Fashion week is pretty ridiculous for a myriad of reasons, but one thing that’s easy to get a kick out of is what people wear to the events. Imagine: you’re going to an exclusive party for people who celebrate the art of appearance, and if you’re the type of person who cares about that kind of thing, your own appearance is pretty important. So when I see a guy confidently walking into a room while wearing something as absurd as Google Glass, I obviously have no other choice but to try to figure what the fuck the guy is thinking.
Mike Abu: Can I ask you a couple questions?
Google Glasses: Sure.
MA: How does it feel to be the only person wearing Google Glasses?
GG: Um, it’s kind of awkward. It’s interesting because people come up to me and ask me questions about it. It’s a good way to network.
MA: That’s why you’re wearing them?
GG: I can also take pictures whenever I feel like by winking.
MA: Have you ever thought about using a camera like a normal person?
GG: [pause] You hate Google Glass, don’t you?
MA: I’m just confused why anybody would want to wear them.
GG: It’s still a prototype. Obviously they’re still bulky and aren’t fashionable, but they’re coming out with a new model that looks more like glasses.
MA: Do you think Google took into consideration what the glasses looked like on a real human being when designing them?
GG: The things is, they’re working on the software development to make sure people can makes apps on them and that stuff, so once they’ve figured that out, they can focus more on the design.
MA: So do you think the glasses look like they do because Google is filled with nerds who don’t know any better?
GG: I don’t think that’s the case. It’s more about the technology that’s in it. You can only make a chip so small and put it all together, right? But they have this girl who’s into fashion, and she did the best she could to make them look as fashionable as possible.
MA: Wait, do you work for Google?
GG: No, I have a startup. I’m launching an app called Shoptsy next week where you can shop for products that you see on Instagram.
MA: Can you use it on Google Glass?
GG: [pause] Eventually.
MA: Can you give us a wink?
(((((( I CAN’T BE SURE, BUT I THINK I WROTE THIS THE DAY AFTER NICK AND I SLEPT IN A BOMBED OUT CAR SOMEWHERE IN BROOKLYN. NEITHER OF US HAD ANYWHERE TO GO, AND WE SPENT THE DAY ASKING PEOPLE IF WE COULD USE THEIR PRINTER, HANDING RESUMES TO HARDWARE STORES, DISLOCATING MY SHOULDER PLAYING STREETBALL AGAINST KIDS AND ULTIMATELY DRINKING VODKA WHILE WE TALKED ABOUT HOW FUCKED UP OUR LIVES WERE. I’LL NEVER FORGET HOW EARLIER IN THE DAY NICK THOUGHT IT WOULD BE BETTER TO STASH HIS JACKET UNDER A GARBAGE CAN INSTEAD OF IN A BUSH AS I ADVISED. I’LL NEVER FORGET THE LOOK ON A DIFFERENT HOMELESS GUY’S FACE WHEN DRUNK NICK RANDOMLY WALKED UP TO A BUSH AND MIRACULOUSLY PULLED OUT A JACKET. NONE OF THAT’S IN HERE. I’M NOT EDITING ANY OF THIS OLD WRITING, SO IT IS WHAT IT IS. FUCK EVERYTHING…))))))))))
But don’t just fuck anything. Wear yellow robot rings and go to church. When they ask you if they can say a prayer for you, tell them no. Then watch a motorcycle accident, but one where everybody is okay. Carry baseballs. Kiss girls you don’t care about and don’t call the ones you do. Nap in hammocks and find no home. Be who you thought you were to be and nothing of the above.
Henry Miller stopped editing. I wish he would edit me. What should I keep, Henry Miller, which of these words?
“None of them,” he would reply. “Rip them up and throw your manuscripts into the wind! Leave each sentence cast molded like Pompeii. Cast the city in an iconoclastic flow! Take no prisoners, and be stark raving mad in lunatic jubilation, a professional psychologist turned psycho-killer. Be yourself,” he’d say emphatically, like he knew shit from shit.
The levels of things that have happened and will occur are not for the weak of heart. Nick knows. We are not weak of heart. We are alive, gushing, like Aztecs or maybe Mayans, biting their tongues out of insatiable appetites, never afraid, eating the hearts of our enemies, feeling the twitch of fresh muscle tissue pulsate against our taste buds, clump clump, the hearts of the unforgiven. We feast like pilgrims. We gush like Aztecs.
We die like warriors.
“What is the Klingon word for loneliness?” Nick asks in a fit of madness, laughing hysterically to himself like he alone knows. There is a look in his eye that makes me want to attack him with the closest weapon, possibly this pizza tray, or maybe fists.
