The files are in review for my book, SELF-LOATHING & OTHER FORMS OF CYNICISM. It should be available in paperback on Amazon around the world and to order from any store or public library by this evening, or early tomorrow-ish.
"―his name is always CONTROL and he pretends to be powerful―"
— Cutter: A Suicide Memoir
―some days it returns, stronger than ever before. It seems as the world gets bigger, the smaller it all likes to make me feel. Sure, sure. The sun is shining and sometimes people around me smile. I can even muster a smile back on the rare occasion. People don’t actually love the damaged and romantics run in fear of heartbreak. They just like the entertainment of watching them wiggle, trying to break free of all that destroyed them. I don’t think I’m broken. No, maybe enlightened. Enlightenment combined with science in a life within today’s modern world is the most frightening predicament to wish on anyone (don’t educate your children, just send them to school)! You can’t just drop out of the race and retire to the woods. Somebody owns the woods and men in uniforms are paid to chase you out of them. There’s no materialistic thing to cling to and money is just something you’re fooled into thinking is a reward after dealing with these hollow shells of humans on a daily basis. People aren’t people these days or maybe not ever since we kept record. They are just a few sentences unconsciously carried in their cortex or connectome that was drilled into them from mouths in their vicinity before. Psychology hasn’t caught up to the old wisdom of the past, there’s no disorder for recognizing the collective madness in everyone else. Death is inevitable. I dream while awake about the unconsciousness of sleep. The permanence of dying seems like an endless peace. It’s how it felt when I visited the reaper last. It’s like returning from not just a battle, but all of history’s wars. The survivors return as wise as any old monk or physicist, in experiencing the eternal silence and becoming a part of all everyone keeps trying to know. Samsara comes naturally in the need to fill in all the gaps. Sure, sure. Everyone is a part of everyone, and everything else. Just like the religious texts keep saying, but to live in a world full of people who don’t know that? It’s terrifying and this is all so taboo, unheard of from anyone before. They force you to think in their myopic ways that keep you away from the peace within. This is how the fear of the fall ends and the understanding of the fall being all that is left begins. I look to the stars and particles, the people and the spaces between their words, and the symbols of old texts, but all it does is make me want to become one―
[This interview originally appeared at WELCOME TO THE VELVET, which is unfortunately not with us anymore.]
Laramore Black:The most common question you seemed to be asked is, “What/who is William Control”, William Control you’ve said is a musically created fictional character, but what I’d…
It doesn’t matter when a thing in this world dies, as it just becomes a part of everything else. This is a happy story in the sense Fred finally got to become a part of humanity. It’s sad there are people in this world that don’t allow themselves that pleasure in their lives. The funny thing about this man’s whole legacy is that on a grander scale he became a saint by expressing hatred so purely to a world made up of such crazy polarities that he in turn produced the exact opposite result because people were able to see what they clearly didn’t want to be. I will not celebrate his death because he was a very lost monster of a man because that only adds to this out of control role of victimhood we’ve been taught to play.
Welcome back to us mister Phelps and good job with your son.
This is an update and vague schedule of the things happening in my life very soon.
I BECOME IMMORTAL
…with printed words. Self-Loathing & Other Forms of Cynicism is published, a poetry/short story/essay mash-up that showcases the work produced by an individual (me) on a suicidal fringe for two years.
Websites being built for World Progress Report and Larry vs. World. Photo/video shoots for crowd funding campaign and putting marketing campaigns into action.
WORLD PROGRESS REPORT:
World Progress Report will be a new, intimate breed of journalism for a world in desperate need of it. The most concise explanation of the project is it is the documentation of all human suffering across the globe, environmental changes that are or will someday cause people to suffer, the varying solutions to the problems, and people or organizations making a difference in specific areas. All of which will be presented online and for free through mini-documentaries and detailed articles.
It will work as a free educational tool, publishing interviews with people and organizations for academic research and it intends to set an unparalleled precedent of absolute transparency and audience interaction. There will be weekly reports in a section of the website that pertains to where the money contributed by our backers is going (a public view of the monetary resources in our bank account). Every visitor of the website will also have a vote in the next direction of the project . This will be done with a polling system in which people can vote on the next destination and issues most important to cover, this also allows viewers to submit an issue into the poll and promote it to their friends, family, and community to vote it up into the attention of the project. All things that pertain to the documentation of human suffering are welcome. This is to say the viewers will be the collective supervisor of World Progress Report. They can also get involved by submitting videos of their organizations or aligning student projects.
