You can only lol alone.
I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.
– Umberto Eco
I have, for many years now, frequently found myself held rapt by unexpected visions of the apocalypse. Upon a rooftop bar, for example, I will be admiring the skyline and then suddenly see it burst into flame. The shock wave of a bomb might, in the right sunlight, shatter the …
We ignored religion and turned hunger into power and power into money and money into religion and then everything into science, which is said to be perfectly capable of solving any problem, but its just proved what we always feared from religion in the first place: namely that there’s very …
Well, it’s Ninth and Hennepin
All the doughnuts have names that sound like prostitutes
And the moon’s teeth marks are on the sky
Like a tarp thrown all over this
And the broken umbrellas like dead birds
And the steam comes out of the grill like the whole goddamn town’s ready to blow
And the bricks are all scarred with jailhouse tattoos
And everyone is behaving like dogs
And the horses are coming down Violin Road and Dutch is dead on his feet
And all the rooms they smell like diesel
And you take on the dreams of the ones who have slept here
And I’m lost in the window, and I hide in the stairway
And I hang in the curtain, and I sleep in your hat
And no one brings anything small into a bar around here
They all started out with bad directions
And the girl behind the counter has a tattooed tear
One for every year he’s away, she said
Such a crumbling beauty
Ah, there’s nothing wrong with her that a hundred dollars won’t fix
She has that razor sadness that only gets worse
With the clang and the thunder of the Southern Pacific going by
And the clock ticks out like a dripping faucet
Till you’re full of rag water and bitters and blue ruin
And you spill out over the side to anyone who will listen
And I’ve seen it all
I’ve seen it all through the yellow windows of the evening train
– Tom Waits, “9th & Hennepin,” one of my favorite poems, which came to mind today when I crossed 9th Street, while driving down Hennepin, in downtown Minneapolis.
…until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned…until there are no longer first class and second class citizens of any nation…until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes…until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race…until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained.
– Halie Selassie, in an address to the United Nations, 1963.
I thought we could all use the reminder.
Overheard from a lone-lamp lit open window, while walking past, a tired voice, on the phone, “hey, are you still driving?” leaks into the dusk, carried along with the scent of grass clippings in the street, and it’s a plea and a demand and an admission of defeat all at …
This morning I’ve noticed that many accounts of yesterday’s total eclipse contain a statement along the lines of “I was not prepared for how beautiful/spiritual/amazing it was,” with which, having been fortunate enough to witness totality first-hand yesterday, I wholeheartedly agree. Why is this reaction so apparently universal? I don’t …
What if this eclipse somehow just didn’t happen? It would be even more terrifying for us than the eclipse was to people a thousand years ago. Suddenly, some very hard questions would need to be asked. Unrest; scientists, facing an incredulous public, desperately search for the moon, finally discovering that 60 years ago a researcher (the fourth of five listed authors of a widely-cited paper on the computer modeling of lunar orbital mechanics) incorrectly translated a punch-card into COBOL, because the process is mind-numbing, nothing like the life of the astronaut he wants to be, but anyway, in his distraction, he introduced a small, but compounding error. In the mean time we’ve burned down all the universities for nothing, all the scientists are in hiding, we’re all chain smoking and using computers to bludgeon livestock. The pope’s army is marching on the space station, and the caliph’s call echoes through Valles Marineris…