To All of My Ancestors and Their Peers

It’s still fucked up.


“A Crossbreed” — Franz Kafka


“A Crossbreed”


Franz Kafka

I have a curious animal, half kitten, half lamb. It is a legacy from my father. But it only developed in my time; formerly it was far more lamb than kitten. Now it is both in about equal parts. From the cat it takes its head and claws, from the lamb its size and shape; from both its eyes, which are wild and flickering, its hair, which is soft, lying close to its body, its movements, which partake both of skipping and slinking. Lying on the window sill in the sun it curls up in a ball and purrs; out in the meadow it rushes about like mad and is scarcely to be caught. It flees from cats and makes to attack lambs. On moonlight nights its favorite promenade is along the eaves. It cannot mew and it loathes rats. Beside the hen coop it can lie for hours in ambush, but it…

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Vegans Just Don’t Get the Painful-Praying-in-Weird-Bathrooms Thing, Do They?

It dawned on me today as I found myself in an old, familiar position of being stuck in a place I did not want to be, surrounded by wet things and scents that call into question my city’s promise that they “turned the taps off” and “rerouted the 60-mile block of fatal licorice-water” cruising west down the Ohio: since giving up meat thirteen months ago, I’ve lost that touchstone of male living that is holding back tears on a foreign toilet, swearing to start dieting as soon as this is over, pondering if one can truly get crabs from a toilet seat, maddening at the sound of a fellow man being denied entry into your painful-but-as-of-now-safe situation atop the sewer line by the lock on the door.

While I can’t claim to be a vegan, nor would I really want to use terms like that since they end up being more divisive and take away from actual growth, I can say that one of the numerous positive side effects I’ve experienced since giving up meat consumption and greatly reducing dairy intake is a decrease in restroom uncertainty and rates of use. I’ve no real explanation for today’s slip back into the fighting pits, but it appears to be a one off and wow are we really talking about this no we’re not.

Eat healthy y’all. Do your best.

“There’s a purity of intent and a lack of self-consciousness that I wish I could achieve when I was experiencing pleasure” (David Foster Wallace)


Let’s put it this way. Say you’ve got really serious art, and it takes really hard work, whether it’s painting or music or literature. That stuff’s not fun in the way commercial entertainment is fun. I mean fun — like eating a Twinkie. It’s like slipping into a warm bath after a hard day. It’s an escape. It’s a relaxation. And that’s fine, and that’s entirely appropriate. The danger comes when the escape becomes the overriding purpose. And one of the ways it seems that television has affected me is that my expectation for the amount of fun and pleasure to work — that ratio is very different than they are for my parents. I think my pain threshold is lower. My expectations are higher. My level of resentment at having to do anything I don’t particularly want to do that isn’t pleasurable is higher. I think a certain amount of that comes from the fact that for six hours a day I receive…

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