Monday, July 22, 2013

Adam Humphreys Book, Art Openings, Anti Everything

Adam Humphreys, Adam’s Summer Purgatory, 2008, Thought Catalog 2013

Adam Humphreys wrote a slim book excerpted from a blog of his from 2008.  It is an e-book but can also be printed on demand.  It is about him planting trees in Canada for a season and the people, events and situations that occurred in that season.  One would think that it would read like a blog, it does but it doesn’t.  There is a construction going on and the selections made make it captivating even in its slimness.  The form in which it is written, quick recollections with reflective asides, is fitting and structurally new to see even if the print quality is sub-par and the design of font a bit off putting at first.  These minor flaws of the physical form can be put aside though. I recommend reading this in its book form as it is advantageous to its diarist writing.  There is an economy of words and ways of expression that makes this book as enjoyable as it was.  There is a directness in facts and recollection but also intimacy is achieved in the openness of Humphreys' feelings and the people that are spoken of in the story.  There is also that ever-necessary arc, in some ways.  There are friends, enemies, plots thickening, accusations, people missed and revelations of character and slight reflections on the meaning of life.  I read this book poolside in one sitting and it held my attention in a way that most things haven’t been able to do in a long time.  It was good in a way that just hits that “good” thing.  It’s not perfect but I wanted to read more and look forward to future stories that Humphreys may one day publish. 

Going to Art Openings

This summer has been a strange one.  It feels like other summers but different in a way, like it seems to be more summery then others.  Maybe it’s because the weather, until today, has been brutally hot and going to the beach and near water has been modus number one for survival.  Another reason maybe because I have been going out to a lot of openings and events.  This is something that I stopped doing for a while, like over a year, because they always made me feel a certain way about art and humanity that was not pleasant for me or for anyone near me. 

This summer, I have been going out to a lot of them though and they are usually in some random spot here or there in the Lower East Side or Brooklyn, with the occasional Financial District and Mid-town event.  Maybe it feels different this time around because ‘art openings’ umbrella a wider net of social situations then they previously had.  It is no longer just the gallery with things inside of it affair but they also include performances, music as performance, readings, book launches, clothes launches, birthday and goodbye parties with a special number/act by this or that person. 

People want to get together and be in the same room with their friends and their interesting, possibly sexy, friends of friends.  Some of these events are just about talking to the same crew you already know but at other times you somehow meet and develop on vague introductions and slowly develop some variety of relationship with those whom you consider mere acquaintances.  There is something pleasant about this, it’s like a giant blind date, eager, open, wanting to put on the best face.  It can also be a drag too though, stifling, awkward, lonesome and annoying.  I had previously boycotted going to such gatherings because it was always such an effort and seeing the actual art was near to impossible.  This has changed in me though.  I go, see the art, see the performance, see whatever it is that is the reason why we are all amassed there and many times the viewing is clipped in some way or another but it’s enough.  It’s a sampling, a snippet and if it’s good then I will make it a point to learn about it, hear it, or try to see again.  To be honest, most times it’s not.  Most times it is background noise to the wanting to be anywhere but alone in one’s apartment.  That’s okay though, we all need a reason to be living this life we live.

Anti Everything

Sometimes one feels like there is a lot of beauty out there and that the world is amazing and that the fact that we are all living and able to connect is the most incredible thing ever.  Other times you just want to make the finger in the mouth gesture to the whole god damn world.  I am feeling a little bit of the first and a lot of the second at this moment.  It’s just a little Daria phase that is always sorta there but it is coming out in big way right now cause yeah, reality is just reality sometimes.  Below is a quick off the top list of things that are just annoying the shit out of me at this moment.  I’m sure in a week or so they will be a-ok with me or meaningless as I am an embracer of contradiction but yeah, till then (if then), these things are on my shit list.

Being really fit – Being healthy is good, feeling healthy is great.  Making your lifestyle and aesthetic sub-genre heavily based on your rock hard abs, stupid.

Groups of people – If there are more then four people going to anything together like a restaurant, beach, movie, then I think you’re stupid.  Hate groups.  This is a life model.

Texting – With friends this is okay, once in a while.  With potential/active make out partners, this is the worst.  Lost in translation, bad at grammar and spelling, emoticon hell.  It’s the worst Pavlovian emotional thing ever.  Call me if you want to make out/do other things.  Text me if you are downstairs/outside/five mins away.

Beer – I drink it but it makes me feel fat.  Plus anyone who talks about micro anything I want to zap you with my eyes.

Flip Flops – Two words: Flip. Flops.

Phrase, “It’s just a joke.” - If you have to say that, then it wasn’t funny.  Aka, you’re not funny.

Dating – White flag is up, towel is thrown in.  I’m done for life people.  Mean it this time. 

Small Talk – We all hate it.  Let’s collectively stop doing it. 

Potatoes – Over these things.

Tattoos – If you have a lot of shitty tattoos then yes, I am judging you. 

Bad Manners – Maybe I’m old fashion, which I am in many ways, but god, the lack of basic manners is chilling today.  Yes, young guy with obviously no handicap get up and give your seat to the old lady/man or the really-really pregnant lady that is carrying another living person inside of their body.  And other such obvious things like this.

Subway performers – It’s not show time.  It’s please shoot me time.

Phrase, “I read in the New York Times…” – I read it too.  Please don’t.  Plus, anything that is covered by the New York Times Style Section is over, finito, dead to me.

The question, “So what do you do?” – How is this something people even are allowed to ask anymore?! I do things.  I breath, I think, I eat, I poop, I have feelings, I have issues, I have talents, I do things that make me able to live without financial support of anyone else.  I assume the same for you.  I know this is a tool to get to know a stranger but yeah.  Hate it nonetheless.

Brooklyn – I live here.  You probably live here.  Get over it.