I woke up in a strange place

By Marc Heiden, since 1997.
See also: a novel about a monkey.

June 18, 1998 the index page got an update too. go check it out (erase the "home.html") and pretend that you're coming in for the first time.

still waiting for Oregon Trail stories, slackers. (Katy and Not Elvis exempted from that labeling.)

where to begin? I've been plenty busy despite no web activity (come on, it's summer. piss off.) writing on, learning to drive all over again, and aimlessly looking for a job. I wound up at a temp agency, Manpower. as those of you who know me best may have guessed, yes I did choose it because of its name. you can either look at it in the depressing way ("fuck, it's sunny out and I'm doing crap menial labor") or the cheery way ("I'm exerting manpower!").

what holds up the updates of this page? well, for one thing, there's only so much time I feel like spending in front of a computer writing and this is just one of many projects. it's not as though I get paid or even rewarded for this. and it's not just straight recall, either. I should write a manifesto or something. this page is founded on the rejection of the belief that to be "worthwhile" (in the "top 5%" or whatthefuckever) a website must be dedicated to some celebrity or some business. that whole crap attitude is all a reinforcement of the disgusting agenda that we should worship every move of the celebrity elite and most importantly continue to consume it while staying on our couches. whatever you do, don't get up. whatever you do, don't think that your idle activities and thoughts are as important as a celebrity's idle activities and thoughts. no. screw that. what's disgusting about the web is the way that people line up to buy into it like pathetic sucking eels. nothing on the web nauseates me more than to see some suburbanite college dropout with a web design company supported by his parents' money and his webpage about how he is in fact the one doing something worthwhile on the web because his fat ass is doing a little microsoft mime routine.

repeat after me: your life can be as interesting as anyone else's. your art can be as good as their art. your thought can be as relevant as their thought. create like mad children and the web is an available canvas so use it.

but, you know, on the other hand, you can't let yourself get lazy. you have to ask yourself why you've put something on the web. for what reason does it exist? it's tricky but there has to be a spin. you can't just recall the details of what you did that day because no one cares. it's artless. journals are all fine and good but why would you put an artless journal online? presumably, if you choose to use the web then you have considered its virtues and amongst those virtues, central is that other people can see what you put on it. strangers can see it. so why do strangers care about the base, unadorned details of your life ("I did this. And then I went there. then this person I know did this")? what's there to make them stick around?

what you have to do is make art of it. add a twist. make them think they're getting a picture of a room and then when they're not looking insert a monkey into that room and watch all hell break loose. I don't know if I always manage to hit that magic plateau myself but when I'm talking about something, like my cats or my car or my job, I try to make them social critiques or just plain amusing even if you weren't there or have never met me. be thoughtful or be funny or just be observant. I am not an anarchist but I believe in wanting to get into as many peoples' homes as possible and you do what you have to do to accomplish that.

that's why it takes awhile sometimes. I'm not always in the mood to recall and translate although when I am it takes only minutes to get it done. maybe I do think too much, I don't know. this may well be somewhat absurd given the essentially tiny scale of this, a web page. but it's not just recall and that's why it takes long. if you want to find out what I'm up to, call me. my phone number is on the bio page. if you want whatever it is that this is, relax. a few of you can, but not many people can say that they're doing anything themselves.

I avoided updating last week because of the Spice Girls thing. I wasn't sure what to say about it. wracked by uncertainty, it was a hard time for all. I'm not really a Spicefan but I don't dislike them either. why? well, for one thing, they're such an easy target for amateur elitists and there's little that I hate more than elitists (let alone the ones who aren't quite clever enough to at least be inventive in it - they want to condemn things to make themselves look good but they're not sufficiently talented to do it well). so in retaliation the only sensible thing is to argue for the Spices. also, the Spice Girls are honest. they have never made any secret about the fact that they want to make money and be famous. put that on the table next to Marilyn Manson or Matchbox 20, both of whom have the same goals but instead wrap them up in odious fake pretension, and who's the real problem? not the Spices, to be sure. finally, yes, their mantra of "Girl Power" doesn't have enough depth as feminist tracts go to earn them a degree anywhere, true. but it's something and it's worth a damn sight more than the classics of cock rock found on 60s/70s radio or almost anything else you'll find on the commercial airwaves. anyone going after the Spice Girls who hasn't first launched an equally strong and venomous assault upon the emptiness or 80s hair metal and its descendants today that just wants sex, booze and money is a hypocrite and should shut the hell up. without depth it may be, the Spice Girls at least stand for something vaguely positive. oh, and what is the problem with "Girl Power" anyway? it's not as though there aren't enough male equivalents. I didn't see anyone complaining about them.

the Spice Girls' message is a gateway drug as far as I'm concerned (and I mean that in the best possible way). take punk music for example. whine about how hardcore they were as bands like Crass might, no one got into them first. they were intrigued by something else they heard, on the radio perhaps, and eventually after looking into what they heard and investigating further and further looking for more they came upon whatever uberindie band that they did. but they wouldn't have known to go looking if it weren't for the Clash or Bad Religion or whoever giving them a hint in the right direction. it's good for little girls to turn on the radio and hear bubbly voices singing about how they can do something with themselves and somewhere down the line some of those girls will be intrigued enough to search further. anyway, I'm tired of this rant so it ends here.

Ginger was never my favorite anyway. I liked her hair a lot but come on, Sporty is the mature choice.

as for orbital, all he has to say is that paper towels are FUN! and must be destroyed.

and he should know, shouldn't he?

I woke up in a strange place is the work of Marc Heiden, born in 1978, author of two books (Chicago, Hiroshima) and some plays, and an occasional photographer.

Often discussed:

Antarctica, Beelzetron, Books, Chicago, College, Communism, Food, Internet, Japan, Manute Bol, Monkeys and Apes, North Korea, Oregon Trail, Outer Space, Panda Porn, Politics, RabbiTech, Shakespeare, Sports, Texas.


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Written by Marc Heiden, 1997-2011.