Archive for the ‘Watch’ Category

Shades On

March 26, 2012

Sunglasses in Luc Besson’s La Femme Nikita.

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We’re Here For The Riot

June 18, 2011

A tipping point. Photo: Mike Carlson-Reuters

Everyone knew this was a possibility. We joked about it for weeks. There were 100,000 fans in downtown Vancouver for Game 7. Lets admit some of them wanted to riot.

Even if we had won, a car would have burned, but positive energy would have easily snuffed out the negative. We lost. 95% of people went home. Everyone who stayed wanted a riot. They wanted an outlet for their negative energy, and swallowed anyone who intervened (Burn the truck!).

When there are 1000 cameras at the ready, there will always be 100 people willing to act. The roles were written in 1994, but now the audience is global. Welcome to the digital age, the digital stage. Don’t forget your mask.

With a few exceptions, the journalism has been embarrassing. I’m not sure what else I expected. At least there’s YouTube. It’s nothing more than an interesting side note, but I’m really thrown by the media’s steadfast refusal to acknowledge that there is pleasure to be found in destruction. (Or is that just me?) Click the photo, look at the crowd. Everyone is smiling. People were cheering then, and they were cheering hours later.

This was group of people with collective permission to take advantage of an opportunity. Once started, riots generate their own momentum. If there were anarchists involved, they knew this.

But really, anarchists? It was a sentence out of a dystopian novel. Don’t worry, you still have the option to blame the whole thing on your private fear of choice. What is the antithesis of the police? Anarchists. What is the antithesis of wealthy urbanites? Surrey kids. You can find out a lot about people from their demon of choice.

The city’s psychological reaction has been more violent than the riot itself.—Scramble to establish distance. Blame the other. Lust for punishment.—The rioters took glee in apolitical property destruction. Now we rush to inflict far more permanent damage on their lives. Not for breaking windows, but for shattering the holy grail, our city’s image and reputation.

Who is more guilty, the person who smashes a window, burns a car, or the people watching, encouraging with their cameras? The energetic outing of people you know to police via photos and video reeks of a guilty conscience. They are closer to us than we would like to admit, so as always, we rely on the police to distance us from our problems.

What’s done is done. If everyone had simply gone home, this wouldn’t have happened. Now we have a much more interesting situation, and a choice: Spread ignorance, paranoia, condescension, and condemnation. Forget the whole thing. Or take the opportunity to talk about what this failure says about us, our city and our culture. Like they say, “We are all Canucks.”

Seasons Change, Mad Things Rearrange

November 26, 2010

Wrapping up my entire life over the last month was an intense exercise in time management. I was prepared to leave for Japan on Tuesday, but unfortunately did not get on the plane. There were a few things that needed to be worked out with my visa, and at a near-crippling cost, I was forced to rebook my flight. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll be on my way at the same time next week.

You can imagine that I was pretty crushed on the night things fell apart, but I’ve been feeling positive since then. Being extremely stressed but on top, and then hitting a low point where I was existing in a void, was quite a contrast. Thankfully that void has given me the chance to unwind, have some good conversations, and tinker with ideas and personal projects that were pushed to the side.

I’ve been enjoying the quiet. The day I was supposed to be gone, my phone didn’t ring once, and truthfully, I didn’t feel like talking to anyone. Since then I’ve ventured out here and there, but mostly kept a low profile. Movement to match my mood. Without the stress scattering me I’ve been feeling good, and good things have come to me.

Earlier today I was reading an interview with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, who put in a ton of work on Kanye’s new album, in which he said, “Everybody is a contradiction of themselves and not only is that not a problem, it’s a beautiful thing. People should be contradictions. If you’re not, it means you’re not evolving or becoming a better person.” And instead of my brain’s receptionist telling him to take a number, I was able to sit back, absorb what he said with a clear head, and think,  “Damn… that’s some pretty ill shit to come up with in an interview.”

A similar moment happened later when I was listening to a lengthy interview with Just Blaze. He was speaking about how a lot of records are impossible to compare because they’re moments in time. Which is a topic that directly relates to recent conversations I’ve had about The College Dropout vs. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and the total insanity when Jay-Z and Jay E respectively dropped D.O.A. and Exhibit C last year.

Both of those insights triangulate with the end of an interview with Yelawolf that really impacted me a couple of days ago. In it he says sincerely, “The art of dope interviews is dead and gone,” and it really stuck in my mind. I’m thankful for the chance to combine and internalize those three things, and for the real effect they’ve had on me. One of my key hopes for this winter is that I’ll be able to do a lot more of this type of thinking, but with some bigger ideas I have.

For those of you in the Swamp fam that get most of your correspondence from me here, I should explain that I’m moving to Niseko for the season. The obvious reason I’m going is to ski as much powder as possible, but it will be an enriching experience in countless other ways. If any of you are curious, I would set aside ten minutes to watch this segment Poor Boyz filmed there a couple years ago. My favorite skier has always been J.P, and soon enough that will be me. P!

The Tower Room

October 20, 2010

Seattle. It’s a city I don’t particularly like, but I do respect. Nonetheless, it’s good to be down. The beer and billiards are exceptional, and I’m helping Josh hammer together a workshop-garage extension for his lovely parents. Coffee, autumn air, and sawdust. Olfactory alchemy. I’ll be here until it’s time to go home, finish packing my things and move out of my apartment.

The room I’m staying in contains one of the wonders of my world, something I wish everyone could see in person. The 8th Dimension. All the movies on the tall shelves are double-stacked, meaning there’s an equal number of movies behind them. Don’t bother overheating your circuits with calculations, just double what you see. I’ll be lost for a few days in the John Cusack section.

With Eyes That Dreamed

June 27, 2010

Aloe Blacc >

Respect to the dead.