“Like vanishing dew,
a passing apparition
or the sudden flash
of lightning — already gone —
thus should one regard one’s self.”
Chances are, if you’re worth your salt, you don’t do a lot of shouting about it. You’re humble, you keep it quiet. Not because you’re not proud of the things you do well, but because somehow, somewhere along the way, you got some manners. You’re probably also crippled with self-doubt on occasion. This is the curse blended in with goodness. A tendency to smash your own head with a hammer, when all you needed was a stitch. Because, babe, you’re not perfect. And no goddamnit, you never will be. There are so many steps through the day, so many places to go wrong. And it hurts to let ourselves down, even when no one else feels let down.
Charles Mingus, the genius composer and virtuoso bassist, claims he never hit a note correctly, not a single one of the millions he played in all his years, but instead immediately corrected it by a whatever few millimeters were needed. This is probably hyperbole (from a man famous for it), yet it speaks to a beautiful idea– the idea of grace in the stumbling, a dance through the chaos of entropy, groping through the dark of a song, an avalanche of mistakes, forgiven, amended, all in service of the beauty and wonder of music. The music of futility. The sheer beauty of failing. The magic of inevitable imperfection.
“He not busy being born is busy dying.” That’s from Dylan’s “It’s All Right Ma, I’m Only Bleeding” (though it sounds like it could be from something much older–Dante or Shakespeare or Siddhartha). The air is being let out of the balloon. It makes a persistent, deafening screech and careens all over. What more can we do than enjoy the ride? Savor the chaos. Embrace the mistakes. Fight to win, but learn to love losing. Learn how to live with a broken heart. A heart broken because the world hurts and nothing lives forever, not even stars.
Mingus was a genius and a egomaniac, but his autobiography was titled “Beneath The Underdog.” It’s clear what he really thought of himself most of the time. In the documentary Mingus, he is being evicted from his New York apartment. He was a man with a rare, divine gift, and a man who just couldn’t win. A born loser. Just like us all. Beautiful, beautiful losers.
Like an old friend once told me: “You already won the cosmic lottery. Now how are you going to spend your winnings?”
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-Sincerely, Todd & Adam
A little bit of Charlie Mingus, with the sublime Eric Dolphy.
Inspired by Shawnte Orion’s recent poem, a fun article about “Alan Smithee”, the universal pseudonym for Hollywood directors wishing to disassociate themselves with their own films.
“Trump represents a frightening trend of convenient racism rooted a belief that America was great before ethnic and racial minorities, women, and sexual minorities wanted equal rights. (What Trump calls “political correctness.”)”
The fucking amazing Grace Jones saying fucking amazing things because she’s motherfucking Grace Jones.
Raucous, brilliant hilarity from Deadspin about the Democratic Presidential debates and the absolutely insane state of Ameircan politics.
Um…uh… holy fucking shit. You had me at “alien megastructures.” Is this not the biggest story of… like ever?
President Obama and Marilynne Robinson in conversation. Two brilliant Americans discussing faith, democracy, art, politics. This is serious, heavy, amazing shit. Yeah, we are Americans may not be doomed yet. Yet.
“You’re not sure where in The Office to go, so you ask the receptionist to help you. She is young (40) like you (23) so she gets what you’re going through. “Nice blazer,” she says, genuinely impressed. “Very work appropriate.” Everyone around you is wearing a blazer. This blazer is the best thing you have ever bought. The job is basically in the bag. “I’ve never smoked pot and there are no pictures of me drinking on Facebook,” you tell her. She looks like she might pass out.”
Fucking non-stop hilarity by Monica Heisey. Yes, another one from Vice.
Miranda July has a heat to heart with Rihanna, and in the process, makes an Uber driver famous. Beautiful stuff.
“Let’s get one thing out of the way right off the bat (sorry): there is absolutely nothing wrong with jumping on a sports fandom bandwagon and anyone who says otherwise hates joy.
The kind of people who look at new fans with disdain are nothing more than grown-up versions of the elementary schoolboys who wouldn’t let you into their cool-kid clubhouse. Gatekeeping is never a good look, and what defines a “real fan” could possibly be one of the most boring topics of conversation in the world after people explaining their dreams.”
Fuck yes. We couldn’t agree more. The more the merrier! Snobs suck. “Authenticity” is the biggest sham ever, invented by weak, insecure assholes. Jump on! Have fun!
And don’t forget to hurt if and when they lose.
Tyler Durden strikes again.
Everett True started a print publishing company, and the first book “101 Albums You Should Die Before You Hear,” still needs contributors, funding, and all sorts of other help. Hurry, hard deadlines are looming!
“it begins as always
with whiteness swallowing
the rest of the painting
in its dumb bloodslit
famine. then as always
a pulse of the backlit
blue veins rising up
like abrasions on a pale
Poem by sam sax over at Washington Square Review