Dream Dust

Written in hypnagogia.

Transcribed by phone.

To sleep perchance to live.

To have all the experiences that daily Waking Life restricts us from.

To travel to places we cannot afford and that the society will not let us.

To love people we will never get the chance to love because they do not love us.

To hate them with lawless passion.

To rekindle friendships with friends long gone.

To have long-lasting meaningful conversations with the Dead.

To kindle friendships with the Unborn.

To sleep perchance to really live, and make life worth living.

It escapes the daily doldrums and sometimes it’s so much sweeter without the pain, without the discomfort or the embarrassment.

Perchance sleeping isn’t really sleeping at all.

For what is this Waking Life?

Stinking odors from the trash that needs to be taken out, again. The pots and pans on the stove with leftover food in them rotting with more stink. The dishes now need to be washed.

The bug crawling across your chest.

The aching knees that remind you of things falling to pieces.

The Daily Grind of going to a workplace to barely afford your lifestyle no matter how much money they ever give you.

Twenty thousand, fifty thousand, one million, you’ll spend it all. You’ll spend it on everything! You’ll need more. You’ll always run out!

What is daily life?
What is awake?
Is this awake?
Or is that awake?

To sleep is sometimes to be more awake than the zombies I see going about their daily lives.

They’re sleepwalking all day long.

Perchance to sleep may be better than perchance to wake. Dreams are a glory of which we are able to live through them.

You may never fly with those knees but you will soar in your dreams.

You may never love or be loved with what’s in the daily mirror, but you can have it all in Dream Land.

He’ll find you attractive there.
She’ll think you’re irresistible there.
You’ll never fall short in the sack while dreaming in the sack.

You get what you want, you experience pleasures and pain that you never would get the opportunity to otherwise.

You can soar and you can sink in the dreams.

Perchance we’ll see you there when you’re done sleepwalking all day.

Snapchat-2010829528

The Artist D, July 2017

Ahead of the Curve and Off the Cliff

People are creatures of habit. It leaves most creatures very uncomfortable when breaking procedure, the status quo, and routine. You have to be an agent of chaos to live your life on a limb without any habitual addictions. Everybody has got their something.

A recent sweeping example of people addicted to the past is when I hear Trump supporters wanting President Don to get their factory jobs back. This goes for anyone who thinks “that’s the way things have always been” is a valid reason for something to be the way it should remain. We’re all addicted to our schedules and we all love plans. This is not about the GOP, but they do give a lot of great examples when it comes to the way things were versus are. The Grand Old Party, an old school party, continuing to run on the standards of yesterday while refusing the intricacies of today.

People truly can be racist and bigoted nasty creatures, but I think there would be a lot less of that if they were somehow allowed to have what they used to have within the updated structures of the 21st Century. It seems that with change came acceptance, but there also came the removal of their livelihood. As the world became more out and proud their factory jobs died and their white picket fences turned to shit. An unfortunate coincidence?

Maybe they’d be happy to allow us to live our lives the way we choose if only their lives were thriving. But they aren’t thriving. (This is all thinking from within a 21st Century paradigm. To give the bigoted hateful white man his coal mine job back, but keep the current laws and equal rights we have obtained. Then he may be more likely to swallow instead of spit.)

I have watched the whole ordeal and I still listen to the grand old people. They just want their lives back. They want to be able to go off to the factory and come home to a good cooked meal wrapped in cellophane. They want to put the blinders on and line up like sheeple when approaching the steeple each Sunday morning. They want to close the curtains and shove dogma down their children’s throats until their children are old enough to escape. No biggie. Simple requests. Keep it simple and all within the box.

The uncomfortable part is that they have not yet realized their jobs are gone. We don’t do factory work anymore. We have obtained robots to do that. It’s not a bad thing. People could never seem to make my hamburger right anyway. And to anyone’s dismay at being overtaken by the machine, all I can say is “Welcome to the club!”

Being an Internet Pioneer I was among a handful of several thousand who came along first. Anyone who has generally come along to a club first knows how this feels. We lost our Internet to Myspace, then Facebook, and then to the rest of the corporate hounds who messied up our day.

