...but now can be asked.
For instance, what am I, the writer of the blog BRANDTRUEBOY
who goes by the name of TRUE, really scared of? At one point, if any, do I become powerless against the irrationality of fear? Well, for one thing I've noticed that when I write very suspenseful or scurry or extremely dramatic scenes there's often a description of a buzzing sound of some sort--whether from fluorescent lights or a film projector or an old fashioned CRT monitor...there's something off to the side or just underneath the surface of the action that persists relentlessly--providing a context of incomprehension by which to frame and isolate the action. I wonder if this is influenced by the chronic tinnitus in my right ear, the result of hereditary ear problems made worse by a childhood spent at loud shows not to mention the time in my early 20s I passed out drunk on a park bench in Greenpoint with an ear bud rammed in my right ear (thankfully one was not in my left as well) and the volume turned to max and the CD Man, with the Tortoise CD inside set to repeat. For whatever reasons the ear bud was also missing its cushy black protective cover.
(After years of not being able to listen to it I now start a DJ set with a Spring Heel Jack
remix of a track off of Millions Now Living Will Never Die
, the album that was in the CD man on that fateful nite. The notes are hard coded on my brain--after one listen i had that record memorized. I mix it in with "La La", a dreamy Slum Village
track. The two tracks contain ghosts of sounds that mix together forming a musical phantasm sandwich--oozing, radiating deeply blunted beats and other moist and gooey goodness)
The ringing is always there--i only really focus on it when everything else is silent, or if I'm stressed--then it gets louder and louder.
I think it's one of the reasons that the movie Eraserhead
hit me as hard as it did: the white noise soundtrack that runs throughout the film reminded me of what I "normally" hear inside my head--the high pitch buzzing of screaming twitching nerve ends accented by faint lower tones. Machines bellowing. Pipes groaning...those sounds really got to me, they haunted me more than the shots of the mutant baby, or the "just cut em up like regular chickens" scene.
I think then of Kurdt
spending days hiding out under the highway overpass alongside a muddy, rushing river. Or of Balzac
illuminated by oil lamps and fueled by endless cups of coffee. I think of Hemingway
writing short stories that took place in Michigan while sitting at a tiny table in a Parisian cafe. I think of Nas
writing rhymes under the rumble of the elevated subway track out in Queens. I think of Aphex Twin
composing electronic symphonies in his head while standing beside an electrical power plant deep in industrial England in the middle of the night...
Everything matters, everything makes a difference. All of the who, what, whys and wheres are the ingredients that make the artwork. It's not true what our high school english teachers tried to teach us: that the artists work should be judged irrespective of his or her life--life matters. It forms the fairy tale called "reality" from which all other stories are spun--the question is, which parts matter more? The fact of religion or nationality or sexuality that an artist was born into or the vibe of his favorite watering hole, or the exact layout of the room into which she locked herself away from the world for many years? The person he or she ended up falling in love with or the fact that she went to bed every nite as a child with the sound of music from the juke-joint down the street wafting up into her window and seeping into her brain?
That which seems to matter least...that which doesn't make sense...that which is the remainder once something else is taken away. All of these are worth examining. But so are the everyday things, the routines, the shopping lists, the minor irritations and invisible, chronic disorders.
And since you never asked, here it is:
I fear the insistent (buzzing) persistence of evil.
(why is the nite so still? why did i take the pill? cuz i dont want to see it at the windowsill...
--The Arcade Fire