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

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

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

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

Cavemen with Smart Phones

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Originally published on TGForum.com, December 2016.

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The Artist D, December 2016

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

The Nuisance of Nuance

I was playing around in the AOL Chat Rooms in 1996. If we wanted to grasp at straws for purposes of longevity we could say that I have been on the Internet for 20 years. A couple years after my first AOL experiences in 1996 I decided that I could live my life online and really “make something of myself.” While others were still deceived that they could make it offline, I already resigned myself to a digital existence.

It was because of people like myself that the Users now find themselves living a digital existence. These days the more online you get, the more offline I go. I am uninterested in what the Internet is today and it is not news how much I dislike normals crashing the party. Any party.

Back in the day I thought I might be famous one day. Like groundbreaking Internationally famous. I thought one day I would be welcomed onto the Hollywood stage. They would fire up the spotlights and welcome an Internet Superstar onto their non-Internet awards show. The audience would Oh and Ah at the groundbreaker.

Hollywood joined the Internet instead of sampling from it and making my sordid fairy tale come true.

I used to wonder why I never made it Big Time. Then I decided it was better that I hadn’t. In my opinion Chris Crocker was the perfect example of that. He was an Internet Celebrity who popped his head into normal Hollywood and the two didn’t fit. Watching that unfold felt like an awkward rape scene. Since then we’ve had several old school Internet Celebrities do the same and it’s always an awkward scene. They are too real or a new brand of too fake.

I’ve always had this little following of folks who knew me, knew of me, and heard about me. That gathering whom appreciated the things I said or did. They glanced my way and acknowledged me like just another animal in the zoo. The animal that looks interesting, but not as interesting as the chimpanzees fucking in the next cage.

While I have never held my opinions back they have never seemed to really stir things up like other people’s. It took me decades to realize that nuance was my blessing and my curse. I’ve always been able to come up with a nice way of putting things.

Nuance. It’s subtle difference in or shade of meaning, expression, or sound. I truly believe in the nuance of my presentations. There is good and bad in everything. Nothing should be overlooked.

One by one I see some of my better friends appearing on E!, MSNBC, and writing for global publications. They aren’t saying anything I haven’t already said. They are as glamorous as I am and speaking just as eloquently. Yet nobody ever asked me. The only difference is they have taken a side. They do not live within nuance.

It is that which I believe makes the masses neutral to me. I never get on YouTube and start yelling. Even when I was passionately one sided I still fraternized with the enemy’s point of view. “I completely believe in this but I totally understand why someone believes the opposite.” This always helps to disarm the argument. I think for the most part I rarely ever stated people should stop doing whatever people were doing. People are, for the most part, willing to accept that you don’t agree so long as you agree that they shouldn’t change. Swimming delicately in the waves with nuance.

I am now quite pleased to keep to myself and not become all of the things I wanted to be on the Internet. In fact, now I want to do things that are even more off the beaten path than ever before. Your approval is not desired nor required in ways that I never thought possible. I still want to share my vision with the world, but it’s going to have to be a very different vision.

When you become all of the rage you are then requested to pick sides. I do not desire to be on anyone’s side. I want to sit on a bedazzled throne in my backyard and have a party. Outside. Offline. A place where people leave their phones in a box by the Welcome Mat.

For the most part I have left the digital building. I’ll always be a digital geriatric, because everything is ancient within days “in Internet years.” They took my circus and killed my monkeys. Kids these days …

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The Artist D, March 2014

The Internet’s First Super Star Hates the Internet

Whenever I slide through Facebook I am more and more turned off by what the Internet has become. I see angry people posting angry blurbs with angry people commenting back. Anger mixed with the obituaries. Other than a peppering of cat photos, that’s it, that’s all.

Welcome to the Internet of the 21st Century. No longer a refuge for the freak superstars squirreling away in their bedrooms. The people got hold of my space and transformed it into the new normal. The new normal is the same as the old normal that used to exist offline. The old boss moved in and kicked the new boss to the curb. He added commercials, put the populace on a social media intravenous drip, and worst of all made it normal. Man created cable television and man insists on mirroring that concept in all that he touches. Man takes new thing and turns it into old thing, because he’s afraid to try new things.

