By Tom H. Brooks 3
This is Street Journal 83…
When you wish upon a star, most likely you will just get more of the same old shit…
“You go from dream to dream inside me. You have passage to my last shabby corner, and there among the debris, you`ve found life. I`m no longer sure which of all the words, images, dreams, or ghosts are yours and which are mine. It`s past sorting out…”
“I usually solve problems by letting them devour me.”
“…and in the blood-lit dark behind his eyes, silver phosphenes boiled in from the edge of space, hypnagogic images jerking past like a film compiled of random frames, symbols, figures, faces…
a blurred, fragmented mandala of visual information.”
“Seek not my heart; the beasts have eaten it.”
“…to rush headlong into the comforting darkness of selfhood, as a reborn human being, or even as a beast, an unhappy ghost, a denizen of hell, anything….rather than the burning brightness of unmitigated reality.”
Thank you AGAIN @democracyofobjects on Instagram for your amazing images and the quotes you so aptly pair with them. It enlightens us all in subtle, yet recognizable ways…
“I believe in the future resolution of these two states, dream and reality, which are seemingly so contradictory, into a kind of absolute reality, a surreality, if one may so speak…”
Manifeste du Surrealisme
“Christianity is a metaphysics of the hangman.”
“We have already gone beyond whatever we have words for. In all talk there is a grain of contempt.”
“It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what everyone else says in a whole book – what everyone else does not say in a whole book.”
Twilight of the Idols
(Or, How to Philosophize With a Hammer)
WEEP FOR THE FUTURE…
Weep for the future
because the world is mired
deep in war and hatred.
It always has been,
but it isn`t getting any better.
Shed a tear
for the earth itself
as we chip away
at her beautiful landscapes
and oceans and rivers;
as we continue to destroy
her fragile ecosystems
with our carelessness and apathy
and the poisoned juggernaut of industry.
How long can she hold up
under the onslaught?
Weep for the racism,
the violent religious disputes,
and the insane tribal separatism.
Lament the general chaos
and the lack of understanding
and/or acceptance of
our myriad differences.
Weep for the children,
our future, so to speak,
who are barely even given
a fighting chance;
the children who will inherit
the shambles of the world
we leave behind for them.
Weep for the kids
who grow up alone
on the TV and internet
and violent video games,
who learn everything they
know from Twitter,
the ones who barely know
or care to understand
the future dilemmas
that they will one day face.
Weep for all of us
on this hideously overpopulated
blue-green sphere as we spin
helplessly through the cosmos
our own self-destruction.
Weep for the lost,
the numbed and
the despairing masses
who struggle without hope
towards an uncertain future;
the people who move through
this mad world existing
by burying their heads in the sand
and living in absolute denial
of our impending doom
and our own ridiculous stupidity.
The doomsday clock has been ticking
for a long, long time now.
It`s five to midnight.
Can love save us now?
No one knows.
I hate you.
I love you.
I don`t know anymore.
I think I`ll just go watch TV.
Don`t pretend to understand…
Tom Henry Brooks 3
(This one goes with my photo of the same name on Instagram…)
THAT`S THE PROBLEM WITH BEING AT THE CENTER OF THINGS;
ON EVERY SIDE, YOU`RE SURROUNDED…
“but fate is not entirely
we have wasted
we have strangled
our own hearts.”
“So in the end, was it worth it? Jesus Christ…
How irreparably changed my life has become. It`s always the last day of summer and I`ve been left out in the cold with no door to get back in. I`ll grant you I`ve had more than my share of poignant moments. Life passes most people by while they`re making grand plans for it. Throughout my lifetime, I`ve left pieces of my heart here and there. And now, there`s almost not enough left to stay alive. But I force a smile, knowing that my ambition far exceeded my talent. There are no more white horses or pretty ladies at my door.”
