A real fool that gets paid to talk to strangers in the street.

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

If...


If Jay-Z could be who his is,
we can do it
If Obama can,
so can we
If a NYC fireman that ran in, in 2001 can still point a hose,
Then we can survive
If Ellen can get crucified for her love in the 90’s and be praised now,
then I’ll praise you
 If Paul Giamatti can get laid,
so can I
If my hometown can push out Boomer Esiason,
I can be pushed out too
If Tom Hanks can make you cry,
then I can make you laugh
If I can dance,
you can watch me
If Donald Trup’s that rich and doesn’t get the same hair plugs that Jeremy Piven and Bon Jovi gets,
then he’s got will power

The moral of the story is this:

An if is just an if, that’s it.
Revolutions start with a thought.
Love starts with a kiss, a handshake, a moment.
Children are born every day,
Marriages end,
Games are won and lost...

Someone asked me what I do for a living today,
to which I replied:

“You know the two masks next to each other?
One is frowning, and one is smiling?
I’m the one that’s smiling.”

END SCENE



Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"We found our love in a hopeless place." -Rihanna


As dozens of young purposeful and purposeless people are drawn out of the occupation in the lower part of some of America's most culturally aware cities I sit before you a humbled man, modestly pensive and apprehensively optimistic, thankful.

Most, if not all of everybody is afforded the cellular ability to communicate and ask a voice belonging to someone that doesn't exist where they can buy their holiday gifts for friends and loved ones.  We can find friends and loved ones instantaneously, without effort and vice versa.  They can see what we're listing to, how we're feeling, where we're at, and if we are available for a brief conversation or a long romance.

You can't really get lost anymore, in a car, as a person.

One in five people meet their mate online.  One in two people divorce.  My divorced parents are having sex again because my dad's ex wife found her high school sweetheart on facebook and true love never dies.  Obama won because you accepted his friend request, and Drake sold 650,000 copies of his album Take Care.  He's Canadian.

 None of this will change the fact that Mr. Rodgers is dead.  The man who said things like, “If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person,” and “The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile.”   He said that shit, yup, I know.

The thing is yes, there is less interpersonal communication.  Catholics are now receiving their communion via an iphone/Android application that's been created and blessed by an actual priest.  Ok, that's not true but if it were you'd believe it.  We can talk to each other from two different continents and you can tell me that my slacks don't match my shoes in Indonesia while I'm in Chicago.

Romance.  We are all starving for a romantic lifestyle filled with inspiration and afternoon coffee, with skylines that intrigue and people to love, words that never existed in our vernacular finding their way out our mouths and into the ears of someone who will cherish them.  Living an artistic life, something worth writing about, something for others to write about, to tweet about or put on Page Six of the New York Post.  Let's buy scarves and walk on cobblestone.  Let's put on maroon pants and talk about what it would be like to be parents.  Let's walk up to the ghost light in a huge theater at noon and deliver a monologue that never existed about someone who did or does.  Let's start a fire in our hearts and in a campground.  I'll meet you wherever you want to meet and do whatever you want to do.  JUST BE THERE.  I'll bring the hot chocolate and the spite.  You bring some wide eyes and a match.

Check your facebook.  Check your Gmail.  See who's on g-chat.  Lift weights.  See what that kid you despised when you were 17 is listening to on spotify.  See whom he's dating.  Compare lives.  Ignore phone calls.  Remind yourself to jump for joy.  Say hello to the mirror.  Gain weight.  Drink hot beverages.  Grow a beard.  Fall in love.  Don't cheat, cheat allot.  Look in your closet for things you've lost.  Look on your hard drive for things you've found.

"All media exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values."
-Marshal Mcluhan
I studied him in college.

"You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case."
-Ken Kesey
 I met him in my college.  He told me to cause as many revolutions as I could.  I am.

Why am I quoting minds of people I respect?  Why do I write all this ridiculous prose? Ladies and gentlemen I'm alive and willing to show that to you.  That there are bounds and leaps and mountains in this brain that only exist to show you what’s in yours.

