The Bad Touch of the Technical Boy

PART I

Sometimes I want to take it all down. Then I realize that it’s 20+ years of my life. It is part of my life’s work. Everything that has gone up throughout those years has made a difference. If it didn’t change my life it gave someone else a start, a jolt, or annoyed them off into another direction which they were meant to travel. Even if it was one dumb photograph or one line in the thousands of paragraphs. One good jack off to my Flickr album. 

I used to be the type of person who thought the only way to engrave my legacy upon history was to create things. As a very young child I understood that to last meant to have your own statue. I grew up near Gettysburg Pennsylvania where there’s a lot of people throughout history we wouldn’t know about if not for their bronze semblances on horseback. One foot up. Both feet up. All feet down.

I would morbidly share my desire that when I died I needed my family to erect a great statue at my grave and etch upon it how fabulous I was. I knew it was my only chance of survival; to be unearthed hundreds of years from now by some planet of the apes culture to dote upon my chiseled likeness.

Then, later on, I had those mind-blowing realizations about how nothing lasts. Whether it’s one hundred years from now or six billion, eventually the sands will pour over it all and we will be no more. The libraries will burn. The paintings will melt. The statues will explode along with the planet as the sun goes supernova or Andromeda finally collides. Our memorialized thoughts will vaporize. There is no preservation that lasts forever except that of spirit from mind. As long as the universe is alive then we will be alive in some way; albeit not the way we probably want to be.

The only way we live on is by influencing those around us and implanting pieces of ourselves into others. These pieces shape them and then they shape others. These little legacies do not come with a name tag. I don’t get the honor of being the known influencer. I get to be a building block. The one who influenced another who then influenced another and onward into greatness.

The only way for your spirit to survive is biological. Not only by dating, mating, and extricating; but by inspiring fellow creatures. This is not about intentionally changing people’s lives. I gave that a try too and it creates some good work, but what really packs a wallop is the unintentional changes. The people befriended on the other side of the planet (or down the street) who were made confident by your own confidence to then become confident. The little things you did or said that inspired someone else to build something great. It’s the general kindnesses that you give away without thought that may make the world to another person and send them spiraling in a direction of fabulation. This is where pieces of ourselves spread to others and get unknowingly passed through the centuries. Some kind of poetic epigenetical masterpiece.

I sometimes want to take it all down because I’ve outgrown it. I was once a living version of Max Headroom, your very own Technical Boy among the gods of technology. I ignored who I was because I hated the person I appeared to be. The Internet gave way for me to build a New Me and I never looked any further until one day I started living life offline. When that happened I needed to work out who I really was. I had to take what was online and put the work into what existed offline. That person who is true to themselves, for real.

There are times when I feel I’ve come beyond it to a level of embarrassment. Some days the Internet can be like a doting mother showing your baby pictures to your new lover. But it’s a little late for that now. What was built will have to remain because it’s what we built. They’re just going to have to accept what happened yesterday if they want to accept me today.

I leave it all be, because I won’t be the one to tear up all of the work. That vlog from fifteen years ago could save some kid’s life like some other vlog probably saved mine! Not to mention all of the brain cells and human organs that were spent creating the treasure that became The Artist D.

Time will be the one to destroy me and my work. I don’t have to end any of it because it will do that all by itself. The social sites will shutter to new ones. The servers will transfer out to oblivion and someone will eventually stop paying the light bill. It’ll all be absorbed bit by bit into the cells of the cyber world like a bad Geocities page filled with broken links.

The Internet has become a gigantic dumpster fire. It is nothing like it was and the normal people ruined it for everyone. I can choose to stay away from it and not actively participate in it, but far be it from me to remove any of it just because it makes me feel one way or the other.

PART II

It was probably Spring of 2008. I was driving back to Nevada from California during a monsoon. There was this one part of the highway where when it floods enough it looks like a lake with a road running through it. The water reaches up on both sides tickling the roadway just enough to begin to make you nervous.