What I hope to carry out by the end is to paint a complex view of the world that shows people what can be done in their area, as well as promote thoughts on global unity.
LARRY VS. WORLD:
It’s a blog. Well, mostly. A portion of it will be the official home of writing updates for both my pen name Laramore Black and future things I do under my real name, Laurance Friend. People will likely consider other parts of it “self-helpy.” Only my aim is to write about the things that helped me out of depression, alcoholism, anxiety, and phobias. If what I say helps anyone, cool. If not, all the same to them. Unlike those really crappy self-help websites with the most brainless and empty advice, my articles will be based in studies of science and philosophy.
It has portions that are being launched along with World Progress Report. I plan to document my travels around the world, so it’s both partly a travel blog and a behind-the-scenes of WPR. However, it doesn’t end there. The statistics, actions being taken by organizations and ideas of others I will cover give way to progressive intellectual thoughts, but there is something that unfortunately isn’t taught to many, no matter how many numbers and images are thrown at them: empathy. While in the areas the shooting for WPR will take place, I will sometimes be working on side projects for Larry vs. World. Examples of these plans include living as a homeless person out on the streets for several days and working alongside slaves with a camera strapped to my chest to put the world in their shoes. My time off from the project, or rather “vacations?” I will be documenting alternative communities in developed societies.
It’s all pretty frightening, I won’t lie. When I pass from this world though, I want to know I did all I could for other people. Call me a crazy Gandhi-type with a camera, if you wish.
I’ll take it as a compliment.
RUCKSACK REVOLUTION PUBLISHING:
“See the whole thing is a world full of rucksack wanderers, Dharma Bums refusing to subscribe to the general demand that they consume production and therefore have to work for the privilege of consuming, all that crap they didn’t really want anyway such as refrigerators, TV sets, cars, and general junk you finally always see a week later in the garbage anyway, all of them imprisoned in a system of work, produce, consume, work, produce, consume, I see a vision of a great rucksack revolution, thousands or even millions of young Americans wandering around with rucksacks, going up to mountains to pray, making children laugh and old men glad, making young girls happy and old girls happier, all of ‘em Zen Lunatics who go about writing poems that happen to appear in their heads for no reason and also by being kind and also by strange unexpected acts keep giving visions of eternal freedom to everybody and to all living creatures.” — Jack Kerouac
This is the micro publishing press I hope to start with these projects. It will be used to cut out the middle man of publishing books for WPR (I will be putting out photography books with writing about the areas I visit and overviews of what I discover for each country). Depending on the level of funding I get for WPR, I hope to make all the project’s books freely available in digital formats, if not at least very cheap. All profits of these books are split between the publishing press costs and keeping WPR going.
Working with the main project, you can see where there is a highly possible chance of phenomenal growth in audience. This is what will set the press apart from other independent start-ups is the ability to advertise to a large audience in project video credits and on the websites. My business model, you ask? Absolute selflessness. I will be looking for work from journalists with something to say and especially independent ones rejected by larger presses. As far as the fiction side goes I’m looking for work that reveals true human nature, with deep philosophy, and worldly travels.
It will also be optionally not-for-profit as far as royalties go, that is writers will choose whether to take %100 of their book’s royalties or give a portion of their choosing to the project. I want the experience to be like working with a mid-sized publishing house, but with all the good aspects of going the self-publishing route. It will also generate work in the writing communities I’ve become a part of over the last couple of years with needed freelance design, editorial, and typesetting work. This will be good for everyone, I hope.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
You already have, in all honesty. These big ideas and actions are not just a product of my own thoughts. It’s been watching people in the business bring projects, presses, and books into the world that slowly taught me everything I know. Your actions I have had the pleasure of watching from a distance were like breadcrumbs to some of the knowledge that would bring me to this life I hope to create.
I have thought of something that can help others while in turn helping me as far as the launching of this project goes. I am crowd sourcing creative sponsors and already have several bands, as well as my writing in it. The idea is people who have work they typically give away for free anyway or something they have the rights to that are no longer bringing them much profit can give their work to my campaign. Everyone who donates at the lowest $1 level will get everything contributed to the project, so there’s a possibility your work will reach 1k+ people who otherwise may not be likely to ever see your stuff. It’s a lot to ask, but if you like my ideas or want to help me for any reason this is an option for people to get something out of it.
