Category Archives: Notes from the Ant Empire

Notes From The Ant Empire: Undulating Ground

Wednesday is my bowling league night. 26 teams from the Entertainment industry in funny shoes, drinking Bud Lites in the shape of bowling pins, throwing 10-14 pound balls down greased parquet. It’s awesome. Last season my team, Untitled Bowling Project, was pretty bad. We stunk. We didn’t even make the playoffs. This season we got off to a great start but have been slipping in the standings ever since. I’m still trying to find my form, at bowling. At tipping back the Bud Lites I’m a pro.

My best game last season was a 197. I took a girl out on a date the night before and got stomach poisoning from undercooked chicken. The next night the pins were my mortal enemy and I smashed them down with a vengeance until the very last roll where I had a chance to crack the elusive 200 mark and choked. Only tipping 3 over and ending up with said 197. Still, I had a great 10 frames and can’t complain about a thing, except that the girl turned out to be a total dud, but hey, all’s fair in love and bowling, right?

I’m at work, listening to the Yeahs, Yeahs, Yeahs; Karen O singing into my earphones. I’d like to think she’s singing directly to me and only to me, then again, I’d like to think I’m the King of Sparrows. There is a particular tree down the street from me which is always twittering with the tiny birds. I walk by and chirp-chirp and they holla’ back. I’m guessing that doesn’t quite make me their king but until I face opposition I’m going to hang on to my crown.

Am I the only that is really afraid what these Teabaggers are going to do one day, when one of the more unhinged fanatics deems themselves an American “hero” on par with Timothy McVeigh and decides to strike out against the Government or a Democrat or our President? I plead to all my right-wing readers (whom I’m guessing only stopped by here by mistake) to maintain civility so that their ratcheted rhetoric doesn’t drive the more paranoid and mentally unstable of their ilk to engage in violent paroxysm that might result in injury or death.

In eight bitter years of George Bush’s reign, with all the disgust the Left felt at his War policies and Croniesm, there was nowhere near the level of hate and threats fulminated against him that there has been in just a year and a half of Obama’s presidency. You cannot go on Yahoo comments without seeing some rather reptilian invectives being leveled against him and everyone who agrees with our commander in chief. Guess what? He’s doing a pretty good job if you ask me! And he’s trying to work with the Republicans as best as he could. Obama’s been much more bipartisan than George Bush ever was. This health care bill has many Republican elements in it, including being modeled on Mitt Romney’s plan in Massachusetts. He’s given in on offshore drilling. He’s continuing the fight in Afghanistan. The wiretapping program remains untouched. I don’t agree with some of these actions certainly, but they’re Republican ideas and proposals. If you listen to the fleas that salivate over Sarah Palin’s every word or suck at Glen Beck’s teat, you’d think Mussolini himself was running this country. It makes no sense.

There is no rational thinking on that side of the aisle anymore, so I’m not even going to bother to engage in political debate when at the core what they’re really upset about is skin color and not getting their way, so I’ll just say this to them: hate the man all you want, but don’t throw bricks through windows, or threaten to shoot politicians, or act like you’re going to wage a second civil war, because that’s just fatuous pablum, and makes you look as crazy as a woman wearing a wedding dress the morning after the groom left you at the altar.

On a more pleasing note, I went to First Fridays at the Natural History Museum and had quite the pleasant evening. The stuffed animals in the mauve/blue light created a surreal atmosphere in which to enjoy a plastic cupful of Cabernet. We strolled through the exhibits and listened to the music, learning about the heart rates of birds while trying to guess which habitats belong to which species of chirper. When I came across the sparrows I said, ‘hello, sparrow, it is your king,’ but seeing as it was a taxidermied specimen, I got no reply. When it came time for the band to play we found out our tickets didn’t allow us entry into the room so we watched the projection of the singer next to the reconstructed dinosaur skeleton in the main hallway. There was a slight lag between the live music and the music emanating from the speakers in the hallway if you stood in between the two rooms. It was like watching a kung fu movie.

