Sunday, January 23, 2000

Entertainment Multiverse

Here's an alternate theory.

The universe is like a multiplex or cable. It exists for entertainment purposes and there are various storylines, characters and situations.

Strictly speaking, it's a multiverse. There are multiple genres, depending on the director and the target audience.

Some of us are characters in a cosmic sitcom. Others are cast in a John Carpenter slasher flick.

This explains why one person might pray to God for a parking space and get it while somebody else turns their back for a few seconds in the supermarket and winds up with their kid's severed head in a ditch. The lucky folks wind up in light romantic comedies, the unlucky get cast in a Wes Craven movie. For some people, the universe has purpose and meaning and happy endings. For others, it doesn't.

It depends on what movie you're in.

Saturday, January 22, 2000

Joke Universe

There are times I suspect this is a joke universe.

The evidence is overwhelming.

Take names. Names are too fucking close to the money if you ask me. Like some 18th century novel with characters like Craven Pridewell or sumpin.

The guy who brings us glee is Jackie Gleason. The woman who tripped up Clinton was Linda Tripp. Ross Perot is an anagram of "sore sport." And, of course...

The kid everybody's making a fuss about is Elian Gonzales.

Elian being an anagram of "alien," natch.

If somebody handed me that in a story I'd say Come on...Just too damn obvious, dontcha think?

...and hand it back for a rewrite.

Saturday, January 1, 2000


As I write these words, Y2K dawns.

The whispered fears of terrorist attack are not now reality. A mushroom cloud isn't looming over San Francisco, New York City, Atlanta, and God knows how many other cities. Our President, Congress, the Supreme Court and Regis Philbin are not now dead. All of them. The Pentegon is not in flames.

This is not the calm before the hellstorm.

This is not a final answer to the poet's question: Yes, as a matter of fact, the world will end in a bang. An impossible bang that makes your ears bleed, stabs a knife in your heart and turns your brain to jelly.

This isn't a bitter, hellish interval of waiting, waiting, waiting.

This isn't the end.

The stable assurance of an electrical grid isn't now, already, a distant memory. Along with any hint of social order. This HP computer, my faithful electric servant, hasn't changed to a dead slab of plastic. Along with all of our other "smart" machines. All clocks don't read 12:00, 12:00, 12:00, in the fibrillation of a grim electronic seizure. Dull, red, blinking lights don't confront us everywhere. Blank screens don't stare back at us like the empty eye sockets of so many hollowed out skulls. No. Wrecked, flaming cars don't surround us. The mindless mob isn't panicking in the streets. The traffic lights aren't dead. The lines of communication aren't cut. The endless babel of words and images has not been stopped. The vast universal silence isn't closing in like a shroud of death.

I do not contemplate my own death. Or the deaths of millions and millions of others.

Yet I laugh, bitterly.

What isn't happening isn't happening. What can't be started cannot be stopped. As the ineluctable tsunami of chaos doesn't close in, in the moments before it doesn't engulf me, I know only one thing.

Somewhere, in the growing fear and chaos that isn't happening, the fucking consultants who hyped this Y2K shit aren't getting any work.

For that, at least, I am grateful.

Welcome to the 21st century

21st Century Schizoid Man
(King Crimson -- Fripp & friends)

Cat's foot iron claw
Neuro-surgeons scream for more
At paranoia's poison door.
Twenty first century schizoid man.

Blood rack, barbed wire
Polititians' funeral pyre
Innocents raped with napalm fire
Twenty first century schizoid man

Twenty first century
Twenty first century
Twenty first century
Twenty first century schizoid man

Death seed, blind man's greed
Poets starving children bleed
Nothing he's got he really needs
Twenty first century schizoid man.

Twenty first century
Twenty first century schizoid man
Twenty first century schizoid man

Yeah. Welcome to the twenty first century.