Whether it’s a couple of tracks, an EP, a single, a novel, novella, short story collection, or digital art prints send ‘em my way if you’d like. As far as I know, this hasn’t been done yet in the history of crowd-funding (well, none of this has…) so even it is a big idea. If not, just sharing the campaign and your verbal support can make all the difference. I can use all the help I can get.
I’m hoping to have CUTTER: A SUICIDE MEMOIR out as soon as possible, but it depends on if a publishing house worthwhile takes it. It’s an experimental memoir that is a mixture of my education coupled with memories as they seem in my mind. I consider it deeply influenced by Karen Green’s Bough Down and Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves.
Another book I’ve been working on called BRIEF INTERVIEWS WITH HIDEOUS FRIENDS and it’s about the six months I spent having to live in parties while being homeless. Its influences are rather strange. The main narrative of the story is reminiscent of Charles Bukowski and Hunter S. Thompson, but coupled with an academic-esque writing similar to David Foster Wallace looking back on every scene from the now future. It’s my discoveries through experience and education of why people do the things they do.
The truth is, SELF-LOATHING AND OTHER FORMS OF CYNICISM, CUTTER, and BRIEF INTERVIEWS WITH HIDEOUS FRIENDS all tie into one another. Self-Loathing is the work I produced as a writer while mostly homeless or living in a friend’s attic. BRIEF INTERVIEWS is an overview of that time period. CUTTER is how everything leading up to it and what it all lead to presented as a work of experimental language art, mixing poetic prose and word-painting. While it is all a true story and simply different perspectives of the matter, these will be published under this pen name that isn’t really a pen name…
This is only a character. Laramore Black will return in the future production of the very first novel I ever wrote: AUTOPHONOMANIA. Yet, I couldn’t tell you when it would be done but what I’ve outlined in many drafts and outlines, I have high hopes for it. Not to mention, at this point in artistic maturity I’ve realized the longer it takes me to write it, the better it can get.
It’s crazy to me to think about the complex networks of people I’ve met either on the internet or in life that have led me to this point. The little things that have made me who I am or brought me to a greater discovery in a field of study. I know this stuff is really massive in scale and some would call it insane or idealistic, but I’m doing it.
It’s not just ideas filling up notebooks and this is more than a post on the internet. It’s really happening and the moment I take that chance to put myself out there is rapidly approaching. Sometimes I look at how much potential all this has and it’s truly frightening. Heck, the work itself is quite scary in some aspects. I could very well die doing all this. I realize that. A greater fear is going on living knowing there was something I could have done. I have to at least attempt to make these ideas come to life. I don’t really have anything and nothing else feels as important, or like it matters in the grand scheme of things in comparison.
None of this is an attempt to grab cash for myself. I want that to be known. I consider the chance to see the world and live in so many people’s shoes salary enough. Admittedly though, this could bring me an audience that could later equal monetary gain through my own writings, but even that in my mind isn’t selfish because I would always use such a platform to promote others. It’s simply not about that though. I don’t even care about money for personal gain.
For over three years now, I have been homeless or nearly homeless, surviving only from other peoples’ kindness along the way. It began as trying to throw my life away because heartbreak and failure drove me to entertain the thought life wasn’t worth living anymore. What I’ve found by sheer luck and sporadic moments, has led me to look at life as something greater than I ever could have known. Sure, there have been moments of pain and severe stress. There have been weeks without food. It’s mostly been a life without any intimacy or love from anyone. Friends have come and gone. People simply didn’t help, but mostly couldn’t. Nobody who hasn’t been in the position can comprehend what it’s like. How so many spaces between residences and defaulted student loans get in the way of every job application’s background check, or how the only available options left in this aspect become life-consuming menial work. More so, how when staring that in the face it seems better not to pick yourself up off the ground at all.
The difference between me and so many others in this place was one thing, I began writing. I dug through every corner of my mind and the perspective I have found here at “zero” is that suddenly everything is meaningful. Like the real money is the kindness or compliments of others. That’s all I’ve come to care about and want my life to be based on that. While there in those moments of pain or helplessness, yes it sometimes felt as though my world was ending. In the present though, it’s not like looking back on a few years of hardship.
Imagine if you will, that instead of suffering it was simply an incubation period. The only work was a matter of self-reflection and improvement in writing. My surroundings brought me lessons and being around so many people with such diverse interests made all of them my own. Writing was the beginning, but to be good at it I had to continually grow. Even with the idea of graduating college leaving my realm of possibilities, it only made me learn faster. It was finding that absolutely unacceptable and tearing through thousands of books on top of taking free classes on the internet that further set me apart.