Some people are too rich to listen to, and some people are too poor to take seriously.  Some people disregard their feelings and have much regard for others.  Some wars will never end and music will always make kids dance.  That's the most important thing going on around the world right now, aside from global warming and the Mayan Calendar ending, kids-are-dancing.  Thousands and thousands of kids are marching into warehouses and into the desert with fur on their feet and smiles on their faces, ready to close their eyes open their hearts, tie their shoes tight ands hop up and down till the sun come up.  I know, this sounds crazy and Utopian.  People have their heads buried on their ex's facebook walls, and idol's blogposts five days a week, but two days a week kids are holding hands, and getting crazy again.  Wasn't that what the pilgrims were doing?

We aren't defeating ourselves.  We're just changing.  The rich still have a fascination with what comes from poor black men.  Cuba is lightening up a little.  President Clinton is sorta still in office.  AIDS still exists, but you can live with it now.  Yea, the world might end this year.  I doubt it.  The world, like us, is always dying.  It's not a sad thing.  It's just a fact.  What will you do with your time? Who will you hold when you hold them?  How many conversations will you hold? Will you hold a tune?  Will you hold a strangers hand? Can you give me a hand?  I'm going to come by and try to change the world with my new smile.  Thanks for tuning in. 
 



Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A letter To Plaxico Burress


Dear Plaxico,

My name is Matt McManus.  I’m from NY and live in LA now.  It’s cool.  First let me say, I don’t watch or follow much football.  I think it’s cool to watch in a bar on Sunday when chicks are wearing sweaters and there are a lot of different kinds of beer on tap.  Football’s American.  So are we.  Cool…right?

How’s jail?  I could imagine that it’s not quite what you expected.  That’s life though.  I’m sure you’ll learn from it.  There’s lot’s of other guys in there with tattoos too.  So you guys have that in common. 

Guns are crazy man.  Why the fuck was you carrying one?  I mean you’re getting blowjobs from awesome chicks and spending money like it’s nothing.  Then you go and shoot yourself in a nightclub?  Man, that shit’s gangsta.

I work out a lot.  I bought a bike and ride it as much as possible.  Maybe one of these days you can draw me a picture.  I’ll send you the paper if you’d like. 

I met a chick that’s from the midwest and she makes fun of me for not liking football as much as the rest of those guys.  I told her I was writing you a letter and she told me Randy Moss was more gangsta than you.  What are your thoughts on that sentiment?

I gotta go to rehearsal now.  I hope this letter makes you think about something other than the stuff you’ve been thinking about.  Don’t go looking for God or trying to find yourself.  The second you get out you’ll get an offer you can’t refuse to play ball again. Lil Wayne has a new album out, and Drake’s shit is gonna drop any day now.  Drake’s not necessarily gangster but it makes white people wanna go crazy, so I can only imagine what it makes you wanna do.  You’ll wanna just get right back on the Gangsta train and we won't be able to pull the breaks. 

Whenever the weather gets colder in the fall, like it is now it makes me think of football.  Someone on How To Make It in America shot himself in the leg this week.  That made me think of you.  That other football player got out of jail and is playing again.  I read an article in the New York Times that said he’s bankrupt.  At the end of the day you just want to do what you’re good at.  I’m sure you’re a nice guy.  Don’t let those thugs get to you.  You’re bigger than that.

Anyway, the sunsets are nice out here.  I miss my family.  I’m sure you miss yours.  I’m gonna have my own TV show one day and maybe you can see it on a big screen TV while some girls are swimming in your pool.

Best,

Matt McManus
Obama 2012

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Dear Mom, This war is crazy.




Dear Mom,

This war is crazy.  It’s hard for me to describe the mayhem around us.  It’s just everywhere.  Everyone is trying to become someone else and get paid for it.   In this war everyone is begging to be shot, shot by the right person.  They say that’s how you “make it.”  The men with all the power are called producers.   No one can see them until after they’ve been shot a bunch of times.  It’s scary.  I just got my head shot and I’m not dead yet.  I’ve been shot three times this week and I’m not even trying.  Each time I get shot the better everyone says I get.  I just don’t understand. 

We’ve been looking for two different groups of insurgents.  They are called the Agents, and Managers, but they’re up in the hills somewhere.  The only way to get there is to “follow Sunset west.”  Whatever that means. 

I’m so thin. We’ve only been eating a little.  Most are just eating the raw foods they can find. It's all nuts and berries.  Even the rice is considered bad here.  There’s not bread for miles and miles. 

The women here are different.  They’re all so pretty.  The more times we’ve been shot the prettier they get and the more they want to spend time with us.  My uniform or, “costume” gets older, ripped, and warn but they like us more and more. 

