The Bottom of the Pit - Fucked Up at 285 Kent
There is nothing like being at bottom of a mosh pit. It is sort of like drowning underwater. Down there the orgy of exuberance and release of a concert is turned on its head. The bottom is a reminder that death is close at hand—at the feet of all your friends. You can’t breath when you’re trapped down there, your lungs sputter and gasp in the absence of air. But the bottom is beautiful too, like a large writhing vagina made from the flesh of a thousand sweaty shirtless boys. It swallows you up. For a moment you return home. You’re in utero, consumed by humanity’s womb.
I went to the bottom of the pit and I saw my life flash before my eyes, as Fucked Up’s cosmic opera David Comes to Life bellowed through the caverns of skin. But I rose again from the depths because a perspiring angel grabbed me by my shirt and pulled me out of the void.
At the bottom of the pit I understood why rock n’ roll and particularly why punk rock is so vital. There is more happening in those heaps of boys bludgeoning each other than meets the eye. Somewhere between the fuzzed out guitars and the bottom of the pit is god, life, death and eternity—everything that has ever happened before and all that will be. More simply put: sometimes you have to go to the bottom to realize how incredible it feels to be on top. After my friend pulled me from the floor, I went straight to the stage to crowd surf. It is so good to be alive.
(Yes, those are my feet.)
Q&As are often the first stories that young journalist like myself get published. Probably because there is this convention that interviews are easy. The idea is that you just call someone up and ask them a couple questions. Most people think the hardest part is actually transcribing it.
However the Daily Show clip above featuring host Jon Stewart and PBS broadcaster Bill Moyers touches on how deceivingly challenging interviewing can be. In truth, most of the Q&As we read and the interviews we watch are promotional in nature. It takes years of experience and will for a journalist to break down the promo-wall, and really talk with their interviewees.
I’ve performed some pretty great interviews. But I am still working on reaching the level of intimacy and truth that Moyers talks about in this clip. In an age where most of the news is tantamount to commercials and advertising, let’s hope that other aspiring journalists saw and were inspired by this clip as much as I was.
Henry Rollins is an inspiration to me. Of course I discovered him through his work with Black Flag, a band I revere and admire for their work ethic, innovative instrumentation and intensity. However, his restlessness that drives him to venture into other art forms is something that constantly spurns me on to do the same in my life.
As an intern at Time Out New York, I had the distinct pleasure of chatting with Rollins over the phone about some of his latest activities, such as his upcoming 5-night stand at NYC’s Joe’s Pub.
Read my interview with Henry Rollins here.
Beauty is abound, even in the industrial wilderness where remnants of the old world mingle with the new. Even power lines and street lamps can come off like works of natural art when you are walking the city streets alone. I caught this image of a handsome street light floating over a skeleton-tree in Brooklyn.
I’ve seen Enter the Void, Gaspar Noe’s latest feature film, twice now and I can’t shake the feeling of being in utero. I saw the incredibly experimental and exhausting film at the IFC Theater in Greenwich Village. The first time it was in one of IFC’s intimate (cramped) theaters on the lower level. And the second time it was upstairs in their grand theater where they have the mismatched plush seats that recline so far back, you hit the knees of the person behind you.
At the culmination of each viewing, I emerged out of theater wide eyed. The light from the buzzing city streets were dazzling and jarring, as if I’d never seen them before. And people sped around me like I was walking in slow motion. I’d totally lost my orientation.
I guess me feeling like I had crawled out of a womb for the first time was a sign that Gaspar’s wild ride through reincarnation was a complete success, at least on me. (The first time I saw the movie, half of the theater walked out when a nameless aborted fetus made its first and last appearance on the silver screen.)
The strange sensibilities I experienced after the move didn’t leave me. They lingered.
I think this photo is a product of my Enter the Void hangover. Something about this simple snapshot takes me back to the final scene in the film and more importantly my experience of approaching the theater exit to leave as light stretched around the corners of the door. It really was like seeing for the first time, again.
I captured this image in my apartment with my new Nikon D3300. For me, this image is a perfect example of the divergence between what is seen with your naked eye and what is captured with a camera lens.
In my eye, it was a collection of mundane rubbish atop my iKea lamp. My camera, on the other hand, saw my cheap lamp as a hot and burning sun with planetary sized quarters and matches rotating around its solar system (Deep).
The more I experiment with my new camera, the more I tend to think its just luck that you might arrive upon a decent photograph. Because they way you see it, never seems to be the way it turns out. However, I know that just can’t be true. Because I know that writers do not just arrive upon words, phrases and sentences by luck. No. Instead they labor over commas and couplets. And so real photographers must labor too over infinitesimal and minute details to arrive at a stellar image. Fortunately, I am not a real photographer. So, I am due a fair amount of beginners luck.
I hope it kicks in soon.