Saturday, December 22, 2012

("shouting the poetic truths of high school journal keepers"*; or, The Ultimate Blogpost

My hair had become long again, as long as it was when I graduated from high school. Seattle long, fifteen months long. Then, after kvetching about its inconveniences endlessly, I paid a young person named Steffi fourteen Euros to cut it all off, leaving only fifteen sleek millimeters around the sides and back. Precision. Bzzz, bzzz, bzzz. Catharsis by haircut; feels great out.

Blogger of the Year

Next morning the other parents unloading their children with the Tagesmutter are visibly surprised. They're surprised because long hair is the only hair of mine they know. I have to explain that this cut is more of a return to form than a swerve into new territory, and I keep it simple by leaving out that long hair was also a return, an unplanned, lazyass rehearsal of adolescence. They're also surprised because it's winter. As I say, feels great out.

Fifteen months, plus December, leaves us only six more months in Berlin – gray, paradisiacal Berlin.

Some rebellious splinter of my mind – despite my philosophical and ethical commitments, such as they are – had become excited by the idea that I might arrive at some minimal understanding of another place/culture (since I've completely given up on trying to understand my "own!") after a mere two years. The rebel has been hanged for treason, not surprisingly. A cliche follows: The more I am in Berlin, the longer I'm here and sink in or try to remain camoflouged (the haircut is helping), the less I know. I don't think of this as a revelation or some kind of Socratic boast. I genuinely feel that I am becoming more and more ignorant, as well as more and more circumspect about what can be known. I mistrust experts; I mistrust novices. And the notion that I might, through dint of effort or otherwise, come to understand at least some small sliver of "myself"—this notion is a reusable special effects prop which gets exploded more violently every year.

This Is My Jam is a service for sharing one song at a time. It prompts you weekly to switch your song. I opened an account last spring. Here are all of the songs I've posted to date:
Tiny Me by Split Cranium
I Am Wrong by Nomeansno
Le Dernier Mot by Ô Paon
All Lies by Nomeansno
The Things That People Do When They Think No One's Looking by Hella
(I'm Gonna) Miss You (When You're Dead) by Treepeople
Eggs for Rib by Cop Shoot Cop
Throb by Skin Yard
Something So Clear by Mudhoney
I'd Like to Be There by Rob Crow
Man In The Trees by Die Kreuzen
The Man Who Loves To Hurt Himself by Today Is The Day
Smoking In A Minor by Officer May
Pinch & Roll by Hum
Winder by Hum
To Part[n]er by Butthole Surfers
Frere Jacques by ?
Huck by Thirty Ought Six
Animated Airplanes Over Germany by Superchunk
When I Burn This Place Down by Firewater
Carmelita by Dwight Yoakam
Alle Meine Entchen by ?
Paint It Black by Firewater
Bull In The Heather by Sonic Youth
Lee by Spore
Hall of the Dead by Isis
We Were Kids by Turtle Giant
Understanding Nothing by Bruce Cockburn
Berlin by Heidi Brühl
Dulcinea by Isis
Queen B by Jucifer
The Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep) by Sunn O))) & Boris
My Amigo by Terry Allen
The Future Will Destroy You by Viva Voce
Lecker Lecker by Näd Mika
December by Unwound
Demons Sing Love Songs by Unwound
Wither by Skin Yard
Civil Savage by The Old Haunts
Mercury Falls by Come
Blue Water - Black Heart by The Black Heart Procession
Lucky Acid by Unwound
Only Loved at Night by The Raincoats
Only Loved at Night by The Raincoats
Angel by Belly

Minus the two children's songs, samples of all of these have been remixed into a sort of, well, presentation at I don't know what this selection of music says about me, but if anything, it's not surprising.

* A line from one of my favorite SY songs, Skip Tracer.)


  1. The insurance salesman who is usually smoking in front of his office on Pflügerstraße when R and I pass by on our way to the Tagesmutter's (and who always has a friendly smile for R),--his long ponytail is gone! I noticed it this morning: he has a very short haircut, all of sudden, as They say. He looks much sharper now in his black suit, chatting with younger colleagues. He must have had all that hair cut off during the holidays. Perhaps it's a Silvester ritual of his.

