You’ll Pay the Devil, All Right…

I know I’m not the first person to make this observation, but I’ve known about the video for “She’s Gone” by Hall & Oates for almost as long as I’ve been listening to Abandoned Luncheonette  (we’ve both been around for a little while). And I’ve always had trouble reconciling this staple of AOR and Lite Rock radio stations with the sheer what-the-fuckery of the video.

Watch it.  I dare you.  Go on.

Now tell me what’s more disturbing: the Neanderthal shape of Daryl Hall’s head, or John Oates looking even more satanic than the actual devil portrayed in the video?

I mean, Jeebus… *shudder*

Bet you feel a cold chill when you think of his “Private Eyes” seeing your every move now, don’t you?

My Artist Statement (or, When in Ithaca…)

Via 500 Letters

Don (°1973, United States) is an artist who works in a variety of media. By demonstrating the omnipresent lingering of a ‘corporate world’, Don presents everyday objects as well as references to texts, painting and architecture. Pompous writings and Utopian constructivist designs are juxtaposed with trivial objects. Categories are subtly reversed.

His artworks demonstrate how life extends beyond its own subjective limits and often tells a story about the effects of global cultural interaction over the latter half of the twentieth century. It challenges the binaries we continually reconstruct between Self and Other, between our own ‘cannibal’ and ‘civilized’ selves. With a subtle minimalistic approach, he creates work in which a fascination with the clarity of content and an uncompromising attitude towards conceptual and minimal art can be found. The work is aloof and systematic and a cool and neutral imagery is used.

His practice provides a useful set of allegorical tools for manoeuvring with a pseudo-minimalist approach in the world of art: these meticulously planned works resound and resonate with images culled from the fantastical realm of imagination. With the use of appropriated materials which are borrowed from a day-to-day context, his works references post-colonial theory as well as the avant-garde or the post-modern and the left-wing democratic movement as a form of resistance against the logic of the capitalist market system.

He creates situations in which everyday objects are altered or detached from their natural function. By applying specific combinations and certain manipulations, different functions and/or contexts are created.

Yup, that sounds about right.

Mabuhay ng Pilipinas, Motherf–kers!

Just three of the reasons I’m proud to be Filipino:

Toadies of Filipino martial arts practitioners talk the best smack…

We take Good Friday really fucking seriously

We… uhh… apparently also take cosplay really fucking seriously
(The video’s in Tagalog, but you’ll get the gist.)

Reminds me of what Dad always used to say: “Aba!”

One of These Is Not Like the Others

I was doing research down a line similar to this–I guess you could call it music video anthropology–and I stumbled on some live performances from the Tower of Power of their classic song “So Very Hard To Go,” performed by various line-ups of the band over 35 or so years.

Now, I’m not saying anything about quality.  Just that one of these is not like the others.

I’m just saying.

Write Hard

I won this, and now I’m about to pay it forward.

The rules say (and we all know how good I am about rules, right)…

When you win:

1. Post the picture above to your blog. You can link here if you want. It doesn’t have to become part of the permanent clutter of your sidebar. Goodness no.

2. List at least three writers who you feel live up to the “write hard” spirit. Think: writers who work at their craft, writers who never give up despite the odds, writers who constantly turn out quality work. Writers you admire. Optional: explain why you think they are awesome.

3. Include these rules or a link to them.

4. Notify said writers of their victory. Ask them to pass on the torch.

5. Continue being awesome.

Hey, I’ll do one better.  I can give you four

Mercedes M. Yardley.  You know how I idolize all those big-name writers whose writing wisdom revolves around, “There are no excuses, the muse is a myth, there is no writer’s block.  Just sit down, STFU, and write!”  But the thing is, when I fail at getting writing done–and I often do–there’s a subconscious comfort in knowing that I’m not my heroes.  No, I’m not Ray Bradbury, so of course I couldn’t just churn out a story this week, I subconsciously think.  It’s all good.

Then, I look at Mercedes.

Seriously, just read her blog.  With everything she has going on, no one would ever blame her for missing a writing day.  Except she almost never does.  Or when she does, then she’s slushing or doing other writerly things–or, she’s doing wifey/motherly things.  What she doesn’t do is give herself the excuse to whine about how there’s no time.   No playing the world’s smallest violin for her!

If she has no excuses, I sure as hell have no excuses, not by a damn sight. 

This is what Mr. Pink thinks of your writing excuses–and mine.

Calista Taylor.  I joke about my ADD-like inability to focus on writing anything longer than a 5,000-word short story.  As most of you know, the thought of writing something novel length has always scared the piss out of me.  Dedicating yourself to a project that big is one thing.  But knowing that even if you succeed in cranking it out, it could all still go down the drain if you can’t find an agent…?  Or, even after you find an agent if no one buys it…?  Or, even after someone buys it, it gets gutted or even axed for no good reason…?  All that time and thousands of words… *shudder*

Yet, you know who’s been sticking it through all of those stages, and more than once?  Cali.  And that’s why I know she’s within a hair’s breadth of it.  She’s given me a front row seat as to exactly what the ups and downs of novel publication looks like, and you better believe I’m taking careful notes.

There’s a two-way tie between Regan Leigh and Layna Pimentel.  These two write as hard as anybody, but how they have time for that and still keeping up with their network of friends and contacts, to say nothing about the stuff going on in their lives, I have no idea.  It’s all I can do to keep from turning anti-social to the point of misanthropy (Some might tell you I’ve failed miserably).  The thought of hosting something like Query Chat?  Damn, Regan.  Beyond me, I tell you.  And if anyone I’m following on Twitter is a real social butterfly–and I don’t mean just perpetually pinging them on #followfriday or #writerwednesday, but actually interacting with folks–it’s Layna. 

Now, I don’t want to obligate anybody.  Merc, Cali, Regan, and Layna have better things to do than pass this thing forward.  I didn’t, but I love ’em all and I would’ve done it anyway.

One Good Turn, &c.

So, I may not be sure exactly where I fit into the whole social-writer-networking thing, but I at least know to return a compliment.  I’m a little late, but let me return a shout-out to Medeia, who gave me The Picasso Award last week.

The idea is to post seven truths about myself and invite others to do the same.  Now, in the interest of bandwidth conservation, I don’t like pressuring people into playing along.  But by all means, any and all comers are welcome to.

So, here goes.  But, caveat emptor: I share the same views on truth as Obi-Wan Kenobi.

  1. One of my mutant superpowers is the ability to hum along with the horn lines from any Chicago song on any Chicago album.
  2. If an object can cut a person, I can probably use it effectively as a weapon.
  3. I’m a caffeine abuser. Always have been.  And even though I struggle to moderate my use, I really don’t have any plans to cut it out completely.  
  4. While I like the idea of turning the other cheek, I don’t do it as much as I should. I treat my emotional and verbal battles like physical altercations, i.e. I counterattack while I’m defending myself.  In both cases, that response was developed after years of training.
  5. “Plan Z” (aka “My life plan if all else fails and falls apart”) is to take my trumpet and wander the earth like Caine in Kung-Fu, playing and finding adventure.
  6. It’s been too long since I’ve played a table-top role-playing game.
  7. My writing owes as much to jazz musician Chet Baker as it does to Raymond Carver.

Any questions?