It will not be pleasant. But it will be meaningful.
hey….HEY! Hey, I’m sorry. We stopped working on this. But thank you for thinking about us, or this, or just for thinking in general. I don’t know who you are, but my guess is you’re a beautiful, intelligent person who’s struggle is important. And we’ll always be there for you.
That having been said, Andy and I are moving on to new projects. They’re secret, so good luck figuring that shit out, but we shall return in different and fascinating ways.
If we learned anything in 2010, to end this on, it’s that you’re great. And that we love you.
Goodbye, and good luck.
-diggy (and probably Andy; don’t want to put words in his mouth)
oh man, so I was away for a while going on a mystical journey through Kabbalah’s ‘tree of life’ ala Alan Moore’s fantastic comic series “Promethea”, and you guys, it’s totally crazy. It’s way crazier than just Madonna and celebrities and Judaism, it’s like proper D&D, Gary Gygax/ Ursula LeGuin-type crazy.
Let me start by stating that I’m not really studying the Kabbalah, as that seems to be a little more complex; I just quickly went through the Cliff’s notes version of some of the larger motifs (easy joke to make is that quickly going through the Cliff’s notes version is my larger motif). So you have this pattern called the ‘tree of life’, and it looks like this:
Bam! And all those little points on it are called sephira, which is just the hebrew word for number. So you’ve got these 10 spots, in order, and each represents something capital B Big. How big? Well all of Earth and the physical objects we interact with everyday, that’s number 10. At the bottom. *fart sound*
It’s kinda complicated after that, with each path between sephira having a corresponding tarot card, and what the colors mean and the separation of the upper sphere and shit, so fuck all that. I skipped all that because any person’s own journey to spiritual enlightenment is boring to everyone else. Seriously, it’s like listening to people describe dreams.
ANYWAY, the one I became most fascinated with is number 8, Hod. Hod (literally from hebrew ‘majesty’) is the domain of all types of communication. It’s where we have notions like language and understanding and math and symbols. All of that is in number 8.
See I figure it’s the ability to process information and effectively communicate it to others that grants us intelligence. And it’s the ability to give rich, complex and varied descriptions of new things which proves our sentience. Without math to calculate or words to begin to construct philosophy around, we would have lost all the ingenious shit that mankind has contributed, like engineering and poetry and karaoke. So yeah, fuck the Golden truth of the Human Soul (6) or the Foundation of the Human Ego (9, although that’s where everyone’s bangin’), Hod’s where it’s at when it comes to being a thoughtful motherfucker.
And you’re all “uh, whoa Diggy, it’s a little weird that you’re studying the Kabbalah in the first place. Is everything alright?”
And I’m all “oh, don’t worry about it. I mostly got into it as an offshoot of all the Hermetic stuff I’ve been reading”
And you’re all “Hermetic…stuff? Whu-“
And quickly, I’m like “yeah! You knew, like Hermes Trismegistus! Like Thoth, and Mercurial Magick and quicksilver and all that. Just the principle properties of Alchemy at this point, but I’ve got a couple Crowley books and I’ve been reading a lot of Austin Spare, so we’ll see what I can get up to by the end of Summer. My hope is that by the next solstice, I’m ready to take some serious communion with the Magic Square of Eights… maybe channel Ben Franklin or some shit”.
And that is when, even through the cold distance of web-based social interaction, you slowly back away, your face betraying a mixture of concern and disgust.
Hey, so you know the whole Sad Keanu meme going around? Well I was fucking off at work today and I learned, that hooooooooly mothballs, Keanu Reeves has had a kinda sad and tough life:
His father, Samuel Nowlin Reeves Jr., abandoned him and his mother when he was 3, and has never reconnected with him since. His mother, Patricia Bond, became a costume designer and showgirl who constantly remarried and divorced a string of 3 stepfathers for Keanu, and they were always moving. Because of that, he went to different high schools. He had a key interest in hockey (was MVP of his hockey team, named “The Wall”), but his dream of playing in the Olympics ended after an injury. Afterwards, he dropped out of high school to become an actor, thus starting his career. He never obtained a high school diploma.
Keanu has never married and avoids most relationships. In 1999, Reeves’ girlfriend Jennifer Syme gave birth to a daughter, Ava Archer Syme-Reeves, but she was stillborn. Two years later, Syme herself got into a fatal automobile accident. His close best friend, River Phoenix, died due to drug overdose one Halloween morning.
In his career, Keanu turns down big roles if he believes the character he would portray is too violent. He took a 90 percent pay cut on The Replacements just so that Gene Hackman could be cast. Previously, he had deferred 2 million of his salary so that Al Pacino could be cast on The Devil’s Advocate. Even then, he gives most of his earnings to charity and the backstage crew/people who help on the set.
