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

 

Cavemen with Smart Phones

The people of Earth love to sum everything up into a nice neat package called a Year and label it with a number. Then they like to discuss those years like chapters in a book. They like to say 1999 was a good year or they’ll never forget the 80’s.

Every year in recent memory the people say the same thing to me about how terrible their year has been. I’ve observed that it has actually grown exponentially from a personal “bad year” to a group experience. They used to tell me that they had a bad year. The year gave them personal challenges, losses, and there was no fairy bopping them on the head with a magic wand. These days they say we have all had a bad year. In 2016 we lost David Bowie and countless other classics. We have continued to experience senseless mass killings. We are face to face with very specific discriminations. To a lot of folks we are entering the Dark Ages due to electing specific potential Mad Men into the kingdom.

With every year comes along another person to tell me how bad they have had it. Now they come to tell me how bad we have had it. Every year I respond that it’s all about perception and you make of it what you will. I still believe that, but I do have to take a moment to ponder why people continually think it is always and forever getting worse.

The way we treat our lifestyles has changed drastically from the last century to this one. This is sadly the only thing that has changed. The sociopolitical landscape seems to be exactly the same as it has always been. The players get switched out for more of the same and our day to day doldrums remain. It’s more about how we have reconceptualized the way we treat things. And to sound like a complete broken record I believe we can heap the blame all on top of The Internet.

The technology of the 21st Century has drastically altered the way we treat old stuff. Life is like your average cake. The frosting can be exciting and delicious, but eventually underneath it all you will find the same dry lump of baked substance. That’s where we currently are in the 21st Century. Our problems remain the same, but we have changed the way we digest them.

We are basically cavemen with smart phones. We still brush our own teeth in the morning. We elect dangerous people into government positions. We exist in this weak flesh luggage that can give out at any moment. Buried underneath all of this technological advancement sits the same sad fleshy thing that has been there for hundreds of years. We really are born naked and the rest is drag. Clothing and makeup is drag. Flashy cars, enormous houses, and breast implants are drag. Technology is drag!

They tell me that 2016 was a horrible year for everyone. I remain firmly by the defense of perception. This life is what you make of it. Whether you have or you have not. I have turned a cold can of pork and beans into a lavish event for myself. You don’t need a movie when you have a blank wall and an imagination. Life really is what you make of what happens to be laying around. And maybe the key really is you have to be a little bit psycho to get that picture.

Even so, is it really worse than ever? Yes, we did lose David Bowie this year and so many of our classics are dying. But that’s what people do. They die. Yes, we have corruption in the government and people on both sides are all about vying for their own personal wealth and interests. But that’s nothing new. The people felt the same way about Presidents Franklin Pierce, George W Bush, and James Buchanan (all sweeping generalities throughout time). Yes, people keep killing other people for no good reason. But people have certainly always done that!

I watch a lot of old black and white television. I get lost in and romanticize the 1950’s quite often. I see calm and collected people speaking properly to each other. They appeared happy and in control of their lives. However, they were dealing with the Cold War, communism, and other challenges. They too lost legends due to death, some too soon and others right on time. While I am certainly no historian, I can guarantee that if you pick any year out of thousands and spoke with most people they would tell you that they were experiencing “Big Problems.” I bet a lot of them would also tell you that it was “The Worst Year Ever.”

The Internet is to blame because it changes the frosting on the historical cake. Instead of reading your news once a day at arm’s length (literally and figuratively) you get it right up close in the palm of your hand. The news of the world is on your socializing walls. Your friends all talk about it because it’s all in front of your faces all of the damned time. Instead of coming home to the Nightly News you get the daily news. It can ping you on your mobile device at every release of another headline. The news has been readily available and in people’s faces, but now it has seeped into everything. We used to come to The Internet to get away from life, now we live life on the Internet. Our safe havens keep going away.

