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September 05, 2003

The Flat Universe

(from the archives - april 2000)

85:382) 27-APR-2000 20:59 Michael D. C. Bowen (mbowen)

i'm tired. i just feel like writing something or talking somewhere. i wonder these days if my fatigue is a sign of chronic impatience. i don't want to spend the energy to get someplace that's supposed to be good for me, and so i claim to be tired. i make snap judgements in my mind and wait for the right miniseries to bear out my claim. i point to the artifact and say 'i thought of that'. when the artifact contradicts my reasoning, i shrug it off.

i have a cousin with a great big house in south pasadena. she's an attorney of some sort and never shows up to family gatherings. i imagine winning the silicon lottery and hiring an old shaggy man to pretend to be me, and cuss her out from a 1963 ford pickup across the street. she'll feel justified. i'll feel vindicated. i don't use capital letters, as you know. if you're interested in finding out what i think, you take the trouble to translate. if my cousin cared about her family, she'd make time to come to my daughter's 5th birthday party.

idealab is just around the corner from here. they've got mary meeker and jack welch. i don't want to move to silicon valley any more. i want to stay here in pasadena, but jobs at idealab are invitation only. of course i can do the work, but i was so interested in doing the work that i didn't bother getting an advanced degree from a fancy university. my resume is in lower case. feh. half of their incubated companies are boring anyway. i wonder if it's worth it to do something spectacular, like show up at the door in my hollywood suit. i look very cool and intelligent in my new half-height tortoise sheel eyeglasses and black ribbed t-shirt. somebody says goatees don't indicate genius any longer in the post-correction new economy. i wear mine for other reasons.

depression-era millionaires who live in seclusion will always be with us, according to today's los angeles times. they always give their money away to cancer research. fucking idiots. nobody ever cures cancer, you're supposed to die of cancer. give the money to kids who need to learn algebra. buy them machines that automatically capitalize their typing. old people get on my nerves, especially those who still reminisce about their property during the days of bautista. lots of old people need to die, lots of big properties behind gates need to be liberated, lots of gardeners need to rebel, lots of tv cameras need to go to different places - my internal arguments are not being brought to market quickly enough.

perhaps if i could get short subjects portrayed. you know, like mr. show. but something with a really hard edge, that you'd have to put on hbo. i mean cause when you really think about it, dennis miller is happy and so is chris rock. how the hell are they supposed to challenge us when they're so damn rich and happy? i want to air the vignette when elian gets shot in the head. not by janet reno, not by fidel castro, but by somebody's aunt mabel whose niece just got run over by a truck. she has been crying for 7 days in front of the television set while everybody tries to figure out how to calm the nerves of somebody who has an ap photographer on call. aunt mabel lives in south dakota. remember south dakota? she's a biafran refugee who walked to lagos and snuck onto a liberian flagged freighter bound for elizabeth, new jersey. she was raped by the crew and tossed overboard as they started unloading the containers, but she made it to america.

we've discovered that the universe is flat, but like cardboard. does that make us masters of the universe? they say that we can't experience the fourth dimension, but that it effects us nevertheless. what if the fourth dimension were knowledge and that knowledge is somehow linked to causation? how can you learn things and know things like the shape of the universe, a problem that's been a mystery since the dawn of man and there not be some profound physical manifestation of that knowledge? knowledge must have mass and propeties like chemical bonds and protien folding stuff. it can't just be arbitrarily created and destroyed. when you know something you get a burden; i certainly feel the burden of knowledge. maybe that's what i've been trying to do, navigate in the fouth dimension. my brain goes places that my body can't reach, and so i'm always tired. i have feelings of dislocation. yet somehow everything fits and relates back to everything else.

this morning i tried to throw a piece of trash out of my car. the sunroof blew it back in. the side window blew it back in. i wanted to prove a point, that litter helps the economy in a butterfly effect. a dirty street warrants more street cleaning, which requires longer work from the garbage union workers, which raises the tax burden, which motivates politicians to speak up against castro. maybe it's a good thing that it blew back. i'll save it for the next time we light the fireplace at my brother's house and sit back to drink coffee and baileys. i'll burn my own trash, fuck the economy. but i guess my rebellion against the economy is part of the economy too, especially the tax economy of the south coast air quality management district.

it's very hot here in southern california this week. i can't explain it. last year, they say, was the warmest winter ever. ever what? ever since they started counting. average temperatures were up by one degree. doesn't sound like much. my boss always tells me not to try and boil the ocean. maybe he can sense the mental thermodynamics of my brains' fourth dimensional navigations. bosses have that ability; they call your office from hundreds of miles away right when you have your laptop blasting chick corea. stupid me, i use the speakerphone. because i have my feet up, and i'm wearing my cool new eyeglasses.

i'm tired. i have a big status report to finish by next tuesday's conference call. there are eight subject headers, mostly having to do with sales and marketing. i was supposed to be an exalted programmer. ha, those were the ambitions of 1982, now it's all about the benjamins baby. somebody has got to change the way millionaires behave in this country. i'm just the man for the job. vote bowen for millionaire, i promise to hire poor people and pay them to cuss out rich people. there's a hella charity. i like that economy. i'll even videotape it. maybe even get an ap cameraman.

now i feel better. i must have made a connection out there in the fourth dimension. maybe i opened up a subspace channel between lagos, miami, south dakota, pasadena, silicon valley and everywhere else readers on the web come from.

it's very reassuring to know that the universe is a flat organization.

Posted by mbowen at September 5, 2003 08:58 AM

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