Time Warp to Meditations on a New Year's Resoluton, or "Garry Kasparov Blues"

by Basement Floods Records

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released January 3, 2015

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Track Name: Time Warp to Meditations on a New Year's Resolution (Garry Kasparov Blues)
"Time Warp to Meditations on a New Year’s Resolution”
or, “Garry Kasparov Blues”

January 1, 2014

Good morning, after your night of drinking hot buttered rum. You can take that with a little bit – a little bit in stride when you consider that the Gauls, those famous barbarians with their flowing mustaches. Vercingetorix, even your cute cuddly Asterix and Obelix, these men, these men who wore the pants in the Roman Empire, literally wore the pants, they styled their mustaches with rancid butter. So don't be a fucking pussy, drink your hot buttered rum. Let it get in that mustache, and think about Vercingetorix ordering his soldiers in the besieged town of Alesia to eat the babies and old people rather than give up the ship. You know what I'm talking about.

So I did feel a little bit apprehensive watching the New Year's Eve in Times Square, and just thinking – I mean, they had (who was on?) it was Miley Cyrus, Debby Harry, and who's the... um … Macklemore? And it's like, they somehow picked all the white people from popular music. Like, the only white people who get on Hot 97 were on that stage. Weird. But maybe that's what people who are dumb enough to be in Times Square on New Year's, watching a fucking ball drop.... like the world is some fucking adolescent. A partially castrated adolescent, just waiting for the ball to drop. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeuuuuough.

See I think in 2014 I'd like to try and invite more uncertainty into my life. I think I was too certain in 2013, and I just wound up disappointed. If you have expectations for things, you'll be ultimately disappointed. But if you only expect everything and everyone to be exactly as they are, you'll probably do alright. So what am I not going to expect? I think I'm not going to expect to be gainfully employed, but I think that's pretty safe – I could probably get a little crazier than that.

But to think of what you're not going to expect is almost as bad as expecting, right? There's some kind of Zen treatment, that I need to soak my brain in a different kind of liquor so that the world looks a little different. Maybe it's about the bath salts, I don't know. Wake up with your girlfriend's face eaten off... ehhhh. But I don't even know if drugs are the answer anymore, you know? Not that I was really that into whatever, but - you know, people get coked up and shit and then they start talking to you about the weirdest things. And their convictions change. And in a way I want to have that confidence but at the same time, I don't believe in the kind of certainty that those people experience. I mean, we're talking about uncertainty, right? We're talking about inviting uncertainty. That means no coke.

Inviting uncertainty. I mean, if you were to invite uncertainty, I think it would be more situational. You have to put yourself in positions that you are uncertain about. But that can be hard too, if it's unexpected. Because you base all your judgement on expectation. And I think fundamentally what I'm trying to challenge in myself is my morality, not my judgement. And morality I would be happy to fuck with.

So why don't we develop an experiential interpretation of morality, where the experience of a thing is the only moral... the only solid moral event, and as a result you can't be faulted for experiencing something. And then, to go farther, you can't be faulted for your own residual morality's reaction to that experience. But we still have the problem of trying to get there, trying to put yourself in these morally challenging circumstances, and to enact them yourself... we can't call moral, right? So you gotta just, I don't know...

I mean, I think morality might be about some kind of compulsion and everyone's desire to be compelled to do things. Everyone wants to be in that situation where they can say, “I know exactly what needs to get done, right or wrong. But I know how to act. I know how to act even if it's evil. I know how to act even if it's good, or, you know, the society I'm in is standing beside me clapping their fucking hands while I do it, or considering throwing me to the lions.”

So where can we find that kind of compulsion? I think some people make the mistake of imagining that certain occupations, the military for example, gives you morality at the same time, but I don't think that's valid. I mean, have you ever hung out with Israelis traveling in South America or something? Those people are... I feel like in the military there's no opportunity for personal development. So I think you'd have to find something else. You can't find it in external circumstance.

