hornutopia (noun): cornucopia + utopia + horn of plenty = hornutopia

I enjoy seeing successful models of shared experience that promote some sense of connectedness in this world. I like to think we are all sustainers of hornutopia, a judgment free zone where we can all be ourselves and foster a community of interconnectedness, where our freedom enables others to be free.

It reminds me of the TV show Community, where Troy and Jeff find a secret trampoline at the school. Joshua the groundskeeper explains what happens when you jump:

At the apex of each bounce, there is a moment outside of time, outside of words, outside of everything. A perfect moment, silent moment. I call it the world’s whisper.

I feel this way because I think that on the inside we all know that we’re monsters. We have all reconciled this idea at night, alone, wondering why we did something so evil or acted out of some dark intention. Everyone has flaws but I believe we are all better than our last act. We are not the worst part of ourselves, but we build contact points into a way of living that promotes hope, leaves no one out, and builds on something that was not there.

The theories of scarcity often make people feel alone, isolated, and destitute, but a lot of times when I have felt this way I realize I have whipped myself into a spinning vortex. The quicker I realize it the sooner I can make a different choice. Reaching outside the vortex means I make a conscious decision to ask for help where I need answers, listen to someone’s voice when I feel alone, or get outside my house and take a walk downtown.

the leash

I recently read an article about the idea of a dog being pulled on a leash:


… and it made me think about freedom and what we’re allowed to think we’re in charge of. It reminds me of the Bright Eyes song Landlocked Blues, with a line,

…our freedom’s a joke, we’re just taking a piss.

Which begs the question, are we granted a freedom as a function of the fact that we use it or that we are mis-appropriating freedom to mean something entirely different than its original intended meaning? I think about Canadians and how they seem more civilly engaged than Americans. Sometimes it’s relative on the spectrum of possible outcomes, but it’s something I love contemplating.

my favorite batman

I always used to think Michael Keaton was my favorite, but now I think Abed from the TV show Community is first. It’s just the limitations of him that I love, he’ll not save you from much, except for the delusion that any of us could be batman, anyone at all.

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I can’t get no.

Today’s topic on the Diane Rehm show is satisficing. The term is a mashup of two words: satisfy + suffice = satisfice. This is how people make decisions. People make a quick choice and stick with what works. The example they discuss is how when you need dry cleaning you don’t sample every option and test which place works best with wool, silk, or linen. The list of how to begin is not exhaustive, it’s simply the first one that you heard of or the one right down the street from where you live.

It reminds me of how when I’m looking for coffee I go to Starbucks. Not because it’s the most glamorous option, but rather in spite of the cost, I get a consistent cup of coffee every time. In my case it’s a pumpkin spice Frappucino. Granted I could have gone someplace else and not have paid six dollars for an exciting jolt of caffeine. I could have gone to a local store and picked up a drink and a pound of beans, as I’ve run out at home. Maybe I’ll do that the next time I satisfice.


Until I watched the movie Blazing Saddles as an adult I never realized that I enjoy the ending the best. It’s a spaghetti Western that pokes fun at gender, race, and politics. Oh yeah, it’s got fart jokes, too, which before I get too far in I also recall something about the banality of old film. Having watched it recently in mixed company, I realize this may very well be the best last film made for men. Our little watching group wondered who would star in the remake. Would Amy Schumer play Madeline Kahn’s part? Maybe Dave Chapelle could be beckoned back to play the sheriff. We lingered for a minute at best, declaring that no one would ever be caught dead doing a remake of Blazing Saddles because it just couldn’t be done today. Too much tension. Too many waves. All fart jokes aside, certain things don’t translate well into the parlance of our time.

Within the final twenty minutes of the film, the camera pans out past the Western sun to reveal the Hollywood studios in which the sets were built and scenes were filmed. One of the final cowboy fight scenes interrupts Dom Deluise directing dancers on a closed set, where tuxedoed men show down against dudes in bandanas and chaps. Then the mob blows through the actor’s cafeteria, where everyone ends up pie-faced. The meta feel was just right on. I had begun to get the feeling they were making an actual movie there. Boy was I wrong.

I forget so much of life is not just one thing. It’s the many things we cannot see now that must awaken in us hope, a less pointed movement to the disappearing headline. I love the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album. Recently thumbing through an online discography, I realized there are many repeated songs in slightly differently performed ways. Over half of their albums have mono and stereo versions of the same tune, or digitally remastered versions set to entirely new albums. I came across the Smile Sessions boxed set, where there are 24 different tracks of Good Vibrations and 38 songs titled Heroes and Villains in varying takes and remixes. In Holland remastered, California Song comes in three versions: Big Sur, the Beaks of Eagles, California. Pied Piper appears twice in different lengths, one at 2 minutes 20 twenty seconds, the other at 2 minutes 9 seconds. This is the land of new technology, at best offering version 2.0 of the same thing you bought last year. At worst it lets the nerds discuss, degree by degree, permutations of their specifically turning desires.