I just want to find this union everyone is talking about.   Maybe that’s when we can find peace. Apparently it’s safer there and they have the medics we all so desperately require.  I’m gonna find these agents and managers mom, and hopefully this union.  Tom Cruise is in it.  I know, crazy right?

I miss you.
I miss pizza.

Matty

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dogs and Paint

I grew up with dogs.  My family had many over the years.  Dogs go to the bathroom too, all the time, just like us.  During a recent dog-sitting venture for one of my friends I realized something.  When dogs are going number one they look for other dog’s number one spots and number one all over that spot, so that other dogs know that that’s their fucking spot.  When dogs go number two it’s more thought out.  They plot and find barren territory and test said territory with a special little number two walk or trot, just to see if the ground is worthy.  They want others to know that they were brave enough to journey into the brush to do their business.

I grew up writing graffiti, or graph.  How I was introduced to it was very different to how the world was.  I was a subculture kid.  I skateboarded, listened to punk rock music, and went to all night dance parties in New York City.  The main theme at the crux of all these things was an overwhelming sense of rebellion.   I saw these older kids writing these words and pictures made up of words on everything with markers and spray paint.  These names or “tags” that they wrote were their alter egos and their identity on the street.  I myself am a doodler, as a kid I wrote on everything.  The notes I took in classrooms were really just me pretending to take notes and drawing little designs in my trapper keeper.  Once I realized that I could draw on the world I became obsessed with it, and so did my group of friends.  Just like the older kids before us, we had a name for our crew; actually there were a couple of crews.  Their names were S.F.V.  Suburban Fresh Vandals, headed by the artist SIVE, and the our other crew, S.I. or Slightly Imperfect, headed by me, and I regret to write this based on how many janitors and town workers had to clean up our art.  My tag was and still is SHAME.   I once talked myself out of suspension in high school because I was caught in the bathroom writing on the walls.  I somehow lead my dean to believe that I was writing a paper on the topic of graph and that I was just doing research.  He found 2 books on how to write on walls in my bag, and there were marker stains on my fingers.  I was always good with words.   Maybe I should have been a lawyer.

Once I started writing graffiti I started to notice it more in the street.  I lived in close proximity to a train station that was part of the Long Island Rail Road conglomerate.  Each town on Long Island has one.  It was the primary transit to and from Manhattan.  Graph in New York started in the boroughs, Brooklyn, and Queens.  These trains we road would pass through those places on the way into the city and all along the way you would see the most impressive graffiti in the world, literally.  We would study and emulate what we saw.  We wanted to be epic, to understand everything there was to understand about the art form.  Back then it was still mostly considered vandalism.  The sheer brilliance of it back then is that if you and your crew tagged up an entire subway, your art was a traveling canvas around the largest, most influential city in the word.  Essentially it was free advertising for your revolution. 

Writing on walls is something men do innately, it was used by the cavemen to tell stories, lessons.  In the early twenties the homeless people on the freight trains wrote on walls to let other know they’d been there.  In the late 70’s when disco was dying a new form of music was becoming prevalent, Hip Hop music.  Hip-Hop was spawned on the streets of The Bronx and was based on a series of break beats sewn together played on record players and manipulated in an effort to coax a willing voice to talk over it in the form of verse.  This inspired clothing, dance, slang, street art, graffiti.  Hip-hop is a highly competitive and expressive art form and so are the ascetics attached to it.  When a crew would show up to a party to rap and dance, upon leaving they would write their tags on the walls, just to let the other crews know that they had conquered that location.  This competitive rebellious culture made it’s way out of the city and into the suburbs and that’s how I know about it.  Some art, without explanation allowes you to understand it without specific justification.  That’s what art is though, right?  Telling a story and having someone buy into it, even if they don’t know why.

 I went to the street art exhibit at the MOCA in downtown LA last weekend and my mind was blown.  They had artists dating back to the early 70’s all the way through what is still considered graph today, but moreover now, street art.  The originators strove to be considered as such.  They were rebels, yes, but for the best reasons.  Their visions and hopes bled onto the streets via paint cans and paint brushes.  They traveled around New York, and now it’s everywhere.  The writing is on the walls, it always has been.


As a crew you try to outdo the others, claim their territory for yours by making your art bigger and better.  You try to go to the spots that are uncharted and prove how brave you are as a person by writing your name there.  It’s animalistic.  It’s creative.  It’s brave.  Just like a dog walking around to find a spot to leave something others will one day find and say, "Wow, someone’s been here already.  I’m gonna do them one better."

