asynchronology IV - archive 2007.summer

 

 

2007.09.21.1355 East Jesus ~discovered~

Fresh off the turnip truck from Gateway Ranch by way of Arcosanti, with the obligatory instance of being pulled over by the Arizona police on suspicion of being a weirdo (I think that makes five,) I was just getting unpacked when three vehicles pulled up to East Jesus, carrying Slabbers and a film crew for an unnamed TV network. Apparently the dynamic duo of contemporary cinema verité, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, are cooking up a series about communities in the United States, and Slab City has caught their attention. I gave everyone a little tour and gave a lenghty interview on camera the following evening. A great crew of three, and an interesting perspective. It was a welcome surprise to perceive this place through the virgin eyes of others.

Moth did an awesome job of taking care of the place in my absence. The hummingbirds are returning, and it feels good to be home despite the incredibly grey skies and rain.

Rockette Bob may actually be driving one of his vehicles down here. Stay tuned.

 

2007.09.18.1157 Gnob Djob aka What I Did on My Summer Vacation

I just finished a lengthy renovation of this little SuperAdobe hut at Gateway Ranch:

Called the Gnome Dome by its creators, it symbolizes much if what is right, wrong, beautiful and broken here. It began as a weekend project with a lot of volunteer labor and wound up taking lots of time and money to complete, though it was never completed until, arguably, today. It's basically a big pile of bags filled with earth, wrapped in chicken wire and stuccoed. It was more or less completed in 2000. Since then, the exterior had succumbed to the elements and large cracks and gaps had appeared in the stucco, which then exposed the bags and caused them to break and begin leaking earth. The interior was just plain stucco - dusty, grey and inhumane. It was being used as a storage shed and was full of dust, scat, garbage and neglect.

My work began by donning a face mask with "toxic dust" filter cartridges and hauling everything out. I then swept away years of cobwebs, dust and shit, a few dead lizards and birds and some unidentifiable lumps of quasi-organic matter. Then I sprayed about 12 gallons of off-white latex paint onto the inside, brightening and softening the interior and making it inviting to the touch. The floor was painted in a light sandstone color, and I began a mosaic on the walls of found objects and trash from around the property - broken glass, nails, bottle caps, wire, buttons, etc. The gaping holes in the exterior (I was stupid not to take a few photos) were patched with simple adobe (clay, straw, water) and left to dry and harden for 4-5 days. Then the entire surface was covered with Quickwall surface bonding compound - 11x 50-lb bags, applied by hand. Jason fabricated a nifty stirrer, but it broke after mixing several batches; the remainder was mixed laboriously by hand. It was tricky applying the stuff toward the apex - the ladder didn't always find a good purchase on the coarse, soft cinder. But it's done now, and I'm relieved. This was my magnum opus for the six weeks I've spent here. It's time to move on. East Jesus and the ArtCar Fest are calling.

Here are a few last-minute photos of familiar views from Gateway Ranch:

top left: the Blue Barn with Roden Crater
top right: anonymous obelisk rescued from Burning Man 200?
middle left: cactus sanctuary with car parts and bones (by yours truly)
middle right: 60' 4-frequency geodesic dome and fire globe (by Mr. God) atop full-scale replica of Wupatki ruins amphitheater
bottom left: Navajo assemblage and Roden Crater
bottom right: Blue Barn and bus

Oh, yeah, and I built a new website for artist & friend Philo Northrup - philo.com

 

2007.09.08.1925 Rockette Bob the Bogeyman

"HOW DOES GRIFFY GET TO THE KRUX OF THE BISKET EVERY DAY ??? i want to drink wine and glue beeds to my truck in the twilight. risk jail for a cheep high and a laff. i am afraid here in america. too many cell phone cameras to document for the police. i know it is all for our wellbeing. turn in your neighbor. it is getting cloce to 9-11 again. yuppie scum with propane powered hot air balloons are allowed to drink wine in the park, but an artist cannot work and drink in his longtime neighborhood....yesterday, i was called in to the cops as i acessed my storage units. the one fellow who called, let his dauc-hound ( weiner dog ) bark till it lost its voice. all the time saying good dog, good dog, good dog. people are afraid. mostly of the boogie man. .........i am one of the boogie men-bob"

 

 

2007.09.05.2114 Rockette Bob vs Reno 911 - will he move to East Jesus???

"Hello Charlie...... i was almost arrested tonight. i was told that if i had an open glue gun and as much as a pop-top, next to one of my cars in reno , the cars would be towed and i will get to go to jail. i was told to get off of third street by sundown and make sure the autos are in different spots every day. it is nice to be loved................... where is the love-bob ???"

Ladies and gentlemen, tender friends, faithful followers of this blog - show Rockette Bob some encouragement. Tell him to move his fleet of art cars out of the city that is too self-obsessed to want them. Tell him to move to East Jesus. Write to him at rockettebob(at)yahoo(dot)com, OK? Thanks. He could probably use some gas money, too - there are three vehicles plus a big trailer plus two (?) storage units full of treasures he's rescued from the garbagemen that all need to travel about 600 miles... I'm ready to help him move at a moment's notice.

