Current spin; alain bashing, best of. Older French singer. just trying to get inside of the heats and minds. No better way than through the music.
So I sit and I look at all the wonderful pictures in the album and I get to know the Princess more deeply and intimately. Many make me smile or laugh or cry… and that’s the way love is. and that’s a beautiful thing. But there is a moment in the album when it gets to her when she is pregnant for the first time… and I cannot describe the reaction it creates in me. for weeks I have struggled with these pages. I look at them and smile and enjoy the learning… but I notice my body tense up and react with unbearable anger and resistance.
There is nothing to hang onto because the alphabet is not the same. The letters are not the same. They don’t look the same. They don’t even use the same numbers we do… quick: think of the letter three/3. now picture it: 3. right? right. no. wrong. They DON’T FUCKING HAVE THAT!!! 3 DOES NOT EXIST TO THEM!!! CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE THAT??? HOW FUCKING AMAZING IS THAT??? there is no 3. there is the word three but in their language, and there is the number 3 but it doesn’t look like that… it looks like something I cannot even type. Totally fucked up.
So you’re really out there in a whole other world, as one assumes you are when learning an Asian language such as Chinese or Japanese. Persian looks like script. More like designs. 32 letters instead of our 26. but only one vowel which has six different sounds to it depending on its context, so you could say it has 37 letters… depending on how you look at it.
What I am having to do with it is just listen and try to repeat it… just learning the flow of it.. the sound of it. as if it is poetry or lyrics to a song… this is why I am so good at learning languages… I hear them as lyrics to songs… and through that I am able to get inside of it, or get it inside of me…
When I returned to the class, our teacher Ms. Peggy asks me ‘Fishy what prompted your abrupt departure? Too good for French television?’ ‘on the contrary Pegs,’ I answered, ‘I’m just not going to watch that bullshit, pardon my French,’ everyone laughs, because I answered her in English, not in French, which is a big no-no. ‘I’m looking for a good cowboy?!’ I exclaim. ‘you know what the worst part is? he’s not kidding. Your French television makes light of it, thinks its funny… but he’s not kidding… he’s totally serious. But you guys just don’t even recognize it. he’s not fooling around. this guy is a cowboy and lets not forget it. and there’s nothing cute or funny about cowboys… I don’t know about you, maybe its just because you are new to our country Pegs, and so you don’t know, but when I think of cowboys, I think of a bunch of cocky idiotic uneducated murdering fuckhead bastards killing native Americans and stealing their land and raping their women… growing up watching cowboys on TV, that’s what cowboys mean to me.’
This really sexy girl in our class from the country of Jordan looks at me with her eyes wide open, ‘wow. Too bad more people don’t feel like you do Fishy.’ she says in more of an English accent than a middle eastern one. ‘You are very bold to think like that.’ ‘yeah. It is too bad Ines,’ I answer her. you could see and feel my displeasure and my anger at having to watch that news piece. ‘The most dangerous terrorist on the planet today is traveling around to all of these different countries this week, and every one of these countries had an opportunity to stand up and speak their mind. All they had to do was refuse to allow him into their country and they really could have made their point that they didn’t agree with his invading Iraq but instead they let him in and spent the last four days showboating and pretending for the TV cameras. And he has the nerve to say he’s looking for a good cowboy. What the fuck do you think he means by that?’
Dasher and I talk about it tonight over a few drinks and a few hits of the water bongs at this underground Moroccan club after a movie. I share with him that people in the rest of the country always wish me a short and warm winter when we are speaking… but I tell them that I would like one or two more blistering blizzardly weeks covered in white. There is something about it that I like very much. Without it, the year does not feel complete… one or two just wouldn’t do. and one can perceive that most people in the city agree by the level of joy and exuberance you feel in the air from everyone all around you in the street and in the stores and on the subways. Remember, that the population here is a whopping 27,000 people per square mile. By far the most dense city in America. And People here are very happy when it snows. Its cold. And I keep slipping on the slippery sidewalks every few minutes. And the cold snow hitting my face as I walk is a tad uncomfortable and frustrating, I must admit. But still… there is something very special about a real winter versus what many other cities and towns experience as winter in the world.
Dasher immediately fills with light and energy when discussing it. “snow is good luck man. When it snows its good luck…” “you believe that?” I ask him. ”Oh yeah man. Can’t you feel it?” “Yes I suppose I do… its magic isn’t it?” “Its so many things. its warm and comforting. It makes the city clean, its this comforting white blanket that makes everything seem o.k. for a while… like a fresh start… for us all.” “Yes Dasher. I couldn’t agree with you more.”