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Reflection


I was on a family vacation when I was 12 years old in Rhode Island.  That’s when it happened.   It was serious and came out of nowhere, tackling me.  It stopped me dead in my tracks.  I wasn’t even a teen.  I wasn’t ready for this.  I wasn’t prepared for the ramifications of my discovery.  I was sitting on a bed in a hotel room looking right in front of me at something I had never really seen before, baffled and bewildered.  That’s when I realized for the first time, in that moment, looking in a mirror, that my hair was the shit.

It was long and blonde and my fingers slid through it with ease and awe.  My eyes widened and the person on the other side of the bed looking back at me, smiled.  Probably because he knew what it meant, and would go on to mean.  

Life’s interesting. Great people discover great things.  Benjamin Franklin found electricity.   Columbus found India.  The Romans found Jesus.  Regis found Kelly and I found my hair, sitting on the top of my head just as it had always had been.   Now though, it was talking to me, letting me know the future was going to be different now that I’d found it.  My mom and sister saw my discovery and asked what I was doing in front of the mirror.  I simply replied, “My hairs pretty cool...” They just rolled their eyes.  Trust me though, it was/still is cool.  It always will be.

My relationship with my hair has been nothing short of interesting.  I’ve tried getting rid of it, pushing it back, or away. I’ve parted with it, and shot it up the heavens.  It’s faded away, but always, it comes back to me.  In lieu of other recessions in this world, people and things that come and go, my hair has never receded or retreated.

I tell you this now because reflection is important.  I stand to look at the things in front of me and realize what’s changed or stayed the same.  Things change.  That’s life’s innate truth.  You can reflect in front of nothing or you can reflect in front of a magical invention, the mirror.  It’s the only object in this world that really lets you look at yourself and all your matter as a being.  It’s this only inanimate object that lets you look at the most animate, alive, and aware object on the planet, a human being, without filter.

One thing has never changed for me.  Thank God.  That thing is how cool my fucking hair is.  No matter what I stand for or how hard or fast the wind blows, my hair is standing, letting all the heads know what time it is.  In my classroom it is always, awesome hair: all the time, o’clock.

I look at my reflection more than I look at anything else.   It’s true.  It’s not because I’m completely vain.  It’s because I’m completely cool with myself.  I gotta check in with McManus, say a couple words of wisdom, or give a pep talk.  You can find me most times with your passenger seat mirror down, or checking out my reflection in a storefront window.  I’m not ashamed of it.  I like myself, maybe a little to much.

Regardless of how you feel about it or me, I love my hair.  It’s worth its weight in gold, it’s just ironic that is it’s the same color. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

New Kicks. Ill Fade.

I usually rock a new pair of shoes each spring. For the most part I wear the same pair for a year or so. The shoes represent the year. When I was a kid a fresh pair of Nike’s were the jam. Everyone wanted Jordan’s when they first came out.  If you had a pair of pumps you could walk on air in front of everybody. I skateboarded for many years in my youth. With that hobby came skate shoes. Most would tear through theirs frequently. It was a sign of practice. You could wear your accomplishments on your feet based on how many holes you had in the front of your shoes. I guess it’s kinda like Ballet shoes or toe shoes.


In high school your hobby usually dictates what your hair looks like. If you play sports you most likely have short spiked hair. If you are in accelerated classes you most likely had a hair part, and if you were a cheerleader you most likely had highlights on your head. What you do with your feet and brain usually coincided with your hair style. If you listen to top 40 radio stations, you probably really care what people think about your hair. If you listen to hard core hip hop, you most likely have an “ill fade”.

At an early age you’re subconsciously attaching your identity to your hair and your shoes. It’s true.

In May of my sixteenth year of life I needed a new pair of shoes. I drove to the mall with my friend Billy, who loved the mall. He worked at the mall. He lived at the mall. We would pick up chicks, outfits, food at the food court, and records there, almost daily. That’s what American teens do when they want to be seen or see what else is out there. I needed a new pair of shoes and he and he drove off to the South Shore Mall in the heart of Bay Shore NY, Long Island.