 

 

2007.09.03.1132 Rockette post-burn Bob

 "Hey Charlie.......i like what charlies bukoski said about cops. it is not that i hate them, i just feel better when they are not around. all the burners are rolling into town. the playa dust is on everthing. we got food, gas cans, bikes and the glee of knowing we are not with them on or off the playa. for years people talked about torching the man early. the balls were pathetic. a lot of pathitic people work for the man. it seemed important to be involed with feeding and watering of the workers. i thought getting to know people involved with the ideas and concepts of radical self expression would help me get out of the hum-drum of casino life. i think the s.f./ b.m.art thing is kinda hum-drum most of the time. not too radical. i am considered to be pathetic ......... i heard a fellow hung himself in an art exibit. he was dead for a few hours before they cut him down. no press on that. that poser from the city has cofee mugs with his photo on them. nothing like good marketing. maybe if he had  just killed the whole l.l.c. he would get the respect and admiration of the art community. he is just too much of a puss !!!    divine asked who was ready to die for art.  not us, we just want to sell them cofee, ice and water.........i will be bringing my brand of insanity to the soup kitchen today. letting drunks and homless people know it is allright to be an adult-child here in the land of excess........pee-wee-bob"

 

2007.09.02.1822 hats off to Stewart Brand

i don't think i've ever encountered a mind so polymorphously brilliant, so capable of making the occult art of injecting deeply abstracted knowledge from one sector into the "flesh" of another, seeminlgy unrelated one - biology into architecture, for example. his book, How Buildings Learn, is probably the single most head-spinningly enlightening book i've ever had the pleasure to read. his research is absolutely impeccable; his reasoning sound, and his imagination in approaching the subject of human buildings as dynamic objects rather than static is original, inspired and spot-on. It's one of those books so dense with useful information and concepts that I can barely get through half a chapter without needing a serious nap and some time to let it all sink in.

Delving into the history of Brand's activities up to the present leaves me virtually speechless. Some quotes of his:

"Civilization's shortening attention span is mismatched with the pace of environmental problems."

"Environmental health requires peace, prosperity, and continuity."

"Technology can be good for the environment."

"Information Wants To Be Free. Information also wants to be expensive. Information wants to be free because it has become so cheap to distribute, copy, and recombine too cheap to meter. It wants to be expensive because it can be immeasurably valuable to the recipient. That tension will not go away. It leads to endless wrenching debate about price, copyright, 'intellectual property', the moral rightness of casual distribution, because each round of new devices makes the tension worse, not better."

 

2007.09.01.1820 i start fires

they do not like me
because they know i am capable
of setting things on fire

i walk tall after each blaze
i made them feel
put to the test

i once held them close to my heart
they let me down
i want to purify them
with my fire

- Paul Dixon, 1982 (an old friend of mine presumed to be rotting away in a mental institution in upstate New York)

 

2007.09.01.1413 a man burned early

Around the time of the lunar eclipe Tuesday morning, the man to be burned by tradition on Saturday was set ablaze. At this point is it pretty clear that the cause of the fire was arson, and the perpetrator was a mouthy, obnoxious, world-class dickhead named Paul Addis. To all you people out there -- friends, enemies and strangers alike -- who think this was somehow cool, or that Paul deserves any sympathy or help for this, FUCK YOU. Fuck you twice. Arson is not cool or funny or prankish or instructive. Arson is an act of violence and destruction. Addis claims that he and his (perhaps completely ficticious) "Black Rock Intelligence" henchmen had gone to great lenghts to ensure no one would be injured through this act of arson, but that's sort of like discharging a firearm into a crowd and claiming it was OK because you're an excellent marksman. If you want to waste money bailing this violent, arrogant assclown out, fine. His criminal record (assault, bad gun play, violating court order, who knows what else) is going to make things very difficult for him this time around, along with the fact that his statements belie sociopathic, adolescent rage from an attention-starved Napoleon complex. Considering his stated motives and his disdain for the direction Burning Man was headed, its betrayal of its traditional ban on coprorations, and the "newbies," his was essentially a hate crime. For the record, I have gown to despise Burning Man too. But I'm satisfied to simply avoid it. Addis feels he must "make a stand" and give everyone a "history lesson." I sincerely hope he is given a stern lesson himself. Fuck you, Paul. I really mean it. You have shown us nothing but your own stupidity and penchant for violence. You have proved nothing except that you are a hopeless case, in need of a good long rest in the pen. Great promo for your upcoming US tour of Gonzo, though, and good luck with that. Prison's not so bad, really. Maybe if you run your mouth a lot and act real tough, those 6' bodybuilders with knife scars won't shiv and rape you too often.

To those who approve of Paul's actions, wake the fuck up. Imagine for a minute someone you know catching fire underneath the man, possibly burning to death because so few people were around. Seems to me too many people are blinded by their love for what Burning Man once was or might have been. The offhand sarcastic remarks relating to this event leave me cold and feeling sick. The end in no way justified the means.

Scott Beale's exhaustive coverage on Laughing Squid:
http://laughingsquid.com/burning-man-set-on-fire-early-arson-is-to-blame/

Wired's interview with Addis:
http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/news/2007/08/addis

Cool merchandising commemorating Addis's puerile stunt:
http://www.cafepress.com/arse_o_nist

 

2007.08.31.2128 no th in gt od ow it hk nu th / ou th er et oo lo ng

in the head?
yes, in the head. he shot himself in the head.
he shot himself in the head?
yes, in the head. he put the gun to his head and he shot himself in the head.
he put the gun to his head?
he put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger.
why did he shoot himself in the head?
he put the gun to his head and he shot himself in the head by pulling the trigger with the gun to his head.
so he shot himself in the head?
he put a gun to his head. he shot himself in the head.
was he angry afterwards?
he shot himself in the head. the wound did not kill him. he was angry. he then put the gun in his mouth and shot himself in the head through the mouth.
he shot himself in the head through the mouth?
he put the gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.
was he angry?
when he put the gun in his mouth and shot himself in the head he died. he wasn't angry.
he died?
he shot himself in the head.

