Journal of Pirate Lingo*


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05.01.02 - 9:33 p.m.

Happy May Day! On this day we remember the brave and forgotten workers who got their heads cracked in so that we could enjoy weekends and forty hour work weeks. (If you're in consulting or software or investment banking or law, this probably doesn't mean much to you. Sorry.) We also remember the pagans who gave their the solstice... so they could be fertile... on the equinox? Ok we actually don't know what we're talking about. Consult your local library.

I spent this year's May Day at a celebration sponsored by Inkworks, a collectively owned print shop in the warehouse district. I demonstrated solidarity with the workers of the world by drinking copious amounts of free beer, pausing only to occasionally raise my cup aloft whilst shouting "Viva La Revolution!!"

I wanted to put up a picture, but all my pictures turned out boring. So instead here's a Xul Solar painting. If you wish, you may think of it as a verrry abstract depiction of the May Day festivities.


Dana (who is very attractive! she wanted me to mention that. done & done) had been telling me for a while about Jonathan Richman, a singer-songwriter she adores. You may remember him from Something About Mary-- he sings quirky, literate pop songs about Pablo Picasso and lesbian bars and other random topics. Anyway, last Sunday I went to People's Park for an anniversary festival (yes, I've been going to a lot of Berkeley festivals; I'm fucking unemployed, what else do you want me to do?) and Jonathan Richman was there playing a free show! It was a blast. Live, he has amazing onstage presence-- he banters effortlessly and makes everyone in the audience feel as though he's staring directly at them. A few times he got so into his music that he took off his guitar and did a little jig. His smile is very silly.

At the People's Park show I experienced a feeling I sometimes get-- what N. would call oneness with the universe, but I think of more prosaically as contentment. You know that Volkswagon commercial where they're listening to the radio and they look out the window and everything is in synch with the music? That's the kind of feeling I'm talking about. Richman was playing a nice meandering song, and the audience was swaying along with him, and the sun was shining and the sky was blue and a gentle breeze was in the air. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a flock of birds take off from a nearby tree. My eyes were involuntarily drawn away from the stage towards these birds, and as I watched them trace a graceful semi-circle through the air, everything seemed to align. Time became a trickle. For the few seconds (minutes?) that this sensation lasted, I felt utterly blissed out and at peace with the world.

I know it sounds like I've been drinking the Berkeley water for too long. But I think it's important to acknowledge that these moments do occur.

Carina ran the Artist's Way meeting today. She was late, and when she arrived she informed us that she had "smoked a big fat doobie". This was the first time she's ever mentioned pot, but we suspect that she's been high at all our previous meetings. I am fascinated by her-- she's this young blonde girl who talks a mile a minute, with lots of "um yeah but, so like... (giggle)" and random bizarre utterances. She's a total space case, but I like her kookiness-- it's like she's our collective artist id. Her stream of consciousness babbling leads to some interesting conversations, as we struggle to make sense out of what she says. Here are some of my fave Carina quotes from tonight:

"you have to tweak your inner artist's nipples"

"when you're dead, are you gonna be like, 'man i sure wish that collage had gone over better with my class'? no, you're gonna be like 'thank god that car exploded and i had to run off to bolivia!!"

"my vision of art is nice and crisp and clean -- like smelling-wise, you know?"

"we need stuff like thrown around, just free for all you know? maybe we should get a ball and like--ooh--cards-- i brought these cards, instead of answering if you have an epiphany or whatever you should throw a card-- they're self affirmations-- but ok, so um-- yeah-- you've got to woo your inner artist, and... what was i going to say? all of a sudden my mind went to something like buddhism... plunk! whoa, that one went down in no time! (giggles)"

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