Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Chivalry really is dead

After rescuing a turkey sandwich from the deli so it could take refuge in my stomach, I opened the door for an older woman who was entering as I was leaving. I'm used to not getting a "thank you," because New Yorkers, for the most part, can't be bothered with trifling things like courtesy or decency. I have never, however, gotten a sarcastic "thank you." Until today. The woman reacted to my holding the door for her as if I told her that her son in the army is a cunt and I hope he gets shot in the face by friendly fire. She then spat the "thank you" at me to the tune of "what have you done for me lately" and hefted her aged girth through the door with the haste of Gabe Silva at a popcorn store (wait, why am I slamming myself? She's the jerk! Jerk).

Anyway, I hope she trips over her own awful feet and lands face first into the buffet, preferably into the macaroni salad because it isn't particularly good there.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Press Play

Matt turned me on to Cee-Lo. If I haven't turned you on, I apologize. Wait...wait, what?

name="myflashfetish" align="middle"
type="application/x-shockwave-flash"
pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" />
I made this MySpace Music Player at MyFlashFetish.com.


Clever

Subtle and sweet. For an Axe commercial.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Yeah, I'm going to have to ask you to go ahead and eat my stool

As the major pharmaceutical giant, hereafter dubbed, simply, MPG, I work for continues to fire its redundant employees into the East River, the workload I face everyday gets simultaneously voluminous and meager at the same time, an impossible working model of the existential being, an entity that is nothing and everything all at once. The effect this has on our humble office is that of a sense of overwhelming responsibility coupled with the reality that there's nothing to do. It's a lot like being a boxer waiting in the locker room before a fight, and discovering that the bantam weight you were going to take on is being replaced by a rape-hungry android from another dimension. Because you can't even begin to fathom what that even means, all you can do is sit fatly on the locker room bench in a state of suspended, albeit terrified, animation and await the otherworldly ass torture you're about to receive.

This isn't the first time our office has been expecting unwanted butt sex. We've been reamed many times (and if you knew which MPG I worked for, you'd know they can go all night, baby). What we employees fear most during these business dark ages is not the threat of work but the threat of idle work, an oxymoronic masterpiece of which my boss may be both originator and master. Some of these tasks are so unbearably devoid of skill or difficulty that one assumes there's some sort of trick to it, some hidden snag for which a poor dope of an employee can be drawn and quartered. Surely he isn't serious (is he?) when he says he wants these labels removed, mounted on an 8 1/2 by 11 piece of yellow letter size paper, encased in liquid carbonite, and immediately throw away? No sane, sensible human being could POSSIBLY want that to happen. Could they? But by the time you ask that question, it's too late. Eight hours have fleetingly passed by and you've found yourself high as a kite off of adhesive remover and wrist-deep in your coworker's entrails (adhesive removal having the unfortunate side-effect of lycanthropy which really hasn't been registered with the FDA...and should).

Bear in mind that my boss speaks in cryptic riddles that would make the Sphinx talk lion and shit human. He doesn't just mix metaphors, he purees the fucking things until what was once trite business speak becomes a new, wonderful lexiconic nightmare. The game is easy, take any bullshit corporate phrase, truncate it, add the end of another one, and then throw in a mad tangent. It goes something like this:

1. "Let's run that up the flagpole and see who buys Abe Vigoda's farm."

2. "Let's just think outside the ballpark figure and I think we can all wear a dress on this thing."

3. "Six of one thing, half an Abe Vigoda."

4. "Abe Vigoda!"

I may have gotten sidetracked. Oh well. Congratulations to a certain title holder out there...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Orphans of the Digital Era

I'll be appearing in Jack Condon's "Orphans of the Digital Era" on Saturday, August 4th at 5 PM as part of the Riant Theatre's Strawberry One-Act Festival. I'll be a cowardly, paranoid doomsayer. And I play one in the play too. Ho ho ho.

Come and vote. Make Jack famous!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

But I'm getting ahead of myself...

I'd be the first to admit that I have a tenuous relationship with my emotions. I suppose it has a great deal to do with the fact that most things aren't worth getting that excited about. Even as Matt, myself, and hundreds of others ran wide-eyed from what we all assumed was the great, groaning collapse of yet another skyscraping giant last week, I remained nonchalant in my terror, barely able to see the logic in running fast enough to dislodge my iPod from its holster. It was a costly item, after all.

