PORK #10 asked great questions that you can find at the link below, you can also flip to page 19 in the mag below to get your read on.
sean aaberg is one of the best interviewer, almost as good as I am. hehehee… I’m a huge fan of PORK, this was a huge honor! bellow you’ll find a link to the on-line edition of PORK #10, the embedded flip thru PDF as well as the complete un-edited text from the interview, this is the text I turned in that was eventually edited down…
here’s a direct link to the issue I’m interviewed in: http://issuu.com/seangoblinko/docs/pork10/1?e=0/1858094
Sean Äaberg: neg. attention… I like it.
recently a person told me they regretted the fact that they alienated all of their old contacts and pals they worked with… I thought, why would you care? fond memories are that, memories, but there was a reason you split with those folks, most likely philosophical differences.
then there’s the days I think about when my grade school teachers would accuse me of trying to get negative attention, they’d even go to lengths to tell kids to ignore me because I was trying to get neg. attention… now, when I think about that shit, I just think I was more in touch with my animal… had a freedom they couldn’t break… I also think that uncaged, animalistic freedom is fading fast and might be a thing of the past. but the negative is the only thing that can challenge the “smiles everyone” fascism of the future. gg allin was the greatest. we need a gg now. he was the king of neg. attention. smiles everyone’ fascism of the future = liberal facade
Sean Äaberg: Rubbing people’s face in the shit! It’s important. I had a revelation about how most of the planet lives in poverty, and the American middle class will do ANYTHING to prevent itself from sinking to “their level”, despite the lip service to saving the world and tithing, they would have them all killed before losing their foothold.
Shane Bugbee: heheheee… so true, but that’s part of the collective insanity, the collective delusional mind of most americans… they think they can control their fate or the fate of a forest, and they gave up once they went to a school, schools make slaves, beyond high school you enter into a indentured servitude deal, this is a slave state, humans are our biggest renewable commodity, we use them to bully others and all the while have the illusion we’re free, that we own stuff, even though your land can and will be taken at some point, and the collection you have spent all those precious days, years, minutes and hours collecting is eventually going to end up a thrift store as the ultimate punch line of your existence… now, don’t get me wrong, there are a few parents who guide their children to walk the line between warrior and survivor, but ultimately your choices are, slave up, warrior and go to prison or, act out and die in poverty only to have a bankers son invest in a film about your life… money goes back to money and anyone who thinks they can save a tree or the starving while still playing the game is insane. the unabomber had it correct.
Sean Äaberg: I think that if you are a master you can harness the elements, which I would include “the system” as an energy field, and use them how you want. Not by playing the game, but by using its energy. Have you observed the phenomenon of mind over matter?
Shane Bugbee: well, when you get down to it, ‘the system’ isn’t new… it isn’t anything but animal nature and energy, so I would agree with you but maybe use different words, I consider it understanding energies and being able to direct them and use them to your advantage, so it sounds like were saying the same thing. hehehehehe… I do understand ‘the system’ as it is of the ultimate power, a god that you will submit to or die fighting… outside of puling a Kaczynski and moving to the woods, no matter what you do, you become the system and it becomes you, masters understand how to get away with it, how to enjoy more of their time than the typical slave, but they too have to submit to ‘the system’, a lot less than most, but they are a lesser to ‘the system’… so, if you’re not playing the game, the game is playing you… I think, for the most part, it’s because the masters of today can not get together, they can not work together, I think ‘the system’ was created is a rare moment of masters from the past getting together and creating it… I believe it is still possible, but not probable in my lifetime that masters will get together, stay together and work at creating a differing system/god.
as far as observing the phenomenon of mind over matter.. I have, many times. but I’ve studied under some of the greatest masters, I seek out the wizards and the sage of the road, the sage of art and so on… mind over matter can and does happen… though, some who think they are experiencing it have basically tricked themselves perceptional and not in a reality others will see and/or one persons mind over matter is another persons fantasy. the only place I’ve found the game does not exist as far as ‘the system’ is where love rears it’s lust scented head… fun based in love is the ultimate freedom and masters know that joy on a repetitive basis.