I was thinking that I had nowhere to go when I got home. “Home” being a very loosely used term for me. I never felt like I had a home. I spent my first eighteen years on Earth trying to escape the home of my progenitors. After which I hopped from place to place, usually within six month leases, desperately searching for the home I never thought I had and never thought I could find.

A lot of my life could pose the question, “Well, what did you expect?”

Sometimes I wonder what I did expect or how I expected certain things. Of course hindsight is a bitch. The older I get the more I can look at things with a disconnect that surpasses the perceptions of before. It’s unnerving. It’s annoying. I don’t think I really appreciate hindsight like other poetic bastards do.

I have flashbacks of that highway surrounded by water. They come to me like slow motion grainy filmstrip pieces in a Rob Zombie film. I think it was because I had been so very in between things and that is great point of reference. I don’t remember what I had been doing when returning from California and I don’t know to where in Nevada I had been going. I do know that there was a significant feeling of nothing. I felt as though my time in California had come to an end. I thought that what awaited me in Nevada had no chance of succeeding. The To Do List had been thoroughly checked off and I had no idea what “Next” looked like.

I never did find the home I expected. Presently I’ve come to accept what home appears to be. Because after so much moving and life spent you’ve got to stop spending that much on something that wasn’t being discovered. Just like the career of an Internet Celebrity.

Hindsight asks many questions which often appear in self-help articles. What is important? What really matters? What did you expect?

As I drove across that long road surrounded by water I expected the world. I’ve always expected the world. I wondered why the money, success, fame, and glamour had not been awarded to me simply for being fabulous. I now know that the more brilliant a person is, the harder it will be to succeed. Society does not reward those who deserve it. It rewards those fools who fight the most unfair games to steal it.

If some kid was asking their elder for a little sage advice I’d tell them that it’s really not about what they earn, it’s about what they take. But they need to take it as if they earned it.  We now live in the time of “fake it until you make it” gone terribly awry.

I see a shift ever so often among people. One day the people on my friends lists and follow walls start saying they feel very differently today. That little sparkle of universal shift that probably fades away in five seconds. But it’s there. Many people have said so recently and I feel it too.

I don’t know what that means. 

This life feels like a magician’s act. And for my next amazing feat. And for my next. And for my next … is anyone there? Hello. Hello. Are you out there? Squinting, peering out into the audience, with the stage lights far too bright to see that no one is out there.

PART III

I kept creating because I was afraid that to focus on me would be self absorbed. I’ve been  forced to create at times from nothing but terror and paranoia. I sacrificed nights and weekends to push on to write, record, and blather. There was such a fear of what happens when I stopped.

I thought sitting on the couch and reading a book was selfish. Well, it could be done, but just make sure you’ve uploaded this week’s shows, blog, and scheduled out the social media first.

It felt like if I stopped creating I may stop breathing. And I’m still not convinced that isn’t completely untrue.

I can tell you that if that’s what you’d like to do then you should do it. Those people used to make me so angry. The friends at home reading a book and keeping their genius to themselves. Spending all of that time on themselves. Having a coffee without an Instagram. Enjoying a library read without a bit of Twittering. It’s just as maddening as when people spend time with their mate or their children. The bane of an artistic existence.

The bane of an artistic existence. When creativity comes second or third. When your stage performance can be called off. When you no longer think the show always has to go on.

It only took a few decades to figure that we are not the original explorers, financiers, navigators, and cartographers of rationality. It just so happens no one is listening by choice, not by lack of available resources. They said they wanted the answer until they heard what it was. They never wanted the answer and I’m 99% sure they never will.

We’re as original as Columbus. Not very original at all.

There are all kinds of people out there. It all churns the machine forward. The creators and the readers. The workers and the leaders. The martyrs. So, take your time. It’s alright now. Read that book while sprawled on the chesterfield without photographing it. You don’t need the statue after all.

The Artist D, a Technical Boy, May 2019

The Artist D, a Technical Boy, May 2019

Authenticity Gone Missing

The problem is a lack of authenticity. But has there ever been any authenticity in the first place? Has there been anything new since the postmodernists?

