So I came across a journal entry from my cousin from almost 10 years ago. It had me loling so I had to share. The funny thing is I don’t even remember this encounter. But I guess growing up in NYC, after a while, your crackhead encounters tend to blur together:
Monday, March 17, 2003
So Ife and me had just finished watching LOTR:TT in the crapiest theatre in the world-Chelsea Cinema-, and we went to catch the “Q”. So while standing on the platform, this lady crack head kept pacing up and down, and when the train came she got on. She asked the whole car for money, and no one gave her any (cause they knew she was a crack head), so then she walked up to me as I was the only standing person on the train. She started to recite some sort of speech, maybe it was from a play, or something she made up, or was making up. It was really crazy. She talked about television characters, and civil rights movement people, and made up some story about how I came to a party, or someone’s house and she was there w/ like Malcolm X or something and I kept trying to sell drugs to kids. Also for some reason she kept asking me to take off my hood. All the while I was trying to move to the opposite side of the pole from where she was (and of course she’d follow me). I just kept looking at her hands, and making sure that if she reached for something I would be able to lift my leg up and kick/push her in the face w/ my foot, hopefully sending her to the opposite side of the car where I would disarm her, and try and get off the train. Thankfully the train stopped before she tried anything more crazy, and me and Ife got off the train. Then I saw her move to another car, and Ife and me got back on the train. If she had stabbed me, nobody, except possibly Ife would’ve even helped me on that car of death.
Thank You New York!
What is it that makes the past so much more interesting? What has the future brought us? We’re not smarter. Not kinder. Hell we don’t even dress better. Everyone that dresses well nowadays looks like someone that came before. I am of the belief that everything great already happened. But we’re just too egomaniacal to admit it and we think we’re “evolving”…no we’re not. Everything I say, someone’s already probably thought. The music I make, I steal. The styles I love, I steal. The stories I write, are just other’s experiences I’ve adapted. And everything on this planet is so universal. Everyone knows what a smile means. Or cocking your head questioningly to the side…but we’re all to good to be thieves. Right? You were the first. Right? Just a bunch of Columbuses “discovering” America…I think if we all just admitted we were thieves, it would free us up and in turn make us more creative. I’ve sat down with a blatant goal of writing a song like Bob Dylan. Or Sam Cooke. And you know what? It’s never worked. Cuz I’m not them. But what I’ve come up with is something neither of them have ever written. And that’s good enough. If you repeat someone’s words, it’s still going to be in your own voice. That’s why everyone sounds/looks/thinks alike nowadays. Because no one’s using their own voice. Everyone’s afraid to. So they’re all just a bunch of corpse impersonators. It’s just as entertaining as it sounds.
So lets all be thieves. I mean, we could read 5 books a day and listen to 100 records a week. Watch 300 films a year and travel the world looking at every painting/sculpture that’s ever been created. And we’d still die without an original thought in our head. But it’s all about mixing colors. If your favorite artist uses red exclusively and you decide to do the same, well your source is obvious and your execution not very imaginative. But if you have two favorite artists and one uses red while the other uses white, and you copy them both, your art will have hints of each but be in a completely different hue.
I’m too big a fan of art to look down upon stealing it. If you don’t consume, you can’t create. Every teacher was once a student…nothing wrong with it so long as you respect where you came from. And god that ol’ gray and crackle moves me every time.