ISSUE 5

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  Why is most modern architecture so awfully... boring these days? No, not the MODERN modern architecture of rich people’s houses, Frank Gehry museums, and a last-ditch, I-forgot-about-this-until-last-night fifth grade science project of pizza boxes, empty toilet paper rolls, aluminum, paper, and explosives. That architecture is the type of interesting that requires a few shots of tequila, some transcendental meditation, and a little bit of acid.
  The proper name is Post-post-modern Futilism With A Dash Of Salt And Pepper.[1] Not many people understand what these artists are going for, and if those amateur critics say they do, they’re lying. Do not trust these people with money. They’ll spend it on transcendental meditation, tequila, and acid.    
  No, the actual architecture these days is Costco, Petsmart, McDonald’s, and Trader Joe buildings. Gone are the whimsical towers where Victorian dandies played the harpsichord; gone are the vast coliseums with intricate Corinthian arches.[2] Gone are the lofty cathedrals that took several lifetimes to build—and even then constantly seem to need donations to keep them presentable. In their place we have built massive boxes.
  It’s a bit sad, really. Too many new-built towns, malls, and suburbs look exactly the same, like some psychopathic, corporate neat freaks are in control. If those freaks have their way, soon we won’t even have a choice. Oh, we think we will, but it’s only between exactly the same box of toothpaste in one box store called Wal-o-Tar and the other box store called McdonaKing, both which will be owned by the same company. One toothpaste will have a blue label and the other a red. The red will be way better.
  It’s not terrorists we need to watch out for these days, it’s whoever is behind these boxes. Think of how many things are boxes: SUVs, iPhones, awful houses, the TV, most of the stuff in the kitchen and the laundry room, and Rubik’s Cubes—the “fun” game that no one but geniuses can solve and the rest of us give up after the first level of red. Oh, Merry Christmas. Here’s a puzzle you can’t solve. And get this—we even ship our boxes in boxes to be placed by our other boxes.
  It’s UPS and Fedex. They’re going to take over the world—or at least divide it in civil war. It’ll start with a fairly ordinary squabble. A UPS van and a Fedex van will show up at opposing corners. Headlights will flash. Windshield wipers will flutter. Pleasantries will be ignored. And the two drivers will jump out of their vans and beat the bloody crap out of each other—or at least engage in an energetic box-cutter fight.




[1] Futilism came from the artists who gave up trying to understand anything and shouted, “ALL IS FUTILITY.” They then spent the rest of their life working a real job. The dash of salt and pepper is for kicks. 
[2] And also where people totally killed each other.
   
  Oh it’ll get heated. Packages will be sent to the wrong addresses, and little Timmy will get a box of crayons instead of whatever six-year-old boys want this year—an Optimus Prime that is impossible to transform without breaking his leg?  The same Star Wars light saber they’ve been making since 1980? A fun afternoon with his step-dad at an overgrown mini-golf course? He’ll probably like the crayons.
  Somewhere in Toronto the FedEx guys will set a UPS van on fire—accidentally, of course. The Fedex guys will apologize profusely, but the media will dramatize it and show stock footage of car fires, forest fires, the occasional thermonuclear detonation, and a duck on fire—though the duck will be controversial.
  Eventually, people sick of the madness will turn to their last resort: the USPS, which will actually have something to do besides delivering those food catalogs from Safeway. Every single package will arrive two weeks late, and there will be discontented muttering. The USPS will go out of business, and every single postal worker will turn into a mass-murdering maniac.
  UPS and Fedex will show propaganda commercials on TV, where one minute we’re brainwashed to support brown things and the next purple and orange things. Brown will win because brown things outnumber the purple and orange things in nature. Nature is not kind to flamboyant animals or plants.
  The two colors will become the new political parties, although the purple/orange party will be a bunch of fruitcakes. Literally fruitcakes. In spite of the catastrophic consequences of electing a dessert no one likes to political office, packages will arrive on time, every time. Shipping things will never have been easier, and stamp prices will be lower than ever. Oh, and everything will be a box. Everything.