At Work Killing Horses and Slashing Eyeballs

15 Jun

Toronto, CA
photo: Jason Chapman

Part of Jason’s photo essay “What Do You Do?” (documenting artists with “day jobs.”)

This is 11 maybe 12 years ago? (confirmation of start date according to post metadata: 22.09.2010; 0855 hrs.) When I had hair. And flair. And something exciting was in the air. These were the days of Input-Output. Books and stories were published with lightning speed—as the business of publishing books and stories goes. Lately, it’s been exclusively Input-Input. Information gathering from all kinds of sources feels much like an impending storm about to unleash gusts and softball-size hail down upon all of us. Insurrection is coming. Strife is coming. Bondage is coming (no double entendre intended, I swear). Shortages are already here. Supply chain disruptions? Check. $8-gallon gas? It’s already in Canada, so why not in America? The animals in charge of our destinies look alarmingly similar: old, white, male. They think alarmingly similar. Nowadays, as the sirens go off, we gather our important documents and flee into the central-most closet, modes of communication lit up in sweaty palms, tracking wind rotation and obsessively noting the crescendo of miles per hour. Input-Input.

I am reading about a famous tennis player who nearly jumped out of her 26th floor apartment in April in order to put an end to the pain and depression. I am reading of war and politics and climate catastrophe that has finally begun to elicit the slightest itch\twitch in certain people’s brains as maybe, perhaps, PerhapsMaybe a reality and a cliff from which there is no salvation for Mankind (capital M). I read the brilliant words in the giant masterpiece published by a young author who long ago (all right, 14 years ago, but that’s kind of long) decided to hang from the garage rafters after decades of medication, therapy, and electricity being zapped through his elegant, encyclopedic brain. I read I read I read. Input-Input.

This piece is a found draft in the offline archives of this site. I have many of them, these drafts. About 150. All waiting to be found or resuscitated. I’ve always been really good at beginnings and endings. That’s what these 150 false starts are. The stuff in the middle often becomes something along the lines of waiting at a railroad crossing while a freight train endlessly and perpetually click-clacks along on the way to somewhere else, in someone else’s backyard, to dump its toxic load. What if we rewrote the rules and skipped the middle, then? Or, what if there is no middle? “They were born and then they lived and then they died.”

Or what if there is only a middle—a perpetually flowing force of everything that constitutes a sort of reality existing in between nothing that can be delineated as a beginning, an end, or even space\negative space? Something bookended by absolutely nothing. I just made myself laugh looking at the previous two ridiculous sentences. Listen, there is an online subculture that is for some reason obsessed with debating Man’s (capital M, again) free will vs. lack thereof. The pro/contra arguments aren’t really that difficult to grasp. (For the record, I believe there is no free will, however, that’s not for this post to explore.) But to hear the lectures themselves (YouTube, podcasts, TED Talks, etc.) from the experts, and then read the comments of those who seem to take this debate as seriously as professional, cutthroat sport, I am driven to think about the brilliant young writer, the garage rafters, and the tragic conclusion of that particular story.

Some writer guy (white, old, male) the other day lamented the fact that white, old, male writers are having difficulty finding work in this world. This guy who lamented the good ol’ days of conquest, laughter in jest, and literal and figurative gluttony (MAGA) is apparently worth $800 million and has “written” (quot. marks because of the open secret of his using several ghost writers for his novels) something like 200 books. He has sold over 450 million novels since 1976. I am having difficulty understanding why anyone worth that much would even want to say anything about anything in general. Like, to anyone. Ever. (Update to story: the writer guy apologized and backtracked on his grievance. But not before the TwittyTheBirdVerse tore him to putrid little pieces. As the infernal swine that populates that particular world always does.)

A piece in the legendary Washington Post informs me that there is a general bad sentiment and overall ill will against QR Code restaurant menus. Scanning through the thousand+ words, I get the meat of the story to be something resembling: “hey kids, don’t we already spend enough time with our collective heads tuning into EM waves emanating from a small screen held in our hands?” (I may be wrong about electromagnetic waves, but I don’t claim to be a scientist. Or a thorough researcher.)

Now listen here, from the same WaPo piece: “. . . a poll conducted late last year by the National Restaurant Association found two-thirds of all adults preferred paper menus over the online version. Baby boomers in particular revile the use of QR code menus, with 4 out of 5 preferring a physical one.” This reminds me of an old Saturday Night Live joke from the 1970s: “4 out of 5 doctors think the fifth is an idiot.” That’s just, like, basic, good philosophy applied to every poll participant’s perception of their antagonist, man. But backtrack to the subject of the piece itself. This is in the Opinion section of this great newspaper that brought us the break-in at the Watergate complex 50 years ago tomorrow. One thousand lousy words’ worth of the usual headline: Old Man Yells at Cloud!

Speaking of one thousand lousy words, I am at #951 as of this one. So I better skedaddle before I reach the 1K limit. I am sure you’ve reached yours.

10 Responses to “At Work Killing Horses and Slashing Eyeballs”

  1. Erin O'Brien 22/09/2010 at 9:15 AM #

    Is that you? That looks a lot like me doing what I do (my hair’s longer tho).

    Now gimme one of those bananas.


  2. valerie 22/09/2010 at 9:34 AM #

    is that a toaster oven?

  3. Lx 22/09/2010 at 9:36 AM #

    Looks like it.

  4. Ava Joe 22/09/2010 at 11:51 AM #

    Good lord, what do you do with the iron?

  5. vibes01 23/09/2010 at 12:30 PM #

    is that your living space? i imagined your writing room to be like something out of a hammer horror drawing room..and you wrapped up snuggly in a smoking gown while clutching a pipe in your mouth while your hair run amok

    either i need to temper my imagination or you are deceiving the masses with this photo

  6. Lx 23/09/2010 at 2:59 PM #

    Look at the location underneath the photo. I don’t live in Toronto. This was shot at a family member’s flat, last summer.

    I don’t actually have a “writing room.” I write on a laptop in an armchair in my living room. I would be proud to own a smoking jacket and an ascot, but no such luck. I write usually in long, board shorts and a plain white undershirt with red sauce stains all over it.

  7. Ava Joe 23/09/2010 at 4:56 PM #

    Well, where’s THAT picture? Huh?

  8. vibes01 23/09/2010 at 5:22 PM #

    so i am still free to dream that your armchair is oversized to grandiose proportions, chair wings acting as a perch to hungry pelicans and at your feet lay three black and gold dobermans and one egofied chihauhau

    while you type manically – fingers wrapped in band aids – and laughing out loud out of sheer joy due to an unending wit

    my imagination thanks you, my imagination also wants to know if you have calves to pull of board shorts…..

  9. Lx 23/09/2010 at 5:53 PM #

    My armchair is over-sized and leather. Poor cow. I can “pull” board shorts. I pull them on, because they’re too much of a pain in the ass to lace. I love calves…they’re so cute. I hate eating them. But sometimes that happens.

  10. vibes01 24/09/2010 at 7:47 AM #

    cows are very dangerous animals..dont be fooled…but im glad you pull your shorts,would be weird if they pulled you…unless your into that kind of thing

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