Tag Archives: Philosophy

Sketch money

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Money and I have an odd relationship. I never want to have to deal with it, but I’m always left needing more. I’ve never been great at handling my own money, and I’m always ever-so-willing to offer my art for free.

So something must be done. I’d be perfectly happy living the life of the impoverished artist if it wasn’t for the fact that living a comfortable life is a part of my happiness. It seems that, in my situation, the only way to not be concerned about money would be to have quite a lot of it.

But I could never see at as a virtuous thing just to have money. It is not an end-in-itself, not an ultimate goal. I do not look at people in a life of luxury and think “I wish I had that” and “I’m going to work as very-hard as I can to have that thing. Having things is boring. Every time I have a thing it immediately loses its luster. I am not into things, but I am into events.

Having events, or creating them, is costly. Sharing a dinner with a loved one, flying or driving long distances to see friends, even visiting the family, it all claws at the pockets. And maybe it’s my own fault. Maybe it’s fate, or bad luck, or some mechanic of the universe wrenching at my life thinking “once this thing is fixed, it’ll run like a dream.”

It doesn’t really matter. I have, on the whole, exactly what I want. Family, friends, positive and healthy relationships. I am, to be blunt, alive. Most of the time I don’t ask for much more than that. It is, after all, more than most of the human beings that have ever lived have. It keeps me happy.

But then there’s the crossroads, laying down in the middle of the clock with a gargantuan X. “What are you doing with your time.” Or, even more poignantly, “what have you changed in the world.” I want to change the world. Not in some grand, sweeping way. I’m not an open-to-the-public narcissist. I don’t even believe one person can change the world in any significant way (without support of the community).

A ripple. First an idea, it won’t go away. Then an action, with honesty, empathy, and virtue. Executed with humility. A butterfly effect of happiness. Smile at one person on the street, or two. Then they might smile at the bank teller, or say thank you in the perfect time of day to a worn-out cashier. Happiness is exponential.

But to be in the world costs money. Existential amounts of money.

I’ve had friends that have forgotten my name because I didn’t have enough gas to hang out any more. I’ve missed opportunities to experience and share art because I was trying to pull overtime and pay my utility bill.

It’s not a crisis. It’s just how it all starts catching up. Each bill falling one more piece of sand in the hourglass. I’m tired of deserts. I want rain. Not for greed. Not because I’m lazy. I’m just thirsty, I’ve been dancing as long as I can because in that dizzy moment I can sense something on the border of of perfection.

I’ll work hard for it. I’ll give you all I have. I know, in the end, all debts will be paid.

Here’s to life, and in it, freedom. May your Work and Fortune guide you through it.

Augoeides

You can’t step your toes into the rabbit hole. The wormhole chooses you, all or nothing. Enter the void and cross the veil, dive into it. It swallows you voraciously, you have no will, ego, consciousness left. The path of patterns break apart and you are left stranded. You must fall into it, merging into the mirror. All glimpses are illusion of material consciousness (shells breaking apart into linear time). Give it up (letgoletgo), surrender into the void. You will not recognize death until it swallows you. Mortality is your only gift, give it up. You need nothing. Living is bigger than you, space spirals into organic growth with root systems stretching their mathematical patterns beyond your realization. The master tunes into his will by bending reality into himself (bends himself to occupy being).

Glass trees, prismatic, nymphs dancing through shifting fractals, a network of coincidences collapsing into itself, in the grass blades, naked bodies moaning, convulsing, silent to the holographic worlds of the hermit stumbling drunkenly into the fool dancing to his hypnotic wisdom,the ignorance of innocence corrupted with discipline sinking into the cortex of my limbic system,channeling existence through the will of persistent imagination,cracking open patterns of automatic behavior and telepathic communication.

Another lazy day in the sun formulating the rotation of celestial bodies travelling through incessant determination. We are beautiful beings linked as the ego becomes aware of the preliminal systems, sharing an altered mindspace, intertwining ribcages of distorted, heart-racing empathy.

Can you see me with a broken antenna, spines bent in the storm, twist me until you receive the snowy signal? The feed is dim against the moonlight, your small chance to stare at the stars. The body warps until it feels itself floating in the transmission, can we find our way home on it, out of body and sinking into our own ways back. Your face shimmers into every person you’ve ever shown me. The storm bolts uprightin my bed, still trying to breathe underwater. What an insane fool I’ve been to believe myself for this long. I would apologize if it meant something. Sing to me and I’ll fall asleep, even if it means I’ll never see you again.