The day is beautiful. I live in Los Angeles so I write these words a lot. The earthquake over the weekend made everybody dizzy the way it rolled around like an topsy-turvy ship and made the ground undulate underneath our feet, but now the sun is gracing the region with golden light and I’m dizzy with good vibes.  Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a dream and this is one of those days.  It’s amazing how your life can be altered so suddenly. They say a butterfly can cause a hurricane halfway across the globe. I don’t know how that works, but I know the slightest glance from a pair of blue eyes can change the shape of your heart. Make you dream of the perfect pizza and New Haven winters. We’re all standing on fault lines but when she looks at me all dewy-eyed and loving I feel just fine.

I’m training to run in the L.A. marathon come next March. I’ve been running 16 laps underwater everyday in an olympic-sized swimming pool. I put on a scuba tank and tie weights to my legs. My thighs are the size of hamhocks and my skin sloughs off of me like a Shar pei. I might kill myself crossing the finish line but at least I’ll have a new commemorative shirt to wear in my coffin. Have you ever set yourself a seemingly impossible task for no other reason than the thrill of accomplishing something pointless? I feel like each one of my blog posts is like that?

Does the day greet your face warmly? Or over the hand like a nun slapping you with a ruler?

Can you tell time of day by the location of the sun? Or navigate the seas by the direction of Orion’s belt? Can you draw buffalo on cave walls? I can mimic the loon’s mating call and wrap my loins in banana leaf. It’s a real hit at the clubs.

I want to sail through the Norwegian fjords and dine on salty fish in the motherland. I want to visit my great, great grandfather’s grave and tell him all about Big Brother and America’ s Funniest Home Videos and Snooki from Jersey Shore and ask him about Thor and what my grandmother looked like as a baby. Did she wail tragically when she was born, or smile a wet, angelic grin?

My own baby picture sits on the bar above a dozen dusty wine bottles. My cheeks are puffed out and the photo’s yellowed with time. I get more gray hairs and whiskers, but stronger and wiser — so the tradeoff is fair — as I gain distance on the picture. Every now and then I pick it up to study the photo closely and it seems that baby is looking back up at me, analyzing the man he’s become. I hope I’m making baby-me proud!

My mom used to read romance novels in the den. I read Russian novelists in my Fairfax apartment. My buddy reads Neil Gaiman graphic novels. Another watches wrestling matches on Youtube. We all plant bushes and trees in our brains and let the garden of thoughts enchant our daily lives.

I’m at work trying to put a square into a circle while the day blossoms grandly outside. I wish I was somewhere else, in the park, sitting next to a beautiful girl with flowers in her hair? My dreams still have lacunae that need to be filled, blank pages with poetry to write, but the vapors are solidifying and the fog is lifting.

You’re out there taking shape, my numinous daffodil, and when you come a-whistling I’ll sing along to your tune, our voices intertwining and lifting to Heaven like smoke signals from the last members of the Lakota tribe, gleefully stentorian, buoyant on a sea of stars…

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Notes From the Ant Empire: Studying Dinosaur Bones

In the future humans may lose their voice box and communicate strictly through text. Our mouths will be little chat screens. We’ll kiss by pointing our browsers at each other. The world is becoming smaller, they say, but I still feel like an ant climbing around an Escalade… the world being large and elegant, me being tiny and out of place — but able to lift ten times my weight.

This girl asked me if a lime was a baby lemon and I honestly couldn’t answer. I realized I didn’t know for sure, I didn’t think it was, but was I positive? No. And that made me feel pretty foolish. But foolishly I shrugged it off and continued trying to plant kisses on the nape of her neck like a gardener.

