Friday, February 28, 2020

The Final Solution: Mad Max

Movies like the Mad Max series exist in a dystopian future where the scourge of technology has reduced the earth to an almost primitive state. Warring factions scramble for scarce resources and power is wielded by directionless machines and conscienceless robots. It’s a value free universe hauntingly similar to the one that is beginning to assert itself across giant swathes of the planet which are quickly dissolving into an unwieldy mixture authoritarianism and lawlessness. Mad Max or Mad Men (the series about the world of 60s advertising)? Will a Bolsonaro burn down the Amazon? Kim Jong-un, a character out of a sci fi jeremiad, plays with missiles like a child, while states like the Syria become the proxies for value free diplomacy carried on by warlords like Putin and Erdogan and tyrants like Duterte perpetrate atrocity in the name of deterrence. Civil order and due process are the first thing to go, but what's particularly disconcerting is that a certain degree of gratuitous destruction seems to be a prerequisite for the total return to tribalism which these cyber epics depict. All the ingredients exist for a multivalent Armageddon to wit religious states with millenarian ideas, charismatic leaders with unquestioning followers in and out of government (like our current president) and apocalyptic conditions like the melting of Antarctica which run the risk of creating cataclysmic climactic conditions which bring down the battlements and structures in which democratic institutions have been housed. The fact is that a certain level of affluence or the prospect of it seems to be a sine qua non for the thriving of advanced societies. America survived the Depression, but it’s unsettling to realize that one of the spurs to the resurgence of the economy was war.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

A Cultural Revolution

Open Table and Grub Hub are sites where you can make reservations or order food on line. These are all part of a process by which there’s less human interaction involved with transactions between the consumer and producer of services. Gone are the days when you had to know somebody if you were calling for a reservation at an “in” spot (the one bright light in the consumer's increasingly antiseptic relationship to food). The choreography associated with ordering in Chinese in which directives, like “no MSG” were “lost in translation” is now becoming a rather arcane phenomenon that only the most retrograde computer illiterate patrons are still able and willing to endure. And there was a delicious fear of rejection that once accompanied calls to some of the city’s great redoubts and watering holes. Your heart beat a little faster and you rehearsed your spiel before you dared dial up one of these Ivory tower eateries to ask for a table, whose very positioning was a sign of your position on the food chain. Elaine’s, a restaurant catering to literati, famously had “the line,” which were a group of tables in the front room where celebrities sat. Some patrons put the cart before the horse thinking that one short cut to getting renown was to get one of these tables. Conversely, though ordering in Chinese on Grub Hub is a cultural revolution, it’s a far cry from the one that Mao was talking about when he forcibly exiled the urban intelligentsia so they could participate in reeducation programs in impoverished rural areas.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Vanishing Point Redux

Rallroad in Northumberland County (photo: Jakec)
The vanishing point in a perspectival image is supposed to be an illusion, but it actually contains a bit subliminal realism. Yes, the lines move to a point in the distance beyond which you can’t see. Yet life literally has a vanishing point at which the road ends. There is, of course, “The Last Supper.” However, no one has endeavored to produce, shall we call it, “Life’s End?” Attempt to imagine one of those far away bits of sublimity, a cheap bucolic scene, picked up at some tag sale which hangs above the couch in your dentist’s waiting room—as envisioned by a latter day, Edvard Munch, something teeming with the terror of the mundane and at the same time disconcertingly emphatic. You stare at the vision realizing that it’s not an illusion, but a vision of finality!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Relativity and Gerontology

Albert Einstein (photo: Orren Jack Turner)
According to Special Relativity time slows down as you reach the speed of light. Hence a person traveling to a distant galaxy in an advanced spaceship that approaches 186,000 miles per second will age more slowly than his counterpart back on earth. The potential traveler may face a quandary before he or she embarks on their prospective voyage. They will, in effect, outlive those who haven’t taken the trip and also when they come back, they will find that literally nothing is likely to be the same. It’s a quality of life issue. The problem for the person traveling at speeds at or near the speed of light epitomizes something which is felt more keenly by average people who reap the advances of medical science. Sure it’s nice that one’s life can be prolonged, but you may end up feeling like an alien. Beyond this there’s an even more profound question about the nature of the life one's living. Yes, the organs, including the brain can be kept functioning, in the absence of any pernicious diseases, but to what end? The body is reduced to an eating and excreting machine. It’s capable of existence, but no much else. Longevity may result in little more than unwanted solitude. You have outlived your world, but to what end?

