Friday, March 28, 2008


in the last three interviews i've done, i'm come off like a complete jackass. it's great when I get asked a question about the perks of being in a band, and I mention everything. I mention that it's great to travel, and I also mention that you get free beer sometimes, and of course they only write that I said "free beer". I like that, out of answer that goes on for probably 2 minutes, they pick the line that makes me sound like a complete idiot. I'm cringing right now as I think about it. I don't care if people don't recognize my full potential (whatever that may be), but I can't stand when I'm displayed as a one dimensional, slow witted, high school boy with a small vocabulary who is so quick to compare his band to a band like Wilco...and I am positive that an outside objective listener would never even see the slightest similarity. If I could explain myself, I could easily clear up any misunderstanding..but no, in a long winded answer to a question asking what I wish to bring to Mae's songs, they keep it as short as possible, which does not do me, or more importantly the band,any service. I can only imagine the internal panic that arises when public officials, or more prominent figures in pop culture are either misquoted, taken out of context, or manipulated in the press. I'm sure not many people will even read the little blurb that they wrote about Mae. I'm sure this is all of little consequence, but seeing as it is the last thing I saw in my e-mail, it is fresh on my mind. I'm very ineloquent when put on the spot, and my diction is laughable.
Oh, also, I lost my I-pod in Philadelphia, so I bought a new one, only to the I-Pod I thought I had lost in my backpack. I'm having a great couple weeks so far. I started reading a book called "The Chosen" by Chaim Potok, my dad has read a few of his books and he always likes them, so I thought I'd give it a try. It's good. It's about two Jewish boys in WWII era brooklyn. I've never read much about Jewish culture or the religion. Anyway, it's good so far. I'll keep reading, and then keep reading some more. I'm learning a lot of great Yiddish words, or what I think are Yiddish words. Either way, whatever.

Monday, March 24, 2008


i'm excited. i just bought two tickets for pearl jam. finally. finally. finally.

Monday, March 17, 2008

let it go

This was a response to my last post...

"Why don't you let all this junk go, Zach? It doesn't have to be this way. Jesus is the only source of life, and you can come against that with all kinds of intellect, cynicism and unbelief, but at the end of the day it's still the truth."

The full response is still there if you want to read it in full. The response kind of agitated me for a couple reasons. First of all, what does it mean to "let it go"? Believing in God does not take the place of awareness and sensitivity, nor do I think it should. Jesus being the source of life does not have anything to do with the very hopeless aspects of society, nor does it have anything to do with abuse of God. Why is my cynicism something to be rid of? The holes in the way I live, the we live, is something I can't ignore just because I've found some solace in a belief that I hold to be true, and its truth is something that breaks the confines of mainstream Christianity. My belief is something that makes me more aware, and more sensitive to it. The discrepancy between what the human spirit desires and what the process of living requires and takes away is enough to eradicate a directionless floating euphoria, no matter what the source. Quoting a bible verse does nothing more than make it harder to swallow. You've quoted certain bible verses that simplify "love" to a very singular degree, which is important to remember...but my opinion on the truth of living is not persuaded by a couple verses in the bible. I could just as easily read Matthew 10:34 or the verses in the book of Romans that talks about obedience to authority...those are verses I don't understand, and on first read, I can't agree with. A belief in Jesus Christ is not something that puts me on an imaginary level of disassociation and freedom, it brings be down into the gears of human function, war, prejudice, hypocricy and judgement. Don't tell me to "let it go" my can anyone not be defined by sadness, by awareness of hurt. Love and happiness is a romantic notion because it is the exception to the rule, and it is only identifiable because the alternative is it's opposite. Peace of mind is an elating feeling, a feeling that "cant last forever", a rare idealistic idea. I believe that delusion is necessary for survival, an ignorance to the obvious truth of a reality that is not one which you can just dismiss. I believe that if one were not in some form of denial, their heart would surely stop from the intrinsic hurt and empathy of an existence that is riddled with pain from the curse of indifference, that on some level is required to survive. it's a truth that was approached in a humorous way by Joseph Heller, and in a very real way by Albert Camus. i have never denied the possibility of true happiness, but I think that comes from peace of mind, which I think is possible even if you are a cynic. Cynicism is simply awareness, and the refusal to deny that everything is "beautiful", or that everything ultimately works out for the best. I don't think that everything will be ok..Jesus doesn't promise separation from pain. Belief in Jesus is something that opens your eyes to a new reality that allows wisdom through humility and a peaceful, tolerant, compassionate approach to living. Belief in Jesus opens your eyes, it doesn't make you naive, it allows truth to enter into your spirit, and truth is not always something that is easy to understand, or even support. Truth can go against what you feel is correct, or it can be very uplifting.
This is the way I see the world, and I believe it is the only way one should see it. Everything is NOT OK, and I am merely a lazy critique of a world which I will never understand, and I fear if I ever do, suicide would be something that makes too much sense. I try my best to reduce my existence to a practice of smiling, forgiving, and identifying with those whom normally I would not understand. There is very little truth that applies to every person in a similar context. And the truth which you so easily proclaim, means very different things to very different people. For Kierkegaard, belief in God was something to suffer, and for Rob Bell it is something to apply in a very (some would say) deceptively easy manner. So who is correct? Although, that is besides the point. I do not wake up with frowns and go to bed in tears, I do not avoid laughter and I believe in true love, but realizing true love means that you must also realize the existence of heart-breaking human folly, and the strange juxtaposition of indifference and concern, love directed by lust and hate inspired by misunderstanding, fear fueled by media and politics, vanity and wealth canonized by the snakes of dirty media. God is crying just like a sad mother of a son who has made every wrong decision, placed value in the wrong stock, and just like a mother, God has taken (surprisingly enough to me, in a true display agape love) a parental pride in the rare displays of good will and sound humility. The reason He has reason to smile comes from infants and the elderly, those who are naive and those are have seen the big picture.
Is the abundance of injustice an excuse to dismiss it? We can excuse so many things, but nothing really goes away, no problems are solved, they are just evaded, they are dealt with. We are all on some kind of drug, wouldn't we have to be? Regardless of belief in Christ. True happiness comes from love, and true love is so heart breaking. That's the value and beauty of it, the test of endurance. I do believe things are getting worse, but there is much to be said about the human spirit and our resilience, the capacity we have for denial. (so much so that we can make it "truth". )