The sun is full, warming a beautiful clear day. The moon is full tonight, full of romantic isolation. I’m at the coffee shop watching the cars on Beverly fly by.  I don’t see drivers but hopes, dreams, and fears wrapped up in skulls, flesh, and tennis shoes. Or high heels in some cases. How can women drive in high heels? It seems more dangerous than drivers texting while eating French fries stoned. But who am I to say? I’ve never worn high heels.

If I were a film director I would wear a beret. If I were a French artist I would wear an ascot. If I were a thug I would wear my pants below my ass.  If I were dead I would wear a frown.

My friend likes to take pictures of the food he eats. He puts them on Facebook and people comment. They write things like, ‘Yum’.  Or, ‘save me some’. It’s rather strange, but who am I to say? I take pictures of strangers with dogs in sweaters, weeds slipping through cracks in the sidewalk, and elevators. There is a really great elevator in an office building on Wilshire by the museum. The elevator should be IN the museum.

It’s so easy to fall in love, yet so hard to get up afterwards.

A girl across from me smiles after catching my distracted gaze. Does she know I’m writing about this moment? This shared experience of ours, strangers colliding for just a second, then parting, like confetti in the bag before it’s let loose over the ticker tape parade. Does she know I study people from afar, like paleontologists pouring over dinosaur bones?

Now a woman is running down the street waving a sweater in the air and another woman is turning around with a surprised-and-then-thankful expression on her face. Simple acts of humanity warm my heart, like the girl with a colorful leaf in her hand and the man with the French bulldog on a leash. One could be a bitch and the other a total asshole, but in this Californian glow everybody is perfect.

My posture is poor; it’s from artofstarving. I need to learn how to sit up when I write. I’m just learning now how to stand up when I walk and not drag my knuckles and grunt.  My maturing is a slow process. I’m 34 and a long way from heaven.

Sparkly phones are a deal-breaker. Trench coats are creepy.

I give my playlists weird names: This Is How I Feel, Plaid Dress, Loving the Cringe. Things like that. I like Cowpunk and Brazilian Samba and Sad music.  I do depressing things like listen to Elliot Smith when it’s raining after reading Ezra Pound, but I’m the happiest person I know. It’s strange how that is.

I wish I could wear fedoras but I have a giant head and a long, skinny neck, so they make me look even odder. I’m building a fetish for fashion and accessories. I go shopping to relieve the boredom of mundane monotony. I have a gigantic closet to store away the banal ennui of my life.

If God his or herself gave you a key to all the churches in the world would you go?  If all the altars were made of candy would you take a piece home?

There is only so far you can travel before you realize you bring home everywhere you go.  I watched America’s Funniest Home Videos eating a burger in London. I was in Australia chasing a Kangaroo listening to Kid Cudi. Ipods, Smart Phones, and Kindles allow us to remove ourselves from any authentic experience. You didn’t have a good night without a picture on Facebook to prove it. There is no more Now. It’s now and preserve it for later. Now but somewhere else. My friend won’t go anywhere without reading Yelp first.  I dated a girl who took 50 pictures of herself a night, probably more. Everywhere we went it was like she was on a permanent photo shoot.

I can’t be sure but it must be funny hat day at the synagogue – no, that’s not a yarmulke joke – I’ve seen multiple men wearing clown wigs, or brightly colored ‘dreadlock’ headpieces. At first I thought it was just one isolated cut-up but now that the fifth person passed wearing something ridiculous on their dome I can safely conclude there is a theme going on.

It’s getting dark, the sun is on a flight to Australia. The moon is on the way to its velvet throne. Night or day, the world is beautiful and elegant, like a princess’s tiara. Like a Shakespearean sonnet.

I want to dance with you under this disco ball moon. Let’s get down to getting down! I want to write poetry in the air with my flashlight, highlight the heavens with my words. Let’s free our souls and watch them fly away like birds lighting for the skies.

Notes From The Ant Empire: The Sun, The Soul, The Song That Made The Stoic Man Cry

I recently went on a date with the wife for Thai food in Thai Town followed up with Okkervil River at the Henry Fonda. We spotted Will Sheff out on the patio before the show, underneath the holiday lights and projection of the opening band on the outdoor wall. He was taller and skinnier then I unexpected, but then again, everyone is decompressed on Youtube.

