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Today's knuckle tattoo idea: "FUCK THAT"   
03:56pm 08/12/2010
   Listen up y'all!

So you're in college and you're thinking, "I guess I can get a job if I finish school." So what's your plan? Finish school with a positive attitude cuz you aren't just there to get a job but to learn (even though you know damn well that your friends can lend you more books than you will ever be able to read and they can engage you in more fascinating discussions than your professors and classmates ever will, and you can learn more from wikipedia and the radio than you can from any peer reviewed databases and library stacks). Then you'll get a job. But then again, you might have to go to grad school because in America grad school is the new high school as far as being able to get and/or keep a real job with benefits and a salary etc. So ok, you might have to go to grad school and work at the same time, and you might have to take a day off work to meet your advisor and be told what paper work you need to get together in order to be able to register for next semester, and you might be thousands behind in payments, so you try to finance your shit, but you walk into the wrong door at the aid office, and you take a number and sit just so that they can give you a piece of paper with a website on it, so you go to the library but the website forgets your password. then you create a new account and they want to know exactly how many dollars you owe, and you don't know the answer to that question, and you don't know any way to find that information, and by the way you owe tens of thousands in undergrad loans, and in the meantime you are in the school library trying to do an assignment that was due last week on a topic that you don't give a shit about that has nothing to do with your job or anything, and that you simply don't have the resources/ expertise to begin to take step one in doing this assignment, and John Lennon died 30 years ago today and all you want to do is blow off the assignment and the two bullshit classes you have this afternoon and go to the park and sing with the people there, but you can't because that would mean failing your classes, losing your certification, your job, your house, your life. 

Well, beats working at a grocery store just tryin to make enough to pay the rent right?

No. It doesn't. 

Drop the fuck out now and work at the grocery store.

BTW please comment if you still have LJ and remind me who you are so I know.
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What do they have to do to lose your vote?   
01:53am 31/10/2008
  Howard Zinn, historian and author of The People's History of the United States, said that he was planning to vote for Obama. A few days ago, he emailed Nader admitting that this was a mistake. He now pledges to vote for Nader Gonzalez. He said that because he lives in Mass, a sure thing for Obama (58% to 34%), he is voting for Nader and encourages all who live in slam dunk states (non-swing states) to do the same. NY is Obama's surest thing in what will be a landslide election. Obama leads in NY 62% 32.3% That's better than he's doing in California, Massachusets and all other states. 

If you live somewhere outside NY and you want to check your state's numbers: http://news.yahoo.com/election/2008/dashboard

If you actually think that anti-palestine, pro-patriot act, pro-death penalty, pro military expansion, corporate puppet Obama is better than Nader, or that the Democrats represent a progressive agenda, check out this essay by Matt Gonzalez:


Please please please do the right thing people. Nader won 2.74% of the popular vote in 2000 but because of the corporate media myth that he spoiled florida for gore (among other things, bush stole florida, this is a fact) he only got 0.38% in 2004. He is now polling around 2 or 3% again. Let's do better than 2000 and send a message to the corporate parties that we haven't gone away. Susan B Anthony didn't live to see women get the right to vote, but she kept fighting. This vote is a statement about what's right. Don't throw your vote away on Barrack Obama.

04:13am 07/10/2008
  Fuck Bill O'Reilly man! I just watched this terrible "interview" with this Iraq Veterans Against the War dude, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGAibec9JsA He's always gotten my blood to boil, but I never really articulated why until tonight when someone wrote, "Bill is the only person who has balls to do interviews with those who disagree with him"

So I responded, "Define "interview." He's the only "interviewer" I know of who does the majority of the talking. He also begins every interview with his own perspective, "It seems to me... because of, I believe the failure of Iraqis... the only thing standing between us and people who would slit our throats, yours and mine..." is all part of the first "question." That rant lasts 25 seconds and doesn't end with a question mark. Then he tacks on "am I wrong?" Everyone's obsessed with BALLS. Sure he's a great interrupter and question loader. Unfortunately there's no pulitzer for interrupting and question loading. Interviewers are supposed to play the part of the undecided or uninformed citizen trying, for the sake of the viewers, to understand the perspective of the interviewee. The only perspective Bill is interested in showcasing is his own."
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accidentally deleted, reposted   
04:11am 07/10/2008
   &nbsp;The debates used to be run by the League of Women Voters, but they had too much dignity to cave to the shameful arm-twisting of the Bush and Dukakis camps. Thusly the Commission on Presidential Debates was formed. The commission is headed by Frank Fahrenkopf, a former head of the Republican National Committee, and Paul Kirk, a former head of the Democratic National Committee. Here's a clip from the CPD wikipedia page: &quot;In 1988, the League of Women Voters withdrew its sponsorship of the presidential debates after the George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis campaigns secretly agreed to a 'memorandum of understanding' that would decide which candidates could participate in the debates, which individuals would be panelists (and therefore able to ask questions), and the height of the podiums. The League rejected the demands and released a statement saying that they were withdrawing support for the debates because 'the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter.' During the 2000 election, the CPD stipulated that candidates would only be invited to debate if they had a 15 percent support level across five national polls. Ralph Nader, a presidential candidate who was not allowed to debate because of this rule, believed that the regulation was created to stifle the views of third party candidates by keeping them off the televised debates.&quot; Read the entire League of Women Voters statement! http://www.lwv.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home&amp;template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&amp;ContentID=7778 Nader regularly cites Jesse Ventura as an example of the power of open debate. In 1998 Ventura, who ran as the Reform Party candidate, was polling at 10% for the governor of minnesota before the debates. He was allowed to debate and crawled up in the polls and eventually won by 4 percentage points. This cannot happen on the national level anymore because the 2 major parties run the debates. Pretty cool huh? Can someone give me an example of America becoming MORE free since, i dunno, the Reagan years? This is less a &quot;challenge&quot; and more a &quot;give me a shred of hope so I can sleep tonight?&quot; <div><br />sy</div>  
My response to some whack crap.   
04:00am 18/09/2008
  The only emails I get from these folks are advertising shows, which is fine with me. I usually don't even open them, but this one was titled, " A request to help out a proven good neighbor"  I thought it might be a friend in legal trouble or a guy with no insurance who had a serious accident. So I opened it. Below is their email and my response. I unsubscribed after sending my message. 