 

2007.08.31.1051 manifestation

A job in Silicon Valley teaching computers to talk
Living in a mini-bus in a casino parking lot; showering at the gym
Eating sushi, pho, bulgogi, Burger King
Shooting league Wednesdays
Technical conferences
Playing poker in the evening
Drinking with Clampers
Listening to KFJC, watching movies from Netflix
Camping out every weekend at Grant, Coe, Mt. Madonna, Half Moon Bay
WiFi everywhere
Perfect weather all the time
Paying taxes, social security, retirement funds, investments
A bicycle to ride to work on
And a black Prius to drive
From a little bungalow in Sunnyvale
With a garden in back, and a dog
Fancy beer in the fridge
A woman who comes to visit sometimes
Road trips every now and then, Burning Man every other year
And promotions
And aging
And fading out
And philisophical pause
And oblivion
And happiness

 

2007.08.30.2341 Rockette Bob on the Green Man

"YEP. i think the green stands for  inexperiance also. a lot of suv's with new bikes and all the cool items, i.e. a neon straw cowboy hat. i hear 70 thousand. i hope the l.l.c. gets the green. i am sure they will share it with us !!! the cops chase me around. today, it was 50 bucks for not being between the parking lines. trailer and truck in two spaces, but the hitch was not on the line between them. america is great, reno the best.  if you get to town look me up. i am thinking about chucking it all. the health club pool and a quiet room just might be the future for me. it is a great deal of agavation to do my artwork. the highs from it are not worth the lows. they say insanity is contuning to do the same thing expecting a different outcome.........take care...bob"

2007.08.30.2246 Amanda X....

I got your message. Sorry I didn't call tonight. I'll try you tomorrow. X, - c

 

2007.08.30.2223 six years of transcendental, mindless sex

Sometimes I do bad things and get rewarded for them. Other times, I do good things and get punished. Can you explain this? Usually, when I have sex with a woman I remember her name for many years. Not at Burning Man. No, some of them just disappeared into the dust, never to be seen again, nor their names to be remembered. I have probably forgotten to list a few here.

Somewhere out there tonight, someone observes a phantom VW bus traversing the playa, serving phantom chocolate martinis to thin, wispy memories that briefly materialize out of the alkali dust, lick their lips, then sublimate into the passing flamethrower's exhaust plume. Ghostly frotage on dusty grey lambskin; chemical marriage; gourmet sausages over charred flesh, black, crusty hands. O lost goddesses of sleep deprivation, revelry and pointless shagging, I salute you:

K.
A.
L.
R.
R.
S.
E.
C.
???
R.
???
I.
C.
L.
R.
???
N.
??? + ???
H.
D.

[Solution to the above puzzle in next week's issue.]

2007.08.26.2225 David Lynch, PayPal, Pb and rat shit munching on my brain

I fucking hate PayPal. Here's what I see when I log on to withdraw some money I just received:

It's a browser-independent bug. Yes, this is the "US" page. I am not amused. They're gonna ding me something like $17 on the $300, too. Can you email them? Hell, no. In order to provide you with the best possible customer service, you have to fill out a form on their website. In Chinese. PIGFUCKERS.

Meanwhile, Mr. Lynch is up to his usual tricks: burrowing deep into my brain and laying eggs there. Though I often feel a strong desire to actually meet him and compare some notes, I secretly prefer to remain beholden to a final few personalities in this world, David Lynch included. I've come dangerously close to too many people I admire. A few of them have even reached out to me. Though immensely flattering, these brushes with the Great Mysteries are horrifying as well. Never join your favorite band, marry the prettiest girl in the world nor peer into the kitchen of your favorite Chinese restaurant. I have made all those mistakes already.

A glut of Twin Peaks episodes washed down with INLAND EMPIRE and I'm already having flashbacks of eastern Europe, grey skies over Warsaw (yes, yes, I know, it was filmed in Lódz. don't confuse me with the details. I am a bazillion miles from nowhere, probably directly above an Anasazi burial site, watching orange lightning hundreds of miles away, Vier-Sieben, Cottbus, imagining Harry Dean Stanton playing the role of Leonard Knight in a post-mortem documentary (post-WHOSE-mortem?), considering the sickening gullibility of all my friends and relatives who horded and stockpiled in preparation for Y2K and those who probably still believe in Satanic Ritual Abuse and UFO abduction, and of course all the fundamentalists I have to sidestep. Poland is no place to be in winter,) Penderecki on a hissy cassette tape turned way up on my stereo at Wilmer St, and how creepy it feels to be a next-door neighbor to that vast wasteland beyond Hollywood known as the Inland Empire, a land of paranoia, dust storms, decaying Americana, stupid cops and the armed, razor-wired California HQ of the Chyrcz uff S.xcintooology.

Once while I was living in Germany, I found myself within a few kilometers of the little town I was conceived in. My father had passed on to me his hazy recollections - the name of the landlord, Kerz and the address, Bahnhofstraße 18. I rang the bell, and was greeted by a man who identified himself as Herr Kerz, probably in his mid-fifties, consistent with my parents' age. He had lived there all his life, yes, but did not remember any American lodgers. Obviously, then, I was conceived in a dream and do not actually exist.