Current spin: jay z, black album. I love this CD!!! I love Jay z. if Eminem is sesame street Jay z is electric company.
Current read: Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi … this book is cool because it is in the form of one giant comic book, about a hundred and fifty page history of modern Iran. So its not so scholarly. Just a good read of the facts with an attempt to be very light-hearted and whimsical… which lightens the otherwise tragic events being relayed. I am inspired from the learning, but horrified at what I have learned. Lots of data to process.
– the Iranians are not Arabs, like many of the other middle eastern countries. They are Persians, or Aryans. The name Iran comes from the word Aryan. The Arabs/Muslims invaded in 636 and forced their Muslim religion onto them – they were Zoroastrians before that – which as we’ve already discussed is very similar to Judaism/Christianity.
– since that time they had always been ruled by one monarchy or dynasty or another. But the people wanted to rule, they wanted a democracy. In the 1930s it looked as though the people were going to have a revolution and take over the country from the then-emperor, and turn it into a republic or democracy so the people could rule. Just like the United States.
– But England and the United States came in and bribed the revolutionaries into keeping it a monarchy instead of a democracy because they wanted the oil. So they promised their support of the revolution and lots of money in exchange for free access and first rights to all of this oil they were finding. So they basically turned the government from one monarchy into another overnight, but one they could control. The people didn’t get to rule themselves after all. instead they were now being ruled by England and America thinly veiled as being through this new monarchy, the Shaw.
– this went on for fifty years and the dictatorship was pretty brutal. The American CIA helped teach the Iranian government spy and torture techniques in order to capture and torture and kill anyone who was trying to win the country back for the people so they could become a democracy like we are. they were just trying to be like us, but our government was working to stop them from doing that because they were controlling the dictatorship/monarchy that was in charge so they could get the oil. crazy stuff.
– in 1979 the people finally took over in the great revolution and overthrew the shaw. But they did it through this whole Islamic thing….using religious fervor and fundamentalism to empower them to do so…. so bye bye shaw but hello crazy Muslims.
– soon after the take over they took the Americans hostage as a way to get back at us for how we killed and tortured so many of them for so long. growing up in America we aren’t told any of this of course. we are taught that they took us hostage because they are crazy fuckers. They forget to mention that our government was lying to the whole world and killing and torturing them and keeping their people in a dictatorship for fifty years even though they wanted their own democracy. So of course they were mad and they took a bunch of people hostage. I remember seeing the American flags burning on TV as a tiny boy and thinking ‘gosh how scary. Who would want to do that to us?’ I understand now. they weren’t doing it to ‘us’ but they were doing it to our government. Our uncontrolled crazy ass government that does whatever it wants to in our name and then we the people pay the price for it.
– o.k. so then Saddam Hussein of Iraq decides to invade Iran in 1980 because they have permission from the United States. not only do they have permission, the American government is offering money and weapons and anything else Saddam wants in order to get him to take over the country of Iran. One assumes the US government’s plan was to get Iraq to take over Iran and then to take over Iraq and we would have both countries under our belt. So for eight years the US gov secretly supported the Iraqis against the Iranians… out of the frying pan and into the fire these US government guys are. from one mess to another.
one thing is this. Iran is Iran. Its not America. In a way none of this has to be my business. So with that said, suffice it to say that Iran will be Iran and we will be America. But as an American at heart, the aspects that involve America are the aspects of the story that still touch me the deepest. I cannot help but be affected by the history of Iran as we, our government, directly relate to these people’s lives and futures….
So where are we with this? I mean, as an American… as a person…. as a human… its 7am. I sit here in the dark and type in the dead quiet. For some reason I wake up super early now… no matter how late I go to bed… this can only be a good thing. I’m listening to this amazing Persian classical music right now as I type, the music is fast and pulsing, the vocals haunting and ancient sounding; my thoughts are fast… just need to get it down…
obviously I feel lied to. have to let that go. we have to face it and let it go. we are being lied to. it was all a lie. The Iranians taking our people hostage because they are crazy and evil… that was a lie. It was we who were being crazy and evil and they were reacting to that after fifty years under the persecution and control of the US and England tyrannical clutches… so we were lied to and we are still being lied to. o.k. but we have no choice in this. we’re not going to be taking over our government anytime soon. they have shown that to us time and time again. the days of the people of America controlling America are over. they lie to us. we have to face it, accept it. they are lying murdering thieving fuckhead bastards, as most governments of the earth seem to be, — in their defense I will offer that maybe they aren’t aware of it because I believe their webs of deception are so twisted and interwoven at this point that most of them don’t even know what the hell is going on.
