Friday, January 01, 2010

It's been ages since I've used this blog, but for those who might want to get in touch, email me at .

Sunday, December 10, 2006

man down

Sean Fightmaster
6/24/69 ~ 12/6/06

Sean Fightmaster

Sean Fightmaster died last Wednesday (6 Dec 06). I'm not sure where they are burying him (if they are in fact burying him), but if you see his grave please leave him a bottle of beer and some spare change. He was a welcome splash of color in a city that was often much too gray.

There's a guest book where you can leave messages (until they decide to remove it... perhaps I will mirror it here afterwards).

There's also a MySpace page for him here.

I've been getting email from friends all day and reading the posts at the guest book and I'm really struck by how much Sean is loved. Everyone has a Sean moment, a story that makes them smile... I've had conversations with total strangers who, hearing I lived in SLC, asked me if I knew Sean, and it's like a bonding thing: "were you there when...?", "did you hear about...?". Since the first time I mentioned him in a post here three years ago, I've received email from numerous people asking me if I knew what Sean was up to now, or sharing their stories. He certainly is an unforgettable person, truly one of a kind.

The last time I saw Sean was on my last visit to SLC; I hadn't seen him in a couple of years, but we talked like it had only been days, basically resuming the last conversation we'd had before I left SLC. He seemed very bright and clear. He had this way of saying something really funny, delivered totally straight like he hadn't intended it to be funny. In most of my memories of Sean, everyone around him is smiling.

UPDATE (23 Dec 2006): I am going to just add to this post, because right now it comforts me to see Sean's picture on this page.

I had a couple of very rough days dealing with Sean's death. I could tell you all kinds of stories about how he was bigger than life, how he was literally a legend in his own time, but it would all sound like the kind of things people say about someone after they have died. The important thing to remember about Sean is that we spoke of him that way when he was alive. I'm not going to pretend I never wanted to kick his ass, but the rest of the time being around him felt like having front-row seats to something important and exciting. He was kind and intelligent and was funny without being mean. He had uncanny style and charm.

Reading through the guest book (linked above) it is plain to see how much Sean was loved and how much he will be missed. There is also a story of sorts, a context to be found in the names and places of the people leaving messages: Sean's friends didn't all come from some little clique, or even from what any one person would consider to be 'the scene'. Sean had a way of transcending such distinctions, and his friends vary wildly in scene affiliation, age, and personality. Any two people might have very little in common except that they were both friends with Sean.

It has been a good thing reading all of the messages people have left for Sean and his family. There are names there that I have not heard in years. And hearing them now, sharing their feelings for Sean, does make it a little easier. There is less of a sense of loss, knowing that people are still carrying Sean in their hearts.

ANOTHER UPDATE (19 Jan 2007): It's been over a month now.

There were a couple of articles in SLUG: With a Name like Fightmaster, You Have a Reputation to Live Up To and his sister, Cyd, wrote up a Fightmaster Memorium.

There's been a flurry of activity on the a guest book today due to an article about Sean in the Salt Lake Tribune ("Punk's passing"). It is a fitting tribute to Sean, and I'm glad there's now a permanent record noting his passing. One of the few things I regret about my time in Utah is that I have little material evidence of the people and places that meant so much to me... we didn't have digital cameras (or computers to plug them into) back then, and there were a few years where everything I owned fit in a backpack, a lifestyle that doesn't lend itself to collecting memorabilia.

So I just collected memories... and the various strains that drugs, university, and time (in roughly that order) have put on my brain have been steadily eroding those memories. The pictures and memories of Sean that others have shared have not only helped me deal with Sean's death, they have brought back some of the feeling of those days, that sense that something incredible (even when it was incredibly tragic,or incredibly boring) was going on and that I was right where I needed to be.