It’s no fun to lay the groundwork and think you’ve setup shop for life only to find out that it’s all just been washed away by progress. The money just started to pour in nicely and then some assholes came along for a piece of my pie. I imagine the old school folks of America feel the same way. They had it nice and set. The streets were lined with clean white houses with a nice big car in every garage. Then the rug got pulled out from under them. Equality was a side effect of technology and therefore they hate it all. Technology took their livelihoods away. Technology, progress, progressives, liberal ideas all happened along the same lines and so they hate it all. I get it! I’m just as pissed off in my own realm.

In the 21st Century progress washes away any trace of foundation faster than ever before. People used to have at least ten to twenty years of stability, but now it’s all gone just right about when you figured out how to work it. Ten years is about six months in Internet time.

Adapt or perish. Perhaps my generation and the generations to proceed are not as shook up by it because it’s almost been our entire lives. It caught me at a time where I was just getting comfortable, but I haven’t been comfortable since. I’ve had to upgrade my knowledge and keep with the times at a rapid pace ever since. Just when you get the latest coding there’s a new code. Just when you figured out the Instagram market you are forced to Snapchat it into oblivion.

For awhile there I felt like the grand old people who just want their lives back. They had it worse than I did. They had decades of normalcy. Everything was fine and then technology eroded their plans. I was about 18 years old when the popularization of technology eroded my life. I didn’t have very long to be set in my nefarious ways. Can you imagine losing grasp after you’ve truly setup shop with a house, some kids, and a “solid” job?

It was most devastating and they haven’t gotten it back since. No wonder this glimmer of hope shaped in the form of old school white picket fence White Man Lifestyles was so appealing. He’ll make their America great again taking it back to when it was great. When the coal mines were booming. When the white picket fences were white. When it was all so simple. Dad went to work, mom stayed home, and there was always a nice fresh chemically treated shirt hanging stiffly in the closet.

As I found out with My Internet and My Lifestyle, you can’t go back. You can’t go home again. You all won’t disconnect from these devices and cable televisions. You will now continue to plod away at the digital circuits for the rest of our lives. To go backward they’d need to nuke it all and start over. And if they did then I’ll bunker down and plant my potatoes, but outside of that I guess we’re all just going to have to keep moving forward. And sooner or later people are going to realize that they are obsolete if they do not figure out that they need to create new positions for themselves in the 21st Century, not old ones. It is no longer a unique concept that to succeed one must diversify. Diversification is now status quo. Adapt or perish.

We are heading towards living in a world where computers overtake all factories, fast food chains, and standard cashier checkout stands. You order your wares online and they are conveniently dropped at your front stoop by a drone. Room service is now delivered via a toaster oven on wheels manifesting a smiley face on a screen. The technology is obliterating the nominal slave labor positions at lightning speed and it is glorious! Yet, people don’t seem to think so. The creatures of habit are frightened and have begun to bang their clubs on the ground in protest. They scream out that they want to stand behind that cash register all day! They picket up and and down that they want to go back down into the dark mines and develop black lung as soon as possible!  They need to go back to the way it was because they have absolutely no idea how they could move forward. That would take thought. That would take planning. That would take responsibility and accountability!

Instead of welcoming the technological age of automation as an escape from their chains, they’re trying desperately to put their chains back on even though the master has left the building. We have been given a damn fine excuse to figure out new and exciting things for everybody to do to make a living. We could live in a world where we say to kids, “There are no simple jobs left, so you better figure out a way to be paid for bringing your personal brilliance to the world.” And the responsible society could figure out ways to pay all the people to do something instead of allowing everyone to scatter like ants on caffeine.

I’m not saying I like it either. It is honestly uncomfortable to diversify your life from start to finish and never feel solid. Nobody likes change and yet that’s what humanity seems best at. It’s so easy to go back because we’ve already been there. Even I would go buy that fax machine and plug my phone back into an answering machine if it meant I had a guarantee in decades of stability. To play the game. To really fake it and play the game. I’d get that matching tie and pocket square, wipe off my eyeliner, and save it all for the closet, if I could so easily just make the money over three martini lunches with The Boys. Steamrolling the less fortunate to build my mansion on their backs. But that’s not going to happen. You don’t get that lifestyle just like I don’t get my 1999 Internet lifestyle back.  We’re all shit out of luck and pushing it forward without a good plan, since no one can decide on anything as we scramble, scramble, scramble.

