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






Yet Another Tedious...





Me: Jefferson
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Creative Mediocrity For Fun and Profit





   

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Illusion
How The Other Side Lives
and of course...
Why Being Human Kicks Ass




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Friday, November 07, 2003
Spoiler

Enough with these little pep-talks of ours, Interested Party. I think I'll talk about breasts next time. Yay boobies!

Posted at 03:18 pm by soapwort
Comments (6)

Unique Situation

We're individuals, Interested Party. Both of us. We pride ourselves on our own uniqueness – the sense of Me that seperates everything moving around the self from that very self that watches everything from a comfortable seat in the darkness behind our own set of eyes. Our perception probably needs a little work though, yours and mine both. Because we spend most of our days bumping into other folks who are individuals too, and if we think about that too much it takes something away from our sense of Magnificent Me.

And we don't want that, do we? Don't know about you, Interested Party, but I am pretty damned magnificent.

By my calculations we let ourselves down though, when we assign too much importance to the various things about ourselves that we incorrectly attribute to What Makes The Magnificent Me Unique. The world is full of people, and most of them have the suspicion that they too are unique. So we're not unique there, by my reckoning. Damn.

Part of me, for example, wants to say to myself, “You, my good-looking self, are THE charming, thoughtful guy who paints, plays guitar, and sings. And you write too, you Magnificent Me, you!” Tell me you haven't had a simliar conversation with yourself, Interested Party. I dare you.

Nope, there's always someone better. Smarter. More capable. More aware. Someone who's dealt with a problem very similar to one of your own, only who hasn't fucked it up with the clumbsy finesse that you have. Damn, again.

There is hope though, Interested Party, so fear not! You and I both are still unique, even if it's not exactly for the reasons either of us thought. I'm of the opinion that it's our decisions that cast our individuality. Choice is the one thing we have that is completely and utterly our own. They make us solely responsible for ourselves and those around us, while not being shared with anyone. Even those same people that our decisions affect. Your choices all belong exclusively to you, my Interested Party. Mine belong to me. This, of course, sucks if you're a proud and trembling member of the Victim Culture – because suddenly you can't blame anyone else for anything that negatively affects you. This post is just chock full of Damnits today, ain't it?

When and where you are – those things pertain just to you, and what you do while you're there does too. From the tiny choices like, “Which way should this brush stroke go on my painting, here?” to the great, big ones like “Should I join the Peace Corps, move to Africa, and learn to say 'Don't shoot I'm Canadian' in all the local languages?” All of them are very specifically your very own. They are yours, but they even those aren't who you are.

Fuck originality, I say. Why focus on it? We're original, not because of the things we do or don't do. Each one of us is original because you are the only you that exists. I'm the only me that exists. So see, there's no reason for either one of us to seek out originality – we're already there.

It would appear that what is left to us now, my little Interested Party, to just be genuinely ourselves. Let your work, your decisions – all the things that reflect who you are-- let those things be sincere. If you feel a certain way, then fucking feel it – good, bad, or ugly. I'm not recommending that either one of us dwell in it, but who are we kidding? Either we accept it and then deal with it, or we spend our time running in circles like a swarm of giant two-year-olds who've suddenly learned they have a self to assert, but without the faintest idea how to do it.

They're inherently a part of us – those things we think and feel. They reflect who each one of us actually is. If you're a ball-washing bastard, those things will bear witness to the fact. Whether they're right or wrong is something each of us has to worry with later, but we both know that neither of us will ever get around to it if we don't face them first. End of lesson, Interested Party. Your homework is to go out and get to know yourself. Sit yourself down and look yourself in the eye for a while.




Posted at 03:07 pm by soapwort
Comments (4)

Thursday, November 06, 2003
Day Older

Just today someone was telling me that she was getting old. I agreed, because I'm an agreeable sort of guy. She then pointed out that I'm a good six years older than she is, so I didn't have any room to talk, thank you very much. I carefully explained that as a male, I only get more distinguished as I get older. My appeal only grows. Crow's feet? Grey hair? Give me more, baby!

Time passes and the following two things happen: Women get old and men get better. Women folk lament about this. Loudly. And nearly without ceasing. If you, Interested Party, are female, I appreciate you taking a break from bitching about the unfairness of the issue long enough to indulge me here. You think it's unfair? There is no balance? Well, it serves you right. The fault almost exclusively lies with you. You and those damned standards of yours.

Now don't suck all the air out of the room in one gasp, Interested Party. Calm thyself. I'm not going to go into how fair it isn't that women live longer, smell better, are smarter, are the hubs of society... No, no. Those are all interesting topics, but they don't really make my argument as capably as I'm about to.

