“America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves. To quote the American humorist Kin Hubbard, ‘It ain’t no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.’ It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: ‘if you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?’ There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand – glued to a lollipop stick and flying from the cash register.

Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say Napoleonic times. Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent, is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.”

Kurt Vonnegut said that in Slaughterhouse-Five, and it was a remains one of the most interesting quotes for me from that book. Another, more famous, quote from the same book stated:

“Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.”

This quote is especially interesting to me given the happenings south of the border now. In one of my very occasional visits to Twitter, I saw something that reminded me of this quote, and I’m actually still thinking about it now. Maybe I’ll share some thoughts on it with you in a bit. Maybe the quote says all it needs to say. It is a long quote.

We’ll see. We’ll see about a lot of things, I suppose. I just wanted to draw what little attention I could to this quote, as it seemed particularly apt given the…present.


A Redundancy of Hyperlinks


Collective nouns are fun. They are fun because they are weird. Here’s the wikipedia glossary of collective nouns, and another collection specifically for groups of people. Some standouts, for me, include:

  • an ambush of tigers: because if there’s ever a group of tigers, chances are you are not ready for them
  • an ambush of widows: more funny because it’s also used for tigers
  • an argument of wizards: they seem the sort to argue
  • an ascension of larks: both musically and aerodynamically satisfying
  • a barren of mules: depressing but accurate (mostly)
  • a bind of eels: I imagine many eels together would make quite a tangle
  • a conflagration of arsonists: apropos
  • a conspiracy/storytelling/unkindness of ravens: all equally interesting to me, but then, I find ravens and crows very interesting in general. Speaking of which,
  • a hover/murder/storytelling of crows: it’s this repeated “storytelling” that is especially intriguing to me. Because crows, and ravens, are smarter than you think and do communicate on incredibly intricate levels, to the point that they are telling one another stories
  • a decanter of deans: because, wine
  • a sodom of shepherds: because there needed to be some biblical stuff in there

Anyway, I was looking for a collective noun for hyperlinks. Or just links, when that failed. Suffice it to say, I couldn’t find one, so I decided to make one. And it is “A redundancy of hyperlinks.” Let me explain.

No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Some collective nouns have an inherent logic to them, even when the logic is weird. My logic for a “redundancy of links” is quite simple: when there is a large group of links, no one follows them. At the very least, no one follows all of them. Many times, especially when people are making arguments and they link out to supporting materials, the existence of the link is enough to validate the argument. Even if the link goes nowhere particularly useful.

Case in point: this post contains a redundancy of links. I guarantee that you didn’t click through to them. In part because links are disruptive and distracting to a narrative if they’re used as they’re meant to be. If you’re reading a story or engaging with an argument, you don’t want to be taken away from it. And if you do click through a link, and it takes you anywhere with substance, chances are it takes you a while to come back to what you were reading. If you come back at all.

Sometimes the link itself is redundant, sometimes it renders the article it’s linking to or linked from redundant.

So, a redundancy of links.

It’s gonna be a thing.



Mad Max: Fury Road; or, my car is boring and lacks firepower


I saw Mad Max: Fury Road yesterday and I have some thoughts. These thoughts do not constitute a review. I will try to keep my thoughts spoiler free, but I can’t make any promises. If you don’t want anything spoiled, if you try to maintain a level of near total ignorance before going to the movies, more power to you. I’m the same way. Don’t read this.
I liked the movie. There, reviewed. Now, on to my impressions and rambling thoughts:

My car is boring. It has neither porcupine spikes nor cow catchers nor any of other diesel punk trappings and I never knew I wanted until I saw this movie.

Driving is also boring. We’re confined not just to roads, but to specific SIDES of the road. And no one is throwing spears at us.

About those spears–are they tipped with gunpowder? Actually, that goes for everything in this movie. I feel like things shouldn’t naturally explode that easily just from getting hit. I get it, there’s gasoline, but it still needs heat or a spark or something.

After seeing this movie, I saw a VICE special on water in India and it freaked me right the fuck out. Because the way the people crowd the water truck in that episode and the way the … citizens? Serfs? People who are neither protagonist nor antagonist but instead act as a demonstration of the tyranny of the latter? Anyway, the way the crowd and jostle for water is alarmingly similar.

There’s not a lot of talking. My friend and I talked about that (ha) as we were leaving the theatre. Tom Hardy is good at playing the man of few words, but really there’s very little dialogue across the board. Charlize Theron probably speaks the most, but she doesn’t speak much. My friend and I concluded that, when your life has been reduced to fight, flee, and sleep, there isn’t time for chitchat.