Currently, Keanu’s best friend is his sister, Kim Reeves, who has been diagnosed with leukemia. His remaining money probably pays for her medical bills, and he plays the guitar for a small band to further get finance.
Yeesh. Alright, fuck… I’m gonna go rent the Replacements to make me feel a little better.
May, May, transglorious May was coloured, nay dominated by two major overarching thematic story-lines…
(…SQUAW! Your crippling loneliness and inability to come to equiostasis with the cosmos?! SQUAW!)
Shut up, subconscious! No instead I’m speaking of the ending of the television show Lost, and the ascension of my favorite basketball team, the Boston Celtics, to the NBA Finals. The baffling similarities, the logic-smashing comparisons and at least a couple links and youtube videoes lie within, brave reader. But beware: beyond this point be spoilers, tygers and jinx-inducing hubris! And the enemy is everywhere!!!
Season 5 of Lost had ended it’s sci-fi masturbatory season by leaving the various characters shattered, disoriented and filled with self-loathing. Main-man Jack’s attempt to reboot their Universe (!), and prevent them from ever having existed there (!!) by exploding an Atomic bomb at the core of a magnetic anomaly (!!!) had seemingly failed. His gambit fizzled, costing the lives of people he cared about. And the weight of his failure was torturous and haunting. He longed to just agree that he was wrong and be crucified for it. Jack always wanted to be the knight in shining armor that fixes all the world’s problems at the cost of great sacrifice. But when he seemingly didn’t fix the world’s problems, and when the great sacrifice wasn’t his, he was reduced to questioning confusion and self-hatred. All he could do was admit:
But at least Jack had gotten there. And at least the show had gotten there. It was time to pull together and get to the end, for better or worse. We’ll return to this in a minute…
They headed into the post-season rudderless, and seemingly empty and devoid of passion or purpose. Constantly and consistently, the members of the Celtics staff were telling us that this was all part of the plan; that when it became important for them to turn on the juice, they were going to surprise everyone.
And of course no one besides them believed it even for a fucking second. Because teams simply don’t just “turn it on” when they want to, it’s something that can’t be done in pro sports. It’s bad juujuu, or poor sportsmanship, or more realtistically just not feasible in the modern day and age.
But the Celtics were confident, and annoyed with the criticism. They’d tell anyone who’d listen:
If I could retreat back to Lost for a bit, it’s part of common folklore at this point that the creators became aware that if they didn’t force the network into giving them a finite endpoint, the show was going to unravel. Without an end-Date, there was no end-Game. Nothing to be playing for, or looking forward to. Sometimes the treasure is in the journey, but sometimes it’s at finishing the fucking race!
So they reached a settlement with ABC, and even at the cost of jettisoning a ton of time to explain the mysteries they had set up, and knowing that they weren’t going to please a sizable portion of loyalists by doing that, the Lost creative team began the process of ending. They geared up for their run to the Finale.
When the Celtics won the NBA Championship two years ago, it was by following the motto ‘Ubuntu’, which literally translates from an old Bantu langue to mean ‘I am, because you (pl.) are”. It was the notion that there was a collective that needed to be bought into, and that the individuals couldn’t get to the next place without buying into that collective. Players on the roster had to understand the limitations and their roles; they had to accept responsibility for their jobs, and not try to be heroes. They won together as a team, and it was a sight to behold. We don’t get that typically in the “me first” era of sports on a professional level, but this was a team of humbled men, accepting their roles while accepting their fate.
As Lost hurtled towards it’s end-date, it eventually accepted the notion that as sci-fi oriented as it appeared to be on the surface, it was ultimately a show whose roots were deeply entangled in the relgious notions of spirtuality and communion. In the end, every major character on Lost was there to further the point that people are deeply flawed, and alone; that it’s only by coming together and seeking forgiveness of our sins, acceptance of our short-comings and growth from a shared faith in each other that we can further our standing in life.
Sorry, that’s what Lost is about! It’s about Church. It’s about finding people to worship with and loving them. Not an island, or monsters and gods, not Jack and Kate or why Walt had super-powers. It was a show about finding faith in being part of a community. A better and more passionate critique of man’s great struggle might sound like:
And that, in my needlessly roundabout way, is what I learned about in May. Everyone wants to win, but it’s about giving into the notion that maybe (definitely) the Universe is a bit smarter than you, that your friends can help you, and that you’re only going to be as strong as the people you surround yourself with. I learned about faith and commitment and Ubuntu.
