Wednesday, October 29, 2008

There's something therapeutic about watching strangers eat each other's guts, sitting there in the dark with a room full of acquaintances.

I hosted a zombie film festival at the Brillobox last night. The films were strange, predictable, clumsy, awkward, and some, utter genius. The show, poorly attended, as Pittsburgh enters a new ice age.

I really, really needed to see all those films. Zombie flicks with their seams showing. The 'hey, there's a boom mike in the shot' moments, the 'wow that makeup is bad' moments. Since most of the 32 were 3 minutes long tops, you knew it would be over quickly anyway ...

The rawness of the metaphor of 'humans devouring each other for sustenance' still gets me. I love horror like this because it extremes a subtler reality I perceive on a daily basis - people feasting on their own perceptions, feeding on their own judgements of what they imagine to be true, taking satisfaction in their own omnicient narrative voice - fuck, I'm doing it RIGHT NOW in this blog. Its part of the necessary psychology of being alive.

Best line of the night: "I think you complain just to hear the sound of your own voice." This is my inward response to the noise of other people's complaints most of the time. I hear a lot of it in my job.

Some people complain at the drop of a hat. From how they talk, crossing the street is akin to breaking a leg. Wait five minutes? Noooo, the sky's going to fall. God forbid they have to survive cancer or something. Do they realize that they're eating their own exhaust, making their own quicksand with every complaint?

Of course I am being an absolute hypocrite, complaining about the complainers. On some level I search with how to deal with what I percieve to be patterns of behavior in others, particularly customers at my job, in a way that I don't injure myself with my own response to other people's behavior.

By injure myself, I mean, respond in a way that pollutes my own consciousness (i.e. flying off the handle, judging, complaining, and otherwise making myself miserable in response to the everyday absurdities & entitlements of customer behavior). That sort of reactivity costs me valuable art production time outside of my job, not to mention peace of mind.

For the most part, I succeed. I didn't realize what an inner journey it is until I was watching the zombie films last night. Ahhh, watching consumerist fables play out in the relentless bloody devour, devour, need, need.

There's something therapeutic about watching strangers eat each others guts, sitting there in the dark, with a roomful of acquaintances. And laughing at all that fake blood, repetitive screaming, and earnest, clumsy overacting.

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