Carlos Soto Román
looks accurate to me
I wave to pill shower
rom my 2017 diary
Tuesday, August 15
Upon entry into Athens child next to me vomited all over himself.
Vast bright blue skies. The bumpy ride carried us over the sparse, brown mountains outside the city.
Arrived OK, but mostly slept the day away. Around three, I managed to find lunch near Monastiraki Station. I had hoped for Nikitas, but it’s closed for the month, so I settled on the touristy restaurant next door, the name of which I’ve already forgotten.
The host, Bill, liked me because I told him I’m from New York – his favorite city. His ex-wife lives there now and owns Greek restaurants in Manhattan. His English was very bad—he kept confusingly referring to her as his ex-husband. His strongest association with New York besides his ex-wife is September 11. Badly jetlagged, the possibility of discussing terrorism with him seemed too awful to stomach, but he pressed on, even as I tried to make clear my discomfort to him. He hates Muslims, he told me, and thinks they are the most violent people on the planet. I shook my head and said that’s not true, but he wouldn’t hear any of it.
Americans are too tolerant of Muslims, he argued. “You like them too much,” he said. My jaw hung open. This guy sells food? He could not abide by their presence in his country. Just down the street they are building a mosque that he fears will spawn terrorism in Greece. That won’t happen, I assured him.
I should have been more forceful but was afraid to allow myself to become visibly angry, since I feared it might break a dam within me. My modest disapproval of his racism and bigotry, while not quite at Trump’s level of “two sides,” didn’t go far enough, I knew that. I felt like the Conrad’s Razumov, somehow incapable of claiming a political identity despite the absolute necessity of doing so. I am being harsh on myself: I have an identity, though I failed a test of its character with Bill. (Or we were both Razumov, with him in a confused thrall with the autocratic violence of anti-Muslim attitudes in western Europe and me battered about in history’s tidal waves.) I had none gone far enough: I should have stood up and left. Is weakness of heart, even the jetlagged heart, worse than bigotry itself? Probably.
I returned to my room and slept the rest of the day away, then woke for dinner at Café del Sole.
“He ceased to think for a moment. The silence in his breast was complete. But he felt a suspicious uneasiness, such as we may experience when we enter an unlighted strange place—the irrational feeling that something may jump us in the dark—the absurd dread of the unseen.
Of course he was from being a moss-grown reactionary. Everything was not for the best. Despotic bureaucracy … abuses … corruption … and so on. Capable men were wanted. Enlightened intelligences. Devoted hearts. But absolute power should be preserved—the tool ready for man—for the great autocrat of the future. Razumov believed in him. The logic of history made him unavoidable. The state of the people demanded him.”
—Conrad, Under Western Eyes
Much of the news in the United States concerned another Trump press conference on Charlottesville, this time at Trump Tower in New York. He recanted his second statement—the one in which he acknowledged that racism and white supremacy are evil—and returned to his belief that there was evil on both sides. He said he was praised by the mother of Heather Hayer, who was killed by the Nazi in the Dodge Cruiser, that her words were “terrific,” and defended the alt-right by saying that they aren’t all racists and white supremacists and Nazis. It was a shouting match that ended with the line, “Does anybody know that I have a house in Charlottesville?”
This one goes out to you, Brandon.
I find it hard to believe that Bieber was as reactionary in the autumn of 1953 as his ”Mona Lisa” suggests — but then I wasn’t there. Neither were the painters of the portrait, who reportedly based the image on Mona Lisa’s experience with Hillary Clinton at Wellesley in the early 1960s. What the painting lack in historical accuracy, it makes up for in its prescience. The image shows a young punk ass Bieber at the point of his total eclipse of Mona Lisa, who became famous for her teaching that, above all, a woman’s duty is to stand behind her man, and to replace her own face with his, which Bieber says was a trademark move she learned from Clinton, plus a good deal more. No doubt Mona Lisa had a teacher who inspired her to trade in the bohemian freedom of Berkeley for a crack at being one of Wellesley’s future corporate wives, so that she could become what she was meant to be all along, having been trained as a female: Mona Lisa Bieber.
