Now in 2013: I wanted an opportunity to stare publicly at certain figures I’d be obsessing over anyway. This marked the beginning of a rather simple endeavor I’d begun referring to as “Idol Worship,” or “Idle Worship,” or “Idol Warship,” in the confines of my mind. I’ve done this in various ways, here and there, to varying degrees of personal success–leaving off under the impression I’d done justice to the subject, expressed a real personal connection to somebody important and hopefully given lights to elements of their life that henceforth remained dark. It was, however, with the proposed Idol Worship (Idyll War Chips) that things would change and I would so entirely immerse myself in these subjects as to replicate them upon finishing each piece. I wanted to feel like Man Ray, or think likeEzra Pound, and though these extreme results were likely fraught with failed attempts and blind thrusts of idolatry, I had what I thought would make up a decent construct for a weekly, or biweekly, or monthly–whatever–exploration of heroes new and old. What follows shortly will be the first of these efforts, and will focus on the life and works of one John Fante.
If I’m to enjoy the works of a Gustav Mahler or a John Maus then I’m to do so while enveloped in their ideas and works and not as some fawning observer.
I consider myself–and the world–lucky that places like Delphian Inc. exist. For all justifiable complaints one could make of the docility and disinterest in our time, it takes only a brief perusal of this or other journals to understand that something more is always happening, and I relish the opportunity to be here immensely.
Although this year-end list is comprised largely of things that neither happened in 2012, nor were put out in 2012, I don’t think that actually matters. The fundamental idea behind putting out a list rather than a column at year’s end is to give oneself a break from the usual pedantry and instead focus on things that cheered you up and potentially not feel like shit for a few minutes. I’m thinking of this much in the same way I thought of my ‘List’ posts done earlier in the year, with perhaps more ambition and a great deal more content. I’ve enjoyed a lot of things this year, and rather than sit around pissed at the fact that I’ve got another fucking miserable year ahead to look forward to, I’m taking a second to remember this shit.
Something something ‘big year in reading’ blah blah blah:
Don DeLillo, I think more than any author in the past 12 months reading/rereading ‘White Noise,’ ‘Great Jones Street,’ ‘Cosmopolis,’ and ‘MAO II,’ made up some of the greatest literary moments I’ve had. I wrote about it for HTML Giant hereas well as the Cronenberg rendition of ‘Cosmopolis,’ that I found quite compelling. Dennis Cooper, I began reading Cooper as a result of stumbling upon his Paris Review interview and falling in love—to my mind he’s the only scribe yet to cite pornography as a direct influence on his work in those often tame though thorough interviews. This year it’s been the George Miles Cycle and a collection of his nonfiction called ‘Smothered in Hugs,’ that I’m currently devouring (actually, I received two copies of this for Christmas accidentally, so if you want one: firstname.lastname@example.org). Let’s see, I enjoyed ‘Play it as it Lays’ by Joan Didion a great deal. I reread some Exley this year. Peter Manso’s biography of Norman Mailer (comprised entirely of interviews discussing the man and his work). ‘All the Pretty Horses,’ by Cormac McCarthy…
Pasolini, duh. Gaspar Noe, duh. Lars Von Trier, duh. The Master, duh. I didn’t particularly enjoy the final installment of the Dark Knight trilogy although I think I really wanted to. I don’t know. Honestly, I hate just writing lists of shit I’ve watched or read or listened to. I like to acknowledge good art, but these end-of-the-year lists tend towards being just lists and lack a personal flair or anything regarding the actual end of 2012. I’m sitting here listening to a band called Hoax that a friend told me about because he thought I’d love them because their singer beats the shit out of himself every time they perform. He was right. Slow, churning, progressively speeding-up hardcore from the depths of human misery and the perfect thing to set your day right if you feel like a gutless turd. ALSO, LYNNE RAMSAY’S FILMS ARE FUCKING MAGNIFICIENT. I took a course this year on Scottish film and did a presentation on her work and ‘Ratcatcher,’ ‘Morvern Callar,’ and ‘We Need to Talk about Kevin,’ were some masterpieces I couldn’t have gotten through class without. Check them out. They’re good. They’re fucking good. They’re fucking good. They’re fucking good.
This has actually been a big year for music and I’ve written about a ton of it here at the Cabana. Iggy Pop, Lorn, Dolor, adoptahighway, The Demix, Sleetwalker, HOAX, Condominium, Ceremony, Death Grips, Bach, La Monte Young, John Cage, Philip Glass, Mozart, Glenn Gould, all of these have played immense roles in my retaining some level of sanity during the year and I’m endlessly grateful to those still living and putting shit out frequently or not. I live for their shit. I’m a thirsty leech living off music and media and whatever-the-fuck-else you people make and if I didn’t have you I’d be dead. I wouldn’t write. I wouldn’t eat. I wouldn’t go for walks and punch the air because I hate myself. I wouldn’t do anything. Thank you. Fuckers. Thank you fuckers. Thank. You. Fuckers.
Whereas the previous ‘Late Perspectives’ took a less structured approach of simply creating a lis(z)t based on impulses responding to the album as a whole (Dolor’s ‘A Chapel for Velvet’) I figured since Lorn’s SCV2 is a rather packed endeavor, I’d listen to each track on repeat until something came, then move forward, assigning each response INSIDE THE TRACKLIST. Pretty fucking abrasive, pretty challenging. Enjoy, dun.
1. A Better Way – I’ve come to know these tracks inside out, I think. I’ve listened to SC 1 & 2 infinitely more times than formal releases. Why? I’m not exactly sure, and yet every time I start out this track takes me by surprise; beginning, as it does, almost in the center of some narrative, already excited and poised for something new, it spirals atop itself and builds ceaselessly until that final breath. “Final breath.”
2. Colossus – Thinking now about the topic of free art, free music, free films, why an artist might give something away for free and the inherent artistry to doing it and causing listeners to speculate while enjoying the fruits of some stranger’s labor. Maybe it lessens the pull one feels away from admired artists and strips another mask away between the appreciator and the artist. Maybe it renders the concept of stranger/acquaintance useless and the art can be just that. I don’t fucking know. I don’t fucking know.
3. Enigma – Pulsating through empty space like a pimple filled with tinfoil. I hate myself. “He hates himself…”
4. Exile – Ancient Egyptian dance ritual/bloodletting ceremony where nobody gets out alive and everyone’s wearing huaraches. “He’s talking to you now.” “Talking?” “Yeah, listen. Something about ‘the whole mind is a waste, without a home…” “Shit, he’s right.” “Yup.”