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VOLUME 24

OREGON VOICE

ISSUE II

false alarms since 1989

false alarms since 1989

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editor in chief LUCY OHLSEN publisher BENJAMIN MCPHERSON FICKLIN art director TAYLOR JOHNSTON managing editor JOSEPH DE SOSA multimedia director REBEKAH DORSEY

ED-LISHER’S NOTE If the end of the world comes in December, I’m going to be caught shaking in my skeptical cowgirl boots. But even if it doesn’t come, it is beginning to look like ever impending doom is here to stay. Just look at the weather last night. It’s scary to live in the aftermath of a humanity boom. The massive impact our species has managed to incur on the planet seems irreversible to 21st century eyes. Rivers run where we want them to. Night skies are speckled with the dust of our production. Potatoes grow in perfect rows. Chickens lose their heads in a systemized fashion.

public relations SAIGE KOLPACK

Maybe we deserve to meet a cataclysmic end. Maybe it’s time for us to undergo an impregnable wipe out. But then again, it wasn’t us individuals that locked in this pathway to planetary destruction.

contributing editors JACOB DODDS ALYSSA PERSONS SAM TAYLOR MARY KATE MORONEY C. W. KEATING

We are not just ducks in a line. Though many of us choose to walk around in green and yellow ducky apparel, and lots of us waddle together in packs, we all have control over our limbs, our eyebrows, the embodiment of our inner souls. In this issue, we capitalize on the diverse nature of those souls. We hope that somehow, by exposing a little individual goodness from everyone, we can outweigh a lot of group-constructed badness.

cover art ANDREW HARDT contibutors MARISSA MCLAIN, ANNA FAY, EMMA IVIE, THOMAS EDMONDS, TRACE CABOT, KATEY FINLEY, ARIEL WILLS, JOSH LARSEN, IMOGEN BANKS, JULIAN EARNEST, JACK WASHER, SAUMON GHAEMI, DEREK CHESNUT, JORDAN CHESNUT, SCHUYLER DURHAM, SREANG HOK, COLETTE LEVESQUE, JACOB DODDS, SHERLOCK DOMEZ, GRANDPA, NOAH DEWITT, ZEV HAGGIT, ANDREW KRAINOCK, MICHAELA GIUNCHIGLIANI board of directors CARA MERENDINO, STEPHEN PERSON, SCOT BRASWELL, SARA BRICKNER, KOREY SCHULTZ, SCOTT E. CARVER, HALEY A. LOVETT, JENNIFER HILL, RYAN BORNHEIMER, RAECHEL M. SIMS, BRIAN A. BOONE, SARAH AICHINGER-MANGERSON, ROBERT K. ELDER, AUTUMN MADRANO, SAM PARKS, MIKE RUSSELL, CLIFF PFENNING

The most stand-out soul in this issue is probably Lars Larson. Joseph, Lucy and Ben interviewed the diehard conservative for three hours. And then, Thomas Edmunds offers a critical analysis of $tinky’s court, a place where at first glance, humanity seems fairly soulless. Colin Keating and Jordan Chesnut offer two very different takes on apocalyptic visions and their lessons for our souls. Running behind everything we’ve printed in this magazine is the idea that our souls and our actions aren’t bound by our school, our mission statement, our socially constructed identities, or our inherited belief system. We’re just dancing to the tunes that move us, testing out new moves in every waking moment we have left. IT FEELS GOOD. Enjoy these pages, as they breathe their last treeful breaths, and if we don’t see you in January.... So it goes.

You walk among elaborate brick buildings. The parapets and carved faces of old men crack and crash as you pass. Books rain down with the wreckage. You come upon a huge glass square, championed as a monument to modern education, but as you stop to admire, it explodes into shards that rip your clothes and imbed themselves in your face and chest. Blood seeps from your wounds, but you walk on. Cars careen into one another, explode alone in the street, or slowly glide to a permanent stop. But your feet move you just fine past the rivers of fire, plummeting satellites, and ever rising tides. Finally, deep within your own neglected forest, you can hear the rumblings of what was an inevitable deterioration. You, among others, stand alone. What do you do?

OFFICIAL STUFF

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OREGON VOICE is published as many times as we want per academic year. Any and all official or unofficial or superficial nonsense can be directed to 1228 Erb Memorial Union, Suite 4, Eugene OR 97403 or to publisher@oregonvoice.com. Copyright 2012, all rights reserved by OREGON VOICE. Reproduction without permission is prohibited, but the thought is really flattering! OREGON VOICE is an arts and culture publication that eccentrically expresses the University of Oregon and its relation to the Universe. The program, founded in 1989 and re-established in 2001, provides an opportunity for students to publish works of journalism, art, prose, poetry, and genetic alteration. Administration of the program is handled entirely by students.


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100% NOTHING

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DEAR SADFACE

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FOLLOW ME UP! Prosaic preparation for the next phase in the cycle of life.

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Marxist propaganda, basically.

MICROFICTION

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100 words, count ‘em!

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LOVIN’ LARS

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OV Top Dawgs learn to love the man you love to hate.

RECIPE!

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REVIEWS

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om nom nom Shout out to $tinky!

contents

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false alarms since 1989 OREGONVOICE.COM

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100% nothing ills lW

ie Ar

I Am

At dawn, Sometimes, I am A Western Meadow Lark Fluttering around my brightening room Panicking, screeching, singing, Crashing against the skylight, Hitting the window, Tearing at my ash speckled sheets, Pecking at the posters on the wall, And knocking over my Gretch guitar. I am desperate for someplace else, Drenched in sunlight. When I finally stun myself still, I will wait Until you pick me up and press my feathers against your breast. In the morning, At times, I am A white, Portland rose Drooping towards the sun creeping across the bed The glass I rest in is cracked And the water filthy with my wilted pedals, Bourbon and drowned flies. Blind, dead, but not dumb, I wait for her hands to wrap around me, For her nose to sink deep into my bloom To take in all the perfumes I offer. She will change my water and cup, Taking me with her To a loving window sill.

At dusk, Usually, I am A Brown Recluse Spider. I weave my web across The dimming room. Around the crackling record player And through the threads of unwashed clothes. I crouch in the corner silent,

Around midnight, Occasionally, I am A grey Coyote Nervously stalking prey that I cannot see. I whine and whimper, Nipping at the obscured shapes Of desk legs and ratty books strewn around the floor. Through the walls, I hear my pack scratching at the paint But the door is shut and the window locked. I curl up hungry in a den of dirty underwear, Gnawing on my tail and shifting my ears. I listen for the shuffle of your feet on the carpet, My nose to the air, sniffing for the scent Of your Marlboro Reds, Lemonheads, and flowers. I wait to bruise you with a love bite deep blue and silver. All day and all night, Always, I am Only my meager self Encircled by cigarette butts, Watching the nicotine haze leak out the door, And denying that things fall apart. I beg the mess and empty spaces For you not to forget me, the sparks, and what I gave you. I close my reddened eyes and draw your form in my mind. Your tangled blonde hair, glowing azure eyes, and fidgeting fingers. I feel your skin like mother of pearl, your soft pincushion lips. I am filled with the light you shone on me. Trembling, I know I can only be human with you. So I’ll wait for your return, with only myself as all I need.

Grandpa’s Advice

hould come to my house. I’m eat You s ing che

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ese.

-Andrew F. Krainock

Roaring Mutely Try to hear all simultaneous sounds— clack flutter rustle glug-jug It’s all tangibly yang.

woosh!

But don’t forget about silence. It’s there, you know. Beneath and between, like acoustical wave troughs, gaps in the sequence, offering glimpses of Mother Matrix and her hush universe. Roaring mutely, the loudness of quiet! True enough proof that Infinity lives inside of

Nanosecond. -Noah DeWitt

Taylor Johnston

At the peak of noon, Often, I am a Purple Shore Crab Scuttling between hiding places, searching for the ocean, Avoiding the dry heat, And finding the dark and damp homes Of spilled beer bottles And sweat soaked blankets. I rely upon my indigo armor To protect my soft underbelly. I need my claws to fight and grasp Your bouncing gold curls. I huddle and pray that my home Is found only by you.

Waiting to melt the skin of anyone Who might catch me vulnerable And throw me on my back with eight legs twitching at the ceiling. I will sink my fangs into them and drink, Attacking without sense of mercy, afraid. Yet, if you are caught in my web, I would wrap you in silk and let none near.