--- On Wed, 9/17/08, The Bowery Presents <info@boweryballroom.com> wrote:
From: The Bowery Presents <info@boweryballroom.com>
Subject: A request to help out a proven good neighbor
To: steve_yank0u@yahoo.com
Date: Wednesday, September 17, 2008, 8:05 PM


Dear Friends:


I am asking that you please forward the following email to TRAV200008@hotmail.comto help support a new restaurant that plans to open near The Bowery Ballroom. The restaurant, named Travertine, will be located at 19 Kenmare Street (near Elizabeth Street) in part of the space that was occupied by Charlie's Clam House. We want to encourage new, well-managed restaurants to open in the community so that our guests will have a place to eat both before and after shows. The Community Board has requested that Travertine show its widespread community support through letters or by having supporters attend the Community Board meeting tomorrow evening 96 pm at SEIU HQ, 101 Sixth Avenue, 22nd floor, between Canal and Spring Streets). If you are able to attend, the Community Board leadership is merely going to ask supporters of Travertine's liquor license application to stand up or show their hands (this should take no more than an hour).

Thank you,

Michael Swier

Following is the email that you can either cut-and-paste or revise and send via email to the email address stated above:

Mr. Ray Lee

Chair, SLA Committee, Manhattan Community Board 2

3 Washington Square Village, NYC, NY 10012

Dear Mr. Lee,

I am writing to ask you and CB2 to support the application by Travertine (19 Kenmare Street) for a liquor license. I look forward to the opening of a well-managed, quality dining option in my neighborhood. The location has been a restaurant for many years and the owners of Travertine should be allowed to open at this site, create jobs, pay taxes, and improve the neighborhood.

I hope that you will encourage your fellow board members to approve the application on Thursday, September 18.




This email was sent to you by The Bowery Presents, 156 Ludlow St., 5th Floor, New York, NY 10002. You are receiving this email advertisement because your email address was used for a ticket purchase or you signed up via our website. You mayupdate your account preferences or unsubscribe through our website, or contact us atinfo@boweryballroom.com.



nader gets no news coverage, the cops preemptively arrest the i-witness video collective in St. Paul so that they can't document and thusly discourage police brutality, Democracy Now host and producers are assaulted and arrested by cops for covering protests at the RNC... and another bourgeois restaurant wants to open on the LES.

thanks for your help.

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Bobby Yankou Rules!   
04:17am 04/09/2008
   For obvious reasons: He's a great student, a wonderful musician to work with, a caring and compassionate friend, has great hair etc.

But that's not what I'm talking about. You may have seen my last LJ post. Bobby found my point to be very important and felt obligated to spread the word to as many people as possible, so he posted it on Facebook and has been handling (with the help of many of our mutual friends) attacks and insults for his belief. He has relentlessly tried to clarify himself and continue to challenge the views of his "opponents" and I can honestly say, I've never been more proud of him. Inevitably, the back and forth sort of turned into a shouting match and I myself did find many of the comments of his challengers disturbing/ difficult to stomach.

Here's a few examples:

"Bobby you're just trying to be unique and different, not being a supporter of either candidate, being uber-liberal, being ridiculous just to impress people. It doesn't get you any respect when you start shouting about conspiracy, how everything is corrupt, how nothing can be trusted. Your views are all along the line of crazy liberals, conspiracy theorists, and paranoid people ranting about anarchy and shouting that you will no longer be deceived by corruption. No one thinks your smarter because of your outlandish views. And if they do, they are retarded."

