Tuesday, February 19, 2008

On 90 Day Jane

So some of you have probably heard about this blog called 90 Day Jane which has been causing a lot of commotion amongst the sunlight dodgers. It was apparently a blog by a woman planning to kill herself in exactly 90 days. Recently she revealed it to be an artistic statement and she says she's going to take it down tonight. So for posterity here is her last comment and conclusion about the project and my own comment which I was unable to post and where I've started to wax about my own personal philosophy.

EDIT : I suppose she took it down earlier and the hyperlink above is actually someone else who's posted the whole blog.

''90DayJane is a personal art piece about me. It was meant for me and (what I ignorantly thought would be) a small number of people who might find it on BlogSpot. It is the result of me tapping into the darkest part of myself and seeing where it led.
What I have written and filmed, at its core, is from a place of truth. I am the girl in the videos. I have great disappointment with my generation and its obvious obsession with celebrity culture rather than their fellow man, thus the former Chuck Palahniuk reference.
I wanted this blog to be about personal discovery and truth. But the correspondences I have received have taught me more about those qualities than I could ever express. 90DayJane has become its own entity and has influenced me. In fact, it has changed my perspective as a human being.
I feel a massive sense of responsibility to my art, but more importantly the readers of this blog. My closeness to this project must have made art seem like reality to many people. That is not a reaction that I expected nor can I morally justify. This is why my project, 90DayJane, will be taken down in the next few hours.
90DayJane was meant to mirror the tragic figure, Christine Chubbuck. Newscaster Christine Chubbuck committed suicide in 1974 by shooting herself in the head live on air. She was very vocal about her depression to those around her and gave every indication of her exact intentions leading up to the event. Sadly, no one reacted or helped Christine and those left behind could only ask "why".
Her story both inspired and terrified me because I can truly empathize with her rage and even her isolation. I wondered how Christine's life and subsequent suicide would play out in our time. Would the internet be yet another place of isolation to her or an escape? If she remained vocal about her intentions would anyone bother asking "why" or even noticing before the fact? Would the reaction (if any) of the public change her intentions?
I thought this mirror might reflect the isolation everyday people feel and the lack of true human connection on the internet.
It is my feeling that the internet is the best and worst example of human interaction. This was painfully proven to me by reading every comment and every email. I believe I owed that to everyone. I know we all saw the dark side of the reactions in the blog comments. There was so much hate, immaturity and apathy. But, I truly wish everyone could see the beauty and honesty in the emails; many people feel like Jane (me). People have been more real and heartfelt than I thought was possible. I owe them a debt of gratitude for showing me the difference between people's reactions and their true feelings. I understand.
I do want everyone to know that I accepted no money for 90DayJane despite multiple offers from television, film, books, etc... I will not release my identity and I ask not to be contacted for any type of promotion. I want only for the people who wrote to me to know that I hear them and feel the same way. Your emails touched me so much. Please, share your thoughts with someone in your life or express them in a positive way''

Wooodenelephant's response...

I think artists are as much a part of society as stockbrokers or people who build roads. They're not good or bad - just a part of things.
This was an interesting project that caused a lot of people to consider things they normally would not.
Most people have responded using the language most prevalent in the 'user-developed' Internet (I know that's not the official term but I can't remember what is) - language that is overtly agressive, cynical and negative. But we are all used to this.
I read a quote from Javier Bardem on Imdb who said that 'We are so scared about talking about death that we are letting people die in silence. It is good to talk publicly'
I think this is right. Death should not be a taboo. Death is part of life. No, death is life. They are the same thing, viewed from different ends of a straight line. Incidentally, it is true to say 'we will never die' if you believe that at the moment death begins you will cease to perceive. There will never be a moment when you are perceiving death. Therefore you will only ever perceive life. Your time will end but it is not true to say you will die. There will only be the last moment you will be alive, which is still 'living' and no more 'dying' than any other moment of living. It is just closer to the end of the line.
But what is time? Another illusion. Just a measurement. Monday is not really Monday just because everyone calls it Monday. It actually is one revolution of the Sun. The thing we call the Sun etc etc etc etc... (Edit: Scientists, spot the deliberate mistake!)
I imagine those who talk themselves into suicide will often experience that moment as a realization they have been very stupid. I believe the meaning of life is to sleep, eat, fuck, shit etc. In short, to do. Its stupid not to.
That's why depression is rightly defined as a disease as it makes our bodies do something stupid - though its psychological rather than physical. I am lucky enough not to be depressed but I recognise that I was for much of my adolescence. I survived and it has helped teach me to rationalise my way out of negativity - which (in my understanding) is also the end result of cognitive psychology. The key is acceptance. I don't have the patience or the goodness to convince a depressed person that the key is acceptance - though there are people around who try.
Anyway, Jane, well done for making people think a little deeper about what life really is - something we can rarely even begin to grasp (in the rich world, anyway) as we are distracted by so many illusions - for example language, the rules of society, the hypnotic effect of the TV and Internet (which robs us of so much real life), information systems and the mental construct of memory we call 'the self'. Without these illusions (and also perhaps the reality of being part of an overpopulated world) I do not believe people would be so ready to part with life. Life is a purely subjective experience whose ultimate reality can never fully reveal itself.
Sartre (and doubtlessly others too - I am no authority on philosophical history) said we can never fully know ourselves nor can we fully know what is outside of us. We can only ever know a combination of these two things. One can never be distinct from the other for us. Life is always a combination of two unknowable things, then. So its this purely solitary, subjective experience that we find ourselves in, in our secular society.
Incidentally I find it impossible to be completely secular. I've experienced things that rationalists would say were only my psyche applying a logic to random events. But then I believe we come down to semantics (the meanings of words and what we associate with them) - and one man's mysticism can be another man's rationality.
I also believe all atheists and believers are essentially the same. Atheists believe there is nothing outside of the Universe we know - matter, anti-matter, whatever. Believers (at least some of them) believe there is something outside of the Universe we know ('God'). As we can never know the believers' something or the atheists' nothing, they seem to be different ways of looking at the same thing; Something outside of what we know and can perceive is, by definition, exactly the same as nothing. We just think about the same essential mystery in different ways.
It is surely beneficial to have faith in something that can help us, if we can overcome our rationality to have that faith (and many would like to but cannot, I realise). Saying this, I personally believe all organised religion to be a kind of hysteria (very well controlled but hysteria nonetheless) though I fully respect it helps other people and I try to keep an open mind.
In conlusion, think life can be a real cunt sometimes but it can also be fucking amazing. I sympathise if you've had more of the former than the latter (or even none of the latter) but I say keep throwing the dice.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Low Trousered Taste Making

