This aggression will not stand, man!

I went to the theater last night. What a bunch of fucking goofballs theater people are, am I right? It’s all loud chicks who talk about fucking all the time, overweight hams, gay guys and those woefully out of place untalented dudes who haven’t quite figured out that this isn’t for them yet. People say that theater is the true actors medium, and I guess I can see that…you have people right there, it’s just existing in the moment, the potential for disaster is humongous, that’s all great. Problem is, most theater is terrible. This, as we’ve discussed before, is indicative of a bigger equation that basically states that in any given field of interest, there are about a zillion people doing it shittily for every one person doing it well. The thing I saw last night was pretty good, though. It was sketch comedy, which is very easy to fuck up, but in this case, it was pretty funny. That’s good, because it was a production that stars one of my fellow cast members.
Speaking of, for this movie I’m making, we have to deal with a security company that patrols this abandoned town in order to film there. We were given permission and filled out the forms and blah blah blah, and everything was cool. The head of the security team drives around in a white range rover, and he loves to stop and see what we’re up to, which, 100% of the time, ruins whatever it is we’re up to. The other day we were doing a driving scene. We had a pretty detailed shoot planned, with four passengers and five camera setups (4 closeup window mounts and one wide hood mount), and about 4 takes per passenger, we were looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of doing the scene twenty times. It’s kind of a longer scene and it was hot and everyone was tired and we were trying to get through this pretty hellish shoot but the head security guard kept circling around and making his best attempts to cut off our car, and then he’d circle the block again and find us and scream “Hey! I wanna be on TV! Can you put me on the TV?” and totally ruin the scene. He kept doing this over and over and over. It never got old to him.
It would be great to have stopped the car and told him to go fuck himself, but we need him. It doesn’t matter that he’s so stupid that he has no idea that he’s ruining what we’re doing by being an irritating mongo, it doesn’t matter that he obviously doesn’t know the difference between movies and TV (we had already explained to him several times that this project would, at the very least, not make it to the TV for a looooong time) he’s the asshole who can kick us out of our location, so we have to smile and nod and ignore that he’s barely smarter than a golden retriever.
Again, sigh.
In my darkest moments, I look at my creative output and wonder who the fuck I think I am. I look at songs/books/movies that have really touched me, or I look at truly exceptional people and their output and I hold up my crappy little handful of songs/writings/this movie and I wonder who the fuck let me do this and why. There are really funny, smart, moving, talented people out there and I’m just some guy who’s surrounded myself with other people who are similarly marginally talented, similarly ambitious and blindly optimistic and we sit around and suck each other off and say we’re good at whatever, but are we? Are we really people who can make something worth being seen by other people?
Okay, you know your one friend who’s the dancer/actor/musician/painter who always makes you go to shows or openings or whatever, but they suck, but they love it and you want to say “hey, Beth…look, you’re bad at this. I know you love it, and good for you, but if you’re thinking that someday you’re gonna do something great in the medium of interpretive dance/sketch comedy/punk rock/chamber theater etc, I got news for you…you’re more likely to find the hope diamond just chilling in your vagina” but you never say that, because it’s mean. I feel like Beth sometimes. Or, the landlord from the Big Lebowski, you know? This comes from a deep seeded paranoia that I’ve had ever since I was small. When I was little, I remember very clearly suspecting that I was retarded and that my mom just paid everyone around me to pretend I was normal and that they were my friends. This wasn’t just some passing thought, either. I TRULY suspected that this was what was going on for a long, long time. It’s kind of the same thing now, in these moments of doubt. I look at myself and say, “dude, you’re fooling yourself. You’re making garbage. You’re not special, you’re not talented, you’re mildly smart but you’re nowhere near as smart as you think you are, you’re past your prime and from here on out you better get used to crushing defeat because after this piece of shit movie is finished you’re gonna be staring into the face of gigantic, irrefutable evidence of your mediocrity.”
It kind of makes my skin cold.
Then, I think about that assneck security guard going “hey man! Put me on the TV!” and I realize that I’m brilliant, at least in comparison to most of these crapsacks. The bar is so fucking low out there, and there are so many mongos, and there are so many of these mongos doing things (dane cook! Hinder!) and generally blowing it, that it’s my fucking DUTY to get out there and stink up the place . That’s usually when I go get a beer.

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33 Responses to This aggression will not stand, man!

  1. Kevin Burnett says:

    I have feelings of mediocrity all the time dude…hey, at least we're self aware right? Also, I dig the cover art of Buttsweat and Tears. Muy bueno, amigo.