The Artist D, July 2017

The Artist D, July 2017

Yes & No

I’m so uncomfortable everywhere I go. A lot of my discomfort seems to be the need to warm back up into being a real person. There’s a certain way to act at a job which is actually easier than being in the real world. Everything at work is very scripted for us. The answers to “Do you want to / Would you please / Can you help me out / Will you take the time to …” are all automatic responses crafted due to the relationship with the colleague whom asked the question. This is much easier than reality. Reality puts people on a level playing field.

For example, saying “no” to a colleague is easier because that “no” comes from a place of work culture. I am allowed to say “no” because I am perhaps their boss or I have some kind of seniority which puts me in a position to logically be unable to assist. Generally, I have permission from a pretend hierarchy within a pretend organization to act a certain way, carte blanche.

Until recent years I’ve had very limited personal interaction with the real world. My world was my own and nobody was involved unless I allowed it, like a boss. I did not have local friends asking local favors. I did not have a husband or a wife to consider and was singularly in control of everything I did in my free time, my reality. I could not own a pet animal because they would demand of me food in their bowls and regularly petting. I built a world all my own to meet my demands and escape those of others.

Telling a person “no” in the real world is nothing like telling this to a person in work culture. There are no rules in the real world, or at least there are not supposed to be any rules. When I find myself out there with people I am initially awkward because I am still operating under professional standards.

Perhaps this is best explained by defining what “yes” or “no” actually means in reality. These responses are the result of our actual desires and for me this feels a bit harsh. In the professional world “yes” or “no” are actual fakes. Professionally we are all frauds. I am not cooperating because I want to but because the professional hierarchy tells me if I can or cannot. As most of us should agree we are all at work against our will doing things we would rather not do. If you asked a person if they really wanted to go to work at 7 AM every morning and they were allowed to be honest, the answer would often be “no.” But since we are trapped within a societal requirement in exchange for money the answer is usually “yes.”

Therefore when I find myself finally free from the chains of corporate bondage I am at a loss for words. It takes me days worth of being around real people with real hopes and dreams to remind me that I can now truly speak my mind and make honest choices. It’s learning to walk again after a violent tragedy. Corporate America is a cannibalistic violent tragedy. I think most people sum this up as Social Anxiety. They actually fear the freedom they suddenly feel when left outside of the structure. I do not feel anxious. I just feel confused.

It’s about the true meaning of answering a question. Your friends ask, “How are you?” Your answer is staggered because you have been in the Thunderdome for so long you aren’t sure what your true answer really is. Because your co-workers, colleagues, associates, managers, bosses, and political fuck buddies have asked, “How are you?” all week and you’ve responded with an earnest smile, “I’m great! How are you!?” Because that’s how it’s done in the Thunderdome. That’s the script given from the classes you’ve attended.

What’s worse and really tips this over the edge is that people in professional circumstances actually believe it. They really think you want to be there. They honestly think you’re doing great. They truly believe you like them as a person and want to attend Happy Hour after professionally slaving away for nine hours alongside of them. They believe it, so you believe it and pretty soon it’s the most fake circle jerk you’ve ever involved yourself in.

When becoming free of those chains I am left with a curious wonder about how I am. How am I? How am I really? Well, I do not know because I then realize I’ve been answering myself with the same cheery script. I’m in the circle jerk. I have become my own colleague. So, how am I really, for real? I don’t know. I do not know! It takes days to know. To wake up from the coma of this planet’s customer service epidemic. I’m great. I’m good. I’m well. I am in a rage. I am angry. How are you?

It’s that emotional explosion that happens when you finally cry. To weep if you are not a person who weeps. It’s that thing that happens when you relax and watch a sad movie. That thing when you are really into it and are overtaken with true emotion from this touching film. That moment where there are tears on your face and you are whaling with sound, but you are still disconnected. There is nothing but a feeling of mon capitaine in your head as if he or she was a disconnected observer. Who is crying? Who is whaling with this screaming sad rage? T’is not I. T’is the body I inhabit. I am fine. “I’m great! How are you?!”

To tell a person “no” in reality actually holds water. It actually means “no.” That’s a “no” from me, the real me, the person I think I am. No, I do not want to do that. No, I actually do not want to. And that is strong. That is unscripted. Maybe this is why rapists think “no” means “yes,” because in corporate America it actually does!

