Thursday, August 11, 2005

Why I'm Still Sometimes An Asshole

So this ran on Blank Gen the month after the Manifesto/Chicks column. It's from November 2001:

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"I am what I am."
-Popeye, 1953

So, after the earth-reconfiguring manifesto that was last month's column, a lot of people have been wondering something. They've been wondering: "Who in the FUCK is this Clint and where in HELL is coming from with this shit?" Whelp, true believers, that is a question I intend on answering with THIS column. I'll tell you who in the fuck I am, who I THINK am, why I am good for this country and why you should vote for me on this upcoming election day. Jerry Kilgore says he's tough on crime, but then why has he voted against abolishing parole time after time? The Richmond Times Dispatch has called Kilgore's methods: "misleading" and "manipulative". Is that the kind of man you want for a governor? Vote the honest, hard working choice, vote Clint Parson. Yay, tangents are fun. Anyway, strap yourselves in, because we are about to go on a bumpy ride to "Clint-town".........

Whelp, to start off with, am 22 years old(MODERN DAY, 2005 EDITOR'S NOTE:I was so much older then, I'm younger now by far. "Younger" in this case meaning 26.) and I am currently living (and dying) in Blacksburg, Virginia, a shitty college town that is uhhhhh, shitty. We have no real culture here, no real valid, viable forms of entertainment. Sure, there are shows here, but the bands are awful, there's a bit of a regional wrestling "scene", but they're just as awful. There's a wee bit of standup comedy, but well, you guessed it, it sucks to. Ya see, this town, this whole AREA for two hundred miles in any direction is a complete and total cultural dead zone. Bands don't come here, all the way from P.O.D. down to fucking Richmond bands; no one comes to Blacksburg. Blacksburg is a town that strives for mediocrity, but fails at even that. SURE, there've been times when we've had three record stores downtown, all within a few blocks of each other, but none of them ever had anything worth buying. Several months ago I tried to order the respective full lengths of the Briefs and Lost Sounds, and none of the stores had the capability to order either. ‘Tis indeed a vast expanse of suck..............

Why then do I stay here? If Blacksburg is so bad, why haven't I left? Well, that's because I am STUCK here. Ya see, even though this is a college town, I don't go to college, I grew up here, I went to elementary school here, middle school, HIGH school, even… Yes, I am a townie. But not just your average townie, I am also......(wait for it)......disabled! That's why I'm stuck here, that's why I can't LEAVE, because I can't afford my fucking HEALTH INSURANCE. Ya know, and I NEED health insurance, fucking GOOD health insurance (Medicare just ain't gonna cut it) because I have SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEMS. SOOOOOO, to RECEIVE that EXPENSIVE health insurance that I REALLY need, I have to stay on my fucking MOTHER'S health insurance.

So, I am stuck here, and yer damn right I'm pissed about it. Like I said, I am disabled. Ya see, I have this rare (one out of 500,000) metabolic disorder called "porphyria", and it fucks with my health in any number of directions. I've had chronic stomach problem for years on end, severally disturbed sleeping patterns, seizures, chronic diarrhea, I've broken out in huge blisters all over my body, and that's just the shit I can remember off the top of my head. Anyway, all this shit is "manageable." I can "get by" if I just take things easy, don't do too much, don't have any set schedule that I have to conform to, day in, day out. Basically, if I just live like a total slacker bum, I am "okay", or, as okay as I (emphasis on "I") can be.

Basically, all throughout school, the pattern was, I'd start the year, I'd last about a month until I'd get an acute attack and then I'd be out for three to six months. An "acute attack" being of course when one of the above-mentioned maladies would rear it's head in an ugly fashion. In the last few years even, there've been a few times, a few weeks when like I'd have to get up at a certain specific time (early) each and every day, and by the end of that week or two, I'd ALWAYS be nearly fucking dead. I really have no clue how I was able to last through a MONTH of that crap back when I was in school. When I don't get enough sleep the night before, I always feel quite nauseous all throughout the next day.

Of course though, when I was back IN high school, I thought that was just the way it was for EVERYone. My problem wasn't diagnosed until mid-way through my senior year, I knew I had heath problems, but nothing that serious. Ya know, I thought that EVERYone else felt as tired as I did, that everyone else always walked around with that same vague, puke-y feeling that I always had. I thought that everyone just dealt with it a whole lot better then I did.

But obviously, that was not the case, other people, they wouldn't lie in bed for hours each night, not being able to go to sleep(EDITOR AGAIN:those are the hours now when I write). Ya know, and once they DID fall asleep, they didn't wake back up again several times throughout the night. But that's the way it's ALWAYS been for me, ALWAYS. I need a block of eleven some hours to strangle a good six/seven hours worth of sleep from. I need a fucking CLOCK RIGHT beside the bed or else I have no fucking CLUE what time it is, I have no natural, internal body clock to tell what time it is. When I've been without a clock I've woken up anywhere from seven AM to 5PM (emphasis on "PM") and my body doesn’t know the difference. I'm ALWAYS tired, no matter HOW long I'm in bed, I don't get enough sleep and really, I don't think I've EVER gotten a good night's sleep. Literally, NEVER EVER EVER (double emphasis on that second "EVER" there)...........

