Saturday, February 9, 2013
Alright. It's a winter wonderland outside right now but before I get to making snowmen let's talk about Django. Um. One of the best films I've seen in theatre in a long time! Tarantino carries this film in such an unexpected way. The way he's been able to basically repackage a Western by incorporating slavery to the foreground of the film is not just extremely ambitious but extremely risky to say the least. Basically, it would take a master to sculpt the madness. The marriage of Tarantino's iconic blood bath aesthetic applied to such a sensitive era of American history ironically all made sense to me. If anything, the gore, the blood, the violence, savagery, and ugliness, though perceived Hollywood exaggerations, are probably closer to the truth than what early black and white Westerns have ever been able to or willing to depict. I'm not the biggest fan of Westerns as a genre and Clint Eastwood is not in my top ten movie figures of all time by any means. What I happen to be a fan of is Tarantino, history, dope soundtracks, and great acting.
The story itself is one of loaded redemption. The movie spans around three hours of both hard to watch scenes featuring the ruthlessness of American slavery to the awe inspiring, breathtaking landscapes of the American frontier. There is something about this era of American history that has always compelled me to become fascinated by history in general. When I was young, maybe 12 or 13, at the brink of getting into skateboarding, I used to order these mail order history box sets of the Civil War. Maybe it was subconsciously the darkness and grit of how America was conceived. Watching this film transported me to a portal in time I never thought I'd be able to experience with such theatrical depth. It's one thing to watch a Ken Burns PBS documentary about slavery and struggle and it's another thing to have Tarantino take a slice of that layered American story and reinterpret for the silver screen. One of the best songs from the movie is Jim Croce's " I got a name". I heard this song and instantly got chills- it was one of those song/memory moments that took me back to the passenger's seat of my dad's 1980's Honda silver hatchback at an age before I could even recite lyrics. Full circle though.
"Rolling me down the highway
Moving ahead so life won't pass me by"
Whatever time or era in history you find yourself in, we're all just trying to move down that highway. Like so many other people who have lived and died before us. The American Dream is not just a shitty could be HBO show name aimed to pluck at the heart strings of your patriotic sentiments, it's the DNA of some of the realest shit to have ever existed. Django Unchained is a timeless tale of a true underdog; in every sense of the word.
Friday, February 8, 2013
Custom Nike ID blazers a month in the factory making. Put these together online with a leather lace and inside red zip. About to pop my SB skateboard insoles to complete the vibe. Can't go wrong with embroidered last names. These are definitely the only pair with my last names stitched on them. I will be forever a shoe fiend, never a hypebeast.
Two things. I just watched Django and it was three hours of redemption radness and two, this article is a must read. This article is about the restored payroll tax that "wasn't supposed" to affect the middle and lower classes.
“If you wanted to design a policy to squeeze the spending of lower- and middle-income households, raising the payroll tax is the way to do it,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomic Advisors. “It’s very regressive.”
I know it's really unpopular to get pissed at Obama's administration. But I am pissed. I also voted for Obama and because of that I can be pissed. I get it. Juggling politics is not easy and there's a lot going on in the big white house, but this whole shit with the fiscal cliff.. this whole talk about protecting the interests of middle and lower classes has apparently lost the spotlight of national attention post election. The economy is a big fucking deal and how exactly is it being solved? You take away the spending power of the lower and middle classes and what do you really have? You have designated social tiers for people with no real meaning. The fucking HAVES and the HAVE-NOTS. Without spending power, what do you have? You have your paycheck that you can "fall in line" with. Sure I realize I am fortunate I have a job, but I've also worked hard to be where I am at. Apparently, I just haven't worked hard enough. And neither has anyone else that falls under a certain income bracket which I believe is $75,000 a year in this case. And like my earlier post from a week ago about what "middle class" means in this country. I can only be led to believe there is a continual gesturing of class warfare.
Retailing analysts and economists say high-end earners will largely be spared.