Charlize Theron is, as always, bad ass.

Tom Hardy is master of the wordless noise. He grumbles and grunts and generally reacts to things with telling back-of-the-throat vocalizations that somehow make me think of fist fights on a gravel back lot.

I don’t know if this was supposed to be set in a post-apocalyptic Australia. There are a couple Aussie accents, but for the most part people don’t seem to have made much of an effort. I’m fine with this; I prefer no accent to a poorly done accent. It would have been off-putting if they’d tried to pretend this was the Aussie cult movie it derived from and not a Hollywood production. And I kind of like the ambiguity it gives the setting.

This isn’t really a sequel or a prequel or a remake, but some sort of sideways story with a character who has, to a degree, entered the echelons of pop culture and cult fame.

Going back to the whole no-talking thing, I like that there are never any discussions that we’ve witnessed a million times where one character says, “Why should I trust you?” and the other performs a overwrought soliloquy that acts as an exposition dump about who they are and what they’re doing and why, meanwhile we in the audience work our asses off suspending our disbelief, because you know what? You don’t really know you can trust someone until you see the actions they take. Max and Furiosa never talk trust. The bullets start flying and they act. And later on, when Furiosa is asked about Max and Nux, she simply says their reliable. And is taken at her word.

When you create characters that don’t speak much, the words they do speak have more weight.

That being said, this movie is full of unaddressed tragedy. The water crisis. Who killed the world? The War Boys and their half-lives. The Breeders. The Bloodbags. But despite those things going unaddressed, you get it. Or, you get as much as you need to get.

It’s been a long time since I watched the original road warrior movies. I’m not sure how long, but I know that I watched them on VHS. That should give you a solid frame of reference.
When this movie comes out on DVD, they’ll probably re-release the original trilogy on DVD. Probably with cool box art, and a deluxe metal case with a skull steering wheel sticking out the front. And I will buy the new one and the old trilogy, but not deluxe steering wheel edition. Because I’m not made of money.
Also, I hate box sets that take up space on my shelf with bullshit swag. Like those Simpsons box sets contained within a mold of one of the characters faces. What kind of bullshit is that?
Anyway, go see Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s fun.
Or don’t see it. I’m not your mother.

25 lessons in 25 years


I turned twenty-five a couple days ago and in honour of … myself, I’m going to tell you twenty-five things that I’ve learned in my quarter-century of life.

The thing with learning is that the most important lessons are integrated without us really being aware that we’re learning. We don’t remember the moment we understand how multiplication works, but at some point the concept clarifies itself. Most of the things we remember learning are at least a little weird. Did you know that you have taste buds in your small intestines? If you didn’t, I bet you’ll remember it. Because it’s fucking weird. This list comprises some of the weird things I’ve learned in my life, mixed in with some serious things, as they occurred to me, on this day.