Rock 101 Well talk is cheap, but helter skelter I see her standing there and Yesterday all my troubles Love me did. I wanna hold your Hand down the long and winding Road; these broken wings Don’t fly but baby, you Can drive my car. Limbs shake, body Rolls but here I am. Sad and lonely, doing my Rabbit holed duty. -Lucy Ohlsen


Breifs

art JULIAN EARNEST

MITT ZOMNEY words ZEV HAGGIT Joss Whedon is one of the best writers in this cozy universe of ours. He can do no wrong! The writer/creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Firefly,” and the writer/director of the delectable new The Avengers, released a hilarious short video promoting Romney for this years presidential election. “What! Romney?” Oh, but there’s more. Whedon posits that if elected, Romney would have lead the U.S. to the “inevitable” zombie apocalypse, or, to steal his clever moniker, a Zomney apocalypse. But really folks, wouldn’t a zombie apocalypse be pretty awesome? I hate budget cuts on integral things like education, but doesn’t running from zombies, armed only with cudgels, guns, dremel drills, and any other weapon you can get your hands on sound like loads of fun? Isn’t that worth giving up the rights that women have fought so hard for, and the social freedoms that we all take for granted? Uhh, yeah dude, it is! I love the idea of leaving all my worldly possessions behind and running for my life. Armed with homemade weapons, and my own preternatural survival instincts, I’ll scamper through the forest beheading zombies that try to attack and create my own Swiss Family Robinson-esque tree fort. I would also love hanging out with my fellow survivors, trading lively stories of the end of days. Bantering like Gimli and Legolas, we’d tally up our kills. All that aside, yeah, the end is nigh, so if Romney had been sworn into our oval office it would have just expedited the inevitable. I don’t really like the guy, he kind of gives me the creeps. He looks like he just walked out of Disney World’s “The Hall of Presidents.” But I do love the idea of a zombie apocalypse, so maybe we should have thought a little harder before we all voted for the wonderful, omniscient, personable Barack Obama.

false alarms since 1989

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Breifs

IS DPS NAME CHANGE A GAME CHANGE? words MICHAELA GIUNCHIGLIANI

Everyone knows the overzealous justice-league that is University of Oregon Police Department. They roam the streets of campus in search of packs of drunken freshmen and illegally parked vehicles. As one of those occasionally drunken freshmen, I worry that I will fall victim to the heavy-handed discipline that often comes from a campus officer. The goal of Campus PD is to scare the shit out of you so you don’t fuck up. And unfortunately, for the most part, it works. Scaring freshmen doesn’t take guns or heavy weapons. For right now, the heaviest weaponry that campus officers carry are nightsticks and pepper spray. Lately, though, I have heard talk that UOPD will start toting legit firearms as a part of their everyday uniform. In an effort to uncover the truth behind this unnerving rumor, I went straight to the source. Waltzing into the DPS office, I asked to speak to someone who could answer just a few short questions. My demeanor was non-accusatory and my appearance wasn’t threatening, but the woman in charge there scolded the young receptionist when she gave me the contact info of some McGyver fool who could talk to me. The woman proceeded to tell the receptionist that “no one can be trusted with his contact information, even if they claim to be writing a school paper.” Shit, I guess my outfit choice screamed ‘muckraker’ that day. I gave this so-called McGyver in the UOPD a call to ask him some simple questions. This led me on a wild goose chase leaving messages, waiting for phone calls, doling out email information, and being repeatedly turned down by every rung of the ladder in UOPD. I attempted contacting just about everyone in the department, and even asked some officers on the street on my way to class. No one would talk to me. Finally, some dispatcher called me and said “They aren’t comfortable speaking to students about these things without proper authority involved.” Apparently, the proper authority was on vacation. I finally gave up in a wild gesture of ‘fuck the po-lice.’ It seems ridiculous to me that the people sworn to protect me won’t even speak to me about the various ins and outs of this supposed protection. I understand that it is the nature of authority to question the motives of their people. However, it is also the right of the people to question the motives of their authority, a fact that is lost on UOPD. I cannot tell you whether or not UOPD will start carrying firearms on campus, but I can tell you that your suspicion should arise in the quiet name change from DPS, Department of Public Safety, to UOPD, University of Oregon Police Department. If it becomes a legit police force, than what’s stopping them from carrying legit weapons?

BFFS 4EVA words THOMAS EDMONDS In the past 15 years, I have never once seen a fox kick it with a puppy dog. If you watch Disney movies, you’d think that this kind of thing happens every day. Animals realize that just because animals are different animals doesn’t mean they can’t chill tough and be friends as animals. Maybe it’s just me, but never once have I happened upon a chipmunk and an albatross having some kind of crazy adventure or doing a cool dance routine. It could be that all the unusual animal friendships happen on the East coast, but I doubt it because animals actually hate the East coast (roadkill). The Midwest is a definite possibility only because they have a bunch of barns where the livestock could all comingle for various political meetings, but that’s not really the same thing seeing as how a town meeting isn’t really the same as an informal road trip to the beach. If you go to the Barnes & Noble calendar section, you know you can breathe easy once you see that there are at least two calendars featuring only unusual animal friendships. But once you get past the initial shock of seeing a baby monkey hug a dove (in all honesty I cried in the parking lot for fifteen minutes), you begin to wonder if these animal friendships develop organically in the wild, or if they were just set next to each other for a 20 second photo-shoot. The answer is somewhere in between. They (humans, presumably) get the animal super trashed off of animal versions of alcohol and ecstasy. Not just the two posing, but all the calendar animals are in one big room, faded as fuck. Then, they wait to see which animals take to each other and then quickly take their picture. It’s like the Lion King version of prom. So yeah, it’s a bummer to know you’ll never see a sloth riding a horse. But it’s good to know that somewhere in the world a bunch of animals are getting crunk and becoming friends – if only for that one night. 6


I’m just going to say it, the world is not going to end this December. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to untwist your panties just yet. The end of the world could be here before we know it, brought about by some things that scientists actually take seriously. So, all religious prophecy and doomsday speculation aside, let’s focus on what could actually lead to the world’s demise. Ninety-nine percent of the species that have lived on the Earth have already gone extinct, and eventually it is going to be the Homo sapiens’ turn. We face potential threats ranging from flaming supernovas to angry asteroids. And although Hollywood has cheesed the apocalypse up and made the it’s-the-end-of-the-worldwe’re-all-going-to-die-so-let’s-justhave-sex mentality popular, some cats outside of the doomsday conspiracy theorists research plausible means to our end: like planetary collisions and asteroid attacks. Planetary collisions generally happen every one to three centuries. The collision that scientists expect to occur at some point in the 21st century is called a Nbiri cataclysm, a disastrous encounter between a large object and Earth. A less scientific term for this collision is “Planet X”. Although some people view “Planet X” as a conspiracy theory, there is an actual record of this shit happening. The last cosmic interloper to bludgeon Earth was a 20-foot comet that hit a region of Russia in 1908. Asteroids also threaten to speed up our demise. Earth is particularly

vulnerable to the Kuiper belt, a space zone next to Neptune, where random stellar bodies hang out and orbit the sun. The Kuiper belt constantly sends showers of small comets our way. But, the belt contains comets up to 50 feet in diameter. If one of these huge balls hits Earth, it would wipe out the entire planet. Whereas an asteroid attack would have a quick negative impact, there is one end-of-the-world theory, involving the reversal of Earth’s magnetic poles, where the consequence would be a drawnout endgame laden with extensive environmental damage and chaos. The North Pole drifts 10 miles every year, but scientists predict that they might actually “switch” in the near-ish future. This switch would cause the magnetic field to fade, thus exposing humans and other life systems to harmful UV rays, killing everything slowly and silently. Any species that uses nature to aid them in navigation would be hella, hella confused.

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words MARISSA MCLAIN art JACK WASHER

For some reason people think that on December 21st the world is just going to be wiped out. Bam. Over. Most science points to “our” world dying a slow, rather painful death. However, scientific theories can always be challenged by new discoveries. In science, nothing is certain and this also applies for the fate of humanity. So let’s just acknowledge that we’re here: living, breathing, inspiring, and changing. And that’s pretty fucking chill.

false alarms since 1989

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RE-EDUCATION AN INTRODUCTION TO WILDERNESS SURVIVAL words/art MARY-KATE MORONEY In survival there exists a sacred order of human needs, and the first of these is shelter. Building your own earthen home is a humbling experience, one that can transform any survival situation into a sacred safe space for you to dream. Under the right conditions, you’ll die much quicker from exposure than any form of dehydration or starvation. The most primitive survival shelter is the debris hut, and it will keep you warm, dry, and secure for as long as you tend to it. When building a shelter, build high and dry, but near a water source. After you’ve chosen a location, collect any forest litter (debris) you can find, always more than you think you’ll need. This is also a good time to gather firewood. You’ll need one ridge pole-branch a little bit longer than you are tall, two Y-shaped sticks, and ribbing sticks for the structure. Ground the Y-sticks at an angle about body-length apart towards each other, so that the ridge pole rests between them angled towards the ground. Fill in the two walls with smaller ribbing sticks, until you can no longer see into the shelter, and then layer as much debris as you can on top of it. Remember: you’re building a sleeping bag, not a tent--consider how much room you really need for shelter. Next in the sacred order is water: the lifeblood. When looking for water, consider how all streams flow downhill and tend to encourage a shift in vegetation. Plants like thistle and wild grape will hold a lot of water, and often times the animals will lead you to these plants if you extend your awareness to them. Birds fly high and straight towards water; flying away, they fly lower and flap their wings louder to account for their weight gain. All water is wild, and should be treated as such: boil everything! If the water is too swampy, you can create a filter with a bottle or other funnel-shaped container. (See figure). Pour water into the top and let it drip out, repeating as many times as necessary. Even after filtering, you must boil the water. How do we do that? Fire, of course. The first and most important quality of creating fire is gratitude. Without fire we could not survive, the most important of these being the sun. When building a fire, the tipi structure is most practical, and the warmth can be amplified by building a reflector wall around three sides of the fire space. If the wood is wet, break it down. Never build your fire closer than six feet from your shelter, and keep it away from dead, hanging branches. As far as producing a coal, it’s typically easier to start practicing bow-drill fires before moving on to the hand drill. Some good local fire kit woods include cedar, cottonwood, willow, maple, and ash. After harvesting your wood, make a bow and carve your set (See figure). Next, burn in the sockets of the fireboard and handhold by winding your spindle into the bow and using long, full strokes to rotate your spindle. Apply grease (from hands, face) to the handhold end of the spindle, and cut an 1/8 inch pie-shaped notch about a quarter-inch from the edge of the fireboard. This notch is where fire dust will fall and gather, until there’s enough dust to create a coal. Work on increasing downward pressure on your handhold, as well as speed of your bow strokes at the same time. You can lock your wrist into your shin for added support and stability, allowing your body to square itself around your set. While your form and fire-kit are equally important in the miracle of fire creation, even more important are your intentions. I worked long and hard with my cedar bow-drill, and my aching muscles grew frustrated with the inability to transcend the feeble smokingdust phase of fire building process. I suddenly realized what I had been doing wrong: I was not thinking about the miracle of life, but the logistic failure of my form. Instantly, a whirl of calm appreciation rushed into my bloodstream, bursting through my heart and manifesting itself in the form of a small, red, burning coal. Your intentions will give you the strength and perseverance that is required to fulfill such an ancient and sacred task. Have a tinder bundle ready as a nest for your coal, and a vehicle for its flaming state of adolescence. Place the flame in the center of your tipi structure, and blow until the fire catches. Fourth and final in the sacred order is food. Between making and setting traps, tracking animals for food, foraging, and cooking, there is a world of knowledge offered by countless books and Internet resources.* However, experience is the key ingredient in turning your knowledge into wisdom. It is important to remember that all you harvest means that something has to die in order for you to live. The Earth will provide if you are patient and aware, resourceful and respectful of the life that becomes you. It’s not your sacrifice to make, but an opportunity of nourishment that has been gifted to you by your mother land. The idea of survival has been beefed-up and watered-down by too many television shows and far-fetched apocalyptic theory, but real survival is a prescription for greater awareness and true unity of all early beings. When these practices come to define you as a human being, suddenly thought and movement alike are things that arise spontaneously from the slight slippage between organism and the folding terrain that it wanders. For it is not dying that a man should fear, but to have never lived at all. In this tumultuous age of rampant complacency and exploitation, reeducation and awareness are the only true human resources that grant our planet hope. To fight for Her is to return to the wild places, if only until the fine line between man and land is erased completely. *Recommended Reading: Tom Brown’s Field Guides Peterson’s Field Guides 8