We used to care about what you thought. I don’t mean the things you think of now. I mean the things you really thought. The things it took a novella to get out of your head and down onto the keyboard. The things that poured out from the depths of your circuits and entered the depths of the Internet’s circuits.

It wasn’t about your political affiliations or how offended you are by someone else’s opinion. In fact we used to laugh at people who got offended on the Internet. Now Internet offense is in vogue. The people have arrived and with them come their silly rules. Rules they like to think are real tangible things in a made up world. Their protect-the-children and hide-your-eyes mentality spills all over the crevices of my digital wonderland like six kids projectile vomiting in an airplane.

I keep coming back because there is an Internet that exists outside of Facebook. It’s not much better and there are just a few pockets of individuality left churning. I come back hoping to find a glimmer of hope that will lead me back into the true Internet underground. I keep looking for the hidden magic door. Yet even in the darkest corners I find people acting like normal people who have lost their substance.

Ultimately I reminisce about the Internet like a sexy gay punk artist reminisces about New York City 1980. Places where the underbelly provided epic amounts of beautiful dirt and artistic grime with sin and true poetic sorrow to bask in.  Now stands a shiny statue of Micky Mouse with big-eyed onlookers staring up thinking about absolutely nothing important.

The Internet shall grow into a sanitized wasteland of human drivel and butt-hurt. It will spin and swirl like a black hole until the humans drink it down to destruction. When they are finished it will look like a paralyzed twitching robot resembling that of the 1986 film Short Circuit.

For me, it has already begun to look like more fun to be offline than on. But that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. In the words of Bukowski then, now and forever: “Wherever the crowd goes, run the other direction. They’re always wrong.”

The Artist D, October 2011

The Artist D, October 2011

Johanna, Your Face Exists

My best friend ever was made online in the late 90’s. Her name was Johanna and she was as interesting of a creature as you know me to be.

Most of my friends were made on the early days of the Internet. I was a very awkward individual back then. I’m still a very awkward individual now! But back in the day in small town country life it was very difficult for a strange glitter-encrusted individual to find the like-minded folks. So, for me it was the free AOL discs that paved the way to freedom of expression and a connection in chat rooms to people whom “got” me.

In the days of AOL Messenger, ICQ and maybe MSN Messenger I met Johanna. We spent our days and nights forever on chats talking about our lives. We talked about our family situations, our repressive towns and our hopes, every one of our dreams. We were your average young teenage friends talking about growing up confused in a very confusing world.

Johanna was unique. I was unique. While there could be chapters told of all the whims and things we investigated as we grew, it is best put that we were unique. We were loners. We were nerds.

Johanna and I grew up. I went on the path you knew me to go (or will know soon enough). Johanna went on her way as well. While she stayed very unique and was always a deep individual, she would find happiness and what we may call normalcy. Johanna had something I could not bear to have. That was the ability to finish high school, go to college and move out into the world as a person with stability. She got a great job working with computers. She loved computers. Much to my surprise she met a guy and fell in love with him. She married him. They were geeks together and seemed like the most perfect pair.

We kept in touch via Twitter and other Internet platforms as the net changed from what we knew to what we know now. She would comment here and there. I would comment a little. Sometimes, maybe once a year, we’d send a direct message. She was very happy that I became the person I was becoming and I was very happy she found happy.

Several years ago I found out that Johanna died. I don’t really grasp how it happened and her last Tweet follows me to this day. I take it was an accident and an act of depression. Everyone was left devastated. Johanna was younger than I and I can tell you now without a doubt that it is most confusingly painful to lose someone you love who hasn’t even surpassed your own age. Old people dying is expected. Young people dying is shite.

