Friday, April 25, 2008

archeological dig--Part 1

my mom used to come home from work still warm from the heat of the car on the ride home. her perfume would be dilluted from a day's work, wearing off and being over taken by the stale scent of a public school building, mixed with all of those horrible unfamiliar cheap scents that other alien woman would pour all over their necks and wrists. I still feel most at home in florida, almost anywhere in Florida. The house I grew up in has slowly become less cluttered and more focused since I left, it has become my parents home. God bless them for putting up with me, I had a lot of amplifiers and guitar cases that would mark and scuff the walls on the way up and down the stairs, my mom hated it, and she would always threaten to make me paint the walls before I moved out, which I never did. I would have these band practices down in my room that went until nine or ten pm. I couldn't imagine how irritable that probably made her. all the walls would shake, and the feedback that was constant because of the close proximity of all the amps. We were all young, so the name of the game wasn't to make some cohesive uniform sound as much as it was to be loud. Either way, it was obnoxious and sweaty. Maybe some small corner of her heart still misses it, maybe not. On most days you'll find me in a fairly pleasant mood in Florida, wasting hours. When almost every city holds 1,000 memories..all of these experiences that have played a major roll in my architecture, they all leap out of the scenery. From front porches and college bars and pretentious know-nothings in Gainesville, to DIY records, naive ambition, pure love, and sibling support in Orlando, to dainty, story book southern,creative types, cold springs and houses about to collapse from character (not only from the antiquated style of home, but from those living in its guts) in Tallahassee. I can't go on cause I'll lose focus. A while ago in some old journal, I started an archeological dig into my past. Looking for integral artifacts and events that made the culture of myself what it is today. Most of it is probably obvious, but my development centers on music and its recurring liberation, the continuing reconciliation, or resignation to politics and/or spirituality, and unfortunately, all three affect each other in strange unpredictable, compounding and confusing ways. It seems like everything flows into some Nile river of human nature. I think it all started with a punk band called Propagandhi. I bought their album, "How To Clean Everything" on cassette after hearing a song called, "...and we thought nation states were a bad idea". I had to hide it from my parents. The band immediately made me uneasy, interested, and energized all at once. It's funny to think about my reaction to this band, me (at the time) being an upper-middle class, southern baptist white boy. I was hip to MxPx and Ghoti Hook, but what church kid wasnt? After getting rather used to empty rebellion, dull witted humor and love songs, I was thrown into a song like this :-)

"Publicly subsidized! Privately profitable!" That's the anthem of the upper-tier (the puppeteer untouchable). We focus a moment, nod in approval and bury our head back in the bar-codes of these neo-colonials while our former nemesis (ah, the romance!): the nation-state, now plays fund-raiser for a new brand of power-concentrate. Try again, but now we're confused- what is "class-war"? Is this class war? Yes, this is class war. And I'm just a kid- I can't believe that I gotta worry about this kind of shit!

What a stupid world! Yeah, this is just beautiful... absolutely no regard for principle. What a stupid world. (We're): 1) born 2) hired 3) disposed! Where that job lands, everybody knows and you can tell by the smile on the CEO's that the environmental restraints are about to go. You can bet that laws will be set to ensure the benefit of unrestricted labor-laws (all kept in place by displaced government death squads). They own us. They produce us. They consume us. Can you fucking believe this? What a stupid world. Fuck this bullshit display of class-loyalties. The media and "our" leaders wrap it all up in a flag- their fucking shit-rag. hooray! "

It was all refreshing, a new breed of passion and honesty. Woohoo!

My mind keeps traversing over so many topics that are worth thinking about or mentioning when thinking about my development. I think it's an obvious thing when teenagers identify with "punk rock" or whatever, it's romantic, a lot of fun, and it does connect with a certain part of adolescence, but the annoying thing is when there is never any growth or evolution from the romantic to the real. I was never comfortable with anything that existed in the middle. Of course in high school, that is not too far reaching. So much of a young persons existence is defined by an either/or way of thinking. I think that when the colors bleed together, you become invisible, you lost identity and I hated the idea of that then as much as I do now. So music provided this identity, and punk provided a community. It was never about directionless rebellion to me, my parents were great. They were reasonable people, I never had any reason to be contrary, or difficult, I was always very passive. Nothing about my life was hard, but my friends and my admirations and ambitions still found themselves most vivid in punk rock circles, although I didn't have much to relate to until I found out that there were bands that offered rebellion, or alternative thinking out of passion and research, not boredom. Once I found out that I could get book recommendations from socially conscious punk bands, I was hooked. And as much as I think punk is, a lot of times, silly, I swear it's responsible for over half of who I am now. So it was this great sky busting epiphany. All of a sudden I was finding out about cornerstones of american history through music, not text books. I read Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky today because I was made aware from listening to a cassette tape, not from my parents, my preacher, my friends or my teachers. It was interesting to read about the labor struggles (Ludlow Massacre), central american puppet governments of the 80's, COINTEL PRO, economic self interest, global reputation and practice, hypocrisy, and the G-8! I loved that after reading "The Jungle", I realized that it was a book about socialism, as much as it was about the meat packing industry. I love that I learned about anarchy from people like Emma Goldman, not bands like Total Chaos. So what now? Rebellion all of a sudden had a direction, a purpose to learn and figure out things on my own. Everything branched out so quickly...all of those "cornerstones in American history" i just mentioned were merely the tip of the ice berg, you can find that out so easily just by asking general questions and researching for 5 minutes on the internet. From then on I started working myself out. I was exposed to something honest and objective, where my feelings or opinions weren't of consequence when figuring it out. Needless to say, this opened up fruitful, albeit typical and continual, half-assed, suburban rebellion, a self-exploratory journey that left little time for anything else. This wonderful and frustrating thing happened where one book would point to five others. Everything kept unfolding, and reaching out in every direction. Propagandhi led to Chomsky, who led to Zinn, who led to Machiavelli, who led to Nietzsce, who led to Russel, who led to CS Lewis. Emerson and Thoreau to Ayn Rand. Vonnegut, Kierkegaard, Orwell, etc. The curse of learning is that you are never satisfied, nor do you have the time to delve into every region you wish to. Once I went deeper into political history and social unrest, the closer you get to the question of human nature and that leads you into the metaphysical and the frustrating crop circles of philosophy. This is all leading somewhere, I promise, I hope.

4 Comments:

Blogger Brett aka Benji said...

That's my boy right there.

3:35 PM

 
Blogger Jacob said...

Here we go :)

7:53 PM

 
Blogger Melanie said...

I'm waiting to see where it leads.
I'm feeling like reading Eccliastes about now. LOL

1:40 AM

 
Blogger Melanie said...

Shoot.. it's late and I can't type, but you probably can figure it out. Ecclesiastes

1:42 AM

 

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