Posted on June 18, 2012 by

Existential Defecations

            The writer thought good and hard every single time he took a shit. So much so that now—as he speculates over a decent topic for his forthcoming column A Cabana of the Mind—he can’t help but wonder over the merits of laying waste to weekly detritus and its impact on the creative process. Anton Lavey—if he remembers correctly—mentions this in The Devil’s Notebook. Anthony Burgess was such a fan of thoughts reached whilst making turd that Enderby, a character prevalent in four of his novels, writes his earth-shattering poetry only while straddling the commode.

It matters. It matters so much that Bukowski once weighed the merits of shitting against that of making love, stating essentially (I’ll paraphrase, so as not to give off the impression of caring too much) that a man (or woman) can survive for months, even years at a time without getting laid, but go one week without dropping mummies™ down the hatch of the porcelain pyramid and you’re assed out—literally, and figuratively.

Now granted, there are certain sociological considerations to be made as well. Ladies will find it harder to express satisfaction post-dump than fellas, as a general rule, but things are changing everyday. I myself am of the belief that there’s a two-pronged effect when discussion of excrement is made in any arena. Firstly, nobody likes a smelly bathroom. Before EVERYTHING, you’ve got to clean up where you left off. Wipe, spray, take a shower if you have to, but be sure and remove the remnants of your recently departed guts, otherwise you’ve got nothing to brag about at all. The second aspect is basically a reincarnation of the first, in that you can only truly relish in the post-dump reverie when you’ve done a good job to not inflict any of the smells on the world around you.

Based on those simple criteria, however, I see no reason that ladies, gentlemen, children and the elderly should be excluded from the very satisfactory experience of proclaiming your achievements in there to several close friends.

And therein lies an even deeper consideration. What is the achievement? Is it merely a chemical/biological occurrence? Does the human will have nothing to boast of when leaving the stall?

It is my humble belief that something so primordial takes place in the bathroom that nothing else in life can touch it. An easy comparison would be a libidinous evening of sex, but it isn’t quite the same. With shitting, you’re at once accepting your humanity so completely, while indulging in an act connecting you with the entire animal kingdom; all of which is done to a degree far transcending the mere act of copulation. With shitting, you’re admitting your faults; admitting you’re not perfect. You’re breathing heavily and relinquishing a bit of your control and neuroses to the infinite and hence accessing some deeper part of yourself. You’re thinking honestly, without abandon, preferably without distraction (though reading whilst shitting can many times outweigh reading in any other environment) and as a result thinking deeper thoughts than were previously possible.

Perhaps. It’s all one big fantastical bathroom-fanned perhaps, and I’ll be the first to admit it.

And what of the author! Telling us first of his odd fascination with the toilet, then going on in great detail to document the merits of defecation with no sources listed; with no warning before changing tenses and accordingly indulging a literary defection atop the English language! How can we possibly be expected to trust such a haphazard individual?

I’m asking you, seriously, how the fuck can Grant Maierhofer be trusted? How can shitting be compared with making love? Where the fuck do/does I/he get off?

I couldn’t tell you. Again, I’m just a guy on a toilet listening to Lorn’s newest unreleased shit trying to gain some perspective. It’s up to you guys to critique my maladies and give me some insight into myself. I didn’t set out to write columns that solve things like Carrie Bradshaw (with turds!), I set out to think a little bit and let you wizards know what you might be missing from time to time.


That is all, turds reign.


Beat City-The Flowerpot Men

Ravel-Jeux d’eau 

IN OTHER OTHER NEWS after a long awaited stint of rumors, leaks, shit, hell, fire, shit, repeated to no end, LORN’s new album ASK THE DUST was made available today via Ninja Tune. As a few week’s ago I mentioned the shitty news that a copy had been leaked, I feel it necessary now to express my acclaim for this mother fucker and I guess put the matter to rest, on a personal level at least. I won’t write an album review, because people don’t really read album reviews unless they write album reviews themselves and even then it’s just a perusal in case some hints can be gleaned from the endless void that is Pitchfork so I won’t do that. I just want to say that–even though the Delphian umbrella covers him, Dolor, Sleetwalker, Omega Clash, and adoptahighway–I find what Lorn’s doing to be genuinely compelling and off the charts when weighed against the onslaught of shit coming from electronic music these days. I personally am lucky to be a fan of every artist on the Delphian roster, but even if I weren’t, if I were out on some ice floe in the middle of the ocean, I’d still value the creation of art on the level with all these lunatics. I suggest picking up a copy of the new record, I suggest picking up a copy of all their records, I cannot express how completely psyched I am at this release and I have not a mite of doubt that the world will soon experience a tectonic shift at the true unveiling of this work of art.

Sorry, I tend to become grandiose when the shift is made from discussing the healing powers of TAKING DUMPS into the high/low/dunnobrow world of discussing new music, and let it be known that all these opinions–especially the turd savvy ones–are mine and mine alone.