To actually say it and mean it is so out of style. To not say it because it’s what people say or do. That is an individual making a decision whether it’s in response to grabbing a cheeseburger with a friend or helping them load the U-Haul van for their move. That is a decision! That is terrifying because it means truth between human beings!

Whether it is “yes” or “no” it is sharing truth and we are not as used to that as we used to be. It’s rather ironic that we seem to live in a world that is more rude today than ever before. You’d think more people told the truth and hurt those feelings more now than ever. At the same time it doesn’t. It feels more fake now than ever. Perhaps because it’s all very black and white. There is less room for gray in a world which demands more gray by law. There are 58 gender options on Facebook and people are more unhappy with their labels than ever before. We are either too honest or too fake. The customer service is not earnest. It never quite was, but it is less now than ever before. It’s just a script. It’s just brainwashing.

How are you? I don’t fucking know. Do you really care? Let’s go get a coffee and talk it over. Let’s run off under the waterfall to make real decisions with each other. Let’s decide if we really want to get a cheeseburger or let’s be big about it if one of us honestly hates cheeseburgers. Love me for my erratic emotional behavior and enjoy the unscripted mind. Let’s shake ourselves out of the scripted choke hold and remember what “yes” and “no” really mean.

The Artist D, May 2017

The Artist D, May 2017

She Lay Dying

She sits and waits on the sofa that has harbored many moments. Her eyes stare blankly at the walls, the television, and the family. She lay watching with a stomach distended and skin turned yellow from failures. The body has been wracked with disease. Dis ease. A cancerous cancer.

She’s waiting now and her eyes tell me she’s questioning. Is she questioning? A life slowly set to rewind like a pencil in an old school cassette tape. Her life was full with every moment lived. A loving relationship that lasted forever. Two competent and grown children. Many successful careers under the belt providing for a family, a home, cars, boats, and adventures.

But she’s staring now because the moments have passed. The only moment is now and what has happened before is a flash in memory. She’s not eating anymore. She’s done with eating. She will not be returning to the table.

An extra decade tacked on by modern medicine. An extra stretch of life fulfilled thanks to science. The regularity of being microwaved, injected, spliced, and diced has held the body together for another round.

A full life. Like a lot of lives. Filled with stuff. There’s lots of stuff, but it all ends the same. It all ends. Some of us get to stare, to wind down, to watch the garbage decompose while we are still within it. So, those who can now stare at all that is. And they wonder how, what, why, what for?

This tiny little life. This little stretch of road filled with jumping and jiving. The race to get it all done before we find ourselves on the sofa as we turn yellow and fall to pieces. To await the next text message from Mr. Death.

She stares in wonder and in agony. Or is that just us? We never know what it’s like until it’s just us. Maybe she’s happy. Maybe she’s content. Perhaps she’s come to peace. After all, modern medicine provided the time to write the final chapter in full with no questions asked. A lot of people don’t get that chance. There isn’t always a final chapter.

So, maybe it’s just us watching and having the harder time. As death is far harder on those who are left than those who have left.

Top of the Mountain

On the Mountaintop, by The Artist D, February 2017

Youthquake

We are always sixteen and I am not much better than He. I got locked into a certain style of step somewhere around the age of 15. That’s when I was engraved.

I found me between 15 to 17 years and have been working on Him, Her, and It ever since.

Some people grow up. Some people stay too young at heart. I know some fellows who have a baseline of about 8 years old as they head into their 60’s. I am no better. I have remained a teenager. My baseline is angsty teen. I am in love with being against the Lemmings.

The other day I was hiking down a steep cliff in the woods. I wanted to get down to the furiously rushing river beneath. It was a fenced off area where people aren’t supposed to go. There were all of these deterrents at the top. I saw a fence, some wire, big yellow pointy signs with stick figures in peril. All indicators which translate to, “Try me.”

I carefully climbed down the embankment, strategically choosing each foothold. While I did this some passersby stopped to observe. They too saw my goal of rushing river water down below. Once I safely got to the bottom I sat on a rock to do what my angsty internal teen loves to do. I sat and thought.

As I sat and thought about thinking I eventually heard a screaming panic coming from behind me. The people who were watching at the top were now tumbling downward to the bottom.

