31 January 2012

Spontaneous Memorial

I checked my email on Saturday morning and discovered one from someone I don't know with a friend's name in the subject line. 'Uh oh,' I thought. It was his niece, who'd found my address from this blog and who was writing to tell me my friend was dead, dead far too young. He was 46. If I'd checked my email the night before, I could've made the funeral, which was on Saturday morning.

I've already written about how Spontaneous Search Party changed his name. Rose, telling her kids about him, described how she found talking to him. She reckoned he only made sense if you were half drunk. They'd have some great yarns, those two. The first time they met they discovered they'd both been at the same Cure concert in the 80s. That was before Spont crashed out in a speaker stack at a Motorhead concert and went deaf in one ear.

When we were living in Waitati in 95, he wrote a long, very strange letter, a literally colourful letter to this German electronic outfit called (I think) Sun Electric. The return address was the servo down on the main road, where we got our mail: 'c/- Waitati Post Office, Waitati'. The German electronic outfit's next record, when it came out, included the track 'Waitati Post', as I recall a fairly trippy fucked-up little number. So Spont got the band's logo tattooed down his arm in large letters.

He was always doing shit like that. One time, he was just sitting smoking cigarettes and staring at his Camel cigarette packet. I asked him what the fuck he was staring at, and he pointed to a small line of camels. Then he disappeared for a couple of days and came back with them on his arm.

He had the best tattoos I've ever seen. Built up at random, on whims, like that. Both arms.

So on Saturday night, a group of us were invading Blandings South once more anyway, so it turned into a bit of a Spontaneous Memorial. All but one of the people there knew him. My favourite anecdote was my friend Ben's, describing playing chess with Spont. There was a group of us who played chess regularly, and when Spont came to visit he would destroy us one by one.

Ben described sitting there, carefully constructing a cunning plan over a considerable period of time. Meanwhile, Spont would be chatting away with someone else, not even looking at the board. When it was his turn, he'd glance at it and then show you the major flaw in your cunning plan that you hadn't spotted, leading inexorably to a complete rout. The big grin, the 'Are you sure you want to do that?', the sleight-of-hand flourishes while moving and taking pieces.

Spont got up to all sorts of tricks. He taught me a lot, and not just how to drive.

Spontaneous Search Party lived his life his own way, and there will never be his like again on the face of this Earth.

24 January 2012

The end is nigh

I've just handed in my MFA screed. This gave me no sense of satisfaction, nor do I consider it something to celebrate.

Unfortunately, the nightmare is not over yet. After a period of time that isn't quite clear, I'll get back two examiners' reports: one internal and one external. I get the impression the staff are a bit worried about what the external examiner will make of it. It seems that experimentation with the form is not encouraged (in the so-called 'experimental laboratory of ideas'! Ha!). They seem to want something standardised and familiar, something conventional. That's conservative academia for you, I suppose.

Last week, a staff-member contacted me for some last-minute feedback. There were several useful suggestions, and others that were less so. The marked-up copy of the draft I got back was pretty depressing reading. It was also my first indication of how the examiners will approach it. What was the line I was told? Something like 'the danger is they'll write you off as stream-of-conciousness' something or other. Raving lunatic probably.


I expect there to be a tick in the box labelled 'Major revisions required'. Fuck knows what I'll do then. Maybe they'll decide it's beyond redemption and just fail me outright. That'd be funny.

I've done it for myself, not for anonymous examiners. I wanted to make the kind of book that, if I were to come across it, I would want to devour. The same approach as I take with my paintings – do it for yourself first and foremost. I reckon trying to do what you think someone else wants is a really bad idea.

Here are a couple of pics of the softbound version I've just handed in:

18 January 2012

Post removed

[This post has been removed under r 23 of the Temporal (Prevention of Paradox) Regulations 2051. Regulation 23 prohibits the construction of closed time-like curves in any form, including virtual. Construction of such a curve is an offence punishable by retroactive removal and temporal sequestration.]

12 January 2012

Sign of the Black Square

Reports just in from intertemporal avant-garde field agents indicate the Cult of the Black Square is spreading through a beleaguered populace.

Here is a manifestation reported by workers suffering under harsh nineteenth century factory conditions somewhere in Outer Wellington:
This black square manifestation provides a Zone of Contemplation, using supraharmonic colour wave vibrations to render cigarette smokers invisible to their Control Machine bosses (i.e. those bosses whose minds are controlled by inhuman computing processes).

In this example, some discolouration has occurred due to psychic blowback.

06 January 2012

Bollocks to this

I've spent the morning reading over my MFA screed. I'm really over it.

