"vivos larga gatos negros" – chat guevara

I’ve been thinking about what I would name publishing company if I had one. “Black Cat Books” has always stuck in my mind. (I know that there is, or was, a Black Cat Distro that sold zines and such, so that might be out.) I’ve had this name in my head ever since the last time I was by the SPCA. There I saw a flyer that said black cats make up something like 60 or 70% of the cats in the shelter because hardly anyone wants to adopt a black cat. This struck me as particularly cruel and unusual (but sadly not necessarily surprising), and as I looked through the tiny cages with all these poor forgotton black cats, I thought they are the feline equivalent of any indie (or really just any) subculture. Misunderstood by the rest, castaway in ignorance, yet tinging with mystique and rebellion… and ultimately loveable. Black cats are the perfect symbol for the outsider.

My fluffy black cat, Arthur, is perfectly misunderstood. Well, I don’t know how misunderstood he really is, as he actually is an asshole. He does still frighten the neighbourhood children though, especially at Halloween, when they run away thinking him some witch’s demon familiar. Evil aside, I fully believe that if he had opposable thumbs, he would lead the revolution.

Long live black cats.
Vive les chats noirs!

my life according to the latest facebook meme

Okay, so I guess I’m narcissistic enough to fall for the latest Facebook meme, the “My Life According to [insert favourite band here].” I am convinced that Narcissistic Personality Disorder is the only reason at least 75% of internet content exists (this blog included, no matter how I try to rationalize it). Needless to say, I decided to use the Clash. (No other option really crossed my mind, although I bet it would be fun to do with Smiths songs. Maybe I will.) It only took me about five minutes:

ARTIST: The Clash
1. Are you a male or female: Janie Jones
2. Describe yourself: Lost in the Supermarket
3. How do you feel about yourself: Should I Stay or Should I Go
4. Describe your ex boyfriend/girlfriend: Ivan Meets G.I. Joe (pretty damn accurate, actually)
5. Describe your current boy/girl situation: Armagideon Times
6. Describe your current location: Safe European Home
7. Describe where you want to be: London Calling
8. Your best friend(s) is: Julie’s Been Working for the Drug Squad
9. Your favorite color is: White Riot
10. You know that: I Fought the Law (and the Law Won)
11. If your life was a television show what would it be called: Straight to Hell
12. What is life to you: Rock the Casbah
13. What is the best advice you have to give: Stay Free (or, Know Your Rights)

ARTIST: The Smiths

1. Are you a male or female: Girl Afraid
2. Describe yourself: These Things Take Time
3. How do you feel about yourself: I Started Something that I Couldn’t Finish
4. Describe your ex boyfriend/girlfriend: That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore
5. Describe your current boy/girl situation: Girlfriend in a Coma
6. Describe your current location: Back to the Old House
7. Describe where you want to be: London
8. Your best friend(s) is: Sweet and Tender Hooligan
9. Your favorite color is: Golden Lights
10. You know that: There is a Light that Never Goes Out
11. If your life was a television show what would it be called: Bigmouth Strikes Again
12. What is life to you: You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby
13. What is the best advice you have to give: Accept Yourself

Yeah, The Smiths was better. Oh, Morrissey, you silly bitch.

there’s a special circle of hell reserved for child molesters and people who talk in the theatre

Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan are currently starring in Waiting for Godot in London right now. When I found this out back in January, Jason and I actually looked up plane tickets to London. However, Stewart has found himself in a bit of controversy:

Actor Patrick Stewart apparently lost his rag with an autograph hunter outside the stage door of the King’s theatre in Edinburgh, after a performance of Waiting for Godot. “Are you the arsehole who was sitting in the front tonight?” was his introductory comment, before bellowing “You know, what I really want to know is how you can sleep at night? I really hope you’re pleased with yourself.”

