Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Best-of list for 2014

Well, folks, it's that time of year again. Christmas. The New Year. Traditions. Like overeating, over drinking and just generally over-everything.
But, I digress. Yes. Already. It only took me like one sentence and I left the wreckage. Broke a cardinal. Don't care.

It has been quite a year, a lot has happened, personally and globally but I am not the sort of twat that makes top 10 lists at the closing of every miserable, uneventful annum.
Perhaps I am. In fact, I love those lists. I think humans love lists. We like to process everything into little lists, our brains function better on that principle. That is because, essentially, we are a retarded race.
Just yesterday, men with guns stormed a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, shooting to death 126 children, 10 teachers and a handful of security personnel. Yes, we are retarded.

So here we are, another fun filled year that brought us 365 sunrises and sunsets. I caught most of those, being a new parent. Flynn was born on January 9th and changed our lives forever. He brought pure magic with him, to share with the people already here, enjoying the pinnacle of our civilisation, overcrowded malls and jails.
He didn't think much of sleep for the first 8 months of his life and consequently, we didn't experience much. There were some nights I would sleep 4 hours and then get up and go to my 12 hour-a-day job. After a few months of that ridiculousness, the old body starts to shut down. I think it's probably to somehow protect you from yourself, though I haven't figured Nature's logic out just yet. I'll keep you posted. I guess, in the end, he learned to sleep more because Nature was just letting me sleep through his cries. It was a sobering experience with a steep bell curve of things learned and utilised.

Men are not as equipped to deal with infants as women are, it is just the way of things. I know there are lots of dudes out there that will disagree with me on that but I don't care. They are probably super Dads or just Dads in denial. I believe men are more important in the child's life later in the game. Women are better multi-taskers and just get the whole child rearing thing. Men can do their best to keep up for now and weigh in later, when the kid is in fights at school or needs advice on how to deal with a situation at work. In my case, I will never be the kind of Dad that helps our son 'work on stuff', like his bike or his car because I am shite at that. So my advice and friendship skills better stack up against my lack of traditional man worthiness.

I play a lot of music around him, with my guitar, banjo and ukulele and with a portable music playing device. He really loves music, as I am sure music is inherent in all of us. Some just choose to expose their young and others, well they expose their kids to all sorts of mindless crap that has zero cultural value. I am not saying I play only Mozart and Beethoven to him but he does already have a hankering for some fine Jazz and Folk. He does like Jack Johnson too, but only because he thinks it's me. Or, at least that what Colby says.

He is warming up to 90's hip hop too, which is a relief because I never discovered that shit until the 2000s. It was a retroactive discovery for me because I grew up in Campbell River, where my musical exposure was limited to Lynyrd Skynrd and AC/DC. My Dad made sure that classical music was part of our daily diet and I still love classical music but you don't go round listening to Chopin when you're in that town. Unless you wanna get your punk ass kicked. The fact that I liked Prince and Michael Jackson and got away unscathed, is pretty good, I think.

And not too many white kids listened to hip hop back then and back there. Though, I must make a point here and say that the Beastie Boys were acceptable in most crowds. It couldn't have had anything to do with the fact that they were caucasian. Hell no. What am I suggesting?
It was relegated to the 20 black kids in the entire town and most of the First Nations kids, because, like black kids, they connected with the messages of racism and inequality in the music. Many white kids I knew simply called it "nigger music' and that was that. White kids always say the same thing when they say they don't like rap music. They say they're all rapping about bitches and hos. Which is bullshit, for the most part. I still hear people saying that and they are in their 40s. Some people will never open their eyes or their minds. They are gonna miss out on gems such as Wu Tang Clan, Nas, Mos Def, Rascalz and so on. I guess I am missing out on all those Kenny fucking Chesney albums, too. I always have said that country music is fascist and I stand by that. It quietly promotes 'traditional values', while their fans go to Nascar, shoot guns at the range and call each other faggots after a few beer have been consumed.