There is the theory of the hypnogogic state of consciousness… this is the state just before you fall asleep, or just after you have fallen asleep. Just when you begin dreaming, but you are still awake enough to be aware that you are asleep. It is as if you are watching yourself. Your dreams are very vivid. Ideas abound. I don’t remember who it was off the top of my head, maybe Davinci or twain or Einstein… perhaps none of them, but I remember the story where he used to sit at his desk with a string attached to a bell hanging above him. just as he fell asleep his arm would fall which would make the bell ring. He would then wake up out of dreaming and immediately start writing down everything he could remember from the dream great thoughts can come out of this state of consciousness. There is another story about another man, again I cannot remember who it was, who used to do the same thing by holding a ball in his hand so as soon as he fell into sleep his grip would loosen and the ball would drop to the floor waking him up and he would also immediately write down everything he could remember.
It is a given that artists of all kinds, writers, composers, etc leave pens and notepads by their bed and all over their home so as not to miss an idea. as Loren eisley contemplated once ideas are so fleeting… one minute you are in the center of it and in the next minute you don’t even remember that you had an idea at all about anything. It is quite remarkable how the brain works like this. kind of sad and frustrating but very true. I do have a pen and pad next to the bed of course, and in every room of the house. always have. in the car. in my back pocket of course. and it is true, I find that some of the best ideas come just before sleep…. in that hypnogogic state somewhere between being awake and dreaming… when it is hard to tell if you are thinking or you are dreaming. This is a magical place. some of the best ideas come from this state. But the problem of course is in the remembering. Hence the tricks that past creatives have invented to wake themselves up out of it and take advantage of it. By my bed I keep a special pen I found online that has a light at the very tip of it so you don’t have to turn on a light in the room. You just give the pen a little twist and this light comes on, enough to light up the paper you are writing on. It’s a brilliant invention. I would be lost without it.
When I am really knocked out and can’t even sit up to write, I use another method whereby as I get a thought that I wish to remember the next day I hold my hand up in the air for a few seconds with my forefinger up signifying that I have one idea to remember in the morning from the night before. if I get another I will hold my hand up again for a few more seconds with two fingers up to remind myself that there were two ideas. And so on. I have become accustomed to automatically asking myself how many fingers I had held up the night before just before I fell asleep in order to re-trigger those thoughts. It almost always works. 90% of the time I can remember upon contemplation what the thoughts were so I can get them down when I first wake up.
Current screening: bottle rocket. The first Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson film. before Rushmore, before royal tennenbaums, before life aquatic with Steve Zisou. You can see the beginning of what would eventually be greatness. art creates art. Art inspires art. I had never thought about this before. in it, but never outside of it enough to think about it. one day in 2002 Beth Ann told me that she used the rise and shine album a lot to paint to. that it inspired her in a certain way, that as a painter and not a musician herself that music had a profound effect on her work; her painting was always slightly altered depending on what she was listening to at the time.
