A few months ago, I moved to a new place in the Kitsilano area of Vancouver. During said move, I was without internet for a solid chunk of time. Between work and new-house duties, I documented my time without internet and typed out the random thoughts I had, like the personal journal of a ten year old girl who happened to be going cold-turkey on her heroin habit. The following was written as is a while ago and only recently posted when I remembered I wrote it.
There is no internet at my new house. I could take my laptop and go to the closest corporate coffee shop and leech off their free internet but I refuse to internet in public. I’ve never been fully comfortable interneting in public, even when it’s my only choice and I have a reason to be on it (being at school or work), but when I have no real “reason” outside my own needs then I feel like I’m subjecting people to my dirt deeds. So I will not use public internet.
Outside of this grievous lack of internet connection, the move is mostly successful. Every family member currently in town took it upon themselves to offer to cook dinner. After my kind refusal they simply come over and hang out and mooch my stuff.
I ask my cousin whether or not my portrait of three ginger vikings in brutal bare-chested combat amongst icy grim mountaintops is hung straight. The homophobe in him is too scared to notice the joke. Taking to the problem like a simple and direct man he looks at it for twenty seconds and then makes mention of there being an app for that. An app to keep it straight.
I don’t have it, I say to him.
You can get it.
No I can’t.
Why, just use your phone.
I don’t have a phone.
Because I’m still human.
And so on until I force myself out of the conversation with a need for tiny nails. See, I have a phone, just not a smart phone. I have one of them lobotomized phones. One that only does four to seven things well. Camera. Text Message. Sleep alarm. Timepiece. Calculator. Calendar. Phone. It does about four well, but they’re the ones that count.
There is no signal to my house because I have the cheapest phone plan: Now one of the four things is gone. Also, I got a watch now, so it basically does only two things well.
Without the help of any human/android/phone app, I managed to get the majority of my house and room fully decorated. I pride myself on my ability to stop, drop and set up shop whenever I need to and however quickly I need to.
My only major concern is that I sleep below what is just a window big enough to fit a small child or adult human head and low enough for raccoons and tiny rapists to get through. My head is right below it.
I keep the window closed at all times.
I learned the difference between violence in art, as it is in the various forms of entertainment media, and violence in real life. All violence in tv, movies, videogames, comics, novels etc is not violence — it’s fake. Violence is something real that people or even a single person does to others. This is not a difficult thing to learn, either, but it’s easy to forget the key parts of it. It becomes more of an instinct, like knowing the difference between a book and a lamp. There isn’t any actual violence in this stuff. It’s all play. It’s all fake-violence.
When I was a child — young enough that everything I did was the first time I did it — learning bigger concepts beyond “soft food is awesome,” I learned the truth about violence in art. It was through Ron Howard’s Splash. Y’know Splash, right? Come on… Canadian Treasure John Candy was in it. It has Daryl Hannah as a mermaid, meaning she doesn’t wear clothes ever.
It’s that 1984 movie where Tom Hanks does something something with Daryl Hannah’s mermaid body that makes her a human for a while. Since my other favourite film at the time was The Little Mermaid, I can assume my first fledgling fetish was mermaids. Or maybe it was something about turning them into humans that I was into. Fuck if I know. Regardless, I watched this film a lot as a kid.
There is a part in the film that still sticks with me today. PREAMBLE: Considering I haven’t seen it since I was six, I feel the need to admit this is one of those keystone moments for shaping my brain. It’s clear enough in my memory that I don’t actually want to research/ rewatch the movie since I enjoy the scene so much as it is in my head. Maybe it’s not in the film. Maybe the scene exists in a different movie altogether. Maybe I made it up in my mind. I’m not sure.
The scene in question: Tom Hanks enters his apartment, having come home from work to check on the human-bodied mermaid that he left in his apartment, unattended. This seems like a fucking stupid move on Hanks’s part — this human/creature experiences everything like a child. She is seeing everything for the first time. Hanks has left a human sized child, alone, at his bachelor-pad with, I’m assuming, a plethora of sharp and flammable bachelor-things.
He comes home to find her crying. Hanks asks why she so sad and Hannah says that she watched a man die on television. She thinks it’s real. He then explains to her that it’s not real, it’s a show, in every sense of the word. The man is an actor who only pretended to get shot and pretended to die. Pretend: that’s a keyword of my childhood. Hanks explains that the deadman is an actor and it’s not real, the gun is fake, there is no bullet, there is no death. She understands the idea quickly enough and then starts laughing maniacally — I’m not sure why.
It’s not real. None of it is. We know that. We know that so well that it becomes almost innate. That’s why when you see acts of “violence” in tv, videogames, film, comics, Cormac McCarthy novels you don’t vomit in equal parts disgust and fear. Adults and even most children know the difference between seeing something that is real and something that isn’t. When a guy gets decapitated, he didn’t get his head cut off, a team of make-up people did an amazing job. It can still be gross. Knowing the difference between pretend and real is the instinct that allows us to enjoy and evaluate art.
Danny Tanner doesn’t live in that Full House. Danny Tanner can’t afford to live in that house AND provide for all them non-working people in his free-loading family. More to the point, Danny Tanner doesn’t actually exist.
They don’t smoke cigarettes in Mad Men.
Monica and Rachel can’t afford to live in New York.
The dead don’t walk.
And mermaids don’t exist.
The HIStory of Movember
The mustache was first introduced to the Western Industrialized World after spreading from Central/Eastern Europe and the last remnants of the Ottoman Empire. It was cultivated by roaming merchants who’d chop the beards off of thieves and vagrants to sell to haberdashers as a cheaper alternative to wool. Thousands of men were left with nothing but the hair on their lips to warm their face, often leading to violent reprisals on the merchants who prospered off of their beard hair. Many riots were had. News of the rapidly escalating violence spread and the creepy facial hair was at the center of it. The facial hair style soon caught on after it was reported to give natural performance-enhancement for all who donned it. Many lives were lost.
Those with mustaches rose to great prominence, resulting in the style being worn by voivodes as a symbol of their power and virility. Like a virus, it spread into other countries via traveling hajduks and derish, drunk off of the power it gave them. The most famous was Bulgarian revolutionary, Panayot Ivanov Hitov [Панайот Иванов Хитов], whose upper-lip forest spanned such length that it decapitated his first wife when she he turned to face her.
She was standing right next to him.
It wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century when the Western mustache reached its full potential. It took one man’s hybrid of the East and the West’s take on facial hair to unlock the mustache’s natural affinity for the martial arts. Edward William Barton-Wright — born on November 8th in India to a British family, raised in France and studied in Japan — was the man to define the nose neighbor for a new century. As a master of beating his opponents to death while wearing a suit, Barton-Wright was one of the first Europeans to teach Japanese martial arts, often creating his own, more mustache-oriented versions. For his efforts to elevate fanny-dusters to the badge of high-class and gentlemanly badassery they are today, it is Man-Law that all men must wear mustaches during the month of his birth, November.
The invention of irony killed this look for all other eleven months of the year.