Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Suicides of Tojinbou

Ever since I excommunicated myself from the Mormon church, when I was 15, I have been more a man of Logic and Coincidence, with some Chaos and Absurdity thrown into the batch. I lost most of my spiritual beliefs over time, they were absorbed by more pertinent things to me like creativity and the beauty to be found in the simple. Superstition is now just memories of a wild imagination as a child. After rereading Kierkegaard in my early thirties I had regained a strong understanding of the importance of belief, and have reincorporated it into my life, but now without religion attached to it. Mostly I know it is important to believe in people and to trust the inexplicable feelings we often cannot come to copes with.

This post has gone to a place I didn't expect. What I really wanted to share, which I suppose the aforementioned paragraph gives some backstory to, is this: When I was at Tojinbou with Shogo and Akiko, while standing on the jagged rocks looking out over the Sea of Japan, they told me that this was one of the most popular places in Japan to commit suicide, so much so that the city installed a phone booth with a bowl full of coins to use to make a call and a hotline to dial for support. This is pictured below. They also told me that the island just across the way, Oshima, was a place of unsettled ghosts, the ghosts of the thousands of suicides. Then Shogo turned to me very seriously and through broken English told me that people say that at night you can look out over the cliffs towards the island and witness arms stretching out from the sea. This is no joke, and they are not ones to pull a prank on me. Later that night when we were looking through our photographs, we spotted this strange picture of me sitting on the rocks. Take a look. And tell me that that isn't weird!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Weasel Logo silk screened into the internet machine

Years and years ago, a few days before hopping in a Chevy Malibu to travel across the country, touring with our, at the time, fledgling punk band, I purchased a do-it-yourself silk screen kit. The way these things worked seemed to me to be some kind of modern day magic. I spent a couple days making a shit ton of concert shirts. I built a wooden frame, stuck the screen in it, and sat Paul Russel’s legendary Weasel logo, against it under a sun lamp, covered in some kind of magical chemicals. Then I coated the screen in an otherworldly goo, and when I washed it off the logo had wondrously adhered itself to the screen. To this day the silk screen making process is still magic to me! But the silk screening repetitive work itself is all too real. I unwrapped and spread dozens and dozens of blank t-shirts across my floor, and one by one I poured paint into the wooden frame and squeegeed even levels of it across the screen, and then slowly lifting it up revealing the logo, anxious each time that I was going to fuck up the design. Which did happen quite a few times. We still sold those fucked up shirts too, just at a cheaper price. We couldn’t afford not to. After hours and hours of repeating this process, all night and into the morning, covered in paint from head to toe, I was surrounded in my room with drying concert shirts. Getting out of their was like playing Hot Lava, except I didn’t have a couch to stand on to protect myself from burning my skin. I jumped, crawled, wavered, and nearly fell quite a few times till I got to the exit. I think about this every time I happen upon this photo on the internet. I was pretty damn proud of those shirts, with or without one of them being warn out on the body of this well known rocker. This came up because of wandering down memory lane preparing for my next youtube album archive episode.