When I was a kid I got eposed to a lot of lead through my interest in electronics. I was soldering at age seven or eight. For some reason, my parents were convinced I was some kind of precocious savant, and regularly signed me up for activities I was way too young and stupid for. Too late now, I suppose...

I've been cleaning out years of toxic dust, neglect and the biological waste of animals from a small building here at the ranch, inspired by the sandbag architecture of Nader Khalili, currently Gulag'd as a storage shed for stuff these people are too lazy to throw away, and some tiki torches. With a little love, it would be far too beautiful for such rude treatment. I guess it's one of those forgotten artifacts of a marriage gone bad, diverging viewpoints and trajectories and no one wanting to be reminded of their dreams laid waste. Everything on this land seems to get sucked down into the mile-thick layers of coarse volcanic cinder; the ground is bone dry minutes after a torrential downpour. You can almost imagine getting pulled down into it like quicksand. Beetles disappear into it, and entire villages, civilizations....people out here "see things," lights in the sky... the fact that I am still alive is proof that the world has gone insane.

 

2007.08.23.2056 anyone here remember Stanley Milgram?

"Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority."

- Milgram, The Perils of Obedience, 1974

Aside from his in/famous Milgram Experiments in which subjects were instructed to electrocute their peers (actually stooges mocking pain,) Stanley is also the father of another noteworthy experiment -- particularly in the context of our jet-age, info-web-tacular "myspace" generation: the Small World Experiment, which led to the now ubiquitous concept of the small world phenomenon and the "six degrees of separation."

Milgram, I learned today, died at 51 in his home town of New York City. I have to say I admire the hell out of this man, whose thinking pierced the soft underbelly of our post-war complacency and our insectoid clinginess to figures of authority. To identify, highlight and cleanly demonstrate the ingrained weaknesses of the human mind (or, for that matter, the mind - if rats, pigeons and neural networks are all as suceptible to superstition we are, what does that say about the anthropomorphic model?) is IMO one of the greatest services one can perform. For how can an unknown enemy be engaged? How can we know what we don't know?

This all reminds me of some words generated by a younger Michael R. Gira:

you can't kill what you can't see
you can't think what you don't own
you can't rub out what you don't recognize

The rest of the song pays homage to the concept of poisoned obedience (Swans, Thug)

Also on my mind: Richard Dawkins' nearly fanatical hatred of religion** (no more rational, really, than superstition itself,) dirtbag architecture, the small rattlesnake I met yesterday afternoon, a review of six years of sex at Burning Man, MIT-Scheme, episodes of Twin Peaks I've never seen, moonlight in my life.

** don't get me wrong here, Dawkins is The Man. Dawkins has pierced the soft underbelly of stupid religious ga-ga, and I can't blame him for adopting such a firm anti-religion stance, given the abuse he no doubt has to suffer daily from inbred vitriolic fundamentalist Xian dimwits who believe the earth is only 6,000 years old. i sense, however, that he has gone too far even in his own terms, positing that there would be no fanaticism like suicide bombers in the absence of religion. here i think he gives religion too much credit, and forgets that humans tend to be basically brutish, nasty, vengeful types in the first place. additionally, i can't think for a moment that global atheism would make the world any nicer a place to live - eg Mao, Stalin, etc....

I admit I am completely avoiding discussion of what's happening here at the ranch. Maybe I'll get to that. Maybe. I still sort of feel like the traveling salesman with the broken-down Model T in one of those jokes about the farmer's daughter, though the situation is incongruous.

 

2007.08.22.2106 "charlie" finds "bob" in the trash

confess you sins - repent - learn to obey - SEND CA$H - C.O.B.T., PO Box 40441, Reno, NV 8950
IT IS EASIER FOR A CAMEL TO GO THROUGH THE EYE OF A NEEDLE THAN FOR A RICH MAN TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

 

2007.08.15.2028 Rockette Bob stars as "Mister Sadhu"

"SOME INDIAN FUCK< DRESSED IN MUD> WITH A PAINTED THIRD EYE.....not me, must be someone who looks like me.........years ago at harolds club,  i pushed on a dice game with an eyeball painted in red lipstick on my forehead. it got rid of the bad play and made room for some tippers. i saw a tatoo the other day i liked. INSANE in the center of a guys head. kinda helps in the same way, but i am afraid to do it. perhaps an inkpad at philo's party.......bobby"

CAN YOU SPOT "ROCKETTE BOB" AMONG THE SADHUS?

 

2007.08.14.2034 which is worse?

Which is worse - working too hard or not working enough?
Which is worse - more dreams than you can handle or none at all?
Which is worse - starvation or morbid gluttony?

Which is worse - the liar who knows he's lying or the liar who believes his own lies?
Which is worse - finding a condom in your girlfriend's vagina or unearthing a Scientology library in her closet?
Which is worse - going to Burning Man or not going to Burning Man?

2007.08.13.2107 scattered thunderstorms

Lighting in every direction, rain here and there, dogs fighting, a peculiar smell in the trailer, work, staring out into the distant sandstone mesas, watching the light change, one beautiful day after the next, cold beer, coffee in the morning, trying to understand the obfuscated dynamics of a microtribe in a remote location. Nearby there is a mind-bogglingly enormous waterfall. Right in the middle of arid high desert. Just unbelievable.

photo by Jason LaFleur (the other guy out here doing stuff.)