“Oh no. My ankle!” The Lemming screamed.

You may better understand me if you were ever fortunate enough to play the Lemmings game on 3.5″ floppy disc (Lemmings © PSYGNOSIS 1991). The computer game where you lead adorably cute piles of green-haired Lemmings to their death off steep cliffs.

I calmly observed the pile of tourists who now lay at the base of the cliff rubbing their ankles and emptying dirt out of their shoes. Battered and bruised they picked themselves back up to complete taking selfies for Instagram.

This is what I am against. They go to work. They go to school. They take selfies. They climb unstrategically. They have no problem dedicating 92.5% of their entire existence to an algebraic equation which has a lot of factors all equaling zero.

This is why I am always sixteen. I do not prescribe to that and I will never accept it as the right thing, even if it is a thing I have to do. I’ll do your thing, but I don’t have to like it.

They accept it and go with the flow. They sign up for adulthood and I run the other way. They buy a V-Neck Shirt while I get a pair of scissors to make my own. They tumble while I strategically climb downward.

My baseline is sixteen. My brain is set to punk. It is the fountain of youth. I love being petty. I adore finding the anger and the angst. To be anti-society and inexcusably horny, with some blended ADHD bipolar youthquake forever brewing against becoming a Normal Lemming. To rage against tumbling down the cliffs of adulthood to their boring lead-lined coffins.

To sit on a rock where I am not allowed to think and think about thinking.

The Artist D's Rushing River, February 2017

The Artist D’s Rushing River, February 2017

Travelers Inbound

They piled out of a beaten up cliché of a wanderer’s van. He wore a short raggedy belly shirt. His skinny stomach showing off to the world. He had a vest on. Tall with dirty blonde hair. I could have eaten breakfast off of his stomach had I not been so concerned with where it had been.

She was the quintessential new age hippie. She wore a Hugh Hefner smoking jacket, booty shorts, and a pirate’s hat with cat ears on it. An old guitar, non-electric also known as acoustic, hung from around her shoulders. At times she strode down the median strumming a god awful noise.

Their third and final partner in crime was also a woman. She looked like Janis Joplin. That was it. That was all. She stood near the van. She rummaged through their junk. She even had on those round sunglasses.

They sat there aside from the traffic going by. Some people honked and others stopped to have weird conversation. I was of course most taken with the man. Remember, breakfast on his abs, if only his abs weren’t the direct correlation of gum on a park bench. You just don’t know where those abs have been.

Bell bottoms! They all wore bell bottoms! Everyone was so cliché that it was a wonder if they were truly an organic 21st century wanderer. But you can put all doubts aside as they smelled organic.

It makes you want to run away. Maybe not you. Maybe it’s just me. I want to run away. I want a beaten up guitar and abs that surely someone would eat breakfast off of no matter where I have hung my hat. I want cohorts. I want traveling companions. I want to live in a van and play music down a median while wearing cat ears. We can bum coffee and donuts every morning. I can bum it. We will bum it across the country in that beaten up van. We can play Free Bird until our ears bleed. You can pretend that Janice Joplin hasn’t been dead for six hundred and fifty three years. You and your round sunglasses.

Let’s go into work on Monday and tell them to shove it. Let’s tell them that there is bumming to be done across this great country. We don’t even have to tell them. Let’s leave now. We’ll make this country great again with your booty shorts and cat ears. My abs. My abs will make this nation great. Our van and our donuts. Eating breakfast and getting off.

Me and my abs. The random villages. The random men. With random women. The random dicks. The random pussies. With the random breakfasts served upon delicious skin. You and me and Bobby McGee.

The Artist D Meets a Man in the Woods, February 2017

The Artist D Meets a Man in the Woods, February 2017

Dirty Thirty

They (whoever They are) often say that people find themselves in their 30’s. It’s a time where all of that pretense and angst of the 20’s is shucked. The bullshit factor is greatly reduced to a place where you begin to “really” live what you think is your life.

Whereas most people have found who they are in their 30’s, I found out who I am not. I never suffered from the same 20’s muck that most did. If I’m to believe the lore, I was actually living my 30’s in my 20’s. I was invincible and on fire. My teenage inhibitions slowly fell away as I stepped out on the town in fabulous stiletto finery.

