Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Editing 'Ever' & Punk

I am working with Derek now from Nairobi making edits on my 'Ever' manuscript.

It is funny, making final words. With proofs from magazines I mostly always feel some kind of thing running in nodules on my back. Something final with them, but final only for a second. These edits here are 'final' final.

In the early stages now I feel very good, though, about the way things are going. Derek is making images and developing page layouts for the text that make me feel excited and ready to nail this thing into what it exactly wants to be.

The structure of the text is strange, slightly less usual than most other books. I'd used a numbering system on the lines while I was making them so I could keep the thoughts in strands, kind of layered, but as it is being put to the page the numbers are less vital, and there are other ways to guide the text. Reading the book I think in the end will be more an experience than a read, at least that is what I am hoping, and from what Derek has done so far, it feels true to think that.

People are funny about letting others edit their work. I think I like it, the interchange at least, especially when the editor is someone I trust a lot. It is like switching another tint in pane of glass at a window to see what the yard looks like that way. Something.

There are lots of little things wedged hidden in the lines that I am remembering only as I read them, I don't really remember writing most of this thing I'm finding, it's almost like editing someone else's work, which is nice.

In my room at night now there is no way to get out all the light.

Someone has been letting themselves into our apartment supposedly for upkeep reasons such as changing the blinds. When we got home from NYC there were mud prints all over the floor. They had not removed the trash outside and the trash bag was covered in huge maggots looking for a way in.

Yesterday I spent many hours line editing and moving through Derek's notes then came home and we cleaned up the house trying to make it ours again.

I tried to find a youtube clip of my favorite scene in Lost Highway, it's not even a scene really, just the parts where Bill Pullman's character is walking through the house in the dark, looking for his wife, and there are parts of the house that seem to stretch forever into darkness and he just walks into them and is gone, then reappears somewhere else.

I just now remembered that I'd said before how I felt like the 10 day novel I wrote was set in that house in Lost Highway, which is actually David Lynch's house, and I also feel this novella is set in that house, if another part of it entirely.

My friend just called to let me know he got in trouble for having printed out a mail in his Gmail browser to hand in to a professor at his school, which happened to have his Gmail chat buddy list on the page with it, including my current away message 'MY PUSSY IS COLLAPSING.' The teacher was not amused.

If someone gave me $10,000 I feel like I could change my life and possibly several other people's lives, $10,000 is not a lot of money to a lot of people, it could probably even be a lot less than that, maybe just like $6 or $7 thousand, I would not use it on my self but on making things, I read somewhere today that the average CEO makes in 3 hours what an average blue collar low pay worker makes in a year. Those people should be required to give one half-hour of their pay each month to an artist to make art. Or probably to hungry people first, but I think more importantly to make art. Is that more important than eating? Let's not have anyone complain about me saying that, or how it would be bullshit if those rich people were required to give $$ away and no one else was, who gives a fuck.

I am tired of hearing about the election. The same thing is going to happen no matter what. Nothing is going to change except for what would change by the year anyway, I think, it's like flushing the toilet. The 2nd time I saw Don Caballero right before they broke up and Damon Che was pissed about the drum sound, about the way the drums had been mic'd, he got on a mic and asked if anyone in the audience had a paper chef's hat, he said 'We desperately need a paper chef's hat to come up and mic the drums.' It was funny. It's sort of like that.

Poets and Writers talked about Calamari Press kindly, I agree with the word 'punk' Peter Markus used in relation to their ethic, 'punk' has become a misplaced word, maligned, when people say 'punk' now they are often referring to shit like NOFX or Warped Tour or some other bullshit that is basically a commodification of indie beer sold to you by men whose Vans are suits, I think Calamari is more indicative of the real meaning of the word 'punk,' the meaning exhibited in the creation of work like The Clash's SANDINISTA! or the Eno records by Talking Heads, and less in the beat-yourself-in-the-head-while-puking-PBR idea that it's been torn into.

Noy Holland is punk.

New York Tyrant is punk.

Ellipsis Press is punk.

Gaspar Noe is punk.

Chris Higgs is punk.

Tao Lin is punk.

Sam Pink is punk.

Brian Evenson is punk.

Gordon Lish is punk.

DIAGRAM is punk.

