Facebook Post: 2018-03-22T05:40:41

So many of us distrust those that are younger, and this might be one of the more toxic impulses we are facing, culturally. How quickly adults forget their own experiences as children, and how easily they forget that less than 100 years ago children were expected to take jobs and participate in the world as full members of our society. The idea of being a teen is a concept that WWII would create.

How much of our cinema is about the adult interior lives that our children lead? How many novels trace how wise-beyond-their-years our children happen to be? Why is it that, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, most adults completely rule out the lives, opinions and ideas of those younger than them?

This isn’t just a problem between teens and olds. I’m a 42 year old man, 25 years into my career, and throughout my life I’ve been consistently infantilized by men & women who are slightly older than me. While there is certainly a need to defer to the wisdom of the elders, at some point the 50 & 60 year olds in the room need to acknowledge that I’m an adult, too. When they treat someone like a ‘younger person,’ they not only demean the person they talk to, but themselves. It is strange these older folks, who pride themselves on experience being so important, seem to consistently forget the experience of being young.

Every new group of people coming up is a new chance for us to redeem this world we’ve ruined, and when you disrespect people who are younger than you, you disrespect the very notion that there is any hope for anyone other than yourself.

Those younger than us have a more vibrant culture, with newer and more exciting ideas than anything we are thinking and doing. They are more skilled with technology and more hip to the new trends. And let’s be real honest: they are way less racist and sexist than we are. At some point, we need to stop belittling those younger than us, for the simple reason that we will eventually die and they will outlive us. They have more right to our future than we do.

It seems funny to make fun of new TV and music, and joke about how everything millennial is bad. Millennials have been adults for quite some time now, and have their own kids. There’s almost two generations after them. First, update your references, and second, you need to realize who the punch line is now.

I’m not saying children are our future. I’m saying those younger than us already re-shaped the world around us, and if you don’t want to catch up, you will be left far behind.

Facebook Post: 2018-03-16T09:02:28

What is the utility of a gun if not to offer the user a means of killing? There is no other use for a gun. It is designed to kill, and to do nothing else. So many arguments about gun ownership revolve around the gun as a tool in the home, no different than all the other thing that can be used to kill that we also have around the home. But the difference between a gun and every tool in our home is that a gun serves no other function, and can be used in no other way. The utility of a gun is to serve death to that which it is pointed. Let’s reevaluate why you need to be able to kill so often that you have to keep a tool around that does only that. Making the argument that a gun is a tool is a coded means of obfuscating what a gun is used for. A tool is something you use to build or repair and, in some cases, slowly dismantle. A gun is an instrument of killing, and can be used for nothing else, no matter where it is or when you use it.

Facebook Post: 2018-03-16T04:51:37

Even accounting for school shootings and accidents in the home, there is a statistic that should terrify everyone in this country: every year, two thirds of all gun deaths in the United States are from suicide. And statistically, those suicides are by men. Another way of framing this is to consider: two thirds of the time when a gun is fired, it is turned on the shooter. Let that sink in for a moment. What are we asking for when we ask for the right to own a gun? In no other way would we leave a person unattended if the likelihood of self-harm was this high. And yet, when it comes to gun ownership, Americans insist that owning something this dangerous is a right they must be afforded at all costs. And, there seems to be a reason these gun owners don’t see anything wrong with commanding power over death. For at least two-thirds of them, they have already considered (and prepared for) their own death by that very same weapon.

Facebook Post: 2018-03-16T04:34:50

The question is much more important to consider when children, parents, and teachers are struggling to be heard by a large swath of the white male population, and a swath that is currently in power. That question is: why do you want to own a gun when so many people around you who love you are begging you to reconsider? Why do you want to own one gun, realistically? Why do you want to own two? Ten? Why is the power over death so important to you? Why do you insist that your right to commit murder outweighs the rights of all others to live in a safe an nurturing culture? In no other way is it acceptable to expect from our community the right to kill anyone we see as a threat. And when put that way, few would argue; no one deserves this power. And yet, when it comes to this means of killing people, we give a number in our community a pass. Guns do not offer protection, or freedom, or peace of mind. For the victims and the families of victims, guns do not offer any of those things. Guns accomplish one thing as a tool: serving death to something it is aimed at. So when you ask yourself, why do I want to own a gun, you need to ask yourself the real question behind gun ownership: what makes you think you deserve the power over life? Only when we address this very-real component of gun culture will we make any progress expecting anyone to think clearly on this issue. Guns are not what we are talking about anymore, but merely the symbolic representation of something much more sinister. We are talking about instruments of death, and the right to make fatal decisions, and no argument or rhetoric changes this reality.

Facebook Post: 2018-03-13T08:17:35

Taylor Jessen’s story about his role in the “How To Speak Hip” re-issue is absolutely hilarious, and completely indicative of what it’s like to care about rare comedy albums in a completely indifferent consumer market. Consider this one a sequel to my Tim Maloney conversation.