Why do men just get more distinguished as we get older? Being old, for a man, is like having a personal lackey who climbs up on the rooftops and shouts out to women of the world, “This man represents the pinnacle of success for all that is masculine! He has done what so many others have failed to do: He has not died yet!”

That's right, Interested Party. It's simply because we're still alive. That is the root of the appeal. Old men are men who, presumably, have the wisdom, fortitude, and dumb luck not to have gotten themselves killed off yet. We're the socially expendable ones, remember? I am still firmly convinced that most of the physiological differences between men and women reflect that men are the ones who are supposed to do the dangerous work, and that women do the smart work.

What females need is some better Public Relations people. I'm surprised you people haven't thought of it yet, actually. I mean, your whole gender is about public relations.



Posted at 12:23 am by soapwort
Comments (3)

Wednesday, November 05, 2003
Change

Strange days are happening, Interested Party. Curious and unfamiliar. They're just over the hill. Hear them coming? It's suddenly cold today, and the world is beginning to smell more like November. Right now the world is being quiet – very possibly because Zepplin's Tangerine is playing. There are some things you just have to shut up for...

But now the song's ended, and it's time to continue. It's wistful and it inspires a sort of introspection in people. At least with those of us who have a conscience and have managed to ignore it at some point in our past. Sure, today's overcast and it's cold. Yeah, yeah, it seems like a lonely day. Sure, you want to curl up with a blanket and a cup of something hot so that you can vegetate all by your self. Only for a little bit longer though.

Why? Because, Interested Party, today ain't about being in a rut. It's not about being alone, and it ain't about dwelling on all the things you wish you'd done differently. Today's about change. Scratch that – it's about Change. We're not talking about swapping yhour socks for a fresher pair here. This is something more fundamental, more primal. The kind of Change that slapped something inside you and made it hum the first time a rock song actually made sense to you.

What's so good about Change? Damn glad you asked, my little Interested Party. Change isn't always pleasant, after all. Usually it's not even in the same time-zone with pleasant, come to think of it. Change wears this shroud of shadow and we can't even tell which way she parts her hair. She promises no comfort. The only thing she offers is uncertainty. But without Change, we don't grow stronger. We don't grow wiser. We don't grow. Change is a gift, even if she's sort of like getting socks from our aunt on Christmas when we're eight. We don't want it, but the ugly thing is damned sure handy when it gets cold out.

Who says there's no rest for the wicked? Don't be a dumbass, Interested Party. You're smarter than that. Change can be rest for the wicked. Without Change, Adam and Eve wouldn't just be two idiots who hid in the bushes for a while, corrupt and embarassed. They'd still be there. Without Change we'd be the worst we ever are.

We don't have to chase Change down either. She's always walking by, and she's always winking our way. Quit sitting around pretending that just because you make eyes at her, it means you're leaving the party together. Get up off your ass, my Interested Party, and ask her to dance already.



Posted at 02:22 pm by soapwort
Comments (3)

Friday, October 31, 2003
Thursday's Aftermath

What a peculiar manner of creature we are! Yeah, yeah, I haven't posted since Monday. Or that day that was expected to be Monday, but somehow turned into this early kind of Tuesday. I know, my clever little Interested Party, I know. Thursday more than made up for it though. Seems like everyone I talked to had just as miserable a Thursday as myself – and that just ain't right. Thursdays are supposed to be mellow, calm, and largely without event, but somehow yesterday didn't quite work out that way. I suggest you do as I'm doing, Interested Party, and blame those damned solar flares. Pesky flares.

Where was I...? Oh yeah -- we're a peculiar manner of creature. We human critters are just weird. Fortunately for me, I'm too busy listening to Etta James sing Body And Soul to really ponder the issue beyond this. When she's done, I fully intend to be too busy listening to Kiss's Rock And Roll All Night. It is, as you can see, a busy morning.

Hope your Halloween involves lots of goodies. Remember to brush your teeth.




Posted at 10:03 am by soapwort
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Monday, October 27, 2003
Missing Monday

Damnation, this is a great day. The Daylight Savings Time flittered around through the night like the Tooth Fairy, only instead of a wand it was wielding a cheap and dependable pocket watch. And instead of toting off recently-discarded teeth, it did away with an early morning. All the planets are aligned and all the troubled spirits are still. It's like the entirety of creation itself has given us a hug, my Interested Party, and then whispered softly into our ears, “Take yourself a rest.”

Monday isn't Monday today. It'll be back next week, probably. It's a tenacious force of nature and it doesn't give up easily. No, not Monday.