Look at these clowns run around a ping pong table like kids born in the 70’s. Youtube, the video immolation of America.

If you took the opposite of the Tibetan Book of the Dead you come up with the American Book of the Living. And that book is cooked like a dishonest bookie’s. We’re not living anymore but fleeing from one entertainment source to the next, the pleasure feast paid for by credit, and we know how that goes.

Still…

I was born in Southern California and I love it. You may hate Bush but you’re still a Yankee when you’re abroad. I’m a Californian first though. I go down to the pier at the end of Washington Blvd. and reflect on the city behind me, stare at the ocean and then go drink a beer on the 2nd floor sundeck of the restaurant that’s changed names so many times I’ve lost count. After the sun goes down people start lining up for tables at C&O across the street and the bike path is abandoned to shadowy individuals and waiters take orders while firing up the heating lamps. The sun is extinguished in the waters of the Pacific, somewhere between here and China. After three Stella Artois, fascism never tasted sweeter.

                                           

Although I don’t believe in much, I believe in the soul. I don’t believe it goes anywhere when our lives are done, but while we’re alive it exists. After that, it’s only eternal existence is in the memories of those we’ve touched, but once they’re gone as well, that’s it — which, in its own intimate and valuable way is divinely magical — but still, the whole thing is temporal and meaningless. Not to be too unabashedly crestfallen, but we’re flies on the window screen of life, trying to make sense of ourselves, pooping all over the place.

Not to be too melodramatic, or emo, but our souls exist in certain bends of the violin bow. The smell of outfield grass in spring. The care put into perfect clay oven tandoori chicken. The moisture left behind from a lover’s kiss.

The way I look at it, some of the most sacred and soulful artifacts are crossword puzzle eraser shavings. You can have your steeples and sermons I’ll take the Sunday Times in bed with a steaming, fog-lifting cup of coffee.

                                            

I don’t trust people who say they don’t listen to music. If you have a soul, you listen to music.

When I worked at Trader Joe’s back in 2003, one of the customers was a squirrelly, diminutive man with a bushy mustache, floppy ballcap, and the exuberant compulsion to sell people bumper stickers that said DRUM MACHINES HAVE NO SOUL.

I don’t fully agree with the sentiment but I admired his quixotic mission, this was not an economic enterprise. The guy was hardly rolling in the Mochi. I see the stickers affixed to bumpers once in awhile in traffic, so his message is reaching some people, either that or it’s a sign of hipster’s affinity for irony.

Still… he needs to listen to DJ Shadow. Some drum machines do have souls, I tell ya.

Every culture on Earth cherishes music except those small, deranged subgroups of humans with a tendency to blow things up. Just something to think about.

I catered weddings back in my younger years. With more hair on my head, epaulets on my shoulders, because we were on yachts, and a tray of hors dourves in my hand I came upon an older, gently-stooped, stoic man leaning on a cane. A calypso band was playing a Bob Marley tune, complete with steel drums and female backup singers. I think it was a wedding. He smiled and waved off my offer of bruschetta when I spied a tear on his leathery cheek. I asked him if he were alright, if he needed anything and he blushed and confessed that he was more than alright, he was moved. He found the music to be enchanting. Divine. Those were his words, not an edited embellishment on my part, in fact, the only thing that makes this story even slightly interesting is that it’s absolutely true, and I can’t figure out if I have had a boring life, or if I have a boring version of what’s interesting.

It’s just how my soul is built I guess.

The song was No Woman No Cry. The wedding band’s version was absolutely awful, but the man leaning on the cane felt otherwise, his soul was touched and who was I to ruin his moment.

                                          

Star or satellite, which is that I see tonight?

