Death of Passivity

I have always loved the ocean because it speaks to life. The ocean is a visual representation of life as I see it. I’ve often described the need to flow with the cosmic waves. If you become too stuck, too solidly stubborn against the waves, you will suffer more friction and destruction than if you were to just “go with the flow.” Much like how with struggle it becomes much easier to drown.

We creatures float through the galaxy like objects in the sea. All of the swirling, floating, and interweaving is critical for it to make a masterpiece. It’s a chaotic dancing stew, yet it all seems to work out for the best. The tide comes in and washes over the rocks to clear off some creatures while feeding others. If you happen to be one of these clam-like creatures you actually depend on it. You don’t really swim. You float, you’re buried, you’re uncovered, you live. It’s the Art of Being. Clams need not do anything other than be themselves while their environment carries them to live the life that they happen to live.

I think you will be taken care of whether you decide to swim or float in this universe. There is a place for both. However, we should not hold ourselves back when it comes time to paddle our feet to get us to the next place.

For most of my life I have often held myself back from swimming. I opted instead to float. I’ve let the waves of the universe carry me to some pretty great places. With that in mind I have always hesitated to start swimming in another direction.

I have feared changing course in life just about as much as I would fear changing course in the literal ocean. I am afraid to start purposefully swimming towards better land only to end up in one of those tidal wave storms which puts you farther away. Then you’re clinging to a plank, pissed off, and dying of hypothermia.

There’s also a big difference between swimming and flailing your arms violently until the ocean of our universe pulls you under into death. I see a lot of people confuse the two of these all of the time, literally and figuratively. Especially figuratively! There is an incredible amount of people out there struggling violently against the waves, gasping for air, and they have no idea. They’d tell you that they’re swimming. I’d tell them that they’re sinking.

If you float when you could swim you are being passive, possibly too passive. I am guilty of being passive at times when I should have been ravenously paddling. I’ve let people in my life just because they happen to have come into it. I’ve let a lot of things happen to me just because they were happening. It’s the pile of drugs you take just because they happen to be on the coffee table. It’s the sex you have just because the person happens to be all over you. It’s the job you take just because they hired you. It’s the first husband or wife you marry because they were the first one to put up with your cranky ass.

For far too long I was under the impression that this was the way it worked. In a lot of ways that can work, but it will not always be the way and you should not always accept it as such.

There is nothing wrong with making decisions. There is nothing wrong with saying “no” when you don’t want something. The same goes for if you want to say “yes” to something. There’s actually nothing wrong with asking for what you want! This is simple and obvious, yet completely unbelievable to a lot of people.

I was one of those people. That personality is still buried within me. If the opportunity came along then we might as well do it. If the opportunity did not come along then let’s forget about it. There wasn’t much push to obtain the opportunity. There wasn’t a lot of swimming against the current.

I deceptively resembled a person who took chances because I did take chances – passively. I blindly threw myself off of a lot of cliffs and hoped for the best. That’s where my faith in the flow of the universe stems from. That’s where I got terribly confused about being a drifter, never decidedly swimming to the desired opportunity.

This is why I had absolutely no understanding of college students. To put yourself in an eight year program with a belief that you are actually going to get to the end is as likely as swimming a straight line in a hurricane. Do you know how much can change in eight years? Do you know how much you probably will never want to do in eight years what you are doing today? I could not fathom the desire to do anything of the sort. For me, a one year plan was quite enough because I knew that at the end of that plan I’d be ready for a completely different map.

The only thing that has changed my mind about long term planning is finally capturing some realization about the hurricane in between. If we are open to changes of course during our plans then it makes sense. It turns out that most people understood this. I was far too black and white to see it until now.

The dawning realization has been that it’s OK to make hard choices. It’s OK to decline an invitation or disagree with an associate. We learn this even more when we are placed in management of others or owning a business. That can be learned from the corporate world or from managing an underground art magazine. Are you ready to have difficult conversations with people you may not like? Are you going to cope with the disagreement when your word is the final word? Are you OK with pointing out things that someone else may have absolutely no clue about? Would you be willing to fire someone for their shitty behaviors?

