I am in love with her. I am in love with her life force. I am choking from the emotions trying to pass through my throat as I attempt to explain. My eyes are burning and wet. Just a moment ago I was lost. I was remembering her. I became short of breath because even though she is not with me right now, her tenderness is. And I just want to be beside her again with my hand on her dress looking out at the horizon through the glass. She is the one that I miss and the one that I carry in my mind when I write these four letter words in 14 word sentences (or less). I am following Napoleonic rule and simplifying my message in the hopes that it reaches her pure and that she doesn’t doubt it’s intention. She will know that it’s meant for her because my language is imbued with the truth and the intensity of the first time we met and with the melancholy of the last time we parted.
Are we losing this opportunity? Are we doing the things that we used to run from before there was all this money in the game? Have we left it in the hands of the marketing departments at big name brands to tell our story? Remember when our knees hit the ground in atonement and our eyes faced the sun? Remember when we felt like Tom Cruise typing his manifesto in Jerry McGuire the day before he got fired? Complete yourself before you attach yourself to an idea. Cinema ended in 1968 and we are the resurrection. While everybody’s trying to get their reality show off the ground, don’t let them fool you. Everyone and their mothers of invention are trying to get a piece of the pie. They have an agent before they even have the idea. But theirs “is gonna be different, I swear”. It’ll be like “this” versus “that” with the addition of youth. It will be enough to last for at least a season and enough to get payed and get famous and to get into all the parties without waiting in line. All the elements will be there. Ooh, look at those greys! You are the next Kubrick. Is that a Leica lens you’re using? The short focus, the 8mm dust and grain, the color grading with magic software… But who’s producing? If we just make it look like the old great works of art did we’ll have a bit of that aura, I promise. The story can come later. Everything will look beautiful because we look beautiful. I have a 1.4 lens with amazing depth of field and creamy bokeh. We are fabulous 24 times a second. Just talk. It doesn’t matter what you say. We’ll overdub something better later in the narration, or if we don’t have time, in the soundtrack when we clear the sync license. If that doesn’t work we’ll use 60p converted slow motion in Twixtor Pro™ to make it seem deep.
Don’t come into the night leeching off our energy. Come to give. Expand, be open and let whatever is in the bass pour right inside you. You cannot deceive us. In all of this darkness, we are the light. We have been here before you and we will be here when you’re gone. You have been detected. Your smile is false and we see it. The cloud over your head is what gives it away. You may drink our wine to get to your center, but we still see you through the dream. We will party with you because that is who we are and that is what we do, but we know you are faking it. Your eyes are dead. When you leave, you will have taken something with you but you will leave nothing behind. Your smile is a smile that is put on a sort of beautiful face, but you have been pregnant with nothing. You have brought no life. So we tread carefully around you until you are gone. You have all the appearances but you can only fool others like yourself. We will stare you down. You will think that we don’t like you, but we appreciate you for you are: the yang. The one who puts stickers that say “GAS” on empty red canisters and calls it a night, while we are the ones actually supplying the fuel to the festivities.
I have faith in you. You can change. You can be better, stronger, faster, even more so than the song pretends. Your epiphany might happen after dinner time. It might happen at the after party when her kiss sets on you. From that time forward she will smile everywhere you are. With her you can eat anywhere, even at Wendy’s. You can go anywhere. She will dance to mainstream shit if she has to. You will walk from Bleeker to St. Marks with her arm inside yours and listen to her point out the Physical Graffiti building and where Basquiat had his studio and where Ryan Gosling broke up that fight. There are those who think that you can’t change but that’s because they haven’t felt the power of love. And when you change… they will be waiting for the fall. Waiting with trembling hands and icy breath to say that they told you so. But they will be wrong. Sorry motherfuckers. We became. We are a part of history now. While you were out getting your tattoos and your other accoutrements, we were on our fifth ground zero, staring at an empty page as the sun’s yellow beams turned orange and was about to disappear into the Indian sky to become the source of inspiration known as The Comedown. We don’t need help anymore. We have found love.