I found there is always hope and a way out.
The past is no longer a place I return to to suffer. These last few years and the tragedies of my life amount to nothing but a yearning to live fully. I saw that the present moment is continually changing the past. It’s not just when you forgive yourself and everyone else for various things that it changes. It’s when you can’t help but feel thankful for all the horrible things because in their existence, they created the only good thing you are in control of: YOU. I certainly don’t mean it in a self-righteous or holier-than-thou sort of way when I say I’ve felt all my self-conflictions absolve and the dualities of the mind almost completely fade away. I wouldn’t want to be like that again, but it doesn’t make me better than anyone else. It’s just that I had all this time to search the world for answers and those secretly inside me.
People of today can’t just take that time off, so it’s through me they can experience it in bits. I consider it a gift and if there’s one thing I hope people know I’m sincere about with all this is I honestly want to help and love as many people as possible. Regardless of what mask I am wearing, be it: author, journalist, filmmaker, or philosopher – it’s my life’s only goal now.
This may not work out in the end, but even that only means this is the beginning stages of something bigger in the future. Regardless of the upcoming verdict, I want to thank you for your presence while I take on such a pursuit and face the stresses that go with a person revealing themselves to the world at such a level.
As always, thanks for reading and I wish you the best.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you don’t have me on networks.
It’s my birthday. =]
Been dipping my toes back into noir lately. It’s turning into a novella in size due to the fun I’m having with it. I think I may have invented a new model for serial killers. Instead of the usual demonology-based hallucinations and psychotic breaks found in too much work, my character is a proto-aspergian with an even rarer occurrence of hyper-empathy. His hallucinations are based in scientific fact and theory. His world is constantly being broken down into particles and everything is under the constant scrutiny of psychoanalysis. It borrows from Dexter in the sense he hunts monsters, except these are the real world monsters. The jaded journalists, the corporate mongrels, the hate spewers hiding behind ancient blueprints for infinite love, and the narrow scientific results only blood money can buy. This “art” is for a graduate school thesis on the core foundations in all humanity that societies should be built from, but are often ignored because people don’t put it out there as much as controversy built from confused or manipulated thought. Their deaths are recorded experiments in the name of science because when convenient morals, the day-to-day focus on personal gain, and the pursuit of possessions for happiness are stripped away: we all die saints.
At first, it seemed like another thing I’d tuck in a file somewhere because other than the obvious social commentary and moral bending there’s not much else going for it. Except then I mapped out an ending tonight and had one of those rare, “I can’t believe I thought up that shiz” moments. That’s all this status is. Ignorant gloating about a fictitious thing.
Hope you enjoyed it as much as I.
There’s an education not found in classrooms. All it takes is a few sentences to plant the seeds and afterwards, it’s a matter of watering the garden. The truth is everything is far simpler than people have led us to believe. We just are not being given the proper foundation to “begin” the growing process.
We must look at the spaces between our fingers and realize what comes between them is not emptiness, but an invisible matter that allows everything to be. This for a while may invade your mind with severe complexities – maybe you have already thought of this with journeys into sciences or physics – but even without such a venture, all that naming, cataloguing and compartmentalizing can be summarized by visualizing that everything in existence is varying sizes of electricity interacting. This space or emptiness however, has always been there. Meaning it is not “allowing” anything to be, it has all just always been one thing.
This is not only true for the world, but the universe and within our minds. Not understanding this way of everything is the cause of many misleading thoughts and as conditioned humans they are hard to escape. Ever noticed how we compartmentalize our educational subjects? Ever noticed only people put beginnings and endings into everything? It’s nearly impossible to break this pattern of thought, but endings are an invention of humankind. Everything is connected and nothing concludes. Everything becomes something else. Planets become stars. Stars explode matter into other cosmic homes. When people die their atoms join with other things. There is no black and white. No good and evil. No love and hate. No beginning or end. No left or right. There is no side to take on anything. Everything is ever-changing and never-ending. This may very well go against centuries upon centuries of condensed intellectual thought and there will be people on different sides of these imaginary lines: Some will call this spiritual crap and others will call it blasphemy, or rather heresy. It’s because it’s scary to see absolutely everything is connected and people are just telling the same stories perpetually. They only find different expressions and develop new language for it, be it science, religion, or any subject.