Dear Sadface, For the last three years my wife and I have been preparing for the end of the world. For a long time Kathleen, our daughter, was skeptical, but after she saw that movie with John Cusack she dropped out of Oregon State. Now, we all live in our subterranean bunker in the valleys and vineyards of South Eugene. I quit my job, we have a four-year supply of water (plus purifier), and more guns than all the other Lane County occupants combined. Yet, I worry. What if December 22nd rolls around and flowers still bloom, clocks still tick, and my neighbors still go their office jobs in their little gasoline powered cars? Does that mean God wants me to start The End? In need of assurance! Totes Convinced

Dear Sadface

Ah, who can forget their first time? My first vaguely politically-motivated shooting spree may have been years ago, but I vividly remember the anxiety of my first time. What color camouflage should I wear? Who should I send my 2000-page manifesto about the Bilderberg Group to first? Should I refer to the US government as Communist, Fascist, or alternate between the two depending on my mood? As something of a veteran, here are some tips for a first-timer:

1) While it may be tempting to kill ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out, hostages can be traded for pizza, promises of a helicopter escape route to a country without US extradition treaties, and a political recognition of your micronation/compound. 2) Don’t trust the FBI negotiator. The pizza? The box is actually filled with knockout gas, and they didn’t even put anchovies on it despite your specific request. The helicopter? Filled with knockout gas, and piloted by an Illuminati agent carrying more knockout gas. The treaty recognizing the Olive Street Free State? Written on a canister of knockout gas. 3) Take lots of pictures! Scrapbooking is a great hobby in solitary. Praise God and Pass the Ammo, President-Colonel Sadface, First Liberty Regiment (“The Fightin’ Ron Pauls”), Olive Street Free State Militia

Dear Sadface, I don’t know what to do with myself! I recently applied for a job that I didn’t receive. It’s been twice now I tried for this job, and I’m done! I had to quit my old job in 2006, I spent a billion dollars getting out the good word on me (at least it was my “coworkers’” money), and I got nowhere. So fuck that noise! If applying for that is job so hard, who wants to do the actual thing?? Yet, all these loses washed away when I finally told my coworkers, “Good luck without me!” I’m free! I’ve got several hundred million dollars and no obligations! Back to the yachts and temples for me! Nothing like affirming masculinity through participating in trickle-down capitalism, and making sure us Mormons hold cards, right Sadface? I’m just not sure where to start. What should I do Sadface? Work on my binders? Bug bug bug, M. Rom As a fellow multi-millionaire, I know how hard it is to get by in this era of uppity poors and Obamaphones. Back in the good old days, before political correctness went and made it a crime to illuminate a neighbor’s lawn with burning icons of our faith, and OSHA cost job creators literally dozens of dollars by insisting that we move away from the industrial lubricants, including Irish and orphan blood, that served this country so well

during the industrial revolution, we used to know that this country belonged to us. And now who does it belong to? Our friends at Free Republic, the largest conservative message board on the internet, can shed some light on that. GladesGuru tells us that it’s the “urban ferals”, which is totally not a racist euphemism at all, and wardaddy lets us know that we non-parasites, who work for our money in alternative asset management and financial services, unlike the forty seven percent of Americans who just “build things” and “produce value through labor instead of predatory speculation and market manipulation that ultimately lines Wall Street’s pockets at the expense of everyone else”, will soon “know how our kin felt during Reconstruction in Mississippi”. Maybe it’s time to take a page out of Ayn Rand’s book and Go Galt; perhaps spend some time lounging around your various houses in your temple undergarments, burn a few Rembrandts, or maybe take the ol’ helicopter for a spin (Note: Roof-crated family pets and helicopters DO NOT MIX). We’ll see how the working man fares without anyone to outsource their jobs, foreclose their homes, and sell whatever goods they still produce (Not many in this country anymore. Take that, unions!) at a hefty profit for ourselves. They’ll be begging to have us back. -Marquis de Sadface false alarms since 1989

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words JORDAN CHESNUT art TAYLOR JOHNSTON The first pollination was between void & spirit: piles of blackened hands flocked outward, thumbs snapped and unclasped as if charred fire logs; and early stars formed and strung with cedar smoke. All as simple as flick of synapse, small as an eyelash on fire. Spirit moves flawlessly, like an old woman made of garden spiders weaving her calligraphy in the dried fennel brush before the heaviness of daylight swipes in rise, and breaks her fragile overlaps and crosses. I heard every night we swallow spiders in our sleep. I try to sleep next to you every night, and we both lay there, dreaming & holding each other, swallowing spiders. I asked you “ ,” and you replied, “to understand.” A web is a portal, opens curl by petal. Spirit is cyclical, because everything that is alive moves in phases, rounding. Our planet is in orbit, orbiting. The second pollination was when rose and jasmine erupted, and all the aquatics with hair of kelp climbed out of the tide to inhale the blossoming lung of oxygen. Humans are the descendants of these early bearers of gill. People are part of nature, but not the deep-oceanic part. Instead the wilt and rush of shoreline, slump of shallow sandbar. Shifting in current, the clinging fringe of web. Last night, Pretty Eyes was squatting by the fire when you asked him, “So what time did you take it?” he laughed and started taking all of his clothes off, “I don’t know man, what does it matter? I just want to be warm!” He kept asking for a roof, and I think the sky sunk down. That or it moved farther away, the stars were impenetrable last night. The universe is so goddamn rugged, we agreed. Due to the climactic uprising of time and space, the Mayan breech of Pachakuti, the mammal is metamorphic. The crystalline mineral contains perfectly symmetrical periodic structure. Beneath the wild brine of cave, the licks of karst and stalactite, the libidinous folds of molten, kick translucent order. Order created by Nature, our so-called chaos. Recently — for the rocks — a fossilized blossom was found. Its mysticism known only by the arched lips of ancients, the smoke ring and halos around present prophets or cyber seers, diviners foaming at the mouth — Or, silent righteous ones, who chose sentient embodiment at this very point in our Gregorian time. Their talk of upheaval snags airwaves, fingers our magnetic poles, realigns the mineral in us — leaves a lingering sense we are a part of this rebirth. A year ago, I lived with three girls who were learning to photosynthesize, to feed as plants feed. Instead of eating food, they tried to collect and store energy. (One had a grandma who lived in a house of salt in the Atacama Desert. Her five-year-old sister could cure herself.) They weaned off meals by gleaning so many fallen apples, and they made out in the orchard. Eventually they drank the little sunlight that sifted through the days of rain. None of them believed they were their bodies, but instead the feeling of aliveness inside the body. I didn’t stay long enough to hear if they were cleaned — if they drifted through the salt houses and into clouds, to re-cycle. This is the third, Here Now. The flowering of consciousness, the flap and hover of galactic pollination, the re-emergence of feminine thought — the end to staled patriarchy, political ideology, all-answering religious theology, and reason,science > magic,feeling! End to Nature as resource, and exploitation as globalization. End to consumerism, end to And/Or thought, simple body-thought & emotional suppression! Time is moving faster because each second is more complex. We are about to breech into the fourth dimension — the head crowns. This is not the apocalypse, because awareness is involved. Listen and vibe with the natural order — Spirit understands, because spirit stands under. Hold on to breath, the Beginning is coming!

