Creative Mediocrity For Fun and Profit

"I'm all about Truth, Justice, and the American Way, baby. And part of the American Way is macking on hotties." -- The Mighty Buzzard






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Me: Jefferson
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Creative Mediocrity For Fun and Profit





   

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Why Being Human Kicks Ass




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Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Foreign Way

People like their wisdom to seem exotic. They like it to have been imported from some obscure culture or geography -- anything that's not too familiar will do. This is because when you start looking around for a little wisdom to pin on your sleeve, the last thing you want to find is that you've been overlooking it in your own neighborhood. Wisdom is supposed to be great, right? The logic – understandable even if it is a little fucked up – is this: If things were already great where you were when you started looking for wisdom to begin with, then why in the hell would you have even bothered looking for it in the first place?

It saves us from having to kick our own asses for not having listened to the cranky old men drinking coffee and loitering on the benches in front of the Post Office. The ones who were right anyway. For not having listened to our mothers when they warned us about playing with matches. Or for not taking our fathers' word for it when they told us to whittle by pushing the cutting edge away from us. For ignoring our little, blue-haired praying grandmothers when they assured us, “God's watching out for you.”

No, no. People want their wisdom to look like there was some thinking involved in finding it. It's wisdom, right? You're supposed to have to search for it, according to rumor. And what better way to show you've been doing some hard thinking than to think about something no one else around seems to be thinking about.

It makes sense if you say it really fast, Interested Party.

It's interesting though, how even the mundane things can be wise without your taking notice. Or, for that matter, how people who qualify for the Most Absurd, Narrow-Minded Bastard position nearest to you can still manage to actually say something correct -- and correct in some tidal way which ties directly into Truth. And Truth, if you're doing a damned thing with that wisdom you've scoured your atlas in search of, is the point.

Regardless of when and where you first started out with wisdom though, my serene little Interested Party, it'll lead you to famliar places. You'll hear echos of it in greasy cafes. You'll see reflections of it in traffic. It'll sing out to you on the radio. You'll look up into the stars and see it wink down at you. You'll realize that wisdom's been talking your fool ear off the whole damned time, but you were too busy with all your thinking to notice. Wisdom ain't that hard to find once you're thirsty for it. Mostly you just have to get out of your damned own way.




Posted at 03:17 pm by soapwort
Comments (4)

Monday, March 29, 2004
Respectable Day

Mondays will surprise you every once in a while. Any day of the week that will go through the trouble of having some adorable little brunette sit just outside your field of vision so that when you angle yourself for a better view, you discover that she's angling herself for a better view of you right back – any day of the week that'll see to it that this happens for you cannot possibly be all bad. Regardless of how questionable the structure in that last sentence was. So don't be a smart-ass.

She was outside basking in the sunshine which, as it happened, was shining upon her, her casually low-cut jeans, and her well-placed white t-shirt with much vigor. Dark hair, a slightly conspiratorial grin, and precisely the sort of curves you can hear whispering across a noisy damned room.

We both realized we caught each other trying to discreetly check one another out -- it's one of my favorite things about being male. I grinned. She grinned. I asked if she was enjoying the sun, despite the fact that she obviously was. She asked if I was enjoying my day.

I sure as hell was by then.




Posted at 06:35 pm by soapwort
Comments (4)

Sunday, March 28, 2004
Balance of Power

There are days, my deep little Interested Party, when you are more introspective. You seperate yourself from the rest of humanity to examine things – because when you really want to figure shit out, the last thing you need is the rest of humanity throwing in its two-cents. You're looking around inside yourself, and you're in the unique position to also be looking out. When you sit on the outside, you're more likely to see the Big Picture. The view is clear. You're more likely to be aware of the patterns throughout creation, in front of you. You can see order. Things make more sense. You can calculate how these reactions will result from those actions. In short, my Interested Party, you become more insightful about yourself. About everyone else too, for that matter.

There are days when you're more extroverted though. When that itch to connect to someone else – to be a part of something bigger than yourself – is too strong to be denied. We human beings are social critters, Interested Party – even those of us without tits. That itch, that drive, that desire – it's something entirely different than logic and shrewd insight. It's in your bones and in your blood. That's where all of those ancient instincts wait, taking their power-naps so that whenever they take a notion to make some noise it'll be harder for us to resist. Those instincts are a part of patterns as well, but they're way too busy being passionate to notice. They drive and coax. They reach out through our hands and make them move.

