Sport Spiel
01/05/2003 - 01/12/2003 01/12/2003 - 01/19/2003 01/19/2003 - 01/26/2003 01/26/2003 - 02/02/2003 02/02/2003 - 02/09/2003 02/09/2003 - 02/16/2003 02/16/2003 - 02/23/2003 02/23/2003 - 03/02/2003 03/02/2003 - 03/09/2003 03/09/2003 - 03/16/2003 03/16/2003 - 03/23/2003 03/23/2003 - 03/30/2003 03/30/2003 - 04/06/2003 04/06/2003 - 04/13/2003 04/13/2003 - 04/20/2003 04/20/2003 - 04/27/2003 04/27/2003 - 05/04/2003 05/04/2003 - 05/11/2003 05/11/2003 - 05/18/2003 05/18/2003 - 05/25/2003 05/25/2003 - 06/01/2003 06/08/2003 - 06/15/2003 06/15/2003 - 06/22/2003 06/22/2003 - 06/29/2003 07/06/2003 - 07/13/2003 07/13/2003 - 07/20/2003 07/20/2003 - 07/27/2003 08/03/2003 - 08/10/2003 08/31/2003 - 09/07/2003 09/21/2003 - 09/28/2003 09/28/2003 - 10/05/2003 10/12/2003 - 10/19/2003 10/26/2003 - 11/02/2003 11/09/2003 - 11/16/2003 11/16/2003 - 11/23/2003 11/23/2003 - 11/30/2003 11/30/2003 - 12/07/2003 12/21/2003 - 12/28/2003 12/28/2003 - 01/04/2004 02/15/2004 - 02/22/2004 02/22/2004 - 02/29/2004 03/07/2004 - 03/14/2004 03/14/2004 - 03/21/2004 04/04/2004 - 04/11/2004 04/18/2004 - 04/25/2004 05/09/2004 - 05/16/2004 05/23/2004 - 05/30/2004 06/13/2004 - 06/20/2004 07/11/2004 - 07/18/2004 07/18/2004 - 07/25/2004 07/25/2004 - 08/01/2004 08/08/2004 - 08/15/2004 09/05/2004 - 09/12/2004 09/12/2004 - 09/19/2004 09/19/2004 - 09/26/2004 11/07/2004 - 11/14/2004 11/21/2004 - 11/28/2004 12/12/2004 - 12/19/2004 01/09/2005 - 01/16/2005 02/06/2005 - 02/13/2005 03/20/2005 - 03/27/2005 05/01/2005 - 05/08/2005 05/22/2005 - 05/29/2005 05/29/2005 - 06/05/2005 06/05/2005 - 06/12/2005 06/12/2005 - 06/19/2005 06/19/2005 - 06/26/2005 06/26/2005 - 07/03/2005 07/03/2005 - 07/10/2005 07/10/2005 - 07/17/2005 07/17/2005 - 07/24/2005 07/24/2005 - 07/31/2005 07/31/2005 - 08/07/2005 08/07/2005 - 08/14/2005 08/14/2005 - 08/21/2005 08/28/2005 - 09/04/2005 09/04/2005 - 09/11/2005 09/11/2005 - 09/18/2005 09/18/2005 - 09/25/2005 09/25/2005 - 10/02/2005 10/23/2005 - 10/30/2005 10/30/2005 - 11/06/2005 11/13/2005 - 11/20/2005 11/20/2005 - 11/27/2005 12/11/2005 - 12/18/2005 12/18/2005 - 12/25/2005 12/25/2005 - 01/01/2006 01/15/2006 - 01/22/2006 02/26/2006 - 03/05/2006 05/07/2006 - 05/14/2006 07/09/2006 - 07/16/2006 08/06/2006 - 08/13/2006 09/10/2006 - 09/17/2006 10/01/2006 - 10/08/2006 01/07/2007 - 01/14/2007 02/04/2007 - 02/11/2007 02/11/2007 - 02/18/2007 02/18/2007 - 02/25/2007 03/25/2007 - 04/01/2007 04/01/2007 - 04/08/2007 04/08/2007 - 04/15/2007 04/15/2007 - 04/22/2007 04/22/2007 - 04/29/2007 04/29/2007 - 05/06/2007 05/13/2007 - 05/20/2007 05/27/2007 - 06/03/2007 06/03/2007 - 06/10/2007 06/10/2007 - 06/17/2007 08/05/2007 - 08/12/2007 08/12/2007 - 08/19/2007 08/19/2007 - 08/26/2007 09/02/2007 - 09/09/2007 09/09/2007 - 09/16/2007 09/16/2007 - 09/23/2007 09/23/2007 - 09/30/2007 09/30/2007 - 10/07/2007 10/07/2007 - 10/14/2007 10/21/2007 - 10/28/2007 11/04/2007 - 11/11/2007 11/11/2007 - 11/18/2007 11/18/2007 - 11/25/2007 11/25/2007 - 12/02/2007 12/09/2007 - 12/16/2007 12/16/2007 - 12/23/2007 12/30/2007 - 01/06/2008 01/13/2008 - 01/20/2008 02/03/2008 - 02/10/2008 02/10/2008 - 02/17/2008 02/24/2008 - 03/02/2008 03/02/2008 - 03/09/2008 03/09/2008 - 03/16/2008 03/16/2008 - 03/23/2008 03/23/2008 - 03/30/2008 03/30/2008 - 04/06/2008 04/06/2008 - 04/13/2008 04/13/2008 - 04/20/2008 05/11/2008 - 05/18/2008 06/01/2008 - 06/08/2008 06/22/2008 - 06/29/2008 07/20/2008 - 07/27/2008 08/03/2008 - 08/10/2008 09/07/2008 - 09/14/2008 09/14/2008 - 09/21/2008 11/09/2008 - 11/16/2008 03/22/2009 - 03/29/2009 05/03/2009 - 05/10/2009 05/24/2009 - 05/31/2009 06/07/2009 - 06/14/2009 01/15/2012 - 01/22/2012