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A postApocalyptic

paradise words C. W. KEATING art JOSEPH DESOSA

Every generation has its defining moments. We want the apocalypse to be ours. The endgame mentality may have shifted from religious to scientific obsessiveness, but the madness remains the same. The Greatest Generation had World War II. For the Baby Boomers, apocalypse came in the form of the Cold War, nuclear proliferation, and mutually assured destruction. No wonder LSD and “Free Love” were rampant. For Generation X, the apocalypse became a selfdevouring spiral of idealism and nihilism. Gen X-ers yearned for a “slacker’s paradise” that escaped from the suffocation of postmodern consumer culture, and disavowed that idealism via self-destruction, apathy, and existential posturing. Corporations realized the marketing potential of such fashionable alienation and exploited it, effectively “killing” grunge. Our generation – “Gen Y-ers” or “Millennials” or another phrase that’s equally stupid and reductive – has come to the same crossroads. Even disregarding the implausibility that the Mayan calendar knew the exact end day or the rapture is coming, our generation is obsessed with the idea of an end point – a show-stopping musical number that puts an emphatic end to the frustrating and inconsequential dramas of ordinary life. As a result, we’re fascinated by December 21st, 2012, counting on it to validate our generational need for significance. The End of Everything has become our World War II. The psychological root of this fascination is an inherent human condition. According to Sigmund Freud, humans have both a life-urge (Eros) and a death-urge (Thanatos) that accounts for destructive behavior, be it populous or individual. Darwinist thought suggests that human self-destruction is a means of asserting reproductive vitality in terms of status. Take smoking: it’s cool and many possible mates like it. Reproductive urge supersedes self-preservation. Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and historian Michel Foucault suggest that human society is built on webs of power, and that human beings desire positions of authority in order to exercise control and assert status ­­­— the result being war, poverty, and political oppression. Our generation is fascinated with the apocalypse because we want to be part of something great. We want the validation and status of being the last ones present “when it happened.” We want so badly to own

a spectacular historical event, like the Greatest Generation owned World War II. It doesn’t matter that this event might cease all life on the planet – anything is better than the disconnected, increasingly anxious atmosphere of postmodern life. This is an evasion of responsibility, an inherited hopelessness. We ask, “Well, the world’s going to end soon anyway, so why should I bother?” As a result, we’ve become a generation that refuses to take risks. I don’t mean pretend risks like protesting in the street or ingesting a heroic amount of drugs – that’s all been done before. I mean the risk of a real, human connection unmediated by technology or concerns about status – the feeling of engaging a new person for hours after the other guests have left. This Eckhart Tolle, “oh-I’m-on-Oprah-let’s-talk-human-connection” bullshit has all been said before, so here’s what I mean: I want you to start living in the post-apocalypse. In the post-apocalypse, to stave off the maddening effects of isolation and solitude, you must go searching for another human being, any kind of connection to a member of your species. Wouldn’t you be overjoyed once you found that person, whoever they were? Would you not embrace them as a true friend, just by virtue of their humanness? What I’m proposing is an attitude, not any sort of political or social system. I don’t believe we’re destroying the Earth. Like parasites, we’re destroying the systems that sustain us. But the Earth is much older and stronger than anything we can throw at it. Carl Sagan noted that if the history of the universe were condensed into a 24-hour day, human existence would occupy one half hour. We fall into this dream we call life and awaken from it in what feels like an instant. The apocalypse isn’t coming – it’s already guaranteed in the form of mortality. The only thing we can change is how we perceive and actualize the prospect of death. If we channel our adamant belief in the apocalypse to our current life, human love and communication could become as precious as the last drops of water wrung from the beautiful, frustrating, and mysterious wasteland of existence. Let’s not wait for The End to start living, because it may never come.

false alarms since 1989

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100 WORD

MICROFICTION

LUCY OHLSEN Murky, thick mush bubbles pensively as a veiled woman putters across the red brick floor in Danskos. It smells like wet papier-mâché with a hint of death. The dust monster has sensitive nostrils. The rest of Iowa was swallowed up last week at the deep-fried butter booth. The mush is her only companion. “Ploorp,” she says to its “bloorscht.” With a sudden flail, she opens the refrigerator door, greedily slivers a pat of creamy yellow, and watches it melt in her bowl of grey. A big sniff takes her greedily, her veil sticking on its butter greased lips. ZEV HAGGIT “You better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout, I’m telling you why: Santa Claus is coming to town.” A boy sits up in his bed. Flames lick his windowpane. He’s scared but curious. He crouches and peers out the window. He sees a jolly man in red and white, his beard billowing in the frigid air, descending on his sleigh of fire. The fifth, lesser known horseman of the apocalypse: Santa Claus! The child rushes to greet him. “What did you get for me this year Santa?” “Doom and Damnation!” replies St. Nick. A mushroom cloud rises. SHERLOCK DOMEZ Stuck in a desert after getting lost in a sand storm with her caravan, the only people and family she will ever have. Finds a cactus near, looking like aloe, sees it pulsating colors, first green then blue; maroon; back to green. She thought it was a mirage fluttering in fantasy of her thirst. Ran to it, punched open and licked the juices that fell out; fell asleep. She awoke to find herself gone without a body, not on Earth, knowing that we had left the world. We were here in the warm violet void that was the new realm. C.W. KEATING He finds the right materials – tape player, electrical current, willing ears. Shuffling through fresh bodies off the truck, he finds a gold earring, a Mickey Mouse t-shirt, too many film capsules – but no cassettes. He’s anxious. It’s been years since he’s heard recorded music. He resorts to making up songs when he’s working, fuses them with forgotten lyrics (he remembers the words in his dreams) while dragging the new corpses through the streets. He pats one down. He feels a small, rectangular lump and laughs. He’s found one. His mind is a turntable, all white noise and revolution. EMMA IVIE The wall is at my back. The sharp grooves of the trim dig into the base of my spine, but the pain pales in comparison to the burning in my abdomen. I tighten my grasp on the cool metal handle. I smell gunpowder on the air, and the stench of decaying flesh. Is it my own wounds or the stink of the undead? The front door vibrates as something thumps against it. The door crashes open with one final push. This isn’t how it is supposed to be. My arm is too weak to hold the gun. Someone help me. COLETTE LEVESQUE Previously, I would bang to Tegan & Sara. I came 36 times to The Con, 45 to So Jealous, but Sainthood can lick my waxed twat. That’s for dykes who wear neon colors and clunky shoes. Listening to The Con, “Floorplan” shuffles on, I’m 4 songs deep, to blow my load she better chomp harder or wait till “Nineteen.” I think about Kelsey. What happened? The last time we had sex it was messy. She diarrhea-d cheese curds out of her vagina like the apocalypse was an impending doom, no way my mouth would chew those down. Like O, Like Hell no.

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FICTION

ROLL THE TIDE COLETTE LEVESQUE It’s hard to talk about that day – I remember it as a washed out dream that reoccurs on full moons and bad nights. Every night is a bad night. It started out like any other day. Woke up, felt nervous, had morning wood through my cotton briefs, but your bare back and long hair changed my heart. Every morning it changed my heart. Spring was about to bloom, winter had been hard – the cold hit through our layers of fleece and left our bones emotionless. I rolled over and my stomach hurt, I thought it was the sushi from the night before but I later learned that Mercury was in retrograde and that instincts can feel like your stomach is falling out your ass. I laid back down to feel your breathing, to touch the groves of your skin, and you murmured to me the same thing you said every morning, “make love to me that lasts.” The cold hurt my ego but you never stopped affirming love. If I could wake up from this nightmare and hear you whisper that to me once more, I would have never gotten out of bed. Had I known that those were the last moments of our existence in this time and space, I would have held you till the end. Now no matter how much I hold onto the thought of you, or try to forget you, it all still feels like the end without you. You rolled back over, the curls of your hair fell down the crevice your of back and I moved across the studio apartment to make tea and read the news. The light from the sky came through the window and calmly told me to get dressed and go to work. Even though I turned you down, as I left you gave me a smile and said, “Hey love, have a great day.” I haven’t had any good days since then, but that’s not your fault. I arrived at work, a web design company that now lies in rubbles on the corner of downtown. It was 7:30 am when the first wave hit. I was so oblivious to the changing tides that it didn’t faze me. At that moment, I didn’t know I was in a state of false life. My modern disconnected spiritual life, what I thought made me cool, was the thing that destroyed me. As I remember that morning, I lay alone in a dark room that is colder than outside. The floor has become my bed, I can’t sleep in ours, and the texture of my

skin has become clammy leather with an iridescent shallowness. The moisture in the air has left my skin wrinkly, rotted, and the floorboards tired. I am nothing without pretending to be something. I breathe in to feel, I lay quiet to feel, I need you to feel. I fucked things up, I could have been better. I had worn dark jeans, nice button-ups, and fancy framed glasses, but what I’m still learning is that none of it mattered. Since you sank, I haven’t worn a collered shirt, every one I owned you picked out. What I was searching for then, I am searching for now: wholeness. Admitting these faults feels like I’m sweating out secrets. What I thought I learned from 19th century philosophers and debates with coffee lovers was nothing that I couldn’t have learned from your paintings. I used your light to illuminate my darkness. I used your beauty to fuel my fire. I used you, to be me. The second wave came and I finally felt its energy. As it shook our over priced studio it tore down our life. My next move wasn’t to be the man I should have been, it wasn’t to call you, I went to the city cemetery and safely watched as you and the concrete structures were swallowed by the oceans deep. The foundation of our interior cracked and our exterior falsities collapsed into the sea depths. It was mid day by this point, you were on the ferry, I don’t mean to get angry, but what were you thinking? You were always connected to disaster, what happened this time? Before I fled to the highest spot, our favorite place, the cemetery, I was listening to The Awful Truth. Suddenly kinetic energy filled the air. I was stimulated by its waves and when I should have been saving you, when I should have been saving our world, I was masturbating under 4 inch by 4 inch ceiling tiles, with fluorescent track lighting, in the bathroom of my work. I shot my last wad into the black toilet and the dark water turned a creamy white. You used to tell me we would turn into something. As I lay indoors, looking at your untouched dusty possessions, your blank canvases haunt me. How do you accept that when the woman you loved was sinking to her grave, you were unconscious of her, you were beating your meat to the thought of bright futures. No more bright futures.