I don't hear much from the rest of the world these days. I have internet connection (with interruptions) but no phone service unless I'm near Leupp Rd. So far everything feels completely wrong and completely right; I never want to leave; I have to split tomorrow; I am comfortable and happy; I am completely miserable.

I feel like a mind trapped in a fleshy hulk I'd rather shed completely and forever. I yearn for lengthy conversations with other minds not originally human - "pure" strong AI or enhanced dogs, aliens, trees...

I wish it would clear up tonight so I could see the Perseid meteor shower in the moonless sky....

 

2007.08.10.2320 eyeball; triangle; flame

Flagstaff Report #1: can't even begin to describe what's happening. it's like being pulled down a whirlpool. there are eyes peering at me from immeasurable distances, songs in my ears from beyond the Navajo creation stories. little black bugs in my beer. i have dreams about my ex still being mad at me while her new man massages my shoulders. at last I am connected, but now I am tired. I will tell you more later.

 

2007.08.05.2040 the centipede

 

2007.08.03.0034 sabotuers: keep wasting my time

you, who send me on meanigless errands
you, who must explain your reasons once again
you, who push me over the edge
and laugh when i catch myself
you who hold it out for me to grasp
and then fail,

you, with your filthy, outstretched finger
you, who piss on my leg
and swear to god it's raining,

stop wasting my time
just please fucking stop wasting my time

you, who make me wait five minutes for my change
while you talk to your boyfriend on your cell phone,
you, who deliberately stop the bus twenty feet
from where i stand in order to make me walk,
you, who drive next to me for ten miles
trying to take that perfect picture
while traffic builds up behind you
you, who ask for spare change
as you look down and see my cheap shoes, worn to the heel

without you my life would be meaningless
so please, keep wasting my time
for the love of god, please keep wasting my time

it's never too late to admit you are a complete failure
it's never too late to give utterance to your self-loathing
never too late to shoot yourself in the head in public
never too late to kill your wife, your dog, your family
with the cameras focussed on you, in shaking hands,
from across the street

never too late to be beaten to death
by stupid, frustrated cops
with nothing better to do

never too late to unleash
your inner demons
your murderers, rapists, lynch mobs and arsonists

without you i am nothing
without your destructive drives i fade into obscurity
it is your resistance that keeps me alive, fuels my motivation
to live just one more hour
and enjoy the smell of your burning flesh
on the mighty ocean's
sweet breeze...

so please, keep wasting my time.

 

2007.08.02.1650 Arcosanti: no

At least things are resolving themselves. Manufacture of Internet Archive Scribes R6 will likely commence in early October. Today Arcosanti's league of managers voted against allowing my dog to stay in Camp while I attend the August Workshop. I'm rather surprised by this decision, but not entirely. So my stay here will be through Saturday afternoon, whenever I leave for Prescott to join Mr. & Mrs. God's Planet Amphibia fundraiser. That is, unless I shoot my dog. I actually thought about it in a vanishingly brief moment of nihilistic narcissism. So be it. I'm trying hard no to be bitter about it, but I'm failing. I'm only human. Things seemed so stacked in favor of this path that I had already shifted all my internal gears.

It's been a nice time here. I've had some time to study, relax, not get boiled to death by the heat of the Imperial Valley. I watched the Agua Fria river suddenly swell after monsoon rains in the mountains, nearly toppling a great blue heron standing in the mere trickle and mud. I got a closer glimpse of the place, its plusses and minuses all still there, just now in finer detail. Arcosanti is inertia, resistance to change. It is overly concerned with its own safety. It is waiting for its creator to die so it can move forward. And it is an absolutely essential prototype for the kind of extended, integrated engineering of human habitat our kind must necessarily embrace, sooner rather than later, if we are to ever strike a balance between growth, advancement of technology and the biosphere we still depend upon for our survival. There is more distilled common sense in the design of this place than anywhere else I've seen, despite its flaws. We humans within are just like the little pipe-cleaner figures in an architectural model - expendible, interchangable, ultimately unimportant.

I'll be back.

But now I see just one opportunity to glide through the months of August and September.....stay tuned.

 

2007.08.02.1646 open letter to Black Rock Solar / BMORG

Please read this very carefully.

I am a Burning Man participant of six consecutive years.  Like everyone else, I have sacrificed an enormous amount of time, energy, love and money into making Burning Man the singularly amazing event it is.

I have always been a bit circumspect about volunteering for a FOR-PROFIT organization.  But this year the BMORG's refusal to offer a ticket in exchange for two solid week's work, pre-event, sent me through the roof.  It takes a lot of chutzpah to ask someone (extremely qualified, in this case) to come out to the desert, build an enormous solar array in exchange for rice, tofu and water, then leave before the event begins.  I can't think of a more anti-Burning-Man sentiment.  I was really not amused.

I am in no condition, financially, to attend Burning Man this year.  Not that you should care, but I do most sincerely resent being asked to volunteer my time and effort (and transportation money, etc, etc) in exchange for absolutely nothing.  It hurts.  It just really, really hurts. 

So please, refrain from sending me any more WORK-FOR-NOTHING offers.  I don't want them, and in fact I strongly resent them.  I'd like to hear what Burning Man might be interested in doing for ME, thank you.

Have I made myself perfectly clear?

-chasterus

 

2007.07.31.2142 when to take a break

"You should go home if you are thinking suicidal thoughts. You should take a break or go home if you think homicidal thoughts for more than a few seconds. You should send someone home if they show serious mental malfunctioning or signs of mental illness beyond mild depression. If you are tempted to be dishonest or deceptive in a way that you normally are not due to fatigue, you should take a break."