Gene Morgan is very punk.

I would try to name a recent band now that's punk, real punk, but that's not really possible anymore, try to argue with me.

My friend said he'd buy my book if it has the word 'titties' in it, I am going to go find a way to get 'titties' in it, if it's not there already, it might be.

Titties are punk, sometimes, though if often not at all.

107 comments:

Brandon said...

That is an exceptional list of punk things. I look forward to EVER. I look forward to re-rading this post.

Tao Lin said...

Just to say something in case NOFX or someone is reading this... in my head I associate NOFX with a certain type of thing and I associate The Clash with a certain type of another thing, they are separate to me.

NOFX is associated in my head with things outside the "the mainstream" that are created with a minimal amount of influence from "publicly-owned companies."

The Clash is associated in my head with things inside "the mainstream" that are marketed, sold, and like "exist" inside "publicly-owned companies." It is difficult for me to listen to them and block out information about how their album "came to be" and what things they probably thought to enter situations where "concessions" probably had to be made.

NOFX to me has exhibited sensibilities of wanting to remain "small," "independent," wanting to create something separate that has no aspirations to eventually join what it is "separate from," and not wanting to feel too much pressure from things especially money concerns. Here are lyrics from their song Linoleum. There are probably 50-100 bands on something like 3-5 labels I associate with that type of feeling.

G-7 welcomming Committee, No Idea Records, Plan-It-X Records, Asian Man Records, Fat Wreck Chords.

All those labels have like 3-5 more smaller labels like them started by bands on those labels.

I try not to think "good" or "bad" when thinking about those things. I think I like NOFX in the same way I do McSweeney's though. NOFX's singer created Fat Wreck Chords. I will stop typing now. I just wanted to "defend" NOFX or something.

Tao Lin said...

fat wreck chords

Tao Lin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BLAKE BUTLER said...

i think i was talking about general nofx fans rather than the spirit in which nofx was started

nofx is not punk to me because it is pop music, it does not change boundaries, it is essentially meant to end up popular in its rant against popularity.

the clash, yes, they are inside now, but in the creation of sandinista, which is the only record of theirs i think is true punk, they broke all kinds of things and created something new that could still be enjoyed, they made it w/o context and yet in context

i think punk is more about creation and process than image

nofx is all image to me

and i would say the clash now is mostly not punk, it is easy, but sandinista is still a difficult record, and still has not been assimilated

BLAKE BUTLER said...

punk is not business based to me, only in periphery does it touch that

nofx seems very business based to me, and has been assimilated

BLAKE BUTLER said...

no idea is probably still punk a little

BLAKE BUTLER said...

but not in the way i want real punk to be

BLAKE BUTLER said...

maybe it is also founded a lot in spirit, i cant imagine the spirit of nofx, i see their spirit fat on a bus somewhere drunk touching their balls, that's not punk spirit to me

BLAKE BUTLER said...

not that there's anything wrong with being fat drunk on a bus touching your balls sometimes, but that's the only place i could ever imagine them

Darby said...

I used to listen to NOFX a lot when they were first being firsting. When sca was all the rah. Not so much now though and I don't know why.

I have a CD I made that I wrote PUNK on it. It has some NOFX on it.

When I think of the new definition of punk, I think of Dmitri Shostakovich. Shostakovich stared guns in the face and said fuck you to Stalin and made insane music that mocked him.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

darby just solidified in my mind why nofx is not punk: a teen putting them on a mix with PUNK written on the cd

that is exactly why nofx is not punk

i agree on shostakovich, he is punk

Tao Lin said...

but factually nofx is not 'business based' or 'assimilated'

when i say that i am talking about where the actual money goes

there are two ways of making money, one way, no matter what the CEO's or employees are thinking, is designed only to make more profits, because the thing exists only to make profits, because ownership is in investors, etc., factually nofx is more outside of that than the clash

they are completely outside of that, if they appear on conan or something the money is going back into their label, where it can be used for purposes 'not existentially required to increase profits'

i mostly associate things in my head according to that, because it usually has some effect on how the person or band thinks about other things

i don't understand how nofx is all image, that to me is like saying dave eggers is all image

nofx actually did what dave eggers did without first 'entering' 'publicly-traded companies' like eggers did with 'a heartbreakign work...'