  1. Be polite.
  2. When paying for parking, if there is an option to “Add time” to your spot, always try that one first. The worst that can happen is that it tells you it can’t do it. And sometimes you only have to pay for an hour and you get six.
  3. If you speak with conviction, more often than not you will be believed. Even if what you’re saying is that “ghost” is pronounced “g-aw-st”. They won’t always believe you for long, but they will believe you.
  4. Other people know the conviction trick.
  5. You know how you’re not really paying attention to other people a lot of the time? Other people are the same, so don’t worry so much about how you’re coming off to them because chances are they’re thinking about themselves.
  6. We are all narcissists. But knowing and admitting that you’re a narcissist is a huge part of not being a dick about it.
  7. Despite being narcissists, there is such a thing as altruism. Don’t believe the economists.
  8. If you’re at a buffet, LEAVE THE SALAD FOR THE NEXT ROUND. Seriously, they’re not going to run out of salad. You know what they are going to run out of? Bacon.
  9. On the theme of buffets: you know how there is always a bewildering platter of cold cuts midway along the table? Yeah, what you want to do is, grab a bun (there will always be buns, if there aren’t buns, drop the plate and walk away, you can’t trust the quality of that buffet), put it in your left hand, and balance your plate on top. Do as you will until you reach the cold cuts (and sometimes there’s cheese, take cheese at your discretion). When you get to the cold cuts (and possible cheese) grab a few, put them on the edge of the plate. When you get back to your table, make a sandwich with your bun and cold cuts. Wrap it up in a napkin. Put it in the pocket of your coat. Because usually events with buffets last a long time. You’ll eat, you’ll get seconds, some people will talk about whatever. By the time you go home, hours will have passed since you at dinner and you’ll be starting to feel peckish. And then you’ll remember: your Road Sandwich! Glory in exultation and eat said Road Sandwich.
  10. Women’s jackets tend to have sub-par pockets.
  11. Unless you’re in a hospital or a McDonald’s ball pit, there is no reason for anti-bacterial soap. Bacteria is good. Bacteria is necessary. Just use regular soap, it’s fine.
  12. If you’re tired and on public transit, sit in a two-person seat next to the window. You can lean your head against the window, and while someone weird might sit next to you, no one will make you get up.
  13. You are statistically unlikely to be trampled, no matter how short you are.
  14. That being said, maybe avoid the pit?
  15. “Perfect” isn’t a real thing.
  16. There is nothing new under the sun, there are just movable pieces and interesting configurations. Don’t stress out about originality, because it doesn’t exist. Anything that seems brand new only appears that way because you didn’t see how the sausage was made.
  17. The world doesn’t owe you anything.
  18. You’re never done learning.
  19. Celebrate the little moments. Sparklers are pretty cheap.
  20. Glitter is the herpes of arts and crafts. It never really goes away. You’ll think it’s gone and then *BOOM* glitter. That shit is viral.
  21. If you park your car in the sun, crank your wheel around so the top is facing down. That way, when you get back in your car after it’s spent hours baking in the heat, you’ll be able to steer without burning your hands.
  22. Never say, “I’m the kind of person who–” unless you follow it up with something self-deprecating. Otherwise you sound like a douche. Sample sentence: “I’m the kind of person who can’t be with just one person.” Douche. “I’m the kind of person who sharts when they’re nervous.”
  23. “Shart” means to shit a little when you fart.
  24. In the same vein as #22: you do not get to give yourself a nickname. That’s not how nicknames work.
  25. Make the last words you say to the people you love “I love you.” No one can ever hear that enough, and at any given moment the last words you say to someone may be the last words you ever say to them.

I’ve learned other things, like algebra and the difference between “affect” and “effect” (helpful alliteration: “The arrow affected the aardvark. The effect was electric.”) but this is the list that came to me in the moment and I think it’s legit.



I don’t like change


Immediately after writing the last post, I updated to “improved posting” because Apple has programmed me to obsessively upgrade and then wallow in regret. To the point that it’s almost masochism. Oh, and look, there’s a new update for iOS! Thanks for the info, Apple, I’ll get right on that.

The sad part is, I actually will. I just plugged my phone in. I am on it.

I don’t like improved posting. I mean, it’s like anything, I’ll get used to it. It’s not like I’m being stabbed in the eye with a pointed stick or anything like that. It’s fine. It’s just change. And change is never good. They tell you it is, but they’re wrong.

Oh, look, there’s an option to switch to classic editor.

Let’s do that.

Ah, yes. Now I can languish in my inferior nest and sneer at the newfangled “improvements.”

Actually, what are the improvements…

Okay, this might actually be worthwhile. I’ll get back to you.



How did Martin Luther write 95 of these things?!


I’ve been MIA, and I apologize. I would say it’s not going to happen again but, let’s be real, it’s going to happen again.

For the last few months I’ve been working and trying to care about my thesis enough to write it. The first has been going well, the second not so much.

The problems with writing my thesis are plentiful but they largely boil down to the fact that my program doesn’t do theses the way that many other programs do. I’m not supposed to make an argument or prove a point, I’m supposed to clinically lay out the process of completing a large project I undertook during my work-study period. The project that I’m talking about started in May of last year, launched in mid-December and concluded in mid-January. It’s psychologically so far in my rear view mirror that it’s practically indistinguishable from the horizon.

I’m trying to find ways of making it entertaining for myself but, of course, as it’s academic writing, I can’t use the first person, which I’m discovering is at least a little bit necessary for peppering in off-kilter commentary and inside jokes.

I’ve been alright, other than the existential angst of non-writing.

And yes, my title is a joke about one of the foundational moments of Protestant faiths. Because everyone love a good Martin Luther joke, right? Right?!


