One thousand and one tabs
To close in on 2021: fun facts
I manage to dig out the piece of history that I never want to lose: the flyer for Suicide's last ever gig titled A PUNK MASS in Barbican, London, in July 2015. Alan Vega was hopping around the stage supported by a crutch. Martin Rev was dressed head to toe in latex. “If everyone around the world learned to walk with Rev’s attitude I swear there would be no more wars.” A year later, Alan Vega passed away.
In his letter to Frau V., C. G. Jung advises: “There is no single, definite way for the individual which is prescribed for him or would be the proper one. If that's what you want you had best join the Catholic Church.”
Zorba the Greek tells Basil: “When my little boy, Dimitri, died… everybody was crying. Me? I got up… and I danced. They said: 'Zorba is mad.' But it was the dancing… only the dancing that stopped the pain.”
Roland Barthes's concept of punctum is useful not only for photography, but also for mundane details included in biographies and memoirs. The description of weather and food consumed is punctum: instantly relevant and relatable, piercing through the reader.
I misjudged a book. I thought Against Everything would be a cynical pose but it's a useful philosophy to apply. It's a test: lean against everything. If the thing you are pushing against collapses, what does that tell you? A memorable idea: avoiding pain is different than seeking pleasure.
Lee Friedlander always appears running on low fuel in his self portraits, like he just ran across the whole of America to photograph everything. But he appears nonetheless.
Zora Neale Thurston: “rubbing a paragraph with a soft cloth.”
In Blue, Derek Jarman speaks against a background of blue about his declining sight and health due to AIDS. Someone once told me a movie can be as easy as having a title and ninety minutes of something, anything, to show for it.
Studies linking testosterone to aggression are inconclusive.
I recommend listening to an album you haven't heard for at least a decade, perhaps since you were a teenager and finding out it's still fresh and feeling stricken for abandoning it. Generally I recommend revisiting a piece of music or a book you lived for as a teenager, to learn.
What to think about a long interview with someone who you have never heard of before, and don't even like their music that much, but the story is so good you re-read it again and again? Pat Ament, climber, songwriter, painter, chess player, an unhinged person (I'd say) and approximately a hundred other skills-applier.
Saturday Night Sunday Morning: “I'd love to see anybody try and grind me down.” I thought an 8am screening of this at a festival was, like the main character of the movie would say, bollocks, but feeling a little woozy in a screening room that early wraps you in a sense of coziness.
Towards the end of J.P.'s Thing, Frank Foster's trumpet solo is flat, too stretched out, interjected between lush and busy parts of the song. Just like this year.
The only evaluation that makes sense today is to look at the one thousand and one tabs open, now, and throughout the twelve months. Happy holidays.