Monday, May 29, 2006

What I Didn't Write.

This is what I should have written on the gift that I should have got. Also the very thing I shouldn't have told her since I didn't get the gift that I didn't give. But if I didn't tell her about the gift I didn't get, she wouldn't have got it and where's the fun in that ;-)

Dear P,

One of the toughest things to define is something that never was. However, it is a euphoric feeling imagining what could have been. Personally, I don’t think it ever gets better than the imagination and the real McCoy doesn’t come even close for once. Being human, it’s so easy to get caught up in the euphoria and end up chasing the illusive water dragon. I swear that I’m not and this is not a lame effort to make you chase it either.
The role that you play in my life does not define what you mean to me. It is not something somebody else will comprehend; you need to feel it to know how good it is. Now there’s your new definition for unconditional love. So getting you something materialistic somehow just did not cut it. I hope you will like what I got. As you “unwrap” your gift you will realize that, in the end it’s like what we had.....…nothing. Many happy returns of the day.
Enigmatically yours,

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Fyodor Dostoevsky - Crime and Punishment.

By Emile Melchior, Vicomte de Vogüé

The subject is very simple. A man conceives the idea of committing a crime; he matures it, commits the deed, defends himself for some time from being arrested, and finally gives himself up to the expiation of it. For once, this Russian artist has adopted the European idea of unity of action; the drama, purely psychological, is made up of the combat between the man and his own project. The accessory characters and facts are of no consequence, except in regard to this influence upon the criminal’s plans. The first part, in which are described the birth and growth of the criminal idea, is written with consummate skill and a truth and subtlety of analysis beyond all praise. The student Raskolnikov, a nihilist in the true sense of the word, intelligent, unprincipled, unscrupulous, reduced to extreme poverty, dreams of a happier condition. On returning home from going to pawn a jewel at an old pawnbroker’s shop, this vague thought crosses his brain without his attaching much importance to it:

“An intelligent man who had that old woman’s money could accomplish anything he liked; it is only necessary to get rid of the useless, hateful old hag.”

This was but one of those fleeting thoughts which cross the brain like a nightmare, and which only assume a distinct from through the assent of the will. This idea becomes fixed in the man’s brain, growing and increasing on every page, until he is perfectly possessed by it. Every hard experience of his outward life appears to him to bear some relation to his project; and by a mysterious power of reasoning, to work into his plan and urge him on to the crime. The influence exercised upon this man is brought out into such distinct relief that it seems to us itself like a living actor in the drama, guiding the criminal’s hand to the murderous weapon. The horrible deed is accomplished; and the unfortunate man wrestles with the recollection of it as he did with the original design. The relations of the world to the murderer are all changed, through the irreparable fact of his having suppressed a human life. Everything takes on a new physiognomy, and a new meaning to him, excluding from him the possibility of feeling and reasoning like other people, or of finding his own place in life. His whole soul is metamorphosed and in constant discord with the life around him. This is not remorse in the true sense of the word. Dostoevsky exerts himself to distinguish and explain the difference. His hero will feel no remorse until the day of expiation; but it is a complex and perverse feeling which possesses him; the vexation at having derived no satisfaction from an act so successfully carried out; the revolting against the unexpected moral consequences of that act; the shame of finding himself so weak and helpless; for the foundation of Raskolnikov’s character is pride. Only one single interest in life is left to him: to deceive and elude the police. He seeks their company, their friendship, by an attraction analogous to that which draws us to the extreme edge of a dizzy precipice; the murderer keeps up interminable interviews with his friends at the police office, and even leads on the conversation to that point, when a single word would betray him; every moment we fear he will utter the word; but he escapes and continues the terrible game as if it were a pleasure.

The magistrate Porphyre has guessed the student’s secret; he plays with him like a tiger with its prey, sure of his game. Then Raskolnikov knows he is discovered; and through several chapters a long fantastic dialogue is kept up between the two adversaries; a double dialogue, that of the lips, which smile and wilfully ignore; and that of the eyes which know and betray all. At last when the author has tortured us sufficiently in this way, he introduces the salutary influence which is to break down the culprit’s pride and reconcile him to the expiation of his crime. Raskolnikov loves a poor street-walker. The author’s clairvoyance divines that even the sentiment of love was destined in him to be modified like every other, to be changed into a dull despair.

Sonia is a humble creature, who has sold herself to escape starvation, and is almost unconscious of her dishonor, enduring it as a malady she cannot prevent. She wears her ignominy as a cross, with pious resignation. She is attached to the only man who has not treated her with contempt; she sees that he is tortured by some secret, and tries to draw it from him. After a long struggle the avowal is made, but not in words. In a mute interview which is tragic in the extreme, Sonia reads the terrible truth in her friend’s eyes. The poor girl is stunned for a moment, but recovers herself quickly. She knows the remedy; her stricken heart cries out:

“We must suffer, and suffer together; … we must pray and atone; … let us go to prison!…”

Thus are we led back to Dostoevsky’s favorite idea, to the Russian’s fundamental conception of Christianity: the efficacy of atonement, of suffering, and its being the only solution of all difficulties.