Monday, February 24, 2020

Il traditore

Tolstoy’s famous comment “Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” may apply to films about the Mafia. Lattuada’s Mafioso (1962) concentrated on the drama of one man to show its magnetic hold. Then of course there were the Godfather films which are almost Dickensian in their breadth and domesticity and The Irishman which though investigative was more about the iconic cast that Scorsese's assembled. Marco Bellocchio’s Il Traditore, currently playing at Film Forum, is similarly documentary, but has a hard-edged cinema verité approach. Where Coppola and Scorsese couched their grisly plots in a comfortably cathartic epic narrative, here the reality of history creates a mixture of confusion, boredom and even disorientation in the viewer. It's life. Even when the traitor of the title, Tommaso Buscetta (Pierfrancesco Favino), is about to blow the whistle on the Sicilian underworld to the investigative judge Giovanni Falcone (Fausto Russo Alesi), it feels anti-climactic. You're not sure what's going to happen and how. Though the mobsters are apprehended, the trial's a circus. There's a distinct feeling of disconnect. Will these civilized conversations between the judge and the whistleblower Buscetta result in shaking the hold of the syndicate? The one fictional device that's exploited throughout is leitmotif and a repeated theme is that the mafia never forgets (though Buscetta discountenances the appellation). Neither does its number #1 snitch who is plagued by nightmares. A potential hit covers himself with his infant son and later clings on to the child as a shield. Years pass, but the minute the son gets married, the execution finally takes place. Little moments stick in your head like one in which a prison dorm is emptied when a prostitute is brought in with the comment “Buscetta likes to fuck.” It’s stark, but it’s repeated as a theme throughout the movie. Toto Riini (Nicolo Cali) a capo dei capi is differentiated by his maxim, “better to command than fuck.” Cosa Nostra literally translates as “our thing,” but how do these words apply to the movie's palette? Bellocchio doesn't really answer the question. However, Il traditore is deeply unsettling and even anxiety provoking to the extent that it's far more open-ended and closer to a clear delineation of the enormous power of organized crime than its forebears.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Event Horizon Planner

In The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus said “there is only one serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. “ And Heidegger believed that authenticity was contingent on an awareness of death. Heidegger had a term for this “sein zum tode,” or “being towards death,” which probably has nothing in common with suicidal ideation or something coming in the way of life force or the instinct to live. In astrophysics you have black holes, supernova which when they collapse are like the cosmological version of a town dump. The original star is interestingly called "the progenitor." Their magnetic field is such that it sucks everything in its path. The event horizon of the black hole is the dividing line after which lies oblivion. There are signposts and watersheds along everyone’s individual path through existence, many of which only become visible as an afterthought. It’s nice to contemplate the notion of a whole world of spirits who wait for souls to arrive once the brain dies and the body becomes a cadaver, but that’s simply anthropomorphizing something which is as hard to understand as birth—that is to say the inception and ending of consciousness and subjectivity. Dark energy is the force that accounts for both the universe's expansion and the darkness which is enveloping it. 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Sacramento Journal: Mr. Pickle

Next time you're in East Sacramento go down to Folsom Boulevard. There you'll discover Mr. Pickle's Sandwich Shop which lives up to its name and will be the first stop on your itinerary for the day. Pack a lunch including one of their delicious Cali tuna sandwiches with naturally a pickle topping and head 30 minutes East to Folsom. Make your way to the Johnny Cash Trail which leads to the Robbers' Ravine Bridge. Tom Bell the outlaw who reputedly performed the first stagecoach robbery hid in the ravine during his heyday in the middle of l9th Century. The trail leads right to Folsom State Prison where you can visit The Big House Prison Museum. The reality of the prison itself is hard to grasp, a massive gray stone structure with guard posts that's a monument to suffering. On January 13, 1968 Johnny Cash, "the man in black," gave two concerts at the prison and sang "Folsom Prison Blues." His "At Folsom Prison" album was released in May of l968.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Sacramento Journal: Sutter's Landing Park

