Wednesday, December 19, 2012

On The Verge Of Ending An Era

When I was 18 or 19 and puffed up on more self-importance than I knew what to do with and eager to be filled up on any and all types of medicines that I could put my greedy hands on I had this flash realization of an important date. I fixated on it. It felt like it was an important concern for myself and the rest of the world. I credit myself for it because it's slightly wrong in the face of the massive millenarian jocularity (and some devotion) around the end of the Mayan long calendar. My date is/was December 23, 2012. I plotted that as the end of... something. I didn't really have a specific project in mind.

I wanted to buy Super Bowl ads and billboards proclaiming Inche Clyffe Clique: 2000-12, The Generation of the Dead. Inche Clyffe Clique was the sort of (art collective?) that I had with my friends, and one cousin, but it wasn't really that cohesive. We recorded shit on 4-tracks that we never bothered to send to anybody for radio play or to play in shows. I painted stuff and plotted movies that I never wrote and outlined story ideas for books that haven't been written.

This all would have been happening in 1996 and/or 1997. I fancied myself as some kind of neo-Beat going wherever a bed was available. I criss-crossed the country by car and by train a few times between quitting school in the Spring of '96 and picking it back up in the Spring of '99. I watched a lot of movies. I worked some terrible jobs. I had no sex. I smoked a decent amount of weed and downed a lot of pills, a touch of psycho-tropics, a tiny bit of powdery substances. The sex thing wasn't on purpose but the rest of it was in service to some set of ideals that I might have never really had. I think I was in the thrall of fame's cult but I could have just been a moron.

I keep thinking about that squandered time in my life. It's a funny thing looking back and thinking, "I could have made some serious bullshit and gotten away with it because I was just a kid." Somebody will usually take an ambitious youngster under wing just because of the youth and energy. All you've got to do is make something. I wasn't even finishing my little video shorts that I was making solely for the entertainment of my brothers. I'm a loafer, really, and a shy little twerp who is now and always has been a little bit scared of womankind. And money. Money sucks and it's scary because I am sure that I display all of my barn-raised lack of polish every time I open my mouth or get dressed in the morning. And I hate money for a lot of reasons. The fire, brimstone, and guilt might have never taken a hold of me in my Catholic school upbringing but the pious brotherhood of poverty is still my religion for better and for being the worst.

The end of the world isn't the scariest thing to me. The world ends? Fine, because I'll end, too, and what's scary about that? Nothing isn't scary. A world that was created by chance and lives and burns and dies and just goes away isn't scary. There's comfort there if it reflects at the proper angle. Being alive and feeling trapped and feeling less than and feeling like there used to be potential and now there is nothing but the rotting carcass of something that might be a soul that is taking up space where that potential used to be is a frightening, nuclear-scarred world of internal endlessness.

So the era, the Generation of the Dead is all but over and I don't own the world and I don't have followers or believers. Scrap rock isn't a genre. I've never recorded a Christmas album of songs that aren't thematically linked to Christmas and I don't hawk alcoholic water that competes with caffeinated water for shelf space at the nation's grocery store chains. Is this what regret means? Then I've got regrets and I've got worry. This is all it's fueling, though. I took my movie down from today. I don't want to pay storage for it. I'll get around to changing the story. I'll do it just the way I outlined it last week. I'll get the readers at The Black List to look it over one more time. I'm dead certain that nobody from CAA will be calling me after the holidays to tell me how much they loved the script or how John Hillcoat is really impressed and ready to start polishing the turd for flushing it down past a green light. I'll get it dusted off and if I settle for selling it to some indie producer to make it on a shoestring and it ends up being a corny waste of time, I'll get over it. I'm unimpressed with an existence on that local level but it's fine. This is a dumb little emotional cul-de-sac I've driven myself into, isn't it? I don't even really paint anymore. I can trace that one, at least. When I was in a group show and not only didn't sell anything but didn't even have a single patron ask me to explain myself the sails went in and I shut down. Fuck it. I am a fame whore in my darkest insides of my spirit. If I can't be a star at something I don't want to do it. Cheers to the new epoch.

I'm going to just end this ramble as abruptly as I felt compelled to start it but I want to explain the title if I'm able. The Verge is the original drawing of a cliff that I drew when I was 13 and wanted to design a logo that would be identifiable for anything that I worked on, something along the lines of what Eddie is to Iron Maiden. It was my personal little stamp that I could draw in the corner as a signature for drawings, paintings, et al. When I had collected some friends later in high school, and we were looking for a name that would work for whatever sounds we recorded, I pushed out Inche Clyffe Clique and adapted my signature drawing of a cliff to the name. Nobody loved it, I don't think, but nobody else had any ideas either so it just stuck. Inche Clyffe is the name my grandfather gave to the property in Florida that now sits underneath my mother's house. It is a rare (still short) bluff in the flattest state in the Union, and he gave it an intentionally silly name. He might have even spelled it Ynche Clyffe but I've always started it with an "I" just to make the pronunciation more obvious. So my title is a call back to the little drawing that I snuck in to all of my delusional daydreams and the ties it into my big delusional generationally compelling ad campaign for nothing. Does that make sense you, dick pill sellers? At least in the sense of what I was going for with the title? It works well enough for me.