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. "-Kierkegaard

"The unhappy mouse has already succeeded in piling up--in the form of questions and doubts--a large number of dirty tricks in addition to its original dirty trick; it has accumulated such a large number of insoluble questions round every one question that it is drowned in a sort of deadly brew, a stinking puddle made up of its doubts, its flurries of emotion, and lastly, the contempt with which the plain men of action cover it from head to foot while they stand solemnly round as judges and dictators and split their sides with laughter at it"--Dostoevsky

"I'm even inclined to believe that the best definition of man is--a creature who walks on two legs and is ungrateful"--Dostoevksy

Friday, March 14, 2008

i'm going west, but i'd rather go south

i'm waiting for laundry to dry and then i'm going to pack my suitcase for what feels like the 30th time this year. at this point, packing takes me about ten minute. i've been having nightmares of click tracks and bad midi cables, grounding issues, time constraints and distance sucking the smiles out of a good time. I'm very tired, and when I say tired, i mean exhausted, all the way down to my kidneys and other internal organs that support my life. also, it doesn't help that when I turn on NPR I get to hear about racism in the political arena and governors who pay insane amounts of money for sex, and then he apologizes for it with his wife at his side, so Clinton-esque! Although, a lot of politicians are racists, a lot of them pay for sex, they pay for votes and they blackmail, and they lie and all that great stuff that elected officials like to do. so i've been sliding down this cynical slide for the last 5 years of my life, i think it's all connected with reading books like "Deterring Democracy", or reading Ecclesiastes.

I should get in my car, clean the insides of it, fill it with gas and drive south, and further south, and try my best to close my eyes while I pass South of the Border, hold my breath while I cross the small bridge into Florida, pay close attention to the road signs in Jacksonville and end up on Lake Ivanhoe with a stomach full of sushi and a gut full of wine. Sushi makes me drunk, wine will just put me to sleep. i feel filthy, i am rotten.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

botanical gardens in the freezing cold

I started writing this book a few months ago, it was after a school like fit of inspiration. characters came to life out of nowhere, while i was watching syndicated sitcoms at 7 pm, I couldn't avoid it. so i started writing these pages, and there were two main characters, i didn't know much about exposition, i didn't have a very interesting starting point..but I went ahead with it anyway, it was a very random experience that went to great places rather quickly. I wasn't in control of the characters, but the way things played out, I could feel fairly confident in the direction they were headed. being the author...i developed a respect for the characters, so i didn't want to control with them my literary whims or fears, it's not fun to control things, but it's so nerve wracking. When the characters take a an unexpected turn, and it's a turn which you can't dismiss because as the author, you deeply value the characters and their judgements. you respect what they do, what decisions they make. so, the strange push and pull is that while you feel you have complete control as the author, the characters that have come into the story deserve no manipulation. as a self respecting author, you should have a very lassaiz-faire approach. and you weep through the story you created....and that is so perverse, but at the same time, it's the only respectable thing to do. it's really unfortunate, it makes authors go crazy and eventually they sink into their dramatic depths, it turns into real depression. it's all very over stated and to a person that employs a grind like living (reality), it's pathetic...but it all comes from a respect for art, so silly. am i making sense? as fortunate as this is, it could end up being equally unfortunate, and that is generally common, and it applies to many things in life, so, what's the difference this time? The difference is that I care about it. the main character is a drag, but the protagonist is a valuable (beautiful and sensible, sober and realistic) one, just not a sucker. just come back in summer, it's warmer then.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

no offense

I don't have anything of importance to say lately, nothing worth writing, nothing uplifting or pensive. It's been pretty vacant...and no, that is not a reference to the Sex Pistols. Anyway, recently I've been dealing with my own inadequacies and short falls. Although, on the way home from the airport, it started raining, it reminded me of what I think pre-historic rain might be like. On the way home we heard Jack Johnson on the radio, and I very much dislike his music. I've heard he is a nice person, and that is awesome and what is most important, but his music gets on my last nerve. It's so neo-college rock in the worst way. It's the music you hear at a party that is put on by frat dudes at the beach house with Abercrobmie hats on, no shirt, and I'm sure you can guess the rest. It's OK that some songs can be used as montage for certain parts of movies or TV shows that exploit any genuine emotion with bad cliche' plots, but I feel like Jack Johnson writes songs that are intentionally written to be used as montages in feel good movies of the summer--- bad movies. There are these certain things bands can do to create a cheap of them is to play a song in halftime, and add 16th notes on the high hat....which is OK in my biased mind. It reminds me of Red Hot Chili Peppers circa "Blood Sugar Sex Magik", or Pantera. And then, there are also songs with a rhythm that is a cheap groove in the Jack Johnson way, or like Los Lonely Boys (How Far Is Heaven), or bad church worship bands...more driven by guitars. I don't mean to be negative, it just came to mind the other night.