Confessions a 20th century ne'er do well: Drinking, fighting, stealing and other things one generally ought not do

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Facts about Bananaman

1. The reason he’s lived for over 1000 years is that he only eats bananas.
2. He once went to Africa and lived in the jungle among bananas, and became their high priest. Before bananaman, no bananas ever buried their dead, and when he left, nobody carried on that practice.
3. He once interrupted a bank robbery where the robber was outside screaming “Attica! Attica!” at the cops by standing next to him and screaming, “Bananaca! Bananaca!”
4. His weakness is that he’s afraid of gorillas and monkeys.
5. He was very upset and scared for life when his father told him that his mother was not a banana, but was actually a whore (she gave him up for adoption and went into crack rehab).
6. He is ambivalent about the invasion of Iraq, but was vehemently opposed to the invasion of Bananastan.
7. In one scene, his wife becomes upset at his banana obsession. She screams at him, “Would you stop with the whole Bananaman thing already!” He answered pleadingly, “But people find that appealing!” which made her more upset and start hitting him, “Would you STOP IT!!!!!”
8. Some Mexican guy once leapt out of his bodega and pointed in the air, exclaiming “Mira! Es Senor El Hombre de Los Platanos!”
9. A little girl once hugged him and said, “Bananaman, I love you.”
10. Master Shake once told Meatwad, "If you're gonna cheat, you might as well paint yourself yellow, run around like a maniac, and call yourself Bananaman..... cause that's what you're doin'!"

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Wow, I keep getting comments on the last four or five enteries!

1. No Heg, I'm not moving in with TAB (see the bread joints comments below)
2. No addled, I'm not smoking weed again.
3. There is some Sci Fi movie called West World from 1973 where the scientist suggests "The way the malfunctions are spreading from machine to machine.... it's like a disease." To which the other scientists are incredulous. Like it's some ridiculous crack pot theory. I guess computers were a little far fetched then, so viruses were even more so. (I think this movie was the basis for a Simpsons episode where they went to itchy and scratchyland.)

More importantly. I went hiking the other day, at Ramapo Reservation in Mahwah. (where I once saw a bear years ago and last week saw a rattle snake!) I had a vaguely psychedelic experience - an experience that makes you look at the depth of your mind and it's relationship to the outside world. I used to go there when I was unemployed and living at home, about three years ago. I was hiking on one of the more backroads trails. Other trails, I had been on when I was younger, and more often. This was very specific to that time in my life. The thing was, as we walked along the trail, I got the feeling of familiarity one gets when, well you do something you haven't done in years. But that feeling of familiarity was very closely tied to the feeling of walking down a trail, so there was this brief moment where I felt like I was walking down a trail to a dormant part of my mind. Get it? It was kind of cool.

Secondly, I was at the gym on the treadmill this morning. I had some wierd kind of feeling like I was holding a tripod. Wierd. I know. It wasn't literally like that, but it's the best way I can describe it. It was similar to that same time in my life, three years ago, when I was living at home and unemployed. I had just decided to become a writer/reporter/etc. I still view having to move home as one of the worst things that ever happened to me. (I know - I thank god that that's one of the worst things that ever happened.)
But it represented total defeat. I had spent most of my life trying to escape my parents' grasp, only to fall right into their clutches. I became ultra sensitive to the dynamics of power - the qualities that determine who is ultimately going to get their way. The only way out was to have enough money to do so. Not the clearest goal, I know, but when your emotions are tapped, you don't think as clearly. I also wasn't aware of the criminally low salaries that very rich newspaper owners pay the people who make them the product that they make money off of.
As I started writing and acquiring freelance before I got a 'full time' (hours - not salary) job I got this feeling like my arms were full. Like I was grasping things under my arms and holding as tightly as I could. I remember this feeling. Like each job or skill was a cannon to stave off my enemies - anything that could gain me money was another weapon that I had to hold onto. In fact, hiking was another weapon - it was all symbolic of power - hiking, along with jogging was keeping me in shape and giving me stamina. I went boating with a friend around that time - he said 'have you been working out?' (an interesting question considering all the fat comments that had been flying.) I said 'yeah. Why?' He said, 'because you've been treading water for 45 minutes!' It was a feeling of power. The opposite of the feeling you get when someone outruns (or outhikes) you, one I'm more often familiar with. The nature of work resembled this armfull of weapons also because it was freelance. The were individual jobs, each of which made me less urgently dependent on the other - another feeling of power, the opposite of dependency.

So this feeling on the treadmill was like holding a tripod that was only slightly open. The feeling came from this weekend where I was holding a tripod for a cameraman (during a remote segment at the Montclair Art Museum). I guess the tactile experience was still in my head. Now, when the tripod is only a couple of inches opened, it can stand on its own, as opposed to when it is completely closed and it would fall. It wasn't open all the way, and a breeze of movement could knock it over, but this is the point. You can step away from it, and it will remain without your tending to it constantly. If it was closed, you would have to hold onto it constantly, while with it partly open, you could let go, as long as you were right there. A fully open tripod, you can walk away from.
So as I dwelled on the feeling, I wondered if it was an analogy for where I am in my life. I cannot explain the releif of having a single paycheck cover all the week's bills - of not panicing when a freelance check doesn't come in, or becoming angry and ready to fight for survival when my car (or fridge or computer or toilet) needs repairs. Ready to fight, as one would if you were about to fall off of a cliff, or if someone was holding your head under the water.
Without that constant feeling of urgency, you can look around a little, and here again is the psychedelic aspect (I have no idea if I'm using the word correctly maybe dreamlike is more appropriate) But here is the conceptual analogy. With a partially open tripod, you are free to move about a small radius, maybe the length of your body. With the closed tripod, you are not - it needs constant attention. If you let go for one moment, it will fall. Now, in life, I am at a point where I can briefly let go. Where a wasted moment isn't going to send me out of my apartment. The analogy is so exact, but what I love about it is that it is conceptual. Of course a tripod represents stability, but this visceral experience of the half opened tripod - just a tactile thought in my head was interesting and enlightening.
Other things besides the paycheck - which ain't much, it's just a half opened tripod instead of closed - it ain't an open tripod. I'm starting to attend to freelance again - a safety net, now as opposed to a lifeline, but enough makes things easier. Also, this relationship helps. When you're single, whether you can do OK or not, you don't have security. Each night out is a gamble, and if you want emotional and physical satisfaction, you need to take that gamble frequently - it is like holding onto the closed tripod. If you don't try, it's not there. Also, I'm trying to network at my job. Connecting anyone I can with each other, hoping that perhaps, if I'm ever in need, someone will return the favor. I'm really hoping to help people and not to need help, but I like to give alot, because I don't ask anyone for much (paid work is all, and really, that's just one thing)
Now, this means that much still needs to be attended to I'm still scraping the bottom of the barrel, but I have breathing room, and any lack of breathing room is based on vision, not survival.

Years ago, I started notes on a psychology book concept about the 'spheres of self' And this is another conceptualiztion, as there was room to look around from this focal point of the tripod. As you get older, your sphere expands. That is if you're healthy and balence, balence being a component of health. If one part of the sphere is over attended to at the expense of others (for example spending all your energy on your job and none on your relationship, or health), you lose balance, again, the tripod analogy.

But that is a topic for another day.