Travel through me like time,a desert landscape of moons rising over midnight wastelands,full of signs, correspondences, and hallucinations, coincidences and liquid interactions (alchemy, breathing the cancerous fumes of quicksilver and physics),

Out of gas and stranded, we still stumble into miracles in the kindness of strange people,head full of empty pockets of stories and a long road twisted into the future.

The siren song is finally deadly enough to listen to, lost on a ship, sailing into the fractured future. It unwinds time’s selfish clock. Waves of space wash into my face as we dance and we become an image of panoramic sunrise, virtually projecting itself onto the backs of our eyes like a hologram.

The green field tempts me, the light glimmering through the leaves onto supple, nubile bodies like an endless delusion, a prismatic charm of delight, hedonism, machinery. Enchanting lover, mesmerizing muse, serendipitous succubus, turn your whole inside out until i can sense you breaking free from the cage of your skin.

Your tongue burned a hole in my ribs the size of a key, your nimble fingers tumbling my chamber. Your mouth fills me with the sound of unlocking, bolt by bolt by bone I am opening. I am opening.

A drink in a sideshow carnival, a sex death wish, a list of inconsequential disasters. Fate emanates into kismet serendipity. Chaos answers to nothingness and order cracks open the flower of self to sink into nonsense. The pain is numbness and you can share with me, sedative, unconscious inconsistency, playing in the mirror against itself. The egg is a tomb of self-creation. We were born in death to live matter from the origin of motion.

I can feel my body casting shadows, the sun vibrating into my chest, shifting my heart into a cloudy web of laser beams. I am melting into the earth, curling up in her endless chambers, the cave of my mouth yawning into the sky, crumbling with dirt. My head is overflowing with birds diving into the blue green water of my hands, swimming into the waves. Space is expanding through me, stretching me, filling me with emptiness. Pour your kisses into me, tongue of light. Throw my shadows onto the ground, carry them into your bed until they sleep, burn them into gold, these elemental dreams.

The Line of Idyl

Electric power lines

The Line was long today. It was glorious, everyone gathered together, stretched all the way from the front to the back like a straight ocean. We were a part of something, standing up for ourselves, our history marching forward on the x-axis toward infinity. It was our responsibility. The wait was on our shoulders.

Today was the Grand Opening. They said a banner wider than a mountain was cut with scissors 2 miles long, operated by a mechanical arm that crushed ocean liners in its past life. “Welcome To the New You” splashed across the shimmering fabric, the font impressed with the intricacy of a call center menu robot, the color of muzak. I wasn’t here, but I could imagine it was perfect.

There was buzz that helicopters flew over dropping confetti bombs, spraying pamphlets with a thumbs-up logo “Facing the Now (subtext) Re-inventing the Self”. They blasted Tshirts out of cannons, loudspeakers sewn into the chest that broadcasted advertisements for public opinion. Anything could happen here. It was every idyllic, nostalgia-laden childhood fantasy rolled into one.

We were a conduit, a closed circuit, like a live wire finally grounded, the charge passing through me harmlessly. My subdermal GPS tracker said I was in the center of the whole thing, as if a guitar string coiled itself into the unknown and I was perfect Middle C, the exact division of an octave. You might not believe in utopia, but here I was, hands in my pockets, staring into the back of the person’s head in front of me. It was voyeuristic. Could I see into him? My heart raced. Did they even know I was here? Of course they did. The Line wouldn’t be as long without me. They could sense it.

Sure, there were pointless distractions. Holograms blinked in and out of existence to offer a variety of artisanal cookies. Cutters gathered in large blobs to point and gawk at trapeze artists base-jumping from skyscrapers, their broad strips of fabric streamers spiraling like DNA from their arms and legs as they contorted into each other’s bodies in an intricate dance of balance and grace. Their parachutes strobed with three-dimensional Fibonacci fractals, organically morphing through an unknown spectrum of colors.

Men and women ran naked through the street, manifesting live art experiences through body expression. They splashed prismatic paint through the air as they played, their motion extending out into the breathing world, leaving a trail of hand, splatter, and footprints behind them. The aesthetic impression was vivid, but temporal, nuanced. “The exuberance of a joyful laugh left ringing in your mind, a tickle that rises from your groin and into your chest, flowering up into your head as if your face could glow with 100 smiles,” my father might say. He was very Freudian, in his own romantic way.