in terms of music i don't really care what it 'sounds like' pretty much, i think, i can 'learn' to like anything

in terms of writing it's different for some reason, i don't really care about corporations and things, probably because it is more 'closer' to 'existential concerns' which are outside of politics

Tao Lin said...

i don't think you know enough about nofx, you have some idea of them, but

but saying nofx is a certain way because a certain fan has a certain view on them is like saying everyone in the world is 'stupid' because somewhere else in the world another person has thought about them in a 'stupid way'

for example someone probably is doing something with my name somewhere, does that 'change my actions' 'in reality'?

if not then what you are talking about is completely 'image based'

BLAKE BUTLER said...

i think to me the business aspect of punk is so minor that it doesn't even matter

the word 'corporation' or 'profits' doesn't mean anything to me when it comes to the mindset

it is purely form and process

nofx's form is lesbians and beer..

i like lesbians
and i like beer

but neither of those are punk

ok maybe lesbians

BLAKE BUTLER said...

youre right, the fans thing was offbase, but that is what i get in my mind

i think about nofx writing their records

they are not changing anything

they are writing pop songs disguised to sell to a certain market, albeit a market that is supposedly 'skewed'

i cant find that punk

Tao Lin said...

"When I think of the new definition of punk, I think of Dmitri Shostakovich. Shostakovich stared guns in the face and said fuck you to Stalin and made insane music that mocked him."

i don't understand...so you do think it is political, but you don't think nofx is political?

nofx is concretely political, probably have caused more change in terms of making things more 'leftist' than... i don't know, than other things

they 'mocked' bush on conan

BLAKE BUTLER said...

haha i never thought i'd be in a discussion about nofx on my blog, this is kind of neat

Darby said...

I don't think punk is just anti-corporate though. It's got to be aesthetically new or something, and nofx sounds like about ten other bands that all popped up at the same time, and I don't know if they try too hard to change that. Like if NOFX came out with a country music album, that might be punk, like ween did. Ween might be punk.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

politics means nothing to me, again, it is more of an attitude and a process of changing things and doing things a certain way (artistically, not in business)

BLAKE BUTLER said...

andy warhol i think was punk

he had a punk attitude

yet at the same time his art was all about corporate mindset

there is nothing anti-corporate needed to be punk, i think

attitude, form, process, movement, aesthetic, all of those are words

Tao Lin said...

blake, nofx has probably 'channeled' 5-10 million dollars, or more, i have no idea, into independent companies without giving off any message that it is required to 'join the mainstream' in order to 'create change'

if you are talking about politics read their wikipedia page, read their lyrics and interviews, if you are talking about art, about creating independent record labels to put out music one likes then read the fat wreck chords wikipedia page

if you are talking about like making songs in 6/8 time and utilizing new rhythms like 4 against 5 on the guitar vs. bass or something then you're probably right, they haven't created change in that regard, though i listen to their music sometimes and feel more creative afterwards and better able to write things that i like

Darby said...

But Shostakovich experimented with his stuff. He pushed creative boundaries. Listen to some of his sonatas, they're like wtf. he's on some other plain. He's anti-establishment only because the establishment can't understand him.

Tao Lin said...

okay, my 'final word' on this

nofx in my head is associated with certain things

the clash is associated with other certain things

due to certain reasons

in writing it is different in some way what is associated with what

BLAKE BUTLER said...

tao, you are still talking about money and business

that is a side product of the issue i think

i am talking about creative aesthetics, not business models

though it can be a business model

i think you selling shares of your book was punk

starting a new record label that sells skate punk bands cds isnt punk, its just an enterprise

Tao Lin said...