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A.C.O.T.M. // Boredom/Laziness in Art

Posted on March 13, 2012 by

After spending a few days trudging through Samuel Beckett’s Molloy (trudging because there’s a portion of the book entirely comprised of an 85 page paragraph of stream-of-consciousness, the likes of which I’ve never seen bested) then reading up on some biographical material/letters of the author, I’ve become enamored with the idea of fatalism in art. More poignantly, fatalism as a tool for the artist, and have since taken it upon myself to delve a bit deeper.

It’s 1945ish, Samuel Beckett has been published; is a fairly well-known voice in Paris and the world over. However, he can’t escape the notion of being compared with James Joyce–as both men hail from Ireland, and each carries a level of absurdity in his work. This is not to say that Beckett was consciously copying Joyce, quite the opposite in fact. However, within himself, and in the public, he can’t escape that ever-looming comparison between his then modest list of publications, and the man who penned Ulysses.

For whatever reason, he winds up back in Ireland for the first time in years, and he’s in his mother’s bedroom. Suddenly, he’s overcome with a vision, and he sees his entire literary career set out before him.

As opposed to Joyce’s tendency to over-intellectualize the work–with references to the romantic poets, word games, and an abundance of languages and dialects thrown in without abandon–Beckett decides he’s going to focus on ignorance. He becomes obsessed with this idea of the negative artist, a creator that seeks not knowledge but stupidity, hopelessness, anti-romanticism, and the like. He then goes on to try and strip the style from his prose entirely; writing in French because he believed it was easiest to write without romance in that language, for whatever reason.

There’s something to this, as this was the most prolific period in his life. It was during this time he penned his most famous play, Waiting for Godot, as well as the aforementioned Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable. Beckett had discovered the science to his creativity, in a way, and has since come to be known as one of literature’s most important voices in the last hundred years.

Beyond that, Beckett describes in his letters these periods in his life when all he wants to do is sleep. He’s a lazy man–though quite prolific–and he sees his laziness not as something taking away from his artistic output, but as something necessary to reach the heart of what he needs to say. One gets the impression that something clicks with both his laziness and this notion of documenting the idiocy of things that turns off the panic of comparisons with Joyce, and leaves the man free to say what he wants to say.


Moving forward several years, and we have this segment of a Charlie Rose interview with an equally important artist, Francesco Clemente.


Not only is this a wildly interesting interview in terms of getting to know the man behind the works, but it directly coincides with this Beckettian notion of anti-productivity, or carelessness as a means to discovering the important artworks residing deep within you.

He discusses the importance of merely sitting, and ruminating over nothing and everything at once to formulate the ingredients to create anything. He talks of the boredom in his youth and having to constantly look at life as some endless nothing. And yet, interestingly enough, when you look at Clemente’s work there’s anything but a sense of boredom. Everything is frantic, moving, and often quite sad.

You see, neither of these men are talking about laziness as an affectation of not caring about art. They’re talking about laziness in response to the absolute absurdity of existence. Never is their art the thing being put into question, but merely the rooms they occupy, the meaninglessness of their daily interactions. And finally, it is through this abrasive relationship with the absolute absurdity of existence and a deeply ingrained–often indefinable–drive to create that you find art that actually says something.

I often worry about the days when I wake up not wanting to do anything at all. I’ll continue to do nothing, and later in the evening I’ll curse myself for being such an absolute nobody in the grand scheme of things. However, by pure happenstance and the indescribable workings of the human will, I’ll awake the next day ready to break down walls, ready to pen masterpieces, ready to paint murals in the caves of history. There is no absolute science to any of it, and perhaps, in the end, that’s all we can be certain of.

But with these men, it wasn’t an issue of worrying daily about the work that they always wanted to create. It was about trusting the desire to create the work when it came to them, and not trying to force themselves when it didn’t. Without that force our world could certainly be spared a great deal of bad art. But without that elusive urge–which one must trust more than anything–we’d undoubtedly be spared the concept of art entirely.


Now for several things completely unrelated.

For the remaining fans of punk rock left in the world, OFF! is basically the most important band in existence today. In my early days of punk rock fandom I was as big a listener of the Circle Jerks as was necessary to maintain cred–I guess–but it always felt like their singer, Keith Morris, was holding something back. None of that applies with OFF!, anything that felt incomplete or passive with the early Black Flag recordings or with Circle Jerks, has been amplified and blown apart with every new release from this boiling pot of LA punk rock legacy.


This video of them performing at the illustrious Gilman St. venue in the Bay Area largely captures my emotions regarding the group. In many ways it prompts that old question of punk’s longevity and such, however these guys have a major following and their albums don’t just sound like revivalist garbage. All the sadness of not living as a teenager in the 80s is rectified by the existence of OFF!


Ceremony - Vagrant off of Still Nothing Moves You 

It’s really fucking easy to get depressed about the inactivity apparent in the world, but all it takes is a sincere scouring of the internet/bookstore/library/record store/sidewalk/beachfront to realize things are moving forward as they always have been, and good people are still making relevant art to keep you interested, and hopefully, keep you from swallowing all the laundry detergent in your closet.



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