Learning who I am not has come as a great shock to the system. I continue to blame the circumstances of the 21st century for that. That’s the easy part. We can always blame the times for our troubles, because they are always working against us. The Internet gave me everything I needed in my 20’s and then the Internet took it away in my 30’s.

The dreams of being a star eventually fade to a reality based endeavor. I grew up with the idea that I would be paid for being Me. What did I want to be when I grew up? I wanted to be Me. I wanted to be Famous. I knew that I was unique enough to be paid for simply being. What did Quinton Crisp do? The art of being.

Your body begins to speak to you on a more serious level as the decades continue. You are no longer invincible. The drug and alcohol bender that used to take a day to recover from now takes an entire week leading up to the next bender. The lifestyle which used to be easy is now tedious. You don’t go on the bender because you don’t have enough time for that. It used to be so easy to go into work on the brink of alcohol poisoning.

A lot of this has to do with being an Artist. What do you want to be when you grow up? An Artist. What kind of Art will you create? The Art of Me. I will be Art.

As you can see I have always been a deeply shallow individual.

In my 30’s I learned that I would not be getting lucky by just being. I always worked side jobs, day jobs, night jobs, as a temporary gig. I never once considered the possibility that it would last. Participation in normal every day life was simply something to do while awaiting money, fame, and glamour. I’ve worked for a lot of years now and only recently did it ever occur to me that it may stick. I would rent an apartment thinking that in a few years time it would get better. Surely dollars would pour into my accounts from adoring fans to support me. To be paid for being me. The Artist who creates art by just being.

Unfortunately I grew up within a generation where everyone else had the same idea. While I fought to capitalize on my brand of lifestyle, so did everybody else. The only difference was that a lot of them worked very hard for it. I always added a bit more entitlement to my style. I showed up and I was fabulous, shouldn’t that have been enough? I worked hard, but they worked harder.

They (whoever They are) like to say that I have always been ahead of my time. It could be even as little as a decade ahead. Had I been in my 20’s in my teens I would have accomplished much more on the Internet in my 30’s and I would have been rich in my 40’s. By now I’d be sitting back to scoff at all the people in their 30’s struggling to profit off the Art of Being. But that’s Hindsight scooped into a blender with 1 1/2 cups of Nostalgia. It doesn’t work that way. Everyone is always struggling to Be. Everyone always thinks it would be easier if they were just born a few years earlier.

Newsflash: We’d be just as stupid to not capitalize on it then as much as we are now. Here, have another sip of your Hindsight Nostalgia Smoothie.

Somewhere along the road you come to the realization that you will not be who you thought you would be. Unfortunately it seems to often happen all at the same time. Dreams and goals morph, but so does the meat suitcase you are piloting. You become keenly aware of mortality as your friends and lovers begin to die at an alarming rate. To the point where you are no longer Superman, but instead standing with everyone else in a thunderously stormy naked game of Russian Roulette.

It could also be said that all of this has a lot to do with the chosen profession of Artist. When choosing that lifestyle path we rarely seem to keep in mind that most true Artists are not rich and famous until they’re dead. And between you and I that’s just a little too late for my tastes.

True artists are artists who had no choice in the matter. To be an artist is one thing. To live it is a harsh reality, if not for anything but our sweet sensitive artistic egos. I had no choice in the matter. I was an artist upon exiting the womb. I have been an artist as I crawl across god and country. I could not be anything else. I wouldn’t have chosen anything else. Well, I might have been a slender gay satyromaniac prostitute with a muscular stomach you could eat breakfast off of. But Simon Says that would not have gone very well for the elongation of my years.

In my 30’s I have learned to carry on. Definitely not to stay calm. If there was any give-a-fuck left I lost it when mortality came into play. I lost it when everyone started to fade away. I lost it when the halls of my Internet were destroyed by technology. I will always make art from being, because that’s what I wanted to be. It was genetic from the Universe.

The Artist D, February 2017

The Artist D, February 2017

Back to the 80’s

I just received an email regarding some products I ordered. It said that my order had been collected and it would be in the mail tomorrow. They really could have waited. They could have enjoyed a day off, instead of scurrying around the warehouse to collect my crap.