Can't sleep, can't work, can't go to school, OBVIOUSLY boredom is a major factor in my life, but like I said, I LIVE IN A CULTURAL DEAD ZONE. There's nothing to do here, there's nothing to do at four in the afternoon and there's even LESS to do at 4AM, and lemme tell ya, I am ALWAYS UP AT FOUR AM. Ya know, maybe if I lived in a bigger city, a bigger town, a place where there was SOMEthing going on, then it wouldn't be so "trying." If there WAS a movie to go to at fucking 2AM(good luck, they only have that in NYC), then you know I'd be there, but there isn't, there's nothing, and I am stuck here IN this nothing-ness............(side note: god damn, this is really fun, just bitching about stuff, I've gotta do more columns like these. Actually, I guess I HAVE to write columns like these, I HAVE to bitch about stuff, about my situation, because otherwise, I'd just fucking go CRAZY living here. I HAVE to bitch this much about stuff, I HAVE to hate this town as much as I do.).

Anyway, but that's not even the worst of it. Sure, there's nothing to do, high school was hell, but NOW, these last four/five years that I've been OUT of school, they've been FAR, FAR worse then high school ever was. Sure, in high school I was in crippling "I almost died" type pain 3/4's of the time, but now it’s worse. Ya know, since I've gotten out of high school, I've LIVED that slacker bum lifestyle to a TEE, and it's only resulted in ONE acute attack (one in four years where as before it was more like two a year), but now it's worse. WHY? Because of the people here...........

I live in a college town, but I do not go to college, I am a townie. For years I thought the whole college kids vs. townies thing was ridiculous. I don't think that anymore, now I know EXACTLY why townies hate the college kids. I know now why punk rockers hate emo kids so much to. Ya see, all we HAVE in Blacksburg are fucking college kid emo retards, them and hardcore (i.e. metal-core) kids… What can I say? I hate all of them with a passion. Pretentious little, elitist, snobby, flaky, don't know shit about music, FUCKS who wouldn't return my calls even if my life depended on it.

Yeah, I've made the cardinal mistake, I've actually tired to be friends with the fucking emo kids, and now I know why we're supposed to hate them. And I do...... What can I say? I DO........ I've tried to school them about cool stuff, I've mentioned Killed By Death and Rip Off Records and a host of other cool bands/labels and they don't care, they don't wanna learn anything about it. I've offered to trade mix tapes/CDRs with most of them, you teach ME about bands YOU like and I'll do the same. But they don't care; their ears and minds remain firmly closed. Ya know, I'm funny, I crack jokes, I make humorous observations and Smurf's references with the best of them. I'm fucking hilarious, but they don't care, the second something genuinely witty or clever comes out of my mouth, they get this glazed over look in their eyes and just wonder off.

Sadly, EVERY single townie punk rocker here (all five that there's been in the last four years) tells pretty much the exact same story, albeit, they at least had work to distract themselves. Also, ALL of them just eventually left town and never looked back. Fuck, I wish I could do that....... I could literally just set my room ablaze, destroy all my possessions, LEAVE TOWN, never EVER look back and wouldn't matter to me. But I CAN'T DO THAT.......... I'm fucking stuck here...

But that's not even best part of all of this. So like two years ago, I called a girl I knew out of the blue and asked her on a date, she said she was busy on such and such day, but next week we could do something. And this was a girl that I had known for over a year and a half. I had had several long conversations with her, hung out with her a couple of times… What can I say, she was a FRIEND. Anyway, next time I see her, she doesn't acknowledge my existence. Same thing at the next show we're at. At one point she was standing all of two feet away from me and she STILL didn't even say hi.

Whoop de fricking DO, right? Who cares? That type of hipster melodrama happens all the time, boy likes girl, girl doesn't like boy, girl awkwardly ignores him at show. Who gives a fuck in the long run? Anyway, I call maybe a time or two more, wondering why she's acting so weird, but she just starts to act odder. She continues the same behavior at shows, treating me like a total ass the few times I tried to go up and talk to her, but I didn't really care, we WERE friends, but as far as "romance" went, there were literally five other girls I was in pursuit of at that same general time. I didn't really give a fuck about it, maybe half a fuck or three quarters of a fuck, but not a whole fuck.

Anyway, months pass, she's still all weird, and eventually I just write her a letter (not email, just a plain, normal LETTER) and ask what the deal was. I never hear back from that letter. I didn't really put it together at the time, but a lot of people stopped talking to me at that point. About a year later, I find out that she totally flipped out when I sent her that letter and she essentially told her friends that I was some psycho or something, re-diculous......