Facebook Post: 2018-03-11T05:53:32

Inevitably, some part of the world will let you down. A person you meet who you expected too much from, or an idea that that doesn’t meet what you needed from it. Even places might not live up to the reputation, and you have to face the fact that the relationship is not working out.

My question is: how do we creatively move past this without letting the negativity affect you as you try to move on? Part of me realizes that this comes down to taking on responsibility for what went wrong. When I meet someone I’m going to work with, and they turn out to be less than I expected, who’s fault is that? I don’t know their life story. I don’t know everything about their life before I met them, let alone that day. What does their daily internal life look like, putting them to this moment when we meet? Where do I get off thinking they aren’t what I hoped they’d be?

Really, the creative problem here is: how do we productively use disappointment, and most importantly, not hold it against the source of the “rub”? The person, place, idea, celebrity, artform or whatever isn’t responsible to me specifically, and let’s cut to the quick, they really aren’t responsible for how I feel under any circumstances. My own time / place / past bullshit is not only MORE responsible for shading the interaction than anything anyone could possibly do to me, with or without their knowledge, but is absolutely something I’m responsible for keeping in check.

I’m leaving out examples because there’s too many to name, and we all have our own. But when I meet someone / -thing / -place, no matter how much I want to feel slighted for whatever perceived crime it is they have committed against me, I need to learn how to meet them where they are, and not where I am.

When you are excited to work creatively with someone / -thing / -place / -idea, and you start to feel disappointed by how it’s all working out, how do you keep from being bitter? Or, more directly: how do you keep your creative energy up when you perceive this kind of disappointment?

It’s a challenge for sure, and one I’m only just beginning to take on. But I don’t have time for these hangups anymore. I’d like to find a way to fight through my own crap, this time.

Facebook Post: 2018-03-10T06:15:49

No matter how old I get, I’m very suspicious of Cool. Cool music, cool places, cool movies, cool clothes. The Cool Kids were always jerks: mean spirited, judgemental, and ready to troll anyone who isn’t on the inside. In the same way that I instantly distrust Money and Wealth and anyone who values it too much, I realize that I have a similar relationship with Cool.

Here’s the problem: a lot of stuff that I have come to love in my lifetime have become Cool over the years, and suddenly I’m faced with a problematic conundrum. In the same way that I need to negotiate Money in spite of distrusting it, Cool now plays a weird role in my life that demands negotiation in some way. The example that comes to mind: Dad Jokes. Through hipsterism, podcasts, and the veneration of all things white guy, lame puns have become comedy cache in the modern era, in spite of the mockery it used to garner me 20 years ago as a wannabe punster.

But there are others: comic books, prog rock, computers, genre TV. All of these things were relegated to such obscure and nerdy parts of our culture when I was a kid, and are now part of the larger culture of Cool. My entire relationship with these things were partially determined by how uncool I was. Thus, the Crux of the Cool Conundrum.

I’m not lamenting that the things I love are being overtaken by fake gamer boys. I trust that most people actually like what they like, and anyone else is merely an outlier. But I’m nervous about this cultural move where everyone is trying to make everything Cool. I think that trying to attain Cool has historically led to groups of people being exclusive and judgemental, and I’m not sure that’s a quality we want to encourage in our culture.

When I was a kid, the nerds all wanted to be cool, but were not allowed to participate in that world. Our nerdy tendencies caused us to forge our own paths, because what else could we do? We found hobbies that matched our skills, and we became used to being alone because of our interests. I feel like there was something to that. By being untethered from Cool things, we found ourselves, in a way that the Cool kids never have to do by being part of the cultural elite.

There’s a value in Wanting To Be Cool, and not being allowed into that world, that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Facebook Post: 2018-03-08T23:21:48

Feeling a little emo after watching How Radio Isn’t Done. There’s something about Don and his work that is endlessly fascinating and compelling to me, and I can’t stop thinking about it. I probably talk about it too much, but there’s something there that feels so important, so incredible and fascinating, and also, irreplicatable. Like there will be little else like this ever again, and I worry, will very many people even know what we lost?

I miss you, Don. More and more as time goes on.

Facebook Post: 2018-03-06T16:41:06

With almost seven hours of vintage The Firesign Theatre films and material from their early days, this should help me ride out the last of my cold with hilarity. Thanks Taylor Jessen!

“Dogs flew space ships! The Aztecs invented the vacation! Men and Women are the same sex! Our forefathers took drugs! Your brain is not the boss! Everything You Know is Wrong!”

Fake news from before there was fake news.

Facebook Post: 2018-03-03T13:17:38

My next live gig is going to be at the What Is Noise? Fest in Corvallis. This might be the biggest stage I’ve played on, and certainly not since NorCal NoiseFest have I played such an incredible fest. The lineup at the Majestic Theatre at the end of this month is phenomenal, so if you live nearby, and you wanna see a condensed version of my radio show done on stage, this is it. I’m already getting excited, so let’s make a date of it.