But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. 2 Timothy 3:1-5

Is it a sign of deeper mental illness manifesting that I’m beginning to wonder whether current world events are indeed a sign of the coming apocalypse? Are we indeed in the End Times? I hate myself for suggesting this during earthquakes and tsunamis. There are more important things that we should all be considering. But this here I’ve been thinking about for awhile. Please forgive me. All I know is that I go to Twitter or my tumblr dashboard or Facebook and it’s about 1/3 Serious News and 1/3 Charlie Sheen and 1/3 Other Legitimately Upsetting Social Things. I feel like a dilettante trying to comment on any of those topics. But it’s not because I’m uninterested. The Internet is full of experts. I’ll let them be the experts.

But seriously. Have you seen TV lately? The fact alone that two Jersey Shore cast members have books right now is a sign of…something. There are still bird and fish kills going on. (I really expected that to die out before the elections.) And seriously: Has anyone watched the Real Housewives franchise critically? Because those harpies are harbingers of Dark Times, mark my words. I can’t watch. It’s too hard. Anyhow: We’re all gonna die. Enjoy.

So. I feel effete saying so, but beyond making vague gestures at TV and pointing drunkenly at easy targets, I can’t make a better argument than HOLY WALKING FUCK WHAT IS WRONG WITH US. Seriously, though. We’re doomed. Start stocking up on canned goods, kerosene, wool blankets, and firearms. Because in 10 years…well, just trust me. Maybe five years, even.

My new shrink (not the old one, who did the “you-can’t-fire-me-I-quit” dance with me this past fall, and I am fortunate she ditched me when she did) is an amazing mix of Zen calm and Texan laidbackitude and he looks like a cross between Anderson Cooper and John Corbett and I don’t ever suspect that when we meet he’s eager to google a Robert Mitchum film while we’re talking. Anyhow, he laughs at my jokes, and I suspect that’s part of the therapy, but I mentioned that I went to the Karlheinz Weinberger show at the Swiss Institute and he was all like oh, you mean the photos of the Halbestarke?

Which of course it’s because he’s familiar with because he spent a few years growing up in Zurich. Because that’s how unexpectedly cool he is.

We talked about the show, and various Swiss subcultures, for a bit. Their subcultures were far more interesting than ours are. I remarked that the Halbestarke seemed a lot like a cargo cult in some way — or to paraphrase LCD Soundsystem, full of false nostalgia for unremembered eras. He laughed, as I expect him to do. But you look at a photo of a guy who has a hubcap-sized belt buckle with a picture of Little Richard pasted to it, with TEXAS and MEXICO written in bleach lettering on his jeans, and you think, “This happened in somewhat of a vacuum, didn’t it.”

Which makes it all the more amazing. And of course, the later photos reveal that the cool weirdo rockabilly Halbestarke kids grew into neo-Nazi biker dudes. (But isn’t that what happens in all underground movements? Look at that Friends Stand United dude getting thrown in jail. Thugs are thugs. I bet if half those FSU kids liked Oi music better, they’d be neo-Nazis instead of antifa.)

Anyhow, we talk sometimes about compassion. And how compassion for others has to start with compassion for oneself. Lately I’ve noticed that I’m not feeling a lot of compassion for other folks. Like, in the morning when I’m on the subway I look at little kids who are asleep on the train at 9 am and I’m like WHY ARE YOU SLEEPING YOU SHOULD BE AWAKE YOU ARE A LITTLE BALL OF ENERGY AND THIS IS PRIME TIME FOR YOU. That’s pretty hateful, I acknowledge that. In fact, I acknowledge that I’m fairly judgmental of anyone sleeping on the train at 9 am. And I acknowledge that I’m hateful for that. My point is that I’m NOT COMPASSIONATE.

Speaking of, we’re heading down to Florida for a few days to see my mom. She had cancer a few years ago, and it’s come back. So she has to go in for surgery this week. And regardless of what I may say about her, you know what she asked me a few days ago when I called to give her our arrival time?

“What kind of wine should I get for you guys?”

This is how blood-related people talk to me. We may not fully get along, but we speak the same language.

Anyway, I told her the truth: “Don’t worry, we’ll drink almost anything.”

We’ll be out of town for St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve never been a fan of the holiday myself, but I will say that one of my favorite live shows ever was the Pogues on St. Patrick’s Day a few years ago — N and I went with a friend who had extra tickets and we spent the night on the floor with a bunch of NYFD. The only thing that would make it a bigger stereotype would be me drinking from a flask, which yes, I did.

Prematurely, then, Happy St. Patrick’s Day:

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