Friday, March 30, 2007

"Dying Is Pointless..."

" have to know how to disappear."

Jean Baudrillard has disappeared, leaving a very real hole in the flimsy fabric of hyper-reality, one that won't soon be filled, if ever.

Now it's off to the "dead ghetto."


"Perhaps our eyes are merely a blank film which is taken from us after our deaths to be developed elsewhere and screened as our life story in some infernal cinema or dispatched as microfilm into the sidereal void."

Hope this was more prescience than jinx.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Reading Raoul...

Hey you, the guy (or girl) languidly dreaming about changing the world simply by riding his bicycle every now and then, how about putting down the remote, getting off your fat, lazy, winter-swollen ass and using your finger (any one, your choice) to turn off the glass teat*, and (understanding that it's asking way too fucking much to suggest that you actually BUY THE BOOK) heading over to (brilliant name, that) to read (that's right, expose your mind to something alien: theta brain waves) Raoul Vaneigem's excellent take on creating a meaningful existence that recognizes the imperative gravity of space-time lived experience, The Revolution of Everday Life".

What the fuck does that mean? on the link, FFS!

Oh, got there, did you? And now your back, in a proverbial and utterly urbane flash. What's that? Topic too profound? Decided it wasn't for you? You want—no, need—to just turn off your mind and relax after a tough day at work designing rockets, to not think (oh, the agony!)? To simply be "entertained" by watching some bullshit Tarantino flick—where "creative" acts of violence substitute for plot and represent high art, the target of innumerable theses in an ever increasingly absurd world where the quantifiable reigns supreme over the qualitative—that came to your door in a little red envelope—bingo!—like magic (but not the magic, the one that was all but eradicated by the Age of Enlightenment, with its monomaniacal pursuit of rationalism and objectivity and its intransigent persecution of all things mysterious—in effect, its efforts to nail to the floor once and for all the very feet of God)? Or maybe a tribute to cop culture that makes you feel tough and proud and devoid of the need to do violence yourself, like the popular, pustular television drama "24"?

Fine. Help yourself (feel the irony?). All the world's a stage: take your seat. As the French say, "retour à la normale." Back to the herd.

End of alcohol-induced rant.

"Psychophysiologist Thomas Mulholland found that after just 30 seconds of watching television the brain begins to produce alpha waves, which indicates torpid (almost comatose) [slow] rates of activity. Alpha brain waves are associated with unfocused, overly receptive states of consciousness. A high frequency alpha waves [sic] does not occur normally when the eyes are open. In fact, Mulholland’s research implies that watching television is neurologically analogous to staring at a blank wall."
Wes Moore, Television: Opiate of the Masses

"To be rich nowadays merely means to possess a large number of poor objects."
—Raoul Vaneigem

"Who wants a world in which the guarantee that we shall not die of starvation entails the risk of dying of boredom? "
—Raoul Vaneigem

"Television knows no night. It is perpetual day. TV embodies our fear of the dark, of night, of the other side of things."
—Jean Baudrillard

*Harlan Ellison's term, respectfully pinched for this post.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Selling, But Not Selling Out...

Okay, shameless self-promotion without the profit. Art for art's sake. Whatever.

Tee shirts featuring the 2007 Punk Bike Enduro image (Iggy Pop w/ Biker Babe) are now available at my "store" on CafePress. There are two styles of shirts for chix and one for dix. All are white. All are made in the USA. What this last bit really means is that to make this tee shirt, no child of asian descent was interrupted while gnawing off a limb to escape the manacle binding him/her—in accordance with the unassailable rules of globalization and its noble race to the bottom—to an aging Singer. That's meaningful.

Oh yeah, the reason the word store appears above in " " (besides the obvious): I make nothing from the sale of these shirts. The prices reflect the same amount—and not one kopek more—that Cafepress would charge me if I were to buy one myself, which I just did, size L (kiss me, I'm a non-fucking-profit). That's meaningful too, at least to me.

Full disclosure: If you're not familiar with CafePress, it costs me nothing to "sell" these shirts, either. And anyway, given the small audience for which this item may have an appeal, any profit from sales likely wouldn't even cover my tab for one night at the local pub. So, there you have it.

Also, I have not yet seen the final product in the flesh, so to speak. However, if you zoom the image at CafePress, it looks like all the details (e.g., skull-filled background) will show up nicely on the shirts. At the risk of beating this all to death, I'll post a pic when mine arrives.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Personally Famous...

Ah, fame at last. Never imagined it could feel so edifying.

Wait, that's not the word; so, pedestrian. Yeah, that's it.

Seems one chap who rode in the recent Single Speed Punk Bike Enduro appreciated the years of sweat equity (and strict asceticism normally reserved for trappist monks) that it took to raise my drawing talents to their material apogee, as represented in my latest artistic reification seen at right (with a dash of pink) and here.

So he approached me to ask for the rights, which I shamelessly granted. The result is shown in the pic above, artfully cropped to preserve his anonymity. Immortalized through the magic of the old school iron-on transfer—a DIY one-off job that seems to have turned out quite well—the image now adorns a canvas à trois dimensions in this world, having narrowly escaped the simulated, absolute zero confines of cyberspace. Nice work!

Did I say immortalized? I meant briefly rescued from shameful obscurity (damn 13¢ words!). The bane of iron-ons, of course, is their tendency to eventually peel away from the fabric like an old scab—hence their near annihilation beneath the bootheel of more technologically advanced processes such as dye sublimation and screenprinting.

But the iron-on's strength lies in its immediacy (as Hakim Bey uses the word), in the fact that it can be created at home with only a modest investment of time and equipment—the same intangible quality that makes all DIY projects ennobling. And its ephemeral nature offers another advantage, at least in this case: if it does self-destruct, it will probably happen before the tell-tale year included in the design renders it passé. Heaven—and all Hell's minions—forbid!

(The iron-on is sort of the fixed gear of the fashion world...long live the iron-on!)

Again, nice job, my friend.

Speaking of the Enduro, here's the GPS data for the ride, flagrantly stolen from Big John of Empathy Test fame. (Hmm, I recall a couple of miles that didn't seem to make the graph—then again, the lines I usually pick can't exactly be called straight.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

SSPBE2007: A Punktorial...

Just a smattering of pix from the 2007 Single Speed Punk Bike Enduro.

Beer. Bikes. Beauty.

More shots and possibly a ride report to follow.

From the Land of Sweet Meadows and Meadowsweet...

...and patria of the blacksmith Kirkpatrick Macmillan, inventor of the first rear-driven bike, comes this year's Single Speed World Championships on September 1st and 2nd.

Entry fee is 20 GBP, which comes in at just under 40 USD.

All the other wee heavy details can be found here.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Tip One Back for Jack...

...born this very day in 1922. Died right on time. A fellow Pisces (and that's where the similarities end), poet, drinker (okay, I lied before), and literary icon.

Words like scimitars to topple the giant, Ennui...

You don't know
what I'm all about
like killing cops
and reading Kerouac

— Jawbreaker, Boxcar

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Chairman of the Bored...

...and a rather nubile riding partner.

Yeah, it's on, baby, after being postponed for bad weather a couple weeks back. And though I no longer have the cold that left me with cramped lungs that wanted nothing more than to deflate and roll up like a pair of flaccid hyrdration bladders, I still haven't managed to get much dirt under my treads this year. Gonna be a tough ride...

Coming up next: A springtime Bliss?