New age is old age. Since the new guard became the old guard. We have surpassed the neo-postmodernists and they didn’t even know they were neo. We are members of the rearguard awaiting the changes.

I come from the underground, but where is that?

Have you been alive long enough to remember when people used to add people to their friend’s networks? To be friends. When the phrase was “go hang with your friends” instead of “go network.”

I can’t tell you the last time I got “followed” by a person. I mean, a real person who just exists in this world and wants to read my thoughts.

Everyone is a business these days. “I’m not a businessman,” we used to joke. “I’m a Business, man.”

Now that’s no joke.

For a decade or more it’s always another content creator trying to add me in order to network with me. It’s no wonder Corporations are considered people. Everybody is a business.

Friends with benefits. I’ll be your friend if you buy my makeup, my CD, my oh my my. The modern day Avon salesperson.

The neo post Avon salesperson.

Remember when friends with benefits just meant we were also getting laid?

Those were the days.

We are not friends. We are network partners. We are a bunch of artists, musicians, and writers adding other artists, musicians, and writers so we can bolster our numbers and network towards success.

“Wow, I really liked what you wrote there. Have you seen my Patreon?

The innocent and naive question that stirs often is, “Where are all the people who are just people?”

Everyone has to be somebody and I can’t blame them because since birth I have been very busy being somebody. I feel stupid even wondering why anyone would just want to be an observer or a consumer. I wouldn’t.

And yet if you look out into the crowds of the world all that seems to be there are consumers! But look into the Interwebs and I don’t have an audience. I have a network of networkers. Except for my old friends. The friends I made when we had friends lists and observed each others work, as friends.

Where are the new friends? Where are the couch surfers and the bohemians looking for love? (Sure, where have all the cowboys gone?)

With every “add” I receive there is another message asking me to please “Like” their page or “Try” their wears.

“I follow back!”

Can’t we just have a conversation? Can’t we just travel through and get drunk together? To share a plate of spaghetti and meatballs. Can’t we take some pictures for our personal photo album and not share it with the world? Polaroids, perhaps.

When life was a great night out ending with a great story. Instead of a great night out ending with me subscribing to your Youtube channel. Of course, you already had subscribed to mine.

But what’s wrong with that? Why can’t we have an unbalanced superstar vs. civilian relationship? Why can’t the consumers just give adoration, adoration, adoration?

Why can’t you give me the respect that I’m entitled to? Why can’t you treat me like I would be treated by any stranger on the street? (Mommy Dearest, 1981)

Because everyone is out for their 15 minutes. Because Mr. Warhol promised.

The Artist D, November 2018

The Artist D in the Red Room, November 2018

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

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

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

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

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

Headlight Moon

You lured me to this space. It was early August 2006. We met at the casino. We had a coffee and talked. You seemed enchanted by my rebelliousness. I was intrigued that you were gay and yet had an extremely conservative mindset. There seemed to be a lot in your brain.

We watched The Descent in the movie theater after that coffee. It was a scary movie in that thrilling kind of way. You didn’t seem effected. I pretended not to be.

You stopped to have a burger on your way out of the theater. You really enjoyed that burger. I thoroughly enjoyed your Aryan good looks.

I dropped you off in the parking lot of your apartment. We stood around in that parking spot chatting for a little while longer. The moon was super full and as bright as a headlight. I didn’t know what you thought of me. I was looking for someone to cling to. You looked like a good candidate.

You didn’t invite me in. I went back to wherever I was staying that night. I went home the next day. Wherever that was in August of 2006. I really don’t remember.

Nothing ever came of us outside of a few more months worth of coffee and cigarettes.

It was astonishing to me that over ten years later I would accidentally rent a flat in the same complex as I had dropped you off at that night. Unwittingly not realizing I was in the same place until weeks after move in. I was taking a walk and realized I was standing near the same parking space under the same full moon.

It’s all about stepping out on a limb. It’s all about flowing into the synchronicity to get you in and out of situations. To learn from the situation and then to leave the situation when it is time. To flow.