7 Investments that sound crazy now, but will make you RICH & FAMOUS in 2084:
1. Buy land in West Virginia. Ever wish you had bought a building in New York City back in the 70s when everything was cheap? You’d be rich by now if you did, right? Well, stop regretting the past and look toward the future! In 2084, the mountains of West Virginia will be beachfront property. Invest now! Have somewhere to escape to when the floods come! Charge people tons of money to occupy your new beach front! You will become so powerful that you will probably end up being President! Real Estate is POWER!
2. Buy Solar Panels for your future home in West Virginia. There will be no more petroleum oil left on earth by 2084, and, ironically enough, oil plays an important part in the manufacture of solar panels. So, in 2084 the manufacture of solar panels will already have been a thing of the long-ago-past. BUY NOW, because in 2084 the only source of power will be the SUN! Now people will flock to you not only for the safety of your coastal property, but because you are the only person with access to electricity. Talk about POWER!
3. Build a silo on your West Virginia property and fill it with sunscreen (but never tell anyone what’s in there cuz they’re all gonna want some). By 2084 another “thing of the past” will be the ozone layer. You think you get sunburn now? Heh, that’s gonna be nothing in 2084! Be sure you and your descendants have enough sunscreen to survive the future, cuz it’s gonna be a Disco Inferno at your place in West Virginia! And, believe it or not, petroleum oil ALSO plays an important part in the creation of sunscreen! So, your stockpile silo of sunscreen is gonna be TIGHT! Your ability to stand in the sun and only get mildly burned will be seen as MAGIC! (See Logan’s Run for evidence.)
4. Another Silo / Vat: Insect repellant. Nope, not for mosquitoes! There will be no water, so all the mosquitoes will die. However, roaches are known to grow larger and larger the more desert-like a climate becomes, so by 2084, there’s a damn good chance the DINOSAURS will return, but this time they’ll be in the shape of roaches! You will not be able to fight them off with a pocket-sized can of “Off,” you will also need enough SOAKERS (machine-gun-sized water pistols) for your whole family, in the likely event of invasion.
5. Buy Several of the “Pee Totaler,” a urine-to-water converter. With no more naturally occurring water, and machine manufacture brought to a halt by Peak Oil, stock up on a few Pee Totalers now while you can! Not only will this ensure you have drinking water, but you can also charge your citizens for use of your Pee Totaler, their drinking water, and you will be in a position to pick and choose who gets water and who doesn’t! You will RULE in 2084!
6. Begin farming small insects. Crickets are extremely high in calcium. Caterpillars are a fantastic source of iron, thiamin, and riboflavin. In 2010 the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said that humans should start farming and consuming insects to stave off the hunger when changes to the environment make meat production impossible. By 2084, you and yours will be eating insects daily, so start farming now!
7. Begin Cognitive Therapy with the sole focus of getting over your Ick Factor. What is the “ick factor”? It’s something to GET OVER if you want to survive in 2084! University of Pennsylvania professor Paul Rozin (nicknamed the King of Disgust) has been examining this issue for decades. In a 1986 study, he asked students to drink a cup of juice and rate it. Once that was done he put a cockroach into a cup of the same juice, stirred it around a bit before removing it, and asked them to drink. The bug was dead, and he assured them that it had been sterilized. But not surprisingly, almost no one wanted a sip. In their mind, the cup was contaminated. So Rozin took a brand-new, clean cup and poured fresh, uncontaminated juice into it. This last cup of juice scored lower ratings. The repulsion was so intense that it tainted unrelated objects. So as you can see, the Ick Factor is irrational! Below is a video with Rozin testing ordinary citizens’ ICK reactions to recycled urine water, where he recommends beginning to break down your Ick Factor NOW by drinking all your drinks from a hospital bedpan. However you decide to go at it, just start preparing: 2084 is gonna be ICKY!
leash 84′ (never forget)