Right now though – now we're in a quiet place. We can just exist without bother or distraction. This is the sort of morning where a person can sit down and, like the ficticious super-computer Deep Thought, we contemplate the trajectories of the atoms in the big-bang itself as if it were “mere pocket-calculator stuff”.

I hope you, Interested Party, manage to have yourself this kind of day. If not today, then soon. And then go buy yourself a lottery ticket.



Posted at 10:45 am by soapwort
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Thursday, October 23, 2003
Recycling of Mediocrity

Just so you, Interested Party, don't begin to think too much of me – or too little, for that matter – I'm going to tell you a story about how I met an old girlfriend. You will, I've no doubt, experience no new revelation about Yours Truly. Your opinion should not change. Blogging is the ultimate sport for the mediocre – except dodge-ball – and I offer nothing more or less than that here today. Matter of fact, I'm cheating by basing today's post on an old essay I wrote about a year ago. So sue. Don't think I'm slamming the blogging tradition here -- I'm not. Being mediocre implies that we are average -- and while our own perceptions of individuality find this offensive, we can still find comfort in the fact that this means we're not alone. We are in good company, Interested Party. Anyway, down to business...

Becca looked stunning in a pair of levi’s. I don’t mean your run-of-the-mill-nice-butt either. You know the kind I'm talking about, Interested Party. We’re talking the Buttocks of Fable and Epic here. Not that my head would not have turned if I’d seen those large dark green eyes first, mind you. It’s just that when I first saw her she was facing away from me whereas those strategically placed levi’s were not.

A couple of friends and I were walking to a table at a bar, and as I walked past her I said to myself, “Self, that lass has got herself a great backside.” A few minutes later, when I glanced over at her again, I noticed she was drinking, not alcohol, but rather a Mountain Dew. This, in my eyes, presented mixed signs. First it said to me that whoever she was, she wasn’t blatantly irresponsible all of the time – could be good, or it could be bad. But this also statistically implied that she might be there with someone on the bar’s staff. Or perhaps married to one of the band members.

I began to notice that she and her friend seemed to keep to themselves and seemed to remain unmolested by any of the guys in the place. Another indication that she might be there waiting on a significant other to get off work so she could hurry up and leave.

“What’re you looking at?” Jamee asked me when he noticed that I didn’t seem to be giving full attention to his antics, and then when he followed my gaze (to Becca’s levi’s) he said, “Ah.

“Right,” I replied. “Ah.”

After a nice pause in this intense rhetoric Jamee jovially advised, “Why don’t you go over there and ask her to dance? Maybe it’ll follow her out onto the floor with you.”

This small remark from him settled an argument I’d been having with myself on the very issue. I went over and asked her if she’d like to dance just as the band began playing a song about how the devil had once visited Georgia. She turned to me. Bam. Green eyes, dark and great. They cautiously, but graciously, agreed. We introduced ourselves on the way onto the dance-floor.

After the song was over I walked her back to her table, and thanking her for the dance, I went back to my table. Did I mention my table? It was ugly, sticky, and had all the stability of a thumbless chainsaw juggler. John was across from me at the table, and while he is a great guy, he was currently somewhere in the vicinity of sixteen or seventeen sheets to the wind. And then there was Jamee who was in the process of loudly enjoying the band’s rendition of Play That Funky Music. More to the point, I suddenly found the table to be saturated with all sorts of the most noticable Becca-less qualities. Less than two minutes later I was back at Becca’s table explaining how I hoped she didn’t mind that I intended to sit next to her.

She did not mind at all.



Posted at 12:21 pm by soapwort
Comments (1)

Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Bird of Paradise

I was out feeding the horses the day before yesterday, when the notion struck me that it would be a good day to go fishing. This notion strikes me regularly, Interested Party, so it wasn't a big deal. There's something about yanking lesser vertebrates around by the mouth that makes you feel alive and thankful for your opposable thumbs. Anyway, while I was sitting on the side of the pond near a cluster of persimmon trees, a wild turkey came stomping up within twenty feet of me. I'd heard him coming for ten minutes before he actually got to me because, contrary to popular myth, white folks are not the only creatures with no qualms whatsoever about trudging through fallen limbs, dead leaves, and otherwise making as much noise as possible while moving through the woods. Turkeys have excellent eye-sight, and they can run like their feet are on fire and their asses are catching.

Domesticated turkeys are incomprehensibly stupid. Young ones often drown in the rain because they're too busy looking up with their beaks open wide in attempt to see what's throwing those drops of water at them. Wild turkeys are only marginally less-stupid than domesticated ones, which means their IQ rivals those of a cinder-block. This wild turkey glared at me a bit -- doubtlessly he figured I was a funny-shaped bush usurping his authority over the nearby perssimon trees, but possibly one that might kick him if he were to get physical about the issue. Finally, he trudged off and out of sight again.