Just like anything so powerful, either one of these moods can be dangerous.

It doesn't matter how much insight you can pick up from sitting on your sweet ass, my Interested Party, if you never put yourself in the position to use it. That insight stagnates and sours. That sociable itch does not thrive on the logic squaring things up in your mind. Your instincts will start bucking and snorting in your blood and in your bones until that logic only seems to spell out all the ways in which you suck. All the ways in which the universe and everyone swimming within it are confusing and chaotic. The only pattern you'll be able to see is how it's all out to get you.

But you can't let your instincts do all your thinking for you either. Your mouth may be able to whiz through all the little calculations which can produce a coherent sentence -- but unless your head does some thinking for your mouth, you're wasting your damned breath. The situations you're immersed in, the people surrounding you – they can't do the thinking and processing for you. Your eyes need more than that. They're your eyes, Interested Party – and you are the only one riding along behind them.

There's a place in between these two states of existence, and we both wander through it from time to time. Even a savant-like autistic who seeks and sees patterns stacked on patterns will tread into the realm of humanity -- trying to be a part of something larger than themselves. And even Tarzan used his damned, ficitious head. There's probably not a trick to it at all, really. It's probably something that happens as a result of seeking the right kinds of balance.

In that spirit, I think I'll talk about breasts next time, if it's all the same to you. Breasts and the people who wield them.




Posted at 06:30 pm by soapwort
Comments (3)

Thursday, March 25, 2004
Pep Talk

It is sometimes said, my Interested Party, that women love gentlemen, but they prefer ball-washing bastards. For the most part this is said by the type of person who keeps an internal list of all the ways in which they personally are better than ball-washing bastards. And they say it because they're pissed off that none of the women seem to notice.

The truth is that women prefer confidence – and so do guys, for that matter. I'm a bastard, but not especially one of the ball-washing variety. I open doors, I don't piss in the clothes hamper, and I thank the waitress. However, even when I'm in a bashful sort of mood, I faithfully maintain the suspicion that I'm still notoriously charming. I know that women usually enjoy interacting with me -- which works out great since I usually enjoy interacting right back.

Confidence, my Interested Party. And I'm not talking about the feminine version of cockiness, either. I mean a woman who has gotten to know her self and realized she is a person with whom she has a lot in common. A woman who is at peace with who she is and furthermore enjoys it. There is nothing sexier on a woman. Not her clothes. Not her charisma. Not her teeth. Not her shape. Not her vocabulary. Not her hair.

And it works the same with guys. Confidence, not Cockiness, my clever little Interested Party, is where the goods are at. Confidence isn't competeing, see? While Cockiness is busy pretending like it's hung closer to the floor than anyone else in the room, there strolls Confidence having a pretty damned good notion of what it can contribute. Confidence has a longer shelf-life and no nasty surprises – without even trying – and there are far fewer complaints about it the morning after.



Posted at 07:10 pm by soapwort
Comments (5)

Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Obsession

How could any man or woman fail to have the hots for Angelina Jolie? Or, for that matter, Fiona Apple? I mean, come on – Fiona has one of the sexiest voices on the planet. She's right up there with Etta James, Interested Party.

Something in their voices go straight to your spine – and from there, wherever else the song may travel, it will also move in a decidedly southerly direction, whereupon it strums like a loose storm-door spring.

So in short, my sincere old Interested Party, just admit that you want to feel Fiona up against you. Singing smoothly and hoarsely in your ear -- her breath teasing your neck like a feather.

Liar.




Posted at 11:43 pm by soapwort
Comments (10)

Sunday, March 21, 2004
Multi-purpose Action

Last summer was hot and dry. Fishing was just a matter of carrying a bucket of water to set down on the bank of a pond, so that when the fish came up to get a drink you grabbed them up, picked off the ticks, and stuck them on a stringer. Yeah, how clever of you to notice that I'm exaggerating, Interested Party – it's one of the social aspects of fishing. But I'm not exaggerating much.

