The more high-minded you make it sound in your head, the funnier it gets, implying a rusted-out box into which this man is staring and seeing a severe and disconcerting lack of goat.The Challenges of Translating Humor
But to tear down a factory or to revolt against a government or to avoid repair of a motorcycle because it is a system is to attack effects rather than causes; and as long as the attack is upon effects only, no change is possible. The true system, the real system, is our present construction of systematic thought itself, rationality itself, and if a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a revolution destroys a systematic government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves in the succeeding government. There’s so much talk about the system. And so little understanding.Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig (p. 88)
I don’t have many worldly possessions. I mean, I did. I kinda do. I left a few boxes behind in a dusty room in Holland, somewhere secret, somewhere safe. But I could really just as easily push it into a rather large incinerator and it would not change one thing in my life. So it goes sometimes, with the things.
In my current apartment I have no dusty rooms, no spare corners, no boxes with things I could just as well burn. I have good speakers, a few books, a few whiskies, a well-equipped kitchen.
In this apartment, I am part of the pack. My dog is our pack leader. She’s a very persistent little bitch, and insists that she is the leader of the pack. Possession is meaningless when you are not the boss anyway. But we have a good understanding of one another. She does not bark her orders. I do not forbid her to thrash around with her toys. It is a symbiotic relationship.
Most of the things I consider mine are now ideas, and crude creations after those ideas. They are mostly digital, but a lot of them are only in my head. My ‘things’ are immaterial, ethereal, not fixed in time and place.
But I like the idea of a swap meet. Here’s what you do. You meet at a designated time in a designated spot with a group of supposedly also designated people, and you all bring a few physical things which you then trade, hopefully changing one of your less exciting possessions into a more exciting one. It’s an appealing concept, because it promotes the idea of getting rid of bad things and surrounding yourself with good things. The downside is when everybody brings his crap. Then you take crap home either way.
I suggest we do a swap meet without things. I can bring some of my old ideas, if you like, and you can bring some of yours. If you don’t like them, you can just forget about them. No fuss, no muss. We just share ideas and pretend that we switch ownership. What do you think?
That up there is me, somewhere far away from civilisation, traveling through Iceland. Carrying the tent and my reebok-fur coat, this was the closest to an ideal vacation I’ve ever had.
I suggest you start following my girlfriend’s blog right about now.
My special lady has started blogging, after a year of insisting on my side. This photo was taken in Iceland, and I was standing just to the left of her here.
A delicious Radiohead cover from my guilty pleasure David Bazan.
Just some business e-mail.