Which reminded me of the iPod's purchaser and the gray twilight in which we parted ways forever, our grainy faces twisting in a nightmare diffusion. In those early morning hours, I can remember fighting to care, to summon something beyond mere contempt and incredulity. But it wasn't there. My sentiments were trite approximations. The idea of being upset. The notion of being heartbroken. A child playing at betrayal and affection. And as the curtain fell on that tired old farce of a pairing, I never shed a tear.

All that being said, it's sometimes a bit of a shock when I feel within me a wellspring of emotion that defies logic and control. I learned long ago to never follow your heart because your heart is a fool, and that treacherous path down which your foolheart leads you terminates at the back of the dragon's throat. Unfortunately for us poor dopes, fools can be woefully charming, and we find ourselves singing while we're singeing.

What I have to learn is that having feelings doesn't make me special. We all have feelings, dummy. And what seems like a deep throb of shared passion to some could be a simple warmth to others, nothing more. This is not to discredit either perception. Each is valid. But let's not drag another into the maelstrom with us against their will.

It should be said, though, as a final ambiguous thought, that what I overlook in brandishing an impassioned result is the journey itself. It's that experience, that present essence, that existential now that is most important.

Easy, Gabe. Easy.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I hear what you're singing

Last night Colin Hay played the Canal Room with the aid of a small band and a woman who was possessed by the devil, if he were a burlesque dancer. Despite adversity (i.e. s pair of drunken men who "loved" everyone and had to be removed by a poor man's Ving Rhames), Colin Hay delivered a great performance. I'm a big fan of his song "Waiting for My Real Life to Begin," which he played albeit with a more rock based arrangement. Normally, I wouldn't post song lyrics, but these lyrics have always stricken me:

WAITING FOR MY REAL LIFE TO BEGIN

Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
and I'll stand on the bow, feel the waves come crashing
Come crashing down down down, on me

And you say, "be still my love
Open up your heart
Let the light shine in."
Don't you understand
I already have a plan?
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

When I awoke today, suddenly nothing happened
But in my dreams, I slew the dragon
And down this beaten path, and up this cobbled lane
I'm walking in my old footsteps, once again

And you say, "Just be here now,
Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin."
Let me throw one more dice
I know that I can win
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I’ll keep checking the horizon
And I'll check my machine, there's sure to be that call
It's gonna happen soon, soon, oh so very soon
It's just that times are lean

And you say, "be still my love
Open up your heart, let the light shine in."
Don't you understand
I already have a plan?
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

On a clear day, I can see, see for a long way.
On a clear day, I can see, see for a long way.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Networking

The Book I Write's own Kath Weems mentioned to me last night that she was watching one of my favorite movies: Network. I got to thinking today that Network's oft quoted line "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" evokes in me a sense of bittersweet nostalgia. Bear in mind I wasn't alive during our nation's more politically charged decades, but culling what I can from various newsreels, accounts, even the fiction of America's past paints a strikingly different picture of this country's willpower, its drive, its purpose. While reading People's History of the United States, you come across tales of workers' rebellions, fights for equality, demonstrations of our collective need to have our voices heard. From the perspective of a 21st century human, all of that conviction seems futile and quaint. Really? In America? Citizens giving a shit? Impossible.

And this loss of conviction among the masses isn't a result of a loss of power. The same forces who ruled the populous from America's inception are still present and they're still scared of that body's potential to coagulate and grow. Unfortunately they've gotten adept at diffusing and diluting the frustration and energy of the people. Why should I care about my fellow man when I have a flat screen TV? Why should I pay extra taxes for national health care so some deadbeat can prosper from my obligatory charity? All I want to do is go to work, go home, turn on the game and have a beer. And the minute, opiate net of distraction tightens its plush leather hold all the while whispering the incessant mantra of fearmongers and kings into your ear. Everything's ok inside the net.

There used to be a time that when we were getting fucked, we'd get angry. And we'd unite. In a country where everything's been bought and sold since the beginning and the voice of the people probably didn't really matter anyway, the ability to unite was our only power. People would DIE rather than suffer mistreatment. This no longer applies to the modern American. When the government unzips his trousers and fires that expectant glare in our direction, we bend ourselves over the bed and take what's coming to us. Because that's how we keep our plasma TV. That's how we maintain that modest income. That's how we insure our own safety in a country we've been told is filled with danger and sin.

With that in mind, I give you a snippet of Howard Beale's speech from Network. This was 31 years ago. As George Carlin says, "When's this shit going to end? When's this shit going to go away?":

I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's work, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV's while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot - I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you've got to get mad.

You've got to say, 'I'm a HUMAN BEING, Goddamnit! My life has VALUE!' So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell,

'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!'

Monday, July 16, 2007

I believe premiums are our future...

