Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dear Uncle Ben ///// Agony Uncle Extrodinaire /// Troubles Just Vanish

Dear Uncle Ben,

I just broke up with my girlfriend now I want to quit my job and tour the world should I do it?
heart Jeff

Dear Confused of Oregon.

Jeff: I've toured the world an amazing TEN TIMES, and believe me, the chicks was fantastic.

No but seriously!
Personally, I've never been happier since I got my job/s at the Garden Centre and the Bookshop. The 30 minute bike ride to Tottenham is great for strengthening my bad back as it's mostly up hill through dangerous traffic. They drive a lot faster here in London than they do out there in Portland, Jeff!


So, tell your job that you have an exciting opportunity to assist your old college professor Doctor Tobias Strut of Oxbrige University England as he embarks on THE MOST RADICAL new edition of James Joyce's Ulysses.
Hey presto, you're free!

I'm sorry to hear about your girlfriend.
We had a dumped friend on our couch for a week because she couldn't handle being dumped.
But I am strongly against bullshit relationships and like a parachutist, the first person who recognizes the appearance of the bullshit must jump before the whole plane crasheds into the MOUNTAIN of bullshit. I refer you to the divorce case of Flymo versus Qualcast, adjudicated by Judge David Scotsman thus: "IT'S A LOT LESS BOVVER THAN A HOVER!"

It's a lot less bother with a hover, Jeff!


Tony Pearson, Management.

Dear Uncle Ben,
I have recently begun losing all faith in humanity. It feels like art is dead - The lowest common denominator is plunging through the floor, all entertainment is watered-down, rehashed crap, all of our standards have been lowered so far that we think mediocrity is the new gold standard. Adolescent rebellion has become safer and more irrelevant than ever. The people who succeed in the entertainment industry are the ones who are most willing to compromise to a national standard that is plummeting lower and lower, even as I type this.

Its harder and harder to find decent artists or musicians, as it is generally the realm of people with lots of time and disposable income. Unless you have corporate backing and widespread promotion, your amazing work of art/song/writing/etc will go totally unnoticed. So naturally, the only people who have the time, money, and naiveté to devote all of their time to art are people who are cloistered away in suburbs (generally in southern California) and have no real experience with life. Perhaps I'm just getting old and cranky, but when did mediocrity become so "cool"? Are there ANY kids these days who are aware of how bland and lame their attempts at rebellion are?

Business is no longer an option; if you didn't win out in the globalization lottery, you aren't going to succeed in America these days. College doesn't really matter, with no money left in any line of work, even skilled ones. You just have to stand in line, and hope that you can acquire a stable job working for the same people who have ruined the world. All the ruthlessness in the world won't help you in business these days.

My question is this: Is there any hope for humanity? It seems "progress" has brought us to a sickening state of exploitative functionality; only the ignorant survive, to serve and sustain the system. Has society forced us to evolve into ant-like versions of our former cognizant selves? Domesticating us, as the human race once did to the livestock we cultivate?


Chris M

Dear Chris.

Humanity are like Ants. They farm animals.
Do you hate ants?

I recently listened again to my old Bob and Doug Mackenzie album; they're from the Great White North, like you, and they have a lot of wisdom on this topic. In his lecture to School on day one of the new term, principal Doug's message was clear : DON'T KILL BUGS. What has a bug ever done to you? Now, if we all went around killing each other, where would we be? Because if you kill bugs, it's like you wouldn't kill a person, and someday someone's gonna come along and think of YOU as a bug, and, huh, then you're gone, so, like, DON'T KILL BUGS.

Now it's recess. Everyone get oat of the classroom and go for a smoke.

Hey wow I just read the rest of your letter all the way to the bottom and YOU are talking about ants TOO : Weird !
See, humanity ain't so bad, you and I are connected, aren't we?

I was lucky my whole creative life, I didn't have to make money off it. I got a grant. I was paid by 2 ghosts to research the nightmare of wakefulness, that's the truth, but i don't want to get any honester than that or I might have to go to jail.
Now that I have to work for money and haven't much time to make "Art" i feel a lot happier. But no one is going to pay for art to be made. Artists have to make it and die.

Try looking at art as the symptom of humanity's mental illness, and also the balm for that illness.
For instance, I was really depressed and wanted to kill myself, but by a miracle of will i managed to crawl into the studio and record an absolute masterpiece which made me feel like Hercules or I should imagine how Hitler felt when he killed all those jews. Amazing! Wow what a feeling. Morally, I don't think he was right to kill those jews, but we're not talking about morals, we're talking about FEELING GOOD.
So humanity as a big colony doesn't really SEE art, and doesn't therefore CARE A FUCK about it, or you, or any other artists. You must ignore all that bullshit, it is only bringing you down. I'm reminded of the argument between Flymo and Qualcast. IT'S A LOT LESS BOTHER THAN A HOVER! The former was an artist and the latter was his patron. Flymo made really crap art for Qualcast and lived in comfort. Qualcast began to hate Flymo's boring, comfortable art, so he cut him off. Flymo cried for ages and got a really shit studio way the fuck outside Williamsburg (this all happened in the 90s) and between getting stabbed and having no heating, made some AWESOME new canvases. Qualcast knew this was going to happen and had arranged for a 3rd party, Scotch Dave, to go round and steal the new 'poverty' works. They were shown and sold for thousands, then a million, in one case (it was a pure abstraction in black, yellow and red oils, 6' x 4', called CASE STUDIES IN DECISION ANALYSIS: SHOULD I CUT MY HAIR OR WASH IT).

Now, my question to you: should Qualcast give the money to Flymo, or split it with Dave and go to that bar in Brooklyn where you can openly ingest Coke?


Manual labour through the day, art at night, ignore those bad artists you don't like, try not to drink too much. ALCOHOL CAUSES DEPRESSION.

I think i've given you quite a lot to go on there,
Uncle Ben's Rice.


Got troubles of a sexual nature? As Uncle Ben / The Rebel ::

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