St Mark’s Street High

high school was hell. i think i can’t identify with anyone who still has friends from high school. how could one have adapted to society that early? like this bloke michael said, at 27 he got more confident; like henry rollins said, in his late 20’s he started to like himself.

in self-loathing, one cannot be truly oneself. therefore high school, is a shadow of reality.

maybe i should’ve not moved around so much.

Friday night: walked down st marks this weekend in a crappy search for a karaoke bar to replace the boarded up village karaoke in our quest to ironically overturn irony. to no avail. me and song sat on opposite sides of the stoop of sing sing. blokes in flannel shirts and shoulder-length hair loudly occupied the sidewalks. needless to say, i hated everything. this asian dude bounced down next to song. song who looked tragically hiply tragic with kohl-rimmed eyes, chin in hand. he started wooing her; his fat friend sat behind rooting him on, unwilling to come near me who had knives for eyes. somehow song, even in her sadness, can look innocuous. the dude said, one step above Song, “Is it better on that step?” I suppose being a radical. Later as they kept talking in my earshot, debating on what he should’ve done to get Song, I asked “Can you stop talking?” Sir Dave and Cassidy rolled up.

Then, Grassroots Tavern: I almost passed out. ian has the remarkable ability to talk despite the odds. the odds being my snarling and song being bored out of her mind and mary awkwardly relieved from the non-happening of karoake. “real dave” rolled up drunk as shit and asked me if I had any adderall. I looked at him quizzically. “I mean, on you”. he clarified. “No” I said. I sipped Ian’s cranberry vodka with the vague hope to obliterate the current situation of aimless rebounding.

Back to high school: So it’s not just me:

In every high school there are students who are culturally and intellectually superior but socially aggrieved. These high school culturati have wit and sophisticated musical tastes but find that all prestige goes to jocks, cheerleaders and preps who possess the emotional depth of a cocker spaniel. The nerds continue to believe that the self-reflective life is the only life worth living (despite all evidence to the contrary) while the cool, good-looking, vapid people look down upon them with easy disdain on those rare occasions they are compelled to acknowledge their existence.Â

These sarcastic cultural types may grow up to be rich movie producers, but they will remember their adolescent opposites and become liberals.
They may grow up to be rich lawyers but will decorate their homes with interesting fabrics from the oppressed Peruvian peasantry to differentiate themselves from their jock opposites.
In adulthood, the former high school nerds will savor the sort of scandals that befall their formerly athletic and currently corporate adolescent enemies — the Duke lacrosse scandal, the Enron scandal, the various problems that have plagued the frat boy Bush. In the lifelong struggle for moral superiority, problems that bedevil your adolescent opposites send pleasure-inducing dopamine surging through your brain.

Similarly, in every high school there are jocks, cheerleaders and regular kids who vaguely sense that their natural enemies are the brooding poets who go off to become English majors. These prom kings and queens may leave their adolescent godhood and go off to work as underpaid sales reps despite their coldly gracious spouses and effortlessly slender kids, but they will still remember their adolescent opposites and become conservatives. They will experience surges of orgiastic triumphalism when Sean Hannity eviscerates the scuffed-shoed intellectuals who have as much personal courage as a French chipmunk in retreat.

Because these personal traits are so pervasive and constant, Republican administrations tend to be staffed by people who are well-balanced but dull, while Democratic administrations tend to be staffed by people who are interesting but neurotic. Because these rivalries are so permanent, nobody has ever voted for a presidential candidate they wouldn’t have had lunch with in high school.

The only real shift between school and adult politics is that the jocks realize they need conservative intellectuals, who are geeks who have decided their fellow intellectuals should never be allowed to run anything and have learned to speak slowly so the jocks will understand them. Meanwhile, the geeks have learned they need to find popular kids like F.D.R. to head their tickets because the American people will never send a former geek to the White House. (Bill Clinton was unique in that he was a member of every clique at once.)

The central message, though, is that we never escape our high school selves…

The Spelling of Wack

Wack is not “whack” according to the urban dictionary. I am ashamed to say that I didn’t know that.

What I do know is that the skinny bar last night was asianned out: involved a grinning fat white dj with a samurai headband on, paper-mache geisha dolls, videos of madonna in tokyo and a bunch of big haired japanese on the top floor. There was even a dude doing pretend karate chops (ironically enough, Gabe, the bloke we were with, had gotten kicked in the eye during his taekwondo lesson as was sporting a glistening eye-wound next to us).

Fucking wack.

What’s even more wack is that this didn’t bother anyone.

Do you need a cultural studies degree in order to even be remotely bothered by this? It’s not like PC-ness is only in the realm of the studious elite. I used to find PC-ness annoying – once being a recipient of brandished Bard student’s teeth – now i think it’s necessary, even underrated. Much like straight-leg jeans. People have strict indices for their aesthetic and moral judgments – why not PC-ness? It is informed by different sets of beliefs, sure, but I don’t think that makes it less superior.

We do want to stay away from the oppressiveness of jumping to conclusions, to calling people racist or sexist without giving them a chance to elaborate or defend – such is the joy of debate – while at the same time highlighting things that seem to be the result of a casual way of thinking that offends you, personally – much like this pulled-out-of -the-arse unnecessarily dimwitte approximation of eastern culture- i don’t think it could be harmful for wanting to and actually erecting modes of dialogue to express something that doesn’t fulfill your need for articulation – namely me grimacing at the origami “swan” -we only run into harm when we try to define somebody or something wholly by our labelling them as one thing or another.

