Friday, April 11, 2003

"What Would NausicaƤ Do?"

A problem of having led an essentially feckless life is that when one is called upon to have a moral center, one is often found wanting. At these moments, it is useful to have a model of moral and ethical behavior to draw from. And so, when I am faced with a difficult choice I try to ask myself "What would Miyazaki's NausicaƤ do in this situation?" It's a way of asking: "What is the brave, fair, and gentle response to this problem?", something that I truly believe exists in every case, despite our near constant failure (both as individuals and as a species) to find it.
Yes, it's an utterly geeky thing to do. But I'm oddly comfortable with that.


Thursday, April 10, 2003

"The Geography of Ignorance"

OFTEN, YOUR AMBASSADOR is asked, "where exactly is Horsmanistan?". On these occasions I hem and haw and make vague upwardly pointing gestures. Then I change the subject.

Now, it's common knowledge that most Americans are terrible when it comes to geography. They can't find Canada on a map, let alone countries on other continents. But they pale in comparison to Horsmanistanians, and our terrible, terrible secret:

We can't find our own country on the map.

In fact, we're not entirely clear on what maps are for.

We know they represent the ground beneath our feet in some vague sense, the way oil paintings represent bowls of fruit and men in feathery hats. But those little blobby pictures are just a little too abstract for us. Someone showed me the blob that is supposed to be Australia on one of these maps once. From what I made out, it could just as well have been a liver. And who wants to call a liver home? No one, excepting the common liver fluke. And they're scum.

Vile, parasitic, scum.

Is that really an image that Australians want people to associate with them? Is that how Australians would like to see themselves? I think not. So, to avoid similar self-image problems, we have taken a stand against maps. Some so-called educators have called our stand an overweening glorification of ignorance, but we think that's just because they probably come from some country shaped like a bucktoothed spinster surrounded by geriatric cats. It's rather pitiful really.

Anyway, we're not sure where our country is. But nothing's on fire at the moment, so it's probably somewhere safe.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

"When There's Nothing Left to Burn"

BLAH. Creative work has always been a thorn in my side, has always driven me just plain nuts. In the past I've used emotional problems, existential dread, and some vague need for purity as excuses for not splattering out all the stuff that's inside. But I really love my current one:

"I can't type."

Or more specifically "I can't type without looking at the keyboard."

See, it's actually a valid excuse, because looking back and forth between the screen and the keyboard breaks up my "flow", so I can't get to "that place" where "great art" "happens." I'm quite pleased with this little rationale. It's the most creative thing I've come up with in years.

Oh, and writing in longhand is for Moleskine-humping pantywaists.

Monday, April 07, 2003

"Satisfy y0ur woman, you pindick"

Your ambassador is flabbergasted. Not only is my inbox overrun with spam, said spam is now hurling abuse at me. Is this the future face of guerilla marketing? If so, I have some winning suggestions:

"Buy this product, you sniveling worm"
"Inadequate? Of course you are"
"Buy and your death will be quick and merciful"
"Free rug burn with purchase"

The weather here is, well, totally retro. Walking through the blowing snow, I spied a confused robin hopping about. Apparently he didn't get the memo about spring in Michigan and how it often isn't.

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