Its all a bit frustrating ahora mismo, dig, cos I got serious ganas to throw some musical NRG your ways - but I ain't got the means to upload tunes. BUT y'know what? I can still legally share a bit of music lovin' (though I'm ethically opposed to it).

DETOUR: I mentioned that I have no problem whatsoever downloading music illegally to this square I teach English to and he laughed in that pompous uproarious way that people do when they think there's something wrong with society and its only you and not them. 'Listen cunt,' I felt like saying, 'just because capitalism and highest bidder gets the private healthcare and natural resources is law doesn't make it moral, fool!' Gah!!! Blind fuck. Ah well, rant over.

Back to the plot... I'm a bit like Simon Cowell you know (only I wear my trousers at a sane height and never get laid) cos I can spot the talent - believe.

So the big news is you have to check out this band Summer Holiday (pictured). The tune on their Myarse right now is called You Can Have It All Slowly - it has the plaintive, anthemic quality of Keane but its stripped down and not crap. Happened to see them live at 93 Feet East in January and they play a blinding set. Uplifting, disco, New Wave style shenanigans. Original sound and tight musical unit. Plus they have the great gimmick of doing gigs on the roof of their car. Massive respect - seriously. They deserve to go far. Remember you heard about them here first.

Going back for time bre, I heard Lily Cushman's Love Song remixed by DJ Afro of Los Amigos Invisibles here. Deeeeeeep. Intimidatingly cool New York people what I'd never get to know in real life but then this is all fantasy anyway, right?

Usually I've got no time for indie bands but Bronze Age Fox are an exception - anyway they're not that indie as one of their number is electronica bod Minatour Shock. A little bit poppy you might say but there's an unmistakeable tang of quality to it.

And check out this animation by Michal Levy to the music of John Coltrane's Giant Steps. Next level.

I have to tidy up some of the fallen brethren and quitters from my links sometime. A few of them have become invitation-only blogs. Contact the blog administrator they say... How the Cribbins can I do that then?

Any ideas, lurkers???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Anyway Dilated Choonz, Orgy, Paris DJs and Newmixes are still very much delivering for those of you still racking up the GBs.

Jah recognise. BLOA!

My Cats by Charles Bukowski

My Cats

I know. I know.
they are limited, have different
needs and

but I watch and learn from them.
I like the little they know,
which is so

they complain but never
they walk with a surprising dignity.
they sleep with a direct simplicity that
humans just can’t

their eyes are more
beautiful than our eyes.
and they can sleep 20 hours
a day
hesitation or

when I am feeling
all I have to do is
watch my cats
and my

I study these

they are my

Image is 'Favourite' from Quite Nice Pictures

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Back In The Game

Just had my first DJ session for a while once again at the great little club Black Note (Calle Polo y Peylorón, 15 - come and visit if you're ever in Valencia. Tell Herman that Howard sent you!!!)
Here's my playlist as far as I remember it...
Any feedback would be welcome. By the way Paul Raymond doesn't get enough props! Monstrous!!

1. Cantos A Ochun Et Oya - OSUNLADE
4. Its Great To Be Here - JACKSON FIVE / KENNY DOPE
5. I Got Da Feeling - SWEET TEE
7. Follow Me - RED ASTAIRE
8. Baltimore - THE TAMLINS
9. I Love Marijuana - LINVAL THOMPSON
10. La Bamba - DAVE PIKE
11. Mau Mau - THE WAILERS
12. SUPER CUT v O.D.B.
13. Independent Woman v Dreadlocked Holiday - 2 MANY DJ'S
15. Dancing In Paradise - CANDIDO / JOHN 'JULIUS' KNIGHT
16. This Time Baby - JACKIE WILSON
17. Ai No Corrida - CHAS JANKEL
18. Street Player - CHICAGO / PAUL RAYMOND
19. We Lift Our Hands In The Sanctuary - DJ OJI & UNA
20. Opium Scumbagz - OLAV BASOSKI / SWAG
21. Calling All Dancers - PAPA WASHINGTON TRIO
22. My Beat - BLAZE / SUMO