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

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 allow us.

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

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 it.

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?

Wafting odors of 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 that 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, 1 million, you’ll spend it all. You’ll need more. You’ll always run out! I promise.

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 your 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 dreams.

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

The Artist D, August 2018

The Artist D, August 2018

I Have a Reservation

Never be afraid to live your life alone. I swear to you that this may be one of the meanings of life. We emerge from the primordial goo all stuck together as a ball of molecules. We shape into humans. Alone as alone can be in this cosmic thing.

As soon as we leave the womb we start to seek a connection back into the goo. We have not been aware of singularity and are frightened by it. Perhaps that’s what all the crying is about. I believe this is why we forever seek our “other halves” and want to be around tribes. We are nostalgic for the goo we emerged from.

I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong before.

But I live this life alone. I am surrounded by lovers, partners, friends, and yet I am still alone. Sometimes I think it’s for the best because there are enough people in my head, any more people would be a crowd.

This is why I don’t hesitate to say, “Table for one, please.” At the fanciest restaurants around. The kind where the waiter tries not to look at you “like that” as he shuffles you to the small group of tables “for one.”

The overheard conversations of others keep my attention and I am not required to interact with them. That is an added bonus. I get dinner and a show all thanks to the theater of the living.

Sometimes I will glance over at the empty chair across from me and get that human twinge of self pity. How nice would it be if a friend was here with me? It would be nice, but it wasn’t meant to be at this time and in this place. Maybe a friend will join me next time.

Besides, if I was here holding court and entertaining a friend, I never would have got to listen to the lady at the next table seriously discussing aliens being trapped in volcanoes. Did you know that when the volcano erupted the bits and pieces of alien bodies blew everywhere? And since they had nowhere to go they absorbed into the humans all around them. Which is why, I assume, she thinks we are all made up of extraterrestrials.

The only down side to listening to other people’s conversations is the usual social restriction of not being able to plunk myself down at their table and say, “Please, do tell me more!” Although in some cases this would be perfectly alright.

Don’t hold back from going it alone. Make the reservation, treat yourself solo. Take you and all of your imaginary friends out to dinner sometime. This may be the only time our souls, spirits, and molecules are alone together. Take advantage of that, do not wallow in it as if it were a prison sentence.

Be bold alone as you would be with others. We’ll all be together again soon in a big dump of gooey ooze anyway. Where, if I am correct about any of this, we will never be able to reserve that table for one again.

The Artist D

The Artist D, June 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

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

Dream Dust

Written in hypnagogia.

Transcribed by phone.

To sleep perchance to live.

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

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

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

To hate them with lawless passion.

To rekindle friendships with friends long gone.

To have long-lasting meaningful conversations with the Dead.

To kindle friendships with the Unborn.

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

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

Perchance sleeping isn’t really sleeping at all.

For what is this Waking Life?

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

The bug crawling across your chest.

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

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

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

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

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

They’re sleepwalking all day long.

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

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

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

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

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

You can soar and you can sink in the dreams.

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

Snapchat-2010829528

The Artist D, July 2017

Ahead of the Curve and Off the Cliff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Artist D, July 2017

The Artist D, July 2017

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