Intentionally Scary Encounter?

Isn't That The M.O.S.T.?
Isn’t That The M.O.S.T.?

My yoga class got canceled today, which meant I had a little more free time on campus today than I thought I would. So, I thought I’d find a place near where my next class was to sit and read, but was feeling a little antsy, and decided to explore. My next class is on the second floor of Neuberger Hall, which is the “art” floor, where the Autzen Gallery was. So, I thought I’d poke my head in to see what was showing.

First, the show that was up was for something called The M.O.S.T. I won’t even try to explain it, except that you might want to check it out if you’re into, uhm, office art? Well, not really. Bureaucratic art? Sort of. Art art? Maybe. Anyway, it was there, and I really liked the rubber stamp collection.

It turned out, though, that the artist in question (Katy Asher) was giving an impromptu tour to various PSU folks, which seemed somewhat official, so I tried to stay out of the way and just look around. However, Harrell Fletcher was also part of this group, and really creeped me out by calling me (by name), and asked me what I thought of it all. I’ve met him one other time, when I attended a talk he gave about the work he’s done over the years. (He and I got into a coversation about living next to schools where the neighbors all complained about the fact there was a school there.) I figured he not only wouldn’t remember me at all, but since I wasn’t connected to anyone at the show (or him, for that matter), he would have no reason to talk to me. Apparently not.

I tried my best to answer his questions, but he kept looking at me in a way that made me feel like I wasn’t giving the right answers. (Despite the fact that I knew there weren’t any.) I suddently started to feel really self-conscious about everything, like, perhaps I wasn’t supposed to be there. I started to notice that everyone’s eyes were on me, now, really listening to everything I said. It was really uncomfortable, and then Katy started to grill me, too. I quickly made an excuse to leave, and went to the third floor to hide out until my class started.

However, with hindsight, I wonder: was that part of the art show?

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Say What?

Kids these days, they have no taste. No style. No sense of cool, or even a sense of sanity. I saw this article dissing Jim Jarmusch yesterday, and really felt the need to say something. If I don’t take it upon myself to educate the youth of America, who will?

In reading this review, I feel like the writer has a very different definition of the words, “inscrutable,” “boring,” “pretentious,” and “film.” Which is fine, but it makes me wonder if he’s actually SEEN any of Jarmusch’s work, as in, actually looked at what is on the screen, rather than what he expects to be there. Jarmusch is a very instinctual director, that much is true; but by following film traditions that date from before the birthday of the average PSU student does not make him boring, or inscrutable for that matter. (I might be willing to give you pretentious, provided a dictionary is used for the sake of specificity in future such usages.) Jarmusch’s work has a life and vitality to it that ignore American standards of film making, and tries to incorporate the styles and forms of the long and rich history of the medium. Just because his new movie doesn’t “Kick Ass” the way Ghost Dog did, doesn’t mean it’s meaningless or dull; more than anything, it just means the reviewer might want to check out something other than the typical Regal Cinemas fare more often than he has been.

The Smallest Thing That’s Known To Man

We live in an old, weird, drafty, noisy, and otherwise poorly constructed house, completed in 1900 (according to the city records). While most of the modern conveniences of the 20th Century have been crufted onto it’s weak and aged frame, every time I take a shower I am instantly reminded of the first few lines of a song by Lorne Elliott (which I originally heard as a youth on a Dr. Demento tape a friend of mine forwarded to me in school one day):

“The smallest thing that’s known to man’s a subatomic particle measured scientifically under lab conditions to be ten centimeters taken to the minus thirteenth power / But though that’s very small, it’s really not that small at all compared to the line that is ever so fine, that separates the hot from the cold on the handle of my shower.”

I can’t vouch for the rest of the song being accurate, but dammit, he nailed that bit.

Coffee Threats

Today I remembered one of my dreams from last night, which is remarkable only because I haven’t remembered a dream for years and years and years. (And years, probably.)

I was in a Mall (most probably Gateway Mall, where I used to work at B. Dalton when I lived in Eugene, which also might have been one of the last times I remembered a dream). I was dressed in a suit, with a fedora & an overcoat. I wanted some coffee, so I went to some counter and ordered one. It looked like some sort of airline flight check-in counter. There were two guys working there. One guy gave me a receipt, which I put in my wallet (even though I hate taking receipts for stuff like this), and the other guy gave me a coffee.

I began to leave the Mall when two security guys came over and began to harass me about the coffee. One asked to see my receipt. I pulled out my wallet only to find it full of money, but no receipt. They began to threaten me quite a bit, and I got the feeling that they were going to kick me out of the Mall. Then my friend Justin shows up, who also happens to work as security for the Mall, too. I explain to him that we can go and talk to the guys at the coffee shop and sort this all out, and I head back for the coffee counter. The security staff, however, don’t follow me.

When I get to the coffee counter, there’s only one of the employees there. I slowly go up to him, and calmly explain to him that if he doesn’t cover for me, I will make his life miserable. I start saying really horrible things about harassing him every day, talking to his boss, and somehow, I would make sure he gets fired. He was terrified. Then I went back to where the security staff stopped me.

When I get there, however, they were all gone. I looked around, and saw Justin. One of the security staff members was near him, wearing his normal clothes, looked completely horrified, and was leaving the Mall; the other was nowhere to be seen. He looked back, and smiled, and said it had been taken care of.

When I woke up, I felt terrible for the security staff and the employee I harassed. It had been so long since I had a dream, I thought it had really happened for a few moments, and was filled with this overwhelming sense of guilt and shame. Now that I’m showered and have had time to think about it, I find it particularly strange that there is a sort of class struggle present in the dream, too. Even my subconscious is a Marxist text to be read closely.

I need a vacation from reality.

An Old Addage

At 9 AM today, over breakfast, I ran into a large, very young, co-ed group of nursing students. They were hammered. Their conversation went along these lines:

1.) Whom Had Slept With How Many, And Which, Of Their Classmates
2.) Rage Over The Behavior Of Certain Classmates (Probably Related To #1)
3.) Rage Over The Behavior Of Their Teachers
4.) Inarticulate Yelling At Each Other, Followed By Sudden Extreme Silence
5.) “Dude, Fuck! Fuck, Dude!”
6.) The Women Calling The Men Assholes, The Men Calling The Women Bitches.
7.) “I Am So Wasted.”
8.) Discussions About What Homework They Hadn’t Done, And How To Overcome That.
9.) Sudden Realizations Regarding Who Had To Go To Work Later That Day.
10.) Etc., Etc., Etc.

When I finally got up to leave, they proceeded to point and laugh at me, then called me over so they could take a look at me. (I was wearing a bow tie, a dress shirt, and a suit jacket with a few buttons attached.) They then looked to each other for a consensus regarding the next bar they would go to.

When I used to drink a lot, occasionally I would run into an older gent who would make the observation, “I hate drinking holidays, because it brings out all the amateurs.” I feel like I never fully understood that statement until this morning.