Is this a fucking joke? No shit they will be spared. They are always spared. Wall Street bailout, anyone? Ironically, I just got a raise two weeks ago which is awesome. But more importantly, my first paycheck of 2013 I realized the difference in my paycheck was $67. That's a lot of money per pay period. The difference between seeing "$481 and $548 in your checking account. And for what? Where is that $67 going? Who fucking knows apparently and who fucking cares? But I am going to question it and I am going to be pissed about it. It's not about being democrat or being republican, or even being a non voter, it's about realizing when shit is fucked up and that there really is no political party cure for any of it. It doesn't matter what pins or colors you wear, it's about going up to that cupcake truck on Broadway that says $2 a cupcake, you giving them $5 and them giving you $2 back. Yeah. It's $1- but is it really just a dollar?
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
On the way home late from work last night, I decided to hop into a cab. I started conversing with the cab driver who happened to be from Haiti. We talked about New York, him living in New Jersey for the past 11 years, and how he grew up in a small village with no electricity. He stated New York City is the center of the world, with 160 languages being spoken and represented in this city; Creole being one of them. Sometimes people say to hate New York is to hate human kind- they're kind of right. I don't know any other city in the world that comes as close to the diversity of strangers that you rub elbows with every day. He told me how he moved from his small village to the capital Port-Au-Prince when he was 17 because his father made money exporting food at the time. In his late teens he lived close to a resort where at 17 years old he would go to hook up with all the white women that would go to Haiti on vacation. He made it pretty clear that there was some sort of fetishized sex tourism in Haiti. It was a pretty random conversation- not one I was expecting to have. He talked about traveling to Europe and how in Amsterdam he went to his first live sex show because his friend had brought him there. I pointed out that at one point, decades ago, New York City was pretty seedy and that Times Square had peep shows and everything. He mistakened "peep shows" for sex shows and seemed amazed at the idea of open prostitution in Times Square. Of course peep shows are not whore houses so I made that distinction. But he was dumbfounded to know that at one time New York City was broke and basically grimy as fuck. I told him to google it and he insisted that he would definitely check it out. He said in Haiti, which I can not verify is the truth, people can pay for sex as long as the other person is consenting.
Our conversation was pretty wild but in no way was he creepy- just open about his experiences about Haiti. No matter where I am in the world, I love talking to interesting cab drivers. Even when it's in London where I'm talking to a cab driver who's ridden bicycles in the rain for a year to study for "The Knowledge" after retiring from working in a post office. He described working for several decades in the post office as being a human windmill, throwing letters into their designated cubbies to be sent off somewhere in the world. The world is so big , yet so small. Traveling is like a super human power- one minute you are in one place, the next minute you can be somewhere completely different. The other day my co worker said something really cool and unexpected, " It's like Einstein said, "Time is an illusion." "The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." - Albert Einstein. If you can visualize it, it can materialize. It's so crazy how much faith and belief in an idea can get you to that next level. Even if you are a small child growing up in a village with no electricity, if you want to make it happen and move to New York City, it can happen. And it happens all the time. I guess it trips me out that, some times the most simplest and undeniable concepts of life are the easiest to forget. Even if you look around you, nothing is constant, everything to some degree is an overlooked miracle. Like me typing on the internet, and anyone in the world with a computer and internet access can read it- fucking miracle.
Monday, February 4, 2013
The 49ers lost tonight. And You know I was ONE OF THE loudest motherfuckers in there ALL NIGHT . The point is NOT that I said GO GIANTS like two times during the game ... but - who the fuck cares it's sports. GO GIANTS! All I do is root for my CITY , my HOMETOWN , MY PEOPLE, ALL DAYYYYYYYYYYYY EEEERRRRRRYYYYYYYYY DAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. Sports was invented by two dudes that wanted to fight. And maybe that's how music was invented too. Maybe that's how anything humans find entertaining was invented because two guys wanted to fight it out. Honestly! I'm not a jock at heart, I'm an outsider I would like to think. But even outsiders got their colors. I just need an excuse to come out of my Brooklyn cave and wear my multitude of warm SF colors, cause you know we're red hot on that color spectrum. WUT. Let's get fucking wavy. And then see we're all a magnificent freeway of colors underneathe it all. Human beans. Pizza would really make this all better...