Archive for February, 2006

a wonderful waste of life

Okay let’s talk positive for a moment (I’m going to need a shower after this). I am usually the first to say something is fucked up, I’m a cynic sometimes, and I have issues with anything supposedly without a negative side. But, I am Not a pessimist. In fact, after 2 years of spending half my time in a 2×5 meter room thinking about life, I concluded it is a gift and should be accepted as such.

Life, you sorry waste of skin you, is wonderful. That’s right. After nearly going crazy on the question wether life has a purpose (and I’m not even remotely kidding here) I had to face the fact that life Has no purpose, and again after countless hours of chaotic reasoning, I figured just how amazing that really is. If life was destined to serve a purpose, it would chain us to that and our free will would have absolutely no significance whatsoever. Instead, we are given this concept called life, without purpose, without price, to call our own. Life has no purpose but the one we give it. We are free, to give meaning to our own life. Or, just grab it and live meaningless in a never-ending pursuit of happiness. It’s ours for the taking!

Yeah, the world is fucked up. Shit happens all day every day, and it’s not getting any better anytime soon. So fucking what else. Anyone who says life is shit and we’re better off without, can feel free to drop by and I’ll blast a bullet through his head. The theory of reincarnation would at least serve for whatever animal he returns as, instead of that ingrateful fuck that just exploded. Saying anything like this is a slap in the face of those who Did die, who shouldn’t have, and the ones that were left behind to live on without.

Is it really so hard to see, just how absolutely miserable a life really has to be, before it becomes worse than nothing at all? Every single second of happiness, wether it being a smile for a friend that drops by, or the euphoria of seeing a lover after a long time apart. In the end, happiness is everyone’s goal in life. From reproduction to anorexia nervosa or smoking, it’s all one big attempt to find happiness. Without happiness and the hope for it, there would be no life at all.

So fucking face up and live, already. Religion, politics, economy, it’s all a facade. Irrelevant. It is Your Happiness that counts.

 

The internet can be an absolutely terrifying medium. What makes it so dangerous is its simplicity. When observing both reality and cyberspace you’ll see that every aspect of the net is a simplified verion of real life stuff. Chat rooms, porn, games, none of these can copy the complexity of reality. In a sense that’s too bad, it’d be great to get some head with the click of a mouse, but in other perspectives this makes the net far more appealing than reality.

For example, you can be who ever you want. Many people think they can see a clear image of the personality they’re dealing with on IM or chatrooms or whatever. In fact, they only get to see a picture, drawn by the person on the other side, with the colors he/she chooses to show. Everything that I write on this webpage could be an absolute lie, from stories about my job to ramblings about feelings. Hell I could even be lying about my gender. I don’t think anyone of the people I know on the net (including me) can say they haven’t told a little (or big) lie about their personality or conveniently forgot to mention a detail, afraid of what the other might think. We can present anyone a "purified" version of ourselves, and lie to them, and it’s so easy (and tempting!).

Someone who spends a lot of time on the net can get used to this, and choose to live in a fantasy. Of course there’s plenty of things that you can’t just ignore, but undoubtably there are people who present themselves totally different than they really are, and actually Believe in what they’re showing. A 21 year old kid can pretend to be in the army and a lonely girl can drive young men crazy with sexual hints to feel loved.

A particularly dangerous extent of this is cyber-romance. Many people nowadays can say they have a boy/girlfriend that they haven’t even actually met in real life. 20 years ago that would seem… rather unusual, but nowadays it’s almost commonly accepted. Since IM is only a simplified version of conversating, and cybersex is only a far cry from the "real deal", these two people will at least think once about meeting in real life at a certain moment. And then they have the choice: continue filling in the blanks with perfect fantasy, or face reality. The choice can be hard.

I’m not "against" any of this and I don’t hate or even dislike either cyber romance or the ones involved. I just noticed it’s not my cup of tea, I guess I’m a little anal about what I consider to be real and what not. I also noticed it’s very Tempting. And again, that is mostly because it’s just so easy. Even when you’re "uncovered" there’s a whole community with absolutely Thousands of people to pick one and get their heads spinning with partial nudity pics or role-playing Mister Sensitive, himself. And strangely, it’s just probably all about what you choose Not to tell them.