We do not always need to float. We are not all clams. We are allowed to decide on a course of action which may not be easy, but doable, if we have working arms, legs, or a giant propeller for a nose. The balancing act is to learn when to stop driving your boat into the Tsunami. The secret is to know the difference between swimming and flailing.

The Artist D, Autumn 2017

The Artist D, Autumn 2017, Beating a Metaphor to Death since circa 1997


Ancient Thoughts on Net Neutrality from an Original Internet Superstar

Preface  I know exactly what Net Neutrality is and the danger of living without it. I understand the difference between websites and ISPs. This article is a bitter old Net Queen’s unabashed ranting for people to get off of her lawn.

The overall reaction to the repealing of Net Neutrality has left me in confusion. People act as if it is the end of the Internet that they know today. They are posting memes on Facebook with the ridiculous spin of, “It’s been nice knowing you!”

The mass populace probably has nothing to worry about because they are already the almighty consumers of corporate crap. They’ve been eating what the mass media has been feeding them since 2004. That’s roughly the year I recall where the true Internet underground fell off the map and was replaced with a steaming pile of dog shit. It’s been down hill ever since and a look back in my blog can remind us that I’ve been saying so all of the way.

With the repealing of Net Neutrality ISP’s will be able to further control what you see. As if you’ve had a problem with that lately since all you have been looking at was Facebook, Tumblr, and Gmail. Without Net Neutrality you may have to pay to watch Netflix or Amazon Prime, kind of like we already do. To your astonishment now that Net Neutrality is possibly gone you may find some websites blocked from your view! Just like Facebook blocks you from seeing most of my posts linking you to my website or Internet live streams. Unless I pay Facebook, that is. Just like a country blocks you from content if you have a specific IP address outside of that country. Unless you pay for a VPN tunnel. Hmm, yes, it’s going to be so unfair, just like it already is.

The people it will hurt are people you haven’t cared about for years! You’ve already enabled the corporations to steamroll over the content creators and independent underground artists by allowing the Internet to become what it already is before, during, and after Net Neutrality. YouTube single-handedly put beautifully articulate content creators in a bind in favor of monetizing vanilla bullshit. Oh, but, without Net Neutrality it will allow the ISP’s to be unfair! As unfair as the corporations owning the websites already have been. It’s just another level of unfair frosting to the unfair cake.

It’s all just crushing the little guy a little bit more than we already were. But you didn’t care about him or her or them anyway! The Fourculture Magazines of the world are just going to be a little more strangulated. The underground zines and that unpopular YouTube shows will still be just as neglected, demonetized, and regulated to the corners. You have nothing to worry about because there will still be Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, and probably even Tumblr porn. You have nothing to worry about, almighty consumer, because for the Internet to exist at a profit they must continue to provide you with the bullshit you already consume! They are probably not plotting to take away your Netflix. They’re plotting to take away your indie underground artist whom may dare to turn a buck without giving a cut to The Man.

They’ve been erasing people like me from the day they found out the Internet was a profit center. That was the day it all started to burn to the ground. And that was a long time ago.

I am asked if I am upset about the changes regarding Net Neutrality and I’ll tell you that I was upset before and after! It has nothing to do with Net Neutrality making things better or worse. It already was shit before they got started. It was shit when we, the content creators, were pushed into the margins and our hits were reduced to nothing as people began to flock to the corporate cannibals. It was shit when the gates were opened and a global population logged on to make the Internet just like everything else. And worse yet, to make it a part of society!

I already pay a premium for my personal outgoing Internet speeds. I already pay extra for faster web service to bring my content to you at a decent downloadable speed. I already have to pay Facebook if I want it to share my project links with all of the people who want to see them. This all in a world of Net Neutrality! What’s so neutral about it as it currently is? Even my YouTube videos get demonetized and hidden away in favor of the corporate content, right now in a world with Net Neutrality.

