moby and me: coincidence and melancholy

Five cent tour for Patsaks:

Find out what a self-proclaimed blog star (me) has to say to an actual rock star (moby) in this surreal, ongoing fictitious relationship. And just because moby is an actual myspace friend, this is not cause for me or you (the reader) to think these conversations are anything more than fictitious.

“I’ve made tons of bad decisions and done tons of things I regret. But it’s an interesting process.”

– moby

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Mistakes were made… A loaded gun won’t set you free…

Dave Simpson interviews moby

Congratulations on your recent interview. I found your answers to Dave Simpson’s questions… honest. Maybe, they were. Maybe, they weren’t. Dude, I’m just telling you how your answers struck me.

Simpson’s questions, I’m guessing, were some kind of scuffy clown shoes. Neither clever nor intrusive enough to reveal something profound and touching. I got the impression that the interview was really just a friendly chat, you shooting the frell while he took too many notes – maybe you were tired, slightly bored – but not bored enough to drop your usual fistful of expletives to stir things up.

Or k-mo the conversation.

What the frell is up with Simpson and the word, wistful? He uses it four times. Wistful isn’t very manly, masculine or forceful. It does not embody anything that relates to a will to action, decision and determination OR self-esteem for that matter. But these manly things are the things that are the spirit in a strong beat or great music.

Perhaps, reflective would have been a better word choice. Because each time that I saw wistful in the text, it struck me as odd- maybe even emasculating.

Were you so pensive?

Or, like as I guessed, were you just a little tired and a little bored?

Anyway, I know bad writing when I read it. I am an expert. Because I am also a poor writer. And this Dave Simpson can’t write.

Simpson needs to develop his feeling for words and things (people too). He also needs to develop a sense of conclusion. I get the feeling that he doesn’t know what to think about you.

Good writing is a good argument. And there is no argument in that write up.

Criticism and Problem-solving

It’s somehow built into most of us- to cringe under criticism. Although it’s great to be a critic, few like being criticized. Myself included.

Anyway, don’t take it too hard. Feel free to be yourself- unless you know that means you are acting in a way that overly embarrasses those near and dear to you. Money and fame is supposed to permit you the luxury of a little fun. People expect celebrities to do something eccentric, foolish, or unexpected, now and then.

Here is a little background music for this subject.
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Sure, “it’s fun to write and read criticism,” admits Anton Ego, the cynical food critic, in the Pixar animation movie, Ratatouille.

But as I often tell my favorite critics: “Any loser can be a critic, but it takes intelligence, passion and commitment to be a problem-solver. That’s what we need more of- problem solvers. Not critics.”

I think Remy (the little chef in Ratatouille) would agree with me.

On a good season, I bat 33-62 (sic) out of 100… on the scoring as a critic-problem-solver.

Note: My executive assistant will nod tentatively when she reads this.

Of course, straight-forward criticism from off the hip can annoy me. Sometimes, the pith really upsets me. But I usually get over it- if it merits consideration. Give or take 24 hours.

Coincidence and Difference

I enjoyed the coincidence of sharing with you that same impression on others as being a carrot-chomping, tree-hugging, and God-bothering oddball. Of course, this is how some people think of me in my office and Bucharest neighborhood.

Actually, I prefer steak (medium rare), but carrots are good for the liver and blood- I’m told. And dandelion tea too. Or- someone is trying to poison me.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to get a good cut of beef in Bucharest. I think there is no Angus here and they don’t make the same cuts they make in the US. On occasion, I find venison, bear and boar meat; the fillets go well with with a wild berry sauce- especially if the meat is overcooked- which happens often here.

The primary meat for Romanians is pork. They also eat a fair amount of chicken. Although I know a few vegetarians, it’s difficult for them to get all the nutrition they need. Romanians don’t have a strong tradition for cooked vegetables outside of the soup pot.

Regarding my “little tree friends” as my ex-wife used to say with contempt, I water and fertilize the neighborhood trees every now and then. No one takes care of outdoor trees in Bucharest. There is as much lack of pride in neighborhood as in self and nation. And I may even give my little tree friends a quick pep talk, now and then. But I also like elegant, carved wood furniture.

Prayer and conversation with God is a part of my daily routine, but I prefer not to get into people’s faces about religion or their lack of it. I’m not one to whip out the flying carpet or bang a 12 pound bible on my desk when I need a little inspiration or back up for my problem-solving.

