Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Shopocaplypse is Near!

Whoa! I'd forgotten all about that one. Where does Mike find this crazy gibberish? He knows Jigglebox better than I do! In the words of Bill Murray playing Hunter Thompson in that evil 1980 film Where the Buffalo Roam that set the course for my adult life (and thus ruined it): "Did I say that? Shit. I must have meant it."

More and more of my words from the past seem written by someone else (and are thus impossible to edit, by me anyway). It's weird. Anyway, thanks for that additional link. I may have said this before but I'll say it again, in Fred's defense, that coast is insane, it's winds deeply unsettling.

Unless you're me, of course, to whom the whole of our Starfucks-Costco-Quiznos consumer-demented society is WAAAY MORE UNSETTLING. Driving through this suburban (and urban) gauntlet of uber-homogenized, aesthetically-appalling, clone consumer "outlets" is enough to make me want to vault my corpus dictum onto the outer perimeter razor wire of the nearest for-profit prison. (I say outlet, though what worldly frustrations could be "let out" by visits to such spiritually-draining environs is beyond me.) And if that sounds crazy, I wonder: how crazy is it to try and escape into prison when the whole ugly-ified civilized world has come to feel like a prison, of sorts? A prison of corporate logos. A prison for your eyes and ears, at the very least. Such environs make the winds and brutal blue sea of the Lost Coast seem all warm and fuzzy by comparison.

I say all this and yet I know what I really need these days, and it has more to do with love and family and friends and increased social contact, to be needed and useful and inside the world again. And I need off this little boat. This writer's life has cast me way too far adrift. I imagine that once safely back inside the world, I could better cope with the glut of Wal-Marts. Maybe even the Starfucks.

But I'd still have to attend regular services of The Church of Stopping. Because the Shopocalypse is near!

Reverend Billy always sings to the lowest prices of my macchiato soul. Never has anyone so boldly articulated my consumer angst. May the Good Lord bless and keep you, Billy.

Tis God's work you do, I say.


Postscript: I was well pleased to discover, on punching macchiato into Google to check the spelling, that the word, bastardized by Starfucks, is actually Italian for "stained." Sweet irony! Oh, coffee, how Starfucks hath stained thy good name!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Come on in, the water's fine!

Greetings from northern California's Lost Coast!

As a bona fide recipient of a living-wage grant from the National Endowment for the Creation of Radical Oddities, or NECRO, your friend and author has taken up residence in a driftwood shelter on an austere 25-mile stretch of wind-whipped sand and rabid frothing ocean. Dispatches from my new outpost will likely be less frequent than ever given the sand in the keyboard, the mice gnawing on the modem, the bats, gnats, bears, and bloated sea lion carcasses perfuming the wind with that sickly sweet stench that the nose knows can only be one thing.

Made it out here just in time for the start of the Great Summer of Aught Eight, sure to be a great one if only by dint of human nature's need to put a more vigorous shine on things the worse they get. Give we sapient homos a really, really good crisis and watch us come alive. Forget moderation. Give us $10/gallon gasoline and a potential 100-year war and we'll show you who's boss.

Whatever. Here's wishing you all a wicked sweet summer.

Badger me and maybe I'll write.

Creatively, I mean.

On a wildly unrelated note, for those of you who've known me long and remember my confused young consumerist god-child Wal-Mart Boy, this video clip will resonate. My thought many years ago on the subject: it's only a matter of time. Thanks to Stricky for sending it my way.

And thank you, Mike Marcyes for the Lost Coast photos. It was a pleasure to guide Mike on his first camping trip since Boy Scouts, his first ever hiking trip. Mike held up amazingly well last weekend considering I took him to one of the most forbidding stretches of God-forsaken God's Country in the continental United States, and hiked us in 7 miles on the first day. It was only later that I realized that 7 miles was my first day on the Appalachian Trail, and a tough one at that. Hiking on sand is tougher. For more of taste of the Lost Coast world from long ago unpublished writings of mine, read this and then this.