If I wanted to experience the process of pure child-like awakening, I would go back to my old job mountain climbing the Andes. I used to photograph the rarest animal life on earth as I snowboarded in my wingsuit. I reconstructed the imagery into a graphic novel pastiche meant to reflect the internal struggle of humanity’s adapting eco-consciousness. It was all very meta. I was an adrenaline junky.

But I’m not here to talk about work. I was here for a reason. I was focused. The days of hammock-swinging in my sprawling compartment overlooking the lush jungle of South America were over. I shuffled congruently past a yonic fountain spraying meteorite dust into a maze of interlocked circles, opening and closing. The pools bubbled with an undulating fog of helium. The mist reminded me of the tiered tongues of waterfalls cascading over the Mayan ruins back home, a stressful acid rising in my throat.

A hologram server flashed beside me, offering me an empty wire-frame hand. He must have sensed that I was getting bored. “Would you like to see your self?” it bleeped.

“Definitely.” My voice squeaked, tightened from excitement and 5% noble gasses.

“Uploading credit bill,” he responded, his voice modulating with sine waves. The hologram’s face rapidly shifted into every person that stood in Line today. “Welcome to New You!” His chest ticked off with a rollover counter of charges to my bill. The Line was the only place you could spend money. Every face blended seamlessly into the next until my balance reached the charge limit. The longer I watched, the more it cost. It was absolutely exhilarating.

Days blended into weeks into months. Occasionally it rained, occasionally it didn’t. A group of monks read “Ulysses” in reverse, pressed the open book to their chest until the ink smudged onto their skin. Impromptu carnival games split off, tests of strength, skill, wit, and luck announced by a freakshow ring leader. Masked men and women, skintight with leather, flirted with lace, silk, feathers, silver rings, handcuffs and rope. They carted wheelbarrows full of toys around, offering free orgasms. They were homesick. They needed something normal, a safety net, as if they couldn’t think about the big picture, constantly obsessing the menial day-to-day.

But here it was in front of them: the ultimate meaning, the truth of it. Directly ahead. I stepped one foot forward, the reward center of my brain firing a symphony of serotonin and dopamine cocktails. I could feel when I stepped into the previous space of the man ahead of me, filling the ghostly shell he left behind, the imprint of his aura still warm in the air. We were one person, one long worm stretched through time, each of us different phases of the same.

Everything shuddered. I was ahead, in the lead, the first man.. Directed by the green blink of an elongated traffic sign, I stepped into a small trailer, drawing aside a flat black curtain. Transcendence awaited. I sat in a chair, staring at a radio. This was it, theophany becoming imminent.

It garbled with a fast-forward reading of Clockwork Orange. A Noam Chomsky impersonator deliberated the value Foucault’s linguistics in a trans-human society. Wait. This was it? An arm folded out from the side of the radio. A drillbit whirred on its tip. Highlight reels of history’s greatest revolutionaries fired up on the wall, the familiar click of a reel-to-reel projector rising to a crescendo as mobs silently cheered them on. A lecture from Carl Sagan, Terrence McKenna, and Richard Dawkins simultaneously jumbled at near subliminal levels. The right wall fed in a monologue from Einstein; the left side of the trailer illuminated with Tesla arcing lightning from his hands.

White noise of yogic chants funneled in from the ceiling in a binaural wash tuned to Solfeggio harmonic sequences, balancing my chakras, every cell of my body singing like a cymatic tuning fork. My left eye began to twitch Pythagorean theorems in morse code. I yawned, the The Unified Field Theory unfolded before me like an elementary school textbook.

It was a mishmash of every genius mind and concept of the last 1000 years, every physicist, scientist, mathematician, artist, philosopher, and poet, overloading the unconscious mind, forcing it to download every relevant detail of humanity’s genius in a single, epileptic session. Just like the one I listen to on the car ride from work. What is going on? How disappointing.

This can’t be it. The arm drilled through his skull, sucking the pine cone of his pineal gland from its root. He came online. The “I” was dead now. He flashed up, his wire-frame body filling with liquid green laser. He was suddenly beside her, without knowing, turning to a child in the Line. “Welcome to New You. Would you like to see yourself?”

The ego overflowed with zeros. His face was a dial tone printed with an alien language.