'creativity' to me is sort of outside this because that can't be tested concretely

i think nofx is creative with their lyrics in that song

someone else thinks it's stupid

i think some creative things are stupid

other people think other things

it isn't concrete like money

my 'real' 'final word' on this

BLAKE BUTLER said...

you're right, i guess that's part of the point though, 'punk' isn't concrete, you can't measure it in a number

i think the business-related term you are thinking of is 'proactive' more than 'punk'

Tao Lin said...

it can mean anything, it's an abstraction, it means something different in everyone's head, as a rule it has a different meaning in everyone's heads, there is no math involved, no numbers, just 'feelings'

i wanted to post on how nofx is different than the clash outside of abstractions

okay, i am going to work on my novel

this has been 'exciting' sort of

Tao Lin said...

it can mean anything, it's an abstraction, it means something different in everyone's head, as a rule it has a different meaning in everyone's heads, there is no math involved, no numbers, just 'feelings'

i wanted to post on how nofx is different than the clash outside of abstractions

okay, i am going to work on my novel

this has been 'exciting' sort of

BLAKE BUTLER said...

definitely an abstraction

but i like abstractions

you and i should get in an 'argument' in person sometime for fun

i will start a fight with you sometime when i see you

you can hit me with a banana

i got excited some, talking is fun

darby, i will download more of those, i want to hear more again now

Tao Lin said...

i would to say though that i like calamari press a lot and feel good that they exist and are publishing you

Tao Lin said...

i also have good feelings toward nofx

BLAKE BUTLER said...

rereading what i specifically said about nofx, i will agree they do not exactly fall into 'commodification of indie beer sold to you by men whose Vans are suits'

they never got on the radio that much outside college

i am thinking more of punk that has been commodified, so they are a bad example of things i think that exploit punk

they don't really exploit punk

but they still aren't punk to me

Darby said...

fourth symphony, 2nd movement

jereme said...

i just read this post but not the comments

i will read the comments later

actually NOFX is very punk

have you ever seen a video on mtv for them? radio play?

'punk' is defined as non-conformist

Hot Topic or anything purchased at any corporate chain or anything with 'corporate' in it is the farthest thing from punk

punk is printing out chapbooks and selling them on the internet

punk is starting your own small press because you are tired of the bullshit of the big presses

punk is saying fuck you to the 'establishment' when it means you wont get a book deal or a record deal or whatever

johnny cash was very punk

now if you are talking about the definition of 'punk' in prison, well that is completely different

and it is not a pleasant term

good post

fuck shit up because it is today and today is just as good as any other today to fuck shit up

or something like that

BLAKE BUTLER said...

i still maintain that punk has nothing to do with money in the mind

in my mind it is an aesthetical idea, not an anti-corporate idea

thus, playing standardized poppy music is not punk whether you put it out on a cassette to 10 people or on sony records

it has nothing to do with money

nofx's music is conformist to me

just because they sing about being nonconformist doesnt mean they are noncomformist

giant face explosion said...

i think i'm one of those beat yourself in the head while puking pbr people. not really though. i enjoy pbr with friends and we sometimes get "rowdy" but minus the puke usually. i don't consider that to be punk though. i like the music that is associated with that though. booze punk? i don't know. like the lawrence arms or something. that's more about just drinking with people that you think are fucking amazing. nothing punk about that. that's actually pretty normal. there are just a good number of bands who make music in the punk style about that stuff.

"i think punk is more about creation and process than image"

i agree.

i've tried thinking about "what is punk" before and i haven't been able to think of any examples very easily.

i feel like a green shit when i try to think about questions like that.

death-hustler said...

Abstraction is "Punk."

Equivocating is Punk.

Blake Butler is thoughtful and powerful in the way that Punk can be.

DOGZPLOT said...

things i do not know:

1) what the hell NOFX is

2) why chelsea clinton is so fucking hot to me

things i do know:

1) pbr is good beer

2) my daddy drank pbr

3) keystone ice is my favorite beer

4) one time i made a mix tape that had some tupac on it and i labeled it 90's rap

BLAKE BUTLER said...

i like death hustler

barry, pbr is just fine, but yeah the chelsea clinton thing fucks me up a little

you are both punk i think

Brandon said...

After skimming the comments-

i shall throw my two cents in.
i shall go eat a bannana.

To me punk is something that exists purely outside business models and/or creative aesthetics. Don't get me wrong, it can totally be discussed in those realms, but in the end i think punk was an ideal of thinking and living that was distorted by music critics and the mainstream to the point where we have something like the Warped Tour (no disrespect to the artists who choose to partake) that stands in as a weaker, more diluded version of what purists insist punk to have been.

so who is right? The purists? The newbie punks? Your dog? Mall rats?

in my opinion punk is judged by varying criteria depending on the person and their background/ideals/values.