Sutter's Landing Park (watercolor by Hallie Cohen)
John Sutter bought the area known as Sutter’s Fort from the Mexicans in 1841--seven years prior to the Gold Rush. It stands at the intersection of the American and Sacramento Rivers. The waters all descend from the Sierra Nevada where Lake Tahoe continues to be a central attraction for skiers and winter vacationers. It’s still a bucolic spot on whose banks families picnic on sunny afternoons. Now Sutter’s Landing Skate Park occupies a huge tin hanger only steps from the river, with the crashing sound of boarders performing daredevil feats drowning out the sound of the gently flowing waters nearby. A few feet away are bocce ball courts and the Two Rivers Trail. It’s an iconic image of California life, in which the only constant is change and, historically, legions of new settlers transformed the landscape overnight. John Sutter’s fortunes fell precisely at the moment when gold was discovered on his property and it was, in fact, his son, John Augustus Sutter Jr., not John himself, who would found a town named after the Sacramento River. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Sacramento Journal: Granville Redmond at the Crocker

"Sand Dunes" by Granville Redmond
The California artist Granville Redmond (1871-1935) wanted to be appreciated for his tonality. But it was his exuberant impressionistically painted fields of poppies, amongst the works comprising the show of the artist's work, "The Eloquent Palette" at the Crocker Art Museum, that would both catch the public's eye and secure his reputation. Paintings like "California Oaks" (1910) with their darker moonlit hue had less appeal. "Alas, people will not buy them," said Redmond. "They all seem to want poppies." Maybe it was the fact of his deafness and the silent world in which he lived that made these lush landscapes particularly come to life. Redmond had a second job. He played small roles in several Chaplin silents both acting and doing scene effects on City Lights, for example. He actually played the part of a sculptor in that movie. Chaplin spoke of Redmond thusly: "Something puzzles me about Redmond's pictures. There's such a wonderful joyousness about them all. Look at the gladness in that sky, the riot of color in the flowers. Sometimes I think that the silence in which he lives developed in him some sense, some great capacity for happiness in which we others are lacking."

Monday, February 17, 2020

Sacramento Journal: Aristocracy

Sacramento was the setting for the hit film Lady BirdThe multitalented director of the film, Greta Gerwig, who’d also starred and co-authored the script for Frances Ha recently directed the adaptation of Little Women. She also happens to be the partner of Noah Baumbach, whose Marriage Story was a hit in theatres and on Netflix. They used to talk about Hollywood aristocracy and if the semi-autobiographical Baumbach character did eventually find himself being forced to move to LA in an attempt to rescue his relationship, then Gerwig’s semi-autobiographical character ended up in New York, where she and eventually Baumbach would reside. So that creates the geographical equivalent of a trilemma, Sacramento, Hollywood and New York. Lady Bird was a filmic Bildungsroman recalling iconic locations like Gunther's Ice Cream, Club Raven on J, Pasty Shack and the blue house on 44th and M--all part of the neighborhood known as East Sacramento. However, despite an abundance of local productions you might also understand why anyone with an interest in theater, attending the Catholic school portrayed in Lady Birdwould want to escape to New York--though there's no doubt that the movie itself has left its imprint on the cultural life of the city. Speaking of another aspect of the arts, Sacramento happens to be the home of the artist Wayne Thiebaud whose upcoming l00th birthday anniversary will be the subject of a retrospective at the Crocker Art Museum in October. 

Friday, February 14, 2020

After the Fall

"The Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man" by Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel the Elder
“To experience a thing as beautiful means: to experience it necessarily wrongly,” says Nietzsche in The Will to Power. What a refreshing breath of air for those who find the wild and ubiquitous exclamations of delight disconsonant with their inner being. After all man is the creature who once fell from a garden and was forever exiled from his place among other species who remained free and unconscious of literally everything. It’s easy to be bludgeoned into believing something is wrong with you for not singing hosannas about another orange sunset. One's supposed to react a certain way, even if the perception of some idealized bit of nature actually only underscores how ugly and imperfect you might feel amidst a chorus of angels. This is one of the downsides of well-meaning people who treat the questioning of their idealized universes as sacrilege. Is one not entitled to maintain the notion that an industrial park possesses a beauty tantamount to that of the gently lapping waters of an idyllic beach at summer’s end? Beauty is truth,” says Keats. It’s also “in the eyes of the beholder.” The Asphalt Jungle (1950) was the fame of a famous crime movie, but you may prefer it to getting lost on the Appalachian Trail.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Final Solution: Something Happened