Things had changed for me that year. I’d lost about 90 lbs. I’d fallen in love for the first time. I’d stopped doing drugs and started listening to Sublime and classic rock and roll. I was changing. I was growing and I needed a new pair of shoes. I walked in to the mall wearing an old pair of ratty skate shoes and walked right past Journey’s and Pacific Sunwear. Those were the places that I’d purchased most of my sneakers. I needed something else, something to prove I was going somewhere. I wanted running shoes for the first time in my life. I marched right into Foot Locker and the referee looked at me like I was in the wrong store. I had long hair, big baggy pants and skate shoes on. I told him that I wanted to start running and I didn’t know where to start. He giggled a bit under his breath and then once he knew I was serious he started presenting me with options. After about three tries I went with a size 12 pair of New Balance running shoes, grey with a yellow N. You know the ones I’m talking about. I took off my skate shoes, put the New Balance’s on and paid for them. I placed my old shoes in the new box and walked out, differently.

After I walked out I looked at my head in the mirror and decided to walk to the mall’s barber shop and cut my hair short for the first time in my life. I wasn’t even apprehensive about it. I was ready to switch it up. As the locks fell to the ground I started smiling in the chair. I paid for the haircut and walked out with my friend. We weren’t really saying much to each other. He knew my brain was going somewhere special. I took my old shoes and threw them in the garbage and stood on the curb outside of the mall, the same mall I’d been going to for over a decade. I looked at my feet and I felt how light my new head was. It was clear to me. It was that moment that I’d changed myself and my appearance from the ground up, and from the head down. I had transformed.

Why do I tell you this long winded story about my shoes and my hair? I’m teaching you a lesson. You can change your world with a few adjustments. You can change your outlook by changing your shoes. You can strip and add layers to yourself with the swish of a scissor. It’s easy to do, if you want to.

Women own dozens of pairs of shoes. They change who they are all the time. They are feet chameleons. If you want to know what’s on a woman’s mind, just look at her feet. If you can get her to take off her shoes, well then it’s up to you.
How does all this apply to you? It may not. Just know how you walk is dictated by why you walk, and that’s dictated by what your feet are wearing.

That day I bought my first of many pairs of running shoes. I started running then, and I’ve never stopped. I put other shoes on, some for leisure, some for work, but I’ll never forget that first pair. Those shoes represented that year and would go on to shape every year leading up to now. I still run, but I stay in one place now and run every mile of it until I understand the path I’m on.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Think Loud, Little Man (why I do this)


There’s a little boy somewhere.  Maybe he’s the new kid in school.  Maybe he’s scared.  Maybe he’s confused about himself and others.  Maybe he likes weird clothes and music that his peers don’t "get."  Maybe his voice could fill up the Grand Canyon, but his mouth can't articulate his thoughts.

He maybe overweight and unappreciated.  He may be quiet and excited, a glowing light sitting Indian style, by himself, watching the others on the playground while he hums unknown melodies. He dreams, all day and all night.  He prays for understanding and for the others to understand him.

Maybe he walks home watching cars pass and leaves wave at him, smiling because his thoughts tackle his fears with laughter.  Maybe he dances in his room and talks to his stuffed animals as if they were an audience.  They can’t clap though.  He knows this.  He understands this.

I do this because that little boy should hear those claps.  I do this so that he smiles.  I do this so that he knows it’s ok to think those thoughts, but learns to speak them aloud.  I do this so he can grow to the understanding that it’s his world, not there’s.  So that he knows those claps are coming.  He just has to think loud enough so they can hear him.


Monday, April 11, 2011

The Ballad of Eye Patch Man and Mr. Please Help Me Out.


I grew up on Long Island, NY.  We lived in a town called East Islip, right slap dab in the middle of the fish shaped body of land.  My father worked in Manhattan and commuted about an hour and a half each way into the city, five days a week.  The Long Island railroad lets you off in midtown Manhattan in the basement of Madison Square Garden in a place called Pennsylvania Station.

When I was a kid, New York City was still a dangerous place.  Mayor Giuliani wasn’t even a concept yet.  Crime and poverty, which are basically the same thing, were commonplace.  I remember that there were literally rules one would have to follow to divert crime and the homeless.  Back then Penn Station was a breeding ground zero and home for the homeless.  Cops weren’t cleaning up the mess because they were too busy being dirty.

My father and his co-workers had these rules to, “not get stabbed.”  Guns were expensive and harder to come by.  So if you were going to get mugged, someone wouldn’t be throwing a coffee cup at you, they’d pull out a steak knife.

