Gonzo Marketing:Winning Through Worst Practices The Bombast Transcripts: Rants and Screeds of RageBoy
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Wednesday, August 06, 2003
Girl Can Rock
A month or so ago, maybe it was last year... No. It was June. Selene called me up one night all sort of tentative. "What's up?" I said. "Well you're probably gonna say no, but, well..." Long pause. Was she moving to Tijuana to take up a life of sin and hard drugs? Worse, was she planning to go to grad school? Selene is 13, so it probably wasn't either. Not right away. So what was it? "What is it?" I said. "You can tell me."

"Well, there's this band I really like playing Wednesday night in Denver, and um, er, well, uh..."

"And you want to go instead of getting together for dinner," I finished for her. I usually pick her up on Wednesdays at six and we go to some restaurant. Cruise around afterwards maybe, blasting her music loud as it will go. I'd miss her, but how gratuitously fascistic did I want to appear? So I said, "Sure, that's cool."

"No," she said. "You don't get it." Not the first time I've heard this. "Lauren doesn't want to go, so uh... you're probably going to say no, but... would you take me?"

Oh. I had to think about this. Lauren, her mom, had taken her to lots of rock concerts lately. I guess she was burned out, needed a break. Or maybe wanted to remind me she was doing all the heavy lifting in the parenting department. So it was my turn to go hang out in some huge hall with nine million kids and some freakazoid rockers with bad hair and eyeliner. Eyeliner is big out there these days. Can we blame Boy George? "Who's boy george?" Selene would say. So I never asked.

"Um, er, well, uh..." I said.

"I knew you'd say no," she said. "Never mind."

"Hold on," I said. "Who's playing?"

"There are four bands, actually," she said. "But the one I want to hear is called Evanescence."


"No, stupid," she said. Not the first time I've heard this. "Evanescence. They're pretty good."

"Ok," I said. "When?"

"REALLY!?!?" she said. "You will?"

Hey, what are dads for. "Sure," I said. So we went. And when we got to the Filmore (dusty shades of Bill Graham; "Who's Bill Graham?"), Selene says, "OK, you can hang out back here. I'm going to get up close as I can. Bye." It wasn't a suggestion.

Fuck, huh? But what was I expecting? I knew she'd ditch me as soon as we got there. Who wants her dad hanging around looking weird and old and, likely as not, eyeing the chicks. Of which, let me tell you, there were some fine. The first band was OK. Not great but not bad. Could be meat, could be cake, as Jeneane likes to say (was a new one on me). The second band, on the other hand, a local group from Boulder, was bad. Was embarrassingly dreadful, in fact. In fact, the fact that they didn't seem to know this themselves, or much care, was the embarrassing part. Bunch of little prancing faggots with no sense of rhythm or style or, really, anything. Not that I have anything against faggots, mind you. As long as they don't prance. And make me listen to them for a nearly goddam fucking hour. Jesus. I went out and smoked. Looked at the girls. I was born too early. Ahead of my time.

And finally, finally, here comes Evanescence. Instantly, they pump up the space to nine times its size, pack it with chopped guitar, hyperbass, overamped drums and wow... this diminutive girl who, not since maybe Gracie Slick, just blows me away. After the first three sets, I am not expecting this. They open with Going Under. See below. There's a full-length video on their site.

Just when I thought I'd reached the bottom...

A couple weekends ago, I dragged Selene into Border's. She hates when I do that. "Just five minutes," I say. "NO," she says. "It's never 'five minutes.'" I'm looking for Toward a Psychology of Being by Abraham Maslow (so I can make fun of his scrawny-assed "hierarchy of needs"; need this, motherfucker!) But I found out yesterday it's out of print except in the $50 hardback edition. So it was brief.

"Can I get a CD?" Selene asks me.

"May I get a CD?" (What an asshole, she's thinking. I know it. Girl's got good instincts.) "Sure," I say. "Long as the money holds out."

I see the Evanescence CD as we're leaving. "Should I get this?" I say. Selene shrugs, like what are you asking me for? Right. What am I asking her for. I grab it. We check out. I've been listening to Fallen at volume ever since. And volume I got. Believe. This morning I read the lyrics to Everybody's Fool...

never was and never will be

...and started putting this post together. It's been a long day.

Lyrically, Evanescence explores dark, introspective themes of love, desperation, and despair. But the group insists its fundamental message is a positive one. "The point of this whole record and band is to let people know that they're not alone in dealing with bad feelings or pain or anything that they go through," says Amy Lee, who pens most of the words. "That's life and that's human. They're not alone, and we're going through it, too."

