Archive for November 12th, 2017

Imaginary Beings

Yet, in the end, what’s most remarkable is not that our fantasies contain so much reality; it is that our reality contains so much fantasy. Most of us understand that our perceptual systems, far from passively reflecting the world around us, actively sort, select, distort, ignore, and alter a huge amount of information in order to construct reality as we experience it. But reality as we experience it also departs from actual reality in deeper ways. In actual reality, space and time are inseparable, and neither one behaves anything like the way we perceive it; nor does light, and nor does gravity, and, in all likelihood, nor does consciousness. Yet all the while we go on experiencing space like a map we can walk on, time like a conveyor belt we travel on, ourselves as brimming with agency, our lives as mattering urgently.

That world, the one we inhabit every day of our lives, is a yeti—a fantastical thing constructed out of bits and pieces of reality plus the magic wand of the mind. If we could hand it over to some superior being for consideration, it might not even rank very high on the scale of plausibility. Then again, plausibility itself might not rank very high on the scale of qualities we prize. Better, perhaps, to know that what we feel in our happiest moments has some truth to it: life is magical.

Kathryn Schulz


Mongo Nominates Secret Negro

I’ve been in airports and on airplanes all day, dealing with shitty cellphone signals and shittier airport Wi-Fi for the last few hours, so when I finally was able to get online just now after landing in Pittsburgh, I checked Twitter to see if anything particularly newsworthy had happened while I was offline.

First I saw the depressing news about Deshaun Watson, which may actually be a sign from God that this NFL season needs to just be canceled like House of Cards. And then I saw that someone called “Jerome Powell” was also trending, which made me assume that he must be the backup quarterback for the Houston Texans or something. Or that it was perhaps the title of a new mixtape from Drake. I even allowed myself to suspect that “Jerome Powell” was the new name Rachel Dolezal was going with after tiring of Nkechi Amare Diallo.

Of course, I was wrong. Jerome H. Powell is just the name of an über-rich white dude who’ll chair the Federal Reserve. Full disclosure: I don’t know what the Federal Reserve is or does, really. I know it has something to do with money and, I don’t know, reserving it or something, but that’s about the extent of my Federal Reserve knowledge. The Federal Reserve could be giving me a lap dance right now and I’d just wonder if it took tips with PayPal.

What I do know, however, are multiple niggas named Jerome. And most either go by “Rome” or “Romey,” and they all somehow look exactly as if their name should be Jerome. Jerome is the most self-aware name ever. I also know a gaggle of Powells. I even once crashed a Powell family picnic because my man was dating a woman from the Powell fam and she invited him to meet her family, and he brought me along as an excuse to leave early if the food was wack. (It wasn’t. I stayed and got a T-shirt.) But I know of no white dudes named Jerome and zero white people named Powell, which makes me believe that Trump conjured up this nigga with the same wizard that’s trying to cure Steve Bannon’s greyscale. I don’t believe you, White Jerome. You need more people.

Damon Young

When I Worked

November 2017
« Oct   Dec »