"Bobby.. i like you and everything, but i honestly cant really trust the people who think theyre being nonconformists and blame everything on 'corporate media' or the 'corporate machine' some of the arrests are BS, but what people need to recognize is that even when youre under arrest for a Bullshit reason, fighting back is still grounds for getting your ass kicked. 
My guess is that the arrest was unwarranted, but technicially the cops didn't do anything wrong because they did resist arrest, abiet a false one, but still resisted nonetheless. The cops actually did have every right to push them around once they started resisting..." (Check out the youtube video below and see if this claim adds up. -sy)

"the arrests arent bullshit this note is bullshit, what the fuck is protesting the war going to do? NOTHING, so stop being an asshole and im glad those fuckers got arrested i hate god damn protestors


Bobby defended himself passionately, but I couldn't bear to watch the whole thing. I took a day and a half to try to get over this stuff. I was pretty depressed that the hardcore proof that our media was broken wasn't enough to get through to these kids who still feel that anyone who has opened their eyes and has the courage to speak up about it is "retarded." Anyway, after some time, I wrote a letter to these kids on Bobby's facebook note. I felt sort of obligated to because after all, it was basically my LJ post that they were trashing. I felt, again, that I want as many people as possible to see it, because apparently a hell of a lot of folks didn't find my last post convincing.

So Here's what I wrote on Bobby's note. Sorry it's kinda long.

"Ask your parents, teachers and friends how they feel about Amy Goodman's arrest. I promise you that the majority of them will answer the same way my parents did, "Who's that?" Ask them how they feel about the preemptive raid on the I-Witness Video workers and they will likely say, "Who's that?" (They are an acclaimed group who were founded in order to document and thusly discourage police brutality.) Then ask them how they feel about the anarchists who smashed up a few store fronts. I imagine they will have a number of colorful things to say about them.


Your parents, teachers and friends, are not stupid. The point is that they will never hear about the raid and the unlawful arrests. This is because the news they watched thought it was better to show they couple of anarchists who may have gotten out of hand (who by the way, did not physically hurt anybody), and not the many police who assaulted and arrested many innocent people after detaining the group whose only purpose is to discourage such behavior.


The only reason you are involved in this discussion is that you are friends with Bobby Yankou. You would otherwise most likely not have heard of this.


Of course your reaction is to question the validity of the source, and to become defensive when you are accused of being a corporate slave or whatever. I definitely would have reacted the same way when I was around your age. (After all I supported George W. Bush for president in 2000; I was 16. And by the way, this has nothing to do with age, there are people all over the spectrum of varying ages.) Practically all of us who believe the network news stations to be unreliable because they are owned by corporate giants (GE owns NBC, Disney own ABC etc.) came to this realization gradually, and after an entire childhood of seeing the news as the ultimate lens to the world. These gradual realizations that we had came from intellectual curiosity. I trust that those of you who found it worth your while to debate this issue instead of watching TV or whatever are intellectually curious people. I applaud you for it.


I have a proposition for you guys: watch www.democracynow.org for an entire week. Or at least a few days of the week.  Every episode is one hour. (They were 2 hours for the past 2 weeks because they were doing extended coverage of the conventions. By the way, last week they documented very thoroughly, the protests and police actions of the Democratic National Convention, although nothing nearly as dramatic took place.) Starting next week, September 8th they’re back to an hour.


I encourage you to watch the show with a skeptical lens: question the language chosen by the reporters; ponder why it is that they feel that these are the stories that need to be told. Don’t use a dismissive lens, “This is liberal bullshit.” Really think about it. I also encourage you to watch network news and ask yourself the same questions. Why are they using this language? Why do they think these stories are important?


You might find that our ideas and values are not so crazy or fundamentally different than yours. Of course you might not, and that’s fine.


But after going through this exercise, you might understand why Bobby, myself, and many others saw this as urgent news and evidence of why our media is broken. Put yourself in our shoes. Our trusted news-anchor and team (and other members of the press including a NY Post guy) were unlawfully arrested, and the back-story (I-witness video being detained so that the police can do as they please) is an outrage. And the Network News stations ignored this, choosing instead to show, not even the 10,000 peaceful protesters, but the relatively irrelevant acts of a couple of unruly anarchists. We saw this as an unbelievable example of what we know to be true, and felt obligated to show this truth to as many people as possible, because god knows no one in power is willing to do so. You also might understand our frustration with your dismissive attitude toward something we find so outrageous and important.


“Freedom is participation in power.” – Cicero.


That’s why I said that we are not free. How can one participate in power when they are blinded to the truths of what is going on in the world?