Notes From The Ant Empire: Ice On Mars

So NASA has concluded that the white substance they’ve found on Mars must have been ice.

Because it evaporated.

Okay… I’ll buy that.

What this also means is that there may be a frozen Martian in those ice chunks.

Let’s send Pauly Shore up there to dig it up. Then we can film Encino Man Two, Life on Mars. 

We now officially found the presence of water — one planet over, in our own solar system — the ultimate harbinger of life. I think it’s safe to conclude that this means there are thousands and thousands of planets out there with the potential for water.

And you know what that means?

Yep, the possible existence of Annete Funicello movies on other planets.

                                                            

I could go with a little Beach Blanket Bingo myself today.

There’s something I find terribly tiring and cliche about complaining about the weather, it’s so predictable in its country bumpkin way; but damn, it’s hot as a witch’s yeast infection!

It was 109 in Sherman Oaks yesterday! Almost as scorching today. 

My buddy was arguing that it was only 105 yesterday. Even though it said otherwise on yahoo — as if he could somehow detect the difference of four degrees and was more of an expert than the meteorologists on the news with their Doppler gadgets and combed-over expertise!

It’s funny when stupid people think they’re smart.

                                                            

There’s a guy who makes art with nothing else than a stick. Draws lines in the sand. At beaches and dry lake beds. Mind-blowing forms and shapes, giant in size.

His name is Jim Denevan.

He does it all by his eyeball. It lasts as long as the Earth lets it.

The resulting sand drawing is made entirely freehand w/ no measuring aids whatsoever. From the ground, these drawn environments are experienced as places. Places to explore and be, and to see relation and distance. For a time these tangible specific places exist in the indeterminate environment of ocean shore. From high above the marks are seen as isolated phenomena, much like clouds, rivers or buildings. Soon after Jim’s motions and marks are completed water moves over and through, leaving nothing.

It’s pretty amazing. I recommend you check out more.

Life is fluid and we better get with it…

                                                          

I pound on the keyboard and squeeze the mouse like a trout to get my ideas to take shape on the screen, to illuminate the pixels like a hyper-modern love affair. Like a Welsh Pop-punk band.  I want to wear shorts from Target while I denounce Capitalism like a one man dunce cap — broadcasted souls screaming through the air, choked up with myspace pages and cell phone calls — while I sit on my IKEA couch and hold a beer from Belgium, praising Individualism.

I want to breath in white noise and exhale slogans and jingles all mashed together like a trash compactor for old advertising campaigns. Where’s the beef? Man, have it your way! 

It’s all mixed together like a chemical cocktail of commercialism. My shirt is from the Gap.

Beer drinking bears

Tigers hawking cereal.

I want to be a modern disposable poem, made of plastic. I want to contradict myself.

A million dollar Banksy in the flesh. Art of Funny Starving.

                                                           

I went to the Silver Lake Lounge the other night and had a crappy time.

Somehow it was appropriate — as if it’s not really cool to enjoy yourself anymore. They overcharged at the door and at the bar and the AC was pitiful and the bartenders surly.

It wasn’t the bands’ fault everyone was miserable. They were good. Somber. Long bangs. Bashful guitarists. Female keyboardists.

All of sudden every band has a cute chick on keys.

Still…

It was hot, like I said before, blistering hot.

The musicians kept making jokes about the heat. Jokes that weren’t helping.

It wasn’t a night for fun.

                                                           

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with lately.

Always trying to take a Polaroid of the present. And there is no such thing. There’s always a delay, a ghost. Cultural Feedback. You feel it most when you least suspect.  That feeling. I’ve been here before. Or, someone like me has been here before. Some other me, before me.

You get the feeling of one fluid, human emotion, transcending time, reading Richard Brautigan.

The whiskey had made us mud-puddly at the edges of our bodies and the edges of our minds.

“This is delightful,” Vida said.