The rules went as follows:
1) No eye contact in Penn Station
2) Wear a trench coat over your work clothes.
3) Don’t carry a briefcase if you’re alone, or it’s past 7PM
4) Ignore everyone
5) Carry mace

These rules were important and if not followed meant certain things may take place.  Growing up, the city seemed to be a scary place, not just because it was so dense, but also because a lot of people were murdered.

My first time in Penn Station I was probably eight or nine and my father ran with me upstairs to MSG with his hands covering my eyes.  I remember it smelling like despair, a bathroom, my dad’s workout clothes, pizza, doughnuts, and beer all at the same time.  Rather than be adverse to it I became secretly addicted.  That was real life happening.  I’ve been through that station probably 5,000 times since, maybe more, in my teens to go to concerts, in my early twenties to perform comedy, and in my late twenties when I lived in the city.  You don’t really understand homeless people till you live in close proximity to some.  It goes beyond just not having a home, because they’re people too, with identities.  To quote The Muppets Take Manhattan, “People’s are People’s.” 

I lived in Park Slope Brooklyn from in my mid to late twenties.   My apartment was close to what was once considered the most dangerous avenue in the state of New York, Flatbush Avenue.  Brooklyn’s gentrified now.  There’s much less crime, more lesbians, and groups of white boys that have the word, “the” in the name of their band.  Most of them don’t even play an instrument.  It’s a safer avenue now.  My subway stop was right there on Flatbush.  The blessed Q train.  The homeless men that congregated on the steps of that platform were awesome.  They were there every morning and every night.  There was a duo of men that stood together rain or shine.  We never really got their names.  That would break the fourth wall or take away from the angelic inspiration of the quick words of wisdom they so regularly offered.  They were more potent being partially anonymous.  We called them “Eye patch man,” and “Mr. Please help me out.”  Every day when I passed them they would greet me with smiles on their faces and say the same things.  Eye patch man would say, “Love is love baby,” and Mr. Please help me out would say, “Please help me out.”  He said it in a way that was almost like he was singing it, but he wasn’t.  It always made my friends and me smile and we always helped them out.  At Christmas they would wear Santa hats and sing carols.  In the summer they would ask us to meet them in the park for a BBQ.  If one of them was not there everyone in the neighborhood would express concern.  They slept in random places, made enough money to eat, but still were homeless.    They had a message though, many in fact, all revolving around one key phrase uttered 700 times a day as many went to and from work, “love is love.” 

Those two men saw me grow up over 7-years.  They saw me with long hair, short hair, with different girlfriends, sad, happy, dressed to impress, and dirty after a 18 hour day of work.  They kept an eye on me; literally, eye patch man really just had one eye. 

The reason I tell all of this is this, those men were my NY street angels.  I knew their stories and they knew mine.  If someone else asked me for change I would just nod and say, “Sorry I got my guys.”   I live in LA now and still when someone asks me for change that’s what I say.  Once when I said no to a guy he looked at me dead in the face and called me a faggot.  I simply replied, “I didn’t know being broke made me gay.”  He shook his crazy head and walked on by.  He didn’t have story for me or at least one he wanted to tell me.  Homeless people have stories and every city’s homeless are different.  In NY most are just down on their luck.  Most are veterans or victims of the crack epidemic.  They just couldn’t get themselves back to civilization or out of the prison system.  I once saw a woman in broad daylight just drop her pants and enjoy a nice bathroom moment.  In New York the homeless are just more deliberate.  In LA they are just lazy and crazy.  They figure if they gotta do it somewhere they might as well have a decent view.  I was just in Seattle and those homeless people are dark souls.  Each one is a Nine-Inch Nail's song waiting to happen.  They live in the shadows and scurry around from shadow to shadow waiting to strike like a vampire. 

I feel sorrow for those who don’t have a roof over their head.  It gets cold outside and a bed is a great thing to have.  My two guys may not have had those two things but they had love, love for each other, love for the street, and love for love.  I miss them.  I hope they’re ok.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Some people see the bright side of things and some people are the bright side.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Lasers and Rooftops


All my life, wherever I’ve been, I’ve been waiting to go somewhere else that I couldn’t describe, until now.  In my dreams at night I always saw two places in my head, a room with lights and lasers shining all around, and the view from atop of a tall hill.  That view as it turns out is the sprawling massive grid of Los Angeles.  I wanted to tap-dance and drop presents over that grid like Saint Mr. Bo Jangles.

