jpeter: (windowpaine)
herro i came from the rave!  detroit/the midwest, sometime in the late 90s i popped out full-grown (well you can be the judge of that.)  not sure how i got here but boy are my arms tired!   not so much into burrowing through vaginal canals, you see.

i sometimes make short films.  maybe you'll like them. (my professional videographer samples are at my vimeo)

once upon a time there was an academic paper to be written about queer (hetero)masculinity, white imperialism, and normative embodiment but that ship has left the naval yard (full of seamen, you'll be glad to know.)

there was also an entire dissertation to be written about post-industrialization and uneven globalization, the aesthetics of ruin / poetics of failure, minimal techno culture, and the cunt-inually shifting affective politics of post late-modern belonging. that ship sank due to a crisis of faith in 'the system' and a global economic recession that slashed funding at Brown MCM, amidst more than a few sadfaces, as well as a certain degree of inevitability.

(last totes 4srs writing on normativity, contingency, american liberal individualism and post-war middle-class white heterobro-masculine subjectivity here:

when i'm not playing video games, i'm out being rave/dada. i run on sunlight and warm weather.  winter is death.

this blog is rarely updated. but it's glad you're here.   me likey when u say hai godaddyanalytics
jpeter: (mugshot)
frankly, i'm too old to kill myself or genuinely feel like i want to die (that's a very adolescent/20-something way of feeling), but i seriously have no idea how to cope with growing old and going nowhere. alone.

jpeter: (can you still feel the butterflies)
been struggling lately with getting older, 37 going on 40, 20 years out of high school and so little to show for it. this hopefully momentary existential crisis was prompted by my dad clearing house in preparation for selling it and retiring to hawaii -- he gave away to goodwill my beloved book collection and can't seem to find my boxes of juvenilia/memorabilia from high school. i don't know which is more devastating to me, the loss of a library i wanted to someday bequeath to a struggling youngun searching for meaning as i once did, or the loss of the few fragments of a very itinerant, troubled youth -- old photos, letters i wrote that i never sent, my old high school yearbook, my varsity letter and pins, poems friends wrote for me. i feel very unmoored at the moment, lost in life, unsure of how i got to this point, missing old friends and old times and who we were together. it's been keeping me up at night, accompanied by this song by the goo goo dolls that i can't get out of my head.


And even though the moment passed me by
I still can't turn away
Cuz all the dreams you never thought you'd lose
Got tossed along the way
And letters that you never meant to send
Got lost or thrown away

And now we're grown up orphans
And never knew their names
We don't belong to no one
That's a shame
But you could hide beside me
Maybe for a while
And I won't tell no one your name
And I won't tell 'em your name

And scars are souvenirs you never lose
The past is never far
Did you lose yourself somewhere out there?
Did you get to be a star?
And don't it make you sad to know that life
Is more than who we are

We grew up way too fast
And now there's nothing to believe
And reruns all become our history
A tired song keeps playing on a tired radio
And I won't tell no one your name
And I won't tell 'em your name
I won't tell em' your name
Oooh, oooh, oooh
I won't tell em' your name

I think about you all the time
But I don't need the same
It's lonely where you are
Come back down
And I won't tell 'em your name

poignant yet trite, right? lately i've been feeling very much in need of being surrounded by old friends, in order to get my bearings on who and where i've been all these years. unfortunately these friends are scattered around the country at best, at worst the globe. that's what happens when you go to an international high school in bangkok for junior and senior year, and leave michigan after college. i just feel very unsettled, very vulnerable and confused, because ordinarily people draw on their past experiences and early foundations in order to world-build and trek onwards. i don't have a strong foundation. i don't have family and a history of world-making. all i have is an abusive, broken home, perpetual exile, depression/anxiety/ptsd and umpteen memories of being an outsider (moving from school to school every 2-3 years) -- constantly being uprooted all the while being trapped with a deadbeat dad and a mother with psychotic depression. the few friendships i managed to form were constantly being tested and interrupted by the ebb and flow of my violent life at home. luckily that changed somewhat in college, and i have solid relationships with my midwestern friends to this day. and thank god for the midwest rave community. don't get me wrong. in many ways i am blessed.

still, i can't help but miss the pre-rave era. the "me" before drugs and parties and wild incandescent nights that burst with a brilliance that wiped away the shadow of my upbringing. for all the power of the music scene, i miss very much more innocent times, like palling around seacon square after school with grace and ote and kat and niki, sneaking wine coolers into movie theaters, stealing smokes in empty bathroom stalls. ice skating at the rink near ramkamhaeng after school on fridays. late night scary movie marathons at tony's, nintendo parties at kathleen's. i miss fun without substances, good old fashioned wholesome fun, and laughter that wasn't so heavily mediated by social lubricants. i guess in that sense i'm a purist at heart. or have become that way as i've gotten older.

all this is just to say that i'm a little lost in life at the moment, having second thoughts about school and my public health trajectory. why not just pack up and move to thailand and teach english for a few years? but what would running away again solve? i've been running all my life, i'm a long distance runner, and it's gotten me nowhere at 37, save an academic career i long since detonated. survive but never thrive, isn't that the problem with child abuse survivors?

