Monday, January 5, 2015

The ten best of 2014?

   So yeah it's 2015. But things never happen like they tell you. Or when.
   When you're a kid the year ends with a punch on the last day of summer / the first day of school, when you're a romantic the year ends December 21st, the winter solstice when every possible pagan force is working in your melodramatic favor, and when you're an adult...? The year never ends. It just rolls on from one bright room called day into another, quarter after fiscal quarter. 
  It never happens like they tell you: Pearl Harbor- or when they tell you: Jesus' B-day.
  So just for kicks let's say it's still last year and for us right here, right now the year won't end till tomorrow - January 6th, the day of Kings, the end of the Epiphantic feast of winter Christians and the famed 12 days. 
   2014 - my list.
   Things I hate.
   I hate lists of things.
   Writers who take the old breather once a year (or more- "Summer's ten best!") from the column to make "the list".
   The best of, the worst of, the bucket list, the list of who we've lost, what we've gained, and what we should be thankful for. Should be thankful they get paid to be writers and write.
   I hate them. Lazy shits.
  10)  I hate contractors who work on Thanksgiving. Yep.
  Utter peace prevails as I walk down the abandoned streets of my mother's miserable suburban beach town and then I hear them. Reports. Like gun shots. I thought some madman has finally found this place which so deserves a rampage, or some twit has leftover fireworks. And then I discover sadly -
  No, It's a nail gun. Some guy's framing a house. On Thanksgiving. At 3 in the afternoon. He's got his illegal immigrants and newly paroled tweaker pals out on the job.
  What a bunch of shits.
  Put the work down and shut the fuck up.
  Obey the Sabbath. Kiss your kids. Stop giving ADHD a public face.
  10b) I hate guys on cell phones in museums (who are probably, half of them, contractors out with a mistress, pretending to be interested) Answering a cell phone in a gallery!? Having it on ringer? I pretend I work there and tell them to put it away. I'll say Im a board member, they should be ashamed. I'll follow them around till they leave. I'll stand a foot away and listen. You wanna talk in the museum, I'm more than happy to eavesdrop. And hey, when I come by your office to finish my landscape don't mind the linseed.
  9) I hate dry muffins with no fat, I hate fat cookies with no crunch, crumbly awful tasteless dust with "real" sugar in it and no flavor that people pretend to enjoy enjoying the denial. You want denial? DON'T EAT. I hate that everything has no nuts in it cause people found they have allergies. Yeah like potheads find they have a medical condition to keep smoking their apolitical-toe dragging- God's gift to the Republican agenda- asses into oblivion.
  9b)  I hate lactose free milk. I had to listen to a cyclist go on and on once about how no grown mammals drink the milk of other mammals!! Only humans!! We're the only ones! It's an aberration in the natural world.
   I thought yeah, and so is Beethoven's Ninth, you ass-hat. So is Sanskrit poetry and Japanese printmaking and Appalachian plain song and language itself and Fallingwater and electricity and sanitation. Not many other grown mammals work with those either. I felt like telling him all this but then I just decided to drop him and his lactose free legs as we climbed back up into Bergen County. Later hooker, enjoy the headwind.
  9c)  I hate people - most of whom will tell you they're lactose intolerant- who speak loudly enough in a line for you to hear that they're mad about waiting but don't have the guts to actually complain to the people making them wait. I hate complainers. I love to complain. I hate people who can't think two different things at the same time. Like, "I love you" And, "I want to kill you."
  9d) I hate people who can't raise their voices because it's bad. It's aggressive. (The tyranny of lactaid!) It's male. I hate that those are the same people who just can't get enough of Game of Thrones, or The Sopranos, or Sons of Anarchy or that Tea Party masquerade of racism and Idaho survivalism The Walking Dead. Castrate the culture around you but revel in the fascism coming out of your tv. Sociological SnM streaming into the comfort of your own home.
  8) I hate people who watch a play and ask "What does it mean?" I hate people who read the wall text more than they look at the art.
  8b) I hate folks who have no rhythm. (because they spend most of their miserable lives reading wall texts). I hate men who sing off key. I love when women do.
  7) I hate the culture of closure. "He's been dead for 8 months now, about time I moved on." Or  "Slavery's been over for years, when will they let it go? I mean, the Irish suffered, the Italians, the Koreans had a hard go there for awhile why is it only the blacks who can't seem to move on?"
  I hate that I usually don't have the guts to start a fight every time I hear some miserable fucking half brained lactose intolerant zombie loving contractor fool say something like that.
   7b) I hate that men can't fight anymore. That boys can't. That you go to jail for assault when you used to punch each other for awhile and then go have a beer and get over it (unless of course they're racists shits).
  7c) I hate the Confederate flag anywhere outside of a movie theater or a re-enactment of Gettysburg. You fly one of those any other time it should be open season on your ass. Any black fellow, lady of color, whatever name you wanna use, should have the legal right to slap you across the face, bust out the window of your car, tear it off your porch, and burn it before your eyes.
  Talk to me about the bravery of some of those soldiers a century and a half ago, sure, but don't talk to me about "the cause" (that some of my ancestors fought for so don't throw Yankee at my feet you fake southern shits) or the flag it flew under. Don't put it up on a pole.
  Or go right ahead but sign a waiver- a public declaration - any person of color is free to take a shot at my ass and the stars and bars, above and beyond any federal or local statutes.
  I hate anyone who says "the Civil War wasn't fought over Slavery! It was State's rights!'
  Yeah. Guns don't kill people, bullets do.
  Blow me.
  6) I hate Leonard Cohen. I usually hate Dylan ( except when I love him), I hate singers who can't sing but "write good".
   You wanna be a poet be a poet, don't sing it to me unless you CAN ROCK MY WORLD with its SOUND.