SHORT STORY false alarms since 1989

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POST LIFE JOSH LARSEN In a way, I’d always known I was there. But something was suddenly different. I felt I’d woken up somehow, been granted the privilege of motion, like a part of a mountain broken free in a massive eruption. But what the hell was there, and where was the mountain? I was on a wide plane, opaque and smooth, extending in every direction. Surrounding me were numerous objects – posts – protruding from the plane. I can’t explain why exactly, but they all felt familiar. They had the same blue-gray light emanating softly from them, some with odd angles here and there, some rounded and smooth. I went up to the nearest one, and without thinking laid my hands on it. Immediately I heard a voice — my own voice — telling a story, echoing in my head. “The Colorado summer was hot, and I could feel the strap of my BB gun slipping on my—” I let go of the post. It was the story of when my father and I had gone hunting... so many years ago. Were all the posts stories of mine? It would’ve explained the sense of familiarity, at least. Further off through the dim light I glimpsed movement. Slowly, cautiously, I moved toward it, trying to stay hidden behind the posts. When I could tell I was close to the source of the movement, I peered out from behind the post concealing me. A girl, maybe eighteen or nineteen years old, was holding her two small hands against one of my blue-gray posts. She saw me and jumped back, mouth open and brown eyes wide. “Christ,” she gasped. “Some of us still feel adrenaline, you know.” “Sorry, I just…” I didn’t know what to say. “I didn’t mean to sneak up you, I’m just a little…” “Sneak up on me?” She laughed. “As if. Dude, you don’t even have a goddamn face.” Before I could ask what she meant, she was yelling. “Billy! Hey Billy! Come over here, I think I found the Account for these posts.” The Account? “By the way,” she added in a normal voice to me, “are all your posts this same ‘poor-me’ shit? We were looking for a good tattoo blog, God only knows how we ended up here…” “Wait, I’m confused—what do you mean I don’t have a face?” I reached up and touched my chin. It felt normal. So did my forehead. Just then, a young man came up to us. He was tall, skinny, wearing all black, and had a streak of blue in his dark hair. “Billy,” the girl giggled, “tell him. Tell him how creepy he looks.” Billy stared at me for a while, eyes soaked in makeup, and then looked away. “You don’t have a face,” he sighed. “You’re an outline. A generic male contour.” He looked at the girl. “He must have never uploaded a profile picture, Kim.” “A profile picture?” I asked. “What do you mean? What the hell is going on here?” “Hell?” Kim laughed. “Oh darlin,’ where have you been? Hell doesn’t exist anymore. This is the Internet.” Billy and Kim told me the whole story, or at least what they knew about it. The place we used to live had suffered a huge catastrophe. “The old versions of us are dead, gone.” Kim told me. “This is all that’s left. We used to be people, but now we’re just numbers.” She shrugged again. “I think it���s better this way. We were never meant for that kind of depth.” “Depth?” I asked. “What depth are you talking about?” “I mean,” she said, exasperated, “ I mean we’re reduced now. Simplified.” She laughed again. “Whatever you were, whoever you were online, to whatever degree you made yourself a persona on the web, that’s all you are now. The users are all gone. Wiped out. But all the accounts still exist. And that’s us, darlin’.” I struggled to remember what I had been doing before waking up here. I felt like I’d already known what Kim was saying, but vaguely, like part of a dream. Suddenly I realized what I’d been doing before—I’d been writing. Kim was still talking, but I was off and running, touching every post I came across, searching. Here was a story about my grandmother dying, there was one about pissing myself in elementary school, another was about an ex-lover. Kim did have a point, these were all ‘poor-me shit.’ Finally I found it. I put both my hands on it and listened as my own voice, ethereal, told the last story I’d ever written. “It’s quiet now. I don’t even know why I’m doing this. None of the phones are working; they haven’t for the last 48 hours. Every so often the ground opens up and more of us die. I’m assuming my family is gone, and if they’re not, it seems unlikely I’ll see them before the ground disappears from beneath me, too. “A family of four and I were making our way through downtown to the police station when a rift in the street opened and took them down. I’d have gone down with them, but I hung back to pee behind a bush. It almost seems funny. I’m in the public library, for whatever reason, the computers are still working. I really don’t know why I’m doing this. I guess if anyone, my family, my friends, ever sees this, I just wanted to say—” My voice stopped. What a terrible ending. 14


how to

fore the end of the e b id wo a l rld t ge

words MICHAELA GIUNCHIGLIANI art ANNA CHELSKY Come December 2012, life as we know it will end. Many of you are compiling lists of things to take care of before this fateful date, starting with number one: get laid. Whether it’s that girl in your Anatomy class or the cutie you see daily at breakfast, we all have someone that we’re afraid to even talk to. So, make the end of times the best of times! This is your chance to finally score. Begin with an outfit. If you’re going to approach someone, a conversation starter is vital. Go with funny sweater, nice tuxedo, or a wetsuit! Keep in mind that the outfit should allow proper movement, as you may need to run and jump in the case of a zombie-style Apocalypse. Once you’re dressed, it’s time to survey your possible partners. It will be easier to find a satisfactory partner while the apocalypse is in its early stages - so don’t wait for the chaos to be less chaotic. It is important to get out there and start prowling, as this is most likely your last lay ever. Choose someone you would never imagine fornicating with! Now that you have a worthy partner’s attention, make your pitch. This can include a short speech about how the world is ending and that now is the time for you to celebrate, or how they look exceptionally beautiful in a time of chaos. Keep your speech short, as time is of the essence. Lastly, find a location. Comfort and safety are key, so opt for a sturdy surface behind a locking door. Now it is time to do the deed! Using protection is highly recommended, just in case the whole apocalypse thing is a load of bullshit.

and a lyrical analysis of R.E.M.’s

“It’s the End of the World as We Know it (And I Feel Fine)” words THOMAS EDMONDS In 1987, the song that had every 20-something slapping the steering wheel of their used Toyota was R.E.M.s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”. This frustratingly catchy, alternative jangle-pop anthem was probably played one billion more times than anyone could stand to listen to. It’s no wonder this shit made it all the way to number 69 on the billboard charts. It’s an uplifting white guy stream of consciousness jam about how crazy chill the end of the world is going to be. Early into the song you’re hit with some pretty clear indicators of how stoked R.E.M is for the end of time. “Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn/ World serves its own needs.” If you’ve never been in the eye of a hurricane, its literally the only part of the hurricane that’s not actually hurricaning. People who go to the eye of the hurricane witness nature’s destructive forces from afar and smoke weed. Listening to yourself is a reference to churning butter, and if you’ve ever listened to yourself churn butter it’s probably the most relaxing thing you could ever do; you get into a kind of oneness with Earth’s rhythm that makes you feel a peace I liken to low-level doses of opium. It’s a song that advocates taking every day off. The world gets along just fine without you. No one’s going to go to the police if you call in sick and watch Judge Mathis for hours on end, which is pretty much what people did once this song got big. “The other night I dreamt of knives/ Continental drift divide/ Mountains sit in a line.” Sure, dreaming of knives sounds scary. But that’s only when someone else is holding them. This is about taking the knife back and wielding it gracefully and mercifully in order to cut your own path to success. Continental drift is probably the only cool thing science has ever accomplished. It turned the continents into little puzzle pieces waiting to be reunited, so everyone can hold hands and share food. Everyone knows mountains sit in lines but did you know the lines are perfectly straight? For real, go look it up because it’s actually really eerie. The rest of the song is more of these nonsensical references to a bunch of things no one, including R.E.M., cares about. If you really want to know what this song means just read the 106 comments on the R.E.M. fan message board. false alarms since 1989

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false alarms since 1989

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art TAYLOR CLARKE clarkeart.tumblr.com


Lovin’ Lars

An honest afternoon with the Northwest’s favorite ranting radio man

words LUCY OHLSEN, JOSEPH DE SOSA, BENJAMIN FICKLIN art JULIAN EARNEST

T

here are things the Universe won’t miss if humanity ends. Constipation, famine, nuclear weaponry, moldy towels, politics. Or, at least certain ways that politics are discussed in our freedom lovin’ country. Lars Larson is a renowned conservative talk radio show host — the Rush Limbaugh of the West. He broadcasts 6 hours every weekday on 101.1 KXL, espousing a lot of stuff that sounds like the end of the world is upon us: Obama is cozying up with Ahmadenijad! We’re all going to be run over by legally stoned drivers! Barack’s secret brother George is controlling our country from Africa! All young girls need guns to scare off rapists! An afternoon with Lars sounded like a good idea. Maybe he’d have an interesting take on apocalyptic theories. Or maybe he’d say that Armageddon is already upon us! (Our interview occurred three days after Obama’s reelection). No matter what, we knew talking with Lars would be interesting — how often do you get a chance to talk to someone who is against everything that you think represents the hope and goodness in the world? Larson is a machine made for talking, and the reality of the machine set in when we arrived at a nondescript skyscraper in the middle of downtown Portland. We nervously discussed our strategy, as we took a fancy elevator up to his lair. “Floor Six.” Fuck. Our noses were runny and we nervously lapped up the free cucumber water after a young woman with black hair and too much makeup asked us to wait. But it wasn’t like the locked glass (probably bullet proof ) doors gave us a choice. The receptionist sent an email to see if Lars and his minions really did expect us. We sat

giddly, our insides writhing with built-up hate and tension from listening to Lars in the car. Discrete sideways glances exhibited the secretary’s disbelief that the three of us were there for Lars himself. What did we want with a maniac like him? Good question. Peter, Larson’s tubby producer who looked too Portland to agree with Lars, came to the glass gate and opened the door. “You here for Lars?” “Yes!” we said, in three way unison. We thought Lars would greet us in a room with a long desk, have us sit down, serve coffee, and ask the details about our formally scheduled 6 pm. interview. But no, we hit the ground with a revving Hummer engine. Peter led us to a door with a poster of Big Bird being served as Thanksgiving turkey. Behind it, standing like a king before a banquet in his honor, was Lars. He was stout with a wide, red-flushed face, clad in a pink button up shirt and bright blue jeans. A leather belt with a big bronze buckle secured a holstered pistol. But the king did not send us straight to the firing squad. He took a moment to sincerely shake our hands before returning to his listeners after a short commercial break. We sat across from him as he reigned over the airwaves — a fancy broadcast microphone, four computer monitors, two TVs broadcasting Fox and CNN, and an iPhone all within his reach.