Now that we have experienced the technology and convenience of the 21st Century, I would be OK to give it back. Well, that’s my opinion about it all. The Internet has created a monster of society. A place where people have to work even harder than before to satisfy their consumers. Businesses can now do paperwork at light speed, so they get to do more of it. There is no more waiting. If there is some time to wait then there is surely more light speed work you can do while you are waiting.

It has always fascinated me that we wanted technology in order to make things easier, but then rejected how easy it could have been. Instead of allowing it to make time we adapted and picked up the pace. There in lies the problem. If we moved at the pace of yesterday with the technology of today we would have four day work weeks and a whole lot of vacation time. In response to that Utopia we decided that we should just do more and more with every hour that technology had shaved off.

Think about how much time it took the processes of yesterday in comparison with the technology of today. The reality is that we can probably finish a day’s work from 1970 in under an hour today. Our response was not to go home and put our feet up. Our response was to do more work.

I sometimes pause and think about the fax machine era. The slow feed of pages into the machine and then calling New York to see if they got it all in one piece. I think about when things closed for the day and you couldn’t get hold of someone on the phone because you couldn’t find them. For those who don’t know what that means, there used to be a time where people could not be found because their phone was at home on a base with a cord. You had to wait for them to come home to get the message. Unless you had their beeper number and they could find a pay phone.

Then I think further back into an era I don’t know much about. The time we hear about where the only transmission of documents was via postal mail or courier service.  There must have been a lot of waiting for that!

It’s not that I hate technology as much as I hate how people have allowed there to be no more time in between. The 20th Century seemed to find people inserting a lot of excuses to take a good break. They were waiting for the fax machine to finish so they took a break or they did some light filing in between. Now there are no more paper files.

A better example would be the infamous smoke break. I see it today in a country continuously stamping out  the smokers. Employers turning their nose up at cigarette smokers because that means they will – without question – have to take a break during the day. If you do not keep a smoking habit then why go outside? More time for you to put your nose to the grindstone and slave, slave, slave.

The breaks are so limited out here in the 21st Century. I have no doubt that for most of this I’m talking out of my ass. The people who really experienced work “back in the day” probably felt just as busy and just as burdened as we do today.

That’s why I’m OK with giving it back but not giving it away! If I had a magic Genie wish to make I would never wish it back to the way it was without the knowledge of how it is today. Knowing how it is today is the only way we may be able to appreciate how it was before.

There is such a ruminating delicious taste found in letter writing. To think it carefully over as you write and then to wait for your friend’s response to arrive. It’s like the typewriter. It was not easy to delete what you’ve written, so you better mean every stroke you make.

I love technology. Technology is good. I love having a computer in my pocket. I love all of the things the doctor can do to check vitals without hurting me. I love streaming music into speakers without wires. I love cars that sync to my every preference and immediately begin playing my Soundcloud. I love controlling the house’s thermostat while I’m hundreds of miles away. But I can’t lie about how much I would enjoy knowing that there is no more Facebook, Twitter, or vicious light speed emailing. To lavish myself in the privacy of writing a letter between intimate friends. To not feel as if life is lived on a soap box by force and not by choice. That is so long as I remember how it was before the Genie made it all go away.

And of course I would bitch just as much now as I would if I could be transported back with the knowledge of today. Humans love to complain. To have to get up to change the channel. To not be able to preheat the oven via wireless connection. To warm up or cool down your car by actually having to go outside to turn it on. Rectal thermometers. Humans adore complaining. Humans are born to be uncomfortable no matter what technological comfort they have been awarded. It’s what we do.

It’s not nostalgia. It’s never nostalgia. It’s longing for certain things which we endlessly give up in exchange for betterness.

The Artist D, January 2017

The Artist D, January 2017

The Trouble with Being Myself

Go somewhere without it being a photo op.

Say something without it having to be a Tweet.

Don’t fill the moments of silence with thoughts on checking your Likes.

Take a shit without your smartphone.

Be something without promotion.

Have sex without your smartphone.

Enjoy a meal without Netflix. Try candlelight and Luciano Pavarotti.

Write something without crafting it for optimum SEO keywords.

Drift off to sleep without the light of the tablet’s screen.

Paint something without preparing it for the gallery or for sale on your website.

Read books for your own sake.

Turn off the modem sometimes, just because you can.

Wherever the crowd goes, go the opposite direction. (Bukowski)

Turn off your phone sometimes, just because you can.

