Montmartre a Nuit

I’ve moved to Paris. There’s none of the traditional reasons behind this– there was no girl, no job, no school. I basically hit a point in my life where I was sick and tired of feeling miserable and trapped in the perpetuation of existence that I’d started when I got my first shit job at the age of fifteen. There are amazing, inspiring people out in the world who find what’s important to them and pursue it, make it work, and cling to it with their very lives. I had a couple failed bands, a couple failed relationships and struggled to find the time and energy just to write little things here. My health was in decline and although I can’t say I was unhappy, really, I knew complacency was killing me.

My trip here last spring caught me at the right moment. Paris is amazing, and as inspiring as the people who I’ve been fortunate enough to know who demand the right to chase their dreams. I knew before returning home that I wanted to live here, and so I started figuring out ways to make it work. This is why I started writing articles for Wired– I asked my editor friend for advice about getting into freelance writing and he suggested I start working with him; he’s been there every step of the way so far, teaching me how to self-edit, teaching me how to develop pitches, teaching me how to become a desirable commodity. The fact that the industry is choking right now didn’t bother me any more than the fact that I can’t speak French does.

And so I’m here, a month in, trying to figure out my life. It’s been tough for the obvious reasons and thrilling for the not so obvious. Trying to get into a steady work rhythm to churn out articles for my two Wired connections and build up a good set of clipping to expand my subject field. I also started a new blog:

Je Suis Le Grand Zombie (after the Mekons)

Fear not porn hungry lurkers who find their way here due to the movies I watch– I still intend on making use of the site for all things not French that bother me. Hopefully now that I’ve shed the 50 hour week (40 on the clock, lunches, commutes) my dedicated writing hours can expand and consume everything in its path. Hopefully this can include you.

So far I’ve managed to hook up with a local, English language webzine called Vingt:

Delpire & Cie

They provided me with a plus one pass so I brought my bilingual friend Robin who brought his camera. We almost missed the opening because I misread the hours but we scurried in with half an hour to spare and careened through the crowded galleries scribbling notes and snapping pictures.

Guy Maddin

Canadian director Guy Maddin is a favorite of mine so it was pretty amazing to find the Pompidou was doing a retrospective. I told Vingt about it and eventually they were able to secure free entry, although it was getting pretty late in the screening schedule. Met up with the editor and were hassled before being allowed inside. Worth the wait? I had expected some extravagant display and was cheated by a couple flatscreens playing the same montage. So mostly I just missed more movies I could have written about in the review.

Primitive

Long time accidental viewers may recall my mention of a strange video installation I never expected to see. Walking down the street one night I wandered past an ad for it at the Musee d’Art Moderne. Vingt again secured entry and I again secured Robin which was fortunate since the desk denied knowing anything about free passes. The guy eventually just took our good word and printed us up a couple tickets but then Robin was yelled at for taking pictures so it was really more of a general experience than an art show.

If you know of anything cool going on in Paris let me know, I’ll try to get in for free. Oh shit, speaking of which:

Jay Reatard

The first thing I did. The point of Vingt is to let you know what’s going down, not rub your face in it after the fact. I was e-mailed a list of upcoming shows and the only name I really knew was Reatard’s so I did a quick profile on him before the concert. This got me a free ticket to see the show (sounds scandalous, I know) which I tried to go to but it was canceled because Reatard insisted on playing over the legal dB level.

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