As the mental walls begin to come down, it becomes apparent nothing is impossible. All subject matter ceaselessly intertwines and knowledge is a far less complicated puzzle than experts portray. There is nothing we can’t learn and nothing we can’t become. We just have to claw our way out of mental traps we have set for ourselves over the ages and cast aside this version of ourselves we were somehow convinced was the extent of our potential. Erase these lines and realize the only indisputable truth everything in the world silently screams:
We were always infinite.
CHECK IT OUT:
“Laramore Black’s Self-Loathing & Other Forms of Cynicism takes aim at the various institutional machinations that conspire to thwart the independent thinker via economic enslavement. Which is another way of saying, Black’s mixed-media blend is a great big Fuck You to the Powers That Be. Black immerses himself in the life to speak for the marginalized, rallying against conformity, prisons for profit and morals for sale. His passion for remaining true proves a powerful ally in the good fight against the corrupt pricks. This is some serious old-school frontline reportage. Hunter S. would be proud.”
— Joe Clifford, author of Junkie Love and Lamentation.
Feeling pretty goddamn proud this morning, thanks Joe…
#XLDissent: Students overtake DC to demand climate action
March 2, 2014
Over 500 students are risking arrest Sunday as they handcuff themselves to the White House fence, placing their bodies on the line in what many say may be a “watershed” moment for a generation. Under the banner XL Dissent, over one thousand college students are descending on the White House to force President Obama to face the individuals whose future is imperiled by current U.S. climate policy.
"Our generation is going to be stuck with the reality of decisions made now about whether to invest in destruction or the future," Smith College student Aly Johnson-Kurts told Common Dreams ahead of the demonstration. “We are realizing we cannot sit idly by, or we will not have a future to fight for.”
Beginning at 10 AM with a rally in Georgetown, the demonstrators will march to Lafayette Park, beside the White House, where they will hold a rally. En route, the protest will stop in front of Secretary of State John Kerry’s house to display a banner that reads “Sec. Kerry: Don’t Tar Your Legacy,” in reference to the pending Keystone XL tar sands pipeline decision, which has become a major flashpoint for the climate movement.
During the protest, demonstrators will also drop a 40 by 60 foot banner, cut to look like an oil spill, right on Pennsylvania Ave.
According to Jamie Henn, a co-founder of 350.org, upwards of 500 people are preparing to get arrested for handcuffing themselves to the White House fence. In preparation, many of the demonstrators took part in a mass civil disobedience training Saturday night.
In what promises to be the largest student-led civil disobedience action at the White House in a generation, many are saying that XL Dissent could become a watershed moment for a generation whose lives are guaranteed to be impacted by current climate change inaction.
“We’re building a culture of resistance,” Tufts University junior Evan Bell told Todd Zimmer of the Rainforest Action Network.
"The students taking part here in XL Dissent see their democratic responsibilities as extending beyond the voting booth," Henn wrote on the eve of the action. “If anything, the Obama administration seems to have solidified the impression that even the most youth-friendly candidates need to be pushed, protested, and forced into living up to their rhetoric.”
According to organizers, XL Dissent was not an initiative of the major environmental groups—though many have pledged their support. Instead, it was completely conceived and organized “from below,” by the students themselves. Many see it as a way to connect with the disparate groups, including First Nations, refining communities, ranchers and farmers, who—much like young people—are most directly impacted by climate change and energy policy.
"More and more, these young people are placing their hope in distributed networks of resistance, rather than in a president who ran on hope as a platform," wrote Zimmer. “They’re hovering in a space between fear, anger, and radical hope. They know their futures are on the line and feel more accountable to each other and frontline communities than elected politicians.”
Though the President’s pending approval of the Keystone pipeline has catalyzed many of the protesters, the demonstration Sunday “is about so much more than just one pipeline,” as Michael Greenberg, a 20-year-old sophomore at Columbia University, told Common Dreams.
"For me XL Dissent is about young people standing together and engaging in a bold act of civil disobedience, and through this, demonstrating our commitment to making this world a more humane, peaceful, and inclusive place to live," Greenberg continued.
"President Obama and D.C. policymakers need to take a hard look at who police will arrest this Sunday," Zimmer continued. "Some of those arrested will still be in high school. XL Dissent should give Obama pause, and force the president to consider who loses if Big Oil wins. He should see his own daughters in the faces of those who are arrested at his doorstep this weekend."