Alright, enough said about hicks, this is supposed to be my year end, best-of, Christmas special blog posting. I fight with rednecks all the time on Twitter, so they are always top of mind. In fact, fighting with rednecks on Twitter is something I take great joy in doing. Whether they are complaining incessantly about having to say 'happy holidays' instead of 'merry christmas', hating on Tide because they ran a soap ad with 2 gay dudes in it or blaming Obama, yet again, for some Bush era failed policy, this group of loud-mouthed idiots never fails to enrage me beyond reason.
The fact that I had to hide my Duran Duran albums from this group of savages when I was a kid, definitely has something to do with my lifelong passion to hate them. Happy holidays, you fuckers.

There were a few other things of note this year, I quit my job at the TV show I have been working on for five years. I was bored out of my mind and I had to move on. It was a tough decision because I have great friends there, its close to home and the hours were reasonable.
I am working on three different shows per week now, in locations all over the city, with ridiculous hours and sometimes working with people I would rather cut with a dull blade. And I am so much happier. The predictable life has never been the life for me. I mean, it is okay for a while but I always eventually get that nagging feeling in the pit of my gut and I know that feeling means that it is time to move on.

I began the year working on a feature length screenplay. Against my better judgement, I decided to co-write it. It was not my story idea and I can safely tell you that I will never venture into a deal like that ever again. For any reason. The dude that I co-wrote with, eventually turned into an unreasonable, controlling psycho that I ended up having to call block.
You may be thinking that I wasted a year on that screenplay and that I must be upset that it all ended like that. I swear that I think of it as a learning experience and that things happen for a reason. I told my co-writer to remove my name completely from the project because, after witnessing his absolute bat shit crazy antics, I wanted nothing to do with him professionally. Or otherwise, for that matter. But especially professionally. As a writer, you sometimes only have one chance and you don't want to blow that chance being linked up to some fucking maniac, who goes around constantly offending people.
Have you ever seen the Ari Gold character on Entourage? Played by Jeremy Piven? That's what my co-writer was behaving like. But, at least Ari Gold was funny.

My visual arts career had a few modest developments this year. I landed a studio right here in New Westminster, at 100 Braid Street Studios. It has been amazing to have a space where the energy is positive and the creativity is bursting out of everyone.
I also got a few commissions and had a show at the Fort Langley Gallery. Now, I know some of you are thinking,"Fort Langley? Is that an art mecca?"
Well, no it is not, exactly. But the people that run the gallery are awesome, salt-of-the-earth folks that, for some reason, believe in me and, most importantly, my work.

So I went out there for opening night and schmoozed with people. I didn't sell anything. However, I don't make my art for the sole purpose of selling it. That would be crazy. And I would be hungry. I make it, mostly, to let out some of the fire that burns within me. All my paintings are based on current events, so it is not exactly uplifting material. But there are plenty of Norman Rockwells and Robert Batemans in the world. Their work is beautiful. Mine is ugly. In fact, of late, I am consciously trying to 'uglify' my work even more. I feel it has become too clean and vibrant, so I am in the process of dulling and scraping my way to universal success!
I work from home and make $5000 a month and all I do is sit on my ass and paint dirty pictures. And spam people.

Around the world this year, there was Edward Snowden, ISIS/ISIL, domestic violence, Ukraine and Russia, Iraq part 3, Syria, Israel/Palestine, the Malaysian flight 370 gone missing, followed by flight 17, that was shot down over Eastern Ukraine. In the U.S., there was #HandsUpDontShoot, #ICantBreathe, and the mid term elections that proved Americans obviously never learned a damned thing from the Bush years and voted in a bunch of wolves again. Because an 18,000 DOW is proof of a muslim, socialist president.
A bunch of other shit happened too but as I write it, I have lost all interest in tallying all the world's news from the year. Most of it is depressing and violent and nothing ever changes. And I am sure people much more eloquent than I, have written at length about it all.

I wish all my people a great 2015, with love and laughter and I hope that you all find what makes you happy and then stick to it.

Xmas at Surrey Home Depot

Xmas in Gaza

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