Wide Travel of a Narrow America

I often times wonder if there was some particular moment that represented my descent into the abstract. A rejection of satisfaction found in tangible things. I eat icecream and start wondering about the nature of the icecream.

It makes it hard to enjoy the fucking icecream.

Traveling only sharpens the descent into these penumbral spaces. It’s hard to value the “concrete” when you understand that you are not a special and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying matter as everything else. It just so happens that you’re all going to Miami to decay on the same beach.

So who cares about that new car smell when the scent of your 100% personalized death (now with new and improved carbon neutral embalming!) is just around the recently urbanely renewed corner. (Condos from the low 500s!)

Flying may allow you to break the speed of sound. But to the best of my knowledge entropy and irony are the only things that move faster than light. So out running either is unlikely. Even if you’ve paid the extra $20 for extra legroom. So while you may have the smug superiority that comes from being part of the %1 that can afford both an extra six inches of premium leg room. Forgetting that both cancer causing radiation and the odds of fiery death from a failure of a known flaw in your air chariot of choice (within acceptable risk boundaries considering recent changes in the class action statutes) is exactly the same for those plebes at the back as the great and good at the front of our flying abattoir.

While boarding a plane it is almost impossible not eject the low sonorous lowing usually associated with cattle or any other herd creature unable to intuit a “bad feeling” when walking down a corrugated ramp lined with blood gutters and drainage holes. Walking down the jet bridge I’m always relieved by discovering that the chute ends with an aircraft and not a high pressure pneumatic bolt shooting through my temple. “No Sun Country for Old Men” as it were.

Traveling is one clear way of ensuring that you understand the existential status quo. Ennui: the aether of the modern age. The inexhaustible mortar that glues together the bricks of the generic landscape that we build with every opportunity. No matter where you go – all substantial things equal – you’re just as fucked as before you went. (Who says only energy and momentum are conserved?) Flying to Nowhere USA? Terrified that you might be exposed to people who don’t look like you, act like you, or god forbid, like the same people you do on this season of American Idle? Well worry not friends, odds are that whatever locale you’ve chosen in the vast American landscape is blessed with the same Home Depot – Old Navy – Chili’s – local/national chain gastropub strip mall arrangement that we’ve all grown to love. Familiarity is supposed to breed contempt. But as far as I can tell it seems to breed strip malls, suburbia and record profits for those who manage to keep the generic ubiquitous.

Every strip mall mixes it into the cheap blacktop allowing the vast armies of identical-yet-completely unique SUVs to park within 100 yards of the best deals that both big box stores and small boutique shops – like Targét – can offer. As if having to walk more than fifty yards to obtain your generically mass produced goods at always low prices completely kills the thrill of the hunt for the perfect box of ziplock ever-seal never leak always freezer safe bags.

As an aside, I’m hoping that the Higgs Boson is really just some other particle fucking with people. A subatomic “just kidding”. Consider – the Higgs boson might be its own anti-particle. If that doesn’t meet the hipsteresque ethos of being composed of two parts irony with one part self-unawareness well then I’m uncertain if we will ever have a grand unified theory of irony. Which is really the only way to explain the universe as I see it.

But back to my original thread of first-world existential self indulgence. Because I’m going to live forever. I’m a special an unique snowflake. Where did I put the phone number to that pizza chain. I need some delivery…. too lazy to hunt and gather tonight.