Combing The Streets

But it’s a brush

it was fun

Combing the streets1

this guy talked