Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Geological forces should know better than to compete with human sentiment. The Earth always loses -- no matter if it's only doin' what comes naturally. For a change mankind is guilt free; we didn't heat up the mantle layer with our greenhouse gases. Still, 120,000 deaths and counting cannot match the 250,000 rise in world population a day earlier -- owing to unsheathed whoopie in the third world and a lifespan free-for-all in the West, where nobody dies unless caught off guard. We'll have 250,000 more people living on the planet tomorrow, and even more the day after that. No stemming the tide there. But as the press reminds us with its remixed daily obituary: "We should be sad. Send money." We care about these people, unless they take our jobs. Also, at any given moment we might go to war with them. That's another irony of this region, on 24-hour terrorist watch but without a tidal warning system. So why the bad P.R.? Nature only woke up a little, then went back to sleep. We can continue to party.

Monday, December 27, 2004

As I gather it, the ocean receded, sucked from the shore by a silent vacuum beyond the horizon. Then suddenly, like an aggressive wet dog, it ran back and trampled over everything. So impolite. So unwanted. The sea rose up and reminded people of where life comes from in the first place, and it took a few of its decendents with it. Well, in each of those countries, the people will be replaced. In fact, the number of human deaths matches the loss of a few grains of sand on the beach, already returned. How valuable are we as a species? Why do we call mass death a cataclysm but ignore the problems created by mass birth? We live in a world of increasing anonymity and insignificance, yet we make such a big deal out of some people we don't know. Caring might help if it lasted. It might spread education, level ignorance, decrease our numbers and increase our value. But we'll forget as we rebuild, and build more, and continue to bury the Earth under reconstituted bits of itself: plastic, concrete, rust and man.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

I remember now that the free press in Crooked Corners closed its doors a month or so ago. In that fictitious town there is no press that costs money -- only time -- but I don't think anyone spent either minutes or cents. In a way I have created emptiness out of thin air. My work would gather moss if it had even landed. But I am not a cliche from Eliot:

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?"
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair--
[They will say: "How his hair is growing thin!"]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin--
[They will say: "But how his arms and legs are thin!"]
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

because I know very well that there is no time to waste. If I've wasted any time, it has also wasted me. The clock hides its face in its hands.

Monday, December 20, 2004

There's no reason to believe that this will amount to much. "A total of 746 blog sites have been added in the past 7 days," reports Blogarama. So in striving to be heard, to express our unique selves, we create the din of an electronic rain forest. Beyond the edge of our flat-screen monitors, six billion voices compete in the dark. We count on cold technology to keep us warm, to keep us safe, but it does neither; instead it dampens the flames of our individuality and -- while eliminating personality -- makes our security irrelevant. Humanity destroyed the wild and replaced it with something more ferocious and unfathomable: a hyper-complex spinning ball of fuses and wire. It integrates while it erases. So this is what rotates around the sun today, the Web as planet.

Monday, December 13, 2004

My cold black coffee makes me think of perplexing minimalist "works" at MOCA and MAM, fine as intellectual extensions producing beautiful exercises in art speak but rarely moving or even engaging as art itself: a sliced canvas, a string of fiberglass. I also think my boss shouldn't be so cheap; after a year I no longer search the cabinets for non-dairy creamer, which is why my coffee gets cold; as with those museum pieces, I lose interest if nothing's put into it. When the union forms, I'll demand Rothko-grade java at least.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

This is a wall of wild space, reformed; the rest shoves up against it, not civilization, not civil, no, just all this stuff we've made, with its indecent noise and low orange fog, the lights and metal and road and brick, the vinyl and plastic, the plumbing of mankind... This, this is green in wintertime and golden in the summer, and I like it, I wish I lived here, but I would have to give up everything, my clothes, my angst, my tendency toward the horizontal. Also, they won't let you in at night, and during the week you need a permit.