By Tom H. Brooks 3

Say hello to STREET JOURNAL 72…

The above is one of my digital artworks named

Mondrian`s White Blood Cells

f r a g m e n t a t i o n i s m
…because no one has time for anything but Twitter anymore…
Faceless in a Facebook world…
Here`s a link to my profile…
Welcome back……!  May I help you?
Started on 10/1/13  in Tokyo, Japan…
Not that this is of any concern to anyone but myself, however, I write it in my book just for me.  After all, it directly concerns ME.  Now coming from Los Angeles, a world city with ALL types of food from anywhere on the planet, it can be quite hard to find certain things you want to eat in Japan, even in Tokyo.  Some things are next to impossible to find here at all.  You tend to get tired of rice and fucking noodles all the time, especially after three years.  Well today, (10-1-13)
I ate an absolutely spectacular falafel sandwich in Azabu, made by a Japanese woman, if you can believe it.  Apparently, she lived in Israel for awhile and she has got it down perfect.  Fresh and delicious it was, with all the makings of a good falafel sandwich; fresh pita bread, hummus, tahini sauce, black olives, onions, spicy sauce (I forget the name) and warm, just-made falafels.  The place is called Falafel King and it`s the best I`ve eaten since that place at Farmer`s Market in LA. It really brought joy to my heart, I tell you.  It`s the LITTLE THINGS, people, it`s the little things.
There are times in life when you get so used to being miserable and stressed out that it just seems to be the normal state of things…
….And then, it doesn`t even bother you anymore, so you just drink beer and laugh your ass off.
“I tell you, we are here on this earth to fart around, so don`t let anybody try to tell you different.”
Kurt Vonnegut
Whether or not you`re a religious type, the Bible is FULL of great quotes, like this one, for example…
The Book of Job
“To give an idea of the maturity of my illustrations for this book, here is my picture of an asshole:
I think I am trying to clear my head of all the junk in there – the assholes, the flags, the underpants.  I`m throwing out characters from my other books, too.  I`m not going to put on any more puppet shows.  I think I am trying to make my head as empty as it was when I was born onto this damaged planet fifty years ago.  I suspect that this is something most people should do.  The things other people have put into my head, at any rate, do not fit together nicely, are often useless and ugly, are out of proportion with one another, are out of proportion with life as it really is outside my head.  I have no culture, no humane harmony in my brains.  I can`t live without a culture anymore.  So this book is a sidewalk strewn with junk, trash which I throw over my shoulders as I travel back in time…”
Kurt Vonnegut
Breakfast of Champions
****** International “School”
THAT`S what it`s like working at this fucking place, but much, MUCH worse….
“What the hell am I?
Thousand eyes, a fly
Lucky then I`d be
In one day deceased
Sickman, sickman, sickman…..
I can feel the wheel, but I can`t steer
When my thoughts become my biggest fear
Ah, what`s the difference, I`ll die
In this sick world of mine…”
Alice in Chains
“Sickman”  (An old classic…)
“What a deplorable existence I lead in this absurd climate and under what frightful conditions!  How boring!  How stupid life is!  What am I doing here?”
Arthur Rimbaud
Aden, 1884
“When a man has learned – and not on paper – how to remain alone with his suffering, how to overcome his longing to flee, the illusion that others may share, then he has little left to learn.”
Albert Camus
Notebooks, 1942-1951
…as I told you, writing is very cathartic for me.  It`s how I voice my frustrations and spit out the poison.  BUT….I`m still laughing, believe it.  I will always win.  We just can`t let the scumbags bring us down.
“…the famous artist with his meaningless pictures had entered into a conspiracy with millionaires to make poor people feel stupid.”
“He won all those medals in the Second World War for killing Japanese, who were yellow robots.
They were fueled by rice.”
*   *   *
(Apparently, I`m not the only one who`s thought of this “yellow robot” concept…)
“Honest to God, the way things are going, all I can think of is that I`m a character in a book by somebody who wants to write about somebody who suffers all the time.”
“This was the reason Americans shot and killed each other so often: It was a convenient literary device for ending short stories and books.  Why were so many Americans treated by their government as though their lives were as disposable as paper facial tissues?  Because that was the way authors customarily treated bit-part players in their made-up tales.
And so on.
Once I understood what was making America such a dangerous, unhappy nation of people who had nothing to do with real life, I resolved to shun storytelling.  I would write about life.  Every person would be exactly as important as any other.  All facts would be given equal weightiness.
Nothing would be left out.  Let others bring order to chaos.  I would bring chaos to order, instead, which I think I have done.”
Kurt Vonnegut
Breakfast of Champions
Now, it`s a fact that money doesn`t buy happiness……BUT…it might buy a LITTLE bit…
For example, I could have a nice office and a comfortable chair to sit on while I write and work on my endless photographic projects.  Instead, I sit on the floor Buddha style on a tatami mat in a broom closet-sized apartment.  After working for hours sometimes, I am crippled – legs twisted up like pretzels and with my back feeling like a lump of dead meat with a butcher hacking into it with a sharp cleaver.  I could get that beautiful art studio loft with the high ceiling I`ve always wanted, so I could work on those HUGE paintings I`ve always wanted to do instead of tiny digital sketches – you know – what I REALLY want to do.  I could………………….