Sean Äaberg: So, you & Amy set out on a road-trip to document this wide variety of American characters, tell me about how this project came to a head.
Shane Bugbee: it came to a head after moving to LA and making a porn and being invited to work in porn… I couldn’t do it. LA is cut and dry, predator and prey, and, when I was in Chicago, I could, I would pounce, take advantage of, use and not give fuck, once I had prey offering themselves up to me daily in LA, I snapped, amy came home one day and I was packing and telling her no-more… days before that I ended up telling her I couldn’t do it anymore, “it” being anything to do with the system at large… this all stemmed from being run out of a town after having a thriving business that was ultimately my lottery ticket, you see, I started a soda company and when you do well in that game, the big sugar hustlers buy you out… well, right as that was happening the shunning hammered us something good and the drive to LA was hard, I left so much behind, had to drive away in the middle of the night… and the one thing that kept clouding my mind was capitalism, I had always figured that was my ticket out of the shit zipcode and life I had been born into, at that moment, I realized it was a cage… it was the ultimate in control, sort of the lesson you could take from the eddie murphy/dan aykroyd movie trading places… so, in LA I gave up… it was at that point that I started to get back to the person I was when Amy and I met, the long hair, don’t give a fuck, trouble maker, the person who did from heart mind and politics, not bank and business… so as we packed up, we could no longer listen to the news and the idea started to form, new media was just taking off and as we drove up to the San Francisco area to work with a group of artists, I came up with the crazy idea of hitting the road for a year, I felt we could capture the last snap shot of american innocence before everyone was a broadcaster, paint a damning document of america and move to cuba. we obviously found america to be where our fight was and we stayed… we found americans to be worth it, they are fine and in general a smart people… until you get them together in a group that is. hehehee
Sean Äaberg: Let’s talk about this soda company. You said out of anything you’ve done, selling kids sugar has been the one you feel the worst about. Tell us the soda story.
Shane Bugbee: the soda story… well, growing up in chicago, my fathers uncle drove a truck, he took me to this soda maker and I fell in love… in love with the colors of the soda, a rainbow of sugar water… when I moved up to that small town, I knew obscene comix and a satanic internet radio station wouldn’t pay the bills or go over well, and let me explain, we moved up to ely to help amy’s father who had a stroke, before that stroke, I had offers in vegas and NY and it looked as if I was taking the NY offer, so we moved to ely, mn, and I needed a way to pay the bills… smoked my last joint and thought about what a bartender in ely had told me over lunch, that the only thing happening in their small town was a blueberry festival that attracted like 50,000 people and that’s when I started thinking if I could pull ¢.25 cents out of each one of them we could survive, so poof, the soda idea was scrawled on a priority mail envelope, I called that soda company my uncle introduced me to as a kid, they said they’d do it and the soda took off… stores all over minnesota carried the soda and it sold quick… when we’d do county fairs, folks would ask about the ingredients and I’d tell folks who would buy it for their kids that the soda had red40 in it as a coloring and, it was linked to migraines in children, they’d laugh and tell me how they thought my honesty was nobel and then buy double or triple what they planed on buying… they’d ask if I had a diet version and I’d pour half of the bottle out and tell them to walk as they drank it and they’d laugh and buy a trunk full of our soda, when I’d market it as a bad for you soda, we sold even more… seeing overweight, sickly looking kids cheer me on and beg for free soda, well, that shit wasn’t so cool… and when I compare the books and comix the courts and distro channels deemed obscene with selling soda pop, I felt there wasn’t a lot of differences, one was it was acceptable to sell the soda to kids and the fact that soda selling takes advantage of ignorance and selling obscene comix and books infiltrates the so-called intelligent.
