Boycotting the Bullshit: from Oasis to Kanye

So, this happened.

Remember the band Oasis?  Remember how, for a lot of people, the quality of their work was overshadowed by their attitudes and antics?  Single after single would hit the airwaves, but I couldn’t bring myself to send a single dime to their wallets.  I’m sure a number of bands/artists I listened to back then are assholes in real life, but Oasis seemed committed to bring home medals in every category of the Asshole Olympics.

Flash forward to now and I still haven’t bought any of their music.  However, I did buy Ryan Adams’ achingly beautiful cover of “Wonderwall” some years ago.  Adams’ vocals alone are enough to eclipse the original.  The royalties from that purchase are still the sole scrap of my money that has come their way.

Enter Kanye West.

This is Oasis all over again, but now with Prescription Strength Douchebaggery.  It didn’t take long for West to breach my you-ain’t-getting-a-dime-from-me threshold.  That man didn’t just breach it, he went interstellar. You could fly the Millennium Falcon at lightspeed  for a decade and you still couldn’t reach the zone of “Oh Hell No I Am Not Spending My Money On That Shit” where I have filed Kanye West.

None of this is to say that I have not been occasionally moved by his music.  The song he wrote for his mother with Paul McCartney brought tears to my eyes and made me think of my own mother.  Yet, his arrogance and narcissism rendered me incapable of buying a single damn song from his discography.

Today he tweeted his support for Bill Cosby.

I didn’t think it was possible, but now a Millennium Falcon going full tilt wouldn’t be enough to reach my new “Oh Hell No” zone for West.  You would need a Tardis.  We aren’t just talking space and distance, now we are talking time and dimensions.

So, gentle reader, my question for you:

Is their an artist/band whom you regard as talented, but have chosen to boycott?


Gallery 33 presents: The Jacmel Project – Reflection & Celebration


Gallery 33 presents: “The Jacmel Project – Reflection and Celebration”

Brockton Arts is proud to present our first show at Gallery 33 is “The Jacmel Project – Reflection and Celebration” in partnership with longtime collaborators the Haitian Artists Assembly of Massachusetts (HAAM). The Jacmel Project is a series of ongoing art installations showcasing work by artists from Haiti as well as the local Haitian diaspora, which relate to the earthquake and its effects. Brockton Arts and HAAM united to get the artists painting again, have their stories heard, and to have a marketing initiative to benefit the artistic community.

This installation features artwork by masters, teachers, and their students. All the works on display are for sale, with proceeds going to the artists, an arts academy in Jacmel, Haiti, Brockton Arts and our friends at HAAM. Our previous showcases of the Jacmel Project have sent upwards of $22,000 to Haiti. Our opening reception will be held on Saturday evening November 21st from 6pm to 11pm. Please come out to support the artists and support a good cause!

Advice: Don’t hold back. Just write the poem.

“The long neon nights and the ache of the ocean

and the fire that has started to spark.

I miss it all, from the love to the lightning,

and the lack of it snaps me in two.”

After my last relationship ended, I shied away from writing poetry about it.  A few lines came out here and there, but nothing solidified into a full fledged poem.  Part of it was because I was afraid of falling into cycles of post-break-up obsessive behavior.  She and I live in the same town, so a simple drive to run errands would take me very close, if not right past her home, as well as many places where had we walked, talked, and dined. Main Street was also Memory Lane and there was nothing I could do about it.  I was terrified that the lines between getting groceries and repetitious mourning of what once was would begin to blur.  Yet at the same time I didn’t want to go out of my way to avoid these places, because that in of itself, would be obsessive behavior.

Thankfully, there was no anger or bitterness between us, which I think made moving on easier for both of us.  More than enough time has passed that I can now drive through the center of town without feeling like I am being barraged by memories.  Yet now I feel like I have a loose end begging to be tied off.  I don’t have any full fledged poems to mark what was one of the happiest times of my life.

One of my poetry professors in college, Peter Shippy, shared with me a quote from Nick Cave.  He was being interviewed about his album The Boatman’s Call, heavily influenced by his break up with PJ Harvey.  Cave commented on the album “making grand theater out of an ordinary rejection scenario.”  While he has a point, it is also true, that all art does exactly that.

So fuck it, go ahead and make grand theater.  If the thing you lost meant a great deal to you, then you owe it a certain tribute.  Break out the best costumes, props, and sets.  Don’t worry if the lighting is off or the lines are weak.  You can fix that later when revising or in a workshop.

Open the curtains.  The show must go on.

Come see me at 100K Poets for Change at Gallery X! 9/28

10622821_10152784926964665_8570844961158003870_nI will be featuring at Gallery X this Sunday starting at 1pm!

Sorry I haven’t been blogging in a while.  Life has gotten mighty hectic.  Will do more.  Promise.

Home From Vacation and Back in Action.


Had a great time with my family in upstate New York.  This photo was originally taken by my sister when we were on a ferry crossing Lake Champlain from Burlington VT to Fort Kent NY.  I like this shot because it makes my Dad and I look like we’re thinking of a master plan.  He’s looking and feeling great after a long, hard fight with cancer.  When I posted a note about his diagnosis on Facebook a year or so ago, my friend Charlie remarked, “Karl is such a BAMF I feel sorry for the cancer.  It clearly has no idea who it’s messing with.”  This has turned out to be very true!

Met with Arnie Danielson today about DBAMFEST 2014.  So much work has yet to be done but I’m feeling pretty energized for it all after vacation.  I just hope the work load at my job doesn’t suck too much wind from my sails.  Over the years I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get a festival going.  It’s a long and arduous process with many stops, restarts, roadblocks, and upsets.  There are moments of glory when things fall into place and days when you really want to strange someone.

On that note you might find me listening to a lot more rap songs about having a love/hate relationship with the game than I usually do:

“Stripping Away The Psycho”

Valerie D’Orazio has a great article on Elliot Rodger.

I especially appreciated this part:

“Sometimes people turn to “dark” entertainment—movies, comic books, music, culture, whatnot—in order to process internal demons, not set them loose. More damage would be created by banning these outlets and forcing them deep underground than by letting them be available to the public.

Poetry: Awesome! Donald Sterling: Racist Idiot

Night Slam will be taking place at the Big Theater in the Fine Arts Building at Massasoit Community College on May 8th.  They are currently working on Wizard of Oz.  I have a feeling we are going to have the full set behind us and everything.  The last time this happened it was back in the Little Theater and we had the set from A Streetcar Named Desire as our backdrop and it was awesome!  Yes, I fell to my knees and yelled “HEY STELLAAAAAAAAAA!”

The only time you will see me blog about sports related news will be when something as awesome as this happens:

I laughed so damn hard I choked.