The Aritst D, April 2014

The Aritst D, April 2014

Ego Addiction

I’ve always wanted to be the star. I grew up at the end of an era where people had to do things to be adored. Hollywood was built by people who worked hard to get to the top. Likewise artists created art before they could be called artists. Perhaps the biggest tail end of an era I caught was lead by the nauseating question, “Are you a published author?”

Back in the day you actually had to achieve something before you could be officially branded into the category. You weren’t an author unless an actual publisher picked you up. You were not a poet until a cheap rag accepted your poetry and printed it. Artists have always been subjective to an extent, but you were a “real” artist if your painting hung somewhere for people to see.

With the dawning of the Internet came a loosening of the rules. I remember the original turmoil and divide with authors. Those who had worked so hard to be published were being shown up by new writers self publishing through the Internet. They were furious. No one knew how to take this, because some of the self published works were just as good as anything out of the old stuffy publishing system. I may remember it better than any other divide as I was one of those new writers. I was thrilled to be able to put out a real printed and bound book all by myself for pocket change.

Likewise, anyone in the music industry can tell you about that cultural divide. Today we can talk to anyone on stage and screen to hear about the Internet making their light just a little less bright.

The Internet has shone a light on every system of elite hierarchy there is. Every industry we have known with kings and queens has been shattered. The Internet has allowed the peasants to immediately hold court if they can attract the right audience.

I am in between those divides. I come from a time where I was taught I had to do something to be anything. All the while I grew up in a world where you could scream anything on a webcam “just being yourself” and suddenly make a six digit income if you stuck to it.

Think of that guy in the 90’s who put webcams throughout his home and setup a subscription service for people to just watch him. He didn’t do anything unique. He walked around his home, ate bowls of cereal, wrote HTML code, and very occasionally had sex with his girlfriend under the sheets. He didn’t exploit his life. He didn’t record porn films. He was simply being monitored and he was a big hit for it.

Those days of webcam novelty have long come to an end, yet now much to Mr. Warhol’s prediction everyone is a star for at least 15 minutes. Today we are wobbling with a society longing for substance, yet being more and more addicted to the art of being. That addictive digital needle is filled with a substance called Social Media. The longing to go viral or get just a few more followers and Likes.

I knew the digital addiction to ego before most anyone else. I had my website and I had my own liking system. Back in that day we used to have to set those up for ourselves! It was far more difficult to get our fix as we did not have computers in our pockets. We had to rush home to check web site statistics, guestbook entries, and open up our email programs to download the latest batch of love letters. But we did it! We were addicted to it. We became hooked further in with every present from our wishlist and next guestbook entry.

The Internet ego formula and platforms have changed to accommodate everyone. After all, the Sheeple absolutely needed it for themselves once they saw what we had. It’s easy now. It’s in your pocket, it streams through thin air, and it’s everywhere. You can get online while hiking mountain trails or taking a shit in the local Starbucks. They have honed the ego machine to please everyone. They have made it an addiction for all because now everybody can get Likes and follows. We can all go viral. The Internet has turned into one big circle jerk.

In a way the Internet had elite just like Hollywood had elite. We started it and they took it over. They take everything over. They make all of the screens smaller. I am the Norma Desmond of the Internet.

For people like me it has been a maddening ride going from the difficulty of receiving Likes to being able to easily obtain an overabundance of them! I used to have to pay hundreds of dollars for my own server space in order to spend two months writing my own code, in order to finally publish my work and get a few dozen feedback messages of Like. The transition from HTML 2.0 to today was like an overdose. They made it so easy. It’s so easy to build your website or your “page” now. It’s so easy to program in the posts to fire 24/7 while I’m out doing more work to create more content. Finally, it is so easy to check the results everywhere from anywhere.

Instead of going home, opening my office door, “firing up” the CPU, I was suddenly able to get my Likes wherever I was. I can check them while sitting on the couch. I can check them from bed before I get up in the morning. I can scroll my wall while eating breakfast. I can catch up straight out of the shower. I post from mountain trails. I can be plugged in all of the time to receive my constant stream of Likes and it was absolutely overtaxing my ego.

