Blog Archive

July 25, 2020
Die Deutsche Sprache & the Jamaican Beat: Americans Take Note

Germans can recycle a verb like nobody’s business. It’s almost miserly: you go there, and the escalator doesn’t start until you step on; your hamburger from McDonalds is as plain as day until you pay for some stuff to put on it. They machen, or “make” everything: a photo, a living, a party, an experiment, a dump, a pee pee. And when they’re done machen-ing everything, they “aus” machen or “an” machen it. They hoard words almost like a Jamaican dancehall artist hoards a beat.

I love dancehall, so if you’ve ever gone to YouTube and watched dancehall videos, you shouldn’t be surprised, though you are surprised to see plentiful Germans in the comment section. It’s crazy really, but if you listen to 700 dancehall songs, it’s remarkable how favorable I respond to 700 different artists speaking gibberish over the same 700 beats.

I mean, it’s jarring as an American: wastefulness. You see the degradation of it: dozens of half-used ketchup packets strewn all over a McDonalds floor and counter like a crime scene, escalators going up with nobody on; I see Merriam-Webster’s dictionary machen-ing new and nonsensical concepts like “she” “they” and “cis woman” to describe language that already exists, because apparently we have nothing better to do but to become mentally unhinged because we’re so privileged. I mean, imagine someone desperate for food and water using words like “trans exclusionary”.

So let us be like the Germans and Jamaicans, and cultivate the lost practice of so much appreciation for the same thing, that we speak in the same language. Simpler times.

Sincerely,

The Unwitting Memoirist


July 23, 2020
Viva the Dumb Shit, because It All Used to Make So Much Sense. Long Live the Dumb Shit: cheers 🍻

I used to be a pretty wacky person. I remember when I used to live in Queens, packing up to move back to Boston and totally dismantling my new bed and nightstand that I couldn’t take with me. But not just dismantling it, you see, because I had some sort of hot/cold rent stand off relationship with the landlord, or property manager or whoever he was. He collected the rent, ok?

Anyway, I didn’t want him to be able to resell my things, so I took a knife and some scissors and tore through the bed and removed the stuffing. I then dismantled the wooden frame but didn’t just throw the pieces away in the garbage out front, but poured honey all over them. I set aside the rest of the wooden planks that I then collected in my laundry bag because I had to do a last load at the laundromat around the corner.

It was like a Mexican laundromat so they all kinda stared at me as I came in because I think that I made a lot of noise with the wooden planks rattling around in the bag. They all stared as I noisily loaded the washers and left; it was snowing pretty heavy. I made several wide and frantic circles around the block, down side streets looking for a place to dump the planks because I didn’t want the money collector guy to find them to put the bed and stuff back together again to sell them.

Anyway, I left the keys in my room as he asked, loaded the hikers knapsack and little suitcase I’d lived out of for more than 3 years and finally caught the N, back home.

Cheers. 🍻

Sincerely,

The Unwitting Memoirist


July 5, 2020
When Was The Last Time You Doubted Someone’s Personal Experience?

Several years ago, I read a book that I absolutely could not finish. It was The Liars’ Club by Mary Karr. Ironically, I read it, thinking, oh you’re such a f**king liar Mary Karr. I think it was her elaborate descriptions of incidences in her life from when she was like a toddler that set me off.

Which gets me to thinking about why we believe people’s stories, or not, and the consequences of that.

Especially in the age of social media when people say and post pictures and things that you cannot verify other than through your own belief in them.

In the wake of the garbage dump of Communism that is burgeoning in America right now, I thought about one of my favorite authors, Richard Wright, a black guy who grew up on a plantation in Mississippi in the early 1900s, and who later became heavily leftist and a defector from the Communist Party. His work was often a grim commentary on the black condition in the Jim Crow South. I then thought about the popular conservative radio host Jesse Lee Peterson, who I often listen to, and who often speaks of a very different, even happy life, growing up under Jim Crow on a plantation in Alabama in the 1950s. What to believe? Who to believe? And why?

Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried masters the art of the unreliable narrator. You don’t know what to believe, and it doesn’t really matter. The story wouldn’t be as good if you believed it.

I don’t know if you’re aware, but there’s a travel memoir called The Travels of Sir John Mandeville that was supposedly written by Sir John Mandeville in the 14th century. While the book is real, its extremely unreliable and fantastical nature makes it likely that the story is not, along with Sir John being a knight, or there even existing a man named Sir John Mandeville. Yet, it was one of several books to heavily influence Christopher Columbus, an unconfirmed Italian who sailed for a Spanish Crown that distrusted him for not being Spanish. And, well, like it or believe it or not, here we all are … in Asia, or wherever we are.

Sincerely,

The Unwitting Memoirist


July 4, 2020
Agent: Invisible COVID-19: Classified Communism: Unmasked

We actually do have an ideological frame. Myself and Alicia [Garza] in particular, we’re trained organizers. We are trained Marxists. We are super versed on ideological theories.

Patrisse Cullors, “founder” of Black Lives Matter

Letter #1: Down with Communism

Comrades,

I can’t help but to see the irony of, black, trans, LGBTQLMNOP, Black Lives Matter, Antifa, women and liberal activism coinciding with the garbage dump of America right now. I mean, I wrote a paper on Marxism in college, but I wouldn’t have if I thought this is what it would look like.

It’s true. I was an English major, and one of my major 30+ paged papers was on how Marxism informed the black literary cannon, and how we should rise up! and something or another embarrassing. In retrospect, the paper was a mess, but my white professor gave me an A because I think she was afraid. And, in retrospect, probably a racist for promoting me in my stupidity as a black person. It was a uni, so she was also probably a liberal.

I’d read Das Kapital, and it all seemed to make sense when it wasn’t the reality. Now, I see the architects of communism and the like being privileged capitalists who use historically marginalized groups as a cover to guilt everyday folk into anarchy. Is the world shutting down and people—including these marginalized groups—scraping by without a means to provide for themselves and not being able to breathe behind a mask, and an arbitrarily resurrecting never-ending virus what Utopia is supposed to look like? I don’t think it is, but turns out that communism and the like uses the same anarchy on everyday folk to make them feel as if what they are doing is something they actually control. Bonkers.

The slogan for 2020 should be, you’re not a good person if you don’t support mayhem. And if you don’t support mayhem I’m going to censor you, accuse you of being a witch, confiscate all of your private property and fire you from your job. And if you do support mayhem, I’m gonna do it anyway. Turns out that communists and the like are actually rude as well, and Karl Marx was a liberal-raised privileged bum who wrote about capital while he and his wife and children lived without it in abject poverty. (He lived off of Friedrich Engels, who, in turn, lived off his rich capitalist father natch)

The revolution will not be televised! it turns out, because it’s a fantasy created and presented to you by the liberal media, the single party system.

Sincerely,

The Unwitting Memoirist

P.S. I can’t breathe!
P.P.S. #blacklivesscatter #blackliesmatter #jackedfriesspatter #smackedpiesshatter #shellackeddivespitterpatter #sksksklolollmaolmfao


June 13, 2020
The World at Your Fingertips: Out of This World

Out of This World was a zany—even for the 80s—sitcom about a girl named Evie who could stop time by touching the tips of her index fingers together. The first episode opens with her mom coming into her bedroom on the eve of her 13th birthday and asking around nervously if anything “different” has happened. The next day at her birthday party, Evie experiences an uncontrollable urge to touch her fingers together, making everything “freeze”; then, distraught, learning that she inherited this superpower from her father who is actually an alien. And no, not like Mr. Lopez from Guatemala. Oompf. That’s an actual joke because it was such a different suck-it-up time back then. There’s even a snarky comment about a Democrat.