To express the singular relations between these two beings, that solemn pathetic bond, so foreign to every preconceived idea of love, we should make use of the word compassion in the sense in which Bossuet used it: the suffering with and through another being. When Raskolnikov falls at the feet of the girl who supports her parents by her shame, she, the despised of all, is terrified at his self-abasement, and begs him to rise. He then utters a phrase which expresses the combination of all the books we are studying: “It is not only before thee that I prostrate myself, but before all suffering humanity.” Let us here observe that our author has never yet once succeeded in representing love in any form apart from these subtleties, or the simple natural attraction of two hearts toward each other. He portrays only extreme cases; either that mystic state of sympathy and self-sacrifice for a distressed fellow-creature, of utter devotion, apart from any selfish desire; or the mad, bestial cruelty of a perverted nature. The lovers he represents are not made of flesh and blood, but of nerves and tears. Yet this realist evokes only harrowing thoughts, never disagreeable images. I defy any one to quote a single line suggestive of anything sensual, or a single instance where the woman is represented in the light of a temptress. His love scenes are absolutely chaste, and yet he seems to be incapable of portraying any creation between an angel and a beast.—From “Dostoevsky” in “The Russian Novelists,” translated by J. L. Edmands (1887).

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.

One day during the time when Michael Jackson’s’ “Black or White” was being vastly over played on local radio stations and people didn’t think “Summer of 69” was rock, I was “tripping” at a friends place. We were checking out new material (after slaving two months to collect Rs. 250 for the audio cassette) R got recorded from either Trax or by Weeramanthri. First song on side B was “Blackhole Sun” by Soundgarden. The second song broke my trip. It was grunge like I’ve never heard before. The crash metal guitar and the vocals were passionate and riveting at the same time. A combination that I think, at that time, was lacking even in the most popular rock band, Guns N Roses, which went from hard rock to pussy rock with songs like November Rain and Patience (maybe with the exception of the song “I use to love her”). Thus was my introduction to Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. The song was “Smells like Teen Sprit”.

This is not a lame Kurt Cobain tribute but a lame effort to spark interests on exploring the works of one of the most geniusly talented yet wholly misunderstood icons of the 20th century. This was a guy who didn’t want to attract the wrong kind of fans to his music. After it was revealed that the song “Polly” was played in the back ground during a gang rape incident Cobain went on to say, "A girl was raped by two wastes of sperm and eggs while they sang the lyrics to our song 'Polly.' I have a hard time carrying on knowing there are plankton like that in our audience” (Duh? If you don’t want people to listen to your music Kurt, go play in your god damn church!).

The second album, the first released under a major record label, was nothing short of a musical masterpiece. Initially not expecting to exceed 500,000 copies, Nevermind with its’ anthem-of-a-generation track went on to sell 3 million copies within the first six months in the US alone. With songs like come as you are, lithium, and of course, smells like teen spirit, it ushered in a whole new generation of frustrated Sri Lankan teenagers who appreciated rock music for what it was (These were trying times. As parents, teachers and girl friends alike, resented rock music. Rumor had it that some jerk-off from Prep. had got stoned and killed his parents after listening to “rock” music. The rumor was that he listened to rock music). Anyway after his overnight success, lead vocalist of Nirvana was quoted saying “The last thing I wanted be was famous” (wtf??? Cobain pay attention! If you don’t want to be famous stop writing killer lyrics, don’t sell your music to big record labels. For god sakes don’t form a band!).

Never the corperate ass-kisser, Cobain once got kicked out of his own album launch party for starting a food fight with Krist Novoselic (yeah! Way to go dude. The way to get your next album in to mainstream is to act like retards in public). These are just sighting of some weird straits in Cobain, which amount to nothing compared what’s on the net about the man. His health disorders, heroin addiction, marriage, ultimate death, suicide note and conspiracies are all that maketh the man.

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights sums up Cobain in what I think is the best net summary of his life as a person.

KURT COBAIN: 1967-1994

A talented and creative child, Cobain was misdiagnosed as "hyperactive" and prescribed the cocaine-like and highly addictive Ritalin. Side effects include insomnia, nausea, abdominal pain, hallucinations and a predisposition to later cocaine use. Sedatives were prescribed to counter the insomnia. The progression to street drugs, including heroin, was a given. Compounding the Ritalin were untreated chronic medical conditions that affected him his entire life, including a "burning, nauseous" stomach, which Cobain said heroin "quenched." He enrolled in a Los Angeles psychiatric drug recovery center. Thirty-six hours after admission, he bolted and ended his life with a single shotgun blast to his head. Heroin and Valium were found in his blood stream.