   Lyrics don't rock people, music do.
  5) I hate women who don't smell. 
   Or who only smell like perfume and hair spray. Women who smell like the hair spray from their 400 dollar haircuts, furs or  4000 dollar (faux) leather jackets, carrying three shoulder bags, spending 15 minutes ordering a coffee, who then talk about male oppression. (But they're better than contractors. Or guys who play fantasy football, guys who answer cell phones in museums or turn a table for four -the handicapped table!- at Starbucks into their private real estate office, wearing a hoodie after the age of 40, who can't cook, who wear dark socks with khakis…which kind of takes care of most men.)
   5b) I hate people who won't dance. 
   Who won't sing. 
   Who turn down the music when they're lost. Who while listening to the Who or ACDC or Chopin or Stravinsky keep talking about whatever miserable detail of the days events it's more important to rehash than SONIC IMMORTALITY.
  5c)  I hate people who use the term Haters. I hate people who think "Cause Im Happy" is a song about being happy.
   4) I hate men who play video games. I hate gamers. I hate comicon. I hate graphic novels and comic books. If you can't concentrate and can't read and imagine that your deep thoughts and visions are more important than your ability to express them, then just admit it kids.
   4b)  I hate slam poetry. I hate improv comedy. I hate standup. Because most of these "art forms" are forms of …aggression. They're efforts to make people shut up, so YOU, Holy you can finally Get Your Say (and make a top 10 list). Did Rosa Parks make a speech when she took her seat up front? No. She just did it. That kid who stood in front of the tank in Bejing in '89, did he do a one man show? No. He STOPPED A TANK.
   You wanna act? Act with people. There's a reason they call it DIAlogue. Because it's like a synthesis - it's about compromise, about human communion. You don't take the sacrament alone. Or show other people how good you are at taking the sacrament and then ask them to applaud you.
   3) I hate guys who won't stand up when a woman walks into a room. I hate women who resent that men stand up when they walk into a room. I hate anyone who puts their hand on the door when you're holding it for them. I hate folks who don't wave when you let em merge. I hate folks who won't let you merge. I hate anyone who's afraid of water. Or dogs or horses or cold air. I hate that I'm afraid of cockroaches. I hate people who hate cats. In fact I more than hate them. I actively plot their deaths. I strategize how to harm and humiliate them. Or who hate dogs or horses or mice or any kind of animal. I hate men who make fun of people who cry, who mock anyone who's failed or fallen or tripped. I hate dudes who can't admit that daddy lied, that daddy was wrong, a liar, a bigot, a republican cunt who had no value system upon which he based his behavior other than "This is mine and you can't have it. But I love my family! " Kill em all. I hate guys who hunt endangered animals. I hate men who make fun of deer hunters or bird hunters. I hate deer hunting, bird hunting rednecks who love the coal companies that buried their grandfather and the drilling companies that'll cripple their kids and the smelter plants that'll give their wives cancer before they're fifty.
   Still 3)  I hate guys who can't wear a tie. I hate guys who can't wait to get back in their jeans after the wedding. I hate baseball caps indoors or shades on when it's dark or when you order a drink or a coffee or ask directions- please, take the fucking things off and show some respect.
  More 3) I hate folks who say America's the greatest country on earth. I hate knowing that I think that could still be true. Someday. 
 2)  I hate divisions, manichean visions of order - yes or no, right or wrong, good or bad, love or hate, black or white - What's your favorite movie? What's your favorite song, painting, country, hair color, car ( really? Could anything matter any less?) I mean follow the logic to its conclusion- follow it down and realize it all leads to "Who's your favorite child?" Answer that.
   And realize the one can't live without the other- there is no Romeo without Tybalt, and more importantly it's what happens between the two, what's conjured up out of their collision that's worth listing or talking about, --- and that it all adds up to what no great painting can live without, will have no glow within without - and maybe no art really, even the great Whitmanesque art of ourselves can ignore - and that's grey. A grey area. That which underlies everything. Context, condition, exception. The holy maybe behind it all.
   (Bad Examples of 2 or Preamble to number 1 of crap I forgot)  I hate Renoir, Koons, and Poussin. I hate Nicholson. I hate Mike Nichols, Joan Baez and Steiglitz. I hate Ira Glass and David Sedaris. I hate Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews. I hate libertarians. I hate that the possessive of Jesus is Jesus's and not Jesus'. I hate anyone who likes the Cowboys. I hate Ayn Rand. I hate pan-poodlers. Drummers and boxes and toys. I hate grown ups who won't watch Xmas specials or who hate Xmas cause it asks for so much! There's so much pressure! It's so materialistic! )
   Boo fucking who. Snooze. 
  1) But at last and most of all…... I hate New Year's Eve.
      More than I hate hacky sack, more than I hate Mark David Chapman, more than I hate Hell, I hate that number one, top ten, top of the list for the lamest most amateurish night out of the year when idiots count down from 10-1 and try and kiss each other and the next day are forgotten the ten bests of every poor scribbler from here to Hong Kong who was too tired to write some prose about the deepest time of year when the footsteps of a friend and half heard music and the smell of the bread your mom just made move you thru decades of experience in a moment. When every other city block can call forth some kind of emotional roll back into a memory you know lasted one day 20 years ago with someone you haven't spoken to in half as long but which still matters twice as much as the ten best of 2014.
   Happy New Year and what's left of a Merry Christmas as the 12 days draw to a close and the Orthodox - those OC/ Original Christians- bring down the lights of the season.
   Let nothing you despair.
   Until you hear Nelly Furtado on the radio in a waiting room where you can't change the….sorry, I'm done.