You know, some people have kids to create that situation for themselves. They accidentally have kids. I had this roommate Cesar down in Austin, and he got two different girls pregnant within a year, just kind of accidentally. And I thought, “Cesar. That's not accidental. You don't fuck up like that unless you're inviting compulsion, you're inviting a moral situation into your life.” And I think a lot of people function that way. A lot of people ultimately turn 28, 29, 30, 31... I dated this girl when I was 24 or something. She was 31. She was kind of like a witch. She wouldn't go out during the day, she lived in a hovel, had lots of cats. A dog. I forget what the dog's name was... something, I don't know. Her name was Brenda, and all her friends had names like Hazel. I swear this is true. But she didn't like to go out during the day. Anyone ever listen to Jolie Holland? You know that song Ghostly Girl? That's about Brenda. She's a weird person, but she's a beautiful person, you know? And super interesting to be around, and that's kind of, I guess, that same compulsion to put yourself in situations that help you ask questions. So I spent some time with Brenda, and I'm sure you've been in this situation too, where you're sleeping with someone and they're like, “It's OK, it's OK.” And you're like, “It's not OK. I'm not going to invite that disaster.” And you never do. And what do you know? A year down the line, they're having someone else's kid. And you realize that you could have been that person. And that's fine, you know, in certain circumstances that's a good thing. But what's so striking to me is that it's all about this invitation of compulsion, you know? It's like, I'm not deliberately doing this but I'm deliberately creating the circumstances that could lead to it. This happened to me a couple times, it's funny.

I think when I was younger, I used to be - somehow - the guy that girls wanted to accidentally get pregnant by. Thank God that's over. But you know their lives always change, you know. They get married and they go do their thing, and that's actually kind of attractive in a way. But I don't know. In the case of Cesar, his kids are really cute - Valeria and Dylan. And I don't think either of their mothers know, but the only reason he approved those names for the kids is because they're names of co-starring characters in Schwarzenegger movies. But I mean, the kids are super fun and cute but the moms are another story. I think he ultimately got married to the first one a few years later. She was Mexican, he's Puerto Rican, and I think her whole scam was to get pregnant so she could get citizenship or something, it was one of those deals. And I guess they got married and it probably worked out, I don't know. I haven't talked to Cesar in a long time but I wish the best for him. I just wish he hadn't had to create a... just put himself in a situation in order to feel like he was really living life. But isn't that what we're talking about anyway? Isn't that the whole topic? Putting yourself in a situation in order to have the experience of living life? So maybe Cesar did it right. Maybe all this fucking whining I'm doing is just because I didn't accidentally get two girls pregnant in one year. You never know.

So what's going on for you guys in 2014? I was checking my Twitter feed today, and William Gibson, the sci-fi novelist, tweeted that he thought 2014 sounded “exceptionally Jetsons in the mouth.” And I was like, that's cool. I like that. William Gibson is actually a really fun guy to follow on Twitter. He's exactly the kind of nerd I want in my life. Garry Kasparov, on the other hand, is kind of annoying me at this point. I gotta shut that shit off. He goes on his anti-Putin rants, shit's pretty funny. You guys remember that? What is it, Deep Blue or whatever? What year was that, when Kasparov got beaten by the computer? That's crazy, huh? That was not that long ago. I read a great article about Kasparov way back then. I was in the chess club in high school, I was pretty OK. I'm surprised we didn't play you guys. We only played Stonington, I think. I read this great article about Kasparov where the guy interviewing him is walking down the street with him and he starts to suspect – because Kasparov is always walking slightly in front, and every time the interviewer kind of starts to walk abreast, he starts to walk faster. And he's also just following him around (I forget where they were, probably not in Russia, I imagine). The interviewer starts to suspect that it's not just some nervous tic or something – you have to walk behind Garry Kasparov. And he's slowly leading him down to the river, and the guy starts to think, “He's gonna fucking throw me in if I keep trying to walk next to this guy.” And I kinda, I mean – it makes you think of Bobby Fischer's crazy anti-Semite rants and shit and you think, “God, these people who play chess that much get fucked up.” I wonder what Go masters are like. Are they even more psycho and we just don't hear about it? Like super Go masters. I did hear also that there was a guy, I think a Taiwanese guy, who for awhile was the Scrabble world champion, and he didn't speak a word of English. He just memorized the Scrabble player's dictionary. So that's pretty crazy. I guess it takes something special, you know, to be into the board games.