...pay them well and let them screw your day.

This weekend found our hero in sunny New Jersey, where he competed in several friendly competitions while highly intoxicated with his best friend Paul and Paul's girlfriend Alicia. Results:

Bowling: I won one game out of three! My highest score was 133. Paul's was 148 because he throws the ball overhand, the jerk. My game declined exponentially after the bowling lane implemented the "cosmic" lighting scheme half way through our tournament, replete with black lights and neon balls (which felt a little like being in an alien strip club).

Minigolf: We opted for an authentically posh country club style minigolf course (how authentic? No blacks!) which sported an easy course and a hard one (ooh!). We chose hard, because we like it hard and because it's just minigolf, goddamnit. Right? Wrong. The course was brutal. No cutesy puddles masquerading as water hazards here. Full on, rushing streams and intricate holes designed by MC Escher (which is also a porn I once had...Intricate Holes). Paul and I scored dead even at 70. The par for the course was 65. We stink. But we stink together.

Poker: Paul destroyed me in poker. However, we only played games where I was naked and could only have one card. Then we played cards. What?

Also, we watched a show called 2057 which explores what the future holds for mankind fifty years from now with the help of physicist and "futurist" Michio Kaku whose head appears on some of those CUNY ads in the New York subway system. Kaku is a genius simply because he has convinced people that being a "futurist" means something. Actually, it was an early 20th century art movement celebrating the triumph of man over nature. And to some extent, that's what this new brand of scientific futurism is: cheating nature with the aid of technology. However amazing the show 2057's medical/scientific/technological predictions are, my favorite episode was one entitled "The Body" in which they simulate how the future's medical teams would handle a near fatal accident. A future man falls out of a second story window (after tripping over a Roomba) and suffers life endangering injuries. Despite cheating death several times during the episode with the aid of future technological marvels, his biggest obstacle is INSURANCE. Yup, in the future, according to 2057, not only will we not have universal health care, but insurance companies will have the ability to monitor us 24 hours a day to make sure they have as much evidence possible to deny us coverage. In fact, the show depicts future man pouring a substitute liquid in the toilet in lieu of his own urine because his insurance company has equipment analyzing his egestion and he wants to keep his premiums down. IN THE FUTURE, WE WILL BE ABLE TO USE A FUCKING LASER PRINTER TO COMPLETELY RECONSTRUCT A HUMAN HEART, BUT THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE TO YOUR CONTINUING HEALTH WILL STILL BE INSURANCE.

Or, at least, that's the moral I got from the story. I've had a lot of coffee.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

She is...the Highlander

For those who've fucked off to Scotland this week:



I think that's what I need. To yell at my audience more.

Friday, July 06, 2007

It gives us paws

By now, I'm sure you've all visited Cats That Look Like Hitler. But have you been to Cats That Look Like Idi Amin? If you haven't, uganda!

Ugh. I disgust myself sometimes.







As was the fashion at the time

I've had the distinct opportunity and, dare I say (dare, DARE), the pleasure to observe the clothing trends of the Upper East Side lately, and let me tell you, it's ahead of its time. Most New York neighborhoods have their specific style: the delightful dirtbags of the East Village, the frustratingly fabricated hipsters of Williamsburg, the stiflingly tasteful yentas of the Upper West Side. No single area of this metropolis, however, captures that extraordinary blend of an old folks' home mixed with a clown college like the Upper East Side.

I've often wondered where elderly mimes go when they retire, and it's somewhere around East 75th Street and 1st Avenue. Within a forty minute breakfast at a diner, I saw samples from what appeared to be the Super Mario Brothers summer wear collection as well as clothing which seemed to be the result of what happens when a middle aged woman runs crotch first into a curtain store. Seriously, everyone looked like washed up magicians' assistants (I expected someone to be walking a giant white tiger). My favorite, by far, had to be a brightly dressed gentleman who looked like Joe Pesci as an Indian chief (and, who somehow stole Pablo Picasso's shirt).

Of course, the clothes don't make the man. Except in the Upper East Side, where you might overhear things such as:

"I eat a bunch of peanut butter, then I go right to bed."
"Meh, she's on her period!"
"The way she thinks, the first bad thing I eat, BOOM, I'm dead instantly."
"Hand me that pancake make-up, I gotta go outside and scare the shit out of a child by presenting him with a balloon that looks vaguely like a poodle."

Well, maybe I didn't hear the last bit, but I felt it.

I can't get to sleep...

Colin Hay is playing the Canal Room on the 19th. I'm all up INS.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007