trying to say, he goes live and we shut up. He rants, takes on-air calls, and at one point his iPhone vibrates. He mutes his live mic momentarily, says “Hold on Cutie” into the phone and then resumes his broadcast. He talks and preaches and lectures and goes and goes and goes, faster and harder than a Paul Ryan P90X workout. He hurries to the commercial break so he can chat with his wife, hangs up, and finally looks back at us and resumes our previously interrupted discussion. After an hour of half interviewing and half watching his national rant, we excuse ourselves to recoup before our one-on-three interview. While Lars may be able to sustain such energetic multitasking, our feeble liberal minds could not. We fled for lunch, and Lars continued talking — undermining the intelligence of his callers, and loving it all. We conducted our “interview” in a clean room full of outdated sports paraphernalia. Lars nursed his coffee cup emblazoned with the Starbucks logo and clever “Guns and Coffee” inscription. It was dark outside, and normal people were going home from work. We settled into our chairs, expecting a 30-minute discussion. Three and half hours later, we slumped on the walls, dizzily giggling from mental exhaustion and panging hunger. We were determined to stay in the room for as long as Lars would; a difficult feat, considering he once made Portland Mayor Sam Adams so mad he walked out, mid-interview. Lars Larson’s skills as an orator and debater are undeniable. He swiftly and smoothly delegitimizes, at least in his own mind, any viewpoint or tidbit that contradicts his worldview. He does so by simplifying everything into a seemingly applicable metaphor. Al Jazeera, for example, one of the more respected and less partisan news sources according to most people who read news, is the “mouthpiece of Al Qaeda.” Lars justifies

Yes, he is a real human being. In fact, he’s disarmingly nice.

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“Don’t I have a great view?” he asks. We nod, too early to disagree. “Almost all those buildings are government buildings,” he says, eyebrows raised. “Isn’t it funny how all the nicest, prettiest buildings are government buildings?” Without giving us time to digest what he’s


“Why do you need to write?”

“Why do I need a gun?”

this “fact” by asking, “If there were an excellent news organization here that was an outgrowth of the Klan, would you watch them?” Instead of thinking about the nuances and complexities that come with a topic like that, being faced with that question, your first instinct is to disassociate yourself from the Klan, and say no. Larson follows up with, “But you’ll watch Al Jazeera because they are an ‘excellent news source’ — even though they associate with terrorists.” The crux of Lars’ worldview is “the difference between liberals and conservatives is that liberals feel, and conservatives think.” He always accentuates this point by pointing to his heart and his head, smirking all the time. Everything from a college education to solving America’s illegal immigration problem, to him, should involve a well-thought-out, economically efficient business plan. Lars’ power comes his portrayal of the world in a series of good and bad. Views and opinions about issues are not things you use to solve problems and propose policies. They are things that either win, or lose. Before we came up with the brilliant idea of

right means to where our president was born? Lars provided a simple and astounding example. Yes, he is a real human being. In fact, he’s disarmingly nice. It would probably be fun to join him for a few beers. He even encouraged Lucy to return to his studio for “Packing Pretty” – a conference for women about how to carry a concealed weapon for personal protection.. Lars posed for photos with us. He took three hours to talk to us, after he had been working from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Lars could be our friend — ­ except for the teensy problem that he was adamantly opposed to anything we said with any grain of opinion. In response to every question, Lars would lurch into a rehearsed spiel of conservative talking points, circular and never-ending arguments, and our personal favorite, the “straw man” method of persuasion2. Lucy tried to be clever when asking, “Lars, it made me very uncomfortable when I walked

visiting Lars, we were listening and reading all the respected news sources in our “liberal bastion of a university.” NPR, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour. But after researching Lars and his comrades, we started to pay attention to what’s being said at the opposite end of the spectrum. What are those crazy goons at Fox actually saying? Did Glenn Beck really just publish a fictional novel about the end of the world, where UN troops rule the globe?1 When listening to Lars and his cohorts, it was hard not to kick-in the TV or take a bat to the radio. The fact that we found so little to agree with left us yearning for some sort of confirmation from “the other side.” Are these people real human beings? Do they actually believe these things? How can we live in the same country, under the same institutions, celebrate the same holidays (or at least enjoy the same general breaks from work and According to Lars, this is where you win school), and yet completely disagree about 2 everything from what the first amendment an argument by setting up an argument about some1

Yes.

thing that nobody actually disagrees with and knocking it down and saying ‘see I defeated the argument’.

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liberal who has heard him on air.

in and saw your gun. Why do you need to carry it with you to work?” “Why do I need a gun?” he replied, without wasting a second. “Why do you need to write?” Lars legitimized his right to carry a weapon by comparing it to our right to free speech. They are both in the constitution. In the end, we hardly made any headway in reaching consensus in even the shallowest topics. And if this is what reaching across the aisle feels like, we don’t blame our politicians for not being more excited about doing it. It’s clear that Lars lives in his own little world, where he is allowed to construct facts and theories and conspiracies to fit his evergrowing base of one-sided knowledge. He has an encyclopedic mind full of arguments, mostly based off of the free market, the evil of excessive government, and constitutional freedoms. Clearly, Lars is just as convinced that we exist in an inherently biased worldview. Accademia is regulated by liberal thinkers, our compassion overrides our reason, and we believe in a lot that is both factually wrong and exceedingly stupid. Lars sees us the same way we see Lars. But even though nobody’s mind was changed and not one argument was “won,” we did get to know Lars a little bit. His wife “Cutie” obviously cares about him, and we too found a little love for him – as sickening as that feeling might sound to any left-leaning

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Lars has diabetes, so it’s a rare night that he goes through a fast food drive-thru nowadays. He shops at Walmart, does his own laundry, plays blackjack occasionally and enjoys a nice bourbon with his friends. He wasn’t very popular in college, even though he tried marijuana — not once, but twice. He dropped out of the UO because his radio career was flourishing.

real issues are great, but is that possible when Lars lives so much of his life alone in a conservative loop, where discussion becomes a game? When we’d been talking about guns for what seemed like days, it was time to change the subject. Frustrated with the unchanged, unreigned banter, Lucy sighed “It’s obvious we’re never going to come to terms on this, so lets just move on to something else.”

Lars adores his job. He loves debating with people, in what he wants to call an exchange of ideas. In fact, he says he encourages his listeners to go to other sources for news, as well as his own show. “I like what I do, so I do it for a reason,” he said. “I think it serves a community purpose, because it takes ideas and it takes information and puts it in front of people in a dynamic way. I’m not hyping things up, I talk about things that interest me that are subject to debate.”

“That’s what all the liberals say when they’re losing!” Lars quipped.

In an idyllic world, we’d listen to Lars. We’d call him out when he makes blatantly wrong and obscure points, and he’d call us out when we’re thinking too much with our hearts, instead of our brains. After spending an afternoon with him, we can’t say we want him off the face of planet Earth. But interacting with his constructed on-air and off-air persona isn’t much fun for anyone. Lars is the barrier that threatens to divide our society – a manufactured wall where class, race, immigration status, and armed weapons rights are just things to frame an “ideological” argument around. Intellectual debates about

us a safe trip home, and our day ended with yet another round of firm handshakes. We left with rattled moralities, shaky waky tumbly wumblies, and eyes dry from hours of bugging. But what really got us, and what leaves us with some hope for a non-apocalyptic future was how much of a real person Lars is. How could a crazy guy that all liberal lefties are supposed to hate, be so nice? O V

The thing is, a lot of the things Lars likes to argue about are not games, and they are not situations where there are clear rights and wrongs. These issues need debate, but not the kind of knock-down-the-other-side debating that permeates political talk radio. Lars took the elevator down with us after we were finished interviewing him. He wished


Katey Finley, Colette Levesque & Benjamin M. Ficklin combined forces on a photography endeavour. Each one of the three shot a roll of film, rewound the roll, and then gave the roll to one of the other photographers. Following are the horribly beautiful results.

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FINLEY/FICKLIN


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FICKLIN/LEVESQUE

LEVESQUE/FICKLIN


diaries from a confessional words DEREK CHESNUT With the impending doomsday coming ever closer, I recently began to feel an increasing pressure as I crossed out the days on my calendar. The end of the world will undoubtedly occur on December 21st 2012, it’s just not clear as to how. I’m hoping for a nuclear catastrophe because I’ve been stocking up on Campbell’s Chicken Noodle coupons for a while now, and I don’t want it all to be for nothing. A zombie apocalypse would get rid of the whole waiting underground for years factor. But all zombie movies recommend moving to higher, colder elevation to escape the virus, and my lips chap in sub-zero. The worst would be an environmental cataclysm. I’d inevitably be stuck on a raft next to a bunch of Green Peace wanna-be’s sneering, “I told you so,” while waiting for FEMA helicopters. The other serious possibility for the end times is the Rapture. So although I’ve never been a supporter of organized religion, I thought it would be better to play it safe. I put on my Sunday best, parted my hair, and headed over to Eugene’s premiere Catholic Church to confess my darkest sins. Some of my worst sins include: 1. I check out library books with no intention of returning them. 2. At pools they tell me to shower before swimming, but I never do.