As the years go by I never forget Johanna. Much like some of my other friends that I’ll eventually tell you about I will never forget her. The special thing about Johanna is she was my first Internet friend and my original Best Friend Forever. There are tremendous amounts of things people tell each other when growing up that never get mentioned again. They are simply part of growth and you share the moments, but moments are fleeting. The other special thing about Johanna is I see her to this day in other people. The dirty blonde in some people’s long hair. The slightly angelic rounded cheeks. The super emo glasses on a tall gamer chick. The laugh. The sighs. The awkwardness.

We all live on in others. It’s part of the universe’s great cosmic stew of the repetition of greatness. Our traits shake down to dust and those molecules remain to be picked up for centuries to come. This plant. That planet. That other galaxy. Johanna and D, traits that will never be lost but will never be fully duplicated … well, that is until what has happened now will happen again. We are both big fans of Battlestar Gallactica.

The Artist D in 2001

The Artist D in 2001

Veni Vidi Vici

I was on the radio with Ann Marie last week when we were talking about the Art of the Internet. The back in the day sway of things. How it used to be. The love of designing websites every month from 1997 onward. Each time it was with a totally different look. I painstakingly coded the menus, photoshopped the graphics from buttons, banners and most importantly lots of things with my face on it. While always outstanding I was never happy with my layouts. It’s why I changed them so much. Just ask Daniel.

Things are so easily lost thanks to now designing online instead of offline. Back then we made it on our hard drive and then slowly (56k modem) uploaded via FTP to the server which cost a fortune and had bandwidth limits. Every version of my site was easily archived on my hard drive and my backup hard drives. Today we design live. It’s all up here on the Internet connected to the database and strung together within the programming of things beyond my current comprehension. The server goes down and it’s gone. I sneak in the back and adjust some HTML only to find out my old school skills have wrecked the delicate nature of things. A small adjustment could mean the destruction of all things PHP. One slip and I’ve given the PHP HIV.

What a wonderful idea it would be to just keep a blog with all things that are going on forever and ever into eternity. I reflected on Mr. Frank Cotolo’s Blogspot. A creation apparently started in September 2004 and continues on today all thanks to the ever-lasting nature of Blogspot. He has referenced his show on a weekly basis since 2004 and continues to do so right there. Small little blurbs as time marches on. All things not to be wiped away any time soon as Blogger continues to be Blogger.

Ann Marie remarked on what a good idea that would be. I should have a website somewhere that might last. Something that may not go away. Something on a server that won’t go away because I stopped paying the bills. Yes, I thought, something simple. And I could post screen shots of old website layouts long gone to show the kids just what we used to do.

My obsessive compulsive website layout behavior stretched on for over a decade until it slowed to where it is now. My last website design of TheArtistD.com was a supremely customized new age type of which I relied on a template and MYSQL databases for. I jumped in the closet with my then-husband and a disco light. We photographed and recorded video for an hour to come out with the very fabulesque Artist D photos you may have seen before. Multi-coloured, blonde with fishnet gloves as I grooved out to the psychedelic lights spinning.

I’ve left the website up and can’t seem to bring myself to scrap it. It’s become a monument. It’s a piece of ART. While it no longer suits my function and I have outgrown it as I begin creating more content, I just can’t seem to part with it.

I don’t really have a desire to create a fancy stylish website anymore. I don’t want to make anything like I did before and I don’t want an upgraded monstrous thing either. I like the simplicity of a long column of words. For I am and always have been a writer. Besides, the kids these days wouldn’t appreciate the art of a website if it smacked them over the head with a splintered ruler. The Internet of the second decade within the 21st century is about providing inspiration via information and showing what you’ve got. Not inhibition, but ambition. We now teach from being. We do not teach by teaching. A lost art when showing our heart.

This website, BLOODY TYPEWRITER, THE RECAPITULATIONS & COLLECTIONS OF THE ARTIST D, is exactly what it says. I will display the art of the Internet. I will showcase my history. I will give past, present and future. I’ll let you know how it felt to be The Internet’s First Super Star.

TheArtistD.com from 2013 to 2015 by The Artist D

TheArtistD.com from 2013 to 2015 by The Artist D