The cabin pressure rises when she sits beside me. There is no way I can go back to reading even though I immediately plant my eyes back to the page, pretending. Did I see correctly? Was she as beautiful as I remember? I force my peripheral vision as much as I can but all I can see is her Coach bag and her H&M sweater. She is fidgeting. She is looking for an opening. I don’t remember how, but soon we are in conversation. Why is she smiling so much? After snack service all the other conversations around us have petered out. People are sleeping. Some are reading with their overhead lights on, clinging to consciousness like we are. I’m telling you, I would have never dared under normal circumstances but… Maybe it’s the night flight thing or the alcohol at high altitude or this half empty plane with it’s meditative engine drone, but the pressure I feel in my stomach and my sudden shortness of breath indicate that I am either going to explode into smithereens like “the fat guy who accepts the after dinner mint” in Monty Python’s ‘The Meaning Of Life’… or kiss her. I choose the kiss and it is amazing. The kind of kiss you wish you could buy as candy. After a three course meal of lips and saliva, no extra words are needed and she puts her head on my shoulder and her hand around my arm and lets her body sink into mine. It is instant romance. It feels so… comfortable. We are an hour away from our initial descent. I wonder if she is sleeping. I don’t want to move a muscle. I don’t even want to breathe. I want to quiet my heart which is pounding so loudly I can feel the echoes in my temples. And as human nature would have it, now that I have everything and the moment is perfect, I immediately start to worry about losing it. Thankfully the stewardess interrupts my inner dialogue to ask me if I want another Canada Dry from the Canadian stash (Canadians don’t use high fructose corn syrup, it’s illegal)? I say yes and with ice. Of course the ice melts right away, diluting my ginger ale without even making it cold. I drink it anyways. The melted ice feels like a metaphor. I will be in Maimi soon and my driver will be picking me up. I’ll have all the best intentions when I tell this beautiful girl leaning on me right now that I’ll be “in touch later” and “lets make plans tonight”. But you know Miami… After meeting two new drunk girls in the lobby with short glittery dresses that are staying on the same floor as me, and flirting with the bartender with the heavy pour that texts using emoticons (she is getting off at 2 am), and hanging out in the VIP action behind the DJ booth at Mansion, and drinking enough Patron shots to enable me to enjoy Mainroom House, and obliging the loud girl in the taxi playfully urging me to “Feel, they’re real…”, and admiring that naked “not so shy anymore” “friend of a friend” spelling my name in the bathroom shower condensation just after noticing her brown panties on the ground looking a lot like a rattlesnake’s shedded skin (instagrammed immediately), and then greeting Ryan coming out from under the sheets to order hot water from room service so that he can have a cup of my Rooibus Green tea while his girl is still sleeping… Yeah somewhere within all of that, the fear of losing “my airplane moment” will be replaced by a feeling of freedom and a re-reading of my in-flight romance as the good omen it actually is. Yeah, you know Miami… Miami is intimacy without commitment, heat without warmth and the temporary loss of feeling on your tongue.
We go out every night. It’s a disease. You never know what’s gonna happen. Some nights are tame. Some nights are crazy. But they’re always documented. You meet the strangest people sometimes. But some of them become your friends. And we stay out until the sun comes up. ‘Cause this is our scene. Welcome to the party.
…and that’s when I realized I was gay. When I talked to Charles about it he explained to me that sexuality was like ice cream and that sometimes there were flavors you preferred over others for no particular reason. I love the company of women but I want to fuck men. Men with muscular legs. It isn’t important to me if he has a big **** or not. At least not as important as it seems to be for Lucy. She believes that no amount of finger dexterity could make up for a small ****. “A small dick has no place in a one night stand.” This is the phase she’s in right now: Free Love. “Small dicks are for tolerant girls who want relationships.” Size has never mattered to me unless we’re talking about a mans thighs. That turns me on. I realized it the summer I was invited to Billy’s legendary basement party. There were 15-20 guys there. Some were close friends, and others were friends of friends from the scene. Billy strictly enforced the rules, and people followed them just so they could get invited to the New Years Eve party every year. The rules were you could stay upstairs if you wanted to and just watch movies, drink and play games but there had to be no sexual contact. This was so that Billy’s six year old brother (who was under his care every summer while his parents traveled the world) could hang around in a “normal” environment. He didn’t want his brother to be “predetermined”. That was his favorite word after he read it in Discover magazine. He really hoped that his brother would end up straight so that he wouldn’t inherit the problems Billy had grown up with. So yeah, upstairs = no funny business. But when you wanted to play around, you could go to the basement. There were a row of flashlights near the empties that you could choose from, and close the door behind you. When you got down there, you had to announce yourself and pull your pants down to your ankles. Those were the rules. I remember the first time I went down, my heart was beating so fast and my mouth was really dry. I got to the bottom of the stairs and saw flashes of light and some guys were fucking, some guys were making out and other guys were walking around looking for nooks and crannies. But everyone had their pants down to their ankles. I remember thinking that we all looked like penguins. I stayed down there for 45 minutes.
