Friday, July 20, 2007

Sui- generis

for the record, Allentown, PA's Pissed Jeans pretty much deserves whatever hype they're getting. they're playing at Southpaw tomorrow night, so go. if you need some incentive, read this thingie that i wrote about them in Time Out. (also there are mp3s here and here (scroll down).) i had an awesome time interviewing the singer, Matt Korvette, a truly hilarious and unassuming dude--until he starts vocalizing at least. then he's depraved and alarmingly unhinged.

anyway, i started thinking about them today b/c of this idea that i touched on in the piece: "Much as the idea of paranoia provided constant creative fuel for Pink Floyd, the emotional muse of Pissed Jeans is the state of *****being massively, almost tragically bummed*****—in the most mundane sense imaginable. Previously, Korvette’s lyrics have addressed topics ranging from nasty flu symptoms (“I’m Sick”) to postejaculatory depression (“Ashamed of My Cum”); on the band’s new Sub Pop debut, Hope for Men, he disdains his yuppie neighbors, finds the anguish in eating too much ice cream and even rails against the weather."

so anyway, that idea (of the massive, tragic bummer) came to mind while i was reading "A Scanner Darkly." i'm totally in love with the book philosophically and emotionally, but the humor is really what's getting me. there's one scene in particular that really encapsulates that idea of the ultimate bummer.

so basically this deadbeat junkie, Charles Freck, is trying to off himself and he takes a whole bunch of pills that he thinks will do the trick. it turns out they're actually hallucinogens though and he just ends up on an awful trip. check it out: (and i quote...)

---> He had to face the fact--considering how many of the capsules he had swallowed--that he was in for some trip.

The next thing he knew, a creature from between dimensions was standing beside his bed looking down at him disapprovingly.

The creature had many eyes, all over it, ultra-modern expensive-looking clothing, and rose up eight feet high. Also, it carried an enormous scroll.

'You're going to read me my sins,' Charles Freck said.

The creature nodded and unsealed the scroll.

Freck said, lying helpless on his bed, 'and it's going to take a hundred thousand hours.'

Fixing its multiple compound eyes on him, the creature from between dimensions said, 'We are no longer in the mundane universe. Lower-plane categories of material existence such as 'space' and 'time' no longer apply to you. You have been elevated to the transcendent realm. Your sins will be read to you ceaselessly, in shifts, throughout eternity. The list will never end.'

Know your dealer, Charles Freck thought, and wished he could take back the last half-hour of his life.


Ten thousand years later they had reached the sixth grade.

The year he had discovered masturbation. <-- (and i end quote)

frickin' cosmic bummer, right? anyway, this book rules. can't wait for movie! (even though everyone says it sux.)


speaking of suicide (yeesh, there's no way to finesse that one...), this is an unbelievable article on the history of Golden Gate Bridge jumpers that Laal found in the New Yorker. basically it's a polemic on the idea that a safety barrier needs to be built on that architectural marvel asap. but the details are what got me--how bout the guy whose note said that he was going to walk to the bridge to jump and he'd turn back if even one person smiled at him (no one did). or the guy who actually survived the jump (whoa) and recalls thinking as he went over the edge, 'I instantly realized that everything in my life that I’d thought was unfixable was totally fixable—except for having just jumped.'

damn, sorry to go so heavy on a Friday, but as discussed last episode (again from P.K. Dick) "Life is only heavy and none else."

(p.s., anyone seen the "Jumpers" doc that was inspired by the aforementioned New Yorker piece? apparently includes much actual jumping footage--don't really know if that's something i'm interested in viewing. extremely curious, though...)

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