Much like drugs the same goes for the Internet’s ego machine. I have been a lifelong addict to anything I get involved with. My genes must be extensively programmed to the Junkie mentality. Throughout the years I have overdosed on food, beverage, drugs, smokey treats, lust, love, and I would likely overdose on air if possible. There is nothing in this life that I have enjoyed in moderation. I have had to learn to moderate every single thing. I have now had to do the same with the ego and the Internet.

In August 2016 I went on a break from Social Media and most portions of the Internet. Indeed we cannot live without the Internet in the current 21st century life. If you have already acclimated your world to it then you cannot go without it. We make money through these circuits. We pay bills through here. We order food, set appointments, and communicate with “the folks back home” through here. Just about ten years ago I could have shut off my cell phone and Internet for 30 days and no one would have noticed. If I did that today I would have been declared dead.

My goal with taking the break was to see what happened when I didn’t have to check on my Facebook or Twitter accounts. I continued to view Instagram and YouTube for my personal entertainment, but I told myself to only do it once or twice a day. At certain times I was so driven to post a thought that I broke my rules and did so, but for the most part I stayed away. The important step was to not go back and look for comments or Likes.

I stayed far away from Facebook and found a lot more time in my day. I was 20 minutes early every morning and my evenings were filled with finding things to entertain Me with. That was when I discovered the key and the point. The Social Media platforms have reprogrammed everyone to entertain each other. There are so many people now doing what they do for others to see that they have lost track of what they might want to do for themselves.

Much like myself, other people have become so busy thinking of what to post and then check for Likes that it’s all they are doing. Look at me! Like me! Follow me! Then just like drugs you have to find a larger dose for the next time. What’s the next post going to be and will it trump the previous? Do I post now to get more Likes or is 2 PM better? Finally, why doesn’t everyone Like me? Because we’ve always wondered that. Social Media has held a mirror up to the caveman traits inside and allowed them to come out. It’s helped people act like spoiled children. It has convinced them to be Liked just by being, instead of doing.

I want to be Liked for what I’m doing. We have too many folks thinking they are simply special snowflakes. They do not need to do great things to be treated greatly. We are deceiving our children into thinking that “just being” is totally OK. That mentality where everyone wins First Place because they don’t want to admit anyone is less than. You should not be able to make it in this world without creating something and showing your skills.

I’m old enough to realize that everything is a farce, nobody gets it, and the last thing we should care about is what everybody thinks. I might as well do what entertains me. This brief Social Media break has shown me that what others think does not entertain me.

My new rules are to post what I do. To post what I think. To share my life as a live it. I am happy to setup all of my posts, pictures, tweets, twerks, and tumbles to propagate to your walls, readers, and devices. But I do not want to be bound into daily checking for Likes, Loves, and critiques. I have to take that needle full of Facebook Likes out of my arm now. It’s holding me back creatively. It depresses me to read other posts and see how lost everyone has become. It makes me sad to see that the content creators have become drowned out by the pictures of dinner and the latest manicure. Something that may be most disappointing is the absolute struggle I see some go through when they do yearn to express themselves but realize it’s no longer the in thing.

If you want to come along for the ride and enjoy the things that amuse me, then you are more than welcome to watch. If you would like to talk to me and have a real conversation (something else that has gone away), then by all means send the message. It’s time to realize that another underground has been unearthed. It’s time to find the next underground. It’s time to go underground again. My people … my people …

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The Artist D, September 2016

Trailhead

When it’s quiet. Like Blair Witch Project quiet. You have walked and walked out into the middle of nowhere and finally found nowhere. Silence. Pure silence. I am in the desert. I am surrounded by dead trees, burnt weeds, and red rock piles. It’s quiet out here in the desert. I piss on the side of a tree and realize that is the only noise.

Really alone. Where you’d probably have to run back through the paths to get anywhere quick, if you had to. I am out here in the middle of nowhere. I have walked for two hours. To be truly disconnected. There is no one here. There is no one to help. You realize this only when it is that quiet. To know that no one is near, anywhere, to help you if something happened.