I have just enough wine in my bloodstream to rationalize anything. That’s why you’re in this elevator with me right now. “She may be overweight but she has a really pretty face.” This almost happened with another girl last week in Atlanta but the Waffle House sobered me up in time. But tonight I’m clinging to my drunkedness because you’re easy and unknown. I chose you over your skinny girlfriend because fake lashes with weak glue is a pet peeve of mine. I think her ego was bruised. That’s why she ended up with the ugly CEO. That’s why she ended up on the phone with her boyfriend for two hours after she ended up with the ugly CEO.
I’m getting out of the elevator and your constant talking is making me reconsider what’s about to go down. I’m trying to think of excuses but I can’t because my brain feels like it’s been put through the Twixtor After Effects filter. We get to my door. I’m fumbling for my room key and you are on a roll about your issues. Just when you’re getting to the part about your sister’s modeling career and how it ruined your teenage years, I get a text that theres a party in room 508. I am saved. While we are walking back to the elevator, I catch snippets of your banter: “The second doctor blotched it up…” and “My mother still tries to get me to weigh my food” but all I’m doing is fantasizing about how I will walk into the party, have a shot of Patron, lose you, say hi to a few friends and go back to my room and masturbate to a Robert Crumb comic and finally fall asleep.
She introduced herself with perfect English. I had forgotten what that sounded like after all this time in Berlin. Of course, right when our chit-chat was turning into conversation, a “really, really, ridiculously good looking” guy (I LOVE THAT MOVIE!!) came to interrupt. I tried to save face as quickly as I could by politely leaning in to give her the customary double kiss but she made her lips touch mine and asked if I would take care of her since her gay friend was leaving with some other guy. She put her hand in my front pocket from behind and her chin on my shoulder and then kissed me since I guess the question needed no verbal consent. Of course when we got to the DJ booth, everyone there did that “dance-like-you’re-not-staring-at-the-newbie” dance. The guys gave their side-long glances completely failing at trying to be discreet. Within 10 minutes, each of them had taken their turn assessing their chances and returning to their original prospects. The two “Early Girls” that we had invited into our circle (someone has to drink that free alcohol) instantly hated her, what, with her excessively ‘natural’ make-up, her see-through white dress, her expensive MK watch, her long brown wavy hair that HAD to be extensions, her stupid tan and perfect English… But still, in perfect club etiquette both of them screamed “Hi!!!! I love your dress!” in unison after I introduced them. Then they asked her where she was from. I zoned out when DJ Bangaflex put on the new Motor City Drum Ensemble track. I was in another world. It’s funny how I have to travel overseas to get exposed to the best Chicago influenced deep house. During my religious assimilation of the crazy bassline, the newbie suddenly slipped her hand in mine again but I couldn’t tell what she wanted. It suddenly dawned on me that I couldn’t even tell how old she was either. I hate that some girl’s boobs develop faster than their minds. I called over Larry Mannequin the guest-photographer of the night who was taking picture of a girl dancing in her bra. He might be able to help me. His book says that you can figure out a girl’s age by how she poses for pictures in a club. A young girl will always want to do that thing with her lips, you know like pout or purse them into Blue Steel (I TOLD YOU I LOVE THAT MOVIE!!) or use her tongue to lick someone or something. Body-wise it’ll be all about her “tit-posture” even if she doesn’t have any tits. An older chick will be more concerned with her outfit, her hair, and making sure her arms don’t look fat and about who she’s in the picture with. It isn’t an exact science but it helps, if not with her physical age, then at least her “club age”. Even a cougar who is starting (or re-starting) her partying days in her mid 30s (it happens!) will behave the same way in photos as a 17 year old that’s just discovered the scene would. The newbie… (I can’t believe I never told you her name! So rude… It’s Victoria!) Victoria turned out to be really “young” (if this photo method is to be believed). And she became completely un-attractive to me after I saw her pose so lame (or is that lamely?). So I just took her number into my phone like Craig David taught me how to do in that song, and told her that I had to find the promoter to get paid for hosting tonight and that she could stay with the other girls in the DJ booth and drink for free until I got back. But really, I was going downstairs to find Stephanie, one of the cocktail girls who told me 30 minutes ago that I should come over again tonight since she was cut early, to smoke some weed, and that she had found the Wim Wenders DVD missing from the box last time and that I could borrow it if I wanted.