no; I`ll refrain from taking this any further.  I could probably go on for hours about all the stuff I COULD do if I had a lot of money.  Maybe it DOES buy happiness; or maybe we mistake convenience for happiness.  I still get almost everything I want to do finished one way or another, even if I`m in excruciating pain afterwards…..whatever………there`s always whiskey….
“We want world peace!”
“Yeah, and I want a golden unicorn that shits money – it`s NEVER gonna happen….”
Creation Monster
Went to Arashio Sumo Beya in Chuo-ku near Hamacho Park.  It may not have been the main place in Ryogoku, but nonetheless, it was fascinating.  I managed to get a couple of videos, so I can always remember this clash of the titans (fatties in dirty diapers…)
10/9/13 9pm
Goodbye ****** International “School”…..
and go fuck yourselves…
I have never in my life been happier to be unemployed.  It’s like a GIANT weight has been lifted off my shoulders and my soul feels lighter than a feather on a typhoon wind.
That dump was a poisoned swamp of despair, a quagmire of hopelessness, but NO MORE!  I would rather allow arcane symbols to be carved into my flesh with a rusty butter
knife than spend another day in that waking
nightmare.  I have been liberated!  THIS is cause for CELEBRATION.  My heart is filled
with joy…
*     *     *
Ahhhh, yes….& one more thing; I won’t have to waste any more of my precious time giving that punk boss any more humiliating verbal beat downs.
10/12/13, Saturday….
Chiharu and I for an “I`m unemployed” celebration in Shibuya and Harajuku.  We had dinner at Fonda de la Madrugada.  The spectacular Mexican mariachi band did an excellent rendition of Santana`s “Oye Como Va.”  A great day all around……
That’s the greatest thing about Tokyo; there are a million strange places to go and hang out.  I can just play “dumb gaijin” & go wherever I feel like, and if I’m not supposed to be there, someone will tell me in Japanese and I can pretend not to understand or I can leave if it no longer interests me.  Any way you look at it, I win…
I’m speaking of strange industrial districts,  anywhere beyond gates with signs that I cannot read, gardens inside apartment building complexes, and numerous other places.  It just never ends.
“People`s memories might be the fuel they burn to stay alive…”
Haruki Murakami
After Dark
Okay, I was THIS CLOSE to getting a teaching job here in Tokyo at an ALL-GIRLS SCHOOL, aged 15 to 18 years.  Well, THAT would have been a recipe for disaster!  I would have been like a fox in a henhouse, being around all those sexy little vixens in their short plaid miniskirts and thigh-high stockings….torture, indeed…..
It would have been a sure formula for me to end up divorced, in jail, or BOTH…..
I guess it`s a good thing that I didn`t get it….
(…but I kind of wish that I had….)
Steven Hall, the author of the spectacularly inventive novel, The Raw Shark Texts, has publicly stated that the title is a play on words for Rohrschach Test,the inkblot psychological test that can be different to everyone.  And that is exactly what he says he set out to do with this book; to write a book that would mean something different to everyone, a crossover between many genres meant to mutate into some kind of hybrid book that knows no category or classification.  If you have read it, or you intend to, you will see that he has done quite a good job at achieving this objective, and any way you look at this novel, if nothing else, it is VERY original, borrowing ideas from MANY sources, but somehow coming out totally unique in its own right….
When you try to manipulate a society by denying them marijuana, in turn, you create a society of rampant alcoholism…I only know what I see.  And if you’re wondering, I’m both an alcoholic AND a pothead and I don’t deny it, so piss off…
“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”
Wayne Gretzky  (as quoted by Steve Jobs of Apple Computer fame…)
I crawl to where the beer is going to be, not where I broke the last bottles…
Tom Brooks
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world
 are the ones who do…”
Steve Jobs
“The role of the story was, in the broadest terms, to transpose a single problem into another form.  Depending on the nature and the direction of the problem, a solution could be suggested in the narrative.  He would return to the real world with that suggestion in hand.  It was like a piece of paper bearing the indecipherable text of a magic spell.  At times it lacked coherence and served no immediate practical purpose.  But itwould contain a possibility.  Someday he might be able to decipher the spell.  That possibility would gently warm his heart from within.
Haruki Murakami
Everyone is Gone Now…
Everyone is gone now
and I am left alone with my thoughts,
which are myriad.
It is as if the world I`d once known
is collapsing inward upon itself-
a universe imploding,
quarks rushing together into nothingness…
for one tiny light in the midst
of an endless void,
the tiny pinprick of light
that is called self…
That lives on in its own unmoored
nomadic existence
like a comet drifting along the
edges of a galaxy,
but never coming back to the sun.
The past is like a collection
of ghosts in a black and white
slideshow, playing on ancient projector
inside my skull,
sound fading away,
like a distant radio playing an old song…
Everyone is gone now, yes,
or perhaps it`s me who is gone…
No matter; this is the way things are.
The world moves on without you,
things change, you are left behind,
and then twilight falls forever
You can`t go back.
All of us know this
and perhaps some even fear it.
But it must be accepted for
it is just the way things work.
It is an irrevocable fact of life in this world
and in this universe.
We are,
each and every one,
a quiet whisper,
a flickering candle,
a breath of soft wind,
a grain of sand on a cosmic beach…
and then……
we are gone…
Tom Brooks
Tokyo, Japan
October 22, 2013
How can I be in a city of millions and write THAT?!?
Dreams are a strange thing…
Good Night….

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