  2. Tony Monley says:

    It's this LACK of self-awareness that allows marginally-talented people to grow up wholly devoted to their unoriginal, uninspiring selves—they never waste any time questioning themselves or their abilities, just continue to plug away "BECAUSE I'M GOING TO BE FAMOUS SOMEDAY!!". . yes, they're delusional, but they're convinced they've got sooooo much to show the world . . so day after day they work on it,–then 15 years later, out comes Dane Cook/Everyone Loves Raymond/Any American Idol winner.

  3. Scott says:

    i tend to get paranoid thinking i am doing a shit job at my job and that i will get let go or f-it all up or something. I think it comes from old jobs I had where is the boss did not talk to you, then you must be doing a good job. I get spazzy like that. but at least I try to address it and not let it slip to the side

  4. Candice says:

    the tag of this entry is absolutely horrible in an unbelievably fantastic kind of way

  5. casey says:

    Terrific post, today.
    I'm still convinced that I have a horrible case off turrets, and that I don't realize that I'm randomly spouting off horrible self-secrets and slanderings and innermost desires.

  6. planespotting says:

    In high school, and even through college, I had this deep-seeded suspicion that many of my "friends" didn't really like me, and that it was all just some gigantic ruse so that one day they could all get me into some ridiculously embarrassing situation and say "surprise! we're not your friends, we've just been fucking with you for five years and it's all lead up to this hilarious end point where we all laugh at your misfortune and you feel like the lowest thing on the face of the earth."

    Surprisingly, it never happened.

  7. Jayzilla says:

    "That’s usually when I go get a beer."

    That's usually when I go see what tegan priestly is up to and what she can fit where…

  8. Robb says:

    Self-awareness is good, because it's generally indicative of a keener sense of what the fuck is going on and what does and doesn't pass muster, and whatnot. But it can easily tip too far into self-doubt, and cripple ambition. Which is what ultimately happens to a ton of potentially-talented people, I think.

    The key is in what you mentioned about "facing irrefutable evidence of my mediocrity". When/if you get past the hurdle of wondering if you have any worthwhile contributions, your completed work and its ensuing reception (assuming you actually get it out there) serves as a moment of truth. There's a fair chance it will be utter shit. (Or maybe that thing where it's panned as shit initially, then slowly receives its true critical due 60 years later when you're dust). Scary prospect. So, many prefer to just keep themselves in that "never started/finished it" neutral position, because it allows for convenient eternal speculation ("Yeeeah, I would've really knocked em dead…") instead of potentially devastating hard evidence. So that's the dividing line. I've said nothing new, though.

    And I agree, the B&T art is rockin. I like how you eschewed the 'traditional' larry arms font.

  9. 3 wisdom teeth says:

    Just remember, if you think you are crazy, then you are not crazy. If you think you are not talented, then you are in fact, talented. personally, i love all the music and the blog…well, my opinion counting? ahh hell, who the fuck am i though. im so mediocre my login to a comments section should be revoked.

    My 2 shots at greatness in my life, real true expression of talent…winning the high jump contest at field day in 5th grade and getting a blowjob behind a dumpster at home depot when i was 14. washed up ever since!

  10. wilddanimal says:

    At least you still do the damn thing, even if it sometimes seems like shite. I let that stop me all too often. If you can do it, maybe I can too. Though I must insist you are surely far more talented than I, and I am at least nominally talented.

  11. Sean says:

    You're epic. Make love to me.

  12. Van Geek says:

    bendan, you know anything about the cobra skulls halloween show at reggie's?

  13. Drew says:

    If everyone became static because they felt they could never amount to their idols, shit would never get done. It's passing that moment of self-doubt and finding your niche and pursuing it. Everyone offers something special that no other person can imitate no matter how hard they try. Sure there are people who could probably "emulate" it, but they'll never be able to offer the same exact thing you were able to.

    No body's born a genius, or an artist, or anything… but rather they are an amalgam of society's ideas, visions, and influences that they surround themselves with and foster.

  14. Banana@1000MPH says:

    When I was little, and I never fully believed it, I would try to figure out if there was a way to make sure everyone else in the world weren't robots programmed to interact with me – then I got a little bit older and realized I wasn't THAT important.

  15. Drew says:

    And to cap off my self-flattering rant here is an awesome quote from the equally awesome Jim Jarmusch:

    "Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don't bother concealing your thievery – celebrate is if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: "It's not where you take things from – it's where you take them to.""

  16. Jesus says:

    The difference between you and the rest of the world is you're able to take a step back and realize the idiocy of the rest of the world, and more importantly, yourself. That's what you've got to hold on to.

    By the way, have you checked out the dudes of Tiger's Jaw? I'm actually digging a bit of their stuff.