I’m not attacking you here, and I’m not trying to be a dick either, I’m just asking you to try to see things from our side for a while before you reject it. If anyone actually gives this a shot and/ or wants to discuss this further, please feel free to email me: steve_yank0u@yahoo.com



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anarchists... are people   
02:47am 02/09/2008
  So I was watching the evening news with my parents and they do a 2 second blurb on the RNC protests. It was something along the lines of: "police were forced to use rubber bullets and gas to control a group of SELF-DESCRIBED ANARCHISTS!." The news caster says it like it's armageddon. They show a clip of a few dudes in black clothes and masks walking around. I said out loud "God damnit! I mean, Salvador Dali was an anarchist! They're not a bunch of animals!" I got into an argument with my parents about how I'm sure the cops started it, because at like every protest I've been to, the anarchists and other protesters were non-violent. Any scuffle is almost always caused by the cops. My parents argued that I was being naive and seeing things from only one side. I argued that they were getting their 2 second story from the corporate media, which as far as I'm concerned isn't even a "side" because the corporate influence makes their side of any story contaminated and useless. So anyway I go online to see what democracy now has to say and I find that AMY GOODMAN WAS ARRESTED! Here's the story from DN!: "Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar Released After Illegal Arrest at RNC Goodman Charged with Obstruction; Felony Riot Charges Pending Against Kouddous and Salazar ST. PAUL--Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar have all been released from police custody in St. Paul following their illegal arrest by Minneapolis Police on Monday afternoon. All three were violently manhandled by law enforcement officers. Abdel Kouddous was slammed against a wall and the ground, leaving his arms scraped and bloodied. He sustained other injuries to his chest and back. Salazar’s violent arrest by baton-wielding officers, during which she was slammed to the ground while yelling, “I’m Press! Press!,” resulted in her nose bleeding, as well as causing facial pain. Goodman’s arm was violently yanked by police as she was arrested. On Tuesday, Democracy Now! will broadcast video of these arrests, as well as the broader police action. These will also be available on: www.democracynow.org Goodman was arrested while questioning police about the unlawful detention of Kouddous and Salazar who were arrested while they carried out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Goodman’s crime appears to have been defending her colleagues and the freedom of the press. Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were arrested on suspicion of rioting, a felony. While the three have been released, they all still face charges stemming from their unlawful arrest. Kouddous and Salazar face pending charges of suspicion of felony riot, while Goodman has been officially charged with obstruction of a legal process and interference with a “peace officer.” Democracy Now! forcefully rejects all of these charges as false and an attempt at intimidation of these journalists. We demand that the charges be immediately and completely dropped. Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this action by Twin Cities’ law enforcement as a clear violation of the freedom of the press and the First Amendment rights of these journalists. During the demonstration in which the Democracy Now! team was arrested, law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and excessive force against protesters and journalists. Several dozen demonstrators were also arrested during this action, including a photographer for the Associated Press. Amy Goodman is one of the most well-known and well-respected journalists in the United States. She has received journalism’s top honors for her reporting and has a distinguished reputation of bravery and courage. The arrest of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and the subsequent criminal charges and threat of charges are a transparent attempt to intimidate journalists. Democracy Now! is a nationally-syndicated public TV and radio program that airs on over 700 radio and TV stations across the US and the globe." I also learned this from DN!, "Armed groups of police in the Twin Cities have raided more than half-a-dozen locations since Friday night in a series of “preemptive raids” before the Republican National Convention. The raids and detentions have targeted activists planning to protest the convention, as well as journalists and videographers documenting police actions at protests." So I go downstairs to tell my parents what I saw and they say, "Steve, we watched it on another channel and there were 2 kids in BLACK MASKS, SMASHING UP STORE FRONTS!" I tell them that Amy Goodman was arrested, basically for trying to tell the real story. They ask, "who's that?" Strangely enough, the reporters who shot video of the 2 kids smashing a store front were not arrested, their bullshit story was turned into a 2 second blurb and shown to the masses. we. are. not. free.  
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Anyone need some organs? or Don't Dare go to College!   
11:25am 19/08/2008
  fuck you, every single one of you. I would like to excommunicate myself from this shitty planet and all of its greedy elites. I would love if everyone worth $10,000,000 or more would just drop dead.  
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2 and a half men made me cry, twice.   
12:26am 29/07/2008
  That's really all there is to it. I mean I can't stand canned laughter and all, but this episode hit real close to home.

For those of you who don't know, the show is about an uptight father who is separated from his wife (she has become a lesbian). The man has custody (or perhaps partial custody) of his son. Also, he lives with his laid-back single, ladies man, struggling musician brother. It's sort of Odd Couple with a twist.

So the struggling musician brother unwittingly volunteers to help out with music for the 4th grade play. He's supposed to play the piano and his brother and the brother's separated wife write the music. Anyway, the brother/ father is hoping to win back his wife, and on the morning of the first day of rehearsal he receives divorce papers in the mail. He is furious, and at the rehearsal, he pulls his wife into the hallway and they start fighting. The struggling musician (who says that he hates kids) is left to watch the kids. Meanwhile his nephew, the son of the arguing couple, says, "They're fighting again aren't they?" The uncle says that it will be ok, and addresses the class. He tells them to sit, then stand, and he sort of gets a kick out of it. Then the kids turn on him and start to tease him. The nephew defends him and says that he's cool because he wrote the ____ song (some commercial jingle). The kids don't believe him, so he sits behind the piano and begins to play it.

