Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Nazz Nomad and the Ecstasy of the Squares


Fans of Poetry is for Assholes should be following the tormented artistry of Nazz Nomad at Bleedin' Out.  In addition to being a family man, a native New Yorker and the bane of Brooklyn Hipsterdom, Nazz is also a salesman for a large concern. What the fuck were they thinking?

I've been following Nazz for at least a couple of years now. We've gone so far as to share our secrets in personal emails. I've come to like the guy so, when he told me he was coming to Reno I decided I would have to drive over the hill and check him out in person.

Nazz it seems, was visiting Reno for some sort of business related convention. He was going to try and have "fun" while he was in town. Here he is pictured having "fun".  You can read his impressions of fun in Reno at his blog. I had my own opinions.


I have never liked Reno, or Nevada or casinos. They give me horrible headaches. By they I mean all of the aforementioned three, Reno, Nevada and casinos.

As fate would have it, Nazz was in Reno on the high holy day of the lunatic right, the happiest day on the Teabagger's calendar, September 11th. This year September 11th didn't just fall on the 11th of September, it was also the tenth time in a row that it was September 11th. Tell it to the fuckin' Chileans you flag waving phonies.

I had to respond to Nazz' comments on his tour of Virginia Street. Here's what I had to say.

"Comrade, our differences are slight but I did reach a somewhat different conclusion based on my own experiences in Reno. 
My conclusion is that I am the worlds biggest fuckin' hippy. You know, I live in the heart of the hippy beast. You really can hear conversations here like, 
"How you been man?"

"Not so good man. I'm really missing Jerry, man." 

That's an actual conversation. 

Everyone here claims to be a Buddhist and everyone here meditates and they all own hacky sacks made from recycled organic hemp and they all go to Reggae on the River and catch hepatitis A and dysentery, just like the '60's. They all drive Volvo station wagons and I DRIVE A FUCKIN' VOLVO STATION WAGON. Let's call that clue number one. I live in a town where the McDonalds and the KFC went out of business because no one would be caught dead eating corporate food but they will sit in their Volvos for an hour in hopes of getting a parking spot at Whole Foods Market. Everyone here has opinions on farming and agribusiness. Everyone here also has opinions on wine. I didn't have an opinion on wine even when I drank but people really have opinions as to what would go well with a nice seitan, quinoa and arugula salad. 

Are you beginning to get a picture? Let's not consider the other, invisible everybodies who bus tables, drive old Buicks, pick grapes and live 7 families in 7 rooms. See that's why I mostly dislike the local hippies. They are completely oblivious to the presence of a massive underclass that exists only to serve their phony Buddhist asses. 

Ok, so in my heart I am a Moslem. In my heart I am an American artist but at heart, when I'm home here in racist hippy liberalville, I am no fuckin' hippy. 

That is until you transfer me to Reno, fuckin', Nevada. Jesus Christ, that place is some kind of heaven for the creepiest squares in existence. I am all in favor of excess but I mean the kind of excess represented by The Cramps or the kind of excess that leads to William Blake's palace of wisdom but Reno's excess is an extra jumbo large deluxe economy size can of spray cheeze food. It is an excess of bosco chocolaty flavored syrup mixed with vodka from a plastic bottle and served as a cocktail for people so hopelessly dull they imagine that they are jaded. 

People work hard and save their money so they can come to Reno and enjoy hideous, square fun which essentially involves squandering their pathetically diminished wages on shit that no one in their right mind would want if it was free.

Fuckin' squares. I can't fuckin' stand them. Alright, that's a bit of an overstatement but I don't much like them and I don't share their enthusiasms.

Which leads me to my conclusion, the synthesis of ideas originally introduced in my opening thesis. I will freely admit that, by local standards, I am not any sort of hippy. However, by the standards of much of my native land, America, the beautiful- And here I must point out that we were celebrating, communally, all of us gathered in Reno, the ascension to martyrdom of the only innocents every to die in an act of war. That highest of holy days. The date, that by it's mere invocation, acts as a license for the shittiest political behavior in the history of our short lived and soon doomed nation- by those standards which a certain class of fuckin' moron would call 'American', I am such a fukcin' hippy that people wretch at the excess of patchouli stink that wafts their way as I amble by missing Jerry.

So Nazz, Rico, dude, you were there at the 2cnd tier regional magazine publisher's convention and awards dinner but I've got one question for you: ARE YOU GONNA BE THERE AT THE LOVE IN? I know I am.

Now If you'll excuse me, I've gotta go tie dye everything I own. It really was fun driving over the mountains to meet you. Next time meet me in the fucking parking lot and I'll get you a little ways out of squaresville. You were, after all wallowing in marshmallows and polychlorinated biphenyls in the shadow of John Muir and Ansel Adams' "range of light". 
Art and beauty everywhere you look. 