October 1st, 2014
My lovely wife took off for the mountains today to see her family. I always offer to send her off on the bullet train, but she prefers the bus because the train makes her a little motion sick. So, I walked her to the station at 5am through the dark morning streets. I said it smelled like rain, even though the forecast said nothing about it. Well, it turned out I was right because I`m a fucking animal like that. She sent me a text from Ikebukuro that it was pouring. Anyway, I went back to sleep for a snooze for a little while because it was so damn early. Just before I woke up, I had a super-vivid dream that I woke up and she was already home again. She was standing before me, looking beautiful as always and unpacking her bag. I told her what a nice surprise and asked why she was home and she told me it was because of the torrential downpour and she thought it would be dangerous to ride the bus. I drifted off again feeling relieved and happy that she had made this decision. So THEN I REALLY WOKE UP, and she WASN`T home and it was dumping rain outside. I had a bit of a panic attack when I came to my senses because I realized I`d been dreaming and it was really coming down out there. I didn`t want to think about her out on some highway with a half-blind Japanese driver speeding through the storm in order to keep to the goddamned schedule. I sent her a text and continued to call her throughout the day. To cut the story short, she was out getting a new Japanese passport at a government office and busy filling out papers and all that kind of bureaucratic bullshit and then she was busy running around with her dad and her phone was on silent from the bus. So I had to fucking worry about her all day. And believe me, I did. I just had a bad, bad feeling, as if that dream had been an omen, or God forbid, even a ghost or shade! Call me superstitious, laugh….whatever. I just had a dark psychic feeling inside that wouldn`t go away, no matter how I tried to ignore it. It was the dream that did it.
Well, in the end when we finally got to talk that night, she told me that indeed, while she was sleeping on the bus, she woke up to everyone else on the bus giving startled screams and yells as the bus jerked violently to one side. She then realized that the driver had been driving way too recklessly fast and had narrowly escaped a freeway accident. Ohhhhhhhh SHIT! I fucking HATE IT when my latent psychic subconscious comes so close to the surface like that. Basically, I hate it when I`M almost right. I`m so fucking glad she`s okay!! I just love that sweet wife of mine so much, and anybody who knows me is well aware of this. Chiharu is the best and I really wish I could get her to start taking the train. Life is just full of close calls, omens and unknown mysteries…….
“He said you give up your dreams the longer you live until you`ve got nothing.”
I just went to a burger place in Funabashi called ALOHA DINER DUKE`S and it was fucking AWESOME! It was definitely the best burger I`ve yet had in Japan and perhaps even rivals
some American favorites of mine. And that`s a TALL order….!!
YUCCA ESTATES FLASHBACK
“I was a pile of human rubble sitting among the beer cans and Scotch bottles in this bombed-out court in east Hollywood.”
“The two most important days in your life are the day you were born
and the day you find out why.”
out of stock.”
“The human heart is like a night bird.
Silently waiting for something, and when the time comes,
it flies straight toward it.”
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years Of Pilgrimage
In Japanese, I believe it is called kaiki geshoku…..I won’t bother with the kanji…..!
It`s on the way, and frankly, it just SOUNDS bad….
Well, it turns out we were all wrong about this one. Sure, it WAS bad in southern Japan, but by the time it reached here, it was only a tropical storm; just some strong winds gusts and above average rain. It was nothing to write home about, and since it passed over in the middle of the night, I slept through 90% of the whole thing. The funniest moment of the night was when I was just about to go to sleep. The wind was howling outside and the rain was rattling on the windows and splattering the shutters. Everything was darkness and violent movement. That`s when the earthquake struck. So it all happens at once. A goddamned typhoon is hitting us outside and then, OF COURSE, an earthquake rumbler has to strike as well. I actually started laughing – cracking up, really. This is such a DISASTER COUNTRY…..it`s SO bad, you just have to see the humor in it….
“Don`t make a religion of reason and logic. Because in the passage of time reason may fail you and when it does, you may find yourself taking refuge in madness.”
YOU GOTTA DIG
IF YOU WANNA
FIND THE GOLD
“Lost in the solitude of his immense power,
he began to lose direction.”
100 Years of Solitude
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born,
and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”
“And the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls…”
The Sound of Silence
“The world is full of boring, identical and mindless people.”
Regarding U.S. Government and Military Policy in the Middle East…
“Actually, I have another thing I was gonna mention, just a thought I wanna throw out there. If we`d known in 2001 we were staying in Afghanistan this long, we`d have made some very different choices, right? Instead, our planning cycles rarely looked more than 12 months ahead. So, it hasn`t been a 14-year war we`ve been waging; it`s been a 1-year war, waged 14 times. I think we`re walking away with the job half done.”
This has been another one of those genius quotes slipped to you through the mainstream media under the guise of “fiction” or “drama”, when really, it is just ON POINT. It reflects our deepest subconscious, the things we know but do not always acknowledge or put into the proper words. You see, we arepaying attention, some of us, anyway; the problem is we just shove all our problems and complaints under the rug until it is possibly too late….
THE SADDEST THING OF ALL IS THAT NO MATTER WHAT WE SAY OR WHAT WE DO,
I`M AFRAID THAT THERE WILL NEVER BE AN END TO USELESS WARS.