  17. Kevin Burnett says:

    Drew – "Everyone offers something special that no other person can imitate no matter how hard they try."

    I hate to be disagreeable, but I think that's bullshit.

  18. Robb says:

    I respectfully disagree, Kevin. I feel it's horseshit. Anyway I guess I radmire your unwavering optimism in human capability or something, Drew, but Kevin is right.

  19. Bridgett says:

    Am I the only one that read the tag? Oh wait, just me and Candice. Must be a chick thing.

  20. Drew says:

    AAAAHH, you bunch of crotchety old men!

    Go wank off your beards er somethin!

  21. Toto says:

    long time not commenting here, but this post saved my life, really. this has been a month/year of incredible amounts of mediocrity in my life, and this kinda helped me.
    i hate my job as a bartender, i hate the country i live in, i dislike 99% of the people i know, and i don't feel proud of anything i've done ever except for having a shitty punk rock band that in fact it's not that good at all.

    you have nothing to worry about BK, you took a piss in every ocean, you have one of the best punk bands that i have ever listened to, and you are kinda weird and neurotic but in an amazingly good way, not woody allen style.
    hugs and kisses from Argentina BK (that sounded gay didn't it?)

    PD:well said there Robb

  22. Robb says:

    Well I do wank off [i]into[/i] my beard. If allowed to set at least 45 min, the protein-enriched semen promotes a lustrous sheen and smoother–but still masculine–texture over time. I'm Mark Erickson, and this is Infinite Solutions.

  23. Robb says:

    I thought that would yield italics but it failed to happen

  24. kylewagoner says:

    Well hey, if only the best singing birds in the forest sang, it'd be very quiet. Right? Some lame shit like that. So I just started school and it's my senior year in high school and I'm taking a college English class and I was wearing that Lawrence Arms shirt that Matt and Dan signed today and my teacher goes "Are the Lawrence Arms still together?" I said, "Yeah, they just finished a new 7-inch." "I used to listen to them. I really was into the bands on Asian Man. The Broadways?" Kind of sad how it's only the teachers who ever appreciate my t-shirts…but hey, I saw Weezer and blink-182 last night in New Jersey and drove home because a guy in a banana suit assaulted my aunt and broke her arm and collar bone. Good ol' 6-hour drives.


  25. Buddy says:

    can't wait to see it!

  26. Mikey says:

    Well, to boost your ego, your art has completely changed my life. For whatever that's worth. Which has to be SOMETHING. Considering you have a cult following you must be doing something right, right? Well, I'll avoid continually praising you and move on…

    "Okay, you know your one friend who’s the dancer/actor/musician/painter who always makes you go to shows or openings or whatever, but they suck, but they love it and you want to say “hey, Beth…look, you’re bad at this"

    I think this is me. I dunno. My friends are nice and support my band (we've just gotten going since this spring) but I have this feeling we absolutely suck. I dunno. I was hoping you, or sock drawer, could give me some honest feedback.

    Here's 3 songs from our upcoming e.p. It's been a slow process so right now we're sharing our completely unmixed and unmastered, raw, songs (unprofessional maybe, but we've been waiting a while and we've sorta gotten impatient about holding onto our work):

    Let me know what you think sock drawer if you get some time.

  27. 3 wisdom teeth says:

    hey sock drawer!!! oh yeah, and brendan too…
    i propose a talent contest for the sock drawer! maybe everyone submits their best poem or photo or something??? i dunno, it could be fun and uplifting? what do ya say?

    winner gets a blowjob from me! and if everyones a winner then even better!

    its like my grandpa used to say…."line em up, and suck em off."

    i think this will really get the sock drawer to the next level…medals for all the dogs of war. brendan is the only judge, although we can all critique/hate on eachothers shit.

  28. Owner Operator says:

    just on your security fuck tard. my word verification is spedn


  29. james bliss says:

    I don't want to sound like a sycophant or anything, brendan, but I've forced the lawrence arms on all of my friends and chris' songs have really connected with most of them.

    …but seriously, folks!

  30. Josh says:

    @ Robb, you need to use HTML tags, not UBB.

    [tag][/tag] won't work, use < tag > < /tag > (without the spaces duh)

    like dis

  31. Nikki says:

    Quite disturbing, and also is consistent with the low bar out there. Unless of course this was intended to be a parody of ditzy college sorority chicks, in which case it might have some redeeming quality.

  32. sheila says:

    i ocassionally think the same thing to myself about being retarded and the whole ' 'everyone else around me is leading me to believe that i am not so as to not crush my hopes and dreams (or what have you)' ' …and those are loose quotes, by the way.

    just thought you'd find comfort in knowing you're not the only one who thinks that…

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