  2. And in 2013 I continue to use/be used by TIMJ; so far this year:
    Predatory Glow by Converge
    Predatory Glow by Converge
    I Live in Berlin by Robots in Disguise
    Symphony No. 2, second movement by Jean Sibelius

  3. Four more:
    Für Alina by Arvo Pärt
    Two People in a Room (live) by Wire
    Don't Let My Girlfriend Tickle Me by Sinn Sisamouth
    Two seconds to non-existence by No Trend

  4. And on it goes:
    Striker by Gui Boratto
    If by Latin Playboys
    Hate In Your... by Caustic Resin
    Let Your Love Grow (feat. Paul St. Hilaire) by Modeselektor

  5. Root Of All Evil by Today Is The Day
    Ex-Millionaire Mambo by Firewater
    Black Sheep by Minutemen
    Strange Life by Firewater

  6. No Time by Die Kreuzen
    Sully by Michael Mayer
    The Dream Barge by Pleaseeasaur
    Zieh dein Hemd aus Moses by Kid Kopphausen

  7. My Great Location by Rebuilding the Rights of Statues
    Bring Back the Apocalypse by Sleepytime Gorilla Museum
    I Think You Know by Nomeansno
    Look a Boom by I-Roy (vs. Winston Blisset & John Tonks)

  8. I'm doing the same thing you're doing by Bisybackson
    Blessed Black Wings by High On Fire
    Sad Eyes by Come
    Sad Eyes by Come
    Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen by Gustav Mahler

  9. Schwarz zu Blau by Peter Fox
    Moishe (Eisenbauch) Zangief by Knoblauch Klezmer Band
    Works Every Time by El-P
    I Am the Rain by Firewater

  10. Angelique-O by Harry Belafonte
    Flyswatter by Eels
    Strange Life by Firewater
    It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'N' Roll) by AC/DC

  11. Dead Between the Walls by Pelican
    Homesick by Jesu
    Sleep Talk by Shannon and the Clams
    The Hunt by New Model Army

  12. Backlit by Isis
    Newport by Kinski
    20 Minutes/ 40 Years by Isis
    Death Throes of a Cockroach by Permanent Makeup

  13. Vote With A Bullet by Corrosion of Conformity
    Natural Disasters by Enon
    Pure Birth and Loneliness by Envy
    Hold It Against Me by Britney Spears

  14. Tides by Sandrider
    Scatter by Sandrider
    Scatter by Sandrider

    ...out with a bang, then; here they all are, mixed together

  15. The Curse of King David by Akimbo
    Blue Asian Reds by Terry Allen
    Banks of the West by Deadkill
    The Thing That Only Eats Hippies by The Dead Milkmen
    In 'n' Out of Grace by Mudhoney
    Die Stiefel sind zum wandern by Eileen [Goldsen]
    Get Out Of My Head by Firewater
    Kackvogel by Solomun

  16. Mush Teeth by Constant Lovers
    Epic Sadness by Hungry Ghost
    Wrong Side of History by Kowloon Walled City
    Joa by Disappears
    Against by Unwound

  17. Vicious Muse by Converge
    Breathing Hard by Odonis Odonis
    Mr. Smith by Odonis Odonis
    Don Marcial by Dengue Dengue Dengue!
    Muévelo Negro by Quantic & Nidia Góngora
    Everyday I Get Closer to the Light from which I Came by Jesu

  18. New Obsession by Odonis Odonis
    Boogie Stop Shuffle by Charles Mingus
    Spaceship Broken - Parts Needed by Pelican
    Truckers Atlas by Modest Mouse
    Johnson & Johnsonstein by Pleaseeasaur
    Titelsong by Conni
    Nausea by X
    Battlefields by Big Business

  19. Ecseri by The Toy Boats
    Guns by Big Business
    Burn Your Bridges by Cop Shoot Cop
    Cruel World by Lana Del Rey
    Killing the Old by Absolute Monarchs
    Glisten by Isis

  20. Static by Barkmarket
    Titelsong by Heidi
    Moan (Trentemøller Remix Radio Edit) by Trentemøller

    Oh, wait. TIMJ now displays one's past faves pleasingly. Here's 2014.

  21. Sharp by Absolute Monarchs
    Skip Tracer by Sonic Youth -- "hello, twenty fifteen!"