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Week 9 – Things

September 30, 2012

I don’t know what to do with my stuff.

I have a lot of stuff. I own something like 5,000 comics, 300 DVDs, 50 TV box sets, 300 books and 200 graphic novels. I have two laptops, one desktop PC, an Xbox, a PS2, a gamecube, a Korean Wii, every Gameboy excluding the 3DS and probably 75 games between the systems. I own at least 3 TVs (I think one might have just been given to charity). I can’t tell how many CDs I own because there’s a pile of things in front of them, but I can safely say it’s between 200-300.

And I don’t know what the fuck to do with any of it.

In my head, every bit it is necessary. Every single piece of information that I could pull from a 1995 Spider-Man is essential to who I am as a person because it happened and it happened to me. Every book is a trophy… for me, I guess. People are smashing down my door to borrow the first Mission Impossible on DVD and thank god I bought the Batman Begins Special Edition because I’m ALWAYS re-reading the comic that came with it.

I’m realizing now, that when I move, I have to take it with me. I have to take every single thing I’ve ever bought with me and I’ll be carrying it with me for the rest of my life. Every bargain bin DVD. Every comic I’ll never read again. Every book in an author’s series. Everything I own is a reflection, not of what I know or of me, but what I’ve spent money on.

So, I’ve never been to Norway, but I did buy Season 5 of The Wire on the day it came out.

I’ve never been sky-diving, but I do own 85% of Geoff John’s run on Justice Society of America.

I’ve never stayed in a hotel after a play with a pretty lady and talked it out in the jacuzzi, but I do own both Theatrical and Extended editions of the Lord of the Rings.

Granted, these things don’t numerically translate to each other in the same way cuts from the Space Program doesn’t translate to helping the sick, but here’s where the logic carries over:

I’ve been spending money on weights rather than experience.

I value my Monty Python Box Set and the Two-Disc Network DVD and my Taschen Books and Sherlock Holmes Collections. I do. They improve my life. I have learned a great deal from them and I want to place them on a mighty shelf inside a beautiful library.

But I haven’t earned a library yet. I’m young. I’m just starting out and I’m valuing the wrong things. I should be seeking experience, making things and traveling to back up my every thought. I should have Henry Rollins’ adage “Knowledge Without Mileage is Bullshit” tattooed on the inside of my arms in case I forget it.

I should be trying to live, rather than carrying around evidence that others have.

The intake of information in this glorious future we live in is not limited to physical property. I can watch and read twice as much if I were to just move to digital content. But minimalism has to back that up as well. It has to be an exchange. I can’t download 80 books that look good because I need a library on a tablet. I don’t need a library on a tablet. The larger the library, the slower the fucking tablet will work anyway.

I want to downgrade myself to a back-pack based lifestyle. I want to migrate most of my purchases online and to tablets. I want to downgrade my comic and everything else collection down about 50%, whether through e-bay or other means.

I haven’t earned my library. So I’m going to figure out how.

Short – Sept 21, 2012

September 21, 2012
tags:

A Digital Tomorrow, produced by Nicolas Nova of the Near Future Laboratory.

Saskatoon or Disaskertoon?

September 12, 2012

A friend of mine recently traveled to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for work. Using Google Streetview, I sent a virtual tour of the city’s many alleys and gutters. It was well received.

So I upped the game and created the game SASKATOON OR DISASKERTOON? where I mixed Streetview shots of Saskatoon Streets and held them against shots of Disaster Areas. The game being figuring out if you could tell which was Saskatoon and which was the Disaster Area.

I received no reply.

So I’m putting it here.

CAN YOU TELL IF THE FOLLOWING IS SASKATOON OR THE SITE OF A HUMAN TRAGEDY?

TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE!

ANSWERS BELOW!

Highlight the space below for the answers!

A) Saskatoon.

B) Disaster – Hiroshima Memorial, Hiroshima, Japan.

C) Saskatoon.

D) Disaster – Chernobyl site.

E) Saskatoon.

F) Disaster – Pyongyang

G) While not a disaster area, this is the Great Wall of China and definitely not Saskatoon.

H) Disaster – Auschwitz.

Week 6 – Depression and the Philosophy of Being Fucked

September 11, 2012

The first, second and third things that come with depression, in order, are: 1) denial of your depression, 2) forgetting how you dragged yourself up the last time you were depressed, 3) sweatpants. And I threw out all my sweatpants believing if I removed comfort from the equation I could somehow erase the possibility of depression. Like throwing out the plate to prevent a sandwich.