I've taken out a small section on the cybernetic fungus intelligence from Proxima Centauri and its nefarious mind control methods. I've also decided against most of the comic book elements I was going to include.

I reckon it's done. Or, shall we put it this way, I'm not doing anything more.

I've got painting to do.

05 January 2012

Blah blah

I do enjoy this time of year. Most people have gone away, things have shut down for the moment, and things are quiet. And the garden looks fucking great.

I'm taking a break from my screed so I can come back to it with fresh eyes. As well as reading Francis Bacon, I've been reading science fiction novels. I've borrowed Francis Bacon, so I can't really throw him across the room when he annoys me. Instead, I carefully place him down and pick something else up.

One such something else I very much enjoyed was a hard sf novel about a near-future starship voyage, one of those ones based on current theories of starship design. I've got a bit out of touch with them. As is usual though, the characters weren't much chop, and the attempt to create a shipboard art and culture was laughable.

I like Philip K Dickian characters and plots more. The ordinary bloke who drinks too much, his wife is on his case and about to leave him, he's just been fired from his dead-end job, and then he finds out the cat is an advance agent for the Alien Thought-Forms from the End of Time, projecting the illusion of the world into his head. Actually, he's a sub-routine in a universal holographic computer, and he has to receive and decipher the messages sent to him from outside the computer in order to live. Before the grey-suited control routines delete him.

That kind of thing.

I think I am going to have to put the entire written output of Philip K Dick into my bibliography. And quite a few punk rock records. And Doctor Who. And...

This is one of many reasons why Fine Arts is the best subject, much better than such dull as ditchwater ones as Art History and Philosophy. Or (shudder) English Literature. Ew.

Fuck rigour. Fuck references!

Art is a cathedral of shit!

03 January 2012

Fragmented fragments

Sitting here. Everyone gone away.

Obsessed with numbers. The numbers that rule the world. Our technocratic capitalist civilisation of shit.

What a waste of time that is.

Rose and the kids are away. It's me and the dog. And the Monster cat.

I've been reading Francis Bacon. Not the drunk painter Bacon. The Elizabethan cunt Bacon. While listening to Big Black.

Beat the whites with the black square!

Speaking of drunken fool painters. Numbers. Seeing the world as numbers. Dodgy as fuck. History-less numbers. No story with numbers. No story at all.

That's what we're for. The painters and the poets.

You think this is drunken raving? Numbers have fucked us all. It's all Pythagoras's fault (via Plato). Bertrand Russell dismissed Pythagoras cos he wouldn't eat beans, but Russell has no room to talk. He was a silly fool himself.

I say Pythagoras's fault, but I don't mean it. He was on to it. It was the motherfuckers who came after who spoiled it. Just like with Jesus. And Gautama. And all the rest.

St Francis.

I have seen arguments that reckon capitalism is not just the best system for organising society yet invented but the best possible system. Ridiculous arguments. But people buy it. And there are even worse ones, even more common, related stupid arguments, that say science is not just the best system for understanding the universe invented but the best possible system.

To deal with the disenchantment of the world, there are two main alternatives: a vague, ill-defined spiritualism and a deification of science.

Bollocks to both I reckon.

How's that grand unified theory going for you, guys? And where are our fusion reactors, eh? Wasn't that meant to be when I was 10!?! Overconfident bullshit-artist deluded cunts. Just like doctors.

Nothing! Nothing is all there is!

Fucking technocrats. Sub-Pythagorean number-worshipping world-destroying arseholes. You can all fuck off. You don't know a thing. Cos all your assumptions are wrong.


Take the Fermi Paradox! Don't make me laugh with how stupid that is. Uh, it's not actually a paradox at all.

Get this: Science assumes that the universe is pristine and natural, i.e. that everything we observe is the result of natural forces. Then along comes Fermi who says 'But, hey, there should be aliens! So many stars should produce heaps of intelligent species. But there's no observable evidence for them. No artificial structures for us to observe.'

Because the scientists have already assumed everything we obseve is natural. Scholastic idiots playing in their own heads, thinking it's real.


I cannot get over how wrong the world is.

I'll tell you what's real – Nothing is real. Actuality, that which forms ourselves and world we observe around us, is an illusion produced by the logical necessity of probability: there appears to be something because it is possible for there to appear something rather than nothing.

Ha ha.

Time to play more loud fuck off music, dance the Shiva dance, and shout abuse at the neighbours. Cos that's the kind of cunt I am. Aren't you glad you don't live next to me?

(It's good for them. It builds character.)

The world ended 2000 years ago, but no-one's noticed yet.
visitors since 29 March 2004.