He sings the first word and the kids instantly start to sing along, and he is shocked. That moment absolutely killed me. The little voices completely gratifying him. It's like two of my obsessions in one; gratification for one's music that one has written, and the sound of a chorus of enthusiastic children. I didn't see it coming, but I got instant goosebumps and tears.

Later on, at the house, the nephew approaches the uncle and has a really touching conversation with him. The uncle asks the kid if he's sad about his parents. The kid says no. The uncle says that it's ok to be sad and that the kid's dad is obviously sad. The kid says that his dad isn't sad. The uncle insists that his is. The kid says he didn't seem sad. The uncle said something to the effect of "Of course he's sad. he's just trying to protect you... from being sad." The kid seems to understand and walks into the other room where his father greets him with a forced smile and a "how's it going buddy?" The kid just gives him a big unexpected hug. Then he walks away without saying a word because the hug said it all. It said, I feel for you and I'm hear for you. That also killed me.

My parents are happily married and all, but something there really got to me.

holy shit.
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I wish I wrote a journal this year   
12:34am 13/06/2008
  It's funny being a teacher. Really intense emotional things happen all the time, but you don't really understand how intense these things are until later. I was watching Yellow Submarine with my favorite 4th grade class 4C. There's this girl, Caroline who is very kind; she's a popular girl with an unbelievable personality, but she's a total sweetie to every single person in the school. She plays guitar pretty well, is kind of a spaz, and I really hope she becomes a punk. Anyway, we were watching the movie and I noticed that her 2 best friends had moved from their assigned spots on the risers and were holding her. She was crying. The three of them were looking at me when I noticed them and they quickly looked away, like "don't worry we can handle this." When kids move from their assigned seats I usually ask them to go back, but I let it slide. I tried not to bring any attention to them but I couldn't stop glancing, because I was concerned. Her friend Laura walked up to me and whispered, "She's crying because she doesn't want you to leave." (For those of you who don't know, I'm only a year long leave replacement at this job.) Laura suggested I sit next to her as we watch the movie. So I did. I made little jokes here and there and Caroline would laugh through the tears. We realized during the class that this would be our last class together because I have 5th grade graduation rehearsal next week. Then this girl Mallory was like "There's like 7 minutes left! Our last class can't be just watching a movie! Let's do Limbo or something!" I agreed. I stopped the movie and we did some limbo. A bunch of kids hugged me on the way out the door. Caroline was last out the door. She gave me a quick hug, didn't say a word. No one has ever, ever, been that broken up about me in any way, ever, in my life, but in the moment, my emotions were in total control, because I have this teacherly emotional responsibility. I will tell you this though, last day of school, I expect to use a few pounds in water weight from the tears.

After school their classroom teacher told me that a number of them were crying when they got back to the classroom. She said that they are working on a class play tomorrow from 9-9:30, which is a prep time for me (or a "free"). So I'm going to sit in and surprise them. I can't wait.


I was watching "HELP!" and there was a a tiger in it. A kid asked, "Is that a boy tiger or a girl tiger?" Another kid said, "All Tigers are girls and all Lions are boys." The first kid was like , "oooohhhh." I was like "NO! NO! That's not true!"

Another kid, Zack, said, "Did you know that JFK and Lincoln were killed on the same day? It was Lee Harvey Oswald! He killed em both!" I was like, "No, no way Zack." he was like "It's true, because Lincold was on his way IN to the theater, and JFK was on his way out!" I said, "No, those shootings were like 100 years apart from each other." He kept on arguing. It was awesome.
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I'm gunna pall a Walden   
03:39pm 07/06/2008
  "Let the products sell themselves / fuck advertising, commercial psychology / psychological methods to sell should be destroyed" D Boon

Sharp: Change your TV; change your life.

Rayban sunglasses: Never Hide

Just for men gel: Let people see the real you.

It's not ok to simply claim that you do the opposite of what you really do. Coke has an add about how recyclable their containers are, "did you say made of recycled materials?" no, I said "recyclable": One Drop At A Time. That's the slogan.

Fuck you so so much.
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The average adult laughs 6-8 times a day, the average child laughs hundreds of times a day. (NPR)   
12:13am 15/04/2008
  (This was a response I wrote to a friend's post, I decided to share it.)

I saw really inspiring walt whitman documentary.