I told her that I was working on a new album, what would eventually be sleep with you, but that I didn’t know what it was yet or what it was about; but I shared with her how I go to the store and buy lots of picture and photo books when I am working on a new album. I keep stacks of photo books or painting books all over the house and bring a backpack full of them to the studio to inspire me. for rise and shine I carried around a lot of books of Picasso and van Gogh books and would flip through them all day and night to stay open and fresh and excited and inspired about the album and the possibilities of art. “and that would help you? that would help your music? looking at the paintings in the books,’ she asked. ‘yeah. A lot. makes me create better music, staring at the pictures…’
‘what kind of painting books are you looking at now?’ she asked. ‘Well now I’m more into photo books… I’m really into these erotica photography books actually…’ ‘you mean naked women?’ ‘Not exactly… but sometimes yeah. Even more than that. all sorts of different things… lots of books of girls… mostly black and whites… bondage, sexual without being overtly sexual… like that… fetish stuff… nudes… yeah…’ ‘how is it affecting your work? Compared to the Picasso books?’ ‘well its bringing about a whole different kind of music… its a lot more rock… and all the songs seem to be about girls, or sex, or love, or drugs… I don’t know yet…’ Beth Ann let out a big sigh, a happy sigh, and we kept walking… she put her arm around the king and asked, ‘I love that.’ ‘what?’ ‘just how art inspires art like that… how the art of one artist inspires another artist and how circular it is… how the fields cross… how I paint to music and how Fishy composes music flipping through painting books…’
so this is where bottle rocket comes into the story I guess. Not really bottle rocket, because I can’t say I’m loving it yet. I think as with a lot of things I’m kind of the opposite of most people when it comes to Wes’s work. Whereas a lot of film lovers prefer his early movies (like with woody Allen as well), everyone talking about bottle rocket or Rushmore and a lot of them not really digging royal tennenbaums and even fewer getting life aquatic from what I can tell… I prefer his work in the order from the top down, life aquatic to me is a masterpiece, something that will last forever in the hearts and minds of humankind; it’s a van Gogh. More a Picasso, because I have always liked Picasso more myself… but for me its juice, watching his movies, its not me the person sitting enjoying the film… its that… but not just that… its me the artist studying the film, being inspired by the film, taking notes, getting ideas, having ah-hahs about my own art… admiring it as one does a fine painting in a gallery or a fine wine… and through that experience…. more art… more ideas… more possibilities… more potential.. the world stays open… and my art keeps coming… eternal sunshine of the spotless mind had that same effect on me. I think in the long run, in the bigger picture, I will look back in years to come and understand that that one movie inspired countless songs and full albums even… the mental and emotional impact it had on me was unfathomable.
Current spin: kings of convenience. BUY IT. I love it. soft and romantic. Reminds me of Donovan and Simon and Garfunkel.
From: julia Sent: Mon 2/15/2005 11:29 PM
Subject: Re: what it is
hahahahahaha! well goodness. here is this beautiful scroll awaiting after my so burbling baboon conversation with assyra. man! i had had a THICK day at school as had she, and we spoke briefly tonight about the Matter of Fishy. funny but i found myself being very protective of you. i think she wanted to hear portrait of the artist as a young man type stories but all i could convey to her was the general and profound universal awkwardness of junior high school, and the unnerving intensity of your curiosity and gaze even in one so young. we have spoken of this, you and i. i told her a little about the unnamed chorus teacher– a bit about the Shattered gig where we ran into each other. nothing much though….
“um. wow. Fishy. yes…” Assyra is probably thinking, jesus, who let this hippie have a cell phone??? who knows what she’ll do with my beige phrasing. perfect for rolling stone. hahahahahahaha she is cool though. i just couldn’t get JOURNALIST out of my head and so it was difficult to feel fluid.
She wanted to know if your path so to speak was apparent as far back as jr high. i told her that you are the most intensely-fearlessly-curious person I’ve ever met. that you examine things like a child would, from all angles, unafraid to act on your foibles or your passions and that you are honest about both of those. that you are no saint, more like a wizard. I told her that you have a good mom, and have been blessed with some good elders along the way. i hope she does you justice Fishy. if not, she will be out here in a month and i will have to sort it out with her somehow. unleash the MOM, whap. so, things…………..
Oh my god the grammy party sounded like a fucking riot!! “girls! doing things! TO me!! hee hee! back off girls this scarf is HANDMADE. okay, you can touch me there though…” but god, sheer exhilaration.
athena was by me on the stairs when i was listening to your message and she says, who is that? –it’s rock star Fishy honey.— is he okay?— oh yes, he’s at a rock star party… i could see her filing the feeling away for later. she wants to be president. which eventually will be something like being a rock star eh? so good on you Fishy — sounds like your proprioception was accurate and you inhabited your space with utmost joy and good humor. fucking rad. i am glad the scarf served. i am HONORED that you called me to tell me about the experience. truth, this.
about the tony robbins tapes— i love them– the only thing that makes me uneasy is the subliminals. i am feeling a huge resistance to undergoing that part of the process. read:TRUST ISSUE. i am fairly protective of my mind and what goes in it —especially images because they are incredibly effective for me and tend to stick viscerally—invade my dream spaces too— the thought of subliminal looping feels weird. any thoughts regarding this? what is your experience with this part of the program?
I still love soccer legs though.
thank you for the messages, and the priceless trust.
much and more–