I have a history of getting bored with essays and, as a result, doing weird things. I had one class in undergrad that no one understood the point of. I don’t know that the prof understood the point. It was an interesting class, don’t get me wrong. It was about connections between German and Japanese literature. We read Nietzsche and Mishima (both messed up dudes, though only one attempted a military coup and followed it up with ritual suicide. So messed up is a pretty broad landscape, I suppose), and it was all very interesting and engaging in the classroom when we were having discussions and debates, but when the time came to write papers, we all realized that there was no point. And not in a nihilistic, Nietzsche, existential crisis kind of way. In more of a “what kind of argument am I supposed to make here? Is this class just an intellectual fan-gasm?”

I wrote my paper entirely in aphorisms. Because Nietzsche.

I also wrote a paper called “The Transgender City” about the city of Thebes in Antigone. I can’t remember why. It was an undergraduate lit course, so probably something about the male gaze and … I don’t know. Oppression.

I’m kind of scared of what I’m going to do with this paper. I’ve already contemplated writing it entirely from the perspective of a post-it, but I can’t think of a title that’s appropriately academic (or, in layman’s terms, “douche-y and pretentious”) for a thesis. Though this thesis is supposed to be helpful to people in my field of study. Maybe I should just call  it “Post-Its Are Important”.

Because they really fucking are. If you’re not on the post-it bandwagon, you need to sort your shit out and climb on up with the rest of us. Post-its are life. They are king. They are the only way I remember anything at all these days.

I don’t know. I just don’t know.

Anyway, that’s me. How are you?



Do you see? DO YOU SEE?!!


Long time no speak.

About…a month ago I came on and deleted all the blog writing prompt posts where I didn’t actually say anything and got rid of the posts in the queue, because I know I’d be super fucking annoyed if I kept getting writing prompts sent to me on a daily basis (though I know some people would probably pay for that). I then planned on writing a post about how that experiment had failed.

Then I got distracted.

I have a job now. I mean, I had a job when I started this blog, but it wasn’t a show-up-at-an-office five-days-a-week kind of job. It was more of a part-time, fit-it-to-my-schedule kind of job. And my job has been in the process of moving offices for … oh, all summer up to the present. We’ll be on our third workspace in as many months soon.

There have been problems. There has been a lack of office supplies and space to spread all my stuff out in (I like to spread out–it’s a big part of why I always try to be early to … everything. If you’re early, you get first dibs on the available space).

But that’s not what I want to write about today.

I want to write about what I’m working on that isn’t work. As a rule of thumb, I don’t like to talk that much about creative projects. Not out of any sense of proprietorship or anything like that; more because I like to keep things loose and not feel like there’s any kind of structure being imposed on me. I feel like telling people about what I’m working means that I have to do what I tell them. And I don’t like feeling like I have to do things a certain way.

I think there’s also a danger of spending more time talking about the project than actually doing the project, and that as valuable as dialogue is, sometimes you have to just take the leap on faith that you’ll figure it out. Sometimes people introduce problems that make the project seem like something unattainable. And not in a sexy way.

Okay, so

Looming Projects

  • The Quarter: my friend turns twenty-five in the not-too-distant and her apartment is full of empty walls and canvas that she keeps meaning to paint, so I’m painting her a picture of a 1989 Canadian quarter. I was originally just going to paint it, but after a while, that started to seem like something that would only be interesting to look at for a brief span of time. Then I got something in the mail that was packed with a bunch of sheets of cardboard. I’d already painted the background of the painting. So I decided I’d paint the cardboard in varying shades of grey and jigsaw a quarter together out of pieces of cardboard in different tones of grey.
  • The Journal: my other friend is going on a Bedouin adventure across Western America. She has no particular itinerary, she just knows it’s going to be across Western America. She’s going to work on some farm communes along the way. I’m trying to restrain the part of my brain that is saying, “Cult, cult, cult, cult” but it’s hard. I’m trying to set up a weekly Skype date for us, both so that we can keep in touch and so I can subtly check her for signs of brainwashing. I’m only somewhat exaggerating. Oh, the journal! So, I bought a really plain, hardback journal and a road atlas. I’ve scanned a bunch of the maps of the west coast, and I’m in the process of covering the journal with them. So she can write in her journal, and also mark the places she’s been on the cover.
  • Dustwallets: I have inherited a hatred of dustjackets from my dad. When you try to read a hardcover with a dustjacket on it, it gets all bendy and slips off and is just generally a giant nuisance. About a month ago, I was reorganizing my bookshelves and found a cache of dustjackets that I’d stripped off my books. I was going to recycle them, but that seemed wasteful. So I googled paper crafts. One of the things that came up was how to make a wallet out of paper. So I’ve been gradually working through a pile of dustjackets, making them into wallets. Some are more complicated than others – you want certain things to fit on the front and back, certain things to be in the pockets, etc., for the look of the thing, and sometimes the dimensions just don’t work and you have to figure something else out. It is both engaging and kind of mindless. I’ve just started sewing them rather than just taping them together. Fucked my fingers up really bad on the first one. I’d never done enough sewing before to appreciate thimbles. I appreciate them now. That’s an ongoing project. When I have time or I’m feeling the urge, I paw through my pile of dustjackets and make one. I don’t know what to do with them. I’ve give a few away to friends and family members (I’m really proud of how the one I did for California turned out). I’m not entirely sure that it’s better to turn them into wallets if I don’t do anything with the wallets, either…
California by Edan Lepucki