You know, I agree about the kid stuff. People are really crazy because they forget the joys of picking up something you see lying around and playing with it. That's what kids do when they have nothing to do. Adults just complain. Surrounding myself with 8-10 year olds has done me a lot of good. Have you thought about teaching? It can be taxing I guess, but I find it mostly inspiring. Almost all the other teachers are big time complainers, even if they're trying to say something positive it comes out as a complaint. "FINALLY! It's nice out, jesus christ!" I'm not as big a complainer, I'm more like the kids I think. I sit with them at lunch because the faculty lounge is depressing/ mind numbingly boring. When other teachers see me there with the kids at lunch they're like "Wow! you must have a lot of patience!" They couldn't be more wrong. It would take patience to sit around and listen to old at heart people complain all afternoon. Do you want to come to see the 5th grade play I directed? It's this Wed and Thurs night at 7:30 in Rye across the street from Rye Rec. It's Alice in Wonderland. Brian and Ann are probably going on Wednesday I think.
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(subject not important) jotted earlier, letter for letter, spell check ignored   
11:41pm 14/04/2008
  inspired by Walt Whitman in a Documentary form, and angry at my short comings for never having read Leaves of Grass, and angry at myself for failed attempts at Dostoyevsky and Shakespear. Reading is my sleeping pill, and the times when I contain the energy to stand 100 pages of text, I am too restless and short of attention to stay entranced. I blame my upbringing, a world of 4 seconds between cuts, of top 10 lists, 3 minute songs, sound bite State of the Union addresses. I rebel against what has poisoned me. I put down the magazines and endulge in television and radio only for things that challenge and inform me. I resist comfort, background music, 1 track assessment of works of art. I am admittedly compelled to a simple 8/10 review and overlook the longer reviews of unfamiliar work. It is a struggle within to resist the pressures of convenience and simplification which come from outside myself. This intrinsic motivation caused me to switch from 11 to 13 and to find digestible Whitman, a median between what I am most comfortable with and what I hope to someday find a regular artistic experience. I have started my transformation and will be damned if I abandon it.

11:45am 14/01/2008
  snow day! snow day? shit... SICK DAY!!! It's almost as good, except the next day everyone's like "Feeling better?" And then you have to lie to all of your friends.

yesterday at the kimya dawson show i saw a boy who i thought was eliy (ealigh?) from there will be blood.


if you ever murder me, it better not be with bowling pins.

Soccer cleats would be more my style. There's something in my teeth, but I don't mind. It could be anything, ok that's all i have to say about my teeth. What's your favorite color today?

Today I have two favorite colors. one of them is kind of a bright yellow. but not obnoxiously bright. yellow is one of the few colors i think that has to try really hard to NOT be obnoxious. the other color is blue. a kind of paleish blue that has a little bit of purple in it. i would be really happy if i got to wear a shirt that had both of those colors on it today. this is improbable.

I think I'll be wearing a pink shirt, because I'm an observant dude, and I've observed that I've worn the same shirt for at least 4 days, actually it's been over a week, this is day 8. And why not? it still works. Last week I had the nose of a coke-head, but now it's better. Will McAndrew left me a very nice voicemail, but I couldn't understand it. Suzy's dad reminded me how to handle compliments yesterday. You have to say "thanks" or "thank you" those are your choices, but yesterday it was more like "Jesus, fuck, thanks dude. Christ I don't know what to say... thanks, fuck..." Because, it's hard sometimes to just say "thanks."

i'm hungry. feed me. whats the name of the plant in little shop of horrors that always says that?

I don't remember, but he was on to something. Wanna get some brunch?

si si signora. mangiamo.

-Steve and Suzy
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04:48am 31/12/2007
  I try not to force it with LJ, because I would rather people read 5 good posts in a year than hundreds of boring ones. That said, I've decided to whip up a quick recap of my 2007. This way when I look back on this in a few years I will be a little more equipped to figure out my chronology (my memory suuuuucks).

Jan. 7th, morning, I turned in my 2 weeks notice at my first teaching job, along with a 4 page letter about how awful a person my principal is and how much money she owes me.

Jan. 7th, afternoon, my principal sat me down and convinced me that she'll get me my money, She also convinced me to stay at the job.

Jan. 21st, (exactly 2 weeks after I turned in my 2 weeks notice) I got fired with no warning, apology, explanation.

Also in January: NOATS recorded and released "An Eagle that Eats Monkeys" On Will Maloney's label Intellectual Bird Records.

February: General Miggs (a band I'm in) toured with Skeletonbreath (a band I'm not in). I became friends with said band, and it was about as positive as anything ever. It was just a constant good mood. I can't begin to explain, all the jokes are 15 times funnier, going to sleep is an adventure every night, and yer with 6 of the best dudes imaginable. It was just magical. Montreal was great, i've considered relocating NOATS there. When we got home I spent lots of time at NYU and started to work at a health food store on 13th st. btw 7th and 8th ave. This was a Yoga/ health food store and I interviewed with an old yogi named Manu and a young folk musician named Drew. We sat in a circle with our shoes off in a room called "AQUA." It was weird. I became a vegan first day of the job, which I had been planning for a while. I'm still vegan but I try not to talk about it because, in my experience, most vegans are dicks. (I'm now noticing that Safari spellcheck, much like most people, doesn't recognize the word vegan. ha.)

March: This may have been the month we started recording Suspicious Package with Geoff Duncanson. I spent every free moment trying to book NOATS summer tour. This continued for the next 5-6 months.

April: Kickball started. I become romantic with a kickball girl. That's the first time that happened since I fell in love with my best friend the previous summer.

May: My birthday, and many of my friends birthdays were in May. I don't remember any of them.