Sean Äaberg: So these Minnesotans figure out who you are, that their blueberry soda man is this media terrorist & they blacklist you guys, shun you, run you out of town. Earlier we were talking about the system & how it sucks you back in, no matter what, so given that you could have success at selling soda, would there have been a way to “be legit” from the get go & somehow ride the fence combining your desire to get a rise out of the public & your intuitive business sense?
Shane Bugbee: in respect to that moment in minnesota, the net was new for all to have in their home, it was magic to a lot of folk, so we fell victim to circumstance beyond our control. when the problem first happened, we met with the native american tribe, they were going to help, they were going to hire us for 2 years to run the soda company and train someone from the tribe to take over… during the final meeting they said they could not, when asked why, they said politics and when I started to ask him for a solid reason, the head guy told me it wasn’t about satan, it was because we stepped on too many toes too quick, we did too much too fast, we started a soda company, it was successful, we then took the money and started an arts and entertainment paper and sold ads, and then built the first website in the area where we started to produce podcasts of locals and compete with the local radio station, and, at the same time I was running the cable access station…. this was all in less than a year… so I guess we freaked folks out… hell, when I started the soda the guy who ran the radio station told me they’ll never let you in the blueberry fest so I took out ads asking for kids with wagons or coolers on skateboards who want to make money rolling our soda around the blueberry fest and selling it… the day the ad hit, the radio station guy called and gave us 1/2 the radio station booth at the fest, he made me join the chamber of commerce… and we played politics the best we knew how… so, I really did do what I could to be legit, when the soda came out we made special quart bottles and delivered them to every one in power as a pre-thanx, the mayor, anyone voted into an office, dropped off cases to the police and fire dept… the soda was sold and ok’d by the big grocery store, we had banners at all the gas stations. when a competitor found out about my history, they sent out a 300 piece scarlet letter and that same radio guy who eventually gave us 1/2 the stations booth, called me and told me the rumor mill was going and that we’d be shunned… he came over to meet with us and told me, why not take my websites down, that that would help… at that point I was like no-way. fuck that. you know, when I moved to that town I knew this would happen, I told amy when they find out about my interests I’m fucked… and I figured, if I lived next to some guy who did something I might be suspect of, and he signed his name to it over trying to hide it, I could respect that, maybe, depending on what it was, but in general, if the guy tried to hide it, I would never trust him and would definitely be on the outs with someone of that character. so, I guess I could say, sure, I should have put my websites in a business name and not my own, I could have used a pen name and not my own, but that, even now as I sit with a tooth ache that I have to scrape change to fix, even now, it just feels like the wrong decision and contrary to my politics and my politics have driven what I do, not profit, politics. today, I would say, don’t move to an area like that, find a location that might have a mass of your kind, move there and be yourself and see how that works out.
Sean Äaberg: Right. Okay, let’s go back to the book. You went to go see what was really going on in America, what’s really going on?
Shane Bugbee – hehehee… well, what I found was it was a lot different than the collective divided politics or religion that the media so readily portrays. people seem to be people, typical and special, smart and stupid all rolled into one. I guess what I learned was, within the philosophical belief I hit the road with, the might is right, survival of the fittest, satanic philosophy, the thing that is missing is compassion and cooperation. compassion and cooperation are an essential element to our survival, no matter your might. – so, that is what’s happening that I was naive to, that I didn’t get, maybe that’s because I spent so many years in chicago, a very violent culture, but once we left our criminally stupid families and the violent surroundings of chicago we found folks to be, in general, ‘good’ and opinionated and surprisingly interested in hearing of other opinions, they we open minded, and mind you, we stayed with strangers and folks we might hate, remember, my goal was to paint a damning document of america, but after hanging with all kinds of americans, I couldn’t do that…. so, what’s going on is survival and within the survival of the fittest, folks are working together and have feelings for you and will help, if you ask… another lesson, the ego is a trick… it can be a hard lesson if you put too much stock in ego.