I am walking to the party alone under streetlights that just came on, wearing color for the first time in weeks wondering if it will take alcohol for me to regain my equilibrium and nerve. Our journey has taken me too far down from up where I belong. Your comforts are nothing to me because I’ve come to realize that you are not a home. You are a shelter of untested ideas. I have been accepting cats and dogs as my companions instead of expecting the rooster that used to MC my hangover mornings. But now I’m walking through streets that look like everything has been put through a vaseline filter. I panic. I run into a store that sells potato chips and canned goods hoping that I can come down. I’m looking for dark chocolate M&Ms but all they have is peanut M&Ms… and regular M&Ms… and coconut M&Ms… and peanut butter M&Ms… and pretzel M&Ms… They fucking have pretzel M&MS but no dark chocolate M&Ms so yeah I settle for a Kit Kat. When the wafers metabolize and finally enter my blood stream, I sit on the curb and watch the cars go by looking homeless, feeling weightless. At night, cars all look black. I think about you again. And I wonder if I should cut you some slack.
Analysis by Anthony F. Janson
The video for ‘It’s About the House’ is a hyper-modernist example of an artist, Dances With White Girls (DWWG), using multiple versions of a single song to accompany equally deconstructed visuals.
In the opening sequence, Jean-Luc Godard’s rare film ‘Notre Musique’ is invoked as a flashback vignette of a fan realizing that the obsession that gave her life meaning is what led her to question her own existence in the end.
In the second part, the video within a video section, an ordinary gathering of friends is spread out before us like a flat Guernica. Here, in an obvious reference to George Bataille’s ‘Story of the Eye’, a house party dissolves into an empty room with two naked girls breaking eggs on each other. The starkness of the scene with 4 walls, 2 girls and eggs is in-vocative of a dream, as if to depict the creative process and the subconscious elements that go into it. The repeated single note playing on the keyboard is a statement about how easy it is to create music in modern times.
After the title card blacks out letters, it is revealed that the house metaphor is a stand-in for ‘us’, and that this song is a call for everyone to remember what is truly important: communion with your fellow man. This last section shows us that even while we are absorbed in our personal dramas we are all still connected. A girl undresses only to put on a new face, unaware that it isn’t much different from her old one. A girl in red sleepwalks through life until as a final gesture, the artist (DWWG) knocks on a window and wakes her from self-absorption. She is realigned to music, naked and free.
Finally, the artist (DWWG) explains in a voice-over that he is no prophet and that he has his ups and downs like everyone else (further illustrated by the expensive Lanvin sunglasses crudely held together with scotch tape), but whatever the case may be, he never forgets that the real meaning of life lies in the connections we make.
Back when I still had time to read (and before I knew or cared what an SLR, F-stop or fixed lens was), I came across a great passage in Tropic Of Capricorn by Henry Miller. I had tried reading ‘Cancer’ but it was this sequel that ended up doing me in. Maybe because it was set in New York and not in Paris like ‘Cancer’ was. Anyways, it was only 3 dollars from a street vendor on Bedford Ave. No Kindle or IPad version, just one paperback book to focus on. A few days into it (1) I arrived at the passage that would do me in. It was a very long winded and beautiful way of saying what Dan Wieden (2) of Wieden + Kennedy had said so succinctly 1988. The kind of passage that makes you need to put the book down. I wondered why no one had shared this little gem with me. That’s why I’m sharing it with you. It’s the section where Henry Miller is sitting in the theatre, bored… waiting for the curtains to come up… and in that moment he realizes… that this is what we have become… a generation of people waiting for the curtains to come up… and he gets out of his seat… while the lights are still on, and he leaves the theatre… and he rushes back home… and he sits down… and puts his fingers on his typewriter and he starts writing… his first novel.
1. I read very slowly.
2. Dan Wieden invented the phrase “Just Do It” for Nike.
She slumped down again and put her head on my shoulder like a girl who’s read too many Nicholas Sparks novels
Yell. Say anything. Yes, behave as if your vicious words don’t accumulate… until he’s chilling below 14th with the girl he never noticed before but that was always there. And now he suddenly remembers the beautiful creative creature that he once was.