Bubbles&Gutz

my name is brian cook. here's a bunch of random stuff.

Anonymous asked: What's your take on people using homophobic slurs? Obviously they're bad, but for example, on the commentary of the Botch DVD, one of the other guys, jokingly, calls you a fag. Is it okay as long as you know the person and know that they don't mean it?

My bandmates are allowed to jokingly call me a fag because I know where they actually stand on the issue. I know the joke isn’t about my orientation; the joke is about homophobia. However, the joke requires a precedent in order to be acceptable. I haven’t seen the Botch DVD or listened to the commentary since we were mixing the audio, so I don’t remember the context of the slur. I do recall that I dedicated a song to my partner, Reno. So I assume the slur was a response to that moment of the set. Botch was a family. We were like brothers. And I think that bond is obvious on the DVD. So the slur is obviously a joke because the band obviously accepts me.

That said, there have been moments where I’ve had to remind friends that just because I can see the humor in a gay joke, that doesn’t mean other people see it as such. A joke that’s really funny in the van isn’t necessarily funny around strangers. A good rule of thumb is to assume everyone within earshot is struggling with their sexual orientation and sensitive to humor that might be seen as demeaning. So while in the privacy of the van it might be funny to ask if I’d rather bang Kevin James or Kevin Spacey (Kevin James, obvsly), that same question could come across as confrontational, crude, and accusatory if overheard by someone in the club who doesn’t know that Russian Circles has a gay guy in the band and two gay guys in their crew.

reidhaithcock:

Brian Cook, Brooklyn, NY
While in Brooklyn after the Thou gigs, I got to kick it with my dude Brian for a minute.

Reidhaithcock.com | Facebook




Dammit. I was too lazy post-tour to go see Thou, but I’m glad i got to hang with Mr. Haithcock for a minute.

reidhaithcock:

Brian Cook, Brooklyn, NY

While in Brooklyn after the Thou gigs, I got to kick it with my dude Brian for a minute.

Reidhaithcock.com | Facebook

Dammit. I was too lazy post-tour to go see Thou, but I’m glad i got to hang with Mr. Haithcock for a minute.

Anonymous asked: I used to be homophobic but I am not anymore. I want you to know that I love you. I am sorry for being a dick.

I’ve been called a “faggot” a few times, mainly by rednecks driving by in pick-up trucks. And aside from a few well-intentioned but totally ignorant Michael Scott-esque comments, that’s about the extent of the direct homophobia I’ve had to endure in my life. I’m really lucky. 

This isn’t to say that i’ve been sheltered from homophobia. Our culture, in general, is homophobic. Growing up, my parents’ church was anti-gay. I had school teachers who referred to homosexuality as “a deviancy”. I still can’t get married and have it recognized on a federal level. How many times has being gay been the punchline in a shitty Hollywood comedy? And hell, there isn’t an American male alive who hasn’t had his masculinity attacked with a gay slur at some point in his life. 

But for the most part, the people in my life have only been supportive. Which makes this note all the more cryptic. If I know who you are, Anonymous, I don’t think I was aware you were being a dick. 

thingsthatwillneverbecool asked: Brian, Awesome news about the book being available on the upcoming tour. I couldn't find a synopsis anywhere. Could you provide one? Thanks, good luck and I'm excited for the Boston date. - Rob

Hey Rob,

Sorry for the slow reply. I’m pretty lousy at keeping up with my inbox, especially on tour. Hope you made it out to the show. 

It’s probably too late to give you a synopsis, but since I haven’t done much online to explain what the book is about, I figured I’d use this opportunity to give it a brief description. 

The novel—The Second Chair Was Meant For You—follows three characters grappling with various existential crises over the course of 24-hours. Rory, a single man in his early thirties, is unfulfilled by his future prospects and his friends’ arrested development. Shelly, a childless middle-aged schoolteacher grieves the loss of her best friend and contemplates her loneliness in the world. Noel, a veteran approaching retirement age, has lost all faith in humanity and any hope for younger generations. All three characters camp in the shadow of Oregon’s Mt. Hood, and their lives intersect at twilight over a potentially fatal accident. The novel is (very) loosely based on the framework of Ulysses. Aside from the 24-hour format (and the date of events falling on Bloomsday), the relationship between Rory and Noel mirrors Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom. Much like Joyce’s characters, Rory is a bright young man battling an alcohol problem while subconsciously searching for a father figure, and Noel is an emotionally philandering husband who’s never been able to reconcile the loss of his infant son. Their personal crises, along with Shelly’s own isolation from friends and family, weigh against each other in the closing scenes of the book. Along the way, there are drug trips, a talking dog, an intersex wrestler, a swastika-obsessed stripper, and a man possessed by the ghost of Dostoevsky… I guess it’s not really much like Ulysses at all. 

fuelbydreams:

“As she puts her camping chair up at the fireplace - the last step in setting up her campsite - it occurs to her that the entire process went more smoothly and quickly on her own then with Steph in tow. Steph always wanted to give the appearance she was helping, but all she really did was get in the way, it was exactly what Shelly had dreaded - that life is actually easier without her [dead] best friend. She had hoped that she misjudged Steph, that Steph brought more to the table than Shelly gave her credit for. She wanted to be distracted, and wanted the trip to remind her that her friendship wasn’t a burden. But here she is, all set up in the same amount of time as when she had a companion”

The Second Chair Is Meant For You - Brian Cook.

(This is what the entire story has been like so far, it is brutal.)

Getting feedback on a book is very different than getting feedback on a record. People can give a record a cursory listen and have an opinion on it within the span of the album’s duration. Books obviously take a while longer to process and require quite a bit more attention. Consequently, the feedback on The Second Chair has come trickling in at a slower pace than any of our records, but the comments and critiques are a lot more detailed and thoughtful. It’s particularly interesting to see which passages readers are focusing on within the novel. Anyhow, thanks again to everyone that picked up a copy of the book!
Got 200 copies of my novel available on the @russiancircband tour. Pretty much guaranteed to simultaneously bore and offend just about everyone. Check it out!

Got 200 copies of my novel available on the @russiancircband tour. Pretty much guaranteed to simultaneously bore and offend just about everyone. Check it out!

Tried to do a screenprint of Pete Seeger years ago. Seemed like a good day to dig this shirt out. RIP Pete.

Tried to do a screenprint of Pete Seeger years ago. Seemed like a good day to dig this shirt out. RIP Pete.

kingsofsleep asked: Hey, that's REALLY cool you wrote a novel! Please let me know how to get a copy other than coming to a show 'cause I'd really like to read it but sadly, me seeing RC any time soon is probably impossible!

thanks for the interest! for the time being, i’m not sure if the novel is going to be available anywhere besides at shows. i’m printing up a pretty small initial run because i don’t really have any idea how many copies i can anticipate selling and i don’t want to store boxes and boxes of unsold books. if they don’t sell well, or inversely, if they sell really well and i wind up printing up a bigger batch, then i’ll probably put some copies up for sale online at the end of the tour. 

Approving proofs of my novel today. Only printing a small batch, but they’ll be available on the upcoming @russiancircband tour. Thanks to Nick and Nadine at Sonnenzimmer for their excellent work with the book design and formatting.

Approving proofs of my novel today. Only printing a small batch, but they’ll be available on the upcoming @russiancircband tour. Thanks to Nick and Nadine at Sonnenzimmer for their excellent work with the book design and formatting.