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Thought I'd get off the lugubrious lectern tonight and write about something less "personal" and more on the "food for thought" wavelength. I realize that this isn't everyone's interest, but maybe it'll raise a few points for future reflection.

Sometimes I'll wind up in an argument with someone regarding an admitted prejudice of mine, which favors the Visigoths over the Ostrogoths. I don't think it's anyone's right to second-guess my preference any more than I feel in any way obliged to justify it. Certainly any preference for either of these barbarian tribes - over run-of-the-mill favorites like the Huns or the Vandals - reveals a special nuance of mind which should encourage a mutual respect between partisans of either horde; sadly, such commonsense tolerance is rare in this most heated of debates. By now I'm beginning to see the whole conflict as counter-productive, but feel just as strongly that some explanation for my position would be helpful, if only as a show of support for newer Visiphiles unprepared for the kind of gutter tactics employed by Ostrocentrics in pressing their poignantly ignorant case. To be perfectly Frank (heh heh), I am - in the full maturity of my years, and after considerable reflection - prepared to extend more than my formerly patronizing largesse toward those who express ambivalence toward both the Ostros and Visii in favor of a maverick enthusiasm for the Jutes: I am, as it happens, almost persuaded that they are on to something.

Hold on! I know that this statement might "ruffle a few feathers," and I am by no means Jute-happy just yet. I'm merely recognizing that there is a "shock of the new" element involved in the conventional dismissal accorded the "Yout' for Jute" crowd (incidentally, though their accepted taxonomic designation "Jautists" looks like it should be pronounced JOWT-ists, it is correct to pronounce it as JOOT-ists... go figure). We who flatter ourselves as "connoisseurs" for eschewing the easy path of Hunnish/Vandalian orthodoxy might do well to recall the scorn with which our first tentative declarations of Ostro-Visipreciation were greeted. In these callow Jautists I see the same questioning spirit that informed my early passion. At this late date, I see no disgrace in loosening the straps of my hide-bound Visigothic perspective to allow some latitude to the arguments these young Turks (or are they Lombards? Heh heh) contribute. Before I continue into my comprehensive pro-Visigoth argument, let me explain why I say all this.