  1. Love it including the excessive cheating on the "10" and I do although I am in fact lactose intolerant my whole life, which means when the word did not exist and it was called "Ewww - I feel sick when I have dairy, so I don't." Which is the whole trick .. I just don't. Or do and live with it. When I am in Pittsburgh every morning I do a quick calculation: cappuccino at Espresso A Mano vs feeling not so super for half an hour. Matt wins.

    Just not doing it works with NYE which I hate like a vampire the silver chains as well btw.. I just went to bed and got up the next morning ... and taadaa ... a new day. It's glorious.

  2. I know…I was unfair….on the lactose front…those brave fighters in their battle against….Matt. But yes, those things suck. Thanks for reading the WHOLE thing.

    1. No worries. The unfair bits are the best .. what is a rant without them? And like everyone who really has it I find those lifestyle lactose intolerant people extremely (!) annoying. Only lifestyle gluten free are worse (and actually do no good with their ridiculous behavior for people who actually have celiac disease)

    2. Have heard lately physicians mentionning that even more people were being intolerant to lactose AND gluten... what if this was simply a biological evolution and the consequence of our lifestyles? Just a though with a huge friendly smile (of course)

  3. I hope 2015 brings you a lot more fuel for your fire. Always love reading your blog. But seriously, I hope the new year is a healthy one to you and your family.

  4. The part about lactose free milk seriously cracked me up. :)
    I hate it with passion myself, hate those who take hours at the coffee shop to buy their special little perk. Emphasizing more than once to the barista that it HAS to be lactose free milk. Fucking annoying. Most of all though I hate the fact that I am lactose intolerant myself and am therefore guilty of all the above mentioned sins, too... I lose.

    If I may be so bold I'd like to throw in one of my personal hate objects of the last year(s): e-cigarettes and their constant praise among 'ex-smokers'. Perfect manifestation of the ridiculousness of the self-proclaimed health missionaries. Either smoke or quit, but stop being a hypocrite about it.

