If I lived 100,000 years, until the ice caps were gone, until Antarctica was an elite beach community, until the manifestation of the Kurzweilian singularity, until the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program was completed, until manufacturing jobs had moved from interior China to Southeast Asia and on to Africa and finally back to the ruined hellscape of America, if I lived that long I doubt I’d ever see or read about another human being as ignorant and vain and insufferably smug as you. You are a bad person, good day!
– Devin Howard
I’m listening to The Knife’s new album right now, and holy hell, I feel like I’m watching Salad Fingers on acid, only scarier somehow. Also, any chance you would like to get bagels or whiskey sometime?
Yeah, sure, that sounds like I’m asking you out on a date, but its more like a provisional invitation, to, I don’t know, whatever people do together at dinner. Did you see the thing about President Obama?! Calling that woman attractive?! What is this world coming to when a man, enjoying gender privileges bestowed by almost the entirety of recorded human civilization, can’t call a woman hot in public, in front of crowds, the nation, the press, and almost the whole of planet earth? It’s almost as if women are subjected to an entirely different and arbitrary set of expectations while trying to achieve career goals; expectations that are buttressed by thousands of years of malignant intellectual justification and pseudo-science, bigoted legal precedent, and plain old stupidity.
I mean, I saw the remarks, and the defensive posturing amongst the blogs which followed: they were very dumb, and echoed the almost insufferable MRA advocates who descend upon online forums I actually enjoy Gawker (sometimes), The Atlantic, Salon, American Thinker (kidding!), etc., whenever these types of things are discussed. I could make an enormous list of things that are absurd, harmful blots upon the world, but to briefly indulge this foray into dissatisfaction: what would I abolish immediately? Here’s a short list:
1) The Cato Institute – thanks for providing intellectual, theoretical, and faux-historical cover for an entire galaxy of retrograde policies designed to do little more than transform the entire globe into a dystopian blend of Randian anti-statism and Snowcrash corporate balkanization.
2) Rand Paul – he is in ‘ascendance’ now, because he yelled about drones (to block Obama’s appointment of John Brennan (Thanks Andrew Johnson, I am forced to admit that you were right, I’m not sure why I was arguing for altruism in this case, it was probably the rum)). He adheres to a political theology that barely exceeds the logical and moral capacities of a 2nd grader and is somehow treated as a serious thinker.
3) Every word in the English language beginning with ‘quant-“, only because this piece of legitimate verbiage has been hijacked and sullied by a nefarious band of terminological pirates, intent on transforming longstanding pieces of the human linguistic tradition into technologically and financially utopian buzzwords.
4) Mitch McConnell. I will always despise this man.
5) Jonah Goldberg. Yeah, sure, he’s not that important anymore, and he has been roundly and justly destroyed in many an article already. But still, his ponderous stupidity makes him worthy of abolition.
6) Applebees Inc. This one doesn’t really need an explanation.
There’s a quick list of things that should be stricken from this earth with all deliberate speed. I guess I don’t have much else to to add and hope this brief letter offers at least some small way to interpret my character, even if I’m a random internet guy who is willing to try and make a spectacle out of asking celebrities to do things, those ‘things’, in every case, being coffee or sandwiches or tall glasses of bourbon and other mundane stuff. Let me know!
I spent the day on the Jiankou section of the Great Wall with an informal group of hiking enthusiasts. Jiankou is a steep, hilly, unrestored stretch about an hour and a half outside Beijing. Visibility was nil, fifty feet or so, but if you hiked fast and got out beyond the conversation of the main group, stopped, and listened, it was like being in the woods during a snowstorm. Eerie quiet, excepting birds and wind.
Have you ever woken up in the morning, gotten dressed, looked yourself in the mirror before setting out to work on demolishing women’s rights, hating poor people via cruel policy decisions, and denying basic climatological facts and thought, “Man, you know what, I’m a huge gaping asshole”?