Sean Äaberg: I noted in your interview with Ian Mackaye that he throws belief aside & says he is defined by his work. This is the idea of a man being judged by his deeds, not his words. I was listening to Alex Jones talking to David Icke last night & Icke talked about belief being a very dangerous thing. So, you had these beliefs & then you went & saw what was going on, how did this change your beliefs?
Shane Bugbee: well, maybe Ian defines himself by his work, but that doesn’t me a lunatic wouldn’t define him as a terrorist. I’m not sure where David Icke is coming from… I’m an atheist as well as a skeptic and no, I do not see that combo as mutually exclusive…
so, for me beliefs are based in what I think I know thru my actual experiences, there is nothing spiritual in belief for me, there isn’t a mystical element, I’m not a ‘believer’ yet I have a belief that fluctuates day to day, I define my belief as what I know… I don’t assume to know everything as some ‘believers’ do, they have given up on thinking, and, base their life in their belief system, which would be correctly defined as faith, faith in what they would like the ending to be or how they would like the world to be, they have faith that it could be a certain way, that we can achieve a utopian existence by doing it their way, thru a belief and faith… religion/belief/faith is really just an ancient way of being political and/or voting. I lack faith.
of course, my personal philosophy based in what I know or think I know and what I’d like to see evolve, what I feel is right for you and me and all to make a perfect utopian existence…. but this is based on action, on observing, of experience, not belief.
I would say, today, I have a lot more of a live and let live mentality, I’m more of an anarchist now, a zen anarchist… my philosophy is very similar as to when I left on the road and before I moved to that small minnesotan town, I wouldn’t say that’s changed too much… I have issues because of what happened in minnesota, a paranoid streak that stops my fwd. motion, a fear of expression that I never had before, I had a stuttering issue when I was young, but my father knocked that out of me, each stutter resulted in a punch to the face, and that stutter has started to come back a bit…. but, if anything, the trip was a listening tour for me, I listened, so you can add that to my philosophy, I believe listening more has worked out good for me, but the trip only confirmed my philosophy and/or what I know about humanity… for me, philosophy isn’t something to follow or believe in, it’s something to challenge and add to, if you follow a philosophy, it becomes a religion and with religion you no longer need to expand your thoughts and you stop thinking and you start following… it’s ok to be a hypocrite, you must be a hypocrite to evolve, so as we’ve spoken about, I was once a die-hard capitalist, today, I see the trappings of that, not that I’m a commie, but I’m not for the system at large either. I’ve also added compassion and cooperation to my survival of the fittest/might is right philosophy, so these are ways I’ve changed… I have become more of a person who really strives to understand, I’m not so quick to judge, BUT, I still trust my instincts, so I judge based on feeling, not on your shoes… I guess the one thing we haven’t touched on is trust… that was the greatest gift the road trip gave me was trust for my fellow man, and I’m not talking a thoughtless trust, I’m talking, not putting every living, breathing, person in the same “fuck people” category, if I feel I can trust you and, I can afford the loss if you fuck me over, I’m going to side with trust over no trust.
Sean Äaberg: One of your standard questions in the book is “what is art” & this is followed up by “is art necessary?” You also ask if there is such a thing that is “too much free speech”. As someone who has pushed the limits of socially acceptable subject matter & have been chased by the torch wielding townies, what are your feelings about this?
Shane Bugbee: well, art, I have a differing opinion on this, sometimes differing from day to day, as of recent I think art isn’t that special, it’s the arrogance of man that deems it special, birds build, they sing, animals express… I guess what makes art/expression special is the expression, the emotions, the evolution of thought, like I was saying in the last question, the adding to a philosophy or thought or belief or faith or questioning those sacred cows or tearing them down or, for birds, building a better nest… as far as expression being necessary, I would say open honest expression is very necessary and, the stifling of it is one of the things our society does so well, and, by stifling a creatures expression, you pervert their animal… I’m sure the goal of the hand full of masters who created the societal rules we obey was to tame the animal, and one of the best ways is to stifle their expression, just ask your dog… what the suppression of expression has done to the human is cause a dramatic perversion in our animal, from serial killers to school shooters to child molesters to dick heads that take off the top of a mountain with out thinking of future generations, it has really created a problem… now, I see expression and art like family, related, but not the same thing… art and beauty is of course necessary, it feeds the mind, it inspires, it is food… a flower, a nice ass… beauty is probably an important element of evolution, so art, creating beauty, showing off your creative animal shows you can probably build a better shelter, you can survive and the girl/boy follows you and we evolve.