Amy Lee is 20. Seven years older than Selene. Thirty-five years younger than me. End of the day, doesn't much matter. Human. Going through it. You ready? Alright then.

going under...

I'm going under
(going under)
drowning in you
(drowning in you)
I'm falling forever
(falling forever)
I've got to
break through

going under

a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy

a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked by impulsivity
All I can do is write. All I can feel tonight for you. For all of you. Coming up on the Hour of the Wolf, but I've been through that. You too. And more. I welcome the wolf tonight, look into his eyes, smell his breath on my face, bare my neck. Brother, take me, take this heart, these eyes, drink me into your wild illumination. I am your sacrament. You my release, my liberation.
All that. And I call you. On the telephone. Twice. The messages too short to say everything. Two short pieces of everything, then. Different ways of saying I love you. How high. How much. In my night here alone, my wolf alive. Me talking, taking notes. You sleeping. I dream you. has a grandiose sense of self-importance, e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements

frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
perfect by nature
icons of self indulgence
just what we all need
more lies about a world that...
never was and never will be
have you no shame don't you see me
you know you've got everybody fooled
preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation
So close. So far away. Impossible possible. As it is. Knowing this moment with you is precious, beyond words, unspeakable. But speaking anyway, writing, what I do. Doing what I can. Seraphic demon, deeper, keeper, caller number nine. A gentle presence, in sadness and laughter, knowing all we are, letting it be there between us, separating and connecting. I am looking at you with my wolf eyes tonight, consumed by love.
look here she comes now
bow down and stare in wonder
oh how we love you
no flaws when you're pretending
but now i know she...
never was and never will be
you don't know how you've betrayed me
and somehow you've got everybody fooled
And in this death awaken. These hundred million year mountains in darkness soon to dawn. Morning light lifting, rose-bellied clouds rise on thermals into wildest blue heaven forever. I am here tonight to tell you, to remind myself: love is real. believes she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people

identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self
requires excessive admiration

impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging, e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating
Another day. Almost a week ago now. Another of the days I'm learning to live through. Coming even, in unguarded moments, to savor, be surprised by. So standing there in Starbucks, must have been Wednesday, I guess, and you walk in. My radar is up, working fine.
without the mask where will you hide
can't find yourself lost in your lie
i know the truth now
i know who you are
and i don't love you anymore
At first just registering your presence. I am fascinated by women. Each so different. What is it about this one? She is a one like that. Like what? I wonder. Some meaning below thought. She is looking in the pastry case. "Those are good," I say. has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with her expectations
recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior
interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve her own ends

affective instability due to marked reactivity of mood, e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days
"Oh yes?" she says. "Yeah," I say, "delicious." She says "I don't know. They all look good." They do. She does too. There's some lilt in her voice, an accent? I ask. Is she German? No, better, a Dane? Turns out she's British. "But it's been a long time," she says, "seven years. So most of it's gone now." Her accent she means. And I'm thinking... What am I thinking? "Have you got to rush off?" I ask. "I do," she says. Then, "...in a bit."
"Come outside with me," I say. And foolishly, perhaps, as this is Boulder after all, "I'm going to smoke a cigarette." We pick up our coffees. "OK," she says. lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

chronic feelings of emptiness
often envious of others or believes that others are envious of her