Ave atque vale, Sean. Peace be upon you. And upon your family and friends and everyone whose memory you burned yourself into.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

knowing when to stop

Last night I watched 'Fearless', and it was great... because I stopped the film two minutes before the nominal ending, where the film would have ended had they not dumbed it down for an American audience. While seeing how deftly they managed to completely fuck up and negate the previous two hours of storyline in those last two minutes is educational, it's not very entertaining. I'm going to rip the DVD, edit out the final scene, and make my own director's cut of the film so I don't need to be so quick with the remote.

This got me thinking about time, and what I'd being doing with it if I had more directorial control over my life. I feel like I am in a variable time stasis field... weeks will go by in a blink, and then a night will last forever. I'm somewhat torn about this site... it's my primary interface to the world, 'putting myself out there' as it were, and I've met some Good People who were kind enough to tolerate my rants. I haven't actually decided yet, but I think it might be time to put this blog to rest. But it's one thing, knowing when to stop, and another thing entirely knowing what to do with my time after I have stopped. Time will tell.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


This kind of sums up the dread I've been feeling the last few days:

TODAY the Pentagon will hold the America Supports You Freedom Walk, ostensibly to commemorate the victims of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and to show support for members of the armed forces. Nothing could be better contrived to show the high price Americans have paid since that day of infamy.

The Freedom Walk is limited to those who register and submit to being searched. The route of the march will be fenced and lined with police officers. No one can join the march en route. No one can leave it. The press cannot walk along the route. The walk to proclaim Americans' freedom reveals how much freedom we have lost.

This ill-conceived event is but a symbol of larger losses: The Patriot Act reduces Americans' protection from government scrutiny. The U.S. invasion of Iraq, falsely predicated on a hazy connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida, has cost almost as many U.S. lives as the terrorist attacks of 9/11, with no end in sight. Whereas most of the world sympathized with Americans in the weeks following 9/11, the nation is now less admired than communist-ruled China.

People dying all over the place and this administration just keeps pretending everything is peachy. I'm not sure who I hate more, Bush or the legions of fuckheads that still support this bullshit.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

quick, everybody, back in the fish

We're back in 'civilization' now, though it only took one look at the news to make me feel like heading back to the desert... it seems like everything is Horribly Wrong. I'm disgusted by the way our government has handled the New Orleans disaster. Too disgusted to even think clearly about it right now.

Burning Man was the best yet, mostly because we had Good People in our camp, and met more out and about. We camped our way home again, stopping at hot springs and cold rivers, taking our time. We're already developing our evil plans for next year's burn.

We're visiting the folks tonight, heading up to Portland in the morning... I should be back to my regularly posting self in the near future.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

round and round

These 360° panoramas of the Louvre are beautiful. Requires Quicktime.

Monday, August 29, 2005

culture of fear...

... and of rampant ignorance.

FOX 'news' reporter John Loftus identified a suspected terrorist by race (Middle-Eastern) and name (Iyad K. Hilal) and home address. There are more than a few things wrong with this:
  • If there really was a terrorist at that address, is there *any* justification for broadcasting the address before that person has been taken into custody?
  • There isn't a terrorist at that address. It's a family of five. The suspected terrorist did live at that address, but moved three years ago.
  • FOX has a horrendous track record when it comes to reporting the truth. The things they tend to get right are 'wag the dog' stories where a fiction broadcast wide enough becomes a new truth.
  • Which leads to the biggest problem: FOX's demographic consists largely of people who confuse 'adjusting prejudices' with 'thinking'.

It's that last one that makes this one particularly newsworthy. Within hours of the newscast, maps to the family's home had been posted on numerous conservative websites, and a campaign of harrasment was begun. Over the weekend some bright spark spray-painted 'TERRIST' on the house. Enough hostile or ill-meaning people have come by that the cops now just station a car across the street.

Imagine what would have happened if there was someone Middle-Eastern living there.

FOX just keeps racking up severe fuckups like this, but they pander so well to fear and xenophobia and ignorance that their viewers find FOX 'news' to be right up their street... i.e. it's narrow, and twisted, and only one way. 'Fair and balanced' my ass.