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
Like running off to Beijing, China
In response to prevailing economic conditions in the United States.
Or the navel gazing twenty something, ‘trying to find himself’
As an undergrad, then in grad school, oh and wandering the Indochinese Peninsula.
Or as the facebook political freedom fighter, posting and resposting links
To articles, so many articles, valiantly spreading knowledge – from home,
Far from the noisome crowds, and I mean, seriously, its cold and rainy out there
How can anybody effectively protest in this weather?
And of course the artist, the ‘creative’, the culturally in-tune,
The guy who listened to Of Monsters and Men when that video,
‘Little Talks’, had less than a million views.
Or the rugged fly-fishing bearded snowboarder dude, conquering actively volcanic Indonesian peaks for breakfast,
And radio-tagging great white sharks off the South African coast right before having sandwiches for a late lunch.
I don’t know, that guy might not be real. Anyway, the point is:
Wanna go get half-price tapas and wine sometime? Like, together?
Sans Instagram, sans professional sports, sans popular television programming references, sans everything (except:
Traditional spanish appetizers, a city of some sort, other patrons, a livable atmosphere, gravitational fields, The electro-magnetic spectrum, the two of us, etc.)
I’m supposed to ask you out, but, obviously, to do so seriously (or even ironically) would ask of us both…….just too much I think. Not that I’m ageist! I’m not, really, but I somehow doubt you’re interested in an aimless 27 year old whose life experience could be summed up by the question, “what is escrow?” What would be fun though, instead of a capital ‘D’ Date would be to sit down and eat at either your place or my parents house (I’m clearly not a home-owner) and talk. About stuff. Anything really, your take on decades of American history, success, career choices, life, the moon and tides, the fact that most of my generation won’t get to retire until they’re 85 – something with which you are familiar even if by choice.
It is, and I say this earnestly, thrilling to read and/or watch someone like you who continues to enjoy and experience and challenge and be involved with everything despite the fact that our age obsessed society is constantly attempting to relegate anybody beyond the advanced years of 40 to irrelevance, particularly women. Age be damned, gender be damned, socialized conventions and expectations be damned, it is wonderful to see a person absolutely demolish those kinds of imposed and imagined limitations in both real life and scripted roles. Wonderful and inspiring for the rest of us. Like 99.9% of functioning human organisms I think you’re awesome, so just let me know if you want to chill sometime and rant about stuff.
Or Hey Alexis, or Whats up Alexis, or What up Alexis (dropping the ‘s’ on ‘what’s’ clearly transforms the intended meaning of the salutation……I just don’t really know how. Makes it even less formal than ‘what’s up’ maybe? Maybe I could inflect it with a bunch of extra u’s at the beginning of up, like, ‘what uuuuup,’ to communicate nonchalance, which in turn could be considered a form of confidence? I honestly have no idea.
So far I’ve established that: salutatory choices have meaning……..and that’s pretty much it. Language means things to people.
Anyway, what are the chances that a hard-rocking, inked up (italicized to show that I’m down with the young artist pre-gentrification crowd (although they probably never refer to each other as inked up, but of course I know that and am using inked up ironically in this case (which begs the question: what I am not being ironic about in this letter? If nothing, then am I even being ironic? (its kind of like the difference between 0, and ∞ (zero and infinity for any of you retro-futuristic analog-only people out there (but if I’m talking to an audience then this is all ironic, not to be taken seriously, I’ve broken the fourth wall)))))) Brooklynite (such as yourself) would want to grab dinner with an awkward guy who really does like your ‘ink’ and your music?
What I’m saying is: would you go on a date with me? Somewhere in NYC, at some point (I’m also saying that irony is dead)? If you can untangle all of that, and want to hang out, get at me, or back to me, or hit me up, or whatever, at least the valediction is easy:
PS I stole the title for this letter/blog entry from this person: Behind the Box, who also thinks you rock and have awesome tats, or ink, or ‘tattoos’ as I refer to them.