Books that are over thirty years old, about the same things you’re feeling right now, remind you that there has always been one big pang and one big heartache in the world. And you realize that 5 dollar gas and George Bush doesn’t make us any more oppressed or put-upon or complicit and broken than Richard Nixon or Truman.

You realize the man on the moon does not grace his romantic charms on you and your lover alone, but upon a thousand, million, lovers, sitting in the night blossom jasmine scented porches of forever.

And you realize the ocean has always called the lost.

And it brings you a certain joy — knowing you’re not alone in your aloneness.

                                                           

My mind is a very crowded place.

Packer Dulce once wrote:

A cult is started when a scientist dies… 

The crowd pushes forward, up to my eyes, for a better view.

                                                             

Art of Starving: Emotional Graffiti

— The heart weighs three pounds, or is that the brain?

                                                            

thesunsingssongsofsizzling
thesunsingssongsofsizzling
thesunsingssongsofsizzling

Notes From the Ant Empire: I Am Their Giant Lord

I was walking to the store today to buy a pair of scissors. Don’t ask why I needed the scissors, you don’t want to know, but I was walking because I’m on a quest to see how many days I can go without driving in L.A, while I’m between jobs. My little one-man revolution.

I just started today.

On my little mini-walkabout, I passed this peculiar sign.

I felt like removing the dangling placard at the bottom and wearing it around my neck, walking to the store with that proudly bouncing on my chest.

Then I thought against it. Maybe it’s a little too on-the-nose, as they say here in Hollywood.

That would seem a little needy.

                                                             

Am I the only one that thinks John McCain’s daughter is kinda hot? I try not to because she’s the spawn of the enemy, but, you know, um… she just is.

I can’t help it.  

And, in a way, it’s kind of a turn-on, the fact that she is McCain’s daughter. The forbidden fruit tastes sweetest, I guess.

Here she is drinking a Bud.

The Primary is coming to an anti-climatic end. Today. Thank God.

I’m just glad it’s over. I’m looking forward to seeing Obama take on McCain, the debate that will unfold, and more of Meghan McCain. I heard Republican women are freaky. 

                                                           

In other news, I finished a short story tonight.

It’s called The 8-Ball. It’s about a pool player named Bumbles Barry.

I look at the collection of files, those familiar Word icons we all know and love, that represent my life’s work to this point, seperated into appropriately named folders, and I know that I’m creating something here, that I’m building — but sometimes it feels more like I’m digging.

Or tunneling.

This is an ant in my ant farm. Rhoda.

My little Ant Empire.

I am their Giant Lord.

In the instructions it reminds you, in case you’re naming them, that they’re all females. There should be a warning attached that if you’re naming all your ants you need to get out more often.

I’ve only named one of them, thank you.

What’s my point?

Oh yeah, writing is kind of like digging a tunnel into your mind. Excavating out the raw material, snooping around like Geraldo in Capone’s vault, seeing what’s down there. Life is just one big mass of dirt and it’s up to artists to carve little tunnels for us to travel through it.

 

And who’s to say that removing matter isn’t creating empty space, building nothing out of something?

                                                             

I’m going camping this weekend.

Campfire. Tents. Hiking poles. North Face.  The whole deal. I’m trying to find a spot far from light pollution. It’s getting harder and harder to accomplish that. I’m thinking Eastern Sierras.  

The stars are slowly disappearing from the sky.

I can’t help but be saddened by this and wonder how many splendid mythologies we’re losing along with them. Think of the wonderment you felt looking at the sky and seeing it filled with a million worlds you knew were so many light years away that they could have already exploded long before you were ever born, and feeling the Earth rotate for the first time by watching it happen overhead in the Milky Way. All that wonderment you felt as a kid, and still do, what will happen to it when the stars are gone and the sky is nothing but a black sheet over the Earth? Or worse, a smoggy blanket of refracted urban light. The smear of billboards and streetlamps upon the heavens.

What will happen to the luck from a falling star when no one can see it?

                                                              

I wrote a collection of poems called Stunted Wonderment back in 01′.

