you have it folks, the quest for the best east asian sauces and oils continues!
Angel Olsen, a fan favorite among folk straddlers. A new voice for women of the folk persuasion. She tantalizes the audience and instagram followers with her chicanery and vintage charm. Her short rockabilly bangs and flair for couture fashion. I first heard Angel as I was randomly visiting the jagjaguwar website which I’d discovered upon hearing Jaguar Ma for the first time and was delightfully surprised by the post-modern usage of the term jaguar – a quintessential animal in Mexican folklore and culture. Who can forget the apocalypto scene in which the lead bro escapes his death through cunning and device. It was something out of a James Bond film.
In any event, Angel’s boyish face leapt out at me as if I’d arranged the meeting myself. She sang ‘come on, kiss me, hold me tight’ without a grueling monicker and such that it trickled down the nape of my neck like a drop down a leaf. As she stood on the top of the car with her out-of-date music equipment, I gripped the edge of my realspace PRO office chair and rubbed my fingers through my hair only to repeat the gesture on the bulge of my chin. What finer specimen of women rocker, I thought, “this one is a star”. I call ’em like I see em. How shameful that only now do I have the pretense to give her her due. It must have been the endless repeats of “lights out” her soulful ballad off of her debut album- perhaps the real reason why I’ve come to write this blog post. The song is a simple Johnny Cash Tribute, but sung to a young man whose desires may be unfounded or ill advised. She serenades with the patience and soft spokenness of someone who may have had more than a few run ins with guys like this. I know this girl, I thought.
My first real crush was on a girl just like this, and she never let me forget it. This is a girl who never lets her emotions get the best of her; plays it cool at every stop; She preys on men who are just the opposite. The men who casually stroll in and stroll out. The men who are there one minute, gone the next; the men who pay more attention to their eye-frames than to the scent of the company he keeps. I think it’s fair to say that Angel has taken a backseat in this romantic horror show. But enough about me.
Now, if only I had the spare change to buy myself a nice copy.
I don’t use spotify because it is a bane on the existence of artists everywhere.
Thundercat’s Walk on By is a soft and psychedelic song from his new album, Drunk. Thundercat’s vocals are very soothing as he sings about wanting to get drunk in company as opposed to being alone and combing through his personal cul-de-sacs. The dissonance of the guitar compliments the mood of the lyrics. He is singing from desperation in a world without resolve until he finally realizes that he’s putting his baby on quicksand, and she don’t want to be a part of it. Rotating his eye inwards to catch a glimpse of how he really feels; he’s drunk away half his brain so he relies mostly on his female company to do the thinking for him; and it’s bringing him down, and it’s bringing her down to him because she’s now figured out the truth.
Kendrick’s rhyme is like a lever to turn the personal details into a broader problem that goes around the world and lands back in everyone’s lap. It sounds fragmented and not in line with most of Kendrick’s other flows that have a very clear consistency. One line that evades me is “When the line becomes thin: be a killer or fireman”; There is a lot of angst in this rhyme; I don’t say that to allude to some meta gangster post angst stuff, but to identify a new kind of angst: the angst of a successful rapper who has grown bored of imagery and “hook material” to bend their bones in favor of choppy syntax and non-sequiturs. It’s new, poignant, and certainly catchy and I can’t help but blush severely at the abruptness of the final line !