We used to have safe havens from the current goings on. Life was compartmentalized because we lacked technology. People had to wait for things and that waiting created special moments away from the madness that was history repeating itself. Remember when you had to fax your manuscript to the publisher in New York? Remember how long it took you to create that manuscript on the typewriter before faxing it all? All of that technological lag created safe spaces. For when you waited you found other things to do. You picked up a book and comforted yourself. You came home at night and relaxed, because you didn’t have everything (literally everything) at the tips of your fingers to fill your junkie brain with until you pass out in bed.

The Internet brings closeness and constant awareness to the same problems we have always had. The problems haven’t changed. The way we display those problems has changed. It sheds more light upon them than ever before. Which is what actually really bothers you. Deep down you do realize that the cake is the same and you’re finally pissed off about that. You’re frustrated that we have advanced in our ways of displaying the content, but the content remains the same. The headlines are the same whether it’s a yellowed newspaper from 1945 or a shiny tablet from 2016!

It’s just like me always telling you that it’s a shame we all still have to go to work every day. It’s also a shame that we still have to go to war. It’s a shame that we have advanced so far and yet we haven’t overcome death. These things people have always taken as part of the story. You work, pay taxes, and then you die. We’re swimming in advancement and yet the mass populace still thinks they have to work, pay taxes, and die. Silly humans …

You’ll never get over the hump until you begin to understand why you are so angry at each passing year. It’s not getting worse, it’s getting the same. We either perceive to take it as is or collectively change it. That’s why I dabble in the arts of perception. I’d rather control my own perception instead of attempt to change everybody else’s. I know that reworking the basic life and social concepts of 7 billion Earthlings is just a touch outside of my capacity.

Originally published on TGForum.com, December 2016.

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The Artist D, December 2016

For Immediate Release

The key is to invent ways to speak into the machine but not listening to what it has to say. That I have been learning within this immediate future.

To release our thoughts into the machine. It’s what we do. It’s what I’ve always done. It’s what you have become obsessed with doing. Your sounding board. Your deafening stick. You keep preaching to your own choirs.

For immediate release. You are ready for immediate release. You should release. Doesn’t that word all by itself sound so delicious? Release. It is becoming of so many things.

Release yourself from thinking that you have to fit in. Let yourself flounder in the steamy pools of insincerity that humanity has conjured. Release yourself into the flow of the universe. Speak into the machine. Do not listen to the machine. You speak to it, it does not speak back to you. DO NOT LISTEN TO THE MACHINE.

The art of releasing yourself from the fear of them vs. you. To pull your hands away from each other just because a stranger approaches. We wouldn’t have these problems if we all talked to each other. I want to see you do more than hold hands in public. Right in front of me. In public.

To release yourself from the employ of the Barons of Normalcy. To put down your fondle pad and remove the ear buds blocking your canals. To call in and say, “I’ve decided to not come in this month.”

May your hair not look the same every day. May you eat banana cream pie with a modified paper cup because you forgot to steal a spoon. May it taste even better because you had to create a spoon.

Engulf yourself with enlightenment by taking the trail which has not been beaten. Take the turn with the sign marking, “Danger – Do Not Enter.” Do not go down their paths. Make your own damned paths. The secret is not on the paved road with all of the people crowding your view. The secret is hidden after the weeds and the trees, up the steep cliff where few have thought to climb. If you are not stabbed by a cactus while getting there then you haven’t gotten anywhere. You have to bleed on your unbeaten path to make it yours. Release yourself. The javelina must circle you in the dark.

Release yourselves to the wild. Release your wiles to the rainbows. Talk to strangers and steal a moment of release with them. Dye, cut, crimp, and straighten. Ferment in the muddy gully until you bring the hypnagogic dreamscape into the known landscape. Release yourself immediately for immediate release.

The Artist D, November 2016

The Artist D, November 2016

For 15 Minutes

You have a new Follower. Someone would like to request to be your Friend. He has 137k Followers. She has 2,145 Friends and an empty photo album.

A longtime peeve of mine is the lack of people whom I would like to call Enjoyers. At one time they may have been labeled consumers, but that is no longer the case. Enjoyers are viewers and are happy with their lot in life. There does not seem to be a lot of Enjoyers out there anymore.

