Devastating

August 19th, 2014 by harold

Exhausting.

Fascinating to witness how the news deployed:

- A young black man killed. Black people lose their shit, white people stay mostly silent.

- Militarized police takes action, fucks the press over. Black people lose their shit, white people too.

Just this shows how race and lack of empathy are connected –not my race? I don’t feel anything- and it is so blatant and widespread it’s hard to watch in real time at a large scale.

I keep thinking of those white mass shooters, incarcerated and not killed on sight. I think of Christopher Dorner black ex LAPD cop who went on a rampage on police officers over “abuse allegations” (like it’s not plausible with any PD in the US). Burned down in a mountain cabin like it totally makes sense. Black life has no value on this planet.

I keep thinking of Mike Brown’s mom words: “do you know how hard it was to get him off the streets?” And she did, for nothing. Her son was executed. The situation could be so much worse down there. There is such a monstrous brewing anger in all of us black people watching this shit unfold for decades, dozens of Mike Brown after dozens of Mike Brown. You have no idea.

My white family that I love is completely out of my black experience, so hard. They don’t want to know, I told my sister she’s not even moved or feel for me. They’re fine sticking their heads in the sand, in their bubble being like “oh that’s why you’re sad?”. Jesus fuck, man.

I moved to CA. I just got my temporary driver’s license. I’m so scared to get arrested. What if I had just a little too much fun and the night ends up like the worst nightmare or even the End? I’m a target. At the same time I know it will probably not happen because I’m wary as fuck, I’ll use Uber as much as I can and unlike this poor guy I knew. But hell, that constant vigilance shit is exhausting.

I’m in Atwater Village for 3 weeks which Wikipedia tells me is 1.4% black. I live now in a 93% Latino and black neighborhood so the change is felt, people don’t look at me the same way here, courtesy is pretty dry. Always disappointing to experience first hand. The first days walking the dog, wearing my hoodie, I wasn’t feeling great. It’s beautiful around though.

I’m so tired of this constant anxiety. Nothing makes sense, nothing matters when you are in the position of potentially getting killed by the police knowing they’ll get away with it. Nothing matters.

Robin Williams

August 15th, 2014 by harold

When waiting a bit before commenting is really useful.

Robin Williams had Parkinson’s.

Now I totally get why an overworked and alcoholic actor who had an amazing life would end his life at 63. I don’t feel like he chickened out he just had enough of our bullshit, knew it would just be awful for the rest of his days. His body, his thoughts, his rights. The environment made him do it, not him. Would he have been able to change his surrounding and be unknown again without a terrible disease creeping up, I’m sure he’d be riding his bike up to 100.

So many people go “check your mental health!” but never question the very environment that makes us think of doing something brutal and definitive. The amount of horseshit in this world coupled with an incurable, painful, slow disease are very strong and valid arguments to end this all on your terms.

Having taken care of my grandpa slowly dying for 10 years of Parkinson’s I even think Robin was brave. Thinking ahead, generous.

Ferguson lonely island

August 12th, 2014 by harold

It is heavy, man. I was at the restaurant with my only black friend who wanted prime ribs when I break the Missouri news to him via Twitter. The restaurant is super dark and calm. Before that we were chatting outside in the sun and he was telling me how happy he was to have a black friend with whom he can talk about tech and economy and business models because all of his black friends don’t give a damn about all that.

Dissonance. Trying to keep it positive though. I know, a black student dies, riots, white people crying Gaza kids and a famous actor like they’re part of their own family while being completely silent over stuff happening to US citizens, the usual.

Staying focused. Trying to. Sometimes it’s just so damn hard.

On Monument Valley

August 11th, 2014 by harold

To me, the very first thing that made me smile playing Monument Valley was that I touched something and it played some sound effect/music. It’s a very raw connection. It’s not to annoy parents that we have toys with sound effects, it’s just that they create that smile, they validate the feedback loop: I touch/pull/scratch this, I get audio feedback. It’s a very real life mechanism, it makes things alive. It is not weird science or an obsession from my part, it is key in the process of enjoying a tactile experience.

It is sad that even the developers don’t really see this as part of their game’s experience. I wouldn’t say as a first point “beautiful, intuitive visuals” but more like “playful, intriguing audiovisuals”.

New crib

August 8th, 2014 by harold

I’m living in Atwater for a little while. I have slept in 7 different locations in 3 months, it could be 700 and it wouldn’t feel weird.

I’m in a cute condo with a lawn an old dog, a fish and a Roomba. Tons of visual art in every room. Yeah, I’m starting a new trend of using visual art to describe  what is commonly called art. So that I can tell people “I’m not making music, I’m composing art thank you”.

Things are a little crazy, change of routine. The other day my Uber driver had a Tesla Model S (my verdict: a bit space-douchey) which is weird because you’re not supposed to drive anyone around with a car that expensive. Dude might have been fired, I just understood that he had just got divorced. Awkward silence after that but I had arrived at my destination.

Speaking of driving I’m going to the DMV next week. So frustrating to pass tests when you’ve been driving for almost 20 years with no accident ever, in most weather, with an incredible density of assholes (Paris, périph!) and that you’re back to the basics. I should be OK I guess. Then I might start driving a Prius and drop people all around the county because that’s what people do now.

