“If we consume the product as product, we consume its meaning through advertising. Let us imagine for a moment modern cities stripped of all their signs, with walls bare like a guiltless conscience. And then GARAP appears. This single expression, GARAP is inscribed on all the walls: pure signifier, without a signified, signifying itself. Signified despite itself, it is consumed as sign. Advertising, like GARAP, is mass society, which, with the aid of an arbitrary and systematic sign, induces receptivity, mobilizes consciousness, and reconstitutes itself in the very process as the collective. Through advertising mass society and consumer society continuously ratify themselves.” —Jean Baudrillard, The System of Objects
I’d sort of be lying if I said it started with a single picture, but that’s when it really became concrete. That’s the moment I can pinpoint. I’ve been drawing and writing since I was a kid. The dream was to become a comic book artist. But as I grew up, I fell more in love with books, and comics started to take a backseat. I started writing poetry. I began learning to play the guitar and bass. All those poems were songs in waiting. Eventually, some friends and I started a band and we kept at it for almost 8 years, with two albums under our belt.
Those things came to an end. Not so much because I hated music, but as soon as I got close enough to the music industry to see behind the scenes, I wanted no part of it. Then one of the members died, and that was the nail in the coffin for me. At some point in my mid-twenties, I had a chance encounter that led to me trying to shop a screenplay I’d written called Beer Run of the Dead. That fell through but a couple years later, I converted the thing into a book. By age 26, I’d written the dumbest novel on the planet that basically asked the question, “What if the cure to a zombie bite was booze?”
Years of partying essentially wrote the book. I’d been trying to write it since high school, but the lack of actual living always left me with something hollow. (more…)