True silence. And then you feel your vulnerability. That is the loudest thing there. Your own momentary paranoia. But you keep walking. Then it begins to get dark. You think you may come to the other side of the trail, the other side of the forest, the desert, the whatever. Surely it will be soon, but the sun is setting.

That’s when you realize the sun sets fast. It never seems to want to go down when you want it to, but at this moment in total disconnect you begin to miss it. Because you realize that darkness is dark. The only thing to light your way is a starry sky, if it isn’t cloudy. But it’s cloudy. And you didn’t bring a flashlight. This moment into the empty paths was spontaneous. No food, no water, no flashlight, no backpack with provisions. You’d feel better right now if you had provisions. Suddenly you aren’t sure how far away the other side of this space is. You begin to think of night creatures. You start to hear night creatures.

For the first time you realize what all those dumb people back at the trailhead feared. The thing that kept them in the parking lot was that nobody was out here in the middle of nothing. Out where you now are. They were scared. If they were not scared then they were lazy. They didn’t want to hike several miles into oblivion at this time of day. They wanted to go home and eat dinner while watching Wheel of Fortune. In fact that’s where they are right now. The people have folded in their Selfie Sticks and returned to their homes. While I’m out here with the snakes and wild bores. There are desert pigs out here just waiting to trample in snorting packs, I’m sure of it.

I get to the corner of a very large mountain and realize how much farther there is to go. I know this mountain. I’ve seen it before on a map. I know where I am and I’m nowhere near the other end of this thing! It would take at least another hour and the sun has almost completely gone down already. It’s past the peaks of the mountains on the horizon and is sinking faster with every excited hoofing sound my sneakers make. Then I begin thinking about the trail ahead for the next hour. The trail which is getting harder to see. The trail which seems to be more overgrown here than ever before. Is it darkness making it worse or am I really losing my way? I’ve never lost my way. I have an uncanny ability when it comes to finding my way back from whence I came. But I don’t know if that uncanny ability works in the opposite direction. Because I just realized at this juncture that I’ve never done this trail before and I have no idea where it leads. How am I supposed to get to where I’m going if I have no idea where any of it is actually going?

The trail seems covered and the trees seem taller now. The darkness is creeping. The animals are all around me. I need to go back. I have to get back quickly. I begin to run. I turn and run realizing that I had just hiked for two hours. Would it have been smarter to go forward for an hour or back for two? I take the way I know. I run back. I jump over puddles and leap back up rock formations. I run across the ridges and back, back, farther back closer to the setting sun. I am literally chasing the sunset that was just behind me. It’s still slipping away but at least I’m running towards it instead of away from it.

I have no idea how quiet it is anymore. I hear nothing but my breathing and clomping, my rushing through two hours worth of what was once a calm adventure. If I could just see someone else out there hiking and having a grand ol’ time. If I could just run into some people. I’ve never wanted to run into people before, but this time it would just be so nice to see that I’m not the only one. I look around and listen carefully for people to prove that I am not alone. I hear no one. I am alone.

My heart is racing. I just want to get back. I failed in going the full trail. I chickened out for fear of spending the evening lost in darkness without a flashlight and a granola bar. My blood pressure must be through the roof. I feel funny. I don’t like this. Everything hurts. I leap and I run until I find a very familiar space. I come over a ridge to a flatly familiar mountainside rock. I’m a few miles away from where I started, but I’m back to where I know and the rest of the way will be just fine. My pace slows while my heart cools. Darkness sets in as I near civilization again. In the distance some idiot is flying a drone that looks like a UFO. I’m happy to see signs of people again. Signs of idiocy. Warm comforting stupid people doing stupid things, again.

The parking lot is completely empty by the time I reach the trailhead and the night is pitch black. There were many clouds. There were no stars. I stand at my car looking out into zero visibility and think about being out there in this. For a moment I wish I had stayed out there to find out. I chase off the regret that I’m getting back in my car when I could have been out there adventuring through the darkness. I could have still been hoofing it, surviving it, overcoming the unknown conclusions. But adventures like that always look good in theory. It’s another thing when in practice.

By The Artist D, August 2016

By The Artist D, August 2016