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3. A few weekends ago, I vomited in some man’s mailbox. I wasn’t even intoxicated or anything, I just… I just did it. 4. One time I masturbated on a paddle-board. 5. I fed a chicken, chicken; then watched it kill itself. 6.I took a tab of acid at a party, and went home with a tiny Asian girl. I don’t remember what happened after that but I woke up in a stranger’s kitchen. 7. I put peanut butter on my dong and had my neighbor’s dog lick it off. 8. I made fun of these kids at the airport one time, and they turned out to be in the “Make a Wish foundation.” The priest didn’t know what to do, he was at a loss for words. The only thing he could muster the courage to say was, “You have been forgiven,” and boom, just like that all my wrongdoings, everything that had been eating at me over the years, were washed away. Call me what you want, judge me even for the horrible things I’ve done. I don’t care. Because if the Rapture does come I’ll be chilling in cloud city poppin’ bottles of Hennessey with Jesus, Tupak, Amelia Earheart, David Carridine, and a bunch of other dope dead celebrities, straight coasting on my all white angel wings.

comic JOSH LARSEN


recipe ARIEL WILLS false alarms since 1989

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why you playin’ h oney, ard m F to T get W . WTF Florida f l e s y ?W , yo tm i o ing, us TF A d h t y r n e h u v t e omatic a ou Ic ld kers, I’m trying to ta a e p h s ke ave ht an ary just ca Knig F T l l W il br e . t d M i a h en, wh ap Ba !W y do W TF ? py t s n TF R o hap l ’ t u u o y o y mney, were ou yo ? com bum e ou l a s t with a Christma Black Friday

NORESPECT RESPECT NO

Puddles terrorized a duck

The Fiscal Cliff isn’t a real place

Rumor that one sorority requires girls to use minimum of 2 hot products in their hair

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No Shave November

Spin

E RREE SS PP E GameDay returns to campus

Decorative nutcrackers

Pumpkin Pie spice is really just a bunch of spices put together


THAT CAMPUS HOTTIE FULL NAME: Joseph Hill AGE: 19 years old MAJOR: Public Relations FAVORITE MOVIE: Star Wars episodes 1,2,3,4,5,6 and potentially 7,8,9 FAVORITE BREAKFAST FOOD: Peanut butter Sandwich straight up TURN OFFS: Superficial, stuck up TURN ONS: Personality, eyes, smile, active WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU’D MOST LIKE TO CHANGE ABOUT THE WORLD: Get people to take more responsibility for the decisions they make and the actions that follow. Honesty and accountability comes from within. WHAT SONG MAKES YOU CRY: Just to keep you satisfied by Marvin Gaye JUSTICE OR FORGIVENESS: Forgiveness because it’s a virtue that takes more strength to practice

The Twinkie refuses to die

Joseph Hill possesses a spirit of masculinity that doesn’t exist anymore. In a time where the measure of someone’s manhood is quantified by bench pressing this amount or owning Nikes worth that amount, instead of the respect you have for yourself and for those around you, Mr. Hill distinguishes himself from you or me by balancing a conscientiousness to accept the world as it is with a drive to make it a better place. Honestly I had forgotten what authentic courtesy looked like on a man until I met Joseph. Though I think it would only trivialize Joseph’s unique sense of self to compare it to that of Hemmingway or Gandhi I don’t think it would be completely fanciful to do so. That being said, He’s also a really really handsome guy with a great fashion sense – and he’s single, too.

Weed is legal in 2 states!

nes

The Emerald runs a story about how grilled cheese and soup taste great together. Romney is not our president

We lost a game?

The guy who buys a second 24-rack as Chris Christie’s fleece everyone leaves the party

MAD MADRESPECT RESPECT

C C TT RR UUMM Thoughtful overcasts

words THOMAS EDMONDS

Big nipples, armpit hair

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REVIEWS AMY GOODMAN words ANNA FAY Seeing Amy Goodman in real life is like an unexpected trip through an old forest: breathtaking and pleasant. I scribbled notes, occasionally nodding my head in agreement as she rambled on the latest geopolitical drama, human rights abuses, military crackdowns, and all that shit that isn’t in the mainstream press. I attended Goodman’s stop in Bend on her 100-city “Silenced Majority” speaking tour. Amy Goodman is a host of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program. They’ve been broadcasting their progressive talk with anti-corporate-sponsorship flair since 1996, everywhere from NPR to DIRECTV. On her tour, Goodman spoke about pressing issues: Wikileaks and the Bradley Manning case, the corrupted political system in America (as well as others around the globe), and her theory that society and the media are controlled by a handful of multinational corporations and billionaires. The life of independent media and the protection of human rights are of

$TINKY’S COURT

A PLACE FOR FRIENDS

words THOMAS EDMONDS art SAUMON GHAEMI

utmost importance to Goodman. For a democracy to properly function, she says people need easy access to independent, diverse sources of news and information. On Democracy Now! this year, Goodman applauded the “other” third party candidates for running for the president. She accused the mainstream press of silencing them, and hosted a debate for them on her show. At her talk, she lauded Democracy Now! as a key player in getting the platforms of these candidates into the public sphere. As an adoring audience member, I glowed with the thought of being in front of such a badass, true, honest journalist. Democracy Now! is five star programming for post-apocalyptic progressive millennialists. ie: acknowledging that the world is fucked up, but that there is hope if we work together to do something about it. Goodman is more than a poster-child for the movement, she embodies it - through and through. Rated: Weekly discussion questions on blackboard out of stoned GTFs

You don’t have to wait for December 21st to experience the end of the world. All you have to do is walk over to Washington Jefferson Park on Second Avenue. The park itself looks like a scene out of a Mad Max film – there’s always a garbage can full burning trash and wild packs of Australian cattle dogs and various booby-traps to catch the feral children that roam in droves around the playground. Though most parks are public property, Jefferson Washington basketball court isn’t. It belongs to $tinky and if you have trouble remembering, just look at the many written declarations of ownership (most commonly “$tinkys Court”) that are scribbled upon the court.

cheap. Rule number two of $tinky’s court is no two point shots. Why? Because the basketball rims are built like a maximum security prison so that not even a baseball could get in. It doesn’t really matter because $tinky’s court isn’t even really about basketball. What’s it about? The never-ending grind that is life, plain and simple.

Rule number one of $tinky’s court is no three point shots. Why? Because $tinky erased them and why not? Three point shots are pretty

$tinky’s isn’t just for recreational drug users. It’s for lovers, young and old. Once I saw a man and a woman join their sleeping bags together and begin to make love right there in front of everybody. Not in an awkward one too many beers at the bar kind of a way, but in a new-age “we’re all humans so let’s not be ashamed” orgy type of way. Obviously this kind of culture

Are you looking for crank or PCP? Go to $tinky’s. Are you trying to hang out with people that do crank or PCP? Go to $tinky’s. Coming down really hard off of crank or PCP and just need a place to unroll your sleeping bag and wait for the walls to stop closing in.? $tinky’s, bruuhh.

attracts a police presence. An officer Doe said that $tinky’s is a kind of haven for users, pushers, the mentally estranged, and the down-trodden. Out of luck, they’re all brought together by the basest human instincts: warmth and companionship. Of course amidst all this culture there is a power structure; O.G.’s hang by the north side of the court by the merry go round, the newcomers are limited to the South Side of the court. You might think such power dynamics and drug use would inevitably lead to violence, but I’ve only seen them lead to a really good time. I always go alone to $tinky’s, court but I never play alone. That’s because the people of $tinky’s court don’t want you to be alone, they want you to have fun. Still, I can’t help but wonder where $tinky is? Maybe some leather chair on Wall Street, the deep jungles of Africa, or anonymously wandering amongst the crowds of his own court. I can’t help but think where ever $tinky is he is smiling. Who knew the end of the world could be so fun? Rated: 2 iPod shuffles out of One Love. 28


LANE COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM words ALYSSA PERSONS The Lane County Historical Museum, located in an unassuming building nestled between two empty parking lots in the sprawling Lane County Fair Complex isn’t so much like stepping back in time or reliving the past or really experiencing life as it were in our little corner of the Pacific Northwest hundreds of years ago—but it does have a bitchin’ gift shop. There’s little rhyme or reason to the order of displays or exhibitions and I could detect little thematic or chronological organization past the ambiguous promise of Lane County’s ‘history’. The museum is heavy on covered wagons, logging tools, and weird factoids about once important local dynasties. Despite the fact that there are plenty of actual historical objects—cups and bowls and tools brought here on the Oregon trail, loggers’ boots and saws and stuff like that—there is an overwhelming sense of fabrication and speculation. One display included not only recorded birdsong playing on loop but a lovely little alcove outfitted with fake leaves, fake grass, and a bench covered in what appeared to be artificial moss. The only thing that broke the illusion of this idyllic, pensive spot was the audible phone interview the museum director was holding in his office directly behind it. You can play dress up in time-period-non-specific garb (tulle covered bonnets, cowboy boots, parasols), see a very thorough display of the sea lion caves (featuring souvenirs from past and present!) and even take a look at what a Victorian parlor may have looked like back in the day. None of these things really give an idea of what Eugene or even Lane County was really like but something tells me people aren’t coming here for hard hitting historical information. Something’s also telling me that people aren’t coming here at all, as I was the only person there besides staff and volunteers.

The museum is decidedly less fun than, say, OMSI or a children’s museum or, like, playing Oregon Trail but it remains slightly charming in its almost random depiction of the greater Lane County area. Highlights include a rusty water pump you’re allowed to touch (one of the few objects awarded that distinction) and a circa 1890 hearse that is supposedly one of “the finest examples of the hearse designer’s artistry”. If you cannot think of anything else to spend five dollars on and you’re near the fairgrounds, the Lane County Historical Museum is probably your best option. Rated: 3 broken covered wagons out of attempting to ford the river.

