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Saturday, May 29, 2004
of course he's heavy
he's my brother
You'd think this fucking guy would let me know he has a website. But no, of course not. Now I know most of you are probably thinking, "That RageBoy, there he goes again with the comedy jokes." But no lie, Joe Locke, the stylish-lookin motherfucker on the right ("In the select group of contemporary vibes players, Locke has claims to head the list." says the Penguin Encyclopedia of Jazz), really is my "little" brother. I used to be able to kick his ass, and I once had to throw him into an ice-cold trout stream (I think it was the first time he got drunk; if not, he was sure acting like it was the first time), but I don't think I could take him anymore. Yes, he wears a lot nicer clothes than I do. He may even be better looking. Maybe. And he sure as hell plays the vibes a lot better (as I don't), but he's still a motherfucker. In case he finds this post in an odd fit of ego-surfing and wonders why I'm saying these terrible things about him, please allow us a private moment here.
[Joe, you asshole! This is my telephone number, OK? (720) 304-8077. Same as it's been for the last four years. So hey, if you're ever not tied up in a photo shoot, or not recording with some big-name jazz all-stars, give me a fucking call. Sheesh!]

OK, I'm back. Sorry, about that. A little pressing family business we needed to discuss. Anyway, here's a crop from a promo poster that big-name jazz all-star George Sessum sent me earlier this week. Apparently, Joe does this thing in his act where he emerges out of a large lake -- completely dry!

btw, I see on his site that he'll be playing in NYC, like tomorrow night (May 30, with Lew Soloff, Victor Lewis and Francois Mouton at the Rhone Lounge at 63 Gansevoort Street, whoever they are and wherever that is). But the tens of millions of corporate droids who read my blog probably won't see this until Tuesday (after the long Funes the Memorious Day weekend), so forget I even mentioned it. Oh yeah, and I guess I need to say that the shot below really is of Joe and Mikhail Gorbachev, and is in no way a result of my photoshop hacking. The boy does get around.

Joe Cool confers with Gorby on matters of state
(or maybe he's just lifting the guy's watch).

10:42 PM | link |



Yeah, and this is what it's like when I'm feeling reasonably OK. I've been up all night doing this weird shit. The birds are singing outside. I guess I might as well make another cup of coffee. But first, I want to say that this post is actually My Way (Sinatra/Vicious) of thanking some especially wonderful friends. Some, for accessing the astounding (not to mention appropriate) technology hidden behind this simple button:

And another -- oh Frankie! -- for sending me five pounds (!!!) of really good dark roast coffee beans. The hat check girl (so to speak) is just for you, Frank.

That's right folks. You don't have to send me money. You can send me STUFF instead! A nice bit of cheese, say, or some of those Oreos with the chocolate middles. Or perhaps an interesting salami, some edible underwear, or a funny post card (email is so 2001). The possibilities are literally endless. And don't worry, my tastes are simple. If you can't make up your mind, something like this is always a good bet...

Imperial Reserve Caviar, 1 kilo. (Iran)

In the current tight caviar market, securing the best requires the best connections. Our supplier hand-picks his stock from the top Caspian Sea sources and delivers a consistently exceptional product´┐Żno small feat. From the largest sturgeon, the largest and most precious of the pearls because they take twenty years to mature. Steel grey and buttery rich, they taste like a clean sea breeze.

Dean & DeLuca caviar ships in our signature jewel box to make an elegant statement upon arrival.

$2200.00 / 2.2 lb.

Here's where to send whatever, at least until they kick us out:

Chris Locke and/or RageBoy®
760 West Moorhead Circle
Apartment F
Boulder CO 80305


6:25 AM | link |

Wednesday, May 26, 2004
The Economics of Stupidity
(with longish prologue)

ain't seen nothing like him
in any amusement hall.
that deaf dumb and blind kid
sure plays a mean pinball!