Of course, the ones who are left with opened eyes tend to get a little hurt, sometimes. Having a cyber-chick who dumps you for another guy can be painfully resemblant to actually getting dumped, by a conventional girlfriend.

And here’s another sweet thing about the net: You don’t just only see what you’re shown, you also do Not see what you’re not. Not just about their personalities. Someone can be flirting with 2 people, and they would never, ever know about eachother. You could be having cyber-sex with two women (18+, people. Let’s stay a little civilized.) At The Same Time, and they would have no clue. You can literally cheat on your girlfriend while you’re talking to her. And the person on the other side of the line, fills in the blanks that he/she can’t see and imagines her/himself as your only true love. Fat chance, sucker. Odds of running into someone just as perfect as you are depressingly against you, since they’re all in her/his head, anyway.

It’s so easy falling in love when you only see what you want to see. And for those who prefer to live in fantasy (not meant personally), I think they’re missing out on a whole lot. Bad, but also good stuff. It’s not too long since I came to notice the diversity of feelings, by going places, seeing things,… If you think you can experience all of them behind your computer screen, or even in your home town, you’re sadly mistaking.

 

The former soon-to-be-visitor from Norway just let me know plans changed. Her reasons are great and I fully support her in them, but they also mean that her trip is "indefinitely postponed". To me, that looks like a big red fucking -FLIGHT CANCELLED- sign. Sounds Vaguely Familiar, somehow.

And yet again I feel like an idiot getting my hopes up. I now asked not to bring it up too much until Actual Plans Are Made, because it’s such a shitty feeling, and I’ve grown rather allergic to it. Always the same process of anxiety and dissappointment eventually gets you to drop hope soonish when things aren’t looking as bright and sunny as they did yesterday.

But in this particular case, I do still have hopes, and really think that she will still be hopping over. Which is just the reason I want her to shut up about it, because I might just get a tad angry and say things I don’t mean when I face that same old ‘no’, again.


Heaven and Hell

In case anyone cares, I write things down here in Chronological Order, not by importance. Events that affect my whole life are not less important than random spills because they are mentioned later. I just write these things down as the week progresses, an in my humble opinion good habit of recording what I experience. I film anything worth seeing, and I write down anything worth remembering.

 

The project I’ve been babbling about lately, has finally sprung into action.

What I wanted to do, was to welcome the-lady-I’ve-been-staying-with-in-Norway in Belgium by, quite literally, tell her all about it as she arrives. Neither my friend or myself have the means to pick her up at the airport so I had to find another way to show her around. So! I bought the cheapest (greedy bastard) tape recorder I could find, and took it to the airport. We went as far as we could (with the stewardess har har), and then yapped our way back to Ghent. Where to go, where to look, what to know, how our king is doing, nothing was too stupid to act as tape filler.

After cramming the B-side with music, we sent it to Norway, and now it has arrived. About fucking time too, that’s the last time I spend hard-earned money on an ‘a prior’-stamp. I was starting to get worried it got lost someplace.

So there, that’s what I like occupying myself with. If anyone’s coming to Belgium anytime soon, drop me a note and for an obscene amount of cash I might be tempted to do the same for you. Hey that took me quite a bit of research and working hours, mind you. I think I found a good business here. I might get this stuff patented, as soon as I start giving a shit.

Seriously though, it’s been fun and maybe I’ll do it again. I’m at least glad, if not relieved, that she likes it. Or, at least cares enough to lie about it. I always figured that’s bound to be a good thing somehow.

 

God, I hate valentine. But shh don’t tell my girlfriend that or I hang. It also happens to be close to her birthday so I have to find 2 original gifts (here’s one: Adopt-An-Otter. Romantic!) in a short time. Besides being a slap in the face for those who happen not to have girl/boyfriend at the time, it is a goddamn nuisance for those who do.