Sometimes you fish in order to socialize, see? Until this last month, the last time I got a hook wet I took a chick fishing with me. That day last fall, I didn't so much as get a single hit and she proceeded to catch fish like they were going out of style. It was fine by me since I was having a blast just watching her, but I was trying to catch fish. We talked without vocalizing much. The places she chose to stand. Which lures I chose to cast. How she handled the fish she'd set the hook into as she brought them in. How I helped her get them loose and onto a stringer. Volumes were spoken. The only thing that so much as bit for me on that day was her, and – if you'll pardon me whilest I wax poetic – I was the biggest thing she hooked that day. God, she was sexy and adorable and beautiful, even shivering in that cold assed wind, wrapped up in a wind-breaker, refusing to stop throwing out that top-water jig.

Sometimes you go fishing just to be fishing, though. To be there alone with all the things rattling around inside your head. You don't want to talk, and believe it or not -- you don't want to drink beer. It's quality Leave Me The Fuck Alone time. Your hands and eyes are busy but not interfering while your head and your heart are sorting things out. Those are the times when it pays to use sweet 'taters for bait -- because you don't have to worry with catching anything. You can't whip a fish's ass and make him take hold of a sweet 'tater, my Interested Party.

Sometimes you fish to bring in fish. It's the chance to exist -- essentially -- and to be connected to fundamental things. The world is spinning along and you're in it as much as everyone and everything else. Fuck the fluid poetry of golf. To hell with the quiet philosophical commentary of baseball. This is a way to be dipped into creation itself and be a part of it all without Kevin Costner having to glorify it in a movie -- though, naturally, when he does I'm sure I'll go watch it. But anyway, you're doing this while, at the same time, trying to find something to bring home, consume, and become a part of you. Which demonstrates further how you are a part of it all.

And sometimes, it's just fun to yank some lesser vertebrate around by the lips.




Posted at 07:15 pm by soapwort
Comments (6)

Thursday, March 18, 2004
Solution

I suffer, my Interested Party, from ISP woes. Dial-up is the only sort of service offered here -- as the nearest DSL Central Office is located well past the borders of Elsewhere – and I would not at all be surprised to learn that my Internet Service Provider handles its TCP/IP by pony express.

And we're not even talking representatives from the glory days of the pony-express, Interested Party. Facing the elements in this day and age pretty much refers to stale coffee at the occasional corner trading-post. And the Indians would be far less-likely to scalp these brave riders than subject them to public ridicule – especially since most of the Indians have the sense to live close enough to a DSL Central Office to partake in reliable Internet service.

Now, don't disappoint me by taking up the Cause of Political Correctness and shouting me down for not using terminology like “Native American”. You're far too intelligent an Interested Party to be so easily side-tracked by such ridiculous non-issues – but if you insist, let me recommend a career opportunity: All you need is your own horse and a dream.

I should consider putting this damned ISP out of business. It's vengeance, American Style. I could get myself a bunch of carrier pigeons, see? It would be every bit as dependable, though -- as it has been pointed out to me -- ponies are less likely to be sucked into jet engines and damaging air-craft.

My response to this is that human nature, being what it is, would count upon the notion that if a customer's TCP/IP is going to be mishandled, then they would prefer that it be done in such a way that shares the misery with Other People. Misery loves company.

Perhaps now my Inner Sorry Bastard may bed back down, so that I'll be able to enjoy some unspeakably awesome weather tomorrow. Which, come to think of it, I'd be doing even with my Inner Sorry Bastard tagging along.




Posted at 12:06 am by soapwort
Comments (4)

Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Pair of Hands

On one hand, my Interested Party, I could explain to you in hand-grafted detail how every generation is the Lost Generation. Otherwise the few generations preceding it would have to find something else to complain about at length. Still, they've managed to survive long enough – so more power to them, I say. Anyway, some decent social analysis would do to get the brain cogs spinning in goodly fashion, I expect. But...

On the other hand, I could talk about the subtle art of quality Answering Machine/Service Filibusters. And since I've run out of hands, and I'm not especially in the mood to talk sociology with you, I'll go with this topic. Besides, my wiley little Interested Party, you'll be able to put this stuff to use sooner. I'm telling you -- it's modern self-expression at it's finest. It is a form of art. It is annoying-by-number.