  5. "Let nothing you despair" - wiser words, couldn´t be wished more, and on my behalf, thank you for them and, certainly, will be kept in my thought, during the next months of studying and preparing myself to be a judge.
    Renewing my wishes for your NEW YEAR (the Day of Kings, is in did, on the 6th of January, but probably due to the time difference, on the computer system, you received my previous comment on the 4th January, not on the 5th, when I wrote it).
    Very special night it was today, on my Christmas past, celebrating the Epiphany: eating boiled cod with potatoes and collards, vermicelli with cinnamon powder over it and fried sugared slices of bread and tomorrow, the special Day of Kings also my grandmothers birthday, as I wrote you before.
    The birthday cake was the Kings fruit cake and she was so proud that her Day, was on this day.
    We also ate a dish made out of the cod, potatoes and collards, everything smashed with olive oil and garlic, called old clothes dish.
    Tomorrow we will go to a mass on her memory, as well, as my mother´s, who died on the same day - 6th September- two years ago.
    Both are in my heart, as well as my grandfather and I just wish I can honour them as they deserve, as you once said "we must honour our past".
    This really touched my heart when I read it, recently.
    Hope we can have the chance to see each other one day, the invitation to visit Portugal and Porto, in particularly, maintains.
    Be glad to drop by and read your writing, and as someone that wishes you well, I call a Friend, take me as one, for granted.
    Wishing you well,

  6. Must thank you for this amazing one David!
    For the way you wrote it, for the words you chose, and for its content: delightfully sarcastic and so totally passionate & sincere... Loved the paradoxes - as we all have - and am especially grateful for your 5c (too much of that song heard around in every single place!can't stand it!) and actually... to my surprise, am pretty much with you on your list of "hating things", with a special "flat" on the lactose part for the reasons expressed by others, even if we should still consider it in the context you mentionned...
    BTW, this cyclist... only opposed to milk/lactose or is it more general and linked to a vegan/vegetalian philosophical way of life?
    You'll excuse my lame/shaky english today... am on 2 other languages set ups right now and am taking my break at my desk in yours - yep, NOT the thing to do ;-) But wtf? HA!
    PS. yes, now we'll only have to face Wednesday,Thursday & Friday (WTF)
    which make me happyyyyy and NO am not singing that bloody song ha ha ha

  7. Thank you for saying what you feel. I happen to agree with most of it but some I don't agree with. It is your feelings and great thing that you are able to write them down. I worked for a capitalist company that forced it employees to work on Thanksgiving day. I left that job because being with my family is more important to me then them making money from my hard work. I agree with you about hating the cutlture of closure. My oldest son was killed 19 years ago and I am told all the time to get over it well you know what I will never get over losing my son and the assholes that tell me to get over it should be strung up by their toe nails from the lowest tree brach and maybe just maybe they will feel a just a little of the pain I feel everyday.
    I so agree about singing and dancing every chance we get. I sing and dance at work and dont care who sees or hears me as I am cooking their food. I have learned to laugh, sing and enjoy all the little things life has to offer and I make sure to not allow anyone to bring me down to their level.
    Thank you for your words David.

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  9. I hate, and I am sad, for what happened in my country today....

  10. I am as well, Marie. Brutal. Madness. The plurality,the open door of France- what she's shown to a multitude of peoples, for decades ….it's sad to see that desecrated.

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  13. Something to add to this list. Something that is occurring more and more each day: When you're reading a news story online about the atrocities in Paris (because of course your newspaper was soaked from melting snow and unreadable) and all of a sudden you hear John Krasinski peddling e-surance. Nothing against John. But embedded videos that play automatically when you're trying to make sense of this mess of a world is in poor taste. At best.

  14. I just cant stop reading. Its like... feeding something inside. Your list of "I hates".... I empathized with some, laughed at a lot, and agreed with almost all.

  15. Well said David. Looks like you and I had a great new year. I like how you speak the truth and respect. Somehow, I don't see much of those words as much anymore.

  16. I wish I had read this in January. Better late than...

  17. With 2015 coming to a close, i hereby declare this brilliant piece of writing My Top 5 favorite of the year! Then again, i rescind that declaration. You hate year end lists.

  18. Ha! Love it! ....I know I'm late, better late than never I guess.

  19. OH MY GOD! I love this! I can not believe that I am just finding it. You are so real in this one. Well done.