Matt Rogers at the Heidelberg Project, July, 1998.
Matt Rogers, who hails from Michigan, is a man of concepts, and is quite prepared to talk about them for hours on end. His usual mode is to sit cross-legged somewhere, rocking back and forth energetically and gesticulating wildly to add emphasis to the big (and somewhat vaguely-defined) terminology he tosses around. Occassionally he feels the need to leap to his feet and throw his entire body in his gesticulations. His language is cluttered with a great many big terms that he has quickly converted into virtually meaningless verbal crutches. His monologues would gain a great deal of comprehensibility if he could somehow forget a number of words, such as:
linear, non-linear, construct, concept, total concept, reality construct, simulation, pixel, pixilated [used as a reference to simulations as opposed to reality], faketopia [a term used to represent any "simulation-based" social situation], meta-anything, micro-mob, collage [the highest and most-meta form of art], woo-hoo [used as a non-English means of conversational punctuation], hierarchical, tonal, non-tonal, modal, whammy-bar, wacka-wacka-wacka [used as a non-English means to represent anything distorted by anything else], post-industrial, etc.
Matt tends to be a bit bombastic in his conversational technique, often forgetting to allow space for others to respond. The pretense and artifice can wear on even the most tolerant listener, and on occasion I have found Matt infuriating enough to provoke violent outbursts on my part. But, viewed as whole, Matt's vocal excesses can often be worthwhile. Indeed, in amongst the cluttered talk and vaguely-realized concepts are occasional gems of pure genius. I'll never forget the time Matt, concerned at the path a conversation was taking, exclaimed, "Next concept, please!"
Matt does similar things on a meta-level as well. He has a capacity to start with a basic concept then start embellishing it with so many extraneous side-concepts that it soon loses all grounding in reality as we know it. Again, it's all worthwhile just on the off chance that he'll stumble into brilliance somewhere along the way.
Perhaps Matt's single greatest weakness is his over-reliance on conceptual crutches. He has an irritating tendency to pigeonhole things into categories with which he is familiar, failing to note their original or innovative qualities and making erroneous assumptions based on his prejudicial categorization.
From 1990 until July 5th, 1998, Matt Rogers was out of my life, a posterboy of underachievement. Since he graduated from Oberlin College, jobs Matt has taken include census-taker at a bird sanctuary, a bureaucrat at a systems integrations firm, a bus boy at a hoity-toity restaurant named Sweet Lorraine's in Ann Arbor, and a substitute teacher in suburban Detroit (a job he lost after calling a class of abusive students "a bunch of animals"- naturally this was misconstrued as a racist insult since some of the kids were black).
Like his working life, Matt's love life has not exactly been the picture of idyllic American success. Most of the women Matt goes for are overly talkative, dumpy women who usually turn out to be lesbians. He had a girlfriend living in Cleveland in late 1989, but she was kind of quiet and not especially vivaceous, and that particular relationship dwindled away during the course of many episodes of what Matt terms "bad sex."
Matt's interests include poetry, virtual reality simulations, non-tonal music, Throwing Muses, New Age dance (though he surely wouldn't like it categorized as such), Y2K survival, and philosophy.
Big Update! (April 14, 2001)
Since the Fall of 1998, Matt Rogers has done his underachieving in the wilds of Deadwood, Oregon. He lives in a sleek (and thoroughly authentic) AirStream Trailer on property rented by his wacky artist father and his father's even wackier girlfriend. Matt Roger's new website can be viewed at http://www.freespeech.org/siuslaw. A sample email from Matt Rogers in this period reads as follows:
I went to San Francisco last week and saw a really bad art exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern art (www.sfmoma.org) "Art in Technological times." It was all like bad Jackson Pollack animation projected as video and bad Warhol wannabe stuff. Also I didn't get laid by my ex-girlfriend Hannah. Still life goes on and I hope to get my Novell Netware engineer cert by the end of the summer so I can sell out and get a used BMW and a bigger masturbation shack somewhere between here and Arcata California.