I never understood the French desire to retire as soon as possible and then live on. I thought I’d work until the end, each day arising to the orange bankèd fire, a silken full-length gown—my work attire; my blistered fingers to their plow: a pen; a morning hour’s work, a nap, again a forty-minute afternoon; then hire an ungrateful ex-colonial Uber driver to bus my wife and I from our chateaux into some village’s pretty pristine square for the entrecôte reward of any striver and a glass or ten of ’96 Margaux— for if I did not labor, I’d despair.
In some sense, both sides are right, both sides are wrong, and, in the bifurcated politics of urban genderqueers and rural hicks, of fetal stem cell bans and legal bongs, of floury tiktok wives and boys in thongs, in this American moment: nothing sticks; the self-destruct device’s timer ticks toward zero hour, and the nearing thundering song of risen oceans lapping Appalachian foothills murmur in our dreams, and wake, and speak: human failing or God’s grim judgment day? Reason, duty, kindness? Fickle fashion. Fairness compels: in equal measure seek to talk too much with nothing at all to say.
The degree to which Manhattan air is now unseriously suffused with Mary Jane is not a crime, but it’s a crying shame. Has anyone given any thought to how a father—transatlantic, middlebrow— with two young tots might tamp this devilish flame, rhetorically—my dears, all drugs are lame— when, citywide, vom Kind zur worrying Frau, each pair of human lips is closed upon a pipe a piece a joint a glowing vape, greedily enjoying life too much, the smell of day-old piss dispatched, and gone the leaking garbage-scented cityscape, and left behind this brain-befogging crutch.
Men my age are horrifically boring. I don’t care about cars or home renovations or sports; prefer the old god behind the forest door, who dreamt the world that was as real before your young creator rent the sea from shore, and lit the sun, made worm and dinosaur, made fish and pelican, made tree and spore; what pitiable prayers you late-born menfolk pour! what once was song is now but retch and snore, the dying gargle of a maze-mad minotaur whose quarry fled the coop. Well, I set store by ancient worlds, and sadder men, who tore their hearts in two for every friend; therefore, I can’t connect, by which I mean: I won’t.
“If you do not drive your neighborhood or region, what form of adult mastery and knowledge are you seeking in its place? If you do not drive your country’s highways and byways, what path do you have to a nonvirtual experience of the America beyond your class and tribe and bubble?” – Ross Douthat
If you do not drive your neighborhood or region, what form of adult mastery and knowledge are you seeking in its place? What dallying god of degenerated pace shall plaster his defunct phylactery on your pedestrian brow, and call it good to bike to CVS? To what worthless walk in the woods or chittering crowded train would you avail yourself in prayer to seal your social order? Yet behind the wheel of some bland Hyundai running reds on Main you become yourself a god, mirthless and grand: infinite; callous; cruel as a child roused too soon for middle school.
I came to college eager to debate. I found self-censorship instead. My peers expanded the taxonomy of queers and smoked their drugs and gamed and went on dates and left me all alone and lingering late in the silent student union, hoping to hear the tractatus logico of a Cavalier who sought through argument to thus create a crucible through which but truth would pass. But all the libs preferred to go to class. They did their homework and they read their books. They couldn’t be bothered to shoot me dirty looks. Now I sit as silenced as a Superbowl commercial and pray my God to make me controversial.
I only have eyes for my beautiful wife, who has been corrupted by the greed of centralized fiat currency; she has unrealized my gains and cut me off from kith and kin. Such fungible affections are a sin! No future fortune ought to be despised, pre-disgraced in skeptical women’s eyes when man plus NFT must equal win. What godlike power in one single gif: from central bank to senator, each fears the power of the yeoman farmer finally able to transubstantiate a hieroglyph through random numbers and the faith of Twitter peers into un-money whose value is unstable.
Kristen Stewart is developing a gay ghost-hunting reality show with a friend; a paranormal romp through mortals’ ends, the pure aesthetics of the soul’s last passageway to poltergeist from final mortal day, unclothed but for this season’s bedsheet trend— now season after season; death transcends even Paris’ runway protégées and turns each twist of scarf and knot of belt but into susurrus of spooky sound, a cloth moved without breath, a leather snap that’s searing like a whip on flesh; the felt- like softness of an apparition’s hellbound burrowing in your body like a spinal tap.
“Rationality is uncool,” he laments; “it isn’t seen as dope, phat, chill, sick or da bomb”; no attribute of will is more unlikely to be deemed “to rule”; it’s like an outcast in some middle school. You cannot even argue that you cannot kill in pure percentage terms sufficient mill- ions of men to match the Earth’s once miniscule murder rate; Cain’s Abel was one full quarter of the world, for instance; wouldn’t you rather take the odds in Auschwitz with those awful chances? It’s fall. Across each campus days grow shorter; undergrads still kiss and fuck and fake enthusiasm for science’s romances.
Every job will be automated until four remain: lawyer, farmer, dentist, soda jerk; whaleman, scrivener, and grocery clerk; rabbi, car mechanic, David Blaine; professional impersonator of Mark Twain. The rest will be done by one Mechanical Turk with an indefatigable appetite for work; its million metal arms will never strain; its million pinprick eyes will never droop; of course, it’s operated by an actual man from a windowless room in drowning Bangladesh; he gets one thirty second break to poop and eat his lunch before the beautiful tan attack dogs are released to tear his flesh.