THE HUMAN RACE WILL CONTINUE TO KILL EACH OTHER FOR STUPID REASONS UNTIL WE HAVE DESTROYED OURSELVES IN EVERY CONCEIVABLE WAY; MORALLY, MENTALLY, PHYSICALLY, AND WHATEVER OTHER DESCRIPTIVE ADJECTIVES YOU CAN THINK OF. I`D LIKE TO BE MORE POSITIVE. I`D LIKE TO TELL YOU A PRETTY STORY OR MAYBE THAT EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT, BUT THAT WOULD BE A FLAT-OUT LIE. GOOD LUCK TO US, ONE AND ALL…..
“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”
“…and then, I have nature and art and poetry,
and if that is not enough, what is enough?”
Vincent van Gogh
“We have sealed ourselves away behind our money, growing inward, generating a
seamless universe of self.”
“Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts… A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding…”
“In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.”
“An artist is somebody who produces things that people don`t need to have.”
“I`m afraid that if you look at a thing long enough, it loses all of its meaning.”
“They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
“Art is what you can get away with.”
“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness
because it shows me the stars.”
“I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.”
Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation.
everything irritates me
for some reason……..
“The creation of something new is not accomplished
by intellect but by the play of instinct…”
“NOT EVERYONE`S AN ARTIST, BUT
EVERYONE`S A FUCKING CRITIC….”
THE BITTER FRUITS OF MY LABOR STING YOUR EYES,
BUT SOMEHOW, THEY STILL TASTE GOOD…
“YOU CAN`T KEEP SNAKES IN YOUR BACKYARD,
AND EXPECT THEM ONLY TO BITE YOUR NEIGHBORS…”
“Adventure travel seems to imply a far-off destination, but a nearby destination can be scarier, for no place is more frightening than one near home that people you trust have warned you against.”
“For me the best sort of travel always involves a degree of trespass. The risk is both a challenge and an invitation.”
Remember the weirdest medical check EVER; a portable truck and roving medical clinic at a dirty fish market (it was mandatory for my company insurance purposes, or I NEVER would have gone, BELIEVE IT!) We were ushered into a filthy office with peeling paint on the walls and the whole place stunk of dead fish. Old men were standing in front smoking cigarettes. I was irritated; “Is this place safe? Are the needles gonna be clean? Are they gonna steal our fucking kidneys?!?”
It was pure comedy, but really impossible to describe the absurdity of it. My memory will have to suffice, and if, one night in the future, you and I are talking over cocktails or some such situation, I will relate this hysterically funny story to you live. Until then, cheers my friend….
11/15/14, Saturday night…..
Always remember the night Brian and I stormed around the Chiba city of Funabashi after a brutally long work week, drinking all we could get our hands on and talking to every single person that looked even remotely interesting. His Japanese is excellent, WAY better than mine, so this kind of communication was made more possible. I speak just enough to get by in a minimal way, but together, we tore it up. He then proceeded to take over the microphone of a band of musical street performers by the train station. For at least an hour, we stood there, yelling at people and laughing our asses off. The Japanese were also laughing and it WASN`T nervous laughter. It was humorous and confused shock at our ridiculous audacity. The drummer got a beat going and Brian was rapping and speaking profane gibberish to all the passersby, in Japanese AND English.
Funny shit, I tell ya, another thing that is just about impossible to really convey to you here. You just had to be there……..it was fucking spectacular…..
For those of you that don`t know, I teach the English language to elementary school kids aged 6 to 12 here in Tokyo, Japan. Sometimes, my job feels really thankless. Nobody knows what the fuck I`m talking about. I think a lot of kids don`t even want to learn English. Their parents are just dumping them off to get rid of them for a few hours and their interest in the language is absolute zero. However, a couple things happened this week that may have validated the job that I`ve fallen into and perhaps even reinvigorated my enthusiasm, to some degree, anyway.