rehearsal of 2012 production of Ivo van Hove's Roman Tragedies
Back in 2012 theatergoers were allowed on stage during Ivo van Hove's production of the Roman Tragedies at BAM. You could be a supernumerary in the crowd as Caesar famously intones “Et tu, Brute?” Usually the audience perceives Caesar's murder with several degrees of separation. The willing suspension of disbelief is actually held in abeyance by skepticism. Back during the performances of Roman Tragedies, the disbelief was more than willingly suspended as one found oneself adopting the role as a spectator in history. Actually, if you’re in Rome today, you can visit the very spot where Caesar met his end, the Largo di Torre Argentina. You'll get closer to an event that occurred millennia ago, then to the version of history unfolding in a 24 hour cable news cycle. Unending translation of happenstance creates a high level of distance and consequentially unreality. It’s not so much fake as filtered news or simply phenomena. Due to social media there’s a lot of chatter. You may have the illusion of having some breathing space but you might as well be watching the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve--on TV. It’s rare that you ever nakedly come into contact with literally anything. "Art is a lie that makes us realize truth," said Picasso. What BAM offered back in 2012 was something close to the experience of seeing history actually unfold. Remember a Joseph Heller novel called Something Happened or the 50s CBS series, You Are There?

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The Final Solution: Vox Populi

The notion of a senate goes back to Roman times. Senators were classic figures and you can see them in old movies like Spartacus or let’s say Bob Guccione’s Caligula if you’re lasciviously inclined. In I, Claudius, Charles Laughton played the emperor. During the impeachment trial, the American public had a good chance to see the senate in action and it still had the look of a private mostly gentleman’s club. The southern accents of Lindsey Graham, Lamar Alexander and Kentucky’s John Kennedy always stand out and the few women like Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine exude an a regal air, even in the thralls of their tortured wrestling with issues. Senator Cory Booker famously had his "'I am Spartacus' moment" when he threatened to release confidential records during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. If you were to cast a modern epic in classical dress any of these characters, including the lone Republican dissenter, Mitt Romney, could easily be placed in period costumes. You wouldn’t have to bother with a script. In the current production, the decision was an open and shut case, but the average guy, a member of the plebeian class, looking up at his TV from his barstool, was just a part of the gallery as he always would be. There were dissidents like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren supposedly speaking to his or her interests, but there was no real vox populi. The same charioteers were whipping their horses, nostrils flaring, into a frenzy and power was still a magic and secret thing wielded by the few in whom it still resided. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Final Solution: Voting the End of Democracy

What if Congress voted for the end of democracy? Theoretically it can’t happen because of the constitution and the bill of rights. The majority may elect representatives, but majority rule, in theory, cannot destroy the essence of our system. However, if President Trump’s acquittal by the senate on purely partisan lines is an indicator then fundamental governances will slowly be whittled away, with each abrogation establishing a precent. Alan Dershowitz proposed the idea that a president cannot be impeached if they're doing something they believe is for the good of the country, ie to further their electability. What if the president were given unlimited executive powers, then could they retain the structure of government while advocating the principles of autocracy? The brand of extreme populism characterized by Trump's base is one or two degrees of separation from fascism since it represent a juggernaut that brooks no attention to details like due process. With the mandate of powerful popular support and a relatively weak opposition, nothing seems to matter. You can say you’re upholding  principles that define the very structure of American society when you’re not.The cheering crowds packing a recent Trump rally in New Jersey demonstrated the fervor with which millenarian tyrants have always been greeted. What if a Bolsonaro, an Erdogan or an Orban offered a chicken in every pot?