I know I’m not exactly original in this, but to me valentine has no other meaning than materializing the concept of love, so it becomes possible to make money from it. To me, that’s little more than prostitution.

Luckily I learned just, not to care about the zillions of happy little hearts all around town, the sappy love songs playing Everywhere, and the complaining boyfriends. It’s all relatively easy to ignore.

 

Tool is coming to Rock Werchter. Tool. Coming, to Rock werchter. Tool.

I’m buying 2 spare tickets, packing my bags 3 days in advance and camping smack in front of the main stage. And many will die trying, but no will will be able to stop me.

"What’s the fuss about this band anyway" I get once in a while. It’s kind of hard to explain. First of all, Tool is metal. Better yet, Progressive Metal. Secondary, Tool is Poetry. Maynard James Keenan (remember this name, in jiddish texts he is referred to as Jahwe) does not only have the mental architecture worthy of the name "second renaissance", he owns, and utilizes, the Midas touch. Any project he works on, wether it being A Perfect Circle, Rev 22:20, The duet with Tori Amos, his appearance at a live concert of Rage Against The Machine, or doing lead vocals on the Deftones’ White Pony album, anything at all that he does, he elevates to a completely new level. And Tool is no different, consider it his masterpiece.

What’s with the Lack of fuss about this band?? Their song Schism got them a grammy award, and still no one cares about them. No europeans, anyway. I know they are quite big in the US and often compared to bands such as Korn ans Slipknot. That just makes baby Jesus cry. Neither Korn or Slipknot, with their knee-deep philosophies and MTV appearances, manage to even matter in the shadow of Tool. Not that they make bad music. They just don’t matter.

In case it’s a little vague, yes, music is what my life is about. I live, breathe and work music. I like to think I have a pretty good taste (although some seem to disagree). Tool ascends any other type, but in the end I like all music if it has some actual quality. Which makes Rock Werchter my personal heaven. In fact, this festival was the initial reason I took my current job with shit working hours and worse money; I had heard RoadRunner was the company responsible for building it. Last year I was in fact in the crew, but not during the festival itself. That, and my exgirlfriend (at the time) going with her prince, lead to me not being there, for the first time in 4 years. (The website of last year can be found here, the site of this year here.) Anyone who bothers checking it out will notice that both the quantity and quality of the performing bands/artists is simply unmatched. Rock Werchter was not awarded "best music festival of the year 2005" by an international commite for nothing.

However, much controversy has emerged around TW (official abbreviation, comes from the old name, Torhout Werchter) the last few years. It was bought from the original organisor by ClearChannel, a multi-national company and sponsor of president Bush. Ticket prizes have gone up, and attempts to boycot the festival are increasing. ClearChannel is starting to gain monopoly in Europe’s music business, after taking over 99% of America’s market. Even bands that try to raise voices against Bush such as U2 and R.E.M. have signed with this company. There’s just no getting around it.

Although I think it’s sad to see people getting rich abusing music, I really don’t care about all of this. Small non-profit organisations are trying to make people "aware" that alternative bands will be pushed aside and ClearChannels’s monopoly will cause a drastic raise in prices of albums, concerts and festivals. Personally, I really don’t give a flying shit. First of all, Rock Werchter has over 60 Amazing bands spread over 4 days, and that number increases every year. Rock Werchter lasted just one day up until 1996, when it had to be spread over 2 days. 2 days became 3 in 1999, and "exceptionally" (permanently) 4 in 2003. No Shit tickets got more expensive! And that’s really what these protests are about, they want to see their favourite band but they can’t afford to see the rest, as well. "Alternative bands not getting a chance", oh come on.

So hopefully I’ll be in the crew again this year, and if I don’t make it into the showcrew again, I’ll have my ticket ready. This year, the festival will be entirely mine.

 

A small ceremony was held for the unborn kid this week. It was a girl, and her parents named her Lisa. The parents are mostly atheists, so there was no nonsense about god, heaven or hell involved and everyone could decide for themselves where they preferred to believe the baby girl went. She was cremated and her ashes were let go over the waters of Ghent at a beautiful spot, along with flowers, candles and incense. Against the law in theory but no one cared one bit.