inappropriate intense anger or difficulty controlling anger, e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights
All the chairs are taken. We sit on the ground. "I'm Chris," I say, extending my hand. "Helen," she says. Her hand is small in mine. We shake. Very cool and straightforward. I like her. She tells me things about herself. Things you would not normally tell a stranger. I am down inside her life immediately. Know what's she's looking at on her horizon.
I know this from my own life. Too well. Her eyes are kind, intelligent. My words sneak up, surprise her. She laughs. A double-take: How'd you do that? You got me. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms
it never was and never will be
you're not real and you can't save me
somehow now you're everybody's fool
Narcissistic personality disorder was introduced... in DSM-III (American Psychiatric Association, 1980).... DSM-III had interpersonal relationship features as one criterion, with the requirement that patients have two out of the four listed options. In DSM-III-R, these four options were made into three separate criteria: criterion 2 (describing exploitativeness), criterion 6 (describing feelings of entitlement), and criterion 8 (describing absence of empathy). The fourth option in DSM-III (i.e., relationships characterized by idealization and devaluation) was dropped in DSM-III-R because it overlapped with a similar criterion for borderline personality disorder. "I like you," I say. So much can be lost in a flicker, a moment passing, past. "A lot." No secrets, no subterfuge. Cards face up. We're laughing. Enjoying each other's company. "Are you in a position to accept," I say, "if I were to invite you out to dinner some night?" She looks at me. "Are you in a position to ask?" I think a second. Then wonder why. Habit. "Yeah," I say, "I am," flashing on the amazing simple truth of it. But not so simple for her, it seems. She tells me more. What's going on in her life. And I feel honored by her speaking to me this way. As if we've known each other a lot longer than these now perhaps ten minutes. I tell her about myself as well. The whirlwind history. Boulder to Japan. Carpentry to artificial intelligence. "How did you pull that off?" she asks. "That's some transition." I tell her I'm smart. "Real smart," I say. Not a brag. A fact. "Plus," I say, "I've been lucky. If you want to call it that."
I tell her about my unlikely triumphs (there've been a few), my losses. The one I'm feeling now. Working through. It's been a while, I tell her. It was bad, pretty bad there for a patch. And yeah, I'm still in it, I say. I don't remark on the improbable mountains, the imaginary sky, the joy of being there with her drinking coffee. Looks like she already knows that last part. I hope so. I say "Give me your phone number." A pause. A bit longer this time. "Give me yours," she says. She fishes pen and paper from her purse. I write. "I'm putting down my email address too," I say. And she says, "Oh good." I like how she says it. DSM-III-R criterion 1 (pertaining to reactions to criticism) was found to be a sufficiently poor performer that omission or radical revision in DSM-IV was indicated. Item x diagnosis analyses indicate that the criterion had similar (or higher) predictive power for paranoid personality disorder and borderline personality disorder.... Advisor input... suggested that adding defeat and rejection to criticism as precipitants for the narcissistic reactions might improve the functions of this criterion. Moreover, "rage" as a type of reaction to criticism... does not differentiate narcissistic from other "dramatic cluster" personality disorders....
These observations suggested that the criterion might be improved as follows: "reacts to criticism, defeat or rejection with sustained feelings of disdain, shame or humiliation (even if not expressed)." ... DSM-III-R criterion 8 ("lack of empathy") reflects a frequently cited feature of narcissistic persons in the clinical literature. [However,]... it was equally associated with anti-social and passive-aggressive personality disorders. This suggested that the overlap might be diminished by revising the criterion to specify that the narcissist's empathic failures are due to an unwillingness, not an inability, to identify with the feelings and needs of others.... Such a revision has been made in DSM-IV. "So you'll call me? Send mail?" I'm suddenly thinking there's so much to talk about. But I say (why do I always give fair warning?), "It might be dangerous for you to see me again." Depending on how you look at it. But I didn't have to explain. I told her I could be non-dangerous too, if she preferred, but that it wouldn't be my first choice. I don't remember how it came up, exactly, but it did. As it will. That I live more online than off sometimes. Done that, yeah. Been known to happen. "It's embarrassing," I say. "I'm 55 years old and thousands of people on the net know me as RageBoy." Not sure how she'll react to this very quite possibly bad news. And indeed, she looks at me funny for the first time. "Do you have a blog?" she says. "You know, I think I've been there." Seems one of you guys turned her on to me. Amazing. Thank you. "Yeah? Well, I hope you come back," I say. "Have I told you about the impossibly too-real mountains here? Did I mention that?"
"Surprisingly, Nicaraguans like iguana meat
and think of it as a great delicacy."

RED DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder
BLUE DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder
GREEN Everybody's Fool. written by b. moody / a. lee / d. hodges. zombies ate my publishing. Evanescence
AMY LEE'S LIPS The DSM-IV Personality Disorders, by W. John Livesley, The Guilford Press, 1995.
MAROON Selene Locke, homework assignment, 2-6-02.
private collection
in her field of paper flowers...
the goddess of imaginary light

2:22 AM | link |

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"RageBoy: Giving being fucking nuts a good name since 1985."
~D. Weinberger
28 October 2004

Chris Locke's photos More of Chris Locke's photos

Until a minute ago, I had no photos. I still have no photos to speak of. I don't even have a camera. But all these people were linking to "my photos." It was embarassing. It's still embarassing. But I'm used to that.

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