wish more than anything i could spend a few weeks with christos at his house in dearborn heights and just sit around a fire mulling over what's next. he's in d.c. now so that's not an option. or really, i wish i could go back to sophomore year in high school -- field studies in the chesapeake bay. or field natural history, same year, scouring a beach for fossilized whale bone with friends, knowing i'd soon be leaving to move to thailand, soaking our presence and time together up as best i could, in preparation for the unknown future.

my future is now equally unknown, a dark shadow in an otherwise empty room. i just wish i had more warmth and solace around a campfire to keep the embers in my heart burning.
jpeter: (boing boing boing)
As an aspiring public health student at _______, I am fascinated by the reciprocal relationship between bodies and selves on the one hand, and world-building social practices on the other. While conducting research for a graduate seminar on theories of sex and gender at The University of Chicago, I came across three intriguing international queer subcultural formations: Bears (a subculture of hirsute heavyset men), Chubs (heavyset to severely obese men), and Gainers (men into erotic weight gain) respectively. These three groups, though different in many ways, are bound by a common thread: they locate as the object of erotic desire a large male body, a corporeal form marked by recognizable excess. For these prying eyes, size matters: bigger is almost always better.

What strikes me most about these three subcultures is that they fetishize bodily norms which fly in the face of the medical community’s prescriptive denominations of healthy weight and height. In the context of these three groups, a perverse queer sexual desire has engendered life-worlds in which excessive size is synonymous with sexual attractiveness. But what does this mean in an era where obesity has become a global pandemic, by some accounts the greatest public health crisis of our time? What does it mean when a surplus of size consigns to so many the risk of wearing out prematurely, whether by cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, or countless other ailments correlated with obesity? How do we make sense of such groups who have effectively built thriving subcultures embracing what cultural theorist Lauren Berlant describes as slow death, the gradual wearing out of a population in the service of our late modern era’s relentless march forward? I am reminded that the trauma of AIDS still looms large both historically and materially – is still lived and felt in the present in myriad enigmatic ways, informing our senses of who we have been, who we are and, perhaps more importantly, how we feel about our selves and our bodies. This leads me to ask, what can these and other sexual populations tell us about our relationship to our bodies and selves at this historical moment? Would we be right to simply pathologize the not-nearly-normal, writing them off as mere oddities? Or might we apprehend instead a call to complicate our understanding of sexuality, culture and its peculiar twists and turns, to interrogate and perhaps reformulate how we think about “mental health”, “physical health,” our bodies and sexual desires, along with the consumptive and expressive practices that bind us all?

I have foregrounded this project here not because I feel it is viable (indeed I suspect to veteran eyes it may seem either overambitious or of limited practical value.) Rather, I wanted to give you a sense of the types of things I notice, and the types of questions I am inclined to ask as a former humanities graduate student now attempting to transition to a career in public health. Though new to the field, I am guided by an aim to bring more abstract notions of selfhood and sociality into productive dialogue with the more empirical discourses of mental and physical health. I aim to study sociomedical sciences with a certificate emphasis on the social determinants of health, in order to understand how health is constructed by the reciprocity of sociality and structure, and more importantly to learn how to stage productive interventions. I am particularly interested in finding ways to combat obesity within urban underprivileged minority populations, though I am also interested owing to my background in both HIV/drug prevention strategies and in addressing domestic violence and mental illness in immigrant communities.
jpeter: (boing boing boing)
i hate this post. it's so myopic, but it reflects where i was at the time (fresh out of grad school, ugh)

last night, after cursing myself for not having snatched up the domain name during the nascent years of online social networking, i lay in bed mulling over ponderous existential questions about modernity, identity, and the dying light of french theory. as a half-assed, largely incompetent student of literature and philosophy in the continental tradition, i have always held myself in unhealthy relation to french theory — and to dead white men more generally. Gilles Deleuze, for example, is my patron saint. aside from being a creative wordy genius after my own heart, he committed suicide by hurling himself through a window. defenestration? score! +10 points for theatricality. Michel Foucault, hero of literate transgender hussies everywhere, is second on my list of greats. Method of suicide: death by HIV (many speculate this was intentional, as he frequented the SF bath houses during the early years of the AIDS epidemic. in which case +10 pts for irony and biopower!)

Anyhow, as I rifled through my rolodex of heroes, it occurred to me that i have no asian intellectual icons of any sort, no Eastern locus at which my mimetic tensions gather. =P indeed furthur reflection made me realize that i have never had a male asian role model to emulate in any capacity — intellectual, affective, representational. not a single one. and not for lack of wanting and needing one, frankly.

As a self-professed slanty-eyed smartfag, i must say that a major part of my frustration with the Bear movement’s domination of the queer scene (aside from its tendency toward the same body fascism it originally deigned to move against) owes to the fact that the dominance of Bear social cartography effectively ensures that certain affective registers consequent to Oedipal sociality will for me remain unfulfilled. A distinctly Oedipal hieirarchy (and by that I mean the broader Oedipal model of family) is a de facto feature of the Bear scene — even the taxonomy of bodies reflects this: “Bear” (older bearded heavyset male) and “Cub” (younger slimmer bearded bear-to-be). The circulation of such a (hehe bestial) trope foregrounds a naturalistic sense of progression, a continuity between the young and the old, and what’s more, a mentor(ing relation)ship apart from pure sexual practice. Part of my own struggle with my sexual identity (and broader cultural identity as a child of immigrant parents) owes to the utter lack of such a relationship structure during my own coming-of-age. In the absence of a male ideal and a male homosocial mentor figure, I failed to develop a historical sense of my self and my world. Without a male ideal whose semiotic stability could organize my experience, my world has always lacked continuity. In many ways (and i don’t use this term lightly, as my mother was a violent postpartum nutcase) it has presented itself as something schizoid, devoid of coherence. while such may be the case, i’m under the impression most people operate without a crippling, persistent awareness of Althusserian/Lacanian ideological rupture. =P

