Call me Al

Everybody needs a rolemodel, virtual or real. This can be a god, someone imaginative, or someone real. I am no exception to this, I too have people I idolize. Everybody needs something to believe in eh.

Actually, I have two of them. The first I mentioned before, Maynard James Keenan, lead singer of Tool and A Perfect Circle and overall fucking genius. The second, more recently "discovered", was a good friend of his. Yes, was, because he’s dead now. Smoking killed him, although he claims it were non-smokers who tracked him down.

Bill Hicks was a stand-up comedian, one of the best. Many people of my generation never heard of him, but very few never actually heard his voice. His speeches have made it into popular modern music like Pitchshifter’s ‘We Want Your Soul’ and Tool’s ‘Third Eye’. I think that’s mostly because his speeches, like him, had some actual gut. Early in his career he was beaten into a bloody pulp by fundamentalist Christians who didn’t like his act too much.

But still, unlike many of his kind who don’t want to offend, his act had balls. The media loved this, of course, and often ripped quotes like "Hitler had the right idea, he was just an under-achiever!" right out of context. In his early days he was on drugs quite heavily and you could clearly see that in his act, but even when he quit it was still a common theme in his act. Unlike 99% of people who think they can judge the use of drugs, he saw things from both sides. Aside from that, he was atheist, democrat, and a fucking cynic. If he were alive today I’d call him "dad".

 

Bill hicks – Revelations:

Women priests

Christian fundamentalism and creationism

Marketing

Bush Sr. and the war on terror

The assassination of JFK

Drug use and the "just a ride" speech, a must see

 

Bill Hicks – early days, still on drugs (not for the squeamish)

"I have feelings, too"

"Freebird!"

 

I almost forgot how I love walking through the city, it’s been a while since last time. I think I’ll have to revise my opinion about Ghent. I’ve been seeing plenty more of Belgium for my work, and I must say, Ghent really isn’t all that bad. Especially compared to Brussels or Antwerp.

Ghent is a pretty small city, although it’s bigger than you might expect. Everybody knows the general hangouts, and they’re nice, of course, but the city has plenty of around-the-corner places that hardly anyone knows about.

It’s not the city itself that interests me most, though. It’s the people, walking around, tending their everyday business. Everyone goes to the same job every day, yet every day is completely different than the last. You can’t help wondering what changed, and what stayed the same.

Years ago, while I was ranting about the stupidity of some people to a friend, he said, "I believe that no one is so stupid that you can’t learn from them." After a bit of thinking I had to agree. We all believe our lives are so interesting, yet we don’t bother to try and learn about, and from, others’.

 

Some car manufacturer found a great new concept for their latest stunt: Pussy.

I’m not even kidding. The text on the publicity poster says "Not just available in your dreams" and it has a photo of a car driving in a surrealistic landscape where rocks are little fat men and trees are… bushes.

I’m entirely against censorship, but this really isn’t necessary for anything. The concept of sex and it’s relation to love was killed and consumed (consummated) in the 60’s, and still, former-hippie commercial managers still haven’t gotten over it, it seems. They had to put a woman’s primary sex organs on wide-screen displays so a car would sell.

The concept of sex has been abused and raped so many times, it has become nothing but a hollow shell. There’s nothing new, nothing refreshing about it, anymore. It has all been broadly discussed, tested and demonstrated, and now it is used to promote cars. It has become little more than a tool, used to turn heads just like Hitler is used whenever a splash of "evil" is needed, like in music clips or Scary Movie 6.3.

It’s so sad, really. Something previously enjoyed by giggling couples in the hay loft or young people in their brand new apartment, is now omnipresent wherever you look, thrown at your head with the excuse "oh don’t be such a prude". There is nothing I can tell the 14 year old kids on my block that they haven’t already heard and seen (not that I would, of course). It’s sacrilege, I tell you!

 

 

My girlfriend’s parents went to Barcelona for a day or 4 and I’ve sort of been staying with her all that time. Now, I love her, but that family of hers is extremely hard to live with. Her aunt, who was there, is quite alright although our love-hate relationship of constant mutual teasing can turn for the worse when she has to ask why I don’t fix my appearance again.

A bunch of friends came over and we watched The Little Mermaid (much to my horror). If anyone wants to organize a movie marathon or big-screen game night, I’m available for installment. I have a screen, expensive-ass projector (okay I get that from my father’s work) and I work for peanuts. All you need is a sound system, I got all the cables (except, of course, the once I fricken’ Need).

I love doing that kind of stuff. It’s close to my line of work, only on small scale. And I’m my own stage manager!  Knowledge, problem solving, logic thinking, I could do it all day. Too bad I’m broke as can be and those who are so kind to help me out, are too dense to get what I need, bringing me the wrong stuff. Not that I don’t appreciate the help.

One of the boyfriends-of-my-girlfriend’s-friends joining the gang is they guy I did the map reading with on our trip to the ardennes. If there was anyone I’d need, to cross the desert with, he’s my man. He’s not especially talented at anything as far as I know (although he gets things done), but we simply agree on just about everything. Not that we’ve gone very deep with any discussions we’ve had, but when it came to working together, we were on the same wavelength. It’s great to have someone like that to work with, he has all my respect. If I were into guys, his girlfriend would be in trouble.

 

I just realized, the Easter holiday is in 2 weeks. Holy Shit time flies when you’re having fun. Our Norwegian lady hasn’t changed her mind about flying us over, so the second trip to Scandinavia is getting closer and more probable. I’m excited about it, but also… reluctant. Maybe I’m afraid to expect as much as last time, or maybe it’s because I’m not in control this time, I’m not sure. It could be something else, too.

Either way, I’m not going to stay home, not a chance. It’s not even an issue.

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