- punk is certainly an ideal.
-what that ideal is/was can be debated until we are blue in the face.
-i think DIY ventures are very punk
-i dont know why i think that, it just makes sense to me
-Punk= believing in something+ pursuing your beliefs+not wavering in your stances/attitudes+ creating an atmosphere of business or creativity that works for you in your life.

Calamari is punk to me
Dial house/crass were punk to me
fat mike is punk to me, but i wouldnt be the first to buy his music. he does what he believes though.

i am rambling. i am sorry. couldnt help meself.

Brandon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brandon said...

one last aside:

the idea of writers being "Punk," no matter what that may be, is an idea that makes my head and heart feel good. It indicates personal choice and innovation. This was a great post, i enjoyed reading it.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

i think mainly it is having an ideal, yes, that is important, an ideal constructed in your own mind w/o regard to outside influences, and executing that ideal to some end.

that's not enough, in my mind, though, to be truly punk: as there is some level of authenticity or value and innovation implicit in the ideal of punk.

just doing shit on your own terms is not enough, i think there is an intangible value there

thank you for the good comment brandon

Brandon said...

you make good points. thanks for the post.

death-hustler said...

it's crass not clash!

crass was punk by talking shit all the time when they weren't being brave and disgusting and hopeful

if there is such a combination

is solidarity intangible? i mean beyond the rituals of accounting it always draws up?

also before this word implodes and becomes venomous when i think of crass i think of their rigor

and the rage that surrounds them like the situationists, rage of inclusion and exclusion etc.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

crass is definitely punk

i think solidarity is tangible, i take clean shits all the time and talk about them

let me clarify on the clash again: as a band i don't feel they are fully punk, only the record SANDINISTA!

that record does things none of their other records, or any of the other 70's early 80's punk bands had any clue on, and which no one has even tried to mimic since

clarkknowles said...

Ah, Punk. I had a friend in a band called the Bruisers once and he had PBR Street Gang hand tattooed into his arm. He was punk as fuck. Also, punk is what Dirty Harry called people who were punks. Punk was, I think, a reaction more than a sound. A reaction to economic trouble mostly. Just like rock was at one point. Lou Reed is probably over sixty now and even though most people who would scoff at the idea of his music being punk, he is my true ideal of the work. He is punk as fuck. If you doubt this, go listen to the 18 minute song off Ecstasy called "like a possum." It proves it hands down, though the music is not what most would call punk. In fact, I just like saying punk. Punk punk punk. Saying punk is punk. Prinzhorn Dance School is a band that I think it punk. Punk punk punk.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

clark knowles is definitely punk

saying punk is punk if you don't look punk

things that don't sound like 'punk' and are punk are punk

i like little dogs

death-hustler said...

yesyesyes

Mike Young said...

In terms of abstraction, "punk" is becoming in this discussion something very close to religious. Like I can imagine a bunch of monks in 1200 having this discussion very earnestly over their mead and saying "is this holy? no holy is outside, holy is inside etc."

I think there is a pursuit of something that doesn't concede to something, like we start out running this race and then most people stop and say "phew" and buy lawn chairs and peroxide. To stay in earnest pursuit, on the other hand, is "holy" or "punk" or whatever. Whether it's in a business domain, an aesthetic domain--on a more basic level it's just the idea that you're holding yourself to some honest standard of idealism, one that fucks with the sedentary mindset of those who have in whatever way "given up."

BLAKE BUTLER said...

i like that mike

yes

Brandon Hobson said...

I like punk. I liked it as a kid in the 80's. Early Talking Heads is punk.

Brandon Hobson said...

By the way, I'll definitely buy your book, BB. Looking forward to it.

jereme said...

brandon,

you get it. diy is very punk

blake,

i think we can argue about this for a loooooooooooong time but this life is just one big waiting room so lets go for it.