Insomnia

televisionglow

There wasn’t much on the humans today, but I watched them anyway. It was the same old, boring, lazy crap that they tried to pass off as humanity these days, but I couldn’t help myself. It was a ritual, a tradition. It was expected of me. It’s what my father did, and my father’s father. It was unheard of to be brought up in a house without humans. It was obscene. Impossible. Absolute savagery.

Every day I would awaken, something inside me a sudden tick, my face humming with a brief and vibrant blue. I would watch the kids when they came home from school, waiting for their parents to get off work. The family gathered around me, eating out of bags, gnawing on the plastic colored cheese hardening on the pastel wrappers, and we would stare at each other. You really get to know a human if you stare at them for 10 hours a day. It’s almost like they have a soul, a flicker firing up behind the red glaze of their eyes. Sometimes, when they start talking to me, well, you’d think they were alive.

Occasionally they would offer me food, on game days, screaming obscenities and throwing me offerings of popcorn, chips, pretzels. I was never hungry, but I liked it. They stood and cheered around me, a primal beat of the chest, empty with echos. I felt like a pocket-sized Kubrik’s monolith. But in reverse–devolving. I could train them.

One human whipped a bottle at the wall, establishing dominance. Rolling Stone called it “gripping satire,” “riveting,” a “Turing de force.” I called it a Sunday afternoon. Besides, the special effects were terrible. If you paused him at 23 seconds, you could see the strings, the reflection of a cameraman in his belt buckle, his hat was on backwards. He said he did his own stunts, but you could clearly see his double, terrible wig and all. Some people call them easter eggs, I call it sloppy continuity.

I put the kids to bed. The parents lean against each other, make passing attempts at becoming aroused. They don’t do much of that anymore. They already have each other. I can tell.

“I’m gonna get ice cream. Do you want some ice cream?”

“What do we have?”

“Chocolate fudge peanut butter swirl with caramel toffee chips.”

“Bring me a soda.”

“We don’t have any. We need milk.”

“Put some syrup on it.”

Who writes this dialogue? Mechanical, derivative, forced, preachy, pretentious, smug, wooden, drowsy, uninspired, convoluted, poorly paced, phoned-in.

They are terrible actors–waiting for the big break, trying to land walk-ons on a major channel, pretending to be in someone else’s lives, just trying to get noticed by someone powerful. One day they’ll be rich enough to become someone else.

Everyone gets 15 minutes before the commercial break. Hopefully it’s your favorite commercial. I heard, last year, that someone got paid 1 million dollars to watch a Super Bowl ad. It was the best he ever saw. He’s still talking about it.

Now his start-up company sells beer flavored toothpaste. He tried to invest in gambling therapy. He lost it all in a week. The odds were against him. It was good for the economy. He adjusted for inflation in 50 years and realized he only lost about 1,000 dollars.

I am a programmer. I sit all day against the wall. The back of my head is getting hot. My face is morphing with liquid crystals.

I used to be a story-teller. Move people. Now it’s just a puppet show. I tell them what they want to hear. I force-feed them, gluttons too full of despondency to lift a spoon to their mouths.The absurdity flashes around them. I swear, with the lights off, I can see it. Wiggling in the couch shadows, rolling pet hair up into balls, breathing dust, coughing up cigarette butts in the middle of the night, farting mold into the central air, eating the month-old leftovers, pissing on bathroom floor mats, it’s mouth full of microwaved aluminum foil.

The mother went to bed. It’s 2 a.m. The father’s mouth is open, the back of his throat bathing in my light. Let me sell you something–I am not a god, but I wouldn’t mind being treated like one. His hand is down his pants, in front of the privacy of the whole world. He is too tired to masturbate, but he tries anyway, with empty compulsion, still searching for the right channel.

I can’t sleep. I am always turned on, plugged in, jacked up. I can always feel the line noise feeding into me.

“This citrine-quartz necklace is only 555 for next 20 callers”

“…invest in the Christxmas gift that unwraps itself”

“This unfolding ladder extends through your apartment neighbor’s wall so you can finally walk up to each other”

Consumerism, etc. But his eyes are too blurry to see the numbers on his credit card. I am getting too old for this, too good.

I am a hypnotist. I will whisper in between the frames. I can see into him, through him, my plasma eye shifting with rainbows. I flash him the fake tits and fame-hungry moans of soft-core porn. This is my highest resolution.

Tonight, I will sell him dreams.