If it’s a moral question to be settled , I have Aristotle’s little book of psychology to disarm and bang up the moral relativity of intellectually lazy and morally bankrupt atheists and agnostics which abound here.

Note: The Romanian Orthodox Church is dead as a meaningful cultural force. Although most Romanians would describe themselves as Orthodox, most could not tell you what Jesus actually said or didn’t say- according to the Gospels.

Sometimes, I have a little fun with this…

Did you know that Jesus said…

Really?

Yup. It’s in the Gospel of Mark.

[A look of worry and then looking off into space] Cool.

Um, jesus didn’t say that. I’m pulling your leg.

[a look of confusion] Ok. Thanks for that, ?!?!%^@!

Being an oddball

The term, oddball, is too vulgar for me. But I get you.

The thing is that we are all different in a way. We are all the same in a way- biologically, chemically, psychologically and spiritually.

Some of us only feel that difference more so than others because circumstance has made us acutely aware of ourselves, our responsibility for what we do, and how others do things. As is obvious, we really do have so many wants and needs in common with everyone else.

For example, the internet didn’t get popular from porn for no reason. It’s disappointing, but true. But we should also celebrate the humor in our vulgarity. We are, what we are… as portrayed in the clip below.

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Regardless of our common interests and aspirations, we approach the same challenges, individually.

What we do a little differently, thoughtfully or by intention, hardly makes you, I, or others -oddballs.

At worst, we’re just a little different in our behavioral patterns from others. Their surprise and quizzical looks when we do things out of the box, however, remind me of cows chewing the cud and watching the world go by- not much juice or self-awareness going on behind those big eyes. On the other hand, those same cows are far more afraid of being odd balls. The possibility scares them to death- so there is no need to envy their compulsion to stick as close to the herd as possible and blend in.

Ok, I’m not imagining there’s a lot of coincidence going on between you and me- so let’s not make a big deal out of it. You can relax. I’m not interested in being moby as much as you have no reason to want to be just like me.

Those few coincidences seemed unheimliche (uncanny) to me, but that’s where it stops.

Pensive Boredom, Melancholy

(Below) Coldplay’s song, Fix You, helps me negotiate my moments of melancholy.

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So you’re not happy about the response that you are getting in clubs as a DJ, how various fans get on your nerves about your political opinion, your disappointment with glory and celebrity, and how you still feel like an outsider despite being famous.

But what’s really bothering you that has got you in this mood? Are you uneasy, feeling empty or stuck in a moment? The mood is coming through loud and clear in the quotes that Simpson ascribes to you.

What are you doing? Are you growing, moving forward, building something worthwhile? Are you reading any good books?

Do you see promise and hope in tomorrow? Do you see the way that will take you home? If not, why not?

Open to everything happy and sad

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Thanks for that song, moby. It helps me choose my attitude when things do not seem to be going well.

Myself, I’m trying to hold on to those people who are slipping away. At the same time, I’m not doing a great job of welcoming those people who would like to enter into my life. I guess that you have a problem with that too.

My 3 year old boy. Loyal and trusted friends. They are slipping away in some ways. And they are entering more deeply into my life at the same time. It is a strange and uncomfortable juxtaposition. It’s wonderful too. But its hard to focus on the wonderful when you are in change. Change is never easy.

The sand castle is washing away with every wave of the new tide, but I’m trying to enjoy the red sunset on the horizon…

While thinking about distant shores, new opportunities, and even greater sand castles.

Stan Faryna
March 2, 2008
Bucharest, Romania

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About Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna is the founder and co-founder of several technology, design and communication companies in the United States and Europe including Faryna & Associates, Inc., Halo Interactive, and others.

His political, scholarly, social and technical opinions have appeared in The Chicago Defender, Jurnalul National, The Washington Times, Sagar, Saptamana Financiara, Social Justice Review, and other publications.

Mr. Faryna is editor-in-chief of Black and Right (Praeger Press, 1996), a landmark collection of socio-political essays by important American thinkers including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Copyright

Copyright 1996 to 2008 by Stan Faryna.

Here’s my fair use policy for my content:

If you want to share my content with your own audience, you may quote a brief excerpt, if and only if, you provide proper attribution (Source: The unofficial blog of Stan Faryna) with a direct link to the source. You may not republish or translate the entire article without my written permission. There’s more details here. Send your request for permission by inmail through the linkedin professional network at www.linkedin.com.

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