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I spend a lot of time hammering the right mouse button opening window after window looking for something. We all do. I just tend to do it more than most for some reason. It’s an odd compulsion for me – not because I do it – but because I do it so much and yet have no idea what motivates me. I’m always looking for something but the odd thing is I really have no clue what I’m looking for.

And suddenly there it is – inexplicably the most perfect thing. In this case a video which I can’t even understand but that doesn’t matter. In fact, if I understood all of it then it probably wouldn’t be so wonderful.

It has a simple message, “be amazing”. There are a lot of reason not to be but none of them are very good.

Much thanks to Dwayne Hill for this. I had the fortune to meet some amazing people in my life. Dwayne is one of them.

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Researching some stuff for work I happened on a diagram that expresses a simple conceit: we all have 8 basic emotions and 8 advanced emotions (which are each composed of 2 basic emotions).

Truth be told, I fell in love with this diagram because of its overt simplicity, complete fallibility and because PhD Robert Plutchick (God rest his soul) was so optimistic that he firmly believed the complex wash of human emotions can be distilled logically into a pretty flower (where rage is a petal and that petal is fuschia). 

I don’t think it’ll ever be that simple. That’s why people like being human.

Maybe I suffer from a touch of synesthesia because I fell on my head when I was a kid but I’ve always thought of emotions as flavors. Like flavors, they’re hard to pinpoint and language tends to fall short when you try and express them. Even something as unmistakable as rage is different for everyone and it’s rarely as pretty as a tulip.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t be a shark.

Ever.

Hey remember that time you dropped acid, played Frogger and sang Teddy Bear Picnic over and over?

Man that was fun.

I never made it to New York city in time to see the twin towers.

I don’t regret that.

I could only see one purpose in visiting the building: to tick it off a list of buildings that I was supposed to visit (according to the emphatic 48 point bold opinion of a glossy tourist brochure).

Never been big on lists. Especially when they’re glossy.

While I do have a soft spot for architecture (I have a major cliché crush on the Chrysler building for example), the Trade Center, in my mind, didn’t have much character – just epic size – which doesn’t really mean much on its own. You really need some dude to tight rope walk stuff before it gets real.

(P.S. If you haven’t seen the doc about this guy called”Man on Wire”, it’s worth checking out – trailer here)

Anyway, when I arrived in NYC for the first time the glossy brochures were freshly edited –  WTC was off the list, GROUND ZERO was at the top.

I went.

It wasn’t because of the brochures.  I just had this weird sense of duty about it.  The same duty I feel about visiting the grave of the unknown soldier.  People die.  Someone should bear witness to their passing.  They should be honored for a moment.  Even by strangers.

Especially by strangers.

I don’t know why I’m wired to think that way.  Sometimes I think grief is the thing that makes humans most human.  Sometimes I think if we felt more of a connection to people then we’d be less inclined to destroy.

Sometimes I think I just need to get out more.

Anyway, I arrived after ground zero was cleaned up but before there was any kind of monument (I’m guessing because bureaucracy was tasked with the burden of helping the public express grief which is hard for bureaucracy – it isn’t really in touch with its emotions).

Stepping between clusters of browning flowers and portraits of screaming eagles going down in flames, I discovered that ground zero is one of the most mystifying places on the earth.

Here are some reviews via TripAdvisor (where ground zero is ranked #249 out of #1385 attractions in NYC): “Nothing to see.”, “It’s more to say you went…”, “Not a tourist attraction.”

That’s the thing about Ground Zero.

It’s nothing.

Yes, the site has deep political, personal, global and religious implications. I don’t want to diminish the fact that thousands died. All I’m saying is that, purely aesthetically speaking – it’s a an absence.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of tourists travel hundreds of thousands of miles to flock and shove –  just to visit an absence.

I like that. Not just the irony.  The simplicity.  There’s something beautiful in nothing.  Something complete.

We all come from nothing.  We’ll all return to nothing.

Some more nothing from Matt Logue’s photo project “Empty L.A.” – linky HERE

Dear Japan,

We are also WTF?

Love,

France

Just a reminder

Hey, remember this?

plah doh

Starting in on a series of time-related posts, I bring you the Retronet.

If the internet had been around thirty years ago, the guys in the videos below would’ve been total viral video super stars.

Of course if the internet had been invented back then we probably wouldn’t have invented cell phones until the early 90’s.

Oh yeah, and time would be irrevocably changed so that dinosaurs would be our masters.

Anyway, until my time machine is back from the shop and I can make shit right, I’ll just have to action on this item by posting these videos here.

Shields & Yarnell (with thanks to Melanie Dowler for the find). World renowned for being the  only mimes I have not wanted to smash in the face with a squash racquet:

Mummenschanz who bring us back to a younger, more innocent time when all you needed for yuks was a bag of mushrooms and some Play- Doh (please be warned that if you click that Play-Doh wiki link you will encounter an inexorable wave of childhood memories which will last from 8 minutes to 7 days):

Ok, so there’s this guy and he’s doing his time in corporate America, making ends meet, climbing the salaried ladder and he’s doing pretty well.

But it’s boring stuff and sometimes officeguy ends up gazing out the window to pass the time.

And sometimes officeguy sees another guy. And that guy is dancing.

Like Michael Jackson.

He’s just a guy waiting for a bus. For no particular reason busguy passes the time by dancing – each and every time he waits for that bus over a 15 month period.

And officeguy can’t help but cut some of those moves to music and create a little YouTube tribute to busguy.

Because busguy is kinda awesome:

Dear Japan,

We are also WTF.

Love,

Korea

Apparently a chicken fight is a more honorable way to resolve conflict than guns, knives or fists…

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