June 24th, 2011 / 1:59 am


One morning Michael Richards woke up to discover he had been transformed into a giant racist. Saying “nigger” is the opposite of suicide, horrible for one’s career. He freaked out and kept repeating the n-word in a comedy club, caught on tape, the way the thousands of rapes and lynchings never were. Technology’s greatest capacity is its inadvertence to do some good. One morning I woke up to discover that I didn’t want to read any more of Kafka’s diaries, just too depressing I guess. To Milena Jesenská he once wrote, of his love for her, “love is to me that you are the knife which I turn within myself,” which — if I were a girl — would’ve done wonders at the bar, instead of that vodka martini and BMW car keys (or Roland Barthes, depending on the girl you’re after) rested ever gently on the counter. Love is to you the butter knife that spreads it on you, which is less of a compliment than a call to have your cholesterol checked. It’s a beautiful moment when, deep into a book you don’t enjoy, you finally stop. The most honest blurb is not finishing. As the make-up artists applied “baked” on Kramer’s face, I wonder if it reminded them of Blackface ☻. When white people want darker skin for socioeconomically convoluted reasons, I feel so happy ☺.

Drove to a wedding in San Jose, arrived 2 hours early because I’m neurotic about being late for things, especially the rest of people’s lives. A co-worker, a Catholic Filipino, was getting married to her bf of many years. She had to attend confirmation marital classes every week 6 months prior to the marriage, which I impulsively derided in my head; but after my own divorce, I figure some lessons would not have hurt. I was in rented Prius. I, per some burrito or Panda express the night before, had a large piece of shit inside me. I say this impersonally because once I eat something, I’m pretty much done with it. “It” and I were driving down the road at 45 mph, the latter thinking “this is getting bad,” holding it in, just like his childhood, and desperately pulling into a random parking lot, quickly going into the first shop that was open on a Sunday morning and saying to the first human he saw “can I use the restroom please?” ¶I shat. Walking back to the front desk, I realized I was in a tanning salon, spray tanning bottles filled with vacations never had on the shelves, the narrative of privilege condensed into a hue. The nice lady who let me use the toilet’s face was orange. Under the applied sun lie, I saw her paleness. She wanted to be beautiful, and those who had more power painted her face.

Guy with a high I.Q. likes a girl. Guy sorta fucks up and gets into a machine which changes his atomic whatever with a fly inside and now he’s a fly. Many don’t know that satirist Mel Brooks produced The Fly (dir. Cronenberg, 1986). As for the failed teleporting of the inverted baboon, my advice is don’t have spaghetti while watching it. Critics have suggested that Seth Brundle’s (Jeff Goldblum) vile transformation and collapse was a homophobic metaphor for AIDS, though I don’t think anyone got sued. A subpoena is the modern sword. People fight with pieces of paper, starting with the dollar bill. The best time to say “Kafka was right” is not in the morning, the shell of your soul a crunchy exoskeleton, but when you dial “0” for a human, the subconscious critique of what we amount to. Online dating too is a labyrinth, until you finally get to speak to an actual human. How a human can be anything but actual is the beginning of the war we’ll eventually lose. I won’t get into what that stuff leaking out of Seth’s mouth looks like, but if the stats are correct and we are all indeed watching porn, then I hope you finally come. To see the allusion.

Photographer Zoe Crosher’s “1 Yr Later” series explores the minutiae of change in teenage girls. One may notice new bed covers, a change in taste as signified by pictures on walls or fashion, a most subtle increase in sexualization, perhaps a new hair style or color, a more effective pout, or that ever ominous weight change. The scrutiny with which we hunt for differences between the photos is borrowed from the very inward, often pathological, scrutiny that these girls direct towards themselves. If women are cruel, they are most cruel towards one another. It wasn’t until I started trying to lose weight that I soon became obsessed by it — the sense of empowerment and control of losing it, the shame of gaining it back, and slowly, of not losing enough. The closer to “0” the scale says, the better a person you are. If you hate yourself, then disappear. The girl in the picture above, Elana, seems to have gained 10-12 pounds in the past year. You can see it not only in her arms, but more noticeably, in her face. Her smile is less crisp, the mental pulleys which lift the lips more slack, self-conscious. She buggin.