That whole incident was the catalyst for me really falling out with the scene. It was my craziness bouncing off her craziness ricocheting off three or four other people's wonky-tude. It was just a bad, uncomfortable situation all around. And of course, I did my part to make it worse by just mercilessly insulting all the people that decided they were now too good to be my friends(Hey, I STILL do that).

I was very disliked, but what did it matter? They were emo kids. I got into a lot of verbal altercations. One of duder even launched into this deranged diatribe about how I CHOOSE to be disabled and how I was just lazy and that I didn't want to go to work/school because I was afraid of "meaningfully interacting" with people (like anyone EVER meaningfully interacted with people at their job).

I obviously told ALL of these people to fuck off, I expertly stood up for myself and eventually most of them apologized for shits. Of course though, nobody actually started ACTING any differently towards me, none of them EVER showed me even the SLIGHTEST bit of respect, they didn't ACT like they were truly "sorry," none of them even REMOTELY treated me like a human being(They never really warmed up to me until I started drinking. But that was still a ways off when I wrote this.)

But it gets even better, I have no other options, I have no other place to go, the only place I have to MEET people is at shows (did I say that I can't drink either because of my health problems. So bars are out, no drugs either, not even most prescription ones)(yeah, eventially I just threw caution to the wind with all that type-a stuff). Ya know, and these are people that have absolutely no respect for me, people that I've told to fuck off, BUT SINCE I HAVE NO OTHER PLACE TO GO, I've actually APOLOGIZED to some of them, even though I don't even REMOTELY mean it. I've had to fucking APOLOGIZE to some of these ass-sacks, just so I could fucking get my foot in the door again. Talk about being fucking defeated...........(Yay, pity is fun.....I wonder if anyone's still even READING this at this point? Probably not, I know I usually get turned off when someone's whining THIS badly. But of course, aren't ALL my columns just me whining?).

At this point, there's nothing to aim for, nothing to hope or dream for. I live off of hate basically, and I keep on KEEPING on for absolutely no reason. I just go on "because." Just pure survival(somebody call the whaaaambulance)… I keep on GOING on just as a "fuck you" to all the assholes in this town, as proof that I'm better and stronger than every single one of them. And I mean, I am, I just fucking AM. Best fucking record collection in town, funniest guy, coolest guy, smartest guy. At one point I was even the nicest guy, although now I'm probably more in the running for biggest asshole(ouuuuu, that's a very telling statement). I mean, I am what I am and it's extremely hard to deny or disprove that.......

I've BEEN in therapy, and they're all said decisively that my situation is not my fault, that it has had very little to do with any actions I've taken(I wouldn't say that). They've said clearly that I was right and that "they" ("they" being primarily the emo fucks in this town) were wrong. Ya know, from the very beginning I took complete and total responsibility for ALL of it. I thought it was all my fault, that it was things that I (emphasis on "I") had done wrong. So I entered therapy(I was in therapy for other reasons, mainly because I was just having a hard time accepting the fact that THIS was gonna be my life. "This is my life? This is the person I have to be? fuck..." I still have trouble with that sometimes, heh heh), I WORKED on my issues, my problems, and guess WHAT? I BEAT them, I identified and confronted and I BEAT my own emotional issues, bested my "problems"(again, I wouldn't really say that, but I did do very well in therapy. I dealt with a lot of shit) and it STILL DIDN'T CHANGE THINGS. It just made them worse with these FUCKS. 'Cause ya see, it wasn't MY fucking FAULT to begin with, it was fucking THEM. I had been IN therapy, and after a little more then a year (towards the end I only went once a month) they said I didn't NEED it any more, they let me OUT, said I didn't need to come BACK(eeeeh, I could still definetly be in therapy, but I think that everyone should be in therapy, at least for a little while. People need to be forced into self-reflection if they aren't doing it already.)........but it didn't change anything with these FUCKERS...

And all of them know ALL about it, all about ALL of this, from the beginning to the end. I told them about my problems when they WEREN'T such a big deal, I told them I how I was starting to feel depressed because of the way they treated me, their lack of respect. I told them it was getting WORSE and NONE of it mattered(yeah, my problem isn't that I avoid conflict, I'm quite good at confrontation. The problem is more that I'm super-confrontational with people that are super passive aggressive. Just don' work).........