who / pinball wizard
I awake into the black madness. Oh fuck, not again. Then I ask myself what I was expecting. That perhaps I'd wake refreshed as in some airbrushed TV ad, wherein people are always brimming with youthful zest and vigor; in a word, vitality. The very word Alice Miller reminds us represents the polar opposite of depression. Depression being the euphemism we moderns use for capitalism's drug of choice: despair. Despair, which I first heard described by Auden via Colin Wilson in The Outsider: "When life fails, put the car away. What's the sense of going to Wales." And I didn't even want to go to Wales. Had no plans at all for Wales. That I was aware of, that is. But this was after Freud, who told us we all had secret desires too shameful to admit to waking consciousness. Perhaps mine was a lurking need to drive to Wales -- pretty hard to do from North America, but remember, this is the language of the irrational. Mick singing back around then "...and it's a pretty hard thing... it's not easy..." Was he talking about his dick? Very possibly yes. Like Lennon sticking that "tit-tit-tit" reprise in "Girl" on Rubber Soul. Remember? He said he did it. In an interview in Rolling Stone. And I who had listened to that vinyl LP until it was more noise than signal was amazed I'd never heard that. The text transmogrifies. The modern mirror moves. The latter a lift from Buffalo Springfield. (Glossing "lift," I prefer to think "sampling" over "plagiarism" [context making all the difference {that makes a difference, as qualified by G. Bateson in defining information}]).

And the Canada geese are back this morning: flying in formation.

"Flight of ideas" says my Campbell's Psychiatric Dictionary, an invaluable resource for one such as myself. But let's damp it down to slo-mo for a minute. The lovers running to each other across a flowered meadow. The closer you get... Is it love or Desenex? But slowing it down here to back up a sec. I say "we moderns" with a snicker of high irony (though I'm, sadly, not high), because... well, because it's post time at Aqueduct and the high-strung thoroughbreds are champing at the bit. "When all else fails, we can whip the horses' eyes and make them sleep..." Thus the former Mr. Morrison of The Doors (of Perception: a nod to Huxley, another drug-induced nutcase), who knew the black madness -- intimately, one could say; even made a decent, if brief, career of it.

I wonder if I'm getting paranoid again. Then I start my browser and it dutifully defaults to the Amazon homepage where I am confronted by this graphical message. Is it speaking to me, directly? And I wonder, naturally: How do they know enough about me to recommend castration? The nerve! But wait. Should I take this personally? We used to call it "personalization" -- I once built a rather large website dedicated to the explication of this hugely questionable concept. But no, it's really collaborative filtering, which is my friend. Really and truly, no irony intended. A powerful technology. So powerful that I have adopted it in my own day-to-day (that is to say, quotidian) life: "dissociated personalities who thought these thoughts also thought these other thoughts..." The text of consciousness an endless self-referential chain of semaphores and semiotic serving suggestions. Flight of ideas. North by Northwest. Demonstration by example.

I used to be more ambivalent (if that's possible) about art. And, it goes without saying, but what the hell, let's say it: its state. Ambivalent because of its pretense and posturing, its feigned precocity, preternatural preciousness, and other possible P words hardly worth pursuing. And while all that's true, and all that sucks most despicably, I had an epiphany one day some years ago, and it was this: that without art our world would be one enormous fucking billboard. And a sort of corollary: that without rock and roll, love would be one very limited Chinese menu. No pain, no gain. No bane, no Cain. Who, as we know, slew Abel (who in turn, was basically functional ere he saw Elba). So imagine here a slew of other Biblical allusions. Yeah, like Hendrix doing Dylan doing the Prophets. As in: All along the watchtower, princes kept the view...

Cf. Habakkuk 2:1...

1. I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.

2. And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

3. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come...

But it never did. A lingering enigma of Old Testament hermeneutics. There was no word forthcoming, no vision to write upon tables or tablets or canvas or web pages, for that matter -- a failure to communicate utterly lost on one self-styled artist of my former acquaintance, whose lovely Habakkuk sampler is but a triumphal echo of a point well missed. Was it lost on Dylan? On the man who sang "no sound ever comes from the gates of Eden"? I doubt it. And Jimi, whether he read the Good Book or not, got it, grabbed it, nailed it in that rip-your-heart-out slide guitar ride.

Two riders were approaching...