In case you're not sure what exactly an Answering Machine/Service Filibuster is, I'll explain. It's where you call someone's answering machine or message-service, and leave an incredibly long-assed message – preferably reciting a lengthy passage from some printed material. Book, newspaper, what-fucking-ever – just so long as your target spends entirely too much of their life listening to the damned thing.

Bear in mind, Interested Party, that there are a few rules you should abide by before bugging the thundering hell out of someone like this. Be sure to cite your references first – let them know what it is that they're about to be listening to. It's simply good manners – giving credit where credit is due while explaining to your audience just what it is they're in store for.

Now, on to the refinement of your art. You have to take into account your target audience. Since you're wanting them to listen to this thing as long as possible, you'd better know who you're dealing with – they're ninety-percent of the equation. Quoting stock-prices out of the Wall Street Journal will get you about five seconds worth of attention from a tree-hugging hippy or a dyed-in-the-wool-socialist. Put a little bit of thought into the endeavor.

You'll want to find something they'll find only vaguely interesting -- just enough so they'll listen to the message in its entirety, but not enough so that they'll appreciate it afterward.

If your audience is a busy person, you can choose more tempting literature. Mark Twain, for example. They'll be disinclined to quit listening, but they'll still feel like their time was wasted once they've listened to an entire chapter of Joan Of Arc. I've found that Douglas Adams's essays and articles provide excellent source-material for a busy audience. The guy was fucking funny while being precisely too wordy for a tight-scheduled person to genuinely appreciate.

For someone easily distracted, quote an older translation of Beowulf. Or, alternatively, the phone book.

Interested Party, I expect that's more than enough to set you upon the path of harassing the hell out of people you know. Go be yourself at someone's answering service, and revel in your new-found media of expression. You're an artist, so go find some validation already.




Posted at 08:15 pm by soapwort
Comments (6)

Quiet Strategy

Shhhhh, my little Interested Party. It's Tuesday. Maybe if we're both quiet, it'll ignore us.

Just don't make any sudden moves...


Posted at 11:34 am by soapwort
Comments (6)

Sunday, March 14, 2004
Person People

I love women. For all of the torment that the Breasted Folk are capable of wielding against each other and everyone else -- whether by accident or by design -- sometimes they seem so perfectly suited to help a guy out. To hitch up their belts, roll up their sleeves, and be People for you.

They can frustrate the hell out of you. Their priorities never quite make Sense – at least, not in any civilized definition of Sense. They can come across as coldly mercenary, when what they're probably doing is simply trying to be practical. They can seem aloof and snobbish, when what's almost certainly going on is that they are worried that they're out-classed and out-gunned by God Only Knows What. They can seem to be flighty and cruel and indifferent when what they're likely to be doing is gearing up for war on their own demons. It's all just part of being a member of the human race, I suspect.

In case you hadn't picked up on it, my astute little Interested Party, women are people too. The difference, by my calculation, is that they're far better suited to it than We Of The XY Chromosome.

Being a Person is nothing to write home about. Everybody does it. You can't be a Person for anyone but yourself – you can only be a Person at folks. Being People though -- that takes more than practice and the right pair of shoes. People have to take into account considerably more than issues of I Am Hungry For Insert-Object-Of-Preposition-Here. People have to be mindful of everyone else who's a People, and occasionally help out when necessary.

Saturday Night I danced and flirted and just shot the proverbial shit with several women, any one of whom would have been goddesses in their own way if they hadn't been already busy being People for me. The clever Tom-Boys, the trendy Hotties, the endearingly quiet Book Store Chicks, the sexy Cowgirls... They just turned into these warm and charming People who showered me with every measure of attention I showered them with.

And more, actually -- considering I wasn't quite on top of my game. I'd been mixing my Kentucky sour mash with my Tennessee whiskey in unwise proportion. Which is inevitably a recipe for Oops, Uh, I Meant To Do That. While I'm a light-weight, I'm a charming one.

One of these days, Interested Party, it may happen that I quit being surprised by how gracefully feminine women can be -- but fuck, I hope not.



Posted at 01:35 pm by soapwort
Comments (5)

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