California by Edan Lepucki

  • My Mother Says: This is a play that I’ve been working on for years now, at the behest of a friend of mine. It’s about the internment of Japanese-Canadians during WWII. I’ve done a lot of research into it, but I have a lot of trouble connecting with it. I come at story from a place of character, and I’m struggling to get a grasp on the characters. I also don’t want it to be limited, thematically or in terms of the time it’s dealing with. Because the larger implications are of history repeating itself. The internment is not widely known of, and it’s not the first time the government of Canada has done something like this. If you ignore your mistakes, if you believe you’re above those who came before you, you blind yourself. Everyone likes to think they’re not capable of bowing before that kind of pressure, that kind of fear, but most people have never been put in that position. And you never truly know what you would do in a situation until you’ve faced that situation and acted.
  • Merde Creek Chronicle: Is a graphic novel. It’s an online graphic novel. It’s sort of the inverse of My Mother Says. I feel like I understand the characters and the setting, I have an idea of where everything is leading. I have the URL (and now so do you – there’s one post on there right now. It’s from 2012 and it’s about building an author platform. Holy fuck, it’s almost 2015.) I just don’t know how to execute it. I can draw, but the amount of time it would take me to draw something that I would be satisfied with far outweighs the amount of time that it would take me to write something that I’d be satisfied with. And I’ve always been particularly attracted to the idea of doing really rough sketches, just pencil sketches, the minimum required to get the point across, maybe with some concept/character art on another page that’s had a bit more energy put into it, and letting people fill in the blanks. Use there imagination. That would also let me play with the format a bit more, with the minutiae. Make it part comic, part script, part short story.
  • Kindred (working title): fantasy with some sci-fi, in the Arthur C. Clarke sense. I don’t want to get too into it (commitment issues and all that), but I can say that there’s a civil war, a desert, and genetic engineering/mutation. At present. I’m not entirely sure what’ll get slashed in the end. If I get to the end.

And there’s the rub, really. The juggling. Always the juggling. In some ways the job I’m doing is deeply satisfying, in large part because it is so different from my creative projects. But it does absorb a lot of the energy I’d like to dedicate to these projects. It’s not a matter of finding the time. It’s a matter of finding the energy, both physically and emotionally.

I’ve started doing cardio in the mornings, in part because it’s good for my heart and lungs and anxiety levels, but also because I’ve been told that it raises your energy levels. We’ll see, I guess.

Oh, and in case you missed it, the title of this post is referencing South Park when South Park referenced Silence of the Lambs.



Reading: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (why the fuck is everyone called Petrov(na) or Romanov(na)(vich)? What is Russia?)

Listening: Zaba by Glass Animals

Watching: The Cornetto Trilogy on repeat, because I don’t have the mental capacity for anything more complicated, and I like how they make fun of movie cliches without being dicks about making fun of movie cliches

I just want to be a girl assassin


Been a while. How are you? I’m alright. Super busy. And sleepy. I’m not a morning person, something I may have expressed to you before, but I’ve been forced to be one for the better part of … holy shit, over a year. Oh my god. You’d think I’d have adapted by now, right?

Anyway, today it occurred to me to check into when the next Assassin’s Creed game is coming out and I saw, with some excitement, that there are two expected to be out in the fall. Then I was sad because neither of them are expected to give me the option of playing as a girl.

This is not something that I generally care that much about, but in this case the fact that they went to the trouble of including cooperative multi-player gameplay but didn’t offer the option for one of those avatars to be a girl bugs me.

