September 2006

You Donít Know Shit From Good Chocolate...

Watched Hard Core Logo for what Iím sure is the 3,605th time. Only noticed now that the lady at the Calgary show is petting the duck or goose or whatever it is backwards. That canít be good. Not comfy for the poor bird I imagine.

I find it amazing that after years of watching movies and a collection of DVDís that can only be described as an investment for the dark day at a pawn shop, when I have no idea what to watch this movie always hits the spot. If I want drama or gore or horror or humour, this is the one.

Billy Talent (AKA Callum Keith Rennie) has followed up this movie with Battlestar Galactica and Due South among other things. Which is cool. Cause I loved Lorne Greens New Wilderness. Every Saturday afternoon in a wood panel basement surrounded by plastic army men. Ah, the memories of youth.

Sometimes I make my bellybutton laugh and find it endlessly amusing tooÖ

I own both the original print of Hard Core Logo and the comic book as well as the soundtrack before the DVD tribute was released. I love them all, but the artwork in the comic pisses me off sometimes.

I keep looking for the opportunity to insert the line ďYou must listen to meĒ somewhere in life.

Right there, a moth landed on my hand and rather than gishing it I decided to let it fly off and find itís own death. It flew off. Given the life expectancy of the average moth, I expect that it will get to the second half anytime soon.

I have never masturbated in the back of a van. Or any vehicle for that matter.

The use of Snowaxe has saved me in a couple of games of ďThe Band GameĒ. I have a guilty conscience. Sue me.

The fact that Billy Talent exists as a band makes me sick. Daily.

Pipefitter starred in Turbulence 3: Heavy Metal. His Character was named ďShredĒ. I cry myself to sleep most nights.

Iíve tried to watch the spinning squares about a thousand times and canít make any sense of it. I should take notes I suppose.

The stump bit, yeah Iíve ripped that off in varying ways about a thousand times. Again, sue me.

Iíve often wished that I had thrown a punch instead of a strong word. Breaking faces and guitars is a luxury best afforded to fictional characters, but god knows Iíve thought about it.

I have a battery at the base of my fist as well. Ask me, Iíll show you.

I wish I could time travel.

John Oxenberger went on to have a successful acting career and his most recent project of note was Amanda Bynes "She's The Man", which I am somewhat loathe to admit had it's funny bits.

Punk is dead.

Art Or The Stunning Lack Thereof...

OK.

Time to set the record a little bit straighter.

This goes out to all of you pretentious ďartistsĒ of whatever medium you may call your own.

First of all, youíre not nearly as smart as you think you are. Far from it. Most of the time youíre either going for something sensationalist or youíre going for the base excitement of shock value.

Guess what, so does Paris Hilton.

Just because you manage to come up with something that the straight collar folk might see as shocking doesnít make you intelligent or an artist. It makes you a shock jock. Morning radio show hosts do the same thing five days a week with Saturdays thrown in for reruns for the best of. Fart jokes only carry you so far.

Secondly, I get the fact that because you do something in vivid colour you think that youíre doing something new. Again, bottom line is that if you are counting on technology to set yourself apart as an artistic genius you are setting yourself up for disaster. Everyone talks about how quickly technology moves and if thatís the best you have, then bad news Sparky, your going to be left behind almost as quickly as you found yourself briefly at the front.

Thirdly, if you think that youíre being witty, odds are you arenít. As mentioned earlier, fart jokes only get you so far, and in the same context you can file the dick jokes, the sex jokes and all the clichťs that fall in between.

Seriously, if your best attempt at art can be filed in the same category as a Saturday night live sketch circa anything after Dennis Miller left, youíre not an artist youíre a bad writer and you ruined one of the best shows on TV.

Fourthly, if you think that youíre anti establishment or anti anything for that matter because you wear shirts that suggest that you donít follow the Gap rule of thumb (which isnít a victory really, lots of us manage to dodge that bullet) or you prance about like you are better than everyone then you are missing the entire point.

Donít get me wrong, I know you think that youíre better than everyone, but that just isnít the case, and no good art has ever come from anyone who hasnít embraced their inherent damage. On some level at least.

Just because you can draw a straight line, or a good looking crooked one or play a scale in half the time that most take or whatever it may be that you can do does not mean you posess talent, it just means that you posses skill. Lots of people can do that, and almost all of them are convinced that they are the only ones that can do so.

Which they clearly, by the fact that you think that youíre the only one who can do the same, are not.

Also, being obscure or difficult to understand does not by nature mean that you are artistic. Nine times out of ten it means that you are obscure and difficult to understand. Wow, if only there were more people in the world like that. Wait, I know some, Clifford Olsen, Paulie Barnardo and the immortal Charlie Manson. Well I mean they were obscure and difficult to understand, right? Only difference between you and them is that you havenít broken the law.

Yet.

Sometimes I wonder if you can see how clichťd your originality actually is.

People shy away from the definition of art. Hereís where I donít. Itís quite simple actually.

Art is when you create something that stirs something in other people. It may be positive, it may be negative, but it stirs something in them. It isnít about some self-congratulatory effort to show how much smarter or creative that you think you are above everyone else. Art is about creating something that either expresses something within or an attempt to reach others. It is not about proving alleged self-importance. Art is not self congratulatory.

If you really need to reassure yourself that you are super special, go have a talk with your mom, and lacking that, treat yourself to a special night with a sweat sock.

If the goal of your ďartĒ is to prove to yourself how you are better than everyone else, see the above Bernardo/Olsen reference.

Finally, if you think that you are brilliant because a certain degree of luck and learned abilities combined with a simple understanding of base comedy set you apart from the rest, I strongly suggest that you take a look around. There is no shortage of comedic hacks that appeal to the lowest common denominator. There is a lot of money to be made in that mind you, so if thatís your chosen course, so be it. But donít pretend for a second that youíre some sort of elite mind just because you can pretend to be better than everyone else a little bit better than everyone else. If youíre peddling dick and fart jokes, youíre peddling dick and fart jokes.

Itís not about convincing other people how brilliant you are just so you can feel a little better about yourself. It isnít other peoples job to validate you, thatís something you should be able to find on your own.

Art, at itís finest, should be something that makes people think not what a great artist the person who creates it is, but rather what a great person they can be.

Once Upon A Time...

I can still feel it, distant now, but calling nonetheless. I know it is there, waiting for me.

Once upon a time I mattered. You can feel it fading, you know? You can feel it passing you by, the only question is what do you do with it then?

It is so easy to get lost. The message that I have tried to be is so easily erased by all of the failures that I am. Would that the what I am trying to say could be seen through the what I am. A lost cause I am afraid.

But lost causes, those are the ones that taste the best in my mind.

Someone asked me recently what it was I would say to define my philosophy in life. They asked me what it was I thought could define the lesson in my life that I most value.

I sat there for a while, trying to think of an answer, and then a night in home made armour came to my rescue and gave me my answer.

You donít go into a fight expecting to win. Fact of the matter is that if you go into a fight, you should only do so knowing that it is the right thing to do. Sometimes, going in to a fight for the thing that you believe is right means going into a fight that you know you canít possibly win.

But that doesnít matter.

The victory isnít in the outcome, the victory is in the fact that you found something worth fighting for.

Which is more than most people have these days.

A shame really, but a reality nonetheless.

For the record, I donít expect to win. For the record, I expect to have my ass handed to me.

So take a number, the line is long and I am all too stubborn for my own good.