Anyway, it’s funny how a show like this was framed as something “out of this world” to 8-year-olds like me, until we grew up and found ourselves praying like Jesus—with the tips of our fingertips but not palms touching, calling on God; or like Buddha meditating with our palms and fingertips smashed together, calling “ohm” to the Universe, or ancestors or angels or whatever. Literally stopping time.

Btw, this is how you “pray”. By touching yourself to yourself (platonically) to remind you of the stillness of God that exists within you, amidst all the noise and confusion and craziness of the party; you can put your fingers together and literally stop the world. The theme song goes,

Would you like to swing on a star, oh-oh-oh
Carry moonbeams home in a jar, oh-oh-oh
And be better off than you are, oh-oh-oh
You could be swingin on a star …

Sincerely,

The Unwitting Memoirist


June 11, 2020
The Great Dadaist Revival! What Took You So Long?

So I had a thought that we’re currently living in a Dadaist revival without actually knowing what “Dadaist” meant. I guess I could just feel it in my bones.

It turns out that Dadaists were almost as nonsensical as anarchists: I mean, the reality of actually being free enough to express discontent with any form of government and authority by making art as a monied European artist. It didn’t even make for good art. Anyway, according to Wiki: “the Dada movement consisted of artists who rejected the logic, reason, and aestheticism of modern capitalist society, instead expressing nonsense, irrationality, and anti-bourgeois protest in their works.” Did everybody just get that? Ga ga da da nnhhyhvfggyt. I guess it’s also worth mentioning that the many well-off Dada artists that made good money from their protest art were communist inclined and kept political affiliations with the radical far left.

As I look at this Wiki picture of some of these Dada artists; Louis Aragon, son of a career politician, Theodore Fraenkel, a doctor, ClĂ©ment Pansaers, an EgyptologistÂż, and Francis Picabia, son of parents from prominent European families, I want to call the IRS. Not the police, but the IRS. Help, I’d say. The bourgeois want to overthrow the bourgeois again, and people are literally paying for this. Also, please send The Church of Scientology for my idiot but poor neighbor who’s gone jogging in his mask again and is hyperventilating in his driveway. I think he needs a good auditing as well.

These are the fathers and mothers of the Surreal, though it’s hard to know whether the chicken or the egg came first. Dadaism was a deliberately nonsensical response to what was perceived as an equally nonsensical World War (I) and a spiraling world of emergent modern media and science and technology; but, still, I’m not sure if the proper way to respond to a wacked out bourgeois government right now that you pay for is to imitate them by becoming wacky yourself. We can’t afford the luxury of voluntary insanity or performative art.

Sincerely,

The Unwitting Memoirist

P.S. what a nightmare


June 8, 2020
Psychological Tactics, The Existential Crisis of Reviewing Your Own Books

Back in January, I saw a Goodreads author give his own book 3 stars. It’s something that psychologically haunts me until this day.

I could see 1 or 5 stars since both ratings live on the same side of delusion Street, but 3? Why would an author do that? Btw, I lost track of this book but for some reason think the author is British due to some semi subconscious weird racism that I’ll have to get to later, but that correlates a 3 star rating with mediocrity and being British.

Honestly, I haven’t met many British people, but I grew up watching incredibly dry but entertaining shows from the BBC like Absolutely Fabulous, Keeping Up Appearances and Are You Being Served?, where they said ‘p*ssy’ uncensored all the time but it was bad to say ‘bloody’. Anyway, maybe I correlate the hubris of rating your own book—but the rating being mediocre with being British because of some subliminal brain manipulation from watching all those shows. Almost like it’s entirely British to act entirely like you’re the shit but to involuntarily appear mediocre. Anyway, I told you that it’s psychologically haunted me, and now I really want to read that book.

Sincerely,

The Unwitting Memoirist


June 8, 2020
This is Fine: Book Reviews & Dumpster Fires

As a book reviewer, I don’t rate anything under 3 stars; and this is because I have an English degree, which means that I love literature and find very little, if anything, irredeemable about it. So you see, the only way I’d give a less than 3 star review of a book is if it’s a coffee table.