“There is none.”
We are alone, and in that we have each other. Nick is worried that there is a Klingon word for loneliness. He says he knows it. “Graaradack.” He’s worried he might be misquoted. I have no such qualms.
We are homeless. We live in New York City and we don’t know why. Nick wants to be here, and I want to know find Henry Miller, dead, somewhere unknown, a question for Wikipedia or someone with an English degree. I said Montreal, but all signs point to New Orleans. Are we French or just stuck in the Bastille? Where is my Robespierre? Off with their heads.
Nick talks to pretty girls, pretty girls that I point out to him. He is a miraculous conversationalist. The words that come out of his mouth blow my mind, they’re that good. He could talk to anyone, just like Mr. Ed. It is his downfall. There’s nothing worse than being charming. It’s nothing but a crutch. It is our downfall.
Worst of all, it’s sometimes effective. The operative sometimes is operative.
Nick has gone to purchase cocaine but I refuse to move. I have nowhere to go, and no reason to leave. Did you know I write pedantic, like a backwards clock that keeps ticking for no reason? My voice is deadpan and my sentiment scorches anyone in contact. My voice is incoherent, but I scream and I scream anyways, like a tree in a forest. I am not afraid, I am petrified.
I plug in my phone but there doesn’t seem to be a reason to do so—nobody is calling me.
Rich is awake, and so am I, though our motives for being awake are clearly different. He spends his time working on a campaign for Coco Channel. I spend it studying the difference between the two north poles, magnetic and geographical. From what I’ve come to learn, reaching the North Pole was a wildly political endeavor historically, and one that involved sabotaging the careers of fellow explorers in the name of personal glory. I also learned that the position of the magnetic north pole is moving faster and faster, from a rate of 9 km per year in the 70s to 30 something as of 2014. In fact, the magnetic north pole is about to leave Canada, on a march towards Siberia. The Russians are probably pleased about this.
In 2007, Russia planted a flag on the seabed of the Arctic Ocean, presumably at what we would accept to be the geographical North Pole. At the time, I remember thinking how weird that was, but after watching a documentary that included the notion of the race to put an American flag on the sea ice that floated above the pole, I’m less sure. After all, we didn’t think twice about jamming a flag into the moon. I wonder if America might someday claim the moon as ours, purely based on that flag? Talk about a sphere of influence, sterile or otherwise.
From what I’ve been able to ascertain, there is little proof that Santa Claus actually lives in the North Pole. This hasn’t dissuaded the Canadian government from making the zip code of the pole (which they assume to run) from H0H 0H0, a clever pun on the whole “ho ho ho” phrase. Here in America, we’re busy debating on if Santa was white, which apparently he was, even if he was Turkish. Are Turkish people white? Perhaps. Either way, very few if any Turkish people currently maintain residence in the North Pole, making the concept of a white-Turkish-Santa residing in the H0H 0H0 zip code problematic. I seem to be in the minority of people caring about this.
Islam, or rather, Sufism has a strong tie to the North Pole. Apparently a northern mountain, more north than north, involves some vague pilgrimage towards enlightenment that may or may not remind me of Dante’s provocative vision of Hell. But I don’t know about that.
Rich knows someone who either turned down an opportunity to do computer coding in Antarctica, or perhaps knew better than to accept such a job opportunity. I know nothing about that either. I know Werner Herzog did a documentary there, and one that was far more boring that Grizzly Man. I remember watching Grizzly Man while I was living with Rory in San Francisco and working as a traveling whipped cream salesmen. I remember a lot of things.
Rich wants to know what I’m working on. I tell Rich. Rich doesn’t respond. He’s busy writing about emerging trends and ecommerce. Earlier I showed him video of a homeless guy getting bludgeoned to death at a Fullerton transit center. Kelly Thomas. I wonder what he knew about? Perhaps he knew all about aurora borealis and why blue and ultraviolet are the rarest version? Did he know it had to do with the excitement of certain atoms in relation to solar wind? I’ll probably never know. At this point, it’s par for the course.
ain’t it fun
Every now and again, I stumble across an article so terrible that I can’t help but shake my head and look out the window, subconsciously wondering if I’d be one of those unfortunate random people who accidently survive an eight-story fall. On those days, I like to order a couple cyanide pills with my coffee. The baristas laugh and I look to the street, wondering if a sympathetic bus driver might do me a quick favor.