I keep seeing the “omg kids dying!” headlines and I’m always surprised. Why the fuck do you think we humans are mostly against war? It’s because civilians die with them, weaker people die first with them, women get raped with them and people get tortured with them. War is that big nasty package and if you’re stupid enough to believe that we can have “respectful” wars, with soldiers –aren’t they too young to die too?- following “rules” and UN laws, I want the name of the drug you are using. You shouldn’t use that shit anymore.

Fifteen again

August 5th, 2014 by harold

“Don’t you know that a hard dick and an empty wallet don’t match?” is something I’m telling myself these days, it makes me chuckle and then I feel better.

Ballin'

It’s been a week that I’ve been working on my jump shot a hour a day. I mean a week going to a playground and work those dead shoulders of mine, locked in front of a computer or locked by playing bass.

It appears that throwing your hands in the air like you care to put that ball in is good for you.

I feel fifteen again, only with mad experience. Everything is open, adventure time. I’m 35 and grabbing that rim, still (I’m 1,74/5’9 shut up), I still can swish from downtown on a jumper. Fear of injury is making us weak like motherfuckers but our bodies are not dead at all once we pass the triple decade, who knew?? Everyone? All right smarty pants.

Around

July 27th, 2014 by harold

Paul R Williams Residence

This is the Paul R Residence in Lafayette Square. Some soft, chill music was coming out from the balcony, I still wish I had been up there enjoying it with a drink. The square is immaculate and sort of gated so no traffic going through. Beautiful, old trees all around.

I did the West Adams Heights Sugar Hill too. It’s quite fantastic, though you can tell how the I-10 cutting through that beautiful neighborhood tarnished the area forever. Man, houses there are not like this one above there’s nothing modern it’s all Victorian, MASSIVE houses. I mean so impressive I couldn’t even think about taking pictures, I was just blown away. So many different structures and pretty amazing and brilliant woodwork (damn those windows frames!). I need to go back.

The thing is those houses are just not made for a Mediterranean weather, at all. So, many are dying burned by the sun and not being taken care of, thanks cheap landlords (to their defense, that’s huge work). They must be hot as hell. Kind of sad because they are pretty unique.

Mixology in Leimert Park

Spotted this car in Leimert Park. Leimert Park is so charming and walkable. The way the Leimert Boulevard is set up makes me think of a black Versailles. The little downtown makes me think of little cities in the south of France, peaceful. I’m excited to be 15 minutes away from it.

Windsor Hills residence

View Park/Windsor Hills, son. Most houses are in the Spanish colonial style, which I kind of don’t like so much except when the landscaping is done right and the house layout isn’t too douche-y. Quite rare. Otherwise it’s pretty much like the Baldwin Hills with smaller houses in general, except for a couple like this one. It is insanely calm up there like you are in the middle of the Alps.

Next neighborhood will be Ladera Heights. Apparently a lot of mid-century modern shit that I love there, exciting!

Sinuous Pause

July 25th, 2014 by harold

A little track from last month. And oh, another one.

Sunset is from the roof. It is not the best but I don’t usually go up there with my phone.

10 years blogging son

July 20th, 2014 by harold

When I started I was all giddy about the idea of blogging for ten years, there, it’s done.


Me, last year. I probably haven’t changed much.

Five years in French, five years in English. It’s weird because in my head it feels like I barely started to write in English and that most of my blog is in Royal Language but it’s not. It also feels weird that as much time passed since ‘09 than it did between ‘04 and ‘09. The past five years feel like two.

Est ce que je pourrais encore écrire en français ? Je pense pas. Des fois ça me manque d’écrire des trucs genre “ça fait mal au cul quand même MERDE” but it’s pretty much what I write in English, so. I really feel good knowing that just by switching language I can now reach way, way more people. Communication is about this and I’m a global child.

In 2004 Facebook had launched and only a couple of Americans in a campus knew about it. Jacques Chirac was still France’s president. Ray Charles, Marlon Brando, Jerry Goldsmith, Sacha Distel, Rick James and more joined the underground. Meanwhile, I’m setting up this blog on my own, using at that time .Text, a brand new CMS in .Net. It’s confusing (ten years later, setting up a domain name with a website on your own is still hilariously tedious and fucked up) I’m geeking out and finally I can blog on July 16th 2004. I was already blogging in 03 for a friend but now it’s my thing.

1,410 posts. 9,845 comments. Akismet has protected your site from 183,271 spam comments already. There are 8,741 comments in your spam queue right now. Averaging 4,000-5,000 visitors a month and 80K page views, whatever.

In ‘04 comments were so important in the blogging paradigm. Now no one cares about comments, after ten years we all know how it goes, either people suck on your shaft or they want to cut it. Mildly interesting and emotionally tiring.

People don’t read anymore, I don’t know how much they were ten years ago. Now it looks like it’s 30 minutes a day for 5 hours of TV? I pretty much do the exact opposite and that’s probably why I’m lonely too sometimes.