They nailed a sign against a nearby wall, with the chinese symbol for ‘love’ on it. Later they will make a stencil and put that up there, an idea that I gave them, and that I am particularly proud of. I am compelled to do it myself as a gift to them.

I was asked to take pictures during the ceremony, mostly because no one else wanted to and I have at least Some experience (which I like to make a big deal of). I managed to shoot a few good pictures but god damnit a flash is just so disrespective. Half of them are ruined and the other half blinded everyone who was trying to offer some support.

After the final goodbye the crowd moved on, carrying candles. The procession finallly ended at a very small café where just about everyone (but me, I don’t drink) got piss drunk and basically celebrated the living. I slept four hours that night and I’m still feeling that.

All in all it was more a spiritual thing than an emotional one, I think. Around 40 people gathered, And no one smiled more than the parents who had to face the loss. I think this day meant far more to them than they could explain. And to us, as well. Unlike many people (like me, I admit), who would try and get through this by themselves, they opened up and allowed us to support them. Very little feelings are more satisfying than knowing you are actively comforting a friend who needs it. If it wouldn’t sound so completely selfish I would thank them for it. Maybe I will, some day.

Knowing that the couple can’t hear them, people often bombard me with idiotic questions. Did she have to get a caesarian section or did they use hormones? Are they thinking of trying again? After all, they’re not that young anymore. Gee, hmm. I don’t know. Perhaps I’ll ask them. These questions are often asked before anything remotely like "are they okay" or "can I help with anything". I guess it’s in people’s nature…

So I guess this was it, then. I’m going to continue hopping by their place once in a while, I know better than to think they’ll get completely over it anytime soon. But for me personally, this final goodbye and the realisation that we’re supporting these people just by our presence, will allow me to, well, stop freaking out. At least, I hope so. If anything, the couple’s unmatched optimism has sure as hell been a lesson for me, and probably for many others.


The house Jack built

Hmkay. I just got a phonecall from my military unit. Apparently I still have one? It was about further training I was supposed to get (truck driver). I mentioned I didn’t "perform" any last year, but apparently that’s not a problem.

Okay so now what? I thought I was through with the military and its frustratingly inefficient bureaucracy. Theoretically, I’m out of it and there’s nothing that can be done about it. Now the head of sec pers (section responsible for personel) calls me and says he may be able to prevent that. To me, it’s not that easy, though.

First of all, I’ll have to cut off my hair again. By itself not That big a deal, but.. I was growing rather attached to the ponytail (get it? growing? attached?). In theory there’s nothing against the rules with it, but they let me know before that this is not appreciated. Last time I cut it, this is the military after all and I’m not going to piss and moan about what I knew very well was going to be a problem when I volunteered.

Second, that means I will have to deal with the military "ways" again. Combat shoes, camouflage uniform, saluting, yes chef, no adjudant, requesting permission to fucking Speak. Having to deal with obscene ego’s because they have a stripe more on their sleeve, even though their overall intelligence would require a new system of negative grades.

On the other hand, I have to consider what I would be throwing away here. They are offering me not just a drivers licence, but a Truck licence, and not only free of charge, but I’m getting Paid for it. And that means, that I will be able to get me a well-paid, relatively interesting job any day of the week, since there’s a big shortage for truck drivers. Hell come to think of it, I might even be able to go on tour someplace if I don’t feel like driving from and back to the volvo cars factory with engine parts.

What they are offering here is extremely valuable, but to me it will come with a price. I was prepared to adjust to the military so I could learn some discipline, I realized very well at the time that I was in desperate need for some. People who knew me, know I changed a lot in that period, and I still have memories that I’ll charish until I die. But after a year of being a roadie (as in, opposed to soldier), not having to answer to anyone, and being who I want to be, both on the outside as on the inside, I’m going to have it real hard adjusting to their ways again.