A friend from Oakland posted an article about how some girl had decide that she wasn’t going to pretend to be poor, no matter how much more acceptance she’d find in what must be her day-to-day interactions, and damn it, the article is hilarious in the most frustrating way.
Now, I can’t lie—she’s not the worst writer. In fact, she’s probably better than me. I could probably chalk that up to her expensive out-of-state education she so eloquently apologizes for, but that would be jumping the gun. It isn’t her writing that’s ridiculously offensive. It’s simply her main point in general and how she goes about making it.
To begin with, let’s skip the Mulberry bit and move right into the cashier’s glare. Somehow I don’t quite believe that the cashier is glaring at the author because of her extreme wealth as much as the cashier is pissed another person is in line. To loosely quote Randall from Clerks, “This job would be great if it weren’t for all the customers.” Beyond that, I wasn’t aware that Diet Coke was a clear-cut sign of class superiority, but I am glad that the author was willing to educate me on that one. From now on, every time I see someone refill a 64 oz. thermos with Diet Coke, I’ll know that I’m standing next to a deferential individual who should be treated as such. Of course, I won’t see that here in New York—we’re too class conscious. Moving right along…
So the cashier ignored the author huh? Who cares? She lives in the West Village. Has she ever walked around her neighborhood? Ignoring people is a way of life in New York. Deal with it. If I had a nickel for every time I’d been ignored, I’d be able to live in the West Village too. At least she walked out feeling like a turd, so that’s something.
From what I can gather, it was apparent that both the clerk and the customer in front of the author were being “that obvious.” If they’d known she had purchased her bag at 70% off, I’m sure they would have greeted her like an old friend. Instead they can, “fuck right off.” There’s nothing wrong with that. But if they can fuck right off, so can you, right? What’s the big deal?
“I am sorry that I was born into great financial circumstances and my father likes to provide for me.” We’re also very sorry for you. Feel better yet?
Next, she goes into a diatribe about how there’s a certain amount of tact you have to show around people who can’t buy expensive things. If there’s one thing that’s clear, this girl knows tact. Should we judge her for being able to showoff her wealth? Maybe not. Should she judge a cashier for not happily responding to her, “have a great day?” Maybe not. Instead she calls us “petty,” “bitter,” “unhappy,” and reflecting our own “misery” with our nasty glares. Nothing judgmental about that.
She then starts talking about how fortunate she was to be raised alongside billionaires before letting us know that her parents bought her clothes at Old Navy and food from McDonalds, which I assume is her way of trying to relate to the poor. I mean, she didn’t even know she was wealthy as a kid! But then she follows it up by saying she’s not, “one of those people who try to be poor to relate to people,” thereby rendering her statements about Old Navy pointless. She uses disgusting twice in the second to last paragraph, both times in reference to the behavior of those who vilify her financial status. I can’t argue against that. If there’s one thing poor people know how to do, it’s disgusting. Thanks for putting me in my place.
I’m not even going to touch the “damn fairy” line.
Finally, she reaches her conclusion: “What I’m saying is that it should not be made into a spectacle that there are differences in income.” Apparently she’s unaware just how different incomes are in this country. Is she aware that we currently have the largest income gap since the Great Depression in this country, and the trend is actually increasing the disparity? If we shouldn’t make a spectacle of it, what should we do? Smile and pretend that our lives aren’t quite as peachy-keen as hers?
Rachel Sacks, I don’t think you have anything to worry about. The thing is, pretending you were poor wouldn’t work anyway. You don’t know what it’s like, and how could you? You’re rich, game over. It’s like that song Common People from Pulp. “If you call your dad, he could stop it all.” Don’t act poor—I doubt you’re a good enough actress. But don’t give us shit for not giving a flying fuck about what you think, especially when you’re making a point of not giving a flying fuck about us. Good luck and God bless.
On what’s becoming more and more of a regular occurrence, I woke up this morning on Jon Larsen’s floor to the sound of Beach House on repeat. Jon has a hard time falling asleep without noise, and thus he’s in the habit of playing music rather loudly from the moment he starts yawning to when he wakes up at 7 P.M. Jon doesn’t like being awake. The only thing he hates worse is silence.