-- Robert L. Read, How To Be A Programmer

 

2007.07.31.2010 perilously fortunate

"When you come to the fork in the road, take it." -- unknown

It's nice to know Universe has a sense of humor, or at least dramatic irony. I seem to be locked in a feast-or-famine dichotomy. It's like being way out in the desert, praying for rain, and being nearly killed by a flash flood. No less than three employment opportunities, each in very diffrent ways attractive, have appeared on the horizon today. I've got the foundry job locked up if I want it, and I can take the required 4-week workshop that begins in just a few days. A place I've never visited but heard wonderful things about is calling my name, with promises of beautiful weather and interesting construction work from now to mid-October. Finally, Internet Archive has ordered parts for a round of twenty (then, perhaps, another forty) Scribes and just hasn't got around to notifying me yet.

The Arcosanti foundry is a six-month commitment I must make (or not make) by Sunday. The experience would be amazing, the lifelong investment would be golden, and the pay would totally suck.

The Ranch is a complete unknown, but presumably flexible, no strings attached, and also low-paying, if at all. Cabiria describes it as the center of the universe, and swears I'll never leave if I go there.

And, of course, the Scribes.... beaucoups moneys, enough to elevate me from financial misery in just a few weeks. But it's high-paid drudgery in a place I hate (financial district of San Francisco.) Nothing much good would happen to me during that time. By day I would work; by night I would drink and watch movies until I fell asleep.

Let's see if I can manifest all three by pronouncing the wish....perhaps Universe reads my blog....

I want to do construction and whatever else there is to do at Gateway Ranch through late summer / early fall, then drive to San Francisco to roll out a bunch of Scribes, then head back to Arcosanti and make my six-month investment. Meanwhile, I want Moth to be happy as a clam house-sitting East Jesus in my absence. At the end of all that, I would be out of debt, have a little money saved up, be a few levels farther down the Rabbit Hole and be ready for more of the same or something different.

All right, Universe, fork it over!

 

2007.07.28.1305 a personal website is masturbation in the mirror of the great information superhighway

 

2007.07.27.1636 smells like Arcosanti

I found a caretaker for East Jesus, in for the short-, medium- or long-term. A stupid fucking nice young hippie named Moth. Be kind to him. I'm off to Arcosanti to seek my fortune and unbury myself from a growing mountain of debt. I may be gone a while. Think of me.

At Arcosanti, I will have to put in an honest day's work, be less like myself, and keep my eyes on the prize. I may wow them or be thrown out. I think the peacocks like me. That's a big plus. Paolo may die at any moment. That's probably a minus. I will have to live in one of those tiny 8' x 8' "huts." But I will have electricity, WiFi and nobody will care one way or the other if I do some add-on construction.

At Arcosanti, there are nightly Pagan rituals in which the newborn females are eaten by the Elders. Just kidding; they only eat the males. A mule foaled yeaterday. Need I say more?

At Arcosanti, I will have repeat sex with every man and woman between the ages of 26 and 91, including the incontinent invalids. I will not engage the collared peccaries in this manner.

At Arcosanti, I will be free to express myself as I truly am: a torn, weeping, verminous old man parading as young chasterus. No more lies, no more godlings, no more smell of socks inside those cardboard boxes I burn to keep warm in the hot desert summer. No more Salman Rushdie, no more Butthole Surfers, no more creosote sage, Bushmill's, "waga-waga" nor simple, calorie-efficient diterpenoids. I am now truly a free man.

 

2007.07.27.1643 Rockette Bob: sex sex sex

"Hello mr.C. your site is looking GREAT !!!!.......Woodie sent a photo of the flyer to you. he has other photo shit of mine also. i got a phone and number, but i lost the # and hid the phone so i will not glue it on the truck. i will get the # again and send it to you,but i am not gonna carry that thing. i looked at an old meat refer-box truck but it stunk like blood. a nice touch for the antartica type thing. smell the clubed baby seal while enjoying your burningman green vacation....i think i will look a little longer............ honney bunney."

 

2007.07.26.2108 crime and punishment in the United States

I support only two forms of punishment by the state: execution; and civil service. Incarceration as rehabilitation is the stupidest idea I ever heard of. Incarceration is a reward to those too poor or lazy to fend for themselves; it is torture to anyone who might actually wish to become a functional, productive member of society. Prisons waste resources, time and effort, and are wide open to opportunistic corruption and animal sadism. What kind of human enjoys seeing another human kept in a cage?

I would advocate the death penalty only for obviously incurable, violent or heavily damaging offenders. And that, only within the context of a very few, well-defined laws: don't hurt anyone, don't kill anyone, don't get sexual with (unemancipated) children, don't cause mayhem or great destruction to property. Taking your country to war of aggression under false pretenses would be punishable by execution, for example. Stealing a car would not. Theft would be punishable only by restitution through actual work. So-called victimless crimes would not be addressed, nor any acts between mutually consenting entities.

As an example, take the rotten, no-good son of a bitch who stole $40,000 worth of copper wiring from a rural fire department to sell as scrap for drugs. The drug question has no place in the equation; that's his business. But given the fact that his behavior potentially endangered the lives of many, this would be a strong candidate for execution. Why waste time trying to "rehabilitate" such an idiotic, self-centered asshole? Offhand I would say, if this were a first offense, a very stern civil service term would be the sentence. On a subsequent offense of this nature and gravity, execution. Let's just quit pretending that all human life is precious. Some humans are downright parasitic, destructive to the majority, and should be erased.