At the risk of betraying my own desire to move beyond classical Western structures of affiliation and connectedness, i can’t help but wonder how different my life would be if i’d had access to not only to a stable family (and strong father figure in a distinctly Western aka classical Greek sense), but also to the parallel structure of mentoring and paternal care that has taken root in the queer community. I wonder sometimes if I am not deficient in some way for not being entitled to such mentoring? why am i not able to belong to a site of emulation, intersubjectivity, identification, paternal care? why is the absence of facial hair grounds for being disbarred from a community that prides itself on its ideology of inclusiveness and warmth? (reference: history of Bear movement, issues highlighted by addendum: i suppose the “return to nature” aspect of the bear-cub figure only “naturally” implies that hairless persons like most Asian men are ‘unnatural’, and hence undesirable)

While the Bear community’s emphasis on Western practices (loud gatherings at sports bars / community rugby tournaments / events that are traditionally attached to the working class) is perhaps somewhat removed from my own Asian domesticity (do not question authority / walk quietly through the house / do not make eye contact, let alone physical contact / to be loved requires deference, invisibility), the feelings, the affects, must fundamentally feel the same. To be embraced by a community and have your attachments be guided by that community’s very forms certainly must feel rewarding. These rewards are definitely experienced in a performative way – in the hundreds of Bear (which might as well be called Bear-For-Bear) websites on the web, the myriad Bear events (reference last weekend’s Chicago Bear pride), even Bear bars. Bear culture has even leeched into popular media (reference Cachorro.) Bear culture validates itself by making itself known — Asian ideology, on the other hand, demands that we blend in. Disappear. We demand a loss of faciality. Where eyes might meet I sometimes imagine an eraser.

For me, a gay Asian American male, to continually be rejected or marginalized by the Bear community on the basis of my lack of body and facial hair (note even the terminology! reference: Chaser) is infuriating. For me as an individual with a particularly violent and unstable family background, the rejection causes great pain and an even deeper sense of isolation. In many ways it simply recapitulates my early loss time and again.

The problem is not necessarily the Bears’ concern. They have their fun, and they have earned it. But what options are available for me? What gay Asian male – imagined by popular television or otherwise – could be a father figure to this 28-year-old spazzy recovered ivy-league meth-head who, posturing as intelligentsia , has largely gotten through life with strategies of avoidance, deference, and isolation? Why are others entitled to such relationships simply because they have more follicles in their face? That the Bear community has even failed its own (see account in The Bear Book volume II, in which a member of the community develops a disease that causes him to lose all his body/facial hair) is on paper ludicrous but in life potentially quite devastating for any h0m0 attached to this world of meaning.

My question is (as usual) an unproductive one. It may not even be a question. I suddenly find I am no longer able to ask one. But maybe this post would do better as something else entirely – something that is not so much a guided inquiry as an articulation of a need, as the identification of a void that greatly needs filling.

Asian-America, I am throwing down the gauntlet. I need an image of paternal care, empathy and instruction. it can be straight or gay, i don’t care. but I need it now.

(Mr. Miyagi does not count)

FB post.

Mar. 4th, 2013 09:10 pm
jpeter: (boing boing boing)
in tomorrow's public speaking class i'm to tell a story pertaining to sound advice once given. so i've chosen to relate how depressed and suicidal i was my junior year of high school after being forcibly transplanted from my beloved (and in hindsight terribly provincial) northern virginia to the wilds of bangkok, thailand, in the company of a psychotic cunt mother who haunts my dreams to this day (i will leave that part out of course).

the story will be about how an unlikely friend, ms. Dava Romyanond, reminded me many a time when i was despondent and crying over the phone, feeling as trapped as my young years would allow, that "this too shall pass." and of how those words, however trite now with the passage of time, reminded me of the immanent possibility of hope, and that temporality is never so much a pool so much as a flood, and that its violent tide will always bring you awash to fresh shores, and your task is not to cling, not to pit yourself against your losses, but to strive to unmoor yourself and embrace the radically new.

(how to fit that into two minutes i've no idea but there you have it. my closet optimism despite myself, thanks to one davajinee romyanond.)

p.s. there will be a story about Taranee Anne at some point.


