April 17, 2008

The Teenage Head is young and hip and hot and decisive and hot and cool. They are anti-everything including themselves and if they played guitar at least one of the strings would be broken and the other five (or 11) would certainly be out of tune. The Teenage Head makes movies not films. The Teenage Head writes stories not literature. They are from the second city (which has actually been the third city, statistically, since 1991). They stay up much too late and wake up much too late and arrive much too late to classes with old old kids and old old teachers and old old books and old old ideas. The Teenage Head is young and hip and hot and cool and hot and anti this about literature almost as much as you are.

Check out the Teenage Head for a story of mine: Thank God

Also, if you have time, the short films are worth a look. I particularly like “The People in the Middle”.

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It is the cities and the mountains that I love. Either a concrete playground illuminating overpopulation or the natural areas so empty one cannot even escape themselves. However, I wake up every morning to see suburban bliss, the in-between that ignites in me no inspiration or muse. I find myself frequently visiting the city or running away in the summer to the mountains; however, in the times where I cannot escape suburbia, I seek solace in the land that literature creates. For, at my very core is my love for art.

In the last four years of my life, art was not only my retreat and my passion but also my education. In the hours of the night that were too late to even check the time, I found myself in a room filled with words. Meanwhile, I was also searching for new sentences to fall in love with. There was Bukowski and Brautigan taped to my walls. Books covered the shelves and the floor simultaneously. Articles filled binders. With every word, I had discovered something new. At the very best, I had not only learned but changed.

Although I spent nine years at a Catholic grade school, I never understood Catholiscm until reading C.S. Lewis. Even in the country’s current mess regarding immigration, it was Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath that shaped my stance on the issue. And for many years I succumbed to innate shyness but only after watching Cool Hand Luke did I really learn how to speak my mind. I confess that it is as though I need a fabricated world to help me understand and change reality.

While rummaging through an issue of Adbusters one day, I came upon a quote from Lee Henderson, in which he says, “Art is the only god you can prove exists”. Immediately, this quotation got written down and lingered in me for years since. He articulated the role that art plays for me. It is not for sheer entertainment but illumination. It is immortal. It gives me direction and meaning, a role similar to that of religion. Thus, when losing myself in a piece of music, I have found myself gaining a sense of existence.

If anything, I am a passionate person who does not wish to stop learning once the school bell rings. So give me trains, give me buses, give me a sidewalk, and I will wear out my Chuck Taylors until the rubber sole is all that is left. Give me words, give me passion, give me beauty, and I will ignite all that is inside of me. Give me life and I will try as hard as I can to live it.