Monday, June 24, 2013

Shut up in there.

Back in 1978, Sony prototyped the first Walkman, a little cassette player with headphones for private listening on the go. Then smaller, better, cheaper: today there's no reason whatsoever when jogging or biking or riding a public conveyance to listen to the actual world around you. They even have these noise-cancelling headsets that wrap you in a spooky silence that feels like your skull is turning inside out. But really, the entire world you live in fits nicely into a baseball cap. And for me at least, that's where all the racket is coming from. I need a noise-cancelling mindset.

Monday, June 17, 2013

We're all of Ethiopian descent.

People can establish a sense of ownership in an incredibly short time. Like, you get on the bus and walk past everybody to an empty seat and get settled in, then at the very next stop you look up at a boarding passenger and think to yourself, “Who's this new guy on my bus?” That's your inner two year old, the one who just learned the word “mine.” The same part of the brain creates ideas like, “This was always a Jewish neighborhood, now it's all Colored,” or “How come there's so many Mexicans in Texas?”

Monday, June 10, 2013

Romero never used the z-word.

Science fiction is whatever we're worried about now, spray painted silver. Our monsters are metaphors for what scares us most. RUR was about industrial class struggle, Flash Gordon fought World War II in advance, 1984 was about 1948, and we knew all those crappy '50s flying saucers were piloted by godless commies. So what are we afraid of now? Zombies. They stay scary, year after year, because, what if somehow you yourself became a mindless shambling thing, just a blind hunger groping around wanting more more more for no good reason? What if the brains you ate were your own?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Misty whatcha call your mem'ries

Here's the thing about memorabilia; it turns out it's unnecessary. Say you leave a ticket stub in your cufflink box. Years later, perhaps on some rare occasion when you need to wear cufflinks again, you might stumble across this item, and you'll think to yourself either, “How could I have ever thought I'd need something to remind me of that important and pivotal moment in my existence?'” or, “What's this doing here? I have no memory of attending this event. What the heck is a 'Meat Puppet?'” Learn to trust your brain. It forgets stuff for a reason.