Ever eaten a persimmon, Interested Party? I mean fresh off the tree? If you are having to stop and consider the issue, scanning your memory for dim recollections, let me save you the trouble by assuring you that you have not. An unripe persimmon provides a truly unforgettable experience. One bite and your teeth will even make a face. Even if you barely touch one with the very end of your tongue.

Now, it is generally accepted wisdom that a persimmon is not ripe until all of the following has occurred: It must have gone from green to yellow, then yellow to orange, then orange to red. By this time, it's started to wrinkle in a way that doesn't look altogether healthy, but soon it will fall off the tree. Even after it has, the persimmon is still not ripe. It will eventually turn a bruised color of purple, growing even more wrinkled. Still, it's not ripe. After it's sat on the ground for a long time looking dusty, rotten, and weathered, hopefully an early winter cold-snap will cover the ground in a light frost. And after the frost has melted, my Interested Part, then – only then will the persimmon not make you want to kick a puppy when you eat it.

Turkeys aren't the only critters out there that'll eat an unripe persimmon, but turkeys are the only critters that get jealous over them.



Posted at 02:43 pm by soapwort
Comments (3)

Monday, October 20, 2003
Lack of Responsible Shoe Awareness

It's monday again, my Interested Party, so let's talk about women. What's the deal with women's obsession with shoes? Fear not, Interested Party, I'm not going to carry on endlessly over the tired topic of their own shoes. Not this time, anyway. I mean women's obsession with other people's shoes.

A while back, this friend of mine was trying to get it through my head how important shoes were. She told about how she met a guy at a club. Really hit it off well with him. Great chemistry. Was itching to give this cat her number. And then, while he was walking her to her car she noticed his shoes whereby she completely and totally lost interest. Because of his fucking shoes.

Let me be clear on some things here. These weren't old shoes that he'd left in the back yard and had accidentally run over with a lawn mower. They weren't twelve sizes too large, bright red, and floppy. His feet weren't sticking out of them in places where his feet weren't designed to stick out. I asked all these questions. It turns out that the problem with the shoes was this: They were not, in fact, the right shoes.

Now I ask you, Interested Party: What the fuck...?

That bachelor party I went to weekend before last – I took a date. Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking. You're not supposed to take a date to a bachelor party. In response to that I say, “Oh yeah? Just what kind of backward-thinking fool are you, Interested Party? Damn liberal.” If you're going to a strip club, or anywhere else for that matter, it never hurts the situation to have an adorable little thing along side you with whom you may shamelessly flirt... Wait, you're getting me off track here. Stop it.

Anyway, while we were there my date noticed -- and commented favorably upon -- a stripper's shoes. They were interesting shoes, granted, and they did compliment the look that the dancer was doubtlessly going for. Hell, I didn't even notice that the dancer had feet. That's not to say that I didn't notice them with much vigor after they were pointed out to me – oh, I did. I noticed the hell out of them. But her shoes were not commanding my attention before then.

Could it be that shoes are an important social cornerstone that I've been missing out on? Would I be a better citizen of the species if I knew about shoes? If understanding the importance of shoes were a part of my being? Or, maybe it's kind of like the unknowable hell that girls put each other through – guys don't remotely understand, so it wouldn't work on us. I'm glad the Fundaments of Responsible Shoe Awareness make no sense to me. I find that my life is much simpler this way.




Posted at 11:18 am by soapwort
Comments (8)

Thursday, October 16, 2003
Eighty Pound Keyboard

Have you, Interested Party, ever typed on one of those old IBM keyboards? The keys have the sweetest damned action. They have a weight and an energy to them. You're not just swatting letters like these new keyboards today with their fancy-schmancy “Windows” keys. It's this thing that's anchored to the world in all these fundamental ways. Anchored by gravity for one – it seems like it weighs eighty freaking pounds. But also it's just a hear-and-now kind of bond this keyboard holds to the earth – at least when you're pressing the keys. And you press these keys, Interested Party. You don't gesture at them. Force is required to type with them. Inertia is at work here. You press them and they, in turn, move worlds.

It's like playing the piano. It is something very tactile and relevant. You press some keys, which moves some levers, which moves these hammers, which moves a whole bunch of strings, and suddenly there's this big, beautiful thing happening. You are a part of something larger than yourself – but in a way that still manages to be a very personal. And suddenly God is in the processes as well as the details.

Damn, it's great being human.




Posted at 10:28 pm by soapwort
Comments (1)

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