By now we're all familiar with the apoplectic impasse usually reached in short order every time the classic question is posed. We who have graduated from timidity ("well…um… I sort of like the Visigoths…") to bold assertiveness - nay, pride - ("Damn right I'm for the Visigoths! You're not? What the HELL is your problem?") sometimes forget how fragile we felt in the early blush of Visigothic boosterism; we've earned a few bragging rights, sure, but oh what short memories we have! It is in this healthy spirit of retrospect that I view the young Jutesters: they are what we were, regardless of where we now stand on Euro-barbarism. But there's more to this than simple corrective humility or bland indulgence. As we engage in these initially bracing discussions, armed with our "facts" and our "stats," we often lose sight of our own higher impulses and allow the debate to crumble -like those very cities of antiquity - into volleys of cliché; exchanges clanging ooftily with the thrust and parry of minutiae and meander; we venture incropotically into a sargasso chowder of mixed metaphor, received wisdom and oddly non sequiturian digressions into nonsensical asmatrophy. Before you know it, it's the same old catfight. "You say Amalaric, I say Roderic… You say Theudis, I say Theudisclus…" Let's call the whole thing Goth! Heh heh. Please excuse the levity.

Or should I even say this? We would do well to remember to keep a measure of levitas in our struggle to make sense of why we choose - given the range of possible positions and the seemingly infinite well (or seldom) trodden pathways of exposition, example, insinuation, blunt assertion, vile threat, fatuous claim, preposterous conflation of incongruent particulars etc. (to give only a small sample of the range of rhetorical options at our - advised or otherwise - disposal) - to cling to what may be a comforting… albeit incomplete and ultimately unsatisfying (or not)… stance in our ongoing but perhaps (and we should face this) ultimately pyrrhic battle for dominance in this "small-to-many-but-not-to-us" conflict within the larger conflict of ideas, which started for so may of us with that simple urge to find "our" barbarian people, lest we lose all sense of proportion and, yes, enjoyment. Allow ourselves to be misled thusly, friends, and truly we are taking the primrose path less traveled toward a slippery slope indeed.

With that illuminating -it is hoped - digression disposed of, perhaps I can return to the central topic in a spirit of light-hearted conciliation: the Ostrogoths setting up shop in Italy and the Visigoths keeping house in France. Which neo-krautic, proto-froggadago kingdom would this celtomickoyank prefer, and why? For this we'll have to turn back the clock to the 5th century AD.
Oh! Look at the time! Fuck it.

Monday, April 14, 2003

Weird days. I've been suffering insomnia and a general twitchiness of late, and it's been difficult to organize my thoughts in any entertaining way. I had wanted to discuss the reunion on April first with cherished boyhood chum Matt "Hawkeye" Mignone, among other things, but it'll have to wait. The big news is that Shelley is indeed pregnant, carrying fraternal twins of yet-undetermined sex(es). We saw their hearts beating! Joy is tempered by the obvious concerns, but Joy it is. This being life on earth, however, the onslaught of horseshit will not pause to permit too much undiminished happiness.

The past week has included a house fire at the folks' place, contained by brother Brian's dexterity with a fire extinguisher, but frightening nonetheless and requiring insurance agent visits and upcoming remodeling. Not two days later, we were rear-ended at a red light. Brian, David, his date Becca and I were returning from a cousin's wedding at the time. Everyone's OK, but the car ain't. All these things atop all other day-to-day crap and the ongoing ups and downs of the pregnancy have made for the tw-tw-twitch. I hope for calm and sweet boredom in coming weeks.

This partial account of the daily traumarama (if "traumerai" means "dreaming" then whence "trauma?" I'll do a linguistic investigation, but for now I can only wish these things were dreams), along with long sleepless nights watching the war, might explain outbursts like my NYC smoking-ban screed (which is truly moot, as I shouldn't be drinking or smoking anyway). The other major issue is the practical side of our upcoming parenthood. Apart from other issues less germane to this blog's default bailiwick (which is, largely, my undistinguished career in music), a major concern rears up. It's twofold: how do I make money now and what becomes of my artistic delusion? These are obviously of unequal significance, the former being important and the latter anything but. Making money is my new task, and any ideas or offers would be welcome. Music, the successor to my earlier - equally deluded - ambition as a cartoonist/illustrator has been the thing that defined me for nearly 20 years now. That definition has seldom been flattering. But I'll piss about it a little, since my few remaining blog perusers must have at least a measure of sympathy for the issue or you wouldn't be reading this now.