I like the repeated versions, the slightly similar embodiments of creativity drafted out into the finished product. It says more about the way people can attribute a mood or feeling to something so trivial as the presence of a triangle ding or the extra three measures at the end of a verse, or how through so much effort we see simply some different rendition of our own preferences.

It also speaks to a larger narrative of how our own internal rhythms are staged and performed over and over, throughout our lives, which makes me think about family movies on old-fashioned 8mm movie projectors. They are a nearly extinct medium played on a reel that burns a little bit of the end frames. The stopping is so hard against the light, if you simply set a frame of film down on the bulb within seconds it sets fire. I burn a bit in the process of finding my younger self. I forget it’s me out there, it’s me every time. I may be taking something for granted. Or maybe it’s not this, not what I can see from this perspective.

The convenience of today is not so much in the hardware, but the software. A ton of the data from websites and online businesses are plucked from a cloud. Floppy discs are obsolete. Items with no digital interface that cannot be shared or distributed over social media have less value until they are scanned and uploaded into the web. One’s cell phone provides the clearest view of a captured sense of something and its feeling therein. Many ways of looking at things, old photographs on 35 mm film, are oddly unappealing, and I say this because we are re-appropriating the way we see things. If other people do not see it, it doesn’t exist. It is giving more credence to the term if a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound? It does not until it creates an electrical impulse inside the human ear.

Things that are not witnessed by many people do not make an impact. They are not what you can most easily see with anymore, and by you, I mean the royal you. On the TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation, the Borgs were part computer, part human. They assimilated everyone they came into contact with, except for Picard, as he kept some of his human memories inside of him, which helped hoist himself free from the ice block of the collective unconscious. I wouldn’t go so far to say that our Facebook accounts are us, but maybe it’s the closest thing to this sentiment that I can find right now.

I often forget to look up, up and away and distract myself from this. I often forget about the meaning of things, to look out and away from the face of something close up and just look away so that the things in the background are in focus. When I was in kindergarten I used to count the grades I had until I would be done with public school. I recall how impossible it seemed to get through twelve more years of suffering. I always try to think of life this way, a series of suffering years one must endure to get to the good times, and then I remember to look at things from far off, breathe, step out of the vortex.

Records and rackets

CAM00170I hope to one day string together the things I do not need and see them through to their meaningful ends. Football and beer, both American pastimes, are joint clichés. Sometimes I think about the movie Big Business starring Lily Tomlin and Better Midler and recall the mirror scene, where Midler and her twin sister parrot each other’s movements until they reach a level of certitude that the reflection has pulled away from itself. Certain things I back away from, being predictable, and strangely tonight I only timidly pick apart the alikeness in me.

Although destined for oneness, there is a reckoning that splits the atom. In a snow globe there is no weight. The confetti falls where everything is free. A friend of mine works in a bottling plant. He says the term they use for opened or damaged cases is breakage. At his old job, he was allowed to bring home a certain number of breakage bottles a week. He gave me one piece of advice: always go where the beer is free. Free beer tastes better than anything you ever pay for.

Tonight on the way home from work I swing by the Drinking Consultants. It’s this place I like because it’s got a great selection and the dudes are cool. I picked up a case of my favorite beer by Uinta brewery. It’s a twelve pack of half Hop Nosh, half Trader IPA. There are missing cans so the guys at the store sell it to me for half off. They’re cool like that. I thank them and tell them I’ll be back next week for an unopened version of this.

Summertime in New England is when the higher ABV beers are too caloric and filling, so I resort to the light mirage of a drink that I can be light with. Nothing gets heavy. Trader IPA is a session beer, so it levitates. I sit on the couch intently writing about this idea, how things are so light they are almost unseen, unknowable in their limitation.

I am watching the men’s US open in tennis, Roger Federer vs. Steve Darcis. The match is something I sense going on in the background as my new record plays. I got Depression Cherry by Beach House today. Living in tandum with so many wonderful things, I like to think life is a bit of treading water into our sinking oblivion of ourselves. I like to get lost when I am feeling other things.

Session drinks have less than or equal to 4% alcohol by volume (“The Session”, 2015). Aaron Goldfarb of Esquire magazine defines the term sessioning as one’s ability to drink as much as one likes from four in the afternoon until bedtime without getting truly wasted. I reappropriate the term limitation of flavor as the certainty that I can enjoy myself without needing a nap. Although some of the flavor is changed in its lightness, I can see through things and onto the next thing standing across from itself into a new mirror.

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Goldfarb, Aaron. 2014. Why the ‘Session’ beer makes zero sense. Retrieved from http://www.esquire.com/food-drink/drinks/a30663/session-beer-is-dumb/

The Session Beer Project. 2015. Retrieved from http://sessionbeerproject.blogspot.com