Either way, I think I’m going to go through with it, or at least try. I’m expecting more bureaucratic mix-ups and delay, but I’ll take my chances.

Come to think of it, I don’t even have a military passport yet. Or beret. Or dogtags. The bastards still owe me.

 

Yet another soul joins the lately passed. It seems like someone wants to scare the living fuck out of me and whoever it is, he’s getting personal.

Last year I gained a friend, someone with unmatched optimism. Once he lost control of half of his face, but he never stopped smiling. At least, the left side of his face didn’t. And of all people in the world, he has lost his unborn child.

I haven’t met him in person since it happened a few days ago, but the friend/employee who keeps his shop open told me. I couldn’t sleep from it. What in the devil’s name am I going to tell him. Who am I to offer him my support in the pain he’s going though? There’s nothing I can do, Nothing.

The baby was supposed to be born in a few weeks from now. They already bought a cradle, clothes,… There wasn’t a day that passed by without him saying how wonderful life is turning out to be for him, with his (fairly new) wife, new business and his kid. I don’t know what happened to it, I’m not even sure if they know.

I’m convinced that the most unlucky people in the world are the ones that are never born, because all luck is trapped within the life we have. And this particular child, missed out on so much love, and such a wonderful family to be born in.

To me, the most fucked up about all of it is that I felt it coming from the start. Every single time they talked about it, when they assembled the cradle in the shop, I had to swallow this feeling that something was way off. I didn’t think much of it, I still don’t, it was just a dumb feeling like we are bombarded with all day. I never imagined it would be this bad, though. The (mutual) friend said he was crying on the phone non-stop. Him and I aren’t that close, but I’m going to offer all the support I have in me. I’m just, sort of hoping I’ll be strong enough in the first place.

It’s sickening how painful death really is. It just scares the shit out of me right now, the sheer concept of it. Literally, I’m scared. Death has such a devastating impact on things. I think I know why I always react like this, but it’s nothing that can be undone. I’ll have to cope with it. It’s getting morning right now and I’m afraid to go to sleep, fricken pussy. I’m hoping I won’t be lying awake for hours like last night, but I’m rather worried about what to expect to see when I do fall asleep. Sleep has never been my friend too much.

I knew this before, but lately it’s in my face more than ever. Life ain’t fucking fair. And not just "he gets ice cream and I don’t" unfair, I’m talking, astronomical proportions. People fuck up and Waste their miserable, sad little lives while others, who deserve So Much Better, face a deadly simplicity: the answer is no. Cry, scream, curse the stars, people who don’t deserve it get it, and you, do not. I think, next time I hear someone moan about how they want to die or just how miserable they are because they have to walk home, they’re gonna get a fist in their face, or at least a tirade that they will (hopefully) remember the rest of their lives, which will be on the short side if they’ll allow me to grant them what they just wished for.

I don’t believe there is, but I’m really hoping with all my heart there is a heaven of any sorts for all those people who died too soon. Imagine what a comfort it would be for those who are left behind, such as my dear friend now. And if there’s not, we can consider ourselves blessed to die ignorant.

 

Unborns die, embryo’s are harvested like crop for their cells, love is materialized within society once a year, the dead are frozen to be "resurrected" later, robotic pets are made for lonely allergic (rich) people to love. A man tell his wife he loves her, goes to work and tells his secretary the same during lunch break oral sex. All things that could make one frown, sigh, and move on with his life.

What’s the conclusion here? Nothing, absolutely nothing at all, is holy. Life itself is taken and given by humans, and handsomely paid for. Secrets shared between lovers are used as pick-up lines for future relationships. Your transistor radio tells you daily how much it loves you, in songs that are about just that.

I dare you, walk into a debate about the harvest of stem cells and say, do you realize that you are conceiving and then killing human beings? I’m betting you’ll get laughed at and be told "Yes. Yes we do. What is your point, please?"