One morning I wake up to discover this post had been published half-drunkenly at night. I’ve been streaming music with my laptop while I half-sleep, having difficulty sleeping, waking up every hour or so. When the eye adjusts to night, you finally see that even darkness is comprised of light, the staticy atoms tugging at the optic nerve for a chance to be noticed. I thought reading Kafka’s diary would make me feel better, but it just proves that God’s mockery traversed the Atlantic (the ocean, not their masthead). “In the fight between you and the world, back the world,” says Franz, which is why I’m still here. Cool kids go to sleep at 5:00am, which is when depressive bureaucrats wake up. Every dawn is a gift wrapped in thin blue light, ready to be torn open into a disappointment. Once you forget this, you may as well die. I wake up in the middle of the night, wake up my laptop, glassless face squinting with one eye five inches from the screen, moving my finger until I find the correlative cursor’s dance, that cupid arrowhead always pointing in the same direction. I check my inbox for emotional affirmations, but it’s always “o,” the conscious critique by those who know me better, of who I amount to.


  1. merwou

      Black is very slimming

  2. deadgod

      How a human can be something other than “actual” is to be imaginary – first:  to oneself.  The “imaginary”, while a spurm to pessimism of the intellect, is surely also an engine of optimism of the will.  Adipose tissue can be a perfectly reasonable denial of mortality, to which an imagination which is hardly morbidly anything will say ‘fuck yes’.

  3. Brian McElmurry

      Fuck yeah! I think she looks better 10-12 lbs heavier

  4. deadgod

      Hm.  “Fuck yeah!” is probably kind of you to say, but I think she looks good in either picture, and I’m suspicious – of myself – of the invitation to narrate some transition.  – though, to me (and I think:  to everybody), narration is irresistible, constitutive of ‘mind’.

      Would you prefer for her to see how you ‘really’ look, or for her, looking right at you, to imagine how you really look?  How “actual” do you want to be?

  5. Brian McElmurry

      I was “fuck yeah!”-ing Jimmy Chen’s sweet blog/article/essay. And the comment on the girl’s weight was nonrelated to my “fuck yeah”. Generally if I read something I like on the internet, I find my opinion on specifics don’t matter, as Jimmy Chen will cover many different subjects and connect them in deep and comedic ways that would take a long time to comment on, as my thoughts when reading them are sublime and grand, and if to comment would take more words than he used to describe them in the first place.

      As to ‘actual’ and ‘imagination’ seems to go into the realm of the Buddhist nature of emptiness, or a world of our own perspectives, a world of white goodness where we put our own illusions onto objects, as they exist and are real, yet are without inherent meaning.

      it seems you percieved something onto my small comment and filled your illusion and created a context for yourself–of narration–which we all do.

      I’ve enjoyed myself responding though :-)

  6. mimi

      ~ thinking “this is getting bad,” ~jimmy you just made my friday afternoon at work coasting into the weekend

  7. Hyruledungeon

      All will transform.

  8. Trey

      should have been a chili dog

  9. NLY

      You are the only writer on this site who I am sometimes in awe of.

  10. deadgod

      if you are ‘perceiving onto’ your small comment truthfully, though not disclosively of inherent meaning, – and why not be truthful – , it seems your ‘perception onto’ my small reply was more accurate, though not with respect to inherent meaning, than my ‘perception onto’ your small comment

      ha ha on me; seems sweet

      to me, specifics in an interaction do matter; for example, they indicate the difference between a compliment and an ingratiation

      but that is maybe only my ‘perception onto’ and not anybody else’s; I am probably a slower learner than most people

      it seems to me a compelling question (which I got from or ‘perceived onto’ – how could even a buddhist tell?? – mr. jimmy’s blogicle):  how “actual” do you – does anybody – really want to be

  11. wackomet

      I usually don’t pay attention to who authors each post on htmlgiant. Every time I read one of your opening sentences, I do a double-take: “wait, is this Jimmy Chen?”

      This is how I know you really are on some next-level shit

  12. danadonna

      heart palpitations are totally worth it if you’re reading jimmy chen: fact.

  13. Anonymous

      your transitions have gotten better since the last time i read you.

      one day, if my time machine works, i’m going to travel back and introduce franze to mdma.