The 3 to me means, this is just fine, but, also, this is the lowest I go. Which means that if a book is a literal dumpster fire to me, this is fine. I almost welcome books at this time that are worse than reality.

The rating system is the least I can do, but the review is where I can talk all about my interaction and experience with a world another has created. Sometimes I rate with nothing to say, and sometimes that means that it was such an irredeemable piece of sh*t that made me wanna gouge my eyeballs out like Oedipus Rex. Either way, you’ll never know and everybody wins. I’m reading indie books while the world burns around me, and you know what? This is fine.

Sincerely,

The Unwitting Memoirist


May 23, 2020
I Used to Write Fiction, Sorry

I wrote in the wrong genre for over 10 years, which is just about how long one of my short stories took to complete. I had a lot to say, but my delivery was off so I wrote fiction and made the characters do and say things, not that I wanted to necessarily do and say, but things I couldn’t yet say in my real voice. It’s realistic fiction, I would say; I’m like Mark Twain.

I don’t understand what I was trying to say because I wasn’t being honest even though I’ve always been an honest person. Nobody said, go inward, so I wrote outwardly what was inside of me. I didn’t try to understand what was inside of me; I just transferred the blame to others in a different medium. You figure it out. You figure out my story.

And nobody could of course. All these rejections for my short stories, which fueled me actually and made me more confident because I was young and full of indestructibility. Is this a rejection, I would say to myself? Or that you just don’t know what the f**k you’re talking about?

Most of my characters, now that I think about it, were angry. Or forlorn, one-dimensional. They had horrible children; they were resentful of their lives. One was “slow” like Lennie in Of Mice and Men. They weren’t successful. Ugh , I don’t know what I was trying to say. That even back then I was trying to write a memoir of what I saw, what was inside, but it always came out as a garbled and indirect, non-sensical and untrue world that I wasn’t clever enough to get away with, but that I was proud of.

It wasn’t until I became an English major that I was shown how to use my words properly. How to trust what I was saying by having to use other people’s words to prove it. So how come all I can now say after all that is, How could I have known that my real genre, my real voice, was who I had been but didn’t know all along?

Sincerely,

The Unwitting Memoirist


May 18, 2020
COVID-19: The Quarantined Exhibition

You notice whenever the Children of the Lie want to promote or get more control over you, they make up words. And they make the words emotional. So … emotional words, so that they can control you. -JLP

Words that create the illusion of a “safe space” despite the ~ 7 billion people that live on this Earth. “Diverse” words that make you feel “inclusive”, even though an Asian is still as different as an Indian and a Chinese person, a black person as different as an American and a Haitian. Words that make you want to dismantle “privilege” by forcefully taking from another in order to make “equal” people who are not. Words that make you insane with anger and illogic. That tap into the already unexamined fear within. You feel justified for blaming “toxic masculinity” for all your failures. First you’re yelling and now you’re pointing, it’s so easy to kill now because you’ve lost it, the ability to understand words, to communicate with them truthfully. You put a mask on trying to breathe. They put a hand on your shoulder and now we’re back at the beginning. Just breathe, They say, even though you can’t. “You’re safe”.

Propaganda

In light of COVID-19, masks and lockdowns, shut-ins and words like “essential worker” and “non-essential worker” used to describe people, I started thinking of The Degenerate Art Exhibition of 1937, hosted by none other than the degenerate himself, Adolf Hitler. How was it that an Austrian was able to capture the vivid landscape of an entire German nation by quarantining an exhibition that he deemed as “insulting the German feeling” and “Entartete Kunst“, Degenerate Art.

This isn’t about Germans or Jews, however, but about how we get to certain places. How we have a tendency to forget and put history on a pedestal, as if it weren’t something that we, as average citizens, live and contribute to and build upon everyday. Gotta be careful what we do with and believe with our masks. I mean, mouths. Especially in a country like the United States that was founded expressly on a disbelief in government and a belief in the widespread stupidity of the people. Before things get out of control.

Sincerely,

The Unwitting Memoirist