Nov. 23rd, 2012 02:05 pm
jpeter: (Default)
for the 2.5 of you who still use LJ, archive your shizz with this tool:
jpeter: (Default)
3:16 a.m., 4/5/2012
by J. Peter Siriprakorn on Thursday, April 5, 2012 at 3:17am ·

i close my eyes. it's the summer of 1996. i am deleriously happy. i am in love, and with a girl no less! though she is pair-bonded with my best friend, a man-child i idolized because he was everything i was not: strong, robust, athletic, stout of heart, patient, kind. a good italian american christian boy who was saving himself for his first real love in the pre-internet days when adolescents still wore chastity belts. also, i was not yet gay -- at least, not in a way i could acknowledge or make sense of. early coming-out requires a level of self-awareness that's a western luxury 1st generation asians know little of -- we mature later, if at all. authoritarian regimes will do that to you.

i had just spent two long, miserable, lonely years abroad in thailand junior and senior year of high school, and desperately needed to reconnect. i was fortunate in that respect; my old friends had come together in the intervening years, brought together by reminiscing about me (or so they said), so from the start there was some semblance of family, a sense of belonging, the gifting of a sense of absence. and tony and emily and i...the three of us grew unimaginably close during those halcyon days -- emily and i spent all our nights together, roaming empty suburban lots barefoot, traipsing through cold dew-covered grass to smoke marlboro reds stolen from her mother's purse. reading each other bad confessional poetry over candlelight. driving over to tony's house to throw rocks at his window to wake him (his parents were a bit puritanical. no girls over after dark. remember, virginia used to be a red state. bloody fucking tampons strung up like flags to remind women they have no reproductive rights.)

but god, summer at 17 in the burbs? such blissfull carefree days. lasertag arena fights that never ended, hours lost roaming the malls and the arcade and rolling down hills giggling at wolf trap farm park. tossing coins in the air while we lay with outstretched arms, fanning the center of a midnight cul de sac like harbingers of light and sound. nintendo parties at kathleen's, 8 and 16-bit ecstasy, late night scary movies, chasing emily's dog pippin through misty fields at 3 a.m. and me, seemingly always retreating to strum a lone guitar -- playing an old dinosaur jr. riff i can now barely recall -- on a hillside overlooking the woods outside tony's house. it was a summer resplendent with simple adolescent dreams. and they're dreams i miss precisely for their simplicity.

one night that august emily and tony and i found ourselves sitting outside under our favorite tree after sundown. we each held hands, having just seen a shooting star, which in our youthful fervor we took to mean that we were destined to always love one another, to be there for one another. to be a HOME for one another. i remember feeling very young and very strong, staring off into the unknown defiantly, knowing we stood poised at the cusp of our youth, but together, with bravado, with bravura, a force to be reckoned with, an army of three. i had been alone for so very long. mqybe since my mother had lost her mind.

in the days that followed, as tony packed up his bags to leave for Emory, and i packed up my bags to leave for Michigan (Emily stayed behind) we wept and wept and made promises we couldn't keep. oh, but how desperately and earnestly with thought we could cling to permanence in the face of change! when in fact the veil had already been pierced. our bags were already packed and loaded in the van. this cry is the last goodbye. tomorrow you will grow up and move on to the rest of your life. and the old adage would soon prove true: you can't go home again.

that summer gave me the happiest moments of my life. i have never really been happy since.

oh, but then college in ann arbor, where my parents had forced me to go. to study ENGINEERING. to be a proper asian. a 'school' that was sprawling, lax, utterly unstructured, uninspiring, and populated by jock imbeciles from jersey who'd laugh during poetry seminars and say "man that was way over my head!" and with college, the progressive dawn of my whiny immigrant 1st world problems. too much drinking, too many drugs, too many crazy parties, misguided attempts to fit in, too much identitarian confusion, too many efforts to find a niche. all the while facing a dawning awareness that your past was something to truly be reckoned with, and that it was troubled in a way that most others' were not. then more late adolescent drama: tony and emily breaking up, emily immediately dating tony's friend steve. existential confusion. loss of love and trust? then later, an alleged revenge rape, her suicide attempt, public denial and humiliation, confusion, betrayal. but who was i? what was i doing? did our promises mean nothing? then memories of my home life began to really surface. and you realize that not every kid was locked in closets and beaten and kept in cellars for months at a time. that there's a word for what youre mother had: postpartum psychosis. acknowledging a complex trauma is strange, like reading a familiar novel for the first time. it's all a retroprojection. meanings shift. your heart breaks all over again. realizing you were terribly abused suddenly makes home no longer home, yet neither was michigan home. it was too alien to provide a safe haven. a liminal space again, suspended between imperatives to move successfully through two (any, multiple) worlds, radiating confidence -- honor student, grade-skipper, precocious violinist, under/overachiever, budding intellectual, fledgling writer...all titles, things that didn't make me any less alone. a virtual paralysis among all the elided moments and people you could never fully be.

all this becomes too much to bear, and you were never much of a literary/analytical person anyway to ruminate and brood successfully (at least not until later when i got a decent education transferring to uchicago). plus you have your Orgo II and Biochem final, for christsakes, and Diablo just came out! so you retreat into distraction. such stages are progressive. first is distraction. then disaffection. then rage. then numbing with hard drugs. you seek out new subcultures, finding dominant culture repugnant for its populism: you discover detroit rave, punk/indie/noise rock. you buy visors with light up stars and phat pants 20 sizes too big. you buy a beat up gibson les paul custom 1997 tobacco sunburst you can't afford, but that you can let wail. you get your labret pierced the day you flippantly fail a shakespeare final. oh, a friend overdosing here and there? you hammer a stake into the ground, cut your losses, and move on. all the while your diminishing and already febrile sense of direction, or rather your inability to dream of a life truly yours warns you that each of us is standing against a rising tide, and we are slowly losing ground. you stick needles in your arm. and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

