Paul Hinn's Confessions
Paul Hinn

Every brick of these buildings has been laid out by unknown hands, either God or demiurge, and their power is revelatory and crippling.  It's not only the bricks but what holds the bricks together, order out of chaos, chaos out of order.  Fog is covering the stars' Busby Berkeley dance, and the moon's essentially female song is too faint to hear fallopian tube lullabies or deathdrone elegies.  I try to turn the stock tickers subway roar into a cyberpunk fantasy, and the graffiti looks more beautiful that way.  Imagination turns my cellphone nowires into a green tube flowing with the technolifestream, feeding me distant voices and spectres of rivalries of European kings.  Technology itself is the oversoul, not some vast Emersonian concept: the everpresent panopticon of satellite maps, conspiracy theories, chloroform, lobotomy, religiobabble and misspellings.  And it's so fucking destructively beautiful.


I'd rather spend my time musing about the effervescence of it all, the sheer glory of the societal structures and the way that all need to be deconstructed with a wrecking ball and rebuilt from the foundation up by cooperation between the Logos and the Other, but I'm forced to eat and pay rent.  I wish that I could say that it's out of some sort of benevolent spirit within me, continually striving to repay society for thousands of meals, a pair of new eyes, and information and stimuli so vast I'm struggling to handle my sanity in its grasp, but I'm doing it to eat.  It's the undeniable force that makes my workshirt stick out too much when it's tucked in, the transitory gratification that comes with a succulent piece of murdered meat.  Ascetics have thought it impure, but it's all that motivates me.  I am only a stomach, consuming like a garbage compactor, scrunching up everything until it fills up too full and I throw up my subsistence, everything that's broken down which makes up my body's own lifestream, red not green.  And I'm too damned proud to live on the streets of this city ratshit-encrusted and numb from 40s, so I make rent.


I told myself I wasn't going to do this only when I was actually benefitting from bourgeois comforts.  I never knew the struggle it takes just to survive.  Privilege taken for granted and now I am privileged again after working for it.  Hard work builds character, and hard work hardens you.  Idealism becomes a facile exercise you fill up your spare time with instead of any sincere belief.  The monotony, that deathdrone elegy of a noise that makes a note which is not music.  I drift between nihilism and total belief in the System and all which it gives.


I'm not really sure if I'm a cyberpunk or any of the things I just wrote.  It's a writer's pose, because we have to live two lives: the one on the page and the real one.  Writing is destined to be a reflection upon actual life and never a reality.  I reacted with vitriol when I read Plato's Republic for the first time, the section about art as a form of mimetic interpretation being inferior to the actual.  But Platocrates had a point.  Artists are constantly baring their souls attempting to either imitate or surpass God somehow, and it's a hopeless task.  The world is full of near infinite complexity, and trying to imitate God is largely a losing battle.  The only way to become a great artist is fighting God somehow by demonstrating the flawed craftsmanship of his works.  The anxiety of influence is only said to be about Shakespeare or Milton because they came closest to approximating his works.  The anxiety of influence is really the fear of being influenced by God.


So what am I trying to do by writing this if I realize that any artist who is bound by the concept of God writes in fetters?  I strive to write in letters, pure human thought and emotion that denigrates God in existence, meaning surpasses.  Idol hands are the devil's plaything.  Damn braces; bless relaxes.


More than that, who am I?  I've been warbling at you for a few paragraphs about metaphysical and artistic concerns, and you don't even know my name.  I'm Paul Hinn.  I love asking people the question "What are you working for?" because it breaks their poise.  Usually I get non-committal answers like "I'm a student" or "I work for Starbucks."  But the question is meant to get to the root of things: why do you live, why haven't you chosen suicide?  I mean, God, everyone knows that it's the only serious philosophical problem.


The scary part is that sometimes I have a tough time answering the question myself.  If someone walked up to me at a party when I was stoned off of my ass, I wouldn't really know what to say.  I'd bullshit something about being an artist, but does that matter in an earthly sense, let alone a cosmic sense?  I mean, when you see the earth from the planet Krypton or something, would you think about the pretentious, insignificant manuscript of some plebian-cum-patrician?  I doubt it.


What I'm too scared to say is that I do marketing on Park Ave., and I don't even really know what that means.  I was too apathetic to figure out a way to prolong getting a job and too unskilled to do anything that contributed whatsoever to the world at large.  I read fucking Adbusters.  I'm not supposed to be in marketing.


The scary part is this is what I actually do and I do it so I can go home, sit in front of the TV, and then after I make sure no one else is there, put the vintage Betty Page burlesque VHS tape I have that I keep hidden in the heat box.  After that I eat more, smoke cigarettes or joints if I'm lucky, and go to bed.  Despite my greatest efforts to actually do things, most of the time, I just go through the most banal actions and try to romanticize them later.  QED.  Living with constant intensity is looked down upon instead of being rightfully glorified, and our society looks like this because of it.


I'm trying to tell you about the beauty, the beauty I can see and can't see, but I always end up here cynical on the page.  That's the separation between the human and the writer: contemplation takes precedence over reality, what actually occurred.  Even now, I'm making dramatic statements about the nature of existence and our own personal essences while I'm eating ramen noodles and have stupid internet videos that I keep looking at while I'm writing this.  I know it's become uncool to be self-referential, but I'm tired of it–everyone knows I'm writing, so I might as well tell you and not treat you like you're too stupid to figure it out or something.