Depression’s a funny thing. In me, it’s a chemical deficiency that creates extreme anti-social behaviour, self-loathing and self-destruction. The brain doesn’t really care where it gets its next endorphin rush from, and being shitty and miserable will turn on the endorphin faucet with less energy than say, joy.

But there I was. Fully aware of what was happening, unable to recall how I had previously dragged myself out of these slumps and uncomfortable in jeans.

My muscles started to get sore from not being used. My fantasies become more disjointed and hyper-active. Anything productive was quickly swept into a pile and ignored in favor of… nothing.

As proof, there’s 8 pieces of paper next to me right now. Each one scrawled with things to do, ways to feel better and similar. Each one with a unique date in the last six weeks. And they all say the exact same thing. All of them. I wrote, re-wrote and tried to yank myself out of my funk eight different times – independently, I didn’t copy down, I just came up with possible solutions and they all turned out the same – and it didn’t happen.

But I’m coming around now. Getting better, feeling better, working better. I have a gig, regular income and honestly the only thing I hate is the commute. And every time I get really angry at the commute, I look at my bank statement or ask friends in the city how much they pay in rent.

What’s changed over the last four days to finally pull myself out of it? I don’t know. I re-wrote my to do list for the year for the ninth time and might’ve made plans that scare the shit out of me. Something so big that it requires a complete lifestyle re-adjustment and practically guarantees ending in failure. Which is exciting – the prospect of failure always kind of excites me. It never turns me off a project. I derive a great deal of joy from that beautiful moment when everyone involved gets a hard, honest look at failure, then turns to each other, shrugs with finality and says: “Oh fuck it.”

That’s practically my ideal state of being. Anyone can maintain a well-oiled machine. But teetering on the edge of ruin – that’s where I fucking shine.

It’s also why I embrace the philosophy of Being Fucked. And this is one of it’s theme songs:

I love this song because it makes me feel like shit. The first time I heard it was the last time I cried. It made me feel friendless, worthless and like nothing I had ever done and ever would do mattered. All because no matter how hard you try, no matter how good you are: no one will miss you when you die, no one will think of you and cry, no one notices your brand new t-shirt. I cried on the bridge near my house. It hurt so much I couldn’t even keep walking.

The second time I listened to it, which was immediately after the first time, I embraced it as a hymn to Being Fucked. Because even if you’ve done all you should, you’ve been polite and you’ve been good – nothing works. You’ll die and eventually no one will remember you and nothing will stand and nothing will matter.

So fuck it.

The void of pitch black that screams you don’t matter isn’t a sentence, it’s liberty. You can do anything and you should because it doesn’t matter. Nothing matters in the eternal scheme of things and even your brain’s chemicals are lazily trying to pull you down.

The Philosophy of Being Fucked is enthusiasm to counter a lack of control. It’s the abandonment of legacy. It’s whittling down all possibility of anything beyond life and death. It’s facing the black of despair and fear and forcing yourself to see the atoms and universe inside.

When you accept that you and everyone else are fucked, the choice is to 1) give up, 2) rebel.

I’m not saying it’s smarter, I’m not saying it’s better. I’m certainly not saying it’s healthier. I just embrace the Philosophy that we are all, 100%, Fucked. I actively make decisions that push me to the edge of failure because that’s the only line I can see that makes sense to walk. I choose to live, write and make things because I regularly see the alternative of not. Meaninglessness isn’t the end of the world. It’s a challenge. Can you be better than you are, even if it doesn’t mean anything? Even if no one will know or, eventually, care? Can you improve the world you live in, if only for a minute?

Are you strong enough to be who you want to be? For no other reason than it’s what you want?

I’m going to try. Because fuck it. Why not.

Art

September 5, 2012
tags:

Annemarie Busschers

Done with pencils and acrylics on paper. Wow.

Annemarie Busschers. Go look at her stuff here.

John Pham – “The Kid” (Mad Max Comic)

September 3, 2012
tags:

John Pham’s gorgeous “The Kid” (Mad Max Comic)

http://whatthingsdo.com/comic/5396/#5396

Pham is amazing.

Words in my Mouth

September 2, 2012

You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, “Look at that, you son of a bitch.”

– Edgar Mitchell, upon returning from the moon (People: April 8th, 1974)