status deplored

Y’all, i’m pretty deep into the instagram and not very into my website atm. But i just finished a five-page watercolored story about nature that, if i could get photoshop on my new laptop, i would have posted up here today. But i don’t and so i didn’t, and instead i’ll go to work and then come home and then email some things and eat some dinner and possibly in the next couple of days i will start posting pages. It’s real scary because i’m starting to wonder if the website — the actual, real, pay-for-hosting website format — is obsolete! Is this true? Doesn’t it seem a bit too isolated in here? A little tryhard? A little too $8-a-month-plus-domain-fees? Now that i’ve found out how much easier (and free-er) (and more popular) it is to update instagram with pictures of drawings i’m working on or mushrooms i’m fondling in the woods, all i want to use this website for is rambling concerns about my internal life, polls about where i should move, and asking people if they have a cheap car they want to sell me. Boring! It seems like so much effort for so little return, now that i’m not filling this up with self-pitying diary comics. Well, maybe it will be more useful once my new book comes out in May. Also, Alec Longstreth is helping me put together a POD book of the aforementioned self-pitying diary comics, and that should be out by Fall, so i will mention that here as well.

Other than that though, follow me on instagram (gabbyschulz). It’s so happy there. Just pictures of dogs, flowers, and good art. Good vibes & likes, without the petty drama and intolerable Zizek-fan crypto-Stalinists of twitter. Maybe i’m just getting old but all i want to do with the internet anymore is show people doodles and mushrooms. We all know the world is a giant methane bomb that humans don’t deserve to exist on. We don’t need any more proof, or any more tiresome parsing of our pathetic Solutions. Just scroll into the collapse, try not to breed, and close the door as softly as possible behind you.

Spengler’s open-casket service

What is practised as art today — be it music after Wagner or painting after Manet, Cezanne, Leibl and Menzel — is impotence and falsehood. One thing is quite certain, that today every single art-school could be shut down without art being affected in the slightest. We can learn all we wish to know about the art-clamour from the Alexandria of the year 200. There, as here in our world-cities, we find a pursuit of illusions of artistic progress, of personal peculiarity, of “the new style,” of “unsuspected possibilities,” theoretical babble, pretentious fashionable artists, weight-lifters with cardboard dumb-bells — the “Literary Man” in the Poet’s place, the unabashed farce of Expressionism, which the art-trade has organized as a “phase of art-history,” thinking and feeling and forming as industrial art. Alexandria, too, had problem-dramatists and box-office artists whom it preferred to Sophocles, and painters who invented new tendencies and successfully bluffed their public. The final result is that endless industrious repetition of a stock of fixed forms which we see today in Indian, Chinese and Arabian-Persian art. Pictures and fabrics, verses and vessels, furniture, dramas and musical compositions — all is pattern-work. We cease to be able to date anything within centuries, let alone decades, by the language of its ornamentation. So it has been in the Last Act of all Cultures.

–Oswald Spengler, from The Decline of the West (about 1932)

Who doesn’t love a good shit-talk (especially about expressionism)?

PS: we’ve been over on instagram, and it’s probably the worst thing that ever happened to this website. @gabbyschulz.

in search of the D (edited)

Not that i needed any more evidence that this cold, dirty, violent and bitter northern sports-city might be killing me, but this week a doctor diagnosed me with a severe vitamin-D deficiency, which could be the root of why my body & mind are falling apart. Hopefully that means my mood & health will improve after i take some special blue pills for a month, and then taper down to supplements, thus saving myself from literal rickets — not to mention the lifetime of persistent suicidal ideations that makes me such a hit at parties.

I don’t get super woo about cosmic signs and confluences, but it is tempting to see this diagnosis as a subtle hint to move back home to Hawai’i. The truth is, i have been acutely homesick for years now. Maybe it’s time to give up on my lifelong ambition to be accepted by the Real World of The Mainland. Maybe now’s a good time to cash my chips & let it all go — while there’s still some life left in the acidifying & cesiumed-up ocean; before climate collapse grinds the tradewinds to a halt; before Honolulu finally becomes completely indistinguishable from SoCal. If there’s one thing Hawai’i has always excelled at indulging, it’s nostalgia. I could just ease back into another shit restaurant job in Waikiki, help my aging father with some household chores, keep drawing my little comics in cafes and posting them on my little website, for a couple people thousands of miles away — just like back in the ’90s (sans the website). I’ll go hiking a lot, take a poke at a graduate degree at the alma mater. Find a mushroom club, pick up a couple pet-portrait commissions. Watch some inter-office softball games; eat a lot more poke & shave ice & kal bi; go to a karaoke bar every now & then with friends who knew me since before i was a fully developed human being. Maybe even bolt a surfboard rack to my bicycle and finally become one of the old hermit surfer men i used to worry i would be if i never got off the island. I could just fade into a mist of anonymity, drugged up on tropical heat, tropical underemployment, and tropical irrelevance. In a word: retire.

Last night i dipped into Oahu’s craigslist rent & job listings, which forced me to visualize the logistics of really, actually moving back to my hometown. It stirred in me a potent and unresolved mix of longing and claustrophobic dread, much like one feels when imagining death’s release. For the first time in years i really remembered all the reasons i’d left: the restlessness of being stuck on a tiny, sedate island where shoes are formal wear; the constant dismal struggle to make the giant rents; the often (but definitely not always!) mediocre artistic scenes with largely unchanging casts; the perpetual one-direction “brain drain”; the endless parade of corny, boorish tourists reminding you that your life is less important than their holiday; the nagging fears that your creative & political projects are just unsolicited, self-indulgent and pretentious cultural affectations imported from overseas and forced on an environment that, honestly, is managing well enough without your help. Do i really want to move back to a place where people identify me more by which high school i attended than what comics i’ve drawn?

And furthermore, do my fears of returning to all that prove that i’ve spent the last 20 years living a lie, hiding my true nature form myself (and others) by putting an ocean between me and the inescapable facts of who i can’t stop being, and who i can never become?

How do you go back to just being a haole again, after you’ve spent so much time as a white guy? Who knows if i could even afford to; this economy sure doesn’t give beggars a whole lot of choices, but i gotta get out of this city somehow. It would really piss me off to die in Chicago.

Sorry that this is a lot of needless processing at your expense… but the content must flow. Thanks to all the people who responded to my requests for advice on my last couple posts. Now i’m going to go to bed to dream about surfing.