I get a lot of Friends requests on Facebook. I have several Follow requests on Twitter each day. I will approve anyone as long as they appear to be a valid Noun. That is a person, place, or thing actually existing for a reason. That is not a Spam Bot named Jessica Rabbit with nothing but phishing click bait on her feed.

But it’s such a disappointment that the majority, almost 98% of the requests, come from people who are Doers. A Doer is the opposite of an Enjoyer. A Doer wants to do things, get places, and be Famous. They think they have something to say. They are a Creator. They are a Maker. The last thing they do is Enjoy.

The Doers have thousands of followers. They post, they Tweet, and they reTweet in the name of networking. They have usually added me as they needed another number to add to their audience. They hope I will be another audience member or even better, a consumer!

I am a Doer to a certain extent. My Doer vs. Enjoyer ratios are probably different than other people’s. I do not Do for the soul purpose of Doing. I do not create to sell, but I do create with the hope of amusing the Enjoyers. I do want Followers and Friends, but I long for more Enjoyers than network hungry Doers.

Yet I do not see a lot of Enjoyers out there. When a Friend or Follower request comes in they are from fellow Doers. How I wish that I would click through to find Mary Jane, a small town housewife who thoroughly enjoys my writing. Mary Jane likes to read. Mary Jane has no ambition to write. Mary Jane doesn’t want to be famous. She just wants to enjoy the creations put out by another human. Mary completely understands that her talent is in the domestic and raising her little boy Johnny is what she wants to do.

In fact, when I reach out to Mary Jane and thank her for her custom she is thrilled to hear from me. She is flattered that I appreciate her being an Enjoyer. That is the end of it. I am a Doer and she is an Enjoyer. We appreciate each other and continue on.

Reaching out to most people in the 21st Century usually reveals that the Enjoyer is also a Doer. You thank Mary Jane for reading and her response reveals that she actually has a side business. Mary Jane makes homemade candles in her kitchen. Here is Mary’s business card, website, Twitter feed, and Yahoo! Storefront. Mary asks that you please buy her products and Tweet them out to your “many Followers.” And by the way, is there any possibility of Mary getting some free advertisement on your artistic blogging website?

My frustration is not that you Do something, but the fact that it makes you less of a real person. When I arrived to the Internet in 1997 we were all artists and creators, but we were real people. Almost everyone online back then were Doers, but we also had a high quotient of Enjoyer. I wanted to come over to your house and you wanted me to. We wanted to hang out and not always talk about networking or becoming rich and famous. We shared struggles, stories, bottles of booze, and sometimes had a quick passing lust affair.

Today it seems that the 15 Minutes of fame has turned into an angry beast. I reach out to you, the Doer with 23k Followers, and you don’t get my message because you are too busy Doing. You are no longer yourself, but you have become what you Do. This is what makes me wish for more Enjoyers. Because the Doers have been consumed and no longer stop to say, “Hello.”

I was having a conversation with my phlebotomist the other day. She asked me what I Do and I told her all about it. I saw the photo of her three children on her work station and asked about her family. She told me a bit about them, but then said that she was a Mother. She said that was her lot in life. She is here to raise her children to be good people. She didn’t ask me to Follow her on Twitter. She didn’t ask me to buy her homemade candles. She has a talent. Everyone does! But she isn’t selling or networking it. She just does it. She wants to be the best mom. She wants to guide her children to be best people. There was no sales pitch. We were actually two people just talking, like friends.

Everyone does have a talent and everyone can Do. The problem is that is now all they Do. The 15 Minutes have consumed the majority. Everyone has an Etsy store and a Vistaprint Business Card. Everyone is so busy marketing themselves. I just want to talk to you. I do want to entertain you, but for heaven’s sake can’t we just talk?

The plight of the business owner is that they are working 24/7. That has always been the plight of the business owner. And today’s flavor makes everyone a business owner of their own Doer brand. It has consumed them. Which is ironic that the consumer consumes and the Doer has now been tricked into consuming themselves.

The Artist D, October 2016

The Artist D, October 2016