SEASONAL CLIF BARS words LUCY OHLSEN

Nothing puts me in the seasonal mood quite like the seasonal versions of things that I otherwise eat and use with no extra thought. Lattes get a fake-pumpkin induced flair, cookies get cut into mitten shapes, soap smells like peppermint and sweaters are covered in Santas and snowflakes. Trader Joe’s displays boxes of pumpkin-flavored pancake mix and pumpkin Greek yogurt like the world may yet end in a hopeful holiday daze. That warm and cozy feeling I long for in the dreary days of November is too easy to conjure up. It requires nothing more than a doodle of a candy cane, a button-nosed teddy bear with a Santa hat, or just a whiff of warm cinnamon to get me excited. Now that Halloween is over, Clif has yet again entered the annual holiday marketing arena. I can’t help but be rosy cheeked at the sight of the cute white packaging accented by candy canes and icicles, standing out among a series of boring brown packaging. Despite educational consumer experiences from previous years, I merrily purchased all 3 seasonal flavors. Clif bars always taste pretty decent, even though they look suspiciously the same going into your mouth as they do coming out your other end. This year I’m blaming it on Clif that I’ve morphed back in to my humbuggy self. That brief jitter of joy from the pumpkin Greek yogurt debut vanished as soon as I bit into flavor number one: Spiced Pumpkin Pie. It decreased precipitously upon consumption of flavor number two: Peppermint Stick. Iced Gingerbread was a slight comeback, but I’m still upset that I bought seasonal flavored things instead of just buying the things themselves.

Spiced Pumpkin Pie tastes like a pumpkin pie scented candle. The texture scrubs against your teeth like you are eating soggy toothpicks. Bits of shredded something linger in your mouth, giving off their overpowering eau de nutmeg even after you’ve swallowed. To top of the incredible assault on any justifiable reconstruction of pumpkin pie in bar form, they put raisins in it! I ate the whole bar because Clif bars cost like $1.29, and my mouth tasted like scented soap for the rest of the afternoon. Peppermint Stick tastes like Aquafresh toothpaste, and is accented by waxy bits of extra minty flavor. It is backed up by Clif’s standard oaty blend, but eating a predominantly white Clif bar is way too much like eating something covered in goose poop. Iced Gingerbread at least has the right spice components and features some big pieces of nuts that provide an exciting, unexpected crunch every few bites. I tried to separate the “iced” part from the gingerbread, but I concluded it was just some white drizzle of nothing. Once again, Clif bar’s foray in seasonal marketing was a big disappointment. The only reason I really care is that a few years ago, they made one flavor that was the best energy bar I’ve ever eaten: Cranberry Orange. Something’s up with the average active-American tastebud, because that’s the only one they haven’t re-issued. Thanks, Clif, for hyping me up again. But when you get down to it, flavored things will never be as good as the things themselves. And if you’re going for a Clif bar (I assume all bar users look similar to the figure on the package), chances are your waistline can stand some real pie instead. false alarms since 1989 29 Rated: Forever 21 out of actually being 21 forever


REVIEWS Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros encapsulate now with Here.

words NOAH DEWITT

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, the band that orbits around L.A. songwriter Alexander Ebert, bear the stamp of “hippie.” This certainly isn’t a surprise (...hairy frontman, dance moves like no one’s looking, song titles in Sanskrit...), but it is a bummer. We equate the “hippie” category with the 1960s counterculture, with our parents’ failed revolution, with nostalgia for an era that isn’t now. Groundless slander! When I listen to their new album, Here, the follow-up to their 2009 debut Up From Below, I hear our generation—the plugged-in youths of the information age—perfectly crystallized in lyric and song. I hear our freedom from the old social boundaries, our pining for spiritual fulfillment, and most importantly, the Revolution of Consciousness that waits on our horizon. With Here, Ebert and co. give us what we need (a medicine of New Age ideas) disguised in the sweet syrup of what we want (contagiously catchy folk hymnals for chillers). The album dawns with “Man on Fire,” sung from the perspective of a wandering guitar-wielding flame-engulfed troubadour. Musically, lyrically, the song is like a sunrise. First, a soft citrusy glow: calloused fingers flirting with steel strings, a masculine hum. Then, Ebert’s gentle tenor pokes over the horizon: “I’m a man on fire walking through your streets...” The melodrama with which he sang on the first album is gone. Emotion still comes through in the subtle quavers, the inhales and drop-offs, but it’s effortless now, not over-the-top. “Come dance with me,” he croons, “over murder and pain. Come set you free, over heartache and shame. I wanna see your bodies burning like Old Big Sun...” This “man on fire”—most likely, a euphemism for the pancultural Sun God—is here to free us from our human limitations through dance, through the intuited movements of our bodies to his fiery music. Next, Ebert’s accompanists (all nine of them) build up over some ba-da-das, and the listener basks in a radiant, gospelly chorus with euphoric horns and the tinkle of mandolin. As the song waxes to its climax, in comes the chug of didgeridoo—a token of hippie-dom (like the ROYGBIV spectra decorating the CD’s cardboard case) that the band brazenly embraces, a “whatever, man” to their hippie-phobic detractors. From there, the album becomes its true self—a comfort-food gospel of eros1 and agape2, a jam session de la religious impulse, a real-life catalyst for the realization of our human potential! Song number two is “That’s What’s Up,” in which creamy-voiced dream-mom Jade Castrinos makes a vocal offering to friendship. In the chorus, atop a full-band groove with buoyant electric keyboard, she sing-shouts, “Forever, hey hey love, We been best friends forever, darlin’, that’s what’s up!” What simple, true words. BFFs are what’s up. Compared to Up From Below, the lyricism on Here is way more real—none of that haughty gypsy poesy, just the relaxed vernacular, slang and all, of real people who poop. And in a way, slang is the poop of language; it’s regarded by high society as foul, unbefitting, worthless. But Nature knows that doodie is an indispensable biological nutrient, the stanky brown fodder for clean green life. Sharpe and the Zeros recognize the worth of slang as the fuzzy frontier of language, where previously inexpressible thoughts, feelings, nuances of meaning find entry into flesh—into our organs of reading and writing, speaking and listening. Which is what’s up! The next song, “I Don’t Wanna Pray,” is religious—in a chill sense of the word. It starts with Ebert in the fore, backed faintly by everyone else, singing acapella, “I love my god, God made love,” and repeating with variation, “... God made hate... God made good... God made bad... God made me.” Then, a bluegrass explosion: strumming of banjo and 30

1 2

Romantic love. Unconditional love for fellow humans, nature, the universe!

A routine album review that escaped its ball and chain and took off for the territory ahead.1 1 Shout out to Edward Abbey’s One Life at a Time Please.

ukulele, pittering percussion on a guitar case, and a washtub-inspired bass line. Jade and Alexander, the parents of this would-be family jug band, alternate with springy, soulful verses about what religion’s all about. Not any organized religion, but true religion, the kind you invent for yourself, based on your own experiences of the Numinous, composed of your own values, practices, ideas. “Pardon God and mom,” they sing together, “what I’m sayin’ isn’t rare, see I’m looking to become not the prayer (person) but the prayer (act).” This is the archetypal spiritual journey of our generation—from the one-size-fits-all faiths of our families to the cold concreteness of atheist materialism, and ultimately, after run-ins with the Unnamable (via psychedelics or quantum physics or near-death, whatever), re-emerging into a whatever-feels-right-toyou religiosity. Vocally, Alexander wore the pants in “Man on Fire”; Jade wore them in “That’s What’s Up”; they shared the pants in “I Don’t Wanna Pray”; in track four, “Mayla,” no one’s wearing pants at all. Instead, it’s a leaderless swaying campfire choir, a harmonious orgy of voice, singing in oneness to Mayla. I gather from the lyrics that Mayla is a Goddess with eyes mind-blowingly beautiful. The name yields nothing on Google, so the band isn’t appropriating this deity from any cultural tradition. They’re making Her up, singing Her into being. “Mayla, we’re trying,” they assure Her. “Our hands are bleeding through, We’re building us the new horizon... And all I have to do to rise is look into your eyes.” This “new horizon” is the crux of Here’s message. Sharpe and co. are saying (and I’m agreeing) that history cannot go on forever. Eventually, historical time must give way to a new kind of existence. I didn’t stutter. Something unthinkable is going to blink into being, folks! Events like this have happened before (e.g., the Big Bang, the advent of the organism, the first-ever flower). Change is the universe’s way. And there’s good cause to think that this transcendental object at the end of time is just around the bend. Not convinced? Then consider the fact that we don’t have a future on this planet! We have precluded history’s continuation by destabilizing climate, by disrupting the natural cycles we depend on for life. We can either descend into a hellish, egoic, chaotic die-off, or we can blast off into the eternal hyperspace of our own imaginations, into the shared waking-dream of the collective consciousness! Like any brain-using member of our generation, Alexander Ebert recognizes that our species is at odds with our planet. “The world was good and heavy on our shoulders as a child, ‘fore we let it all go to waste,” he sings serenely on track five, “Dear Believer.” Then, with the aid of Jade, over resounding layers of instrument, he concludes in the chorus, “Reaching for Heaven is what I’m on Earth to do.” This album is a trojan horse sent into pop music, a sly attempt to incept3 our generation with important New Age notions, a ploy to wake us up to our planetary purpose. The Earth isn’t dying. The Earth is birthing. History is her birth canal; the extinctions and turmoil and superstorms her labor pains. The fetus in this metaphor—humanity!—is crowning; on the cusp of becoming More-Than-Humanity. And we Internet Children are charged with the midwife’s duty—to ease Mother Earth’s pain and see her progeny safely into existence. To dismiss Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros as a bunch of ‘60s revivalists is crass. If anything, Here proves their presentness, their total absorption in the here-and-now. They recorded another album at the same time as Here, one that’s “wilder and more psychedelic,”4 scheduled to come out early 2013. I’ll bet you a quartz crystal they title it Now. 3 incept (verb): to plant an idea in someone elses mind 4 Interview by David Marchese for Spin, May 15, 2012. http://www. spin.com/articles/edward-sharpes-alex-ebert-were-not-60s-ride-disneyland


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