I woke up in a strange place

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

February 18, 1999 "romanticism is the new fascism." - Per Jambeck.

I am finding myself more interested in millenial psychology than I meant to. witness the following two news stories:

1) Elton John is recording an opera album (a "re-working" of Verdi's "Aida") featuring duets with LeAnn Rimes, the Spice Girls and "a reggae song by Sting". the man is a cultural black hole but he continues to be a valuable expose on the nature of celebrity in our world: how you can lobotomize the famous without anyone noticing, etc.

2) christian evangelist Jerry Falwell accused the amorphous Teletubby character Tinky-Winky of being an insidious plot to turn children into homosexuals, citing a lengthy list of concerns ranging from the color of the character's fur to the handbag it sometimes carries. the pink menace that has somehow gained control of the media strikes again, apparently. christians, why do you allow men like this to act in your name? I mean, if you feel so compelled to throw stones at someone, why not start in your own fold?

these and other stories are in my mind pointing out a direction for the future that hadn't previously occurred to me: as the millenium approaches, we will all become caricatures of ourselves.

aging as I write these words I have one day left before turning 21. I tend to be a very moody birthday boy: endless introspection, cakes destroyed by my mere aura. (I'm serious. there's something about me that causes birthday cakes to fall apart.) the best birthday present I received last year was a potato masher that I have not yet had the chance to use cos I am a lazy bastard and as such I am content with those bizarre "just add water" potatoes in a box. they come pre-mashed. there's nothing that I'm really looking forward to about this age: I don't drink, for one thing, and since NC-17 replaced X, is there anything else? there's something to be said for being a "major" as opposed to a "minor", I guess. whatever that means.

I have to find someone to get drunk for me by proxy tomorrow. I need a sub at the shot glass. I don't like alcohol but there are traditions that go with this sort of thing and I want to be fair about this. so, any volunteers? I want my proxy to be so drunk that, man, I won't even believe how wasted in absentia I was. I plan to be a raging absentee alcoholic.

my car insurance rates went down by half. that's one good thing, I guess. but I despise the insurance industry because I think it's all a massive pyramid scheme, one of the biggest scams in the history of industrialized society, and won't someone dance with me so I can shut up already? I don't know. every year, the question of why I do not yet have a million dollars looms louder. obviously I am not in it for the money (I'm in it for the whores, duh) but there is a story about Jim Carrey that I like - when he was poor and struggling, he wrote himself a check for a million dollars and dated it 1996. he was determined to be able to cash it when that time came, and he was able to. what does this mean? that I have a fantastic ass, of course.

so this is twenty-one. what have I done? a little bit of something, a little bit of nothing. I was playing with my kitten Orbital a moment ago and it didn't seem much of an issue.

anyway. onwards.

be advised that this spring is going to be a phenomenal one for music. receiving domestic release will be albums by Blur (!), Ian Brown (been delayed forever, may not happen) the Manic Street Preachers, Mogwai, Underworld, Orbital (the band, that is - my kitten has yet to make his recorded debut) and others which escape my mind at the moment. new James single in April, I'm told. much money to be spent. I would have no problem with the obscenely rich if they spent all their money on music. I'd understand that.

the water faucet fell out of the wall in my bathroom last week. took four days to get a new temporary one installed. the maintenance guy left a note wherein he misspelled "until" as "intell". is it evil of me to roll my eyes at this?

distance is no longer an object and the future of art is here by way of the past: every one of you is cordially invited (well, the invitation extended to the elderly is not quite so cordial cos you have to shout to get them to hear you, but that's not my fault) to sit front row and be entertained and enlightened by the world premiere of a brand new radio play written and directed by me, "Image". you can also hear me act in a play not written by me but rather good nonetheless, "The Terror At High Hill House", and if you so choose, you can stick around for a play that I have absolutely nothing to do with but which is quite good also, "Ten Pin Love Story". there is a neat website for all these happenings. you can hear it performed live, broadcast via streaming RealAudio, at 8pm CST on February 27th. the plays will then be archived on that website and you'll be able to listen to them whenever you like (catch all the hidden jokes, etc). you will also be able to hear them on the actual radio in the C-U area if you tune into 90.1 FM on the 29th at 7pm. pretty cool, huh? go to the radio play website now to hear trailers and read cast bios. don't miss this wonderful opportunity, kids. god knows life is horrible enough without these sporadic moments of joy.

(check out that last line! I don't need to take advertising classes to know how to pull off a zinger!)

also check out a fresh crop of skits, still warm from being performed and chock full of that supafun flavor that the kids just go wild for. someone should do a retrospective of my work. that would kick ass. I'd only ask for a million dollars.

so, where am I? I am older. I continue to speak all these words but I still do not even know who I am talking to. I still suspect that I am not actually talking to anyone. I still doubt that it all adds up to anything. I have words and I use them; I have learned to speak in extremes because I believe in (because I am resigned to) dialectical materialism as the working process of the world. I believe that it is the duty of the few to behave in impossible extremes and in doing so they will destroy themselves but the world will take a few steps forward by means of compromise. I believe that history moves in this way, I believe that it is a raw deal but I do what I feel that I must. do you understand me? the word on the street is that I am immature but at least I am not boring and that is something to hang on to.

did I ever mention that when I meet the love of my life it will be in a chinese restaurant? it's true.

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.


January 2012, December 2011, January 2011, September 2010, August 2010, June 2010, March 2010, October 2009, February 2009, January 2009, September 2008, August 2008, March 2008, February 2008, October 2007, July 2007, June 2007, January 2007, September 2006, July 2006, June 2006, January 2006, December 2005, September 2005, August 2005, July 2005, June 2005, May 2005, March 2005, February 2005, January 2005, December 2004, October 2004, July 2004, June 2004, May 2004, April 2004, February 2004, January 2004, December 2003, November 2003, October 2003, September 2003, August 2003, July 2003, June 2003, May 2003, April 2003, March 2003, February 2003, January 2003, December 2002, November 2002, October 2002, September 2002, August 2002, July 2002, June 2002, May 2002, April 2002, March 2002, February 2002, January 2002, December 2001, November 2001, October 2001, September 2001, August 2001, July 2001, December 1999, November 1999, October 1999, May 1999, February 1999, January 1999, December 1998, November 1998, October 1998, June 1998, May 1998, April 1998, March 1998, February 1998, December 1997, November 1997, October 1997, September 1997, and the uncategorised wilderness of the Beelzetron era: 010622 - 010619, 010615 - 010611, 010608 - 010604, 010601 - 010529, 010525 - 010521, 010518 - 010514, 010511 - 010507, 010504 - 010430, 010427 - 010423, 010420 - 010416, 010413 - 010409, 010406 - 010402, 010330 - 010326, 010323 - 010319, 010316 - 010312, 010309 - 010307, 019223 - 010219, 010216 - 010212, 010209 - 010205, 010202 - 010109, 010126 - 010122, 010119 - 010115, 010112 - 010108, 010105 - 010102, 001229 - 001224, 001222 - 001218, 001215 - 001211, 001208 - 001204, 001201 - 001124, 001124 - 001120, 001117 - 001113, 001110 - 001106, 001103 - 001030, 001027 - 001023, 001020 - 001016, 001013 - 001010, 001006 - 000927.

Written by Marc Heiden, 1997-2011.