Anonymous? At that time, anonymous really meant troll and no substance. Today, anonymous can be substantial and great –see people on Reddit and 4Chan- but it still means troll. To me anonymous is in the long run toxic, it modifies your persona and you basically become a dick. When your real name is attached to thousands and thousands of words, you pay attention quite a bit. But it also has so much more weight or I like to think so because when I read something very interesting and that I can put a face, a name, a place on it, it makes it way more real and true. It stays in my mind.

#BUTTS. So there’s a picture of my ass somewhere in the archive and it’s still in the top 3 of what people are searching for on my blog with my articles on a MIDI game audio engine. It’s fun. Sex and sound, those things are neat.

I always liked the idea of leaving a trace of my life here, for future bored historians. I mean now it’s just ten but I see myself blogging until the end, so when I’ll hit thirty or forty years worth of blog posts, that will be quite interesting to read I think. Like, they always try to decipher what happened in the past with me it will be like, “BAM here you go, forty years of personal notes on what was going on with my life here, sounds, pictures and shit you’re welcome”. You will just need to be able to read, which might be a “skill” in the near future.

Perspective? I am still the same wishing I was skateboarding more but with like, so much more knowledge. I wish I knew how many pages and articles I have read to blog about, it’s probably ten or twenty times the amount of posts I have created. Maybe I feel a slight fatigue though. Computer games, they’re awesome but there’s so much frustration too. I totally get Jon Blow’s bit, “you’re 35 and you somewhat don’t really want to introduce yourself as making games”,  I didn’t feel that way a few years ago and it makes me frown.

There are books about adoption for parents who want to, but there’s no book for 30+ years old adopted people and I could write one, the title would be “Got Confused?”. The simple fact that ethnic wars happen and seem validated by people choosing sides sort of denies my entire life, like it couldn’t happen. The Exception Dilemma. But it happened and it is happening even though having lived exclusively with white people for 35 years as my scope widened has been weighing on me. Because of the bullshit. Because of the “I love other cultures, especially mine” fuckery that everyone is applying. I’m really out of that loop (whatever culture has something good, I’ll take it) and I love it but it isolates the shit out of me. The more humanist you are, the more satellite you become and gravitate in an empty space.

Sometimes I see a white person alone in the middle with tons of black people around and you can read the despair on their faces while they try so hard to maintain a straight face, it’s too much. I’m on another level of relationship, a tourist level where I’m too curious to judge and too genuine to be scared. If I enter a Mexican shop with Mexicans around, they can tell with my pants up, being polite and smiling that I am just like them even though I’m not. To respect other humans is some basic stuff. Or I’m at the café surrounded by every ethnic background possible, everyone is smiling and I’m reading that Arabs and Jews can’t live together since 1947. Uh yes, they could.

It’s funny and fucking twisted how shit works in this world.

Without blogging I wouldn’t be in L.A. today. I met my first California friends online by reading a blog, I didn’t want to wait for French websites to translate articles and news I wanted to read so I was going ahead and reading them, “connecting” with the West coast without really realizing it. When Digg was Reddit, man. I spent so many evenings back in France reading hilarious stuff and learning about English/US/Aussie culture. I’ll never quite understand your thirst for greed in your mind or sugar in your plate but you guys are some funny motherfuckers. Then I visited CA, fell in love with someone and I was like why not make the big jump? I like it here. Well that was a bit presumptuous to think it would go without trouble but here I am, settling down.

Thank you for reading that stuff from time to time, I hope you learn some things here and there and I’m sorry when I’m cloudy and can’t really express things correctly aka therapy time.

Onward on the next decade. Plan: sustain some income using my skills, buy some land, build a passive house. I might need the next two decades though. May your life be awesome, awesome reader.

Sports and games (world cup and EVO)

July 15th, 2014 by harold


For da love of da game

High skill level is great to watch, whatever it is. It’s showing us what can be done, it kind of expands our knowledge of an activity by adding those incredible moments in our heads.

It’s always funny to hear US people’s frustration about football because nothing happens for 120 minutes. The ones who like it, know how hard it is to control a ball with your feet on a field wider than US football ones for 30 minutes more.

You just need to try for 5 minutes to extrapolate at what level the world’s best players are playing at.

It’s what I’m going through with EVO. I don’t understand everything at all but I have played some fighting games and I can see how high level those matches are.

So it’s weird to see game designers think football is lame or football fans think video games tournament are ridiculous.

But also people get mad when two players or two teams are so close. That’s what is good and intense, people.

You don’t know who’s going to win. There’s friction. Competitors both analyze, try to read the other, trying to find a way through them, it’s the meta game that is so interesting not so much the outcome and which country/team or player wins. It’s the story inside their heads at the time they play that is so beautiful, from having the advantage to having doubt about it, from redemption to revenge, from “controlled randomness” to perfect ace, from despair to perfect execution. Invisible narrative, that’s classy as fuck.

I love to see how games are such a big thing, worldwide. Now I really wish there was more women because I want to see more meta game shit going on like an old woman playing with a pad and fucking the shit out of a dude using a big ass arcade stick. I want to see what a super tight mixed team can do too. Mind games.