Tuesday, February 23, 2016


So I'm struggling on whether to publish this one partially because it involves someone that may or may not stumble across this entry.  Actually, it involves a couple of people.  Nothing bad.  All good on their part.  Just not sure what it means about me and whether or not I can get at the root of what I'm feeling without tainting it in a favorable light under the lens of a perceived potential reader.

A couple of flashbacks:

First was an attempt well over a decade ago to make some new platonic friends that would help me explore the music scene that was flourishing in Silverlake (I think technically it's Silver Lake, but everyone says it like one word and it just fits into my mind as one word).  Spaceland (which is now The Satellite) was within walking distance of my house.  Pretty sure this was right before FYF started in Echo Park.  Anyway, I met a guy on gay.com that worked at Amoeba Records and it was cool.  Just a slight hint of sexual tension to keep things interesting and just generally a nice guy.  So we decided to hit up Spaceland together when some electroclash band was playing (I forget which) and he see's a guy at the bar that he knows and introduces me.

"This is Bruce.  He has a 'straight job'." And they proceeded to make scrunchy faces at each other like I just farted.  And he didn't mean straight job as in rough trade.  No.  I'm a nine to fiver.  Corporate.  One of "those people",

Second was something I already wrote about. Where I was in a glaring contest between a trick's roommate because my dress slacks and button-front shirt offended his sensibilities.  

Then there was this time I was complimenting another blogger on his pic and he mentioned his fashion-driven boyfriend says the shirt he was wearing in the pic was kinda douchy.  Yeah...  I guess.  But then I thought about it and checked my closet and was like, "Holy fuck!  I'm a yuppie!  When did that happen?!"  Yeah, there were the occasional fun things in there like suspenders and a Bert and Ernie shirt but it was pretty monochromatic and dull in there.

So finally, when I was talking to this other fellow blogger on the phone, he asked what I did.  I told him and his response: "Wow, I don't think I could ever do that." 

I immediately felt myself become a little defensive.  Partially because I admire this guy.  He has strikingly complex views and is following a path that compliments those views to surprising results, including a profession that's both unconventional yet not wholly uncommon.  Or perhaps his attitude transforms the work.  The other part that made me defensive is this constant struggle to suggest that conventional professions do not equate to conventional thoughts.  I got lazy and put his comment into a pattern that I found myself in over and over, this fight to put forth that empathy and beauty comes from everywhere, from the center and the fringes.  I love Allen Ginsberg but I also love Wallace Stevens.  Beatniks and the corporate execs.

Of course, this wasn't what the blogger was implying at all.  He was merely saying that he couldn't see himself doing what I do.  There wasn't any judgement other than the self-evaluation of success within a different framework.  But it nagged me just a little for a split second, because it plays with an unresolved issue in my mind: this post-modern struggle from the collapse of the commercial to the artistic.  Do I do what I do because it's what I do best?  Or is what I do guided by the market?  And that authenticity is just impossible to see through all the patterns that shroud it.

And if you're wondering what he does, he's an escort.  And after reading my blog, he called me a "pornographer" with such positive musical tones I kinda wanted him to say "brussel sprouts" to see if it makes them more palatable.


Not Alone said...

You pornographer you!

Bruce Chang said...

The only reason why it kinda feels credible is because apparently I'm banned in certain countries. Ha! But then again, I wonder of Calvin Klein ads are also banned in those same countries. Ha!

Anonymous said...

Well, I've never let my various desk jobs define me while away from the desk!

After all, a buck's a buck and a girl's got to eat!

Paul, NYC

Bruce Chang said...

Yeah, I'm not gonna romanticize poor. Been there already.