It's funny, I remember being in high school, and there was this kid who was one of the fuck-ups. Like one of these kids who was smoking weed and not, you know, paying attention or whatever. Just one of those guys. And we would play chess in English class, I mean it was relatively unsupervised. And the motherfucker would beat me every time he was high, and I would beat him every time he was sober. And I could never figure out why.

But now I'm supposed play chess with this girl, which is weird. So it's a long story, but I signed up for OkCupid, which is interesting. I was talking to a friend of mine and he was like, “Oh, you should sign up for it, it's great.”
And I was like, “Yeah, but you don't understand man. I don't give a fuck right now. I don't give a fuck about anything.”
And this guy's like, “That's perfect.”
And I was like, “Alright. Fair enough.”
He had met his girlfriend, like long term girlfriend – actually, the girlfriend who came to the naked AOI show on the third date – he met her on OkCupid, so, you know, whatever works out for people.

So I'm kind of on this thing, I met a couple of these girls. The first one was abysmally boring, and I was like, “What the fuck am I doing? Just because we both like Roman Polanski the internet thinks that we should hang out? Fuck this.” But then the next one was this hilarious psycho, who was like - for some reason - just sarcastically joking about how she only hangs out in Times Square. And I was like, “Oh yeah? Let's fucking meet in Times Square.” And that was really weird, that was super bizarre. We went to Jimmy's Corner, have you ever been there? It's the only affordable bar in that whole area, it's on 43rd and … 6th, or something. And it's just this shitty bar with all these boxing posters everywhere, and they have like $3 beers in Times Square. It's kinda awesome.

So to go farther into this, so this girl messages me on there and she's like, “Oh, I want someone to play chess with.” And I was like, “Hey I used to play chess a little bit. I could play chess with you.” And then she sends me her website with her photos, and she takes all these photos of my roommate's cousin. And I was like, “Oh, I like your photos. Why do you hang out with my roommate's cousin all the time?” And she was like, “Oh that's MY roommate.” And I was like, “OK. Small world.” So I'm supposed to play chess with this girl, but I'm a little bit put off by the fact thats she keeps talking about how she's not good, and she wants to get beaten in chess by me. And it's just like, I mean you gotta be trying, right? Like I want someone to try and kick my ass. But maybe it's not about that for certain people. I mean, she's a nice enough girl. I ended up meeting her. The place didn't have chess, so I didn't get to see what her chess chops were all about. It's really hard to give a fuck sometimes, you know? Sometimes you want to just, I don't know, not play chess with people.

But I guess that's if you’re me, not if you're Garry Kasparov. And see, maybe that's the kind of moral situation I want to find myself in – where it's not even about the chess anymore, it's about whether you're walking abreast with me and whether I should throw you in the river for challenging my alpha male chess-ness, you know? Maybe I should throw this girl in the river. I wonder... I mean, you could probably play games like that with people, right? You just walk around, and be intimidating? Some people probably get a kick out of that. Maybe that's what you're looking for if you're trying to hang out with someone who's better than you at chess. Somebody with this hyper ego who's gonna throw you in the river when you walk abreast with them. I could see that.

And you know, and I really would like to... I want to entertain that kind of thing. The way that people require something a little bit self-destructive when it comes to satisfaction. You know, people aren't necessarily making decisions that make them happier, right? No. But I wonder, you think Garry Kasparov makes decisions that make him happier? Or is it about happiness at that point? I mean, I bet he was sad as hell in 1998 when he lost. His tweets are not happy. I can understand that, the Russian government is a little fucked up right now. I'm on Twitter. Follow me on Twitter with my live talk show. We'll be streaming this live. But I need to find some new people to follow.

Huh, that's kind of funny. I just realized I follow Garry Kasparov, I don't walk abreast with him.