eventually this erosion not only sets the tenor of your life, it becomes it. and you learn to embrace it -- all the shores you wash up on, the amazing people you inadvertently meet, all the bridges you unwittingly burn. and now, at 33, you see in the mirror a kid once bullied for being so far ahead now fallen so far behind, you see your mother with a belt in her hand, you see the bloody jaw where your father knocked out your tooth, you see a small boy of eight superimposed over the grizzly spectral facade of a recovered meth addict turned grad school theory junkie with some measure or promise turned PhD screwup/runaway turned ____

i know sooner or later a final reckoning with my past is inevitable. it's the only way i can claim a life that is mine. wish me luck. it's been one hell of a journey.  maybe when it's all over we can have a beer and laugh at the absurdity of it all.  drinks are on me.  you in?
jpeter: (Default)
dim sum for dinner, $35 1hr parking. my father cries, my dog whines, my mess of a mother out scouring the west. we're forever slipping into furrows of lost time - together, apart, it doesn't matter. i look at an envelope and wish i could change my name. i miss you, it's cold in here. the radiator's never worked. this isn't a slint song. where has everybody gone? i don't know what year it is but my body is older than i remember. i look at the skin on my father's hands, thin as paper. i was 5 the last time i really took stock of his hands. life was simpler then. mom was intact. it seems my hands are like his now and i've lost 20 odd years. wish you were here so we could dig things up. love is an act of writing, it holds things together. sometimes its not bold enough. i haven't walked down waikiki beach since i was just a boy. dad's too old now to pick us up and spin us around. he no longer walks with us to the park casting shadows in front and behind the sanitized streets of evanston as if bodies weren't just speckles of paint. hawaii was probably a high point, the best in a series of brief attempts at peace. in my hood there are no parks, there is only the constant intimation of our death, a pendulous rumble passing through sheafs of time and memory bursting with people you'll never know and sounds you'll never hear. and too many city lights cascading through tears, mirages of people and places that never fully materialize. just colors, sensory pleasure running off track, nothing more.

dad: i don't remember a time when mom was ever happy
me: you don't remember ever hearing her smile?
dad: i don't remember her ever singing a song

it is hard, having memories of a person who's gone who only you miss and knew. and what is this thing in her place? what do you call it? sadist, narcissist, postpartum psychosis, can you add them all up and give it a name? can a person without meaning be a summation of labels? an empty set of inclusions and exclusions. the sight of an eye dithering and dilating.

most of the few happy memories i have growing up were moments of stillness, moments of shared silence with friends when we seemed to dip for a moment out of the tidal thrust of ordinariness. pausing to watch the sun set over the chesapeake bay, huddling in our coats, listening to the sound of water worrying the pier. t.b. and myself laying out under the stars in our sleeping bags, staring at the sky. my father like the wind at my back. watching the world through a car window at dawn. sunlight passing soft hands through the trees during the magic hour.

my mother singing while cooking christmas dinner. mom teaching me how to build a snowman, how to dig holes in the sand, how to pray. by the time my brother and sister were young enough to remember, that person was already gone.

this thanksgiving i am thankful for my father's life, my dog's life, xbox360, literature that once moved me, films that still distract me, all the awesome parties and music and people over the years that have shielded me from uttering the word "meaningless" at the mirror


Jun. 4th, 2010 08:02 pm
jpeter: (Default)
aww, people apparently like my last post. yay! it's like i've been saying, the memoir is gonna be the fucking jaaaam! i just have to ride out the next thirty or so odd years because memoirs written by 30 year olds don't sell (too soon, too soon)

<3 y'all

p.s. yesterday i jumproped for ten minutes and went for a jog with matt and my dog, felt great. w00t! fitness, here i come
jpeter: (Default)
can't even begin to synthesize anything coherent about this year's DEMF. i'll just post some highlights.

- friday hang out with Stos at the house gallery party and confirm that seeing each other once a year really is not enough. so proud of him for being elected secretary of the treasury of the michigan AFLCIO! he'll be mayor of Detroit one day, just wait.

- saturday festival proceeds as usual -- bouncing around, seeing old friends, rendezvous with the new york crew, antics antics antics. richie hawtin closes festival as plastikman while i trip balls on an amazing hit of blotter Sneak threw my way while i stood at Forans mulling the fate of Me and Psychedelics. fucking outstanding light setup, a giant cage of LEDs, very well executed. hawtin can still put on a good show, apparently. which he needed after that silly M-NUS cube debacle. aka BOXY METHOXY, W0rd?

run into seth troxler  ben parris and posse up, highlights include our cab driver blasting ALLEYS OF YOUR MIND by cybotron and everyone absolutely losing their shit (tripping Catherine climbs across the seat to scream into the cabbie's face, YOU KNOW BOUT THIS CYBBBOTRONNN SHITTTT?!! tomas is his name, he becomes our official chauffeur for the night.

(thank you Seth for saving me $30 on cover.)