A world of pleasure for the connoisseur 


As Johnny Paycheck once said,  "Splendor, Lord you've got it wall to wall.


Donner summit. I'd rather eat you than spend another minute in Reno



9 comments:

Madame Pamita said...

I love your blog!

And I love Vegas and Reno and Humboldt and Marin.

I can understand why people hate Reno. There is a lot to hate about Reno. But there's something inside of me that is fascinated by artifice, and unskilled artifice is like nectar to me... I cannot resist.

The thing that I tend *not* to like so much is consciously ironic (The "Hey, I'm a hipster guy with a a beard and look! I'm wearing a My Pretty Pony T-shirt - which I will not be wearing next week because it will have already become passe" kind of stuff) and Reno is, if anything, not that.

Reno does not have the Italianate painting of the cross-eyed boy on the hotel wall and think "Ha ha! Look, we put up bad art! Aren't we post-post-modern?" No, Reno puts up a crappy painting and thinks, "That's Art! That's classy!"

To me, Reno is like visiting an aunt who moved here from the old country. Her oil drip lamp and wax fruit are like diving into a whole other world.

And *that* is why I like Reno.

You live in hippyville and can't take the hippies, I live in hipsterville and have tired of those folks. Ain't it the way?

mwhybark said...

A work of great genius, uncle jon. I look to you for wisdom in these matters and here you have clearly delivered. I laughed and laughed until the dog was worried, clear evidence.

Nazz Nomad said...

I find the further I get from the coasts, the weirder things get (yeah, I know- sorta the opposite of what most people grok). However, I also find that I actually enjoy interacting with the people (and this even goes for people who are from the east or left coasts)-something about being away from the pretensions of NY/Cali makes everyone a bit more genuine. Even if they are completely alien to my though patterns.
It's probably just in my head.

There certainly is no pretension in places like Reno and Lost Wages. Everything is right out in the open- the city and casino's want your money, and are blatant about it. The rubes are there to party and lose. A few hundred miles north is the palace/temple built to a religion founded by a man who claims to have found a book from the lord. Reno has palaces/temples built by men who worship money and hedonism.

Choose your illusion.

The lack of subtlety is actually refreshing.

It's a celebration of everything that's selfish, greedy and decadent about the human condition. Pure ugliness, but that's what we hairless apes are.

It's unsettlin', because no one likes to look in the mirror and see the maggot eaten monster face under the skin. Once you realize that these kinds of places succeed because they truly are a reflection of US, you either can accept and "enjoy" it... or throw up in your mouth and move on. For a weekend, I can refrain from puking.

On the whole, I prefer it to Brooklyn- where Ralph Lauren bedecked by day hipster assholes ironicize their lives by nite by pretending to slum down and drink PBR's.

Jon said...

Let me reply in reverse,
Nazz, I don't look in the mirror and see the maggot eaten face no more. I stopped drinking and lying to myself and everyone around me. Life got better. You know, I spent a good many happy years in the fly over states. I'll grant you that the dissipated fun seekers of Reno represent a type of American but there is no way they are typical of America. Please, there's no reason to be patronizing towards people who happen to live in the middle of the continent. They are as capable of subtlety, phoniness, kindness, artistry and murder as anyone in New York or California. They just don't happen to live near major media centers.

Mike, I'll do what it takes to keep Rocket entertained.

Pamita, I can enjoy "tastelessness" about as much as anyone from an uptight family from the Northeast. It's the corporate cynicism behind Reno that puts me off. Please, all of those paintings were put there by cynical corporate hipsters who studied art and design at the finest schools. All I could think of was Chinese art students, toiling away in oil painting factories, turning out imitation pre raphaelite paintings while a corporate designer with an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design chortled over his success at giving the suckers what they want. My credentials are impeccable. I love hot rod, custom and low rider cars. I love old school big rigs, I love '70's tour buses with airbrushed murals and custom shift knobs with scorpions embedded in lucite. I love three chord songs played with more enthusiasm than technique. I love folk theology. I ain't no square.

And Pamita, we here at the Poetry Is For Assholes editorial offices love you too, and you Mike, and you Nazz.

@eloh said...

I went over there and joined up... like his writing.

Hurry up and listen to that new band I posted... I'm waiting on your opinion. I really like them.

Madame Pamita said...

The bigger question is.. are you going to be coming down to the mecca of taste-free existence (El Lay) this coming weekend?

Jon said...

Pamita! Of course I'm planning on coming to your city where the angels are constantly making their presence known. Details by electronic missive, as you yourself might say.

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