The Opener

So, on July 14th I performed yet again for the LiveArt Bistro’s monthly open mic event. This time I was listed as one of the night’s featured performers, and opened the show with two pieces on ‘Cultural Emancipation’.

It’s tough as hell to open a show. The crowd’s cold, and you have to warm them up for the other performers. You’re not going to get the kind of applause that you really want, unless you’re truly on fire in that first three minutes. I’m still a very young performer, and my pieces are definitely not the lightest and most entertaining. They’re actually a lot more on the somber side. So for me, the average audience is either in thoughtful gaze or disgusted grimace. That feels different when you’re the very first performer.

Nevertheless, I heard it went pretty well. So here they are, for those who missed it.

PS: That actually is my favorite t-shirt. And someone really did comment on my tumblr blog saying that I sound gay. I was gonna write a poem for that guy. But I thought he probably didn’t deserve it.

Use Your Words

I am not at all good at playing the messenger. Not for people who are perfectly capable of speaking to each other, and definitely want to so badly. But that’s one of the many countless interesting situations I found myself in this week, when a friend called me to speak for a couple hours well about someone to whom their hearts yearn.

Now I’m not trying to be mean or make out someone’s scene or anything like that, but…

…this is what talking looks like….

And I say this with the utmost care for the two people involved. The first person wants the second person to call them or talk to them, but doesn’t want to do that themselves, and the second person wants to call the first person but doesn’t think that they would want to talk to them…it’s just a big mess. And it could simply be avoided if each of them both left their pride at home and took their courage off the shelf and went to each other and used their words.

One of the major factors towards the success of human civilization, some historians say, is communication. Our ability to send efficient messages to groups of people and across distances was how we engaged in trade, forged alliances, formed bands and tribes, established kingdoms, and formed relationships that created families and lineages and dynasties. It all came from our ability to talk. And I argue that our ability to communicate to each other very intricate things is how we can be said to have survived and evolved as this species they call homo sapiens. Cavemen didn’t have a great many words (or probably any words at all, in the conventional sense), so they used every single one that they had at their disposal to make sure that people got the message (or hit whoever wasn’t listening with a club and dragged them away).

Now we can’t club people. Assault is against the law. But we’ve got a lot more words, and we’ve gotten better at using them. So why not..use them? It’s a sure-fire way of getting the information that you want from someone, give them the information that you think they want or need to hear from you, get feedback about what each other thinks and feels and come to some sort of decision about all those thoughts and feelings. It can’t happen any other way. Even if someone could guess what you’re thinking or feeling, someone would still have to share some words.

I think that when two people want to speak to each other and want to hear what each other has to say, it would be silly to wait until the other one picks up the courage to speak. Say something yourself. And if there’s something that’s burning you to say to someone who probably really doesn’t know, then you might as well tell him and cut all the suspense out of the thing… When people say communication is key, they’re not bullshitting you. Once you know who you want to speak to and what you want to tell them, just do the damn thing.

Or at least pay me to send a message for you…

Defense of the Depression

Here are three seemingly random truths about me;

  1. I have not cried since 2003. My eyes well up, all the emotion comes up in my throat to choke me, but to be completely honest I’ve never released any reasonably uncontrolled emotion since 2003.
  2. I hate to play Defense of the Ancients (DotA) with my friends, because I am horrible at it and everyone will scream jeers at me from across the room.

    Looks like the kind of game that people would be screaming across a room about, right? If you said no, you haven’t played it. (Screenshot courtesy Shh-Mom)

  3. I recently scored 38 in an exam meant to measure symptoms of depression. Anything over 24 is considered severe, and people who score that high are advised to seek professional help. Continue reading

A Matter of Prudence

Last night, I found myself sitting quietly writing for a class. I had been playing video games with a room of relative strangers until 6PM. By then, it was 8. Everyone took a quiet walk outside, leaving me and my work alone to make love or hate alone in that classroom. After about 15 minutes, just when I’m about to put my work to bed, they all come back in. One of them calls my name in a shriek and runs up to me. He quickly gets distracted by someone sitting, and stops to laugh at the seat that the man made for himself. He comes and wraps an arm around me, telling me how funny it is, and asks me how I am. He smells. He smells the way I imagine Bob Marley smells. He’s been smelling like that every day for quite some time now. Or does prejudice sharpen your senses?

I’ve always prided myself as a man with no vices. I’ve consumed alcohol only three times since ‘coming of age’, and two of those times were dares. I’ve never smoked or experimented with drugs…experimented with anything, really. And anyone who knows me knows how I treat sex and intimacy. They say a man without vice is a man to fear. Often times, he’s a man who fears himself…

We live in a world that asks every man to let every man do as they please. And, as something resembling an activist, I am responsible for a fraction of that. And here’s where it gets confusing – from a political perspective, I think that marijuana should be legalized and the ‘War on Drugs’ rethought completely before more money is wasted and more lives are ruined. I also think in a politically sex-positive way; that people should not be antagonized for having consenting sex. But when it comes to a personal level, I would like to know that my son or daughter is not just sexing down the place, and only smokes herring.

This is a summary of my views on marijuana. Makes sense…right?

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‘Snow White’ Only Fair to Fine…

You guys remember the last time a director touched the Snow White fairytale in 2001? Yeah, the made-for-TV one with Kristin Kreuk. I’m sure some of you (much like myself) thought that it simply would not work. For the most part, we were all right back then. But that film did prove something very interesting for directors and producers – ‘Snow White’ is maybe the most interesting fairy tale we’ve ever read.

Her hotness didn’t save ‘Smallville’. Her hotness didn’t save ‘Snow White’. Her hotness didn’t save ‘Chun-Li’… Conclusion = she’s not that hot

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