Here’s an excerpt from one of them.

It’s like the donut is nothing without the hole.
The donut is the hole.
To think, I live for this.
My large intestine can wrap around the world
But I just want to put my arms around you.
While the sun sets in lethal doses
I dream of wild horses… taking me… away.
Every twitch, every neurotransmitter switch
Every kick, every crackjunky fix
is a crackling campfire for the Gods.
They all ran off with the wild horses so baby…
Don’t mean to be graphic
But you’re the hole for my donut.
You’re the whole donut.
You’re the glint of something good
in my bad boy eye.

There’s more. Most of it’s this bad.

I put pictures of mountains and lakes and dilapidated barns next to the poems. I ran off exactly one copy at Kinkos and proudly proclaimed myself the author of a collection of poems called Stunted Wonderment, obviously still do.

Come to think of it, it’s not all that different than what I do here…

I hope I’ve gotten a little better with the prose, though.

To think, I actually once wrote…

Life is a sweaty set of balls the Gods play pocket pool with.

Notes From The Ant Empire: The Legend of Zelda and Wolf Parade

My wife is downstairs playing the Wii right now.

A peaceful, synthesized soundtrack trinkles up the stairs and overwhelms the loft with a sugary, hypnotic melody. I am trying to concentrate on my political blog but can’t help feeling lulled into a somatic sleep by the music, a wakeful dream.

She is playing The Legend of Zelda, a little blond dude running around collecting coins by busting open pumpkins.

I think it’s a front for a Leftist cult, imbedded with secret codes.

After hours of playing, you reach a secret level that exposes an organized conspiracy of shocking proportions. You discover the Illuminati’s underground chamber, with the plans for world domination hidden behind a wall.

Link, and therefore, you, go through a sinister portal to nefarious ideas.

Mind Control from Nintendo.

That’s why I don’t trust video games.

There’s too many flashing lights, it fucks with your head, like the banned Gnarls Barley video.

There’s just too many ways for programmers to invade your mind. Too many senses to be stoked.

Plus, too many buttons to push.

________________________

I walked to the store tonight.

The moon hung upside down and looked like a melon rind, a smiling face without eyes. A star blinked, or a satellite. Fast food bags lay flat and run-over on the asphalt, bugs hovered over grimy black puddles. The city felt like a video game to me. A place of constant danger or amusement. A maze of role playing.

It seemed unnreal.

I’m an old fashion Atheist looking for a religious experience in a modern world.

A world where neon restaurant menus stay lit up all night after they’re closed.

Where it’s acceptable to dance in public with headphones on, but not to share the music with everybody else.

Where everybody pisses their pants when the stock market tumbles, whether they own shares in AT&T, Apple, or ACME Anvil Company, or jackshit.

A world where people look at me like I’m crazy when I say that fire hydrants are cartoon dogs that smile at me.

The truth is, if there is such a thing anymore, we’re masquerading mannequins. In a hyper-trendy culture, where anti-trendy is ‘in’, we pantomime ourselves all day, then come home and don’t know what to do with ourselves, sit on the couch with our arms folded on our chest.

There’s a general, suffocating fear of the future, still, we drunkenly continue down our path of energy-sucking consumption, like cows being led through the slaughter house, traipsing through the deadly conveyor belts with Dolce Gabanna blinders, while disco balls throw light around promiscuously.

We know something terrible is coming, but we all have different ideas of just what that is. Environmental Destruction. Terrorism. Economic Collapse. Health Epidemics. Who knows?

The modern world is a shifting kaleidoscope of entertainment and stimuli, fear and media manipulation. Anything of note and weight is discarded by the side of the Super Information Highway, nothing heavy than a feather can fit through those tubes.

Truths change daily. With each hasty news cycle.

Religion is a television show.

T.V is religion.

There are galleries that sell $100,000 works of art by a grafitti artist that tells the Rich they’re rats and Capitalism sucks.