Anyway what’s up with these hi-falutin’ “we’s?”

the backlash against PC seems to be motivated by a need to be transcend definition – par example (i’m going downhill)on the JMZ there were these fake-hipster blokes regaled in white-trash wear calling people mongoloids. “What is Social Studies?” they asked, wielding that popular inversion of smartness, this anti-specific school of nihilism. they waved their hands emphatically with one hip cocked, their jackets a little too small, their hair newly done and skin unmarked by blemish or scratch. “Like, history, cultural studies stuff like that. It’s a bunch of stuff thrown together that doesn’t really make sense. I’m like, so bad at grammar. I like, failed English”.

i wear my acne like a proud working-class scar.

but i’m not a hero. luckily. maybe i’m a mongoloid. Two days ago i was saying i was bad at grammar. Maybe i’m just mad at being caught out.

i’m sick of sarcasm. and of backlashes. all backlashes are an attempt to be “post”–which is stupid because nobody can truly be “post”–one is necessarily caught in the flux of meaning, which means, that one can’t run away from it.

Notes from the Underground

This weekend is going to be so good, I can’t even believe it.

Song just called me: “Can I read you my horoscope really quick?” Something about a project she should forego. A project meaning a man.

I told her: “I liked you yesterday, you were vulnerable”. That was a hint. She didn’t seem to mind.

It is 12pm. I’ve done nothing.

I was so nuerotic and negative during the workday yesterday I wanted to cry. I had too much energy and wierd up-in-the-air doubts that were eventually dispelled by mailing out all those invitations. Cole is still alive and well which makes me in-alive and not well. He’s about to get a haircut from Song. Song said “don’t be mad” but i don’t know why I would be mad. I was just frantic. I am happy he is getting a haircut but I am unhappy because Lydia introduced this thought to me: he is trying to establish a platonic relationship by palling around.

But today I am not frantic. I am very good. I have already laughed a whole bunch and anticipate I will laugh even more. How can things not be good when I’ve made the whole office laugh when my recounting the dinner last night? How can things not be good with a vintage yellow Schwinn? (I am getting a bike) How can things not be good with a huge jug of vanilla soymilk (posh!)in the company fridge to replace the half and half i usually drink thereby representing a jug by jug shift into healthiness and poshness? How can things not be good when your friend calls you at work to tell you “I didn’t sleep enough, I feel sick” or “I’ll give you the weather report later?” How can things not be good.

Things are not good. Well there’s the whole state of global affairs which is a bum-out.

A healthy exercise in awkwardness: Her friend Gabe won the L magazine upstart fiction contest. I texted Song while I pretended to listen to the contestants before Gabe. Song was at school: “Freaking out. Many people”. I kept slipping in and out my phone into the handmade pockets of the short green skirt I was wearing, with the armadillo polo shirt I got from Missouri which of course made me sad. Song immediately called me, told me to sit tight, told me not to be annoying when i said that everyone hated me.

The whole situation was rowdy in the sense that the space was cramped and i was giddily attempting to be Song’s sugar daddy and was still convinced, after my phone conversations with her that afternoon, that people mostly harbored a distaste for me but little things like being casual, smoking and commenting on Jamie’s relationship in the context of his 800.00 jeans went over well.

Then did that touristy thing of trying to satisfy everyone’s needs by trawling through possible bars around the entire east village and LES. After awhile my feet hurt. Me and Song commented on Andrew’s improved hair about 5 times. Suspicious. Andrew had introduced me twice as the “girl who writes the jane blog” when in fact my state as a jane blogger is dubious and less such than the girl they know who blogs for them, Lindsay Robertson–on a high status too as “Guest Blogger”. All in a day’s failure. I took sips of his Maker’s.

After skipping many recommendations such as “The Library” and “Mars Bar” we settled on “the skinny”. Of course on the way we had to establish teams like the A-team and the B team, i suppose something that had to do with the speed in which we could cross the street.

At the dim-witted dim bar, I told Song “I realized I really like something about you”. She bent over near the huge origami bird on the table at the Skinny. her lips were smiling and red. “You have a good nature. I don’t mean you’re a good person, but you have a good nature”.

When his friend showed me his watch, which said “Fucking Time” on it with two people in the throes of cartoon fucking, I admitted I didn’t like it. Gabe gave me the finger. I was not used to such things. He wore a denim jacket and looked angry. Angsty. His friend said “It’s ironic!” and i said “Irony is so over”. Which wasn’t clever at all, but rather, sincere.

I’m getting a bike this weekend.

Waking up: Another thing that rounded out this morning nicely was waking up and being able to tell Karl, who is actually interested, about the sequence of events of the night before. I think we are codependently obsessive about the details of my life. I’d be obsessive about his life except he reveals nothing.

In the background a sleepy french girl was waking up without her glasses on.

What Mr Tom Wrote

MrTom said…

– Alex’s description of your compulsive documenting: I don’t think it’s “almost” neurotic. I can remember visiting you in the relationship you ran away to and being taken through a carrier bag that contained every single item one could possibly have kept to document the stages of your getting together with him. Or: in response to some random bus-top re-telling of a miscellaneous misery of mine, “I don’t care what bad experiences I go through, because I know it’d would mean I’d have more material to make art about”.

I think the right way to capture the undeniably positive side of your ongoing art-making isn’t that it’s not all the way to neurotic – it’s something more complicated than that; something to do with the effectiveness of the filters you put it through afterwards, perhaps something to do with burgeoning artistry or wisdom, something I can’t figure out how to express quite right just now.