Monday, November 05, 2007

Blasts From My Pasts

It's been that sort of few days. First it was running across a Sarah Posner piece that worked in an already-planned post. I discovered her new home blog, linked to it and somewhat clumsily acknowledged that she and I knew each other briefly in law school. What happened next has happened enough I should no longer be surprised -- she traced back the link and emailed me. Her email was basically "Who the hell are you?" so clearly she made a stronger impression on me than I on her.

Then, and more significantly, a friend from high school contacted me through the blog. This is the first time it has happened and, given that I graduated with about three and a half friends, odds are the last. (I did run across one Russ Childers in a ProgressOhio discussion, but this is the first time someone found me solely through the Pages)

Somewhere in there a college alumni mag came which is always an odd experience. Why is it everyone I thought would end up incarcerated is fabulously wealthy now?

Anyway, the topper came yesterday when David Giffels profiled area native Brad Warner. Brad and I were best friends in middle school. We were not friends by the end of high school due to a traumatic series of escalating fallings out.

Thanks to Giffels article I've tracked Brad to his blog, and to his regular column on Suicide Girls. (Be warned that SG is an edgy softcore site. The link is reasonably SFW, but the URL not so much.) Reading up on Brad is surreal. It's like visiting the classroom of a beloved teacher twenty years later and finding out that the pictures on the wall are all the same. It's like discovering that the walls of the elementary school gym have been painted but the climbing rope really was that high.

In other words, I recognize things in Brad that I would not have guessed were still part of him. He was a kid of obsessions -- Mad Magazine, Japanese monster movies and rock music among them. He currently works for a Japanese monster movie studio and is coming to the area to plug a documentary on the Cleveland area punk scene. And he's titling blog posts along the lines of "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions."

And Brad was always an iconoclast. Brad wearing his hair in defiance of hardcore convention is so utterly Brad little more need be said. Other than I remember him saying how much he liked Randy Rhodes.

The part of Brad that is different is his practice of Zen Buddhism which is the primary focus of his writing.

As I said, Brad is in town for a series of events around publicizing his documentary, but he is also some Buddhism-related talks. I copied the following itinerary from his blog. Any or all of these should be worth your time:


Village Green said...

I had my first experience of someone from my distant past contacting me through my blog. A post I had written about Marcel Marceau somehow gained the attention of my first mime teacher, now living in San Diego. I had mentioned my experiences in his class in my post, and a few days later received an email from him. Hadn't seen him since 1971. He says he stops in Akron regularly and promised to come visit my students! That was definitely a valuable blog post.

sab said...

I mentioned the BJ article about Brad Warner to my twenty-ish punk step- son. He's a nice kid but we have nada in common culturally. I was quite surprised that he found Giffels Brad Warner article interesting, and he hauled it off to his lair to read.