I hate them, what can I say? I've been at rock bottom for nearly the last five years in this town, I haven't gotten any respect, and no one's even REMOTELY treated me like a human being. It's fucking bullshit....... And make no mistake, these are people that are at "punk" shows, people that are pretending to be punk rock, THESE are the people that have been treating me so poorly. They pretend to BE me, but they actually fucking HATE me because I genuinely AM what they pretend to be.......(Yeah, reading all of this again for the first time in years, it really makes sense now how the darker side of my personality developed. It's just all hate & anger and pain. I mean I was pissed off enough after high school, after being rejected by "normal" people or whatever, "cool people". I was already bitchy to begin with, but then came my further, even more painful rejection in "the scene" and that just served to really turn me into a world class douche-bag. I dunno; as I've said before, nowadays, I've dismantled a lot of that negative apparatus in my head. I've just simply let a lot of that hate go. The only real place that my asshole side lives on is in my writing. I don't do it in'real life" anymore. I still have so many negative tendancies to overcome.)

But fuck, I go on, I've found out time and time again that I have NO breaking point. There's NO amount of pain I can't take, can't deal with, can't confront and work through. What keeps me alive? The fact that I stand up to these assholes time and time and again… I stand up to them and I fucking MERCLESSLY FUCK WITH THEIR HEADS. Thank you Andy Kaufman...............

Moral of the Story: There IS no fucking moral to this story, other than: "Stay alive and MAYBE, ONE day, you'll actually get a girlfriend, but don't count on it you poor fuck." That and "I hate this fucking town."

OFFICIAL MOVIE OF THE WEEK: Wow, that cathartic… When I first was writing it, I was pretty genuinely pissed off. But then going back over again, I’m not so mad nar more. Yeah, for SOME strange reason, I feel BETTER after I've honestly expressed my feelings, weird, huh?

Anyway, movie of the week? Fucking "Ghost World" of course. Adapted from the Daniel Clowes' comic book and directed by Tery Zwigooff who directed "Crumb", one of my all time top five movies… Anyway, "Ghost World" is real good too, it's got everything you could ever want; record collector nerds, mental hospitals, sex with underage girls, the Buzzcocks, short shorts, and a bunch of other shit. Just fucking go see it, or rent the video whenever it comes out.....

OFFICIAL FAVORITE NEW CHANNEL SINCE WE GOT A BUNCH OF NEW CHANNELS ON THE CABLE SYSTEM HERE OF THE WEEK: Fucking E! Entertainment Television! Thanks to E! I now know that that Aunt B from "The Andy Griffith Show" died a recluse at age 86 with about a dozen cats and no living relatives, and how she had spent time in a mental hospital. It's GREAT...... Also, I've learned about Lobster Boy, and Devine, and Larry Flint. It's the best(no it's not)...........

OFFICIAL BAND THAT ISN'T REALLY "UNDERRATED" PER SAY, BUT PEOPLE SHOULD BE TALKING ABOUT THEM MORE THEN THEY ARE OF THE WEEK: The Intimate Fags full length that came out recent-ish on Rip Off is totally fucking GREAT, yet I've seen no discussion of it on the Rip Off Records message board.......

OFFICIAL BOOK OF THE WEEK: That new-ish fucking Onion book......... They make jokes about NEW cliches. Ya know, NEW stereotypes associated with MODERN living, they crack wise about such things… Something which hardly ANYone else does..............

OFFICIAL DVD PURCHASE OF THE WEEK: Hmmmm, what DVD's have I bought lately? Oh yeah, the first season Simpsons' set. It's okay, but the episodes would be intolerable without the commentary...............

OFFICIAL PERSON WHO SUCKS THAT I SHALL MENTION BY NAME OF THE WEEK: I don’ know, fucking xxxxxxx xxxxx.... I've kinda flip-flopped with my opinion of her a couple of times, but at the end of the day, YEAH, I think she really is an asshole. Just talked to her recently for the first time in a year, and it was a baffling ordeal. I don’ know..........

OFFICIAL ILLNESS OF THE WEEK: Well, at first they thought it was staph infection, but that wasn't it. Now my GP is sending me off to the dermatologist, so we'll see what's he thinks it is. Still though, I was on antibiotics for a good two and a half/three weeks and THAT didn't clear it up. And supposedly, from what the doctor said, even if it WASN'T staph, the antibiotics I was on SHOULD'VE cleared it all up(it totally wasn't staph, 'twas porphyria related)................

OFFICIAL PROOF THAT MY SLEEPING PATTERNS ARE TOTALLY FUCKED UP OF THE WEEK: I had a doctor’s appointment today at 9:45. I set my alarm for 8:30. I went to bed at 3AM. I didn't fall asleep at ALL. I go to my appointment, get back by 10:15, go back to bed and sleep 'til 6PM. What can I say? My sleep is REALLY, REALLY fucked up.....

OFFICIAL REPEATING OF A THING I SAID EARLIER IN THIS COLUMN OF THE WEEK: Fuck, I really do hate this town(get over it, asshole). The disgusting thing is, wherever ELSE I go, I'm generally pretty well liked by people and have an easy time talking to girls. If only I didn't hate long distance relationships so much................