NOFX makes 'poppy' music (a genre they actually kind of created with some other bands in my mind punk/pop)

so they make this pop punk music but they do not conform to mtv, or the record companies or KROQ or etc.

so what is the benefit of making pop music if you are not doing so to sell records?

sounds like expression to me. sounds like borderline genius to me

i don't know. i am trying to stay neutral on this one and not be judgmental

punk is not image. very few people understand the true meaning of 'punk'

MC Lars has a good song about it

MC Lars is punk

it is not about corporations, it is about conformity. corporations are big on conformity. i think this where it gets muddled

BLAKE BUTLER said...

well, pop punk definitely didn't start with nofx

if you wanna start with the ramones, if they aren't poppy enough, though they should be considered the beginning probably, the biggest band nofx jacks is the descendents

or even the dead milkmen

there are tons of bands who did pop punk before nofx and did it better

i dont hear nofx and think of it as having an aesthetic

i dont think its possible to write pop music, especially the kind of stuff they do, with tons of jokes in it, that follows clear lines, without the consideration of $$

i dont know, i will say it:

nofx is not art

punk has art to it, it has to

i dont care that this is abstract and impossible to be proved, it is true to me

BLAKE BUTLER said...

thank you brandon

i like early talking heads too, and everything up to 'naked'

yucks

jereme said...

blake,

yes yes, i concur. we can go farther back to the New York Dolls if you want

I guess i should have defined what i was trying to convey better

current pop/punk that all the bands are trying to copy in present day

what is your definition of art?

if i view nofx as art why is it not art? simply because you disagree?

i dunno

i think we are going to get into the weeds on this one

and i disagree, i don't think punk has anything to do with art

expression yes, 'art' not so much

but i understand your view point

i think we are focusing too much on 'nofx' anyways

BLAKE BUTLER said...

art is what art is

it is or it isnt

to me nofx isnt

i dont care about expression

things are what they are some things are different than other things

nofx is like if the cosby show really really sucked

though that might art, so nevermind they aren't that

i'm really just running my mouth for fun by now

no more comments about nofx, agreed

jereme said...

yes i am running my mouth too

i think tao lin would call this a 'shit eating grin'

in quotes like that

jereme said...

oh and i forgot 'bitchin camaro'

hell yes

great song

it isn't art though. it is expression

Mike Young said...

Re: "pop:" I know no one has said it can't, but I think happy music can be really punk.

If nobody is saying that.

Music that has "pop chords" and shit can be really punk.

Like CUB. Or Telulah Gosh. Being twee in Britain in the Margaret Thatcher 80s was punk. Etc.

Happy and funny can be punk in the right context.

Brandon Hobson said...

Siouxsie and the Banshees?

Tao Lin said...

i feel creative and better about life listening to some nofx songs, i have probably listened to nofx more than the descendents

to me nofx is different than all those bands

the descendents are different also

'over time' i have learned that actually anything with any sort of following is different than the other things people say it copies if you like it, but if you don't like it you will probably just 'group it' with whatever group

i also think it's 'ridiculous' to think that nofx did what they did to make money

they had a period where they had songs that were like 'existential' in that they weren't political at all but talked about existential things

then they had cds that are political

i support nofx a lot and think they, like any band, are unique

they cover a song from the 30's or something, it is a 'pop song'

i don't know what that statement defends

i admire what they do and their record label

this is my last comment on this topic

i feel like killing myself typing these things

The Man Who Couldn't Blog said...

I have at this time nothing to say about punk.

I do, however, have something to say about PBR. PBR has not been drinkable since Miller bought them out.

My daddy drank Pabst, too, dogzplot. Mourn with me the fact that the Pabst he drank was good, and the Pabst that we drink is swill. But don't drink it.

For the love of all that's holy.

Drink Grain Belt.

The Man Who Couldn't Blog said...

Or Shiner Bock.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

i like happy things mike, yes

the jerk is one of my favorite films and i think the highest of all art



i don't have problems with nofx anymore, i just dont like them

things are neat, that's it

jereme said...

hah! we got blake to 'conform'

nofx despair forever

The Man Who Couldn't Blog said...

Russell Edson is Black Metal.

The Man Who Couldn't Blog said...

Henry Darger was Black Metal.

jereme said...

my mother's morning coffee breath was pretty Black Metal if you ask me

well maybe more death metal

BLAKE BUTLER said...

haha that was conform, that was lie

i should be more mean

i say that all the time

BLAKE BUTLER said...

haha matthew yes,

what's all this punk bullshit about

who is black metal, that's the real shit

tao, 'i feel like killing myself typing these things' made me spit my drink a little laughing

Keith said...

i don't even know where to start with all this...