I know in my dreams that my heart and my brain were living in the same house, just in different rooms.  My conscience was trapped somewhere in that house. It knocked many walls down until that house was just one big space for my heart and brain to shake hands and start working together.

They left that house with a bag of giggles and a stopwatch that could only go for 15 minutes.  I’ve since then thrown that stopwatch away and I keep those giggles in my breast pocket.  My heart and brain ran together though.  They ran to college in upstate NY, Florida, Minnesota, Brooklyn and Manhattan.  They gift-wrapped their arms around as many people and things they could.

You see,  I spent the most of my youth observing and thinking.  I saw things differently, literally.  I was cross-eyed, still am.

When I built up enough courage and trust in myself to start talking to people around age 13, I never stopped.  I wanted to interact with the world within the parameters of how I saw it and I wanted to see how it saw me.

We don’t create dreams, someone else does.  Whatever that someone is, needs those things to happen.  Whether it is someone who loves to fix cars, or someone who sells insurance.  It’s not really about the task or the act.  I’ve realized that it’s about the message behind the act.  The act is just a vessel for the message.  All of our messages put together make up the purpose or the show behind the curtain we call life.

My message is this:

This is a silly place and I’m a silly guy.  Being that it’s so silly, it makes it innocent, because it’s so innocent, that makes it fun.  It’s so fun in fact that you should smile about it.  I’m going to dance in front of you and make as many attempts to make you smile, until you do.  If I do that, then you’ve received my text message.  Hit me back.  I live in West Hollywood.  Just look for the man tap-dancing on top of houses with lasers and lights shining everywhere.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lost Angeles Women.


Let me break LA women down for you in a brief essay.

People ask me why I think good looking women are so approachable here. I’ll tell you why. There are small towns all over America, all over the world. In each of these towns there is a girl or two that are told their entire lives that they are the best thing ever, that they are the prettiest, most talented and charismatic person that exists there. They receive so much praise for being themselves that the only place they should go is a magical town called Hollywood. Hollywood is the supposed glitz and glamour capital of the universe. These women brave the storm and travel here, abandoning their pasts for a future of fame, fortune, praise, and ultimately the ultimate form of attention, front and center on the world’s stage. These girls have been hearing yes their whole lives, yes from their parents, from their high school drama teachers, from boys, college admissions boards, and their girlfriends. They hear “yes” so much that their brains are dedicated and addicted to the word as if it were regular and expected. For the most part they come out here in their prime, after they’ve been seasoned in their respective home towns or cities. Years of preparation have gone into this decision so once they’re here they must maintain their looks, talent, and presence.

First they want an agent. Everyone needs one. They also want a manager. Once they get those things they can go on proper auditions, go sees, interviews, what have you. Therein lies the key. Auditions. These girls that have been hearing yes their entire lives and finally start hearing no. There are just so many women here. They look the same as each other; they dress the same, walk the same, act the same, and ACT the same. Odds are if you’re a good looking girl with an inkling of talent you’re gonna go on a fair amount of auditions, but still the odds are against you. The talent pool is just too large to hear yes as frequently as they need to feel like themselves. A five day work week of hearing no does things to these girls’ brains.

Meet Friday, the last day of the work week. After a long week driving in the sun to multiple locations in full makeup and strutting their supposed talents and bodies, all the while hearing no, these girls need a cocktail, and this is why it’s so easy to approach them. They hear no so frequently that even a meager amount of acceptance or attention from the opposite sex via a drink bought for them or a compliment, makes them feel the opposite of rejected. They feel wanted, and attractive, funny, charismatic, worthwhile, and like themselves, the person who left Bloomington Indiana four quick years prior. Yes is a powerful word, especially to someone who’s addicted to hearing it. That’s why men in LA can “make out” like bandits. Cause you won’t reject them, at least not on a Friday after you have been hearing no all week too. It’s mutually beneficial, and after two drives of shame and one morning after pill both parties are ready to pound the pavement once again that Monday knowing that someone out there that looks like the next Matt Damon thinks they're funny in bars, and talented in the sack.