And for crying out loud, don’t jump off the bridge just because everyone loves to jump.

The Artist D, December 2016

The Artist D, December 2016

I’m a Comedian, you Cuntbag!

It dawns on me that I may be one of the last from the Sticks & Stones generation. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me! That’s what they always told us. They even told my generation that and I’m still considered young in some circles. I grew up in the gray area where kids were beginning to win a trophy for just breathing and yet were still told to “Suck it up!”

I went through a very harrowing teenage existence where I wanted to kill myself, just like everybody else. I was embarrassed from kindergarten to high school. They called me a little pansy gay boy before I knew what any of those words meant. I fled from society and thought about packing it in several times. At the end of the day I did not kill myself and therefore I became a survivor. The torture I felt I had endured was par for the course. Ultimately, I did not survive because people coddled me. I survived because people told me to buck up, kid.

I ran from the big mean society of high school and retreated to the Internet. I was like any gay boy found throughout the 20th century. They grew up and searched for a terrestrial solution, a private club that would take them in and lick their wounds. Since I didn’t have that outlet or that era I found My Tribe digitally on the Internet in the 90’s. The beat up queers united within this Tribe, just as good as an offline one, and held each other up. When I emerged from this digital gestation I was a blend of my history. I learned that sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

Today we live in a coddled world where people take offense to everything. What they now call mean, harsh, abuse, is what I call growing up. These people aren’t exactly wrong. It’s an unfortunate process we all must go through. It would be much easier if we didn’t have to. But it would seem impossible to circumvent that process judging from the way they are turning out it.

Learning to live with stinging barbs and the reality of life is also the breeding ground for a great sense of humor. I grew up with people who hated me and made fun of me. I also grew up around people who loved me and made fun of me. It’s all about the context that it’s said in. We’re missing a lot of context in this 21st century.

I have experienced these children not catching my context all too much. I am now seen as “a big meanie” in the eyes of social justice warriors and special snowflakes. And it’s not all their fault! How can they understand my context when they don’t even know me? Who can know anyone on the Internet anymore? Who can know anyone offline anymore? You’re too busy just reading 140 characters or avoiding eye contact when we’re at the bar.

I’ve never cared about the things people have cared about. While I have always been on the side of the repressed freak unique, I have never wanted to be confused with a coddler. I have sympathy and I have empathy, but I have never told anyone that they should prolong their wallowing. I stand firmly with the fact you need to buck up, kid.

My barbs and my observations are comedy. That doesn’t make them fiction. That doesn’t mean I’m kidding. I’m quite serious. I’m a sarcastic bitch. I want to be the one always leaving the off-color jabs, but I always assume that you know I am coming from a place of love.

That’s the gray area I grew up within. The things said were all about the context of your relationship with the person. (Relationships. Ever had those with people?) I had this amazing friend once who was the meanest person I had ever known. Everything he ever said was insulting and a total put down. At first I was so offended because I had never had a friend who was quite so mean before. Then I got to know him and saw he was just a sensitive soul with a well-crafted comedy. That guy was more loving than most people could ever be and he made love like a lightning rod. There was nothing but love in him and the more comedic barbs he threw your way, the more he loved you.

I find I am walking through a constant winter wonderland of Special Snowflakes these days. They can’t take a joke. They think mean things are mean. They think calling someone black is racist. They think using the word trannie is a slur. They think making fun of girlie men is an attack upon the girlie man. All of which I direct you towards a seminar on context.

If I love you and make fun of your scarf then I’m not really hating you or your scarf. If I call my best friend a trannie hooker that doesn’t mean I feel she’s a slutty piece of garbage. I kid you for I love you.

It’s always been about perception. I’ve always told you that perception is everything. Because, have you seen me?  I’m a man in a dress. I’m a transgender freak unique who has decided to build my house on the fence between everything. If there is anyone who I have joked with more than anyone it is myself. I would never make fun of someone else unless I was doing so with a light heart, giving a sarcastic smirk towards a culture gone amok.

The wormhole chewed me up and spit me out to find that all  of those generic and annoying phrases were true all along. Have a sense of humor. Buck up. Don’t take life so seriously. Sticks and stones, kid, sticks and stones … 

The Artist D

The Artist D