It's maybe coincidental, maybe not, that this looming, complete change in life comes at the exact point when I have accepted defeat in the music pursuit. What I mean by this is that I can no longer kid myself that there is great work in me waiting to get out. The work that has been made so far proves that, but that's no shame. The real shame is that I can think of no way to retrieve any financial advantage from these many years of effort. I'd sell the complete rights to my songs and recordings to any fair bidder if that were possible (it isn't, but I am sincerely open to offers); none of it means much to me in terms of property or accomplishment. If it represents anything, it's a sort of demonstration of stubbornness. There are not too many people who'd have stuck with this for so long under the circumstances, and there is a measure of satisfaction in having made these things against complete apathy and seen them through to national release on a legit label. Nobody will ever take that from me. It would have been helpful if they'd succeeded in commercial terms, even to the degree that I could continue the pursuit as a modest source of additional revenue for the family. Any such possibility would be welcomed, but the likelihood is minute.

On one of the recent insomniac nights I listened to all 3 KRS albums and the Skels post-mortem cd in reverse order. There's a lot to be said for the work, I think, but it would only mean something if someone else said it. Those friends who've responded to it seem to indicate that part of what I hear in it actually transmits. The friends whom I respect the most in terms of their own talent and keen minds for music have validated the good parts with their comments and revealed the bad parts with their avoidance of comment, which is just as eloquent. I only wish I'd had such perspective myself, but maybe then I'd never have done any of it, since the respectable mediocrity of the stuff falls short of the grand ambition behind it and the burden of personal vindication I placed upon it. It would have been better if it all could simply represent the fruits of a hobby well integrated into an otherwise normal life, and now there's a chance I can reclaim that plain nobility for it by placing it quietly next to the jigglers and comic books and concentrating all that errant passion on this family.

The irony of the thing is that the only feasible way me to make money now is to go out begging for freelance critic gigs. This way I can change diapers and such while tapping out words about the albums other (luckier, smarter or more gifted) musicians make. This has been an occasionally useful way to raise dough, and I hope I can get the work and somehow tolerate the process itself. This includes listening to music I invariably detest and contriving commentary at odds with my indifference to it, absorbing the ethical blow of becoming the exact kind of hack I hate, and subjecting the thing I love most - music - to a personally painful process of devaluation, all for a very small and unreliable buck. The emotional toll of the gig should be minimal when compared to all the other, deeper disgraces incurred by my vain campaign. The reason for doing it surely outweighs any of these concerns.

In this ego-blog, gaseous whine context - as opposed to the wider, richer context of actual life - I'm eager to experience the shrinking of selfish concerns and the immersion in all joys and anxieties of fatherhood. It might save me from myself as I try to rise to the job. With any luck, the creature I have been for so long will die and be replaced by a doting dad who'll teach the kids why reading books is great, how much better Bugs is than Pokemon, what a symphony orchestra can do for the spirit, the best way to pilot a sled so as not to break one's skull open, how to write in code, the best way to do nothing at all but laugh hysterically through a long summer night, how beautiful they are, how to survive school with their minds intact, who the scariest monsters are, what God is and isn't, how insignificant the approval of others is, and why papa made all those goofy tunes so long ago. As should be obvious, I'll be learning some of these things right along with them. I'll show them pictures and play them tapes of their cousin Petie and their Uncle Bobby so they'll know them as well as possible. I'll sit on the bed with them and Shelley and celebrate this 4-way love affair with absolute abandon.

I wish I could grace their lives with material comfort, but as my own quixotic life has thwarted that, maybe I can instead prove my mettle by devoting the rest of my life to their betterment. If they grow up to be sane and loving people, this life will finally have meant something. Right now, Shelley and I have hope. Hope is something I haven't felt in a long long time, so already they've given me that. My dad hopes to live long enough to hear them call him "Grampa." My mom hopes her son can get his forever-scattered shit together to do right by them and Shelley. I hope they thrive and find a happy way through this world. I hope they are as strong and loving as their mom and that, if they are unlucky enough to be artistically inclined like their dad, they'll have 100 times his talent.