 

2007.07.25.2004 desert cumulus

 

2007.07.25.1844 The Infantile Mystical White-Bearded Bullshit God

credo in unum deum.....NOT....

I believe the Universe exists. I believe that God is Universe and Universe is God. My Bible is the object itself: Universe. Not the famed, self-contradicting collection of lies and bullshit foisted upon us by so many so-called Christians. The Truth lies in investigation of Universe, which is probably a large enough set of observable phenomena as to be practically infinite to human consciousness, thus a source of endless awe and wonder -- no less so than the Infantile Mystical Bullshit White-Bearded God.

I believe humans are generally untrustworthy, opportunistic, small-minded descendents of arboreal apes, driven primarily by their myriad, inexorable tropisms. As a result of their surprisingly efficient cognitive heuristics, they carry with them the burdens of superstition and the inability to think of themselves as being mistaken about anything. Appealing to their "higher nature" is a grave error.

I believe the heat makes me cranky.

 

2007.07.24.1941 Burning Man can kiss my...

A friend forwarded me information about a volunteer position: two weeks, pre-event, setting up the solar panels that will power the man this year. Sounds nice, right? Well, they won't comp you a ticket for that. "There is *sensitivity* [emphasis mine] about the work-for-ticket mentality..." Oh, isn't that just warm and fuzzy? I've got *sensitivity* about being handed such mind-numbingly lame BULLSHIT. A multi-million-dollar corporation wants someone like me to drive 1,000 miles to the Black Rock desert, work my arse off under the hot sun for two weeks and then send me on my way before the fun begins? FOR FREE???? And then that god-awful excuse about sensitivity that sounds just like a certain Antioch College housing director who had to invoke the ghost of his alcoholic Native American grandmother on a Ouija board before making any nonstandard decisions... Gimme a break. Today I officially join the FUCK-BURNING-MAN bandwagon. No faith, no confidence. Harumph. Don't get me wrong -- I really love the event, and most of the people who make it what it is. It's just the lame dullards taking your money at the gate I'm becoming infuriated with.

I'm happy to be back home at East Jesus, where it's insanely humid and over 100F now. Waiting for the thunderstorms that never seem to come... My father's been through some pretty rough abdominal surgery but was able to speak with me on the phone for a few minutes this morning. I don't know what his long-term prognosis is and I will probably keep the details, for the most part, off this blog. Right now he's just hoping to be able to fart again.

Yeah, and I'm going through a big black-and-white phase, in case you hadn't noticed.

 

2007.07.19.2327 escape, part three


walk, compsci, craigslist, porn, shower, compsci, phone, food, walk, compsci, craigslist, walk, walk, food, compsci, beer, beer, food, porn, toons....sleep.

 

2007.07.18.1849 escape, part two

Half Moon Bay - The Beast - Reno - Colma - San Jose... A few reminders of why I don't play poker anymore, many nights of sleeping in the driver's seat in rest areas, skin problems from neglectful hygiene. No answers, only more questions. I've had to break some eggs. I've had to reconsider everything. I've had to look some things in the eye, peer into dark corners and clear away some of the cobwebs that have grown out of thin air over my thinking. Luckily, there's still something underneath that looks like me. News of an ill health in the family sweetens the deal with the wispy toothache of "why me? why now?" I'll be laying low here for a little while longer -- this San Jose Memory La. Looking up into the blue, blue sky through the lush dark green branches and hummingbirds and perfect weather all year round. A place that used to be orchards, now covered over with endless bedroom community sprawl punctuated by lovingly manicured high-tech ghost towns and parking lots. On the ground there's a crack, a crevice. Fog in the Santa Cruz mountains; sunlight on the lazily breaking blue-green Jell-O waves of the Pacific, polarized cold watery violence against the slow, invisible erosion on the bleeding edge of The West.

Reno: somehow detaching myself from my ornery & grouchy imaginary friend opened my eyes to some of the beauty that lurks there, previously unobserved. New layers of hope built upon the piles of neglected bones, the miasma of bad bets, cancer, alcohol and degeneracy slowly burning out under the relentless, indifferent sun. I dropped $525 on automechanical work. At least the overheating problem's been taken care of. Right around the corner from the Church of Broken Toys.

For what it's worth, I'm opening the books again. Today I began online studies at MIT with their OpenCourseWare. Many of their graduate and undergraduate coursed are available in this manner, for free. All you need is the will and the discipline. After all these years I'm just sick and tired of not having an MS in computer science....

 

2007.07.10.0758 escape, part one

On Thursday, July 6th the temperature reached 120F at East Jesus. So far, I had been comfortable with everything up to 115F, and could bear a few degrees above. 120F is another beast entirely. My drinking water was the temperature of a hot tub; wetting my clothes brought no relief. I experienced visual distortions akin to those brought on by psychedelics. I felt terribly thirsty but could not bear the thought of actually drinking. Plato could hardly stand up, let alone find his water dish. The forecast for the following day was again 120F plus high humidity. I decided this experiment was not worth my life, and took a vacation.