Adam R. said...

Mission Of Burma.

peter markus said...

When I mentioned to Poets & Writers that Derek was punk, I meant it, Derek is punk, punk in the way that Minor Threat was punk. Punk in the 10 song, 7 inch record sort of way. Punk in the way of fuck it, I'm gonna do it myself sort of way. Punk in the way of I'm gonna play the music and write the writing that I want to write even if I really don't know what I'm doing sort of way. I live sort of in my own loop these days, outside of music, outside of most cultural things, but as far as I know I'm not sure what's punk anymore. But Derek White is. For certain.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

agreed. derek is the most punk person i know.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

keith montesano speechless?
you gotta be kidding me

chris said...

I'm honored to be honored by you, Blake...especially considering your criteria of punk as "an aesthetical idea."

I've never heard NOFX. For some reason I've always thought NOFX was a television channel.

Also, I agree with you about politics: who cares, it's an utter waste of time. But then again, it would be funny if you ran for office on your economic platform of making rich people give money to artists. I would proudly be your campaign manager.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

haha, chris let's put it together

mental campaign trail

Darby said...

I might be wrong, but I think rich people already pay money to artists via taxes that flow to the NEA. Maybe we're talking about a more direct thing though, like assign every rich person one artist, and then that rich person is responsible for paying for whatever his/her artist wants, such as booze and prostitutes and notebooks.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

yes, more directly is what i mean. these flows of money never seem to end up in certain hands, and instead of a big ass application grant procedure, somehow it should just occur that money appears in certain other bank accounts. i'll be in charge of deciding who.

Darby said...

You'll be in charge of deciding the aesthetic direction of America.

DOGZPLOT said...

"punk" is becoming in this discussion something very close to religious. Like I can imagine a bunch of monks in 1200 having this discussion very earnestly over their mead and saying "is this holy? no holy is outside, holy is inside etc."

- mike, man that shits funny.

true true - its not the same pbr. they made the BIG SWITCH like mickey d's swapping out the chicken sandwiches like nobody's gonna notice or give a fuck.

george w. bush is punk

Mike Young said...

The only kind of beer I like is the one that tastes like apricot cobbler.

Whiskey. Whiskey. Whiskey.
Whiskey. Whiskey. Whiskey.
Whiskey. Whiskey. Whiskey.
Whiskey. Whiskey. Whiskey.
Whiskey. Whiskey. Whiskey.
Whiskey. Whiskey. Whiskey.
Whiskey. Whiskey. Whiskey.
Whiskey. Whiskey. Whiskey.
Whiskey. Whiskey. Whiskey.

The Man Who Couldn't Blog said...

Bottled Schaefer Beer tastes like raw red meat covered in melted butter.

That's either punk or really gross.

Probably both.

sam pink said...

i enjoyed reading this post. one day, i will forget ever having done so, but right now, it is a part of me and i am glad.

Daniel Bailey said...

schaefer fucking rules. here is my cheap beer heirarchy in terms of flavor.

1. schaefer
2. pbr
3. carling's black label
4. schlitz
5. old style
6. blatz

here is why i drink these beers: cheap.

also (going numerically by the list above)

1. good. they have dollar cans at the muncie bar we frequent
2. i like it. it's very widely available for cheap.
3. same as schaefers
4. schlitz is an awesome name for a beer. i want to hold a can that says "schlitz."
5. cheap.
6. same reason as schlitz.

the best cheap beer/malt liquor is micky's. ah, forties.

jereme said...

i think people are forgetting one of the best cheap beers known as 'the beast'

aka milwaukee's best

i used to have a case of that in my hand every friday/saturday night in high school. it was my beer briefcase

my little buddy, how i miss you

sam pink said...

king cobra.

Brandon Hobson said...

I am a Peter Markus fan!

hanne david said...

I think the garbage situation was a maggot exodus. barf.

The Man Who Couldn't Blog said...

When I lived in Wisconsin, we used to say that Old Milwaukee was a practical joke we were playing on the rest of the nation.

Derek White said...

Shit, 93 posts. I guess that's what happens when you a dozen or so timezones away.