Beyond that I learned that as much as I think I can do this whole thing, I’m a lonely creature, struggling with redemption and direction. Just as importantly, I learned that Elvis said “as long as a man has the strength to dream, he can redeem his soul and fly.”
So while I can think and while I can talk, while I can root and cheer and hope and enjoy when people get to where they’re trying to get to, whether they be a dozen fictional characters, or a pro basketball team, or an arrogant asshole who tried to get the Beatles deported…
…it’s important to believe in each other, and ourselves.
I feel like the guy that’s stumbled into his favorite bar and realized there’s no one else there. Free to drink as much as a I want and slur and scream as loud as I want with only my own intonations of “going too far” to keep me at bay.
Fuck it. Hi, I’m Diggy, and this is my blog. Shit’s probably about to get hectic, I kinda feel like I don’t need permission for it anymore. Der rappa rappa, we’re gonna be scraping blood off the walls when all is said and done.
Your heart might break but the show goes on because if it stops, you starve.
…and that’s all I have to say about what happened tonight
Moving on, I’m taking some temporal liberties in saying that ‘Today’ I learned about it, but the new Janelle Monae album is distressingly good. I had one of those weird Saturdays where there’s, ya know, no drama (always a watershed moment for me); I just ended up at some really good parties I never expected to be at. Drinks and dancing and great bands and new friends and stronger connections! Awesome time.
Anyway, the big single from this album had been stuck in my head all weekend, and it took getting a flat on my bike and having to hoof the last two and a half miles back home to actually listen to the record in it’s entirety.
Maybe it’s because I had enough alcohol flooding my bloodstream to be qualified as no longer human, or maybe it’s because I hadn’t needed to just ‘walk and listen’ to an album since the last Future of the Left offering, but I was convinced by the time I got home that music like this should be taught in schools. Or played in utero. Anything but the relative obscurity it’s destined for.
Seriously though, check out this chick just crush a stage:
There’s performances and there is being a showman(/showwoman?). Shaquille O’Neal once famously said “Put this in print: my name is Shaquille O’Neal, and Paul Pierce is the motherfucking truth.”
Well, if I could borrow the phrase, my name is Shaquille O’Neal and Janelle Monae is the motherfucking truth… but with a cute face, killer eyes, and what appears to be a kinda slamming body. Oh, and all the natural grace of Gregory Hines with a dash of James Brown and the self-aware cool of Dwayne Wade. And the first 3 Suites of a 4 arc concept album under her belt. And shit loads of money. And executive producers with names like Nate “Rocket” Wonder and Control Z. And also she’s younger than me.
Fuck, just writing about this is getting me depressed and inspired at the same time. Download it illegally here!
SPOILER ALERT: This is gonna be one of those articles that is much much more about me sifting through various interesting thoughts going on in my head right now than it is about learning. If you want a post about actual *learning* learning, click on the random button at the top of the page about 5 or 6 times until you come to an article that satisfies you.
SECOND SPOILER ALERT: This posting is also going to discuss in vague detail the comings and goings of the television show Lost. If you’ve never seen the show and don’t want to be spoiled as to what it’s about, Fuck You. I can’t believe you didn’t watch Lost. You’re a fucking idiot. I told you it was good…! What the fuck else did you want? When have I ever steered you wrong as to shit that is “worth your fucking time”? Never. Never. Fuck you, dummy, you should’ve been watching Lost. Get the fuck off my blog and never come back.
So. On Sunday, the final episode of Lost will air. It will end what has been for me been a 5 year journey, and it will end with a definitiveness that will be both gratifying and disappointing. Gratifying because it is leaving on it’s own terms, saying it’s peace and then riding off into the sunset with the writers swearing off the possibility of sequels or movies. It will be it’s own set story, and one’s interpretations of it will have to come from rote canon, and nothing else.
It will be disappointing because I’ve become accustomed to the things I really, truly, deeply loving not ending. Truth be told (and in conjunction with the sixth season being so driven by the notion of faith/spirituality or even religion), stories tend to continue on. Stories and myth manifest over and over, and never before has there been a show that took more pride in being the “show about stories”; the meta-fictional self-awareness; the “we know and have to take into consideration how everything may be perceived by everyone everywhere for all time” than Lost.
And trust me, it hasn’t always been easy. But I am nothing if not a Loyalist, and when people complained about the gaping plot holes, or Nikki and Paulo in season 3, or really just season 3 in general, I was there to remind everyone that this was a rollercoaster ride (a free one that you could get on network television, by the way), and you could either enjoy the ups and downs, or you could spend your time doing anything else. Not just a Loyalist, or an Apologist, I became entrenched in the worship of Lost. I think it’s (capital I) Important, and I refuse to back off that claim. Listen: it meant a lot to me.
