The original Jumpman wasn’t Michael Jordan; it was Mario! But the name didn’t stick because it wasn’t marketable enough according to Minoru Arakawa, Nintendo’s American boss in the early 1980s. Luckily, he got some outside inspiration.
“His name was an afterthought. Top billing on the game was always going to go to the gorilla. (“Kong”, in the context, was more or less a given; “Donkey” was found by consulting a Japanese-English dictionary for a word meaning silly or stupid.) The protagonist was simply called “Jumpman” for the one thing he was good at. But Minoru Arakawa, the boss of Nintendo in America, wanted a more marketable name. Around that time, writes David Sheff in “Game Over”, an authoritative account of Nintendo’s rise, Mr Arakawa was visited at Nintendo’s warehouse outside Seattle by an irate landlord demanding prompt payment. He was called Mario Segale, and he had a moustache. Thus does destiny call.”
By 1990, the pudgy plumber who gained energy from mushroomfluff became more recognizable than Mickey Mouse. And if the lost hat from a Halloween costume I found on the street yesterday morning is any proof, Mario is still king!
It was surreal. Standing in the face of General Colin Powell at Madame Tussaud’s in DC had a dream-like quality too it.
A window stood between us, the reflective glare merging our bodies. See my arms?
Powell’s face seems to conceal my iPhone; the stage-lighting effect of portrait mode paints a dark outline. Yet, everything was unintended. There were no tricks, just a play on consciousness at the magic wand of technology.
Wrote Teju Cole in his piece Strangely Enough: “But the surreal image — which, at its most resonant, breaks through consciousness instantaneously and surprisingly — is an elusive thing.”
Outside the windows, where I focus my attention on an overstretched street light backed by a series of palm trees, bicyclists brushing past the American flag on LA’s 405, with vehicles that match camouflage into their immediate surroundings.
Through the lens of a window were sights too commanding, mirroring objects with my third eye.
As someone who’s lived and worked in both New York and Los Angeles — this article sounds strangely familiar.
“Once, I walked nine miles through the streets of Los Angeles, tiptoed through the hobo village under a 101 overpass, got briefly trapped on a crosswalk-less median, and then stood on line behind waiting cars to enter the Warner Bros. lot. Because I’m not a Hollywood wuss. I’m from New York. I don’t drive. I don’t know how to drive. I don’t know how to do something that teen-agers can do, and I’m proud of it. That’s how much of a New Yorker I am.”
In LA, we wait to tell each other stories in order to impress while New Yorkers tell you how it is right then and there. There is no real outside in LA; there is only real inside a cold New York. Both cities thrive in their own eclectic touch, ridden with signals, smoke and mirrors.
The structure of a stream lies within its anti-structure, the unpredictable and chaotic movement of its flow; fresh water slithering over rocks, persisting downward all the way into the mouth of the river.
Streams can only perform their function if nature permits such fluidity, the human renter backs off, and it swims unimpeded; flexing a dynamic energy so essential to the information Earth collects.
At the corner,
At least trying to,
Generation thumbs pecking at the phone,
A passing bus emits CO2 into the air,
We breathe in street dust,
Overtaken by wafting the delivery man’s pizza,
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Processed with VSCO with kx4 preset
Staring at the other side,
Eavesdropping on each other’s chatter,
The newcomers give the placebo button another pinch,
A living signal turns white,
Twenty seconds to cross,
The clock ticks,
We all go together,
Dog trotting to safety,
I’m a sucker for seeing extraordinary in the ordinary. Last Friday on my walk home from work I stumbled upon a set of loose white paper sheets scattered on the sidewalk. Except it didn’t exactly appear haphazard. The paper zigzagged in a pattern.
After taking the photo, I felt compelled to pick it up. It was some type of packing material or art supplies. About twenty steps away was a shiny shopping bag, which was perfect for storing all the unfettered scraps. It made cleaning up so much easier, perhaps a reward for taking the initiative to clean up someone else’s trash.
What first appeared to be scrap in disarray was actually organized chaos. The disorder was magnetic, beautiful in its ugliness. Most importantly, it felt damn good to get it off the green patches of planet Earth.