I came here to challenge Blake to fit some titties into Ever without forcing it. If I had a 10k advance to give him, that would be his reward.

Thanks for saying I'm punk, I guess, and for the kind words bout the press. Even in 1982 when I thought I was punk I don't think I was punk. Even then we acknowledged punk was dead and called ourselves hardcore. I think punk died the second it knew what it was. Kind of like zen. It died with Sid Vicious. I think we need a new word for what we are talking about here. It's all art to me. There's things done in the name of art, and there's things done in the name of commerce. Talking Heads are the quinessential art band. Great as they are, I don't think they are punk just because they played CBGBs when others were. You might make a case for Minor Threat and Bad Brains. They might qualify. I love the Dead Kennedy's but even they were an art band living in a post-punk world. Punk needs to die. The kids throwing rocks at my car yesterday are punk. The guys who cut down a tree across the road I was driving on yesterday are punk. I'm definitely not punk here, I'm way too privileged. Punk needs to be at the bottom of the food chain. Oh, and Dave Eggers is far from being punk. I met the REAL Valentino Achak Deng the other day, and maybe he was punk. But if he was really punk he wouldn't have let someone write his story for him. And it's all way too calculated. Rumor is that Eggers himself is on his way to Nairobi in a few days. If I meet him I'll slam him some and see how he responds.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

while revising i found that i had 'tits' in there already, does that count?

if not, i'll work on 'titties' i can do it

i think you spoke most clearly of all, no surprise

i think often things are punk for a minute but they lose context. punk in a moment

really, i hate the word punk, i dont know how i got started on this

i still think noy holland is punk

Goat Cowboy said...

Titties is a different ballgame. As are teets.

Noy Holland is cowgirl punk. Fortunately I have one of her books with me here.

96 bottles of beer on the wall. Take one down, pass it around...

Goat Tusker said...

speaking of beer, and just to help fill things out to 97, Tusker Lager is punker than PBR. There's some alcohol here that is way punk, that will kill you if you don't know what you are doing. I forget what it's called. It's so punk it's not on the internet.

Tu Madre said...

chang'aa.

It even sounds punk. Like chang'aa tu madre.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Changaa

Tu Madre said...

a.k.a. "kill me quick".

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/1025120.stm

If you're punk, drink this.

There, 99 bottles of changaa on the wall.

peter markus said...

Derek and I are of the same generation and yes it's true punk was already dead by the time Minor Threat hit the scene. Those who called themselves "punk" back then (this was before MTV) were in our eyes "new wave" (whatever that means). We were "hardcore" but I've never since been all that comfortable with that term (maybe because of its porno implications). I feel pretty softcore these days, though I'd like to believe that on the page I can still slam it and stick it hard. Maybe more than us being punk what we are, Derek, are a couple of boys, a couple of Toys R Us kids. I'm punk with that.

matthew said...

seeing old faithful used to be punk rock but it isn't anymore and the only reason that it isn't punk rock anymore is because it was punk rock so well that it drew in even people who aren't interested in things that are punk rock. that has nothing to do with whether or not old faithful itself is punk rock, but that doesn't even matter, because you can't really experience it genuinely unless you maybe watch a video of it alone in your room, which can be impressive, but still you are missing some important energy.

what i mean is

you can't go to a NOFX concert and experience it genuinely

you can listen to the records alone in your car and drum on the steering wheel but that really only makes you punk rock

BLAKE BUTLER said...

this conversation is getting a whole lot realer

haha toys r us kids

DOGZPLOT said...

best cheap beer

CAMO HIGH GRAVITY (SILVER ICE)
KEYSTONE ICE
ICEHOUSE
STEEL RESERVE (be careful with this if you are a guzzler, it is high high gravity, and will put you on your ass)
PBR (circa 1986)
MILLER HIGH LIFE

i think blake is right on these three things.

punk is a moment like an epiphany.

punk is a really fucking stupid word.

titties are good.

blake is right about other things too.

BLAKE BUTLER said...

i have accomplished the titties

Darby said...

steel reserve puts bowling balls in your colon.

Gene said...

I've always felt very prog-rock.

The Man Who Couldn't Blog said...

Gene Morgan is more prog rock than Goblin, Faust, Gong, Can, Gentle Giant, and Magma put together.