I just want to kill people as a girl. Why can’t I kill people as a girl? I beat that new-ish Lara Croft game and the new Final Fantasy forever ago. I need my fix of carnage wrought by another imaginary woman.

Aside from everything else, I feel like they’re missing an opportunity by not offering a female playable character. It opens up an opportunity for different kinds of interactions, different fighting styles. I’m thinking Scarlett Johansson in The Avengers franchise. A lot of the protagonists of the Assassin’s Creed series have conformed to a certain body type, and some of them have essentially been tanks.

I also think the Assassin’s Creed people would do a solid job of not making a female avatar all improbable tits. Aveline didn’t have improbable tits. Which makes sense, because if she had, they would have been an impediment when running/jumping/fighting/etc.

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got for you.

Any gamers here? Any girl gamers?



Ripped from the headlines


Sorry for the posting fail the other day, I thought I’d have wi-fi on the train back, and I did but not anything consistent. And, to be honest, I completely forgot. I slept most of the trip back from Seattle, folded up in a weird little ball with my knees jammed up against the seat in front of me.

Train beats bus. It just does.

I just looked at the prompt for that day, and I probably wouldn’t have done much of anything with that. Did you use it?

This is just a little check-in post, I’ll tell you about my trip to Seattle tomorrow when I’m a bit more rested.

How was your weekend?


Between you and the world


I’m in Seattle at the time of this post. When it posts, at least. I’m not there now. While I will probably take pictures, or at least someone will, my friend has a pretty packed schedule for us, and I can’t see myself breaking away from it to do this:

“Run outside. Take a picture of the first thing you see. Run inside. Take a picture of the second thing you see. Write about the connection between these two random objects, people, or scenes.”

I don’t really take many pictures. I have an Instagram, but … what was my last Instagram post? Oh, it was a picture of “The Roughrider” that I took nearly two weeks ago.

1 1/2 oz. Wiser's Whiskey 1 oz. pureed black raspberries 1/2 oz. Chambord 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice Ginger Beer

1 1/2 oz. Wiser’s Whiskey
1 oz. pureed black raspberries
1/2 oz. Chambord
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
Ginger Beer

There it is. It was delicious, by the way. I’ll put the recipe in the caption (note: Chambord is fucking expensive. I’ve been putting a shot of it into my gin & tonics lately, and that is also spectacular. It probably exists as a drink of it’s own).

Anyway, I don’t take many pictures. I think my Facebook page has two pictures that I took on it, the rest are friends’ photos that I’ve been tagged in. It’s just not something that occurs to me to do. When I’m genuinely enjoying myself, I don’t think to myself, “I’m having so much fun! I should take a picture of how much fun I’m having and show it to people!” It’s like Twitter–I only really use it for work or when I’m super bored. Or when the train is being sketchy and I want to keep track of it. I never believe people when they say things like, “Having a blast!” with a selfie of them somewhere. Because if I were really having fun, a selfie would be the last thing in my mind.

But I wonder if that’s just me. Or if that’s something that’s gradually changing. My younger cousins seem to document their lives on social media, in occasionally painstaking detail. “Pictures or it didn’t happen.”

Maybe it’s that I don’t really care if anyone knows that something happened or not. I know what happened, I was there. If I were to get a picture with someone in a band, what would I do with it? I saw the band. I have that memory in my head. If I met a member of the band, I would also have that memory.

Also, pictures steal your soul.

Also also, putting a camera between you and an experience seems almost like a self-defense mechanism, a way of removing yourself from the role of participant and setting yourself one step back. Of becoming a voyeur of your own life. Because when you’re taking a picture, you’re probably thinking not so much of yourself but of the person or people that you want to show the picture to. About what this picture will tell other people about you. About the persona you present. And what does that say about the experience that you’re having? One of my cousins is a dancer, and I’ve been to so many recitals where there was a wall of parents ahead of me, holding up their cameras or their phones and recording every second of the performance. And I always wonder, what are they going to do with that video? Force polite but disinterested friends and family members to watch it? Probably it’ll just live on their computer, until they get a new one and forget to transfer it. Or they’ll put it on a DVD, which will go on a shelf, and eventually be unplayable because of the forward march of technology, which leaves obsolescence in it’s wake.

I’ve taken this to a weird, bitter, pretentious, and probably quasi-dystopian place. That was likely not the intention of the prompt.

I might just leave this as my response to that prompt, actually. And I might stop telling you guys what the prompts are. I might have said that before…

Do you take a lot of pictures?