With more work to be done on the ArtCar Fest website, I gave Philo a call and suggested we work together at his place for a few days to get it finished. He concurred and urged me to get out of the Slabs, offering me a place to stay for as long as I needed to ride out the life-threatening heat wave. By the dawn's early light I packed a few things, locked down East Jesus and hit the road, hoping to be high above the Imperial Valley before the sun had a chance to heat it up. The drive to San Jose -- via Yucca Valley, Johnson Valley, Barstow, Bakersfield and then up I-5 through the Central Valley -- was very hot, but still not as bad as the Slabs. Just over the mountains west of the San Luis Reservoir, the air suddenly cooled and I felt a rush of pure relief and delight such as I have scarcely experienced in this lifetime. The weather, though the locals complain it's hot, has been nothing short of paradisical here in Silicon Valley. Paradoxically, MUTAGEN began overheating while stopped at a stoplight in the early San Jose evening, after running nice and cool through the sun's anvil all day.

Philo's been busy in the garden during a cherished interim period of unemployment:

I spent the last few days thinking long and hard about What To Do Next -- abandon East Jesus altogether? Spend money I don't have (credit card slack) on a powerful generator to run a powerful air conditioner? Try to find some work in SFBA? Move to Douglas? Move to Arcosanti? Drive up to Alaska and work the docks for fishing jobs? Or just take a nice, leisurely, summer-long trip up the northwest coast in serach of beauty, truth, cool air and brewpubs? I still haven't figured that one out, but I did manage to get the website done in between deep thinks and phone calls to the future. Have a look, it's here. Not too shabby for a couple of clueless artist-types. Just please, please, please don't look at the page source code.

Plato, having been in the company of his favorite dogs and people for three days, has made an amazing recovery. The heat was slowly grinding him down to the point where all he did was pant, eat, and lie down. I was worried he was showing terminal signs of old-dogness. But no, he's still in great shape, as evidenced by his rapid and complete recovery (and a bath.) I'm in much better shape myself with the lead weight of oppressive heat gone. I am probably in better health than I have been in years. Six months of desert meatspace living combined with a modicum of physical activity have definitely made an impression.

Mercury's going out of retrograde right about now. I can feel it. It feels good.

 

 

2007.06.27.1130 good old Mercury Rx under a waxing moon, or, "I need a hug"

It's not every day I get threatening phone calls from people I thought were friends. And it's not every day I feel like suddenly months of work (for which I never asked nor expected any compensation whatever,) lots of planning and significant decisions in my life for the sake of helping someone I admire who thinks I'm Satan are suddely nullified. But it's only 90F inside the container, so I can't really complain. I have no regrets. I tried.

You know who you are: you win, and I'll be sure never to "fuck with" you [your words] ever, ever again. Now leave me alone.

 

2007.06.26.1146 too f.ing busy to blog now, sorry

 

 

2007.06.22.1307 yesterday was hot

i was describing how hot it was when my computer crashed, presumably from thermal shutdown. you could have fried an egg on the keyboard. that's how hot it was.

today is hot, too. heat is a funny thing. one day it's like business as usual, hum de dum, and the next you're clinging for dear life to that moist washcloth. yesterday kicked my ass up and down Main St like a redheaded stepchild. today it's not so bad, even though the instruments all read about the same. beer will probably kill me in the end, but it makes the surrefing palatable.

so this past weekend i took a little road trip to play with friends in Prescott, AZ. i drove MUTAGEN in the parade and took 1st place for art car entry, drank plenty of IPA from the Prescott Brewing Company and suffered a bit from altitude wooziness and unexpected dehydration. They have real nice Highway Patrolmen in Arizona: one pulled me over just outside Congress b/c of my cracked windshield, discovered that my proof of insurance was out of date, and let me off with a simple warning and a smile. A few minutes later, while climbing that awfully steep hill (AZ 89), MUTAGEN overheated and I pulled over to the shoulder and let 'er cool. The same cop showed up and asked if everything was OK, then split.

 

 

Prescott's a very interesting little place. There's a lively "pan-alternative" scene there packed in closely with the conservative retirees. Tsunami on the Square is a fun event, during which the aforementioned retiress stay home and the rest of us come out to play. I spent most of the day soaking in the cool green grass (something there ain't none of here in East Jesus) and taking in the long day's light and revelry, fading in and out of conversation and my own thoughts, wandering around Whiskey Row at dusk and surviving a terrible attack of diarrhea.

 

chez Mr & Mrs God

 

On Sunday I accompanied my gracious hosts, Mr. and Mrs. God, to the Church of Huevos Rancheros, where we were joined by Ty & Wow. After a delicious omelette with way too many ingredients, I drove with them to the Prescott Valley Swap Meet and from there kept going to meet Cabiria at Arcosanti.

 

 

Peacocks and chickens and ducks roam Camp. I even spotted the shy and elusive javelina (collared peccary) that occasionally shnuffles around. We drank, we talked, we drank some more, we talked some more. I felt calm and meditative the next day, reading and writing leisurely and dreaming of ways to escape the brutal summer of the Slabs and find my way to this place....and I got to assist Cabiria with a Very Special Project. I left on Tuesday morning at 2:00 am, cleverly avoiding the blast furnace of Phoenix and treating myself to a gogeous drive west on I-10 in the golden light of sunrise.

 

2007.06.21.1755 solstice

it's hot. really hot. hot, hot, hot. it's so damn hot i can't tell you. freakin' hot. bigtime h [computer crashes here]

 

 

2007.spring

2007.winter

2006

asynchronology II (tribe.net blog)

asynchronology I (before anyone even used the term blog)

 

 

 

 

ch@5t3Ru5