||From my hotel window I can see a pair of stone lions guarding the road.|
||"Twilight (New Vocal Version 2018)"
||Last year, a couple blocks from here, a guy drove a truck into a crowd of shoppers, killing 5 of them including one of my co-workers.|
||Kobra And The Lotus
||"Losing My Humanity"
||There are more lions on that road now, to make it harder to drive trucks there.|
||"As the Night Crawls In"
||Probably it doesn't make a lot of difference, but as reactions go, it's at least comforting in its scale.|
||"Minister, what can we do to prevent attacks like this?"|
||"Not very much. Free will is dangerous. Most useful things are also dangerous. Weather is dangerous. We inhabit undefended cities on a giant rock hurtling through space."|
||"But minister, we have to do something, don't we?"|
||"Not The One"
||"Oh yes, we certainly will. Order more lions."|
||Rafael Anton Irisarri
||The inchoate urge to DO SOMETHING is usually best placated now and revisited later,|
||in joy instead of fear.|
||If news shows were scored like movies,|
||our whole relationship to our world would be different:|
||More-obviously mediated, but maybe not actually more mediated.|
||The compulsion to stay informed is an addiction, like most things,|
||Hopes on Hold
||"No One's More Useless Than Aquaman"
||Hopes on Hold
||done mostly for its own sake,|
||"The City Beautiful"
||but shot through with toxins and emotional contaminants.|
||Fear is compulsive, and compulsion is sadly conducive to measurement and thus optimization,|
||"We are Waiting"
||Alone Among Mirrors 2
||so we can't really be surprised at the misery-drip "news" has become.|
||"One or the Other"
||Under the World
||You can always look at a glass and imagine the top 10 ways it will be empty|
||"There's More to This World"
||once this water is gone.|
||But then TeraBrite is singing a 30 Seconds to Mars song, and maybe it was originally about cycles of mutual self-destruction, but now it sounds redemptive.|
||From Under the Willow
||And maybe this has become the essential difference for me between art and everything else: art builds towards catharsis instead of anxiety.|
||"Myself on Fire"
||Of course this is subjective and definitional, but I think not only so.|
||"Forever at Last"
||News anxiety is self-reinforcing, perhaps in its purest form as weather anxiety, because the weather is always dire somewhere, on some time-scale.|
||I'm here in one of the most peaceful countries on earth, and there's a line of mounted police under my hotel window.|
||Oceans of Slumber
||"A Path to Broken Stars"
||The Banished Heart
||There's always something to fear.|
||I'm looking down on them from an odd angle, and across the street from them there's a store-front with a medical sign above it, and I've been watching people happily entering and exiting, and thinking how refreshing it is to see medical care elevated to the pleasantness of shopping.|
||Burden Of Grief
||"Eye of the Storm"
||We do commercialization of medical care in the US, too, but somehow always from the supply side, not the demand side.|
||Dead Shape Figure
||"The Last of the Bearing Beats"
||We do "urgent care", but what we really need more of is "routine care".|
||"The Dark Harvest"
||If much shopping is essentially impromptu lifestyle adjustment,|
||and fetishized coffee is borderline medicinal already,|
||"Too Far Gone"
||then this doesn't seem all that implausible, really.|
||"Sadboy - Edit"
||I'd been looking down on this scene for a while because I got sick and spent about 36 hours in this hotel room, mostly sleeping.|
||A Deeper Sea 4
||When I finally felt well enough to walk around a little again, I discovered that the medical sign actually applied to the offices above the storefront, which itself was a Danish clothes store.|
||"Alla vill till himmelen men ingen vill dö"
||They do some things right here in Sweden, but they still have colds, and they haven't made health-care as fun as shopping,|
||and the police are not ceremonial.|
||Den svenska björnstammen
||Bara skog +1
||They don't seem particularly good at getting snow off of sidewalks,|
||and with enough searching you can find the occasional pastry that's a little too dry.|
||Do As Infinity
||"GET OVER IT"
||But traveling is not a competition in which the world is participating and you are judging.|
||At the drugstores here, which are just drugstores and don't try to also be terrible grocery stores and liquidators of shitty colorful electronics accessories, they do actually try to help you.|
||"Gjør det igjen"
||You can tell somebody is earnestly trying to help you even if you don't speak their language.|
||You rarely see hotel reviews that tell you how comfortable the beds are to be laid up in.|
||"Queen For A Day (feat. Exene Cervenka)"
||This was a pretty comfortable bed.|
||No Thank You
||I'd rather not be sick,|
||"Suffer the Children"
||and if sick, would rather it not be while traveling,|
||but you experience things a little differently in that still-recovering daze.|
||"Into the Pitch Black"
||Take a city you have indexed for museums and coffee, and see what it feels like to find ibuprofen and some yogurt.|
||"Tra le vite degli altri"
||Take songs you would dance or soar to, and play them on quiet laptop speakers while your head hurts.|
||Fail and recover.|
||Nunatak y el tiempo de los valientes
||Practice swapping "oath" for "oat" whenever you see either cited in public.|
||I made it out to do a Pokémon raid, and a Swedish girl about my daughter's age asked, through her mother as English translator, if I could help her catch the Rayquaza.|
||She was missing, and I at least hit the thing, but neither of us caught it.|
||"Have & Hold"
||Fail and recover.|
||When I get home and tell my daughter this story, she will probably point out how in Sweden kids her age have phones already.|
||"Immer noch fühlen"
||Also free education, universal healthcare and public pensions.|
||"Fick dein Volk"
||But none of this makes their Rayquaza catch-rates any higher.|
||"No Te Quiero Ver Llorar"
||Desde Mi Otro Cuarto
||Real-world advantages don't always translate to games.|
||Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It
||The vegetarian I went to the vegetarian restaurant with proclaimed it too vegetable-ish,|
||Quiet and Peace
||but enjoyed the pie.|
||Horse Attack Sqwad
||"Pojat puhuu heskaa"
||Suuren Yli-Hevosen armosta
||The things you decline don't determine what you will love.|
||You may think you hate metal for the growly voices, but you might hate it with fembot voices, too,|
||Blackout (Deluxe Edition)
||or at half-speed.|
||Just don't give up, that's all we're really asking,|
||all we're singing,|
||in whatever voices|
||Trio Da Kali
||"God Shall Wipe All Tears Away"
||Order more lions when you must,|
||Get Radical +1
||and then fill the streets again.|
||"Alla färger du ska se"
||Streets are the shape of human presence imposed upon space,|
||"Body Like That"
||as indelible empty as filled with foam,|
||or flowers or snow,|
||or delirious riots,|
||or rubble and centuries of earth.|