It’s a funny place, this dreamland. I still say yes to it. I actually talk to LA as if it were my high school principal while I’m in detention, and that’s it. LA is a lot like High School. There are a lot of cliques. There are tests every day that you either pass or fail. There are lessons all day, every day. When you put a whole bunch of people together that have been told they are the shit their entire lives and suddenly their bus stops for a while at every light, some real interesting conversations take place and inhibitions get thrown out the window. So approach that girl next Friday, offer her a drink. She’ll most likely say yes.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Houses I'll Never Buy, Women I'll Never Fuck


My friend back in NY found a piece of paper with two lists on it that her boyfriend left out in the open accidentally.  The lists were titled, "houses I'll never buy, and women I'll never get to fuck." She called me a little distraught and paranoid.  When she told me, I laughed.  I laughed for a bunch of reasons.

I tried to justify it to her, but even the smartest women logically thinking, and not on their period cannot comprehend the internal strife most men are stricken with.  I say all this in jest.

You see men live and die by those lists.  Those lists are internal tattoos that we keep adding on to all the time, and we can’t help it.  We want what we can't have.  We want what you have.  We want something bigger, better and smoother than what we've had, and what you have. It's innate.

When you see a man working out in the gym, he's most likely not working out to improve his vascular system functioning.  He's trying to get a blowjob and a house with a two-car garage. When you see any man in a library studying  it's not because he want to understand poetry.  He's trying to learn as many words as he can, so that when the time comes he can impress that single girl wearing glasses, in a black satin dress at the dinner party.  When you see the redhead kid in gym cloths outside the Starbucks on sunset blvd, writing.  He's not writing a to his mother.  He's writing a blog entry about unattainable houses and women.

Now women, women can become CEO's, deans, and Secretary of State.  Women can do anything.  I adore women.  Each woman that passes me by is a story I'll never write.  Women can work just as hard as men, and obtain huge feats, but some women, "get it".  They can climb up the transparent unspoken caste system that adheres to American men, just by talking to one of them, and that chance, that dialogue is what keeps men working out, reading in libraries, and making lists.

You can work to be a better man, a smarter man, a grounded man.  You can also appear to be those things.  It's that ratio, that chance that gives your lists a chance.  Because most of those girls in sweatpants and Ugg boots can't differentiate for shit.  Your lists are not fruitless, maybe selfish, and even silly.  It's what god gave us.  Cavemen wrote these kinds of lists on walls, and they wanted the same things we do, better caves.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Letter to Conan O'brien


I had a dream last night that Conan O’brien asked me to write him a letter about how I see the world.  I know that sounds crazy, but here Conan.  Here is your letter.

Dear Conan,

I see the world in a very kind and forgiving way, like a child.  Whatever curiosity is in most kindergarten classrooms I still apply to the world.  I see the world as I hope to see it, and that’s full of hope.  I see people waking up from their American dream, and some living it.  I see a world turning into the future.  The future The Jetsons led us to believe would exist.  I can talk to you while you’re in your living room, from my living room, and see you.  I hear rappers rapping over techno.  I see the rebirth of the greaser.  I see young men with plenty of money, growing their facial hair out, buying white belts, living above their means, listening to bands that are pointless and synthy, all the while making it look like they don’t care about how they look, by making themselves look that way.  I see drug addicts quitting, becoming more angry, and purposeful, and addicts using drugs being completely happy, but purposeless.  I see the Apple computer symbol in coffee shops, and that symbol is what the Mercedes symbol was in the eighties and still is, a status symbol.  I see children becoming stars and stars becoming children.  I see Wall Street bankers becoming buss boys.  I see the words humble and modest uniting and becoming universally understood.  I hear the words, “thank you” more often and see myself being more thankful.

I see breasts, everywhere.  They are the constant reminder that cows aren’t the only mammals that produce lactose.  Breasts are also reminders that a) God knows what he’s doing, b) we don’t, and c) I’m never going to stop being 15-years-old with an erection under my school desk. 

You ask me how I see the world.  Well that’s what I’m consistently seeing.  A banker sees money, a hair stylist sees hair, and I’ve tried to be many things in my life, and been slightly successful at each, and I can see jigglers.  I can see justice and injustice.  I can see hope and excess.  What I can’t see is the big picture, because all the freakin tits everywhere.  I’d ask God to get rid of them so I could succeed in life, but then there would be no fun in succeeding.  Conan, I see Hope regardless of the looming despair, and I see breasts everywhere I go.

Sincerely,

Matt McManus