Yeah, so that. Sorry, baby. Not a Chinese menu: one from Column A, two from Column B. Not a simple algorithm to get your needs met. I want to know what love is. I thought you could show me. First mistake. Maybe. Maybe not. Because all we can do is imagine what it is as we go along. And the deeper we go -- or might have gone -- the stranger it gets. If somebody bails (like oh, say, you, for instance), the exploration doesn't cease, as T.S. Elliot said. Like he was any more an expert than Foreigner. Nor much of a cook, either; after all, he burnt Norton (why he was trying to cook him in the first place remains an unsolved mystery of literary criticism; perhaps he was a little giddy.)

Intrusive thoughts they're called in psychoanalytic circles. And thank God for em, I say. Except the bad poison ones, that is, the panic attacks, the phobias, the obsessive compulsions: the black madness. To love you still. To still want to know what love is, more then ever. Could have shown each other. Could even now. Except... and it begins again. The ceaseless exploration. But all is not well, and it's hard to see how it will be. No crowns of flame on my horizon. No roses, no knots of fire. Best I can do these days is to punch up the radio in my car, and if I'm lucky get that rock...and... roll... hootchie koo...

Lawdy mama, light my fuse.

But you and I, we've been through that. And this is not my problem this morning. My problem is: yes, businessmen, now that you mention it. They can have my wine, they can till my earth. I gave up drinking and farming both. I mean, I can get organic carrots (not that I'd ever eat the things) at King Soopers down the road. More specifically, my problem is Eric Norlin. It's a long story. Which in itself is the even more specific problem. It seems that, in a moment of weakness, I promised to write a long story about his company: Ping Identity. In fact, I made certain contractual-sounding representations on this point, yet so far I have failed to, uh... let us say perform. Don't get me wrong, I've been writing it in my head for months now. I sometimes sit here laughing for hours on end. But I haven't yet gotten it, as we used to say: "down on paper."

So this morning, if for no other reason than to escape the black madness, I said to myself: "Well, deuce it all, Old Son, let's start that Ping thing today then, and no diversions!" But of course, I first had to take my meds, make a second cup of coffee, drink a little of it, have a cigarette... Right in the middle of which I inexplicably started having these intrusive thoughts. Not the ones I've attempted to give you some feeling for here. No. I was getting these weird little flashes about -- of all people -- Bill Gates.

Now look. I want to assure you here that this isn't a tricky intro to some fictive trope, some literary device to suck you in to yet another Microsoft joke. No, I'm serious. I was thinking about Bill Gates. And I never, ever, think about Bill Gates! How could this be?

Then it suddenly came to me, as these things often do: I'd had a dream. About Bill Gates. Holy shit. I mean, things have been pretty strange around here for the past couple years, but now that is weird. Weirder still, he was a pretty nice guy in my dream. Very approachable, personable. I liked him. And for some reason I was hanging in his office with a couple other guys, chatting about this and that. Nothing too serious. Actually, nothing I can even vaguely remember. Except: I say to him (obviously reflecting my "performance anxiety" with respect to the work I owe Eric Norlin and Ping) "Say, how about keynoting Digital ID this fall?" (Digital ID World being a conference Ping has put on the last couple years.)

But Gates gives me this unsettlingly odd look. Like: what are you, nuts? And somehow I know that he's not thinking this because he thinks keynoting Digital ID is a bad idea, but because he already did it last year. And I should know this. Which I don't. Which undermines my cred horribly, and I am, let us say, discomfited by another's awareness of my gross deficit in an area I should be hyperknowledgeable about. But I clearly have no clue. In fact, even awake, even right this minute, I have no clue. Did Bill Gates give the keynote talk at Digital ID? I don't think so. But the thing is: I'm not sure. He could have. And the even worse thing is: I was there.

For part of it anyway. But I only went for two reasons. Money and chicks. I didn't do too well on the chicks front, though I did see Esther Dyson. We have been strictly friends for quite some time now, thinking our secret was safe. But it was at the first Digital ID conference, in fact, that Doc Searls (who is unpredictable at best) outted us as longtime lovers. I mean, Esther and I, not Doc and I. It was a touching moment as Esther called to me across the standing-room-only conference hall, "We'll always have Paris!" (Yes, this really happened, Scout's Honor, though I am leaving out certain salient bits for the sake of, well... let's call it brevity).

btw, though there was no sex, Doc gave me a bagful of money. Probably because he felt guilty about the whole thing. Like I said, unpredictable.