I am a fucking character as far as teachers go. Some of them are such a goddamned bore, as I`m sure many of you already know from personal experience. Well, not me! I come up with the damnedest things! I`ve been teaching these kids American movie lines. There is NOTHING more CLASSIC than a room full of little Japanese kids saying, “I live my life a quarter mile at a time.” (Fast and Furious) Or maybe, “Show me the money!!” (Jerry Maguire) It is fucking hysterical and their parents even get a kick out of it. This last weekend, this one little girl, who shall remain nameless, was downstairs (we`re on the second floor of a 10-story building), and at the end of the day, after class and all the moms were milling around, she turned around and waved to me and yelled, “Bye, Tom-teacher…..SHOW ME THE MONEY!!” It was absolutely awesome! You really have no idea, you had to be there. Priceless, people. On the same day, the daughter of one of my coworkers, (the girl speaks passable English), asked me why, despite the fact that I`m 45 years old, I look so young. (She actually thought I was 28! Totally flattering, but anyone who knows me, would say, “HA!”) In any case, her mom told her my real age and she was shocked. After she asked me about my youthful appearance, of course I thanked her and told her that the key is to try to enjoy life the best that you can despite all the obstacles and never to stop being yourself. I told her that I was always (90%) having a good time, and that was the reason. Well, it turned out that she TOTALLY remembered what I said and told her mom about it and asked if it was true. Mom told her that it seemed to work for me so she thought it was. I was totally touched when her mom revealed this to me. It made me feel like I actually COULD make an impression on these kids and give some small amount of hope to the seemingly hopeless future of this ridiculous world. It pretty much made my day. I think I may even start taking my teaching just a little bit more seriously, but I`ll never stop being my crazy self, because in my opinion, THAT is what captures the attention of those little people. SHOW ME THE MONEY!!
“WAS IT A VISION OR
A WAKING DREAM…?
My heart aches , and
a drowsy numbness pains-
`Tis not through envy
of thy happy lot,
But being too happy
in thine happiness,-
That thou, light-winged
Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
of beechen green,
and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer
in full-throated ease…”
Ode To A Nightingale
Goes with my photo, D R Y A D, on Instagram…
Like the man said,
“Eat dessert first,
life is uncertain.”
“I cannot teach anybody anything.
I can only make them think.”
“The sadness of the world has different ways of getting to people, but it seems to succeed almost every time.”
“Not much music left inside us for life to dance to. Our youth has gone to the ends of the earth to die in the silence of the truth. And where, I ask you, can a man escape to, when he hasn’t enough madness left inside him? The truth is an endless death agony. The truth is death. You have to choose: death or lies. I’ve never been able to kill myself.”
“There’s no tyrant like a brain. ”
“The plain truth, I may as well admit it, is that I’ve never been really right in the head.”
“You can lose your way groping among the shadows of the past. It’s frightening how many people and things there are in a man’s past that have stopped moving. The living people we’ve lost in the crypts of time sleep so soundly side by side with the dead that the same darkness envelops them all.
As we grow older, we no longer know whom to awaken, the living or the dead.”
“A man should be resigned to knowing himself a little better each day if he hasn’t got the guts to put an end to his sniveling once and for all.”
“In the whole of your absurd past you discover so much that’s absurd, so much deceit and credulity, that it might be a good idea to stop being young this minute, to wait for youth to break away from you and pass you by, to watch it going away, receding in the distance, to see all its vanity, run your hand through the empty space it has left behind, take a last look at it, and then start moving, make sure your youth has really gone, and then calmly, all by yourself, cross to the other side of Time to see what people and things really look like.”
All of the above beautiful words brought to you by –
N E X T ! ! !
“Some people never go crazy.
What truly horrible lives
they must lead.”
“I try to live in an ivory tower,
but a tide of shit is constantly
beating on the walls.”
“TIME IS THE FIRE
IN WHICH WE BURN”
“Dark of the invisible moon.
The nights now
only slightly less black.
By day, the banished sun
circles the earth like a
grieving mother with a lamp.”
“…we are ready to enter
The Third Testament.
Our time has come.
Now we move onward.
Fiction & reality have married.
What we have MADE
now exceeds what we ARE.
Now is the time to erase
the souls we damaged
as we crawled down
the twentieth century`s
plastic radiant way.”
“If you can`t get rid of the skeleton in your closet,
you`d best teach it to dance.”
George Bernard Shaw
“Exude the moment.
You are a
The dream cascades
little crisps of meaning.
The colors whirl
Goes with my photo D R Y A D 2 (Ascension) on Instagram
“The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.”
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Arthur C. Clarke
“Do you know what an `artist` is nowadays?
An artist is a conversation piece, nothing more.
Like a vase or a kitschy side table…
just something for people to commenton.
The old ways are dying. We`re not making
money off records, we`re making money
(The most accurate statement in the
entire history of animation…)
HE DIED AMONGST PEOPLE
WHO DIDN`T UNDERSTAND HIM,
BUT THAT COULD HAVE
My Japanese Epitaph
Finished this Street Journal on
December 6th, 2014