Bill Buford on Crowds

While Bill Buford’s Among the Thugs specifically examines the nature of the football mobs, it offers us a much broader understanding of human nature: The history of the behavior of the crowds is a history of fear, of being a victim, of losing property, of a terror so powerful that it needs a name, to be accounted for, distorted into intelligibility, made safe. (184)

The violence, as I always read the next day, had been the work of outsiders, anarchists and agitators. But these thousands were not us. (189)

Occupy Wall Street, Zuccotti Park, NYC, 2010

This line, this boundary, I am compelled, exhilarated, by what I find on the other side. I know no experience greater. (193)

I am attracted to the moment when consciousness ceases, the moments of survival, of animal density, of violence, when there is no multiplicity, no potential for different levels of thought. There is only one, the present in its absoluteness. (205)

Louis CK’s Circle Jerk

Louis CK kicked off his “Sorry” Tour last night at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Gardens, offering good bits on pedophilia and fucking as well as 911. But he didn’t talk about it, about masturbating in front of those women in his hotel room. Poor Louis.

Louis Ck Nude Aznude Men

It’s not like I was looking for a confession. It’s just that great comics use the material that’s closest to home, and Louis CK avoided it like the plague. And what’s with that? How many jokes are in bits about Louis whacking off to unsuspecting women? Seriously.

Comedians can’t bullshit. Like it or not, that’s the gig. Lesser knowns like Danny Cohen and Caitlin Peluffo confess to alcoholism and loneliness because that’s the real stuff, the stuff that makes you laugh and cry at the same time.

Caitlin Peluffo new york comedy club

Two Kinds of People. No, Three.

There are two kinds of people. There are those who give you everything they have as soon as you meet them. And that’s it.

And then there are those who evolve into something else as you know them. In other words there is something more to them.

And then there are those that give nothing at all. Ever. Which are you?

In a Flight Delay

I realize that I am the same chunky fellow when I was a kid. The same. That’s what I am thinking about or more about not going anywhere, of staying, doing something else, just not what I’m doing, not this, because that is what’s expected of me.

There is someone at my shoulder. I don’t know here. I ask, “Who are you?” She says something about understanding. It goes on until I finally lose it, “I don’t want to know who you are or wake up next to you, right? I just want to say goodbye. That work?”

The Loving Other of Bowie

I did not have complicated musical tastes as a boy. I liked The Partridge Family, Helen Reddy and K-Tel records like Fantastic.

Elton John was on the track list…twice!

I collected 45 singles like Disco Tex’s Get Dancin’ and Shirley and Co’s Shame, Shame, Shame and sang along. You get the picture.

I also liked David Bowie. I loved Ziggy Stardust. I listened to that record over and over. I didn’t understand any of it, that it was a concept album or that he was challenging gender stereotypes. None of it. I just loved the music.

Ziggy Stardust Artwork
Who is he/she?

When I realized many years later that the music gave people who were shunned and excluded a feeling of being part of something, I was amazed because I felt like that too, even though I looked like I didn’t fit into that bracket.

In my kid brain, it was just music. And now I realize there is no such thing.

David Bowie On Immorality

A little wisdom from David Bowie: My parents had the same work ethic, you know, work as salvation. Work really hard and somehow, you’ll either save yourself or you’ll be immortal. Of course, that’s a total joke, a sham, and our progress is nothing.

There may be progress in technology but there’s no ethical progress whatsoever. We’re exactly the same immoral bastards that we were twenty thousand years ago. (From Dylan Jones’ An Oral History, 429)

Notes on David Bowie’s Fame

Some notes culled from Dylan Thomas’ book, Davide Bowie: An Oral History.

Bowie was a bit of a sociopath, but then aren’t all stars? (Wendy Leigh, 31)

I was a nymphomaniac at the time, and I suppose Bowie was a sex addict. He just had a good time. He may have intellectualized it, but it was really just sex. Lots of sex. (Cherry Vanilla, 109)

What really struck me was how he looked at me. I remember him looking at me and checking me out. He was like a robot. He was working out exactly what persona he was going to show to me. “I’m going to humor you, but I have to watch out for you.” (Nick Kent, 153)

I was like a sacrificial whore for David, and I didn’t care because playing a sacrificial whore was a role I liked. It opened doors for other sacrificial whores. (Cherry Vanilla, 190)

He told me once that the best way to travel around in London anonymously is on public transit. All you have to do is wear and hat and read a Greek newspaper. (Tracy Emin, 391)

Frankly famous people feel a lot happier around other famous people, rather than civilians. (Dylan Jones, 442)

Proud as I’m Allowed to Be

I lent her my car and then needed it to go out to the graduation. We drove together and kissed goodbye.

I ended up in a misshapen entourage of graduates as they exited the cathedral and watched them make a mockery of decorum and distancing protocols. They were having fun and the school had to let it all go.

They took me along, and I should have left at my first opportunity, but I’ve always been told it’s a free world, and so I stayed until I had had enough of my mistakes.

The judge accepted all of this, as did my counsel. But not me. I think about what happened and what could have been.

Existential Work Search

I’ve been searching for a full-time teaching position for a year now. I have sent out over a hundred applications and completed a dozen interviews. I have subscribed to several job hunting programs and get job alerts like this:

German and Patient Care Director are further down the page. WTF. I teach film, literature and philosophy. And these are my options?

I’m thinking it might be time to move on to something else. My latest idea is to go back on the road with The Dead and sell t-shirts. My best idea as of now: a silhouette of Phil Lesh with his trademark red, white and blue wrist bands, with a Wall of Sound background. The text: Turn Up the Bass, Phil.

Any takers?