Apparently, the importunate individual had been spied earlier by Stewart trying to take a sneaky photograph of him and his co-star, Ian McKellen, during the curtain call – in clear contravention of explicit warnings that photography was not permitted. While most punters will have gone to see Vladimir and Estragon, others are clearly there to gawp at Picard and Gandalf. (Michael Simkins, The Guardian, April 16, 2009)

While people’s opinions of whether or not his reaction was justified naturally differ, I’m inclined to agree that he had a beef that needed dealing with, but maybe he could have gone about it in a better way. The ensuing commentary dialogue on the Guardian website went off on a tangent about how rudely people behave in theatres. It did venture somewhat onto a nearly technophobish rant, with which I do empathize. This was my contribution:

It’s an interesting notion of “instant memories.” So much so that people seem to be viewing the world through their cameras rather than with their own eyes.

I’ve been to museums to see people moving from painting to painting and just taking pictures without even looking at the actual artwork — just the pixellated version. Strange! I was at a Glasvegas concert in Vancouver on Sunday and when I couldn’t see the stage, I could just watch it in one of the many screens those around me were using to record the show. I just don’t get it. Can you record memories of something you never *really* experienced?

sure i’m a marxist, of the groucho school

this epic week, part two

By Wednesday, I had already watched my favourite movie of the week twice. No, it’s not 8 1/2, but rather A Night at the Opera, the 1935 Marx brothers classic. Groucho has some of the best one-liners I’ve ever heard in my life. I’d marry him if it weren’t for the fact that I’d get sick of wiping the grease paint off my face every time we kissed, not to mention the fact that he’s dead.

I was also delighted by something in my inbox that wasn’t work or friendly information on how to enlarge my penis. Who Hub said they’d heard about me (I still don’t know how) and wanted me to give them an interview for their website. I spent most of the day writing and revising the interview, and you can view it here: My Pretentious Attempt to Sound Like an Expert. I was actually quite arrogantly pleased with my interview. I did spent nearly an entire day on the taxpayer’s dime refining it, so it should be pretty damn good. Here’s a sample question:

What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
I first read the back of milk cartons. But I mostly just looked at the pictures. It made the story easier to understand. Even at such a young age, I got it. The cows like eating daisies, they smile, while blinking their pop art eyelashes. They are happy to have their teats violated for me. I think from here I moved on to picture books, but those memories are all a little hazy. Must have been all the Children’s Tylenol I was jacked up on.

I began to write in kindergarten. I had just learned a new skillset: the proper etiquette for eating paste. I was a sick kid (all the paste, of course) and spent about three weeks in hospital, during which I completed my opus. It was magnificent; something about a dinosaur. It glittered. I made a cover out of cardboard, which my mother had to sew together as the doctors had banned all paste.

my little pony bastardized into glory

I found this link on my Twitter feed, which redirected me back to the Guardian (my daily online news fallback). This is the perfect example of why I love Twitter, the Guardian, Finland AND My Little Pony. Granted, yes, it’s been nearly twenty years (okay, maybe more like fifteen, but that’s peanuts) since I’ve had a My Little Pony, but I think my parents still have the pink dreamhouse in the attic.

[In a quick, somewhat-related digression, I feel compelled to mention that I made a TV for the dreamhouse (I know, the nineties generation, eh?), and I cut out a picture of Star Wars for the screen. My Little Ponies were forever watching Luke, Han and Obi Wan in the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon ready to rescue Leia. Siiiiiiiigh.]

Anyway, The Guardian ran a pictorial feature on Finnish artist Mari Kasurinen, whose sculptures are My Little Ponies done up as famous movie characters. Brilliant. I love it so much I don’t know where to start. Such a brilliant marriage of childhood merchandise with adolescent pop culture. Perfect for my generation. A combination of various shades of nostalgic grey. If anyone is thinking of an early birthday present for me– I know you are– the Batman and Robin are still available.

“Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?”

– Ernest Gaines

tell em, joe

Quote of the day (I just wanted to share it because it’s Joe Stummer, and it’s true): “Life’s about friendships, the way you love your partner, the way you care for your children. That is what life is about. Not anything about earning a hundred zillion dollars because you toured America more than anyone else. I want life to be about creativity.”
Joe Strummer, former lead singer for the Clash.