But on Sunday it ends, and I have no idea how it’s going to end, or why. I suspect I will like the things I like, and force myself to like the things I don’t.
I have this horrible habit of reading really great sentences and deciding that there’s truth in power. I love to quote “Nothing ever truly ends,” and hoping that that’s the case. But really, sometimes things end. I moped when Jack decided he was going to be Jacob’s successor (*dude, I told you there were going to be spoilers*), because, ya know…
Him and Kate, right? Right?!
But no. Not him and Kate. These two fictional characters attempted to have a fictional relationship, and it fictionally didn’t work out. And I can sit here and pretend I’m not writing about something else, about some other work of fiction not working out; that I’m not talking about finally closing the book and realizing that something else has come to an end, but you probably know me better than that. I’m pretty easy that way.
Lost was about faith and religion and science and love and people. Just like people, it tried to do it’s best to connect all these things together, and sometimes the project was disjointled. Sometimes it was sublime. I had a relationship with this show, a communion. It challenged me, and frustrated me, and I was beholden to it when it was doing well, and it was put on hold for things that were more interesting to me when I thought it was underperforming.
But it’s ending on Sunday. The story is told, and the game is over. It will be up to me to determine in the long run whether I felt like I got out of it what I put in. I obviously will, but I’m still sad. In all my exhuberance and appreciation, I forgot that sometimes time runs out. That sometimes things move on, and that the world doesn’t revolve around my own personal schedule.
Lost is ending/over/done, and I can’t stop that. I can just be appreciative of the time I had with it.
…. You guys get by Lost, I’m talking about Kelly, right?
Hooooooooooly fucking shit. Alright, you’re gonna want to sit down for this…
…Oh, right. Well, fuck you smartass, stand up then. Wait! No, go to your car. Seriously, go to your car and look at the fuel gauge. You see that little triangle next to the gas icon? Today I learned that that little icon is always pointing in the direction of your gas cap. So if you’re ever borrowing or renting a car, and you don’t know what side to fill up on, just look at the triangle on your dashboard.
Yeah, how’s your mind? Kinda blown, right? Yeah!
Alright, well if you need me, I’m gonna be in my room crying, so…
Sorry, April! What a month! (Obviously the first thing to do is to apologize for this post’s tardiness, but no one’s interested in my apologies [APPARENTLY!] , so we’ll just move on and watch as the end-of-month posts move further and further into the future.)
Listen: April was quite challenging. It was professionally, socially and personally tough for a multitude of silly reasons. I was feeling uninspired in my writing, and pretty let-down by a lot of personal things. And there was this quick-sand effect going on where the harder I was trying, the worse things were turning out. I was punching myself out and bloodying my knuckles doing it (I mean that only mostly in a proverbial sense).
So I spent a lot of time stuck in the mud, and feeling sorry for myself about it. I complained so much in fact that I got sick of telling the same stories over and over. Ya know, even my own little personal dramas became boring to me, and it got the point where it was okay to just let the days wash by. “KBO”, I would tell myself, “Keep Buggering On”, but it rang sorta hollow because it didn’t actually make me feel any better. Shit was a bummer.
One day I was talking to a friend who is having a significantly and profoundly more difficult year than I have ever had, and he was talking about challenges he’s facing right now, and I just asked him how he did it. How was he able to maintain his personal fortitude in the middle of such stress and anxiety and disappointment and lord know what else.
”C’mon man, you’ve never listened to Bad Brains?”
No, as previously mentioned, Bad Brains is one of those bands I never got around to, so he played me a song and explained that he just tries to keep a Positive Mental Attitude. That’s it. The secret was to have a better attitude. That’s how fucking cynical I had become, I couldn’t recognize that attempting to have a better outlook on life could actually work.
So it stopped being just KBO, it was KBO while trying to smile. Take solace in the little things that you enjoy, appreciate the nice weather or a good record or fucking shoot a gun for the first time.
Do anything you want. You can do it. And when life gets shitty, you have to move forward. We are Human, a stubborn and willful animal that always moves forward whether for better or worse.
So yeah, in April I learned that:
…which may not make a helluva lot of sense, but at least it makes me laugh. And it’s way easier trying to stay in a good mood than getting out of a bad one.
Coming in May: Drunk Girls!
ADDENDUM: I’d like to take a second to dedicate this post to my dog who passed away peacefully in his sleep last week. He was 16 years old, blind, deaf and had scoliosis. But that motherfucker kept plugging away and bringing joy to my family even while the world faded away from him and life was less than ideal. You were a good dog, buddy.