Sunday morning, head back to the hotel around 7 a.m. thinking i'd rest a bit before heading to ShxtShow, only to realize i forgot my xanax script in brooklyn. lay in bed overheating and trying to sleep until 2 p.m., which is when i pass out until 8 p.m., thereby missing Abbott's party (and my roommates' gig) entirely. SAD FACE

mosey on over to the festival in time to see Inner City close out with Buena Vida / Good Life. afterwards, posse up with Vicky and friends, chill in their hotel room (great conversation was had) before heading to No Way Back -- arguably THE legitimating party behind Detroit's yearly RAVE MERIT badge, which we have all proudly worn since time immemorial (it's always the same new york / detroit degenerati throwing / playing / closing out the party. and the same ever dilating circle for the last 10+ years) lots of oldsk00lers made appearances. gabe real, fucking Dean from Syst3m, our very own Ken on Fire (1/2 of Analogue Productions, i used to blow SO much money on nitrous at his fucking parties, boy totes needs to reimburse me for that shit.) PLUR in full effect! good to see doyle, bethany, and blunk too for a few crazy cracked out minutes. and Natalie and Vyeto and Rebecca/Amy/Colby/Alena/J/B/M/K et al. please note that while i have no idea what words came out of my mouth from about 6 a.m. onward, i trust i was conversant in very weighty topics such as the oil spill.

around 9 a.m. christos drives me back to the hotel (courtyard marriott) where i pass out until 3 p.m. Debate on whether to drag my ass out to Old Miami, but my aging bones couldn't manage it. head to the festival around 6 p.m. instead to catch Kenny Larkin and Model 500, as well as a very boring Chris Liebing, whom i used to worship back in 2001 when i had no taste.

afterward consider chasing the rave to the majestic, where my old nemesis Matt Dear is playing a free show (he does not know of this antagonism, lulz. we have not spoken since undergrad, i just find his post-rave days superstar dj ego distasteful, and at odds with the detroit homegrown community-oriented ethos) also briefly flirt with going to see Hawtin, even though his work as Richie Hawkings has not been interesting for like, ten years. decide i simply don't have enough rave rocket fuel in my body to get me through another night of afterparties, so i throw on an episode of law and order and fall asleep, thus bringing an end to my 11th year at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, and marking more than a decade of sound decision making.

oh right, other minor highlights include
- running into theakston, who calls me fat, thus making it clear i need to get in shape
- realizing i am old, and many many years have elapsed since i lived in Michigan
- seeing everyone
- not having to pay cover all weekend, w00t! except for the festival, b00 ($70!!! next year i'm getting a fucking press pass, fuck that noise.)

- kenny larkin closing with knights of the jaguar (i cried like a sissy girl, the weight of time and memory just hit me like a fucking train, my life has been so fucked up this year everything has gone to shit and deep down i am more scared and lost and alone than i know what to do with, and more adrift than i ever thought possible at this age, which is terrifying in its own right, and in some ways going back to detroit is like going back to the home i never really had, back to the womb or cradle or something, back to the maternal introject, and just being there, enveloped in a throbbing city whose cold iron arms will always hold you and whose name you've screamed a thousand times to a thousand insistent beats in time, the city - dead husk of modernization and big industry, monumental signifier of civilization's failure and the betrayal of Eros - gives you a chance to feel the otherness of the quiet desperation that bubbles up inside you, the desperation the monotony of middle-class life and downward mobility forces you to deny as you attempt to project unto those around you a vision of growth and tranquility, and you know without a doubt that you are alive precisely because you can experience this great existential terror, you are alive, just as this gorgeous felled city lives and breathes and maneuvers its macabre lumbering hulk despite an ever growing expanse of decay and rubble, poor planning and bad politicking and the absence of faith and commitment and public memory, and it occurs to you as you look back at your journey downstream through academia, more academia, dead-end job after dead-end job, failed relationships, failed attempts to succeed at the sanitized neoliberal ideal of suburban life, your countless failed stops and starts clicking like the turning of a key in an ignition that has bled to death, you realize that Detroit is more a part of you than you can ever fully explain, ever fully know, in the sense that it will always be your final destination, a spectral presence tracing the contours of all the possibilities you will encounter in your life, all the hands you will bite, all the bridges you will unwittingly burn, it is the place where you will someday have your ashes scattered, a spoonful over mound and outer drive, another over the firehouse, another over the bridge space, and the rest of you over the ungodly remains of the packard automotive plant and all its crumpled devastated lots, which is where the 19 year old you discovered something outside of the world you were in, and where you probably left your last pair of soot-covered phat pants anyway, if not literally then figurally, phat pants by now long caked with grime and covered in rave boogers borne of ash and broken glass a half century old, molded by the wind into a tent of denim strong enough to weather the few decades you have left)

jpeter: (Default)
i think my dad is like, seriously lucid this time.  in a perduring way, not as if i'd been granted some sort of ephemeral visitation right or something, the experience of shared custody in the care of someone momentarily sane.  tonight over dinner he spoke at length about how transparent my mother's illness is now, about how he wished he had seen it sooner.

