Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sibling sobriety

She says she got fatter when she was with me. My couch invites to teen TV shows, midnight freezer French fries, and all day chicken finger buffets. She says they took their toll. So the six weeks I stayed on my sisters couch have long past, and she’s back to treadmills and dining like a member of the voting public. Bollocks.

She’s got a new puppy and partner to keep her happy, has her brother out her hair. Still she Skypes me to trade Christmas lists, sends messages reminding of parent’s birthdays. And as she does she asks me what happened to all those photos I made her take in warmer weather.

Pulled from the back of my iPhoto, here they are, pictures of my pretty sister.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Everything looks perfect from far away

"You know, I can't believe we just did that. You realize they'll probably lock us up with Rorschach?" "Ahh, who cares? World war three could start tomorrow, right?"

Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

-Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

(I love all more than my fingers can type.)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

So-long Saturdays

The hard ground is soft to sleep on. We wake to a vacuum the Koreans in the sauna lazily sleep through, sweeping the dirt off the communal floor. Shake the sleep out of the eyes and drop drawers for a shower in the public baths we slept at.

The first stop is the library, to catch the Saatchi show. Then Thai noodles devoured by starved animals, and an endless afternoon of shopping. We make but one purchase in all our hours.

To the beat of music we walk into the evening, they at a punk show and me with the Lips. We rendezvous on the corner outside the university and head towards the Museum bar. The room is long and ceiling high, the wine cheap in towering glasses.

At Go-Go’s we dance on the stripper poles between Asians in short dresses, nod our heads to hip hop songs from high school dances. Fall back out the hookah bar, hunt the hotel down, fall head first into the pillow.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How you'll learn to stop worrying:

In case you're worried about this and me over here, I'm fine (I promise.) And in case you are wondering, this (above) is what the belly of the beast looks like, from the safest distance.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The four year resurgence of the Flaming Lips

Some four years ago Captain America walked across a stage and told a crowd the show was done. Five songs into a Flaming Lips set list, the last ferries began to lift off the ports of Toronto Island. After a two-hour masturbatory Gnarles Barkley set, the Virgin Fest headliners were shut out of properly closing down the night.

We stamped our feet to sounds of the “Fuck Virgin” chants, but four years later I got my finally got the Flaming Lips show I’d purchased that ticket for. Wayne Coyne gave a warm welcome Saturday with a Korean by his side. In both languages he promised the strobes would be really bright.

Then a construction crew in highlight orange set a ramp up to the screen. A naked woman with a collar rocker danced to the opening track. Orange orbits sped past her until she opened up her legs. The v vibrated until the drummer opened up the door. The band walked out her lady parts, Coyne slipped in the bubble and bounced onto the crowd.

Confetti shot up the rafters, rained through the blinding lights. Balloons billowed out into the crowd, turned the venue into a McDonald’s playpen. They launched right into the hits, Jelly, Tangerines, and finally Robots.

Out came the stomach sized hands, pointed to the disco. Shot out the palms, the green rays bounced towards all corners. The cell phone cameras’ blue light backlit the lazers, creating a chorus calling for another song.

With Do You Realize echoing in ears, I walked out the doors towards the store and grabbed a roadie. On to Hongdae, a dumb grin and pockets full of confetti.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Korean Eye

It only took a few weeks to learn not to ask a local, “How far?” The eyes grow wide with worry as they insist you should take a bus up four blocks or scoff at your five hour trip for a weekend in the mountains. So we knew we’d find the Foundation Cultural Center a spit’s distance from subway station exit, a walk marked five minutes.

It was so close it seemed the same building. On the lobby level to the library of Korean culture we found the exhibit. Korean Eye, now in its second year, aims to showcase the country’s young contemporary masters. Forget pottery, calligraphy, and landscapes of mountain ranges. The young blood makes pop infused comment art, just like their global siblings.

The first images to grab at the entrance are Dong Yoo Kim’s pixel paintings that crop two celebrity faces into a conversation. Hundreds of debutant Dianas make the icon of one pretty-in-pink Queen Elizabeth. Next to that a grid of Liz Taylors look out as a mass James Dean portrait.

Jeon Joon Ho’s video-display of oversized currency winks quiet construction sites. A painter covers the White House with their roller, a copter flies in a Welcome sign, but both only if you look closely.

Kim Hyunsoo’s small statue of a lost boy draped in a fur and breaking off his antler is one of the show’s best, all full of innocence and undercut with dark wonder. We knee down on the gallery floor and crank our necks under his fur covering, checking for anatomy.

As we see the pre pubescent penis cloaked under the artwork, I think: strip away everything else, and we still have that in common.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Daegu, day two

At the exit to the basement bar a blond boy was waiting. So we let them go, took off instead with a pack of strangers towards the corner store. We ransacked the place, leaving nothing left wanted: soju, soda, beer, chips, cigarettes, and a Hello Kitty contact carrier.

Three a.m. and fourteen dollars later, we eyed pages of top forty hits. Raining men and Rolling Stones, he kept shouting for a duet. Being the best Back Street Boys we could, told the room to quit playing games with our hearts.

Four a.m. she came back, safe for the first hour of free song time given to the last to stay singing. Poured the bottle bottoms into paper cups and wandered into black breaking blue skies.

The hunger. Breakfast burrito McDonalds in the city centre. She slipped her smile into Burger King just as my bills closed the register. Some change of heart, she said, asked for fries and a soda. They all followed, zoo animals watching the warm gold light whisper through the lock of closed take-out.

Mine was the last they’d agree to process. Itching bellies we parted ways, me sloppy with the ketchup. Like the arcade games we’d earlier slipped so many coins into, our night read two words: Game Over.