"It’s just not ethically ‘right’ to play god/ kill living things/ abuse love itself/ whatever" is no longer a valid point in a discussion. Everything is ethically right because we say so. What is "holy" and what not is now simply a subjective belief and doesn’t apply to science or rules of society. Whatever you can get away with/pay for, is possible. Even death itself can be delayed in many cases if you can afford it. If we can believe some scientists immortality (at least concerning death of age) is within reach, now that several secrets of the aging process have been unlocked.

If you rid yourself of the burden of ethics, you will become much more efficient. You don’t mind killing rabbits at boot camp, don’t care about the deforestation while you work for your multi-national company.

Of course, that will also mean that you become a psychopath, unable to function in a social environment, and you will die alone. And, everything doesn’t have to be all black and white like that, there’s plenty of room for everybody in the grey zone. Where we are all at. But right under us, where we’re all leaning on, is the black line on which our society is built, and that society abides to no "ethics". That doesn’t mean the people within don’t, but only those who want to tire themselves with caring.


couch forts

"Scorpios are thus capable of the greatest heights of passionate transport, but debauchery and perversion are always dangers, and they can become sadistic monsters of sensuality and eroticism."

And don’t you forget it.

Horoscopes are strange things. Even a convinced non-believer like me is often impressed by the apparent accuracy of these character descriptions. However, I don’t think their real power lies within actual prediction, but more in our subconsciousness. That is just as, if not more, intriguing as the faerie tale of being able to "read stars", since it reveals something in our psyche that we are so unaware of, that we really do believe these things are real. I can imagine this can go much further than just "hey, that’s true, I really am a sexual sadist."

 

The little project that my friend and myself started is finally getting finished. It turned out as I originally hoped it would but I’m starting to doubt if it really was such a great idea. Not that I’m going to call it off, but realizing there’s many flaws in my earlier reasoning tempered the excitement somewhat. But hey, it’s the thought that counts, right?

I know very well that it sounds like a pretty lame idea to start with (again, I will post details later), but it’s a fun passtime and I was sort of hoping that the people involved would appreciate it more than I’m expecting. It’s no big deal, anyway, I just find my fun in small things I guess.

 

Being back in Belgium, I’m slowly starting to get used to the staring again. Little girls telling their mothers "mommy look at that strange boy" and old ladies holding their purse close when I’m around. Fuck. You would think that people have some decency or at least Some Fucking Respect, but hell no, don’t count on it. So I just glare back and they quickly look the other way. And I, poor idealist soul, I’m hoping I contributed to their narrow vision of the world around them, and if not, at least ruined their fricken’ day.

I used to have colored contact lenzes. My god, did I love them. I bought them in kind of an impulse purchase, but those must have been one of my best buys so far. I merely had to look somebody in the eyes to see them go from "what the hell?" to "please stop looking at me please stop looking at me.." in a second or two. Yellow eyes don’t look too friendly, they even spooked my girlfriend in bed. Which I sort of liked.

But yes, I do choose for this. I prefer it this way, rather than blending in with what only seems like a grey mass to me. It’s not That terrible, it’s just not what I prefer. My attitude keeps the shallow, narrow-minded herds far away from me, where I like them. People who think they can judge my character by looks, don’t have anything new to tell me, anyway.

I’ve been called scum, trash, I’ve heard it all. More than once I’ve been in a discussion that starts and ends with the other trying to tell me what a low-life I am. They seem to be unaware that I happen to know myself just a tad better than them. Usually their goal is just to insult me because my looks offend them. Which, from my perspective, is great. Usually I respond things that make them think I am a sadistic, no-good punk who just wants to shit on everything. If they believe this, they will spend the next 15 minutes worried sick about modern youth. With is just great for me.

People will always try to change you. You say "I don’t drink", and they will try to make you drink. Seriously, they don’t stop trying until you "have a taste". If they see you’re not dressed like them, they will try to figure out why the hell not. Is it a political statement? Are you an anarchist? What music do you think is punk? What’s the deal with that hair of yours? Unwilling to see that you really don’t care and you just want to look like how You Want To. For some reason, that is simply unacceptable. Sometimes, I wish I could just feed them their own staring eyes. Sometimes they can all go to hell.