Monday, April 23, 2012

My Hair Is Fortified

My hair is fortified, or so says my shampoo bottle. And this is no bullshit kids’ fort.

My fortified hair is perched ever so delicately atop a steep promontory, besieged by the crashing waves which threaten to wash it away at any instant. Erosion, calamity, devastation, misery, the optimism of the mad; you name it, its here in no short supply. Resources dwindle and are replenished, hope ebbs and flows, disease is kept in check but nobody is foolish enough to doubt its ultimate victory in some form or another. But the fort must be defended, in order that the fort may stand, in order that the fort may continue to be defended.

My hair is fortified. My neck a parapet, my eyes embrasures for the mysterious “pill box” they belie, its starved inhabitants trembling together in the dark. Oxygen is low and the air stifles the most wizened, but evacuation is not an option. My stern reserve a defensive curtain, my lean sobriety so many sandbags piled against the siege-works which daily aim to reduce my steadfast bastion to the mere stuff of couch cushions. Archers, to the parapets! The enemy approaches!

Roland Barthes famously noted that according to advertising argot, linen possesses depth. Then he was killed by a laundry truck. Having yet to be hit by my proverbial laundry truck, I am left to foolishly question the utility of considering my fortified hair in something that I once foolishly called “something that I once foolishly called ‘the scheme of things’”. As the popular American philosopher Carey Bradshaw would say, “I couldn’t help but wonder:” Is every unexpected gift a secret vessel for unseen invaders, laying in wait to strike when defenses are weakest? Should the seething hot oil be spared on those below who beat against the gates for relief? Should hunger be chosen over commerce with those unknown, and deemed foes by this very fact?

My hair is fortified. Something tells me that this metaphor leaves something to be desired.

[Originally appeared in DPLD III.]

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The End

Thanks to everyone who made DPRS #8 another smash success! Here are my closing remarks.

Congratulations, you’ve reached the end. Was it everything you hoped it would be? Of course not! Did you learn something? Perhaps. Were you bored? Probably. Amused? Slightly. Agitated? WHAT KIND OF QUESTION IS THAT? Content? Good one! Did you rub one out when nobody was looking? At least one, I hope! Did you work hard, sacrifice, and put others before yourself? To be clear, you didn’t really have to do this, so either that’s what you were into, or that just kinda sucks. Did you at least get a measly wristwatch for all the time you put in? I guess they don’t really do that anymore. Was it all worth it? What a silly and impossible question! When you reach the end you have nothing except memories, that famous consolation prize that you’d just as soon do without, since the lacerations of the bad times are only outmatched in their brutality by the present absence of the good. And since you’ve never really been honest with yourself, why start now by admitting that the most cherished of these memories are nothing like they are in the movies, except for in the ones you’ve hopefully scrubbed from your hard drive by now. When you reach the end it may occur to you that all the while you’ve been busily looking at those around you, conducting constant comparisons for the purpose of keeping some eternal scorecard, that like a good Christian, petty and vengeful, you now expect to be tallied up, the winner announced, and the losers consigned to a Hell of their own making. This will not happen. Or you’ve simply imbued the mundane actions of a random selection of acquaintances with an inflated importance which has successfully distracted you from the utter pointlessness of your own endeavors, until now of course. Sorry for the spoiler! (But don’t worry, its the end!) What’s more, it turns out that the people who you desperately sought approval from are just mobile shit and cum factories who rightfully doubt their own worth, especially in the face of your veneration, have benefited far more from circumstantial luck than anything approaching merit, and regardless of social standing, can’t breathe underwater for very long at all. Sorry you didn’t realize this sooner. Sometimes they fool you by convincing enough of those around you that they’re something special that you suspend disbelief, or by owning lots of cool shit, having an impressive title like “father” or “professor”, or being in the company of others of who more people are aware than are aware of you, and willing to mention the names of these known notables to abate your gnawing suspicion that there’s really nothing special going on. So to answer your question, no, you are not the winner. In fact, wasting your time in this way invariably makes you the loser. Now, to be fair, nobody really wins, but to be unfair, least of all, do you. Don’t worry kiddo. Sure, there are plenty of people who didn’t fritter their fleeting existence away on petty bullshit like you did, but that doesn’t mean that they too haven’t reached the end. At least you’re not in their boat, expecting fulfillment, wondering when the inner peace is going to kick in like waiting for a shitty tab of acid to make you really get it. Now, some say the end is really the beginning, which like most greeting card wisdom of our post-spiritual world, is a really cool and profound sounding way to say something completely insipid. Some say that you can’t know for sure if the end is the end, which is only poignant if spoken in an outrageously condescending faux pastoral accent over a soft-focus montage in a Terrence Malick film, and even then its utterly silly. Some say the end is near, but the problem for them is its usually not near enough, until, to the relief of all, it comes. Some say the end never comes for those who touch the lives of others, to which biologists answer: yes, it does. But speaking of cliches uttered by the profoundly idiotic, why dwell on the negative! You probably got to fly on a plane at one point. Sir Isaac Newton would have chewed his fingers off for this opportunity, but I bet you just watched The Astronaut Farmer and couldn’t wait to land. Doesn’t that just sum things up? (Hint: it does.) Still don’t get it? What else is new. Think about it. But not for too long. You can’t. Because you’ve reached the end.

Monday, April 9, 2012

DPRS #8 Tomorrow!

Thanks to Cage Gallery, Andy Folk, our fabulous readers, our loyal devotees, Mark Zuckerberg, the Fung Wah Bus, and why the fuck not, thanks to me.