"i can't believe it took me twenty years to get out of her head," he said. "i understand it's not about asking you to forgive me. it's not about forgiveness.  i'm just looking forward to a new relationship with you, whatever we can have."

i stared awkwardly down at my lamb shawarma because time is precious and waits for no man.

in other news, i have almost recovered from DEMF 2009!  pics are up here.  it was an outstanding weekend, one of the best in recent history, i would say.  a bit gauche at times but what you gonna do?  our scene encourages that sort of behavior.  witness loco dice and luciano commanding a thrall of rabid fans.  not since hitler's youth have we engendered that kind of solidarity.  and this time without all the death!  such $avings, y'all!

fortunately, at the time i write this I'm about 90% moved into my new apartment next door to Atomly/J3s/etc.  it's quiet because most of the crew is raving it up in Montreal at MUTEK.  kristin, j3s, and melissa are at Studio B to support Derek and Juan.  i have to meet the movers at noon tomorrow to fetch my bed, desk, and couch so i'm staying in for once.   plus zev and gadi are throwing a Wolf and Lamb party tomorrow night -- likely to be the last for awhile since zev is off to berlin afterward.  will be a late one for sure.  wondering how to explain that one to dad.  should i duck out of the party at 8 a.m. to eat breakfast with him before he drives back to D.C.?  wear sunglasses or just avoid eye contact while coming out of a hole?  should i offer him a bump?  should i define what a bump is?  serious questions for serious peeps, yo.  he's an M.D., so he prolly did 'ludes in the 60s.  (it's cool, it's cool)

oh fuck. my bathroom ceiling is leaking.  but i just moved in, professor!

anyway, tomorrow's party should be at least as amazing as the last. not sure when minimal got so epic but fuck, i'll take it i'll take it!  age of desperation u knoe   (pictures below)

** good seeing all you detroiters last weekend.  had a smashing good time as always.  xoxo!! **

jpeter: (brick)

fuck. HELLO MY NAME IS APOPTOSIS have u seen speedypete. fuuuuuck. what a weekend.
jpeter: (mugshot)

reading matt and j3s's party review from 10 years ago is a fucking trip. so awesome to catch a glimpse of us at our finest -- to revisit how young and earnest and free we all were.

H4 was definately a Rave if there ever was one. in a single word, it was beautiful. at one point in the evening, dj frisky dropped a hh remix (by stompy on homegrown) of the classic tune 'one family'. for the first time ever i *really* experienced what the song meant. all it took was a look around to realize that everyone there was together: be it people smiling at strangers, laughing, dancing frantically, singing along to happy hardcore, jungle or old school rave music, wearing crazy fun fur outfits, or carrying around stuffed animals and toys. the night peaked for about seven hours. in a weird way, i felt that i was home. chicago's a very interesting place but as of late (say the last three years), it's had its fair share of problems. i love chicago and will do everything i can to make things at least a little better, but H4 showed me something that i usually just dream about. it was that special. - DJ matt positive

man, i miss those days! people seem to forget that rave was in many ways an incredibly moving and empowering cultural phenomenon. it provided so much meaning and a terrifically counterhegemonic social framework for countless adolescents just beginning to really explore themselves, their emotions, and their place within a social world that just didn't seem to have a place for hope.  what impresses me to this day is the uproarious force, the violent intensity of our collective desire to imagine a better experience of being together, to create (if only for a night) a better, happier world, a world whose sole purpose was to lift you up.   sure, in the end it became (or perhaps always was) politically inert.  it certainly did not form a lasting community of like-minded individuals working together to attain an ideal.  but that's perhaps why it is so beautiful to me -- precisely because it was so much about moments of explosive contact and unexpected intimacy, knowledge, bliss that continually escaped capture.  it was something that could only briefly be held, and it arrived with so much force!  it could shear people into raw wounds and stitch them back together in the same beat.  in one night you would be so moved to tears, so affected by the crowd and the music and the furor that you could forget how ugly and shitty and misunderstood you were and feel in your bones that you were a part of something amazing (and you were)

i guess i just want to say that amid bashing my old youth culture for its hedonism and (*ahem*) fash'n mistakes one must remember that this microcosm was precious for many people who craved a degree of freedom, intensity, community that quotidian life did not readily provide.  rave was a space for hope, a privileged space perhaps (an insular space) but a space for hope nonetheless.  and you never know how precious hope is until it's gone and you experience a life impoverished by its absence.

hope is a part of feeling alive.  without rave, i wouldn't be here.  SO SUCK IT, H8ERS!

read more )

internet rave archive (Matt and co.)
jpeter: (boing boing boing)
so the other day i finally said fuck it and wrote a brief e-mail to Lauren. said i did end up graduating in August, that i stuck with the topic we'd agreed on so long ago (has it really been 3+ years? jesus.) attached a copy of my thesis not with the expectation that she'd read it, but to say thank you for inspiring me to write it. and wished her well.

now as some of you may know, i was a neurotic spazzy avoidant panicky weirdo the entire time i was at the UofC. i inadvertently dumped some of my baggage on her because she's just an amazing person/mentor/teacher, and i've always regretted that.

anyway, to my surprise she wrote back congratulating me! she actually apologized for not having had the time to supervise, as she'd had to go out of the country. she very kindly wished me well back. :) this made me very happy.

lately amid the turbulence of partying and chillaxing and moonwalking and dreaming i've experienced a new kind of peace of mind, an inner sense of freedom that doesn't feel false at the root. things just feel incredibly RIGHT somehow. i acknowledge that i have the same day to day struggles as everyone else, but it's as if some leaky pipe inside me has been sealed up, and i am more present to myself and the world around and in me.