Anyway, that's all I remember about the Bill Gates dream. And while I was embarrassed to be caught, as some might say, "with my pants down," I want you to know, Eric, that I did try. Contrary to what you must think, even in my sleep, I am on the case!

So now for another confession. The black madness makes you want to confess. While there is no real cure, Total Honesty is the only hope for partial, temporary relief. The confession is this: none of the foregoing has even the remotest connection to the title slug come-on: The Economics of Stupidity. Nor does my call to Halley Suitt this morning. I left a message on her cell: "The black madness is upon me. Please call." I make it sound almost fun, I know. But it's not. The black madness is awful, terrible, existentially debilitating. And painful too. Wow. Thankfully, when I'm in remission, I forget how it feels entirely, so am able to make jokes about it. This is sometimes called dissociation, which is a major feature of some forms of mental illness. Fuck, huh?

I don't have to explain all this to Halley. She already knows. This morning, I couldn't decide if I was Borderline or OCD. Obsession is a definite possibility. Duh. Compulsion? Is the Pope Catholic? In spite of the glaringly obvious conclusions I was forced to draw from these mentations, this was a shocking insight. Oh just great, I thought, I'm going for the Guinness Book of Records for World's Longest Diagnosis. I've got it all. PTSD, check. Disorganized Attachment, check. Occupational Hazard Disorder, check. Psychic Ebola, check. I'm beginning to wonder if this is hurting my chances with women.

Halley calls back a few minutes later. On her way to the beauty salon. I give her shit about it. Call her a Hair Horse. She objects vehemently to this emotional abuse, but we're both laughing, so I figure it's OK. Consenting adults having fun is all. And you're another! No, you are! Probably make a great marriage. The fact that it hasn't is why we're still friends.

"You're calling me to help you with your sanity?" she says.

"Well, yeah. Who else am I gonna call? Ghostbusters?" Though this gets me thinking. If there were a Ghostbusters, I'd be their first customer. That's it. Ghosts. I'm haunted. But I don't tell Halley this. There's no time. Halley has more to say than even I do. Which, if you can imagine how much I have to say (and I imagine you can), is really saying something. That's why she usually cheers me up. There I am confronting my unspeakable demons and Halley's telling me what she's picking off the supermarket shelves. "Chicken of the Sea," she says. "I can't figure it out. Is it tuna or chicken?" Chatting with her creates a certain perspective I seem to be much in need of.

"Sure, I know you're nuts," I say. "But you know it too, which is... well, I can't tell you how refreshing. All these fuckheads I have to deal with? They have no idea the black madness has eaten away their brains. They're happy with the results." I didn't actually say that. But something like that. And anyway, I'm saying it now. Ex post facto nihil in tres partes divisa est. And fuck Strunk & White, OK?

Oh yeah, and I told her she was the only one smart enough to get my graphical joke in the preceding post, which ends with "Against the Wind." Or the only one to semi-publicly snicker "out loud," as it were. This probably isn't entirely fair, though, as I'm sure many of you snapped your fingers and indulged in a silent, ultrahip nod of low-level appreciation.

OK, so now, finally, we come to the Economics of Stupidity part. And, as you may have already guessed, it involves books. (I like my Prada backpack, but I love my books!) Yes, well, there I was last night at Barnes & Noble, my home away from home, in the Psychology aisle, as usual these latter days -- not that I'm any saint -- when I made the mistake of turning around. For on the other side, facing Psychology, is the Relationships section. You know what I'm saying here? Of course you do. I mean, holy fucking shit! And given the fundamentally random perversity of the universe, my eye happened to alight on 101 Lies Men Tell Women -- And Why Women Believe Them. Imagine my excitement! I didn't buy it, of course, or read it, naturally, but as soon as I got home, I wrote the following review on Amazon:

A Work of Impeccable Scholarship May 24, 2004
Reviewer: Chris Locke (see more about me) from Boulder, Colorado
Dolly Hollander, Ph.D., has done us all a great service by delivering the deep insight and principled fairness that inform this book. 101 Lies Men Tell Women tells us something we all need to know, and constantly remember, about men: they are deceitful, unreliable and intrinsically malicious. Dr. Hollander is to be commended for pointing this out in language that is sure to inspire, enthrall and enlighten. I cannot say enough good things about this book. It is simply brilliant. As a man myself, I can confirm that men lie constantly. We can't help it. It's our nature. If you doubt it for even a second, reread this review!
Now I figure the kind of people who would read this execrable piece of shit book will be too fucking stupid to parse the final sentence. Thus, no one will be unduly insulted or have their sensitive feelings hurt, and only those with IQs sufficient to get it will know that I'm pissing on these loathsome, despicable, ignorant micromorons and would gladly rip their throats out were it not for the inherent limitations of the medium. My harmless little "ruse" (let's not call it a lie) seems more generous by far than the following, already posted on the site:
1 out of 5 stars Dory hates men, October 6, 2003
Reviewer: A reader from Reno, NV United States
The author obviously hates men. I was particularly amused by one of her examples in chapter 7. She relates how Donna who was engaged to Lance a soon to be Naval Academy graduate cheats on him while working as a camp counselor by having a summer love affair. Lance discovers the infidelity unbeknownst to Donna. Lance deceives Donna into believing he still loves her and will marry her after graduation. He continues to see her and have sex with her and dumps her when he graduates. The author scathingly vilifies Lance while forgiving Donna's deceitful betrayal. Golly, sounds like Donna got what she deserved and Lance got a little deserved payback that Donna can ponder about the rest of her life as she asks herself per the author's viewpoint "Why did Lance dump me?"
Another reader/reviewer writes: "Reading 101 Lies Men Tell Women is like having a psychiatrist, a good friend, and your mother all at your side..." Sadly, I fear this all too true.

All right, now juxtapose 101 Dog Turds Women Love to Masticate -- And Why They Taste So Yummy to Lamebrained Assholes, described above, with The Social Psychology of Good and Evil, which I discovered on the other side of the aisle. This seems a genuinely excellent volume of well written papers on the theme, including one which made me especially covet this book: "The Pursuit of Self-Esteem: Implications for Good and Evil." In a nutshell, its thesis (as much as I was able to read in the store before being overwhelmed by a craving for nicotine) is that self-esteem itself is not evil. It's the pursuit of self-esteem that leads to evil of every stripe. If I may be permitted to comment briefly:


Yet here's where the economics of stupidity comes into play. Very simply? The Social Psychology of Good and Evil costs $60, while 101 Dog Turds costs only $13.95 -- actually, $11.16 at the moment on Amazon. Which volume do you think most people will be reading? Go ahead, take a flyer. Thus is the intellectual fabric of our beloved nation being shredded. Thus has the entropy gradient -- far from being reversed or even flattened out a bit -- become the slippery slope to a hell as fiendish, nay more so, than anything Dante ever envisioned.

And while it has bouyed my spirits considerably to screed all this, I tremble to tell you: it has been at your expense. For the fact is, the truth is, the black madness is not, as some would have you believe, a fevered dream, a willful act of unreconstructed paranoia. No, the black madness is real, here today, sating its unholy hunger upon us all. And if the recent past is any indication, it's only bound to get worse. Much worse.

I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me.

Two riders are approaching...

God have mercy. If you're there, pick up.

3:36 PM | link |

Tuesday, May 25, 2004
more gratuitous negativity
oppose everything!

Against Method
Paul Feyerabend
Against Interpretation
Susan Sontag
Against Love
Laura Kipnis
Against Theory
W.J.T. Mitchell (editor)
Against Essentialism
Stephan Fuchs
Against Therapy
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
Against Nature
Steven Vogel
Against Relativism
Christopher Norris
Against Postmodernism
Alex Callinicos
Against Culture
Kirk Dombrowski
Against Fashion
Radu Stern
Against All Enemies
Richard A. Clarke
Against the Wind
Bob Seger

1:23 AM | link |

Monday, May 24, 2004
Fever Dream III
angle of reflection

6:18 AM | link |

Sunday, May 23, 2004
Fever Dream I
I think I have the flu

Fever Dream II
instant retribution

5:57 PM | link |

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

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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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