To coincide with the second day of auctions, Banksy updated his website with a new image of an auction house scene showing people bidding on a picture that said, “I Can’t Believe You Morons Actually Buy This Shit.”

The machine wins when it devours its dissenters by putting them to work.

When college kids film themselves rocking out to Lincoln Park with Che Guerera posters behind them and posting it on Youtube.

Perhaps Earth really was settled by the rejects of Golgafrincham.

> The Modern World by Wolf Parade

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Sometimes I get a case of the ‘don’t want to leave the house’, but nothing like this woman.

The boyfriend called police on Feb. 27 to report that “there was something wrong with his girlfriend,” Whipple said, adding he never explained why it took him two years to call.

He said the boyfriend had brought the woman food and water during the two years and told investigators he asked her daily to come out of the bathroom.

“And her reply would be, ‘Maybe tomorrow,'” Whipple said. “According to him, she did not want to leave the bathroom.”

The house had another bathroom he could use.

It reads like a Raymond Carver story or maybe Bukowski, but this woman is real. This happened. She didn’t want to leave the toilet, she didn’t want to get up. She was that dysfunctional, that depressed.

You could say she was really down in the crapper.

[Rimshot]

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“If life is a game of ping pong, I’d rather be the ball than the paddle.” — Buddha’s remarks upon seeing the sport of table tennis for the first time in 1937.

Notes From The Ant Empire #6: Plane Crashes, Heath Ledger, and Who Let the Dogs Out?

Heath Ledger dies of apparent overdose on pills and the world asks, “why wasn’t it Britney?” Some people are saying it was suicide. His father otherwise.

In the Australian city of Perth, where Ledger was born and raised, his father called the actor’s death “tragic, untimely and accidental.”

All we know is that a talented actor is dead.

These days, everything you read and hear about is apocalyptic doom. The decline of the dollar. Global Warming. Islamic Terrorism. We should remind ourselves that we’re more likely to meet our end the old fashion way: Heart attacks. Cancers. Shot by an arrow.

We’re all caught up in a fatalistic fixation of some future calamity. Certain of certain chaos…

Lately, imagined death is on everybody’s mind, maybe a real death will remind us we all got some living to do in the meantime.

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In true Ant Empire bizarreness, Mitt Romney asks a group of black kids “who let the dogs out?”

On Martin Luther King Day! Proving my point. Mitt Romney is half robot/ half 1950’s sitcom dad/ half slimy protozoa.

Yeah, I know that’s a mathematical impossibility, but it’s Romney. The man’s amazing!

At first, I thought, Romney’s a Mormon, he doesn’t seem to be in touch with pop culture, maybe he truly wants to know “who let the dogs out?” Maybe it was just an innocent, sincere question.

But then he added the woof woof at the end.

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Two planes collided over Corona the other day, raining debris down on a used car dealership. In related news, there is a deal on a new Altima if you’re in the market.

Am I the only one that is surprised that this kind of thing doesn’t happen all the time? Fuck going to the moon, I’m shocked every time the 747 I’m riding in is able to lift all the ground and defy the laws of physics, at least how I know them.

More enlightenment coming my way; the reporter interviewed other pilots and they said the freak accident could have been because it was a clear day.

John Elwell, who has been a pilot for 42 years, said sometimes clear days can be more challenging that those that are overcast.

“The sunlight is the biggest problem because it is in your face and it impairs your vision,” Elwell said.

Put that down on the list as one more thing that could kill you: a clear day.

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When we were down in New Zealand and Australia my wife collected sea glass she found washed up on the beaches. I was recently in the Mojave and noticed the abundance of brown, clear, and green desert glass.

Pieces of Michelob, Corona, and Heineken.

Tales of our civilization will be written on bottles of beer.

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If aliens do come here to Earth, it’s obvious they don’t want to be seen or bothered. It’s obvious they want nothing to do with us.

I can’t blame them.