(does not stop me from rocking the sunny day real estate, however. InTenz muziks always good 4 us ALTs)

summer 08 has been a drifting balloon and with fall i am feeling more alive than i have in years

so yeah, here's my thesis. it was very well regarded. THE FINAL PRODUCT!

p.s. a good friend of mine recently got news that someone close to him had passed away, and under less than wholesome circumstances. G if you're reading this, hang in there mang. my line's always open brosef

p.p.s. the new Young Widows is effing great
jpeter: (can you still feel the butterflies)
growing up, my parents told me day in and day out that i would never amount to anything, that i shouldn't have been born, that should have died in the womb. my mother was a sadistic schizophrenic cunt who took pleasure in dragging me through our house by my ankles, locking me in closets and cellars. my father was a gentle, solitary man who lacked the moral wherewithal to consider his children human. their violence was compounded by a more pervasive cultural isolation typical for immigrants on the move, vying for a bid at the American Dream: a house in the suburbs, fulfillment, independence.

for many years i questioned the value of every breath i took (this was before i became semi-political.) it was hard for me to let myself succeed at anything, because i knew nothing i ever did could absolve me of the crime of simply existing. every hint of even the most minor success confronted me with a veiled abyss of failure.

but in 2002, after my friend aaron smashed his cellphone, downed a bottle of valium and checked out early, something inside me snapped. i suddenly realized i did not want to end things that way. so i did what anyone else in my predicament might do; i moved to the nearest city, sobered up, applied to grad school (harhar.)

3 years later after running away again, and breaking away from my family for the last time, i returned to the first real claim to life that i'd ever made. i submitted my long overdue M.A. thesis in June 2008. i received my diploma in the mail today, and not without a painful amalgam of grief and elation.

this is the kind of ending i'd had in mind; the kind that open up to new beginnings.

september 8th, 2008. mom, dad: i am ready to finally bury you.


Sep. 8th, 2008 01:03 am
jpeter: (Default)

Originally uploaded by speedypete312
This weekend was supa-chillax'd, still trying to process and embrace the downtime (i had actually been in the mood to prrrrrrty.) Missed lolita's b-day hijinks entirely along with greg's hurricane house of debauchery, kinda bummed about that but hey, you can't be two places at once. Showed Annie around our rain-soaked city, saw the fantastic Katrina documentary Trouble the Water, had a great time chilling in the east village with Kelly Beth Martin and Manali after Kelly's fash'n show, saw an awesome exhibit at PS1 called That Was Then...This is Now (the multimedia piece on Sarah Winchester's ghosts was deeply moving; especially struck by the transformation of primitive, vaguely biomorphic abstract forms into discernible figures. also deeply unsettled by the interpretations of the american flag and the many structural problems veiled by u.s. nationalism) and introduced Hiram to the succulence that is Sripaphai

got home to Margaret studying and tore her away from theory to watch Project Runway. nice downtime but ARRRG i still feel the itch to jam out with my clam out! i suppose there is always next weekend. and the weekend after. and the weekend after.

it's amazing how fun life can be when you realize that THIS IS IT. there is nothing out there to hold your breath for, no phantom shadow of someone you were supposed to be or failed to become, no need to meet expectations other than the ones you set for yourself. it's just peculiar to me that this eternal present is more life happening than anticipating its endlessly deferred arrival, which is what i spent much of my life doing. i mean, can the seat of pleasure really be precisely where you are standing? can desire and your spatiotemporal moment really coincide? R U for serious?

in other news, i happened to pick up a copy of The Anatomy of National Fantasy, which i'd never rly read. it's great! highly recommended. i fucking hate early American lit/philo but Lauren's way of reading is so compelling i can overlook how boring her archive otherwise could be.
jpeter: (demonic)
NYU law school is checking my references. OMG OMG OM GOMG OMgOM gOM gOM GOM GOMG 38k a year, full tuition reimbursement AAAAUUUUUGHHHH FIRST REAL JAAERB AAUUUGH SUCHMANYPERKS DO i GET CAN I HAVE NOW?
well this is part of why i don't generally participate in class. written by a classmate. posted to our class mailing list. fuck beans.

i didn't mean to attack the parents; i meant to attack a form of psychoanalytic discourse that conceives of interpersonal sexual relations as always involving six people (participants and their parents), because this arborizing process structures the form any referendum of sexuality might take. indeed, it structures the way one experiences sexuality in general, such that what comes to be a 'problem' for some people - the fact of being closeted, a fetishist; in short, abnormal/aberrant - necessitates a referendum at all. more simply put, and though this might be a (by now) banal claim, these types of discourse necessitate the taking of a referendum and, more importantly, the mode of taking a referendum - one under and according to their terms. this is part of why i look forward to reading non-traditional (i.e. conceptually limited) psychoanalytic essays, those that incorporate referendum into the equation while still retaining the logic of the unconscious. presently i'm still tied to foucault's criticism of the psychoanalytic theory of sexuality, which is from where my not-so-seriously formulated criticism stemmed.

the radio guy and psychoanalysts proliferate these discourses, discourses which arborize and structure the individual in potentially destructive ways - even in the ways one becomes skeptical of their categories. i think that's the motivation of our criticism.

um, "our" criticism? whatchu talkin about, willis?

tomorrow i'm going to raise my hand and be like, "teacher? what does arborize mean?"
(i'm guessing something to do with hippies and making trees. huhhhuh "trees" huhhuhuh "wood". i hear sex often involves "wood" huhhhuuh)

fuck. i am so not matoor enough for gradsk00l.
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