Summer: I spent the summer getting over the same person I spent the previous summer falling in love with. We're still very close, but we were both so busy, we couldn't hang out like the summer before, which I guess was for the best. She's very happy now with a long time lover who I really like a lot. Also, I broke things off with my kickball fling. She was more upset than I thought she would be, and I felt like a total asshole, because I didn't even think things had gotten to a level where a formal "break up" was even necessary. But what the fuck do I know?

Aug 1st: NOATS released "Suspicious Package." The release party was at Studio B (fucking weird place, black lights, smoke machines etc.) Skeletonbreath, Fiasco, General Miggs, and Old Table all played. NOATS did an 18 day/ 18 show tour with Old Table. There's way too much to say about that. It was probably the best time of my life. There will be a DVD documentary about it in 2008.

Aug 20th: Still on tour I got a phone call about a teaching job. I called back the next day, the day we got home, after a General Miggs sound check at the Mercury Lounge. I went in the day after and got the job: full time 3rd-5th grade general music/ chorus teacher at a public school in Westchester. This was to be a temporary leave replacement position.

September: The job started and I quickly become better at piano. (I'm still not good enough.) I started to fall in love with hundreds of wonderful children. I made one kid cry after she said that another student is "weird because he has black skin." Also, there was a NOATS at St Barts and I was worried that the whole scene had just gone to college. And yeah, there were lots of faces missing, but there were plenty of new ones in their place, reaffirming my belief that the Westchester Punk Scene will never die, it just regenerates each September. Wonderful.

October: I played World/Inferno for my 4th and 5th graders. I asked them "what do you think of when you hear the words 'punk band'?" They were shocked by the instruments, the women in the band, the talent, the way they dressed. They absolutely loved it, and still ask me to play more inferno for them all the time. On Halloween I dressed as Abe Lincoln because I had to be someone with a beard that every third grader knows about. I went to Hallowmass and had the best time ever. Whack played first and fucking killed it. Inferno blew me away.

November: NOATS started rehearsing again for literally the first time in years. We're working on some new songs that I like A LOT. Also I worked really hard on getting my zine Imitating Art together. I booked a show for the second time in my life. It was the day after Thnxgvng- Aaron Maine's record release show. It went swimmingly. Aaron's record changed my life.

December: I put on a few holiday concerts at my school. It was crazy. Have you ever dressed 50 something 5th graders in red clip on bow ties and had volunteer parent drivers take them to one of the local country clubs to perform for the Rotary Club? Cuz I have. I was told that the woman I'm replacing has decided to take the whole year off, so I have the job until June, and I have healthcare for the first time since I graduated from college. I finally released my zine and gave away 76 copies in a week. I gotta make more. Kristen Barry and I printed them at the NYU program Board office, the same place I printed Kristen's zine last year. (When making Kristen's zine I was caught trying to do it overnight and nearly arrested.) NOATS did a few shows this weekend that were dynamite. We started selling The Banned's old CDs on our merch table and moved 8 CDs already in just 2 shows!

All in all, NOATS is going great, MIGGS is gong great, I'm booking more shows, I wrote a zine, I got a great job, still no girl, but there are prospects and I think I'm ready, friendships are strong, I haven't forgotten that I might be an adult but I'm a minor at heart, I'm going bald and I don't care, i love you all.

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11:45pm 20/12/2007
  For those of you who don't know, I'm a music teacher at a public school in Westchester. That's all the background you need.

I was at my school, which is a k-5th grade school and this kid who looks maybe 12 years old is walking the halls. I know she doesn't go to the school because I know every 3rd 4th and 5th grader there. She asks, "Do you know where I can get a photocopy made?" I say sure and walk her to the faculty lounge. Then in the interest of avoiding awkward silence, I ask, "So what are you a 6th grader or something?" She replies, "9th." I felt bad, and attempted to take it back, I said, "just -jk-ing." She smiled and walked towards the door. On her way out she said, in a sort of patronizing tone, "You know, you can just say 'J K' it doesn't make sense to say 'just J K ing'." I was like, "Are you kidding me? My generation INVENTED 'jk' and pioneered all of its playful variations!" (ok, so I didn't say it that well, but it was something like that.) I accidentally dissed her by calling her a 6th grader, and she got me back by mistaking me for an out of touch 30 something trying to sound cool.
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what's your major?   
01:51am 11/12/2007
  A young friend of mine mentioned in an email that she was working on college applications and was trying to decide if she should study art or become a lawyer. Half way through writing my response, I knew it was going to become an LJ post:

Here's my advice. Become an artist, don't go to college.

I'm not sure if I mean that. Discontent for conventional "success" is a product of privilege. That's why suburban punks with rich parents dress like they're homeless, and impoverished hip hop kids buy Nikes and shit. Which is better? I can't decide between 3 answers to my own question: 1) I don't know. 2) Who cares? 3) That's a stupid question. The point is we all want to be what we're not.

I'm telling you to drop out of school, yet I'm a college graduate and a professional teacher. I graduated from the #33 college in the country (or that's what it was when I get in. It's #34 now.) and I teach in a district whose high school is ranked #52 of all 18,000 American public high schools according to US news and world report.

