Thursday, January 13, 2011
Went on a cool vacation to visit buddies across our great nation. It was so great to party with the punks. In Chattanooga, right before New Years, I was so struck by how genuinely nice everyone was. Like, huge smiles and crushing, full-torso hugs are the norm. This warmth was in Athens and -to a lesser extent- Gainesville too. I'm only qualifying the friendliness of Gainesville because I spent most of my time with two fantastic friends who are really grumpy dudes, Daniel and Ryan. (WASSUP GRUMPS? When is Weak Dollar gonna happen?) and this lady was really mean to me at a party for no reason. But, across my trip from Amy and Eric Nelson's hugs in the Pickle Barrel to Sunshine SS giving me a ride to Florida which made their cramped ride certainly less comfortable, I found myself being nicer in response to this punk geniality and goodwill. Is it stupid in 2011 to want to recommit to niceness? Given the shitty state of things, my own justified rage at the political climate, further infringements on basic living, does being nicer make sense? I THINK IT DOES. In an urban environment, alienation abounds. Why make being a man in the crowd worse? At home in SF, I find myself walking around scowling when I actually feel totally fine. I don't acknowledge other humans on the street, even though I am constantly putting myself in peril staring at babes while biking or crossing the street. I had a great day yesterday. Ate a bahn-mi in the dogpark with Hannah. Wore a tanktop in January. A dude wearing a Minor Threat tee working in a pizza place gave me 'wazzup' eyebrow wiggles. A gray-eyed puppy frantically kissed me on the inside of my mouth. Painted my nails a Carribean-sea turquois. I walked around smiling all day. I tried to be just a little friendlier to the people I spoke to, a little more polite. I left no dangling 'thank you's left unsaid. It feels better, enforces that PMA.
Ironically, being nicer is probably the change I make in 2011 that will effect me the most. I'm trying to take a roll of photos a week and write 500 words a day. You're looking at the outcomes of both right now. I'm trying to have more consistency about normal things like drinking enough water and reading as much as I'd like to. I rearranged my room today to have two separate workspaces. One for art. One for writing. PRODUCTIVITY THRU ARCHITECTURE. I'm the Le Corbosier of my bedroom.
Here's to a new urban friendliness! I don't wanna feel cattiness as I walk down Valencia. WE'RE MORE THAN PIGEONS. There are plenty of flannels for all of us in Thrift Town! Let's make comments in line at Four Barrel. I'll tell you I like your shoes and you mention the weather and we'll all be a pinch happier.
It's like that Times New Viking song "Teenage Lust." A corrective to the MC5 song by the same name, the chorus of the TNV version layers itself with "I don't wanna die in the city alone." And, if craigslist missed connections are any indication, I think that is a widely held sentiment.
(apologies for this horrendously ugly player)