free speech – yes, there is such a thing as too much free speech… when you have highly educated psychologist helping to coaching an artists hand to manipulate you and your child into buying a cheaper more profitable and bad for you toothpaste, yea, that’s too much free speech… by the corporations standards, free speech is manipulating the colorers you react to, their free speech is the opposite of artistic free speech, it is of a speech that is to get you NOT to think, to act with out thought. artistic free speech, I’m not sure there could ever be too much free speech because, art at it’s base and as I’ve said adds beauty, and that’s impotent for evolution and, at it’s highest, is working at making you think, to question, to ask why and/or why not… the corporate speech is working at getting you to submit, to not ask anything but how much.
Sean Äaberg: What would you like this book to do as it makes its way into people’s lives?
Shane Bugbee: corrupt. I hope it reads as I remember it in my mind, with all the years and the thousands of hours of interviews and pages of blogs and stories we edited down, I have no clue how the book reads to others, but I tried to show many belief systems with the silly ideal that folks might take time to try and understand other human beings more, understand our differences are so petty at times… not peace, love and understanding, more like piece of ass, lust and understanding… hehehehee but is does sound hippy maybe, but after getting run out of a town and being misunderstood, well, I found out we’re all misunderstood by someone and maybe we should try to be understood here and there… without giving it all away of course, we still must play the trickster, if that’s your deal that is.
Sean Äaberg: Do you have follow-up projects in mind, what’s next for the Bugbees?
Shane Bugbee: well, amy has just finished a vanilla cookbook and is putting together a compilation of her whore of horror short stories and I’m working on an art based website that I feel will be like a zine of sorts, but a website, and we’ll talk art, lowbrow, underground stuff, but not like an art mag, like a trouble making, fuck you zine… you could say I’m getting back to my mike hunt publishing roots but as an old man, so the conversation is a bit more fitting my age, less kill people and more a beat the man if you can, work your mind if your so inclined kind of thing… I’m also working on a mike hunt retrospective book… there are a lot of stories from those days and I feel they need to be put in a book… they are part of history and the fuck if I want my enemies re-writing my history.
Sean Äaberg: Within this world of transgression, of pushing societal boundaries & breaking taboos you end up embodying “the trickster”, who, by playing tricks on people/the world they end up raising awareness & acting as an equalizer. In our increasingly totalitarian society, patience, open-mindedness & generosity have all gone out the window as values. How does one survive as a trickster when society doesn’t want any tricks?
Shane Bugbee: well, when it’s in your nature I guess you just live the best you can and eventually you’re driven off of a cliff, maybe. I’d like to say adapt or overcome, but that seems like such a submissive proposition if what you’re adapting to is contrary to what feels right to you… really, I have no idea if I can survive the way I love, the way that feels right inside at this point, when we hit the beach like 5 years ago, it was a time when the economy was dead and new media was chaos, no way to earn… so it was a great time to sit off to the side and think and wait until things stabilized, so, we took the opportunity to produce this book and movie… today as I re-enter the game, shit looks bleek as far as survival in the underground arts… maybe I’m a museum piece… maybe not. this is the year we will see what kind of tricks I can pull out of my sleeve, what kind of life I might manifest and what kind of luck I might make happen… or die trying maybe… I think that might be my only other option, I’m not sure I can be anything than what I am and what I try to do… yea, I’m just not sure I can do anything else. 2013 – starvation or survival?!?!?