Is this a bad thing? That we all want to be what we're not? I don't know, what's worse than the rich kids who want to get richer? nothing, right? And some might say that there's nothing admirable about being at the "bottom" and not trying to get out.

Maybe this is a sort of weird system of checks and balances that is supposed to keep the middle class strong. The kids with rich parents deprioritize money, and the poor kids crave it. Why then is the gap between the upper and lower class always widening? I'll tell you why, because of the rich kids who want to grow to be richer. If that happens to one family over a series of generations, what you have left is that top 5% of Americans who have more money than they know what to do with except to use it to get even more. Then the economy grows overall statistically while there is a housing crisis, the dollar is weakening fast, we’re headed for recession, and a growing percentage of Americans are uninsured. Because the widening gap between upper and lower class is not a 50/50 population split, it’s like 5/95.

And where do I fit in to this? The hypocrite who will probably be attending grad school in a few years in order to keep his teaching certification, encouraging you to drop out of college? Let me try to explain myself. I fell into teaching music. I didn’t really work to get where I am, it was provided. The steps were laid out and I casually followed them. In the meantime, my priorities developed free of the desire to “succeed” (financially) that comes from being poor and free from the lack of understanding of financial hardship, which comes from being wealthy. Middle class, staying middle class. But I honestly feel no desire to maintain a certain lifestyle, income, social status, those things are like numbers 1000, 1001, and 1002 on my priority list. I only care about good times with good people, making art, helping people, yet I fell right into my socioeconomic place. And you know what? So do most of the poor kids in Nikes and the rich kids in the Salvation Army.

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I'm so restless, I'm bored as a cat.   
10:25pm 29/11/2007
  Every night at my parents house I'm trying to find someone to call late at night because I'm bored and no one lives around here. I still need to do something social every day, that will probably never end. I hope it doesn't, even though it's torture sometimes to be ready for anything and there's nothing to do. I heard the average adult laughs 6-8 times a day. The average child laughs hundreds of times a day. My dad has 107.1 The Peak on in the background and on the 10 at 10 they're playing 10 songs from 1994. So far it's "I only want to be with you" by Hootie and the Blowfish and "What would you say" by Dave Matthews Band. That's not really relevant, except that my students, the 4th graders, are the age I was when these songs were big. Still, that's not the point. That Bruce Springsteen song from the Philadelphia soundtrack just started. I think it's called "The Streets of Philadelphia." That was 1 of the 4 first CDs Brian and I ever got. I thing the others were I Saw the Sign by Ace of Bass, Dookie, by Green Day and "Smash" by the Offspring. Shortly after we got "Pocket full of Kryptonite."

Crockette Doob just called me. He used to play drums in Skeletonbreath and we became friends when General Miggs and Skeletonbreath went on tour in February. We talked for 17 minutes. Just what the doctor ordered. This is what I need. I'm lonely here.

Call me anytime. I'm bored: (914) 564 1597

     Read 8 - Post
new NOATS album available online now.   
01:15am 01/10/2007
  Hey friends. I got a paypal account so people can buy this thing online if they want.

Suspicious Package TPW003 - $3 plus S&H (probably $1.47)

No One and the Somebodies - Suspicious Package
I've been waiting for this album for what seems like forever now, and now that it's finally here, it's better than I ever could have imagined. Suspicious Package is downright epic. NOATS have matured tremendously since their first album, 2004's Pretend You're Out of Control - musically, lyrically, and conceptually. I say conceptually because although I'd hesitate to call this a concept album, it comes damn close. The politics evident on 2004 songs like "Riot on the Verizon" and "Smash the MTA" have bloomed into passionate, cathartic calls of desperation and hope (and to action). Themes and motifs of the "culture of fear" run throughout the album. But the politics don't weigh down the music, which itself shows a maturity, skill level, and interplay between band members that surpasses their older material. Much of the songs move away from the pop song structure, preferring instead to build and evolve, some reaching in excess of ten minutes. And the band throws everything into those songs - in terms of emotion and sincerity, but also in terms of musical ground. NOATS have always been open to experimentation and eclecticism (a guardrail features prominently as an instrument in more than one song), but Suspicious Package elevates this to a new level, and with tremendous success. There's noise freakouts, rattling cacophonies of percussion, jittery dancey bits, tinges of post-rock, screams, shouts, whispers, and a song with a flute called, well, "Flute." But not once does the album feel drawn out or overblown. The whole thing is immediate, urgent, and heartfelt. And despite perhaps having moved beyond the narrow set of parameters that define "punk rock," in spirit and sheer energy alone, No One and the Somebodies are still "punk as fuck."


Noah Britton   
12:39pm 22/09/2007
  When the Moldy peaches broke up (or went on hiatus or whatever) it became clear, after Kimya and Adam but out a few albums on their own, that Kimya was the genius of the band. But, when The Best Thing Ever broke up, it became clear that both Emily and Noah are both are completely fucking brilliant. Look at this:
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