I think the delusions of grandeur I have are caused by further reflection on myself, so I might as well try to filter that experience and tell you about the events that happen when I'm not exaggerating and indulging myself completely.  They'll still be colored by my ridiculousness and imperfect hindsight, but there will be one less filter on the lens.  It's just like if you were sitting in a chair instead of writing about one.  Even though you're not dealing with the Platonic ideal chair, you're closer to the ideal when you're sitting in the chair than when you're writing about it, a chair in a small café with exquisitely designed legs designed by a Western European carpenter that curve erotically like the space between a woman's waist and her hips.  I love that curve to everything when I touch it.  I know that no one actually finds my touching erotic, but when I press my fingertips to something, I want to press my hold hand down afterwards, moving it rhythmically along the surface, feeling its substance and being willing to feel a splinter or two in my hand.  Hell, that would probably make it better.  BDSM chair erotica.

One of my friends used to get high all the time and talk to furniture.  It's not like that glass of orange juice shit.  He believed that since everything was made of matter, everything was essentially the same substance.  It was only our minds that ruined it by classifying everything.  That actually makes sense to me, talking to animals and inanimate objects.  One time he thought that the spirit of his girlfriend was actually in the door because of the way that it felt when he pressed his cheek to it.  He started having a conversation with it (on acid) and felt like the door was communicating with him the more he analyzed it.  It's sort of like the hippies that used to sit in sensory deprivation tanks and then dose acid only to go out and analyze dolphins.  No wonder they heard them talking–and who's to say that they didn't?  Talking to dogs like they're infants is perfectly acceptable–why not to doors or chairs?  Maybe they just haven't evolved to the point where they're able to understand us.  We have smart phones and smart cards–maybe someday we'll have smart doors too.  I see the logic in trying to communicate everything, because we're all carbon, water.  The Park Ave. marketing intern hippie.  I have reached a new low.


Like I said, technology doesn't just increase our ability to tap into this Oversoul.  It is the Oversoul in and of itself.  The same big green pipes that connect my phone and my head to the collective consciousness connect my computer, but it's imaginary.  I have access to encyclopedic knowledge about every conceivable topic.  I wouldn't be surprised if in the future, Google has the ability to communicate with dolphins using specific frequencies.  They're powerful enough now that they can buy innovation, thoughts, the mental energy of any citizen worthy.  It's terrifying, the dread of information overload.  Like so many things, it embodies the polarity and cooperation of opposites instead of making them fierce competitors, with only one winner, the Logos.  It combines the opposites and makes them work with each other.  On one hand (probably the right), you have information overload, the experience in which there is continually too much to take in.  I'm not saying this is a new phenomenon; our parents and grandparents experienced this long before we did.  Even ancestors still dripping with primeval ooze did, staring up at the sun in its brilliance and being completely overwhelmed with stimuli.  They stared into it too long or flew too close.  Their eyes were blinded and the shadows of their waxwings were slain.  Drink with me.  Come a little closer and have a sip of my vermouth.  As I was saying, their minds were filled up with this constant information flow simply because of their sensory experience.  Now we have taken the senses for granted and moved on to greater things.  You can read about Greek mythology, study particle physics, learn about Skittles, feel the relentless tapping of your keys to no end.


The power is intoxicating.  The lack of power at being given everything without needing to give anything back is exhausting.  You could drop off the face of the planet at the information would flow, because information wants to be free just like food wants to be free.  I've had too much vermouth.  More rum, more gin, more rummy.  Let me feel this horrifyingly beautiful connection and start again, let me drift to the heights and have my wings melt.  I'll grow a new pair and keep flying.


Soon bread will become free too, and we won't need to deal with the bullshit anymore.  We'll have particle generators, machines that will transmute atoms and molecules and rearrange them to create strawberry pastries.  Everyone will have what they need, and instead of working to fill their stomachs, they will work for the common good.  People say that the human nature is meant to compete and meant to bring others to the brink of starvation.  "Look at the animals," they say, "in the wild they fight for the flesh of others and crave it to the point where they'll let the others starve.  It's nature."  But when the information is circulated and people begin to realize the beauty and wholeness of existence, they'll change their minds and understand that "Those that do not work will not eat" is not a valid societal method of coercion of labor.  Food replicators, intravenous tubes or pills you take to get your required daily nutrition will become natural and a part of everyday existence.  No matter how terrifying it is to us, it will seem infinitely more natural than the supposed natural order.  Because humans have the gift of logic, reasoning, and compassion, there will be no need for starvation.  It concerns human progress and development more than requiring our species to have an inherent sense of compassion.


And these are the thoughts I have when I'm making copies of copies of faxes.  I wish people would realize that this moment in history, this sordid collection of experiences and joys and pain aren't everything.  I walked by a woman screaming on her cell phone and wanted to remind her, "Life is beautiful."  I walked by a policeman holding his gun like he was about to shoot it on a November day where people were walking by with their sandwiches and wanted to ask him, "Are you planning on shooting that gun?"  But I didn't, because of what Rousseau said.  Man in his natural state is beautiful and at its pinnacle.  Societal constraints will disconnect his positive characteristics from the rest of him.


And here I sit like Stephen Dedalus brooding in the sand, but there is no sand here.  I can't even brood properly, with concrete under my feet, an epic hero with no trials to face.