A Dying Plea

To Boddah

“Speaking from the tongue of an experienced simpleton who obviously would rather be an emasculated, infantile complain-ee. This note should be pretty easy to understand.

All the warnings from the punk rock 101 courses over the years, since my first introduction to the, shall we say, ethics involved with independence and the embracement of your community has proven to be very true. I haven't felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music along with reading and writing for too many years now. I feel guity beyond words about these things.

For example when we're back stage and the lights go out and the manic roar of the crowds begins., it doesn't affect me the way in which it did for Freddie Mercury, who seemed to love, relish in the the love and adoration from the crowd which is something I totally admire and envy. The fact is, I can't fool you, any one of you. It simply isn't fair to you or me. The worst crime I can think of would be to rip people off by faking it and pretending as if I'm having 100% fun. Sometimes I feel as if I should have a punch-in time clock before I walk out on stage. I've tried everything within my power to appreciate it (and I do,God, believe me I do, but it's not enough). I appreciate the fact that I and we have affected and entertained a lot of people. It must be one of those narcissists who only appreciate things when they're gone. I'm too sensitive. I need to be slightly numb in order to regain the enthusiasms I once had as a child.

On our last 3 tours, I've had a much better appreciation for all the people I've known personally, and as fans of our music, but I still can't get over the frustration, the guilt and empathy I have for everyone. There's good in all of us and I think I simply love people too much, so much that it makes me feel too fucking sad. The sad little, sensitive, unappreciative, Pisces, Jesus man. Why don't you just enjoy it? I don't know!

I have a goddess of a wife who sweats ambition and empathy and a daughter who reminds me too much of what i used to be, full of love and joy, kissing every person she meets because everyone is good and will do her no harm. And that terrifies me to the point to where I can barely function. I can't stand the thought of Frances becoming the miserable, self-destructive, death rocker that I've become.

I have it good, very good, and I'm grateful, but since the age of seven, I've become hateful towards all humans in general. Only because it seems so easy for people to get along that have empathy. Only because I love and feel sorry for people too much I guess.

Thank you all from the pit of my burning, nauseous stomach for your letters and concern during the past years. I'm too much of an erratic, moody baby! I don't have the passion anymore, and so remember, it's better to burn out than to fade away.

Peace, love, empathy.
Kurt Cobain

Frances and Courtney, I'll be at your alter.
Please keep going Courtney, for Frances.
For her life, which will be so much happier without me.


April 5th marked the twelfth death anniversary of Kurt Cobain.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Getting Over

Today, over a random conversation with Pumpkin, “getting over” somebody came up. This I thought was interesting. At what point can you confidently say that you are over somebody? Is it you being able to have a very casual conversation with him/her without either party feeling awkward, or is it being able to have a conversation about the person he/she is currently going out with or does it boil down to just having conversation. Sadly, I know people who have not got over their exs’ even after one year and people who have before you can say Paul McCartney! (Why God couldn’t go metric I still can’t figure out!). Immaterial whether you take the highway or not, the destination is the same. But how do you know when you’ve arrived? After some (extensive) research I have concluded that views on the subject vary so much that there’s no proper definition. Nobody seems to know jackshit of how to get over somebody or more importantly, realizing when they have got over.

Thanks to the All Seeing Eye, I have a theory on this.

Getting over somebody is mostly about accepting reality as it is and accepting the fact that it’s over. The day you get over him/her is the day you come to terms with, that there is no outside/slim/remote/even if you were the last people on earth chance of getting back together. When it’s over it’s over dude. Cough it up and spit it out. Lots of people, especially guys, hold on to what have been and I think the first step is actually accepting reality as it is.

Then of course there’s that thing called history. Don’t get me wrong, history’s good for ya. I mean, what else are we guys to brag about? Been there done that is what we live for but it’s a bitch when it comes to getting over somebody. But hey, history always repeats itself.

Comparison is important for brands, not for people. You are the smallest person in the world if you compare how you feel about people, especially people whom you have gone out with. No two people are the same. Getting over, is appreciating every relationship for what it was/is and not comparing him/her with your ex.

That’s the art.

Right, now comes the…ummm…. confusing/interesting part as explained by one research subject. Say you’re a charmed one and you’re over him/her. What makes one flaunt the fact around? As explained further, getting over somebody feel like receiving a medal for bravery while still being alive. So what’s the damn point if you can’t flash it around?

Is that just human or is she psychotic?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006