I woke up in a strange place

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

August 30, 2002 The History Channel is endlessly frustrating to me. I spend a fair amount of time hollering at it. They'll follow something insightful like a piece on the burning of the great library at Alexandria, calling it 'the most destructive fire in history', with a bit where they take a painting of a king and photoshop a bucket of water into his hand and make it swing back and forth to 'hilariously' illustrate him helping to put the fire out.

I am going away for the weekend. Please watch my stuff.

August 28, 2002 A memo about an all-staff gathering on September 11th went out. (All staff will gather...will begin at 8:45a.m. sharp...we will reflect on the meaning of that day's events to our nation, our community, and to ourselves...) Everyone is lining up to use the anticipated resonance of the day for their purposes. I plan to take the day off from work, whatever the cost. For that twenty-four hour period, I will not turn on my television, my radio or my web browser. I don't plan to do anything epic or sentimental to mark the day, but I am fairly intent that I will only talk to people I care about during those twenty-four hours, and I will not allow someone else to commemorate the day for me. I experienced it alone, slightly bewildered, and then I talked about it with friends, and at night I sat out on the rocks at the beach, and that is what I will do again.

Russia, I trust you. I know that you have something clever planned for when you take Lance Bass 'into space'. I believe that, in the end, you will do the right thing, which is not, of course, actually taking Lance Bass into space. You are a country of revolutions. You are a country with a long, proud history of taking fervent ideological stands with little regard to practical concerns. I know that you will trick him at the last minute and make off with the money, hiding perhaps in Siberia. It will be very funny. Millions of people are counting on you, Russia, and I know that you will come through.

August 27, 2002 Tonight is the next-to-last night of our bowling league. An angel appeared to me and instructed me to eviscerate my opponents with powerful bowling, but to stop short of pissing on their corpses. That is what I plan to do. I am well known for being disrespectful to demons and cooperative with angels.

(news) Cambodian workmen have unearthed 27 solid gold Buddha statuettes, buried for hundreds of years beneath the foundations of a ruined pagoda hidden deep in the jungle, officials said Tuesday. The statues, about four inches high and each weighing around one pound, came to light at the weekend when builders started restoration work on the centuries-old pagoda destroyed by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. Monks and nuns were overjoyed at the find, kicking off three days and two nights of religious celebrations.

I started to explain to the rabbi that I was being sulky because work was preventing me from joining the party with the monks and nuns about the buddhas, but I did not think he would understand. Nevertheless: no, that is not where you stashed your buddas, and you are to leave the monks and the nuns to celebrate in peace.

MONK: What a find!
NUN: Yes!
MONK: This calls for three days of celebration!
NUN: And two nights!
MONK: But not the third night!
NUN: No!
MONK: We got praying and shit to do.
NUN: Dag.

I was in on the conference call, so I know.

August 26, 2002 Someone keeps replacing the roof on this funky joint, forcing me to tear it off anew day after day when I could be accomplishing many other productive things. I will catch that motherfucker, in time.

(news) One of the administration officials said Gonzales also concluded the current president has authority to act against Saddam under the congressional resolution that authorized his father's actions in the 1991 Gulf War. Saddam has not complied with the terms that ended that war, the official said.

I feel confident that there are a number of people who will comment upon the madness of this new development in the Bush administration's policy. As a team player, then, I have decided to seek out ground of my own and work from there. Thus: why is a major news publication, in cooperation with the American government, repeatedly referring to Saddam Hussein by his first name? Iraq does not use Chinese rules for nomenclature. Yao Ming, the 7'6" Chinese basketball player, is called 'Yao' by sportswriters, and that is because his family (or "last") name is 'Yao', and his personal name is Ming. It is widely considered rude in public discourse to refer to individuals by their first name when interpersonal familiarity has not been achieved. Even Yassar Arafat and Ariel Sharon don't cross that line with each other. However, the United States seems very insistent upon having Saddam Hussein known as 'Saddam', not Mr. Hussein, Hussein or even S. Hussein.

What we are seeing, then, is an attempt on the part of the United States government - with which the news media is being largely cooperative - to move Saddam Hussein out of the realm of the 'real' and forcibly transcend him to 'one-name celebrity' status such as that held by Oprah, Sting and Charo. This would, in the long-term, reduce him to a basic signifier rather than a literal fact, allowing actions against him to be divorced from the messy requirements of cause and effect.

When one cross-references this data with the ongoing negotiations between CBS and former President Bill Clinton for Clinton to host a talk show, one becomes truly excited about the 2005 fall season.

August 24, 2002

Gotta give the peeps what they need...

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.