Monday, February 10, 2020


Kantemir Balagov’s Beanpole, currently completing a run at Film Forumtakes place in post-war Leningrad and many of the characters in the movie have the burned out listless looks of PTSD victims. The movie is set in a hospital where the patients literally are the living dead. One pleads to be put out of his misery saying he’s “not a person anymore.” The title character Iya (Viktoria Miroshnicenko) is a nurse, who had served on the front and now emits strange haunting noises which signal an imminent break from reality. Rail thin and tall, with the otherworldly coloration of an albino, she’s plainly been out of place her whole life. The symbolism of the morphology is obvious in one sense, but can give one pause. Disconnection is rife everywhere. There’s almost no need to underscore a physical attribute to make the point; there are some other contrivances in the narrative (related to implausible coincidence) which can be disconcerting. But the film creates a complex topography both predicated on the existential condition of war and on a kind of incestuous emptiness that takes on a life of its own. There’s a Masha character (Vasilisa Perelygina) and a tortured doctor (Andrey Bykov) that are unavoidable Chekhov citations. Only here you’re dealing with a totally different set of longings that are both more profound and desperate than those found in The Three Sisters. “I want a human inside me,” Masha says at one point. Is it sex or a child? The ambivalence is undeniable and chilling, particularly because the doctor will later inform her “there’s nothing left inside you to make life.” Iya will reiterate the same idea when she says “I’m meaningless; there’s nobody inside me.” At the same time, life is randomly taken, as in a horrifying and unforgetable sequence when a three year old is suffocated. The effect of the movie is not simple to define. The conditions of war have created devastation, but the psychic legacy that Beanpole describes is neither that of desire or need. Recounts of relationships in the camps are really the only comparison. The brilliance of the film lies in portraying a psychic landscape of survival, in which attachments are practically devoid of the kind of emotion viewers are likely to identify with love.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Intellectuals and Fascism in Interwar Romania

Marci Shore’s review of Cristina A. Bejan’s Intellectuals and Fascism in Interwar Romania (TLS, 1/10/20) is accompanied by a rare photo of Eugene Ionesco flanked by Emile Cioran, the philosopher and Mircea Eliade, the religious historian. In examining the world in which their unique, brilliant and passionate bonds were created, she counterpoints the romantic agony to the rise in scientism. “Disenchantment” was, of course, the term Max Weber had used to describe the triumph of rationalism. “The Enlightenment understood the human subject as the Cartesian cogito, ergo sum,” Shore remarks. “The Romantics countered with volo, ergo sum: I desire, therefore I am. Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Underground man expressed this inimitably: ‘Reason, gentlemen, is incontrovertibly a good thing, but reason is no more than reason…while desires are an expression of the whole of life.’” Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano and The Lesson have been playing on the Left Bank’s Theatre de la Huchette since l957, but today you hear less about Ionesco then in the days when Rhinoceros received its legendary interpretation on Broadway by Zero Mostel. Eliade went on to teach at the University of Chicago. Both Cioran, who was the subject of a laudatory essay by Susan Sontag, “Thinking Against Oneself,” in Styles of Radical Will and Eliade would come under attack for their association with the rightwing Iron Guard. Would a dose of reason have ultimately made a difference? Apparently Bejan’s study broaches this question, but what can such speculations offer other than to rewrite history?

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Into the Void

There comes a point where you don’t have all of your life ahead of you. While there may have been room for failure when you went into a particular business as a young man or woman, you eventually face the last furlough. Despite the aspirationalist idea that anything is possible, in fact, it’s not. Professional athletes who may go on to sponsor all kind of programs evangelizing the philosophy of achievement and possibility know limitations first hand. Late in his career George Foreman lost a match to a now forgotten fighter named Shannon Briggs. Many of those who saw the fight might have disagreed with the decision, but the fact was that the journeyman fighter had besides some potential and talent, one thing that the veteran didn’t possess, youth. There are, of course, exceptions. Picasso’s creativity burgeoned in his later years and apparently his sexual prowess was also immune to the effects of age. However, more often than not, you see an oedipal process occurring in which talented individuals are displaced by their more youthful counterparts. It’s hard to remember that writers like Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski were once considered revolutionary when in our current climate their transgressional work actually seems conservative and even Neolithic to a generation highly influenced by values that question gender itself. Some plays have an epilogue. In this one, there's a transcendent opportunity that’s afforded older people, which is to play to the void.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The Virtues of the Talking Cure

