othelladub's Diaryland Diary



Listening to "Everything in its right place," off of Radiohead's Kid A album. Finally beginning to appreciate this album. It has been called "icy," by reviewers, and I can't really disagree with that assertion, yet I am slowly warming to this album.

It is quite an aural experience, and it affects the mind more so than most albums I own. Is albums the correct term? Ah well. Retro terminology.

Of course, a mind-numbing or affecting experience is probably not a huge leap with Radiohead, given the other musical gems in my Audio library, among them "For the Love of Benji," the "Flashdance" Soundtrack, Banda Vallarta (Vallarta Show), and, of course, Milli Vanilli.

Not that I don't stray into deep waters. I suppose my collection of female angst rock is disproportionate, given my affinity for ani difranco and abra moore. I'm not sure how well I relate to lesbian/bisexual anguish, but the fact that Ani is someone who I've enjoyed listening to on ocassion bodes well for her artistic merit. Speaks to the clarity of pain which transcends gender, sexual preference, or MTV play.

Maybe that is why Radiohead is finally coming into focus for me. It, strangely enough, is crystal in its distillation of male torment. Now, lest I contradict myself, it doesn't necessarily have to be a male thing, but I can only listen to Ani, or the slightly more upbeat musings of Abra Moore, for a year or so, before something in my mind clicks, and I need to hear a male voice, if only due to a misplaced testerone cereal-eater, who has been dieting on a vitamin diet of estrogen purity. While the diet was helpful in its time, it may have served its purpose. This may be rather cryptic, but bear with me.

I listened to Ani Difranco for about a year. Of course, with the classic f-you song on the list, it was engaging and novel. That was about 2-3 years ago. I remember buying the tape, in San Diego, during a break from comic-book foraging. We had gone to the Horton Plaza, a semi-trendy, semi-yuppie spot, with cool shops, down a ways from the convention center. I had been yearning to buy this album for a while. I listened to that latest (at the time) Ani album and really felt moved. Probably around 3am, as I was dozing off, after having read a Preacher trade paperback, or something of that Ilk.

I always tend to stay awake and listen to music on a cd player or walkman after a long night of comic arguments and discussions with malcontents and nerds alike.

Thom Yorke is such a cool name. I digress.

So that is my habit anyway. Reading trade paperbacks at least one of the nights. Tim, my friend's younger brother, and I, would scope the comic-loving babes at the convention. Tim, sometimes two or three at a time. There he would be, having a conversation with some lovely young thing with a Witchblade or Pow(d)erPuff girls! t-shirt, and then some bimbo dressed like vampirella, with huge knockers hanging out - would stroll by, and tim would be off on another mission, leaving me to consult with the t-shirted gal's friend on Tom Cruise's actual height. Ah, after having seen Coyote Ugly, this girl with leather pants was correcting me on Tom Cruise's actual height! And telling me to read this book, "White Noise," as I had been lugging around this Zadie Smith book, "White Teeth," satiating my intellectual urges, and she was therefore duly impressed. I had been capping on Cruise's height - "like, what is he, 4'9"?" and she took some small degree of offense to it.

So that is how it often is with the ladies, a nerdy, intellectual girl, somehow besieged with insult over a perceived verbal smiting of her hero, Tom Cruise, comes to the rescue, in Leather Pants, no less! - and I am left wondering where these comic girls sprout up, and much to my displeasure - where they depart to - after the magic of the "con" dissipates, and I am left with only a faint remembrance of good-looking, comic-loving, tom-cruise height-correcting, babes.

Usually there is extra drama which is unexpected, such as Tim's brother, along with the rest of us, going on a mad babe hunt, as tim leads us off the trail, in fear of endangering his well-cultivated babe-magnet persona. Babe bloodhounds we are not.

Our noses off the trail, he led us to the Rocky Horror picture show re-enactment, wherein we scoured for the babes we had met earlier. Chris was on a mission! - "My dear man, we must find yon bonny lasses!!" and we could only conclude that such was a righteous course of action. Alas, no action!

They were of course, staying at the Marriott, directly adjacent to the Convention Center - while we, working-class comic book geek heroes, were staying at the Hyatt, which was a bit further, being directly adjacent to aforementioned Marriott.


Time passes, Tim settles down with a nice young lady, Chris dates a harley-quinn loving lady, before it goes south. I have my own adventures in dating and groping, and intoxication. We all have sat months after the con, plotting our revisit. Surely, this will be a most triumphant journey! Chris will no doubt corner J. Micheal Straczynski in the corner of a Ralph's supermarket, besieging him with autograph requests. I will, no doubt, be disillusioned with the bastards who sell our fine art form down the river, selling crap like tomb raider to the masses. Tim will, no doubt, be flitting here and there, in his neverending search for babe conversation. I will re-invigorate my love for comics, perhaps even make a few contacts in the industry.

I know I can't go down this path forever. In order to be happy, I must do something creative, or I will wither away and die. I have seen it happening, and it is not fun.

I must write. I must create. I must make myself bleed with ambition. Whether I succeed or not must not be my primary focus. I must line my walls with rejection letters, until perhaps, at some point, I succeed in some small way.

I cannot go on working shit jobs for the rest of my life, hoping to end up middle management. I cannot sacrifice the love of art and esoterica which lies sleeping within my, simpy because most of my friends or family can't quite relate to or understand what it is that drives me, or appeals to me.

I can't live like this, working for the next forty years, working in jobs where the primary responsibility is kissing customer or managerial ass, hoping not to get fired, hoping to get that fucked up 20-cent raise, hoping to get medical insurance. Fuck that!! I don't want that!! I want a life of passion, adventure, and risks. I want art, and love, and - dammnit all - sacrifice. I want to take pleasure in what I do, and not merely shitty paychecks. I want to live a reasonable distance away from my father, so that I can again appreciate him. I love him, but it's a bitch living with him. I don't want to blame him for my shit, I'm a grown man - I just need to get out. Get out on my own. I also feel a responsibility to my friend. If he had only not had a kid, we would've split this town long ago, moved to Oklahoma, or Mississippi, or Iowa, some far away place where maybe there wouldn't be all the distractions, where I could work even a minimum wage job and afford rent.

Where I would afford myself the time to throw myself into my passions. I cannot produce the work, or feel comfortable writing or creating art in this environment. And yet, I must create. I die slowly each day my creative urges are suppressed or deadened. The problem is, my cash flow, or lack of it, precluded an outright move. Leaving my house = need money = long hours = no guarantee of anything, but no time to create. It is a cycle.

And there are other things that feed into this.

But the radiohead album has taken me on highs and lows while writing this entry. The levity of last year's con, to the down cycle of my current situation, to the varying values of Radiohead vs. Ani vs. Jennifer Beals of Flashdance. They all flit about in my mind. And my jobs are not wholly taxing or difficult (though the hotel one is a tremendous strain), yet they exert pressure on me, stressing me out.

I need sleep, companionship, a bed without boards beneath it (so my back isn't always aching), a steady diet of mind-blowing sex, and tickets to a Depeche Mode concert in LA in a few months.

The U2 binge I was on a few months ago has subsided, to the point that I can hardly listen to that album anymore. Perhaps it's the Tomb Raider tv spots using "Elevation" - one of the U2 tracks. sick.

Radiohead is doing something heavy on this album, and I'm finally appreciating it a wee bit.

Then again, Shane and I are still going to see Poison and Quiet Riot in a few months in LA, so all is not lost. The big 80's live.

3:37 p.m. - 2001-06-03


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