Groggily I got to my feet and checked my pockets for items I might have lost. All there. I looked over at Jon’s protracted body lying awkwardly on his bed and remembered my dream from the night before, a dream where I’d woken up to find Jon in the same position, only now dead. In the dream I called 911 and calmly told the dispatcher, “I think my friend is dead. There’s probably no reason to send paramedics but I imagine it’s customary for these types of things.” Afterwards I hung up the phone, grabbed one of Jon’s film cameras, took a photo of his now vacant face and put the camera down. Then, for whatever reason, I’d update my Facebook status. The fact that I was updating my Facebook in a dream after I found Jon’s dead body is fucked up. Social media is so invasive that I can’t escape it even in sleep. But that’s not the point. The point is, I obviously couldn’t write, “Jon Larsen is dead,” on my wall, as it’s become such an expected catch phrase that it might as well be copy-writed, and if I did write that, no one would bat an eyelid. Instead I wrote, “Life imitates art,” and kept it good at that.
So long Utah Jazz
Here’s the weirdest moment from this Easter (i.e., the best Easter ever). Mind you, the night ended with Fuckin’ Jeff and I eating meatloaf and edamame at an absent Mike Brown’s house while we gave loose commentary over a slideshow based around an encyclopedic slide collection I picked up from the library. It was a moment that never would have happened if Mike Brown wasn’t in Europe. (Otherwise, he’d have dominated in the front room with his favorite video game, Skyrim). I’m not kidding when I say I have a slide of everything. Pick a topic, I’ve got it. Very strange. But here’s the weirdest thing that happened on Easter:
I was with my dad at a random coffee shop. The fact that my family puts any weight into Easter is kind of bizarre, especially when considering my dad is Palestinian-Muslim. By the way, he’s very concerned with me. I have longish hair, a super shitty mustache, play in punk rock bands and write for publications that support all of that. Back when I was a weed dealer and making a good amount of money, none of that mattered. Now that I’m more concerned with earnestly putting words on paper (a habit that leaves me barely capable of bringing in enough money to stay fed, chronically broke and apparently in danger of ever becoming anything), my lifestyle is less okay. It’s a constant struggle between us. You see, cool dads hate watching their kids struggle, and judging by my dad’s response to the bullshit I deal with on a general basis, he must be super cool.
So we go get coffee. Out of the blue, he’s all, “I’ve been thinking about things. A lot of things. And I’ve been saving up–just in case something happens to me.”
‘Okay,’ I thought.
“I’ve been saving up,” he repeats, “just in case something happens. I want to make sure that you’re taken care of.” He paused. Dads love pausing. “I don’t know how much money I’ll have, but whatever it is, I’ll probably leave it in a trust, most likely in your little sister’s name. She would be a good administrator.”
“Okay” I said.
“I’m not going to leave it to you in a lump sum,” he said, “but I’ll make sure you get a certain amount every month.”
He paused again, this time in afterthought.
Why he said that was fairly indicative of what he assumes my lifestyle to be. I couldn’t help but ask a simple question.
“So you want me to ask my little sister for a cash allowance every month?”
He smiled before shuddering. You can’t make this shit up. My dad looked at me honestly and said, “I’m concerned about you on a long term basis. I don’t think I’m going to let you access it until you’re sixty.”
“Dad, what makes you think I’ll make it to sixty?” I asked with genuine interest.
“Why would you question that?” he responded with genuine confusion.
I thought about my lack of health insurance, shoulder that pops out at the command, previously broken spine, gnarly scars all over my scalp, freshly broken nose, overall shaky nerves, inability to find a job that supports me, country that hates me and an incredibly depleted savings account.
I summed it up succinctly with a, “Well Dad, the way things are going…”
“Most of your injuries were superficial,” he said, apparently convinced by his own tone.
“Dad. Do you remember the X-Rays?”
I reminded him of that time I had to learn how to walk again, which somehow didn’t impress him. My dad is the coolest.
Later on, my youngest sister and I talked about the whole thing. Apparently both my parents had brought it up to her a number of times, and she was worried about the responsibility they were forcing upon her. Maybe I’d care or something. Some people care when it comes to money, no matter how much, but greed has a lineage of its own and I’m far from a descendent, despite a perceivable desperation.
The thing is, my family isn’t worried about me for any specific thing, outside of being a lovable loser, but my father, who isn’t rich, does want to keep me alive as long as he can regardless of how miserable it makes me. They like me. Sure, they’d like me more as a Henry Miller-esque philosopher who had a full-time job, a wife and a picket fence, but they’ll take me as I am. Against his better wishes, my dad has decided to embrace the concept of the latter never becoming a reality, accepting me as this weird embodiment of something he’ll never understand.
And that makes me love him.
The fact that he wouldn’t have approved of a 2 A.M. alcohol-fueled artisan slideshow is completely irrelevant. I can’t wait to ask my little sister for a cash advance! The fucked up part is, I’ll probably never get the chance.
BEST EASTER EVER