You take a benzodiazepine like Xanax for anxiety and SSRIs, Cylexa, Zoloft or Paxil, for depression or perhaps an aminoketone like Wellbutrin. But the drugs soon take on a life of their own with the regimen requiring other drugs in order to deal with a host of unwieldy side effects. You’ve undoubtedly witnessed adults as well as children who take drugs to deal with the drugs they’re already being administered. Perhaps you’re even one of those. But why are anxiety and depression frowned upon in the first place? They’re signals that the brain produces and essentially symptoms. If you remove the unwieldy affect, you may not get to the root of the cause. There's an analogy to certain types of gastrointestinal ailments. Imodium may temporarily eliminate diarrhea but if you have a parasite you’re only going to make matters worse. You take a traffic signal from a crossing and you’ll start to have collisions. Of course, there are extremes. Manic depression, bipolarity and borderline are terms that are often invoked to describe certain states that can be so overwhelming as to cause dysfunction. Obviously anti-psychotics are another matter. But what's the psychopharmacology profession seeking to achieve? There are pills to allow one to sleep like Halcion and methylphenidates like Ritalin which enable one to concentrate. Talk is neither cheap, nor always effective (at least in producing a kind of quixotic happiness that some people dream of) but classic therapeutic interactions, in a chair or on a couch, which deal with a patient’s past history may offer more humane and profound avenues of insight that also avoid some of the deleterious results of medication.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

You Will Never Be Forgotten

The protagonist of Mary South’s “You Will Never Be Forgotten” (The New Yorker, 1/27/20), a rape victim, is “a content moderator at the world’s most popular search engine.” "Madison" is an example of the kind of "content" she manages. It's the word given for the video of unnamed woman, "passed out at a party as football players finger her." The rapist himself works for “the most prestigious seed fund in Silicon Valley.” Though the predator and his prey go unidentified the story has characters with names like Shady Dave and yes an avatar, Cunty (a specialist in "online reputation management for convicted sex offenders")--personalities out of a contemporaneous and politically incorrect form of Restoration Comedy. Cunty remarks "I never want to be in a situation where I'm looking at my daughter's vagina online and thinking, Her vagina isn't as hot as a hacked celebrity-vagina candid." “You Will Never Be Forgotten” recalls “Cat Person," another New Yorker short story which became both a sensation and source of controversy earning the author over a million dollar advance. “You Will Never Be Forgotten” is a brilliant and wildly ambitious publishing concept which also has an invidious side to it—in being so manipulatively directed to the most tendentious aspects of the #MeToo” culture. The human condition for women, at least, is rape and the inventive style of the story is a mixture of provocation and agit-prop, techniques that are almost guaranteed to produce the stick figures of a medieval morality play. The author’s name is itself iconic. Mary South sounds a little a pseudonymous invention, say Mark Twain. “You Will Never Be Forgotten” also alludes to the fact that as another colleague at the search engine, BabyJesusUpchuck, remarks, "the Internet is forever." South's story is reeking with virtuosity and may very well live up to its name, but it’s fundamentally a broadside and rant, with the butt of the humor and rage aimed at a defenseless child, the institution of human sexuality crashing upon the shoals of both technologically mediated  pornography and consciousness.

Monday, February 3, 2020

The Super Bowl

Kohler K-3901-NPR-HB1

Everyone associates the SuperBowl with football. This year the San Francisco 49ers were paired off with Kansas City Chiefs and Jennifer Lopez highlighted the half-time festivities. But there’s another meaning for the words. Instead of a stadium and cheering crowds imagine a vessel for urine and excrement that’s found in every house. A super bowl is then a really terrific toilet. For instance, there are bowls with heated seats and his and hers bowls that are placed next to each other. There are white bowls and elegant black ones which are excellent for hiding fecal stains. There are bowls with a western theme with names like Cimmaron and ones where structure mirrors functioned such as the Regent Dual-Flush. And, of course, there are bowls with accompanying features like bidets. But what about a really Super Bowl? What about a trap door in a bed that leads to a bowl, so that nocturnal excursions are no longer required? Remember the internet of everything which connects all your household appliances? What about an on-line bowl which will enable you to post those creations that you can’t but feel proud of to Facebook or even Instagram? What about a receptacle that can talk back to you or that produces a sui generis selfie from the nether regions? SuperBowl Sunday is in fact the perfect time for a really super bowl since you’re going to have to go to the bathroom after quaffing down all that crap.