Staccato Thoughts # 2

June 04, 2009

The last couple weeks I’ve been working until the early morning hours. What little free time I’ve had I’ve used to get myself into romantic drama, the less I speak of the better. My point is that these two things combined have given my recent staccato thoughts a shade of melancholy and anxiousness.

I hung out with a girl recently who said “I don’t have time at this mo”
Haha. did she say it ironically?
Yea sort of I guess. it’s kind of hard to tell with my generation. We can be ironic in earnest

I got this Bob Neuhart record recently where he voices a couple WWII soldiers
guarding a remote outpost who were never informed the war was over. He went on to imagine how funny it would be if they saw some tourists come down the road and think they are spies or something. But the initial premise of forgotten soldiers frozen in time isolated from the social and technological advances of the world around them seems really interesting.

I stumbled upon the email draft I never finished for some cover letter.  I think at the time I aborted the more artsy version I was working on, and dashed off something clinical and professional. But this early draft bore evidence of my trying to engage in the task in a typically Ali-esque overly naive, earnest way.

I paint foxes and ghosts,
photograph lonely trees
and women who are too cute for their own good.

My work explores the world of quite emotions.
The ones we steep in for years,
stain us to the core and slowly change us
to the people we grow out of and into.

More simply I’m a student of light,
It’s how I see the world,
and is the transport of all that I feel and create.

I met a girl at a party once who worked as a lighting designer for commercial spaces.
I asked her what drew her to that line of work,
she said after some deliberation “Sometimes I think light is the only truth in the world.”
It took everything inside me to keep from kissing her right then and there.

All this talk of truth and purpose got me going down this thought sequence:

truth is simple
no truth is complex
truth is simple but informed by infinite complexity
no the reverse is true, truth is simple and gives rise to infinite variation and complexity
it’s naive to think truth exists as a fixed point
its relative to the observer and is changed by the observer in the act of observation
it’s all syntactical dead ends, as ultimately we define the concepts to make sense of something that exists as a whole
not in modular pieces we use words to represent
still the search is worthwhile because it develops our ability to understand things more systematically
which is useful in observation and problem solving
which is ultimately useful in helping us achieve the ends we define as important
both in helping us identify those ends, and in their attainment
but still we have a vague suspicion that truth exists independently of us and is complete
so we give birth to god to represent the sphere of understanding outside of us
but as society develops, god and what he represents is further marginalized, as our understanding expands
still, the closer you get to the finish line, the more you are aware you are not finished with the race,
so as our societies near an almost complete understanding of the universe, we become more painfully aware it is incomplete
god has outlived his purpose in calming this anxiety so we reach for what we call “happiness” and it’s attainment
but happiness hasn’t had the thousands of years to be codified as doctrine the way god and religion has
so in the mean time we scurry around defining it for ourselves
which for most is a transactive process like so much else
something to be bought and sold
earned or stolen, taken or given

These lines were inspired by the song Elephant Woman, by Blond Redhead:

Feed me from your heart
cause an accident unfortunate
tear myself through you
my loose arms snag on your sharp brambles
i shed no tears for broken me.

I was sitting in my apartment thinking of a girl from my past and started writing:

we got back
much too late
our mouths stained
wild with berries
our hands sore
with secrets
we smile over
in our sleep

I thought of her tonight as I felt an unusual craving for camomile tea.
In Paris I got in the habit of drinking camomile tea with her and her roommates
at night huddled around each other in a dimly lit kitchen before bed
there was something beautiful about that
now when I come across camomile tea I think of her and Paris and get a weird mix of emotions

I always argue that I’m impenetrable to moods
that my feelings always exist in an objective, consistent space
but right now I’m in a blue mood
there are many things to justify it at this particular moment
but I’ve had similar trying moments where I’ve been able to maintain positivity
but right now I feel an impulse to be destructive or be destroyed
it’s curious how foreign yet similar both impulses feel
i think because sadness is about anxiety of the unknown
and destruction whether it’s inflicted or received has the satisfaction of resolution

I’ve been thinking about this episode of Married With Children where Al is obsessed with some long forgotten song he can’t remember the name of. He tries to track it down to no avail until he finally gets down on his knees and prays to god to show a sliver of mercy for him and this one desire in his otherwise miserable existence, and at that moment the jukebox in the room begins playing the song and he’s able to buy the last remaining 7inch of it, of course before it gets destroyed at the end of the episode.

I’ve been thinking of this scene from Kids in the Hall where two French Canadian fur hunters canoe through a urban office building setting traps and clubbing business men, the payoff at the end being that they sell the nice Armani suits and whatnot to a department store as they would beaver pelts to a colonial era merchant. The part of the scene that sticks with me though is where Kevin McDonald gets away by chewing through his leg and one of the hunters stops the other from perusing by saying in a calm admiring tone something to the effect of “No Francis, let him go, he has heart…”

I’ve been thinking recently about the Pete and Pete episode King of the Road where their Hoover dam odyssey is contrasted against a perfect rival family.

The scene from Vampire Hunter D Blood Lust where a vampire dies in the daylight to say goodbye to the mortal woman he loves and who loves him in return. The scene offered a really interesting reversal of the normal emotional composition of a vampire mercenary scene in that you had more sympathy for the villain and the damsel in distress, than for the hero, in fact the emotions in the scene all play in symmetrical inversion of what is expected.

I’ve been thinking of the film Gattaca and how in the future when you can select your child’s genes, it will be possible to date people by fads in gene selection they bear evidence of. Much in the same way you can determine what year classic American cars are from by the shape and size of their headlights/tail fins.

I love the scene in Punch Drunk Love where Adam Sandler confides in his sister’s husband that he cries for no reason, then cries for no reason. Then his little remaining trust for that group of people is broken when his sisters husband tells his sisters, he smashes the patio window. Also later when the female lead tells him that she knew she was interested in him when she saw a photo of him as a boy surrounded by his sisters. I so perfectly imagined what that photo would have looked like with a sad little boy overwhelmed and surrounded by throngs of hyper little girls and how that might have appealed to her sympathies and mirrored the sentiment expressed in the prominently placed song in the soundtrack titled “He needs me.”

Though I’m a big fan of Darren Aronofsky, I didn’t like The Fountain at all. That being said I still have to own that the scene where his wife is in the bathtub and he talks with her after loosing his wedding ring is really incredible. The two parts I like in particular are where she notices his ring is missing and makes a bad joke “Just can’t wait huh?” (Because she’s dying of cancer) and he gets upset and gets up to leave. The expression on her face when she realizes her joke was in bad taste and pulls him back with this look of sadness and regret is so amazingly genuine. Also the way the heavy current of the scene is re directed to something light and playful when she drags him down into the bathtub fully dressed and they laugh together is really beautiful and plays through my mind on a almost weekly basis.

There is this amazingly good burn In the film Searching For Bobby Fisher. The boys father, annoyed to listen to his sons teacher complain to him that the boy spends too much time playing “that game” (chess) instead of studying or something. He responds to her by saying “My son is better at this game then you will be at anything in your entire life.” It’s a great scene but the idea he expresses in burning her is really intriguing and though it’s been many years since I’ve seen the film I think about that line regularly.

One comment
  1. “she said after some deliberation “Sometimes I think light is the only truth in the world.”
    It took everything inside me to keep from kissing her right then and there.”

    I always thought only fictional characters in books think things like that!

    It made my day.


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