Without Net Neutrality the ISP will be able to limit your access to websites. Websites that are already limiting your access to the content upon them. That sounds like another level of bullshit to me.

All I’m hearing are a lot of people complaining that they might have to pay more for their entertainment. Well, they never paid me much for mine, so I’m not particularly dismayed that they’re now screwed by The Man. You welcomed The Man into this box and you let him survive. You could have left him behind in the terrestrial world with antennae and television tubes, but you brought him into the Internet. You let him load us up with shows and incorporate all of his records and paper pileup into our circuits. You let him destroy the organic artistic freedom that once was and now you’re upset that he’s charging admission. Potentially a steep admission!

It seems there is a fear that with the repealing of Net Neutrality we may lose some people from the Internet. But if you ask old Internet Superstars like me, well, we’ve been waiting for the mass populace to get the fuck off of the Internet since 2004. It’s been a shithole since and it’ll be a shithole with or without the Neutrality. You’ve got nothing to worry about Almighty Consumer, because they need your money. They don’t need my art.

It’s funny how much you realize you can live without something once you’ve had everything that it can offer. At times like these people like me are aching to get back to our flip phones and 5 AM newspaper deliveries. I would not have ever wanted to live my life without the Internet, but now that it has become all that it is, I think I could do without it.

The Artist D, December 2017

The Artist D, December 2017

Chris the Robot

Hi, my name is Chris. I’m a licensed massage therapist living in the metro area. I like food, cats, gaming, and healthy relationships.

Hello Chris, do you know you’re a cylon? You’re a carbon copy of a carbon copy. You’ve been placed on this Earth as a place holder, a space filler. I’ve met 20 other Chris in 20 other cities across the nation.

Welcome Chris, with you’re dead-eyed Instagram photos and your laze-fare Facebook posts. Your walks in the park and calmly concise candlelight suppers where neither party reveals anything true. Not that either has anything true to reveal. Because you’re Chris and probably Joel. Joel is your date. He also is a cylon.

You’ll go home tonight, Chris and Joel, and you’ll fuck. You’ll fuck boringly and shoot your plain vanilla cylon juices. You’ll feel scandalous for a moment and then Joel will break up with you in the morning.

That’s OK because you’re meeting Ben at the coffee shop where he’ll buy you a triple shot extra large something-something while he listens to how boring Joel was. From your boring mouth. Your boring mind. Your dead eyes will look up into the sky as you and Ben take a selfie for another boring dead-eyed Instagram post. Ben doesn’t care because he thinks you’re besties. You share so much of nothing with Ben that he’s drowning in artificial substance.

How could you be besties if you aren’t real? How can you be Joel’s lover if you are only programmed phrases and functions? Flaunting the programming embedded from the media, the religion, and the back of your daddy’s hand. Are robots in love truly in love at all? The robots seem to think so.

A carbon copy of a carbon copy. I could scrape your surface and find more surface, Chris. You don’t know. You’ll never know. If you met a person like me you wouldn’t believe I was a person. I would blow your fuses and put you in an institution. We’d peel back the plastic layers of skin to find metallic sputtering and you still wouldn’t believe me. Because you’re a robot. Sparks would fly. Chris the robot with cliche programming and vanilla juices.

What has happened now will happen again. With you. With the thousand of other Chris replicas around the globe. There goes Chris the rebel. Chris dancing to his own beat. Beating what he thinks is his own drum and dancing his own dance track. That drum of someone else’s design. The dance track already laid in and playing before Chris was even switched on. Chris, your dead eyes and extra large throbbing latte. You’re taking a walk now. You’re on the beach and you’re thinking about cats and computer games. You’re dreaming of healthy relationships. Listen to all of those clicks and whistles! You’re a cylon. You’re Chris the Robot.

The Artist D, October 2017The Artist D, September 2017

The Artist D, September 2017

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.


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


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