“Shout at the world because the world doesn’t love you.
Lower yourself because you know that you’ll have to.”
— I’m not saying that you’re responsible.
“I was home alone, and I had what I realize now was a spiritual experience, although I didn’t understand it as such at the time. But I knew that someday I was going to die. And I knew before I died, two things would happen to me. That number 1: I would regret my entire life, and number 2: I would want to live my life over again, and I would die. And I was terrified, absolutely terrified. So I knew I had to do something with my life. I was terrified of living my whole life, and at the end looking at it and having blown it.”
Words from Hubert Selby Jr.
But if you could just see the beauty,
These things I could never describe,
These pleasures a wayward distraction,
This is my one lucky prize.

Start yer weekend with some Sonic Youth.

I would say we’re going to have to talk seriously about massive employment programs; high-quality public education, not the privatizing of education; dealing with gentrification and the land grab that’s been taking place, ensuring that young black boys—and I want to include all poor boys, but I’ll begin on the chocolate side of town, there’s no doubt about that—that ought to have access a sense of self-respect and self-determination, not just through education and jobs, but through the unleashing of their imagination, more arts programs in the educational system. They’ve been eliminated, you see. Those are the kind of things, hardly ever talked about. But, oh, we can only talk about transpartnerships in terms of global training for capital and multinational corporations and big banks. That’s been the priority, the Wall Street-friendly and the corporate-friendly policies that I think are deeply upsetting for somebody like myself vis-à-vis the Obama administration.

Really a fascinating interview with Mr. West, worth every word.

Some work by Mat Brinkman that appeared in the nyt yesterday.

Some work by Mat Brinkman that appeared in the nyt yesterday.

Under the House

My grandfather fell through the floor while we were doing renovations in my grandparents’ new master bathroom. The vanity cabinet was old - dark wood with a gold glitter streaked counter-top. We managed to pry it off the wall and out of the caulking with liberal use of the crowbar; underneath was dusty wood and two holes opening into the crawlspace under the house. While moving the vanity out of the narrow bathroom door he was suddenly on the floor I anxiously thought because the lifting was too much for him or because his hernia was hurting or maybe that this was that final straw that did in his surgically repaired heart. But things were okay because he was just halfway through the rotten floorboards. 

The following week I went back to go into the crawlspace with him and see how far the rot had spread. Accessible through a square wooden door in the back of the house this two-foot tall space was a dark cavern of pipes and invisible threats waiting on the walls and in the floor beams for unsuspecting prey. The floor was hard dirt covered by a black plastic tarp; if I ever needed a place to bury…something…I know exactly where that place would be. We crawled through with our flashlights and screwdrivers to the hole bleeding golden light from the bathroom above. When we reached the spot we got on our backs and started poking the ceiling looking for supple or discolored wood. My grandfather was in old workpants and a t-shirt and I could smell his body odor as he reached up with his screwdriver. Although not a big man, his rolls of fat bulged through his t-shit; all I could think of was that immortal Pete Townshend line ‘I hope I die before I get old’ fully aware of its insipid philosophy. I don’t always hope I die but when I do it’s while being confronted with a putrid, flabby visage of mortality.