My ideal tatt: Seeking a personal identity


hello kitty

Hello Kitty’s birthday has just passed, marking 40 years during which this prominent cultural icon has only ever lurked there on the periphery of my consciousness.

Though I do recall one occasion on some waterfront when I’d had enough to drink that I wondered, briefly, if I needed a tattoo. Out of nowhere — given I knew no more about Hello Kitty than this image appears everywhere around the world that you find tacky items manufactured from synthetic materials — … Read more

Bingeing on bingeing

Bingeing writers and binge writing. Traditionally, writers have been notorious bingers. And, aside from any occupational enthusiasm for booze and suchlike, we get binge writing, where instead of turning caffeine into books, as some would have it, writers instead turn whiskey into piss and engage in binge writing in the intervals between their alchemical endeavors. (I first encountered the expression “binge writing” listening to a Letterman interview with Hunter S. Thompson. See “What is writing?”)

hangovers joy of

hunter s thompson guardianBinge Read more

Colonialized: The Peak Experience

vic peak sara enhBelow us lies a massive growth of porous luminosity, its cellular steel and glass exoskeleton inhabited by various species of soft light. A colossal marine organism has emerged to colonize the harborside. Brighter creatures enjoy mutualistic relations with the colonial host. Some of them, Logo spp., are neural parasites that prey on humans.

Sara and I stand atop the Peak Tower with a bunch of other creatures, not yet colonial but through the wonders of digital technology fast evolving … Read more

Zombie nation: Shutting down

In my previous post I suggested that persons and cultures, our very realities, are narrative in structure. What happens when you interrupt such narratives? Many of us are finding out, thanks to our increasingly ubiquitous and much-beloved digital communication technologies. There follow two especially obvious ways this is happening.

Applying a cell phone to the side of one’s head in public has the effect of disconnecting the brain. In this condition, cellphone users show characteristic signs of aimlessness, milling about … Read more

They’re everywhere! More on neural parasites

Soon there’ll be nowhere left in the world to run to, no place to hide.

In response to something I posted on neural parasites some time ago —  “Fable with parasites I: Bravery lies in the brain of the beholder” — Steve Hyde said this: “Reminds me of those tourists that have been taken over by their backpacks … [Like the chickens in your post], they’re … known to fearlessly approach dangerous beasts.” I believe he was referring to … Read more

New you’s: Modular commodification

 

I am Nikon. I am my iPhone. I am a chimera, a mongrel composite of my Levis, my Dockers, my Tilly hat, my Bush Country SUV.

I am whoever I choose to be. I am whatever. I am a staunch iconic mashup doing my part to keep the wheels of industry turning. I am my modular personality du jour compliments of the advertising industry and my own f***wittedness. Cool.

 

But it gets weirder than that. And maybe more … Read more

Herbal Happiness (Pharmaceutical Virtues)

Greetings. I’ve been away for a while, distracted by travel, a restive Muse, this and that.

Writers are notoriously perceptive, and so it is that, during my travels, I saw that drugstores were not the same drugstores I used to go to and say gimme some aspirin, or “I’d like a packet of those things, you know … Yeah. No, no! You don’t have to wave them around, for chrissake.” Like much else in our world, things have changed since … Read more

Central irony of our age?

The central irony of our age: a powerful totalitarian drift promising individual empowerment. (Epigrams’R’Us, eh?)

Individually and collectively, we blithely speed towards a precipice. Or so it seems, of this jet-lagged morning, just back from a computer-, Internet-, and phone-less island sojourn.

Are we modern folk evolving as mere arms & legs for our smartphones? The reality of current tendencies may be even more sinister than that. I’m too sleepy to develop that notion any further just now. Here’s just … Read more

More greed is good

I recently saw Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, with Michael Douglas doing a job of personifying greed for the first time since the first Wall Street, which won relatively more favorable critical notice, came out in 1987.

Critical opinion on Rotten Tomatoes seems about evenly divided. But I tend to be a-critical when I’m in the mood for escapism, and I reckon this film did the trick very nicely. I’d recommend it for fans and enemies … Read more

Digital bedlam

Yesterday I was riding the BTS here in Bangkok, when I noticed a guy standing in the corner of the car. What first caught my attention was his face, which was bathed in an unholy glow. Short of sleep as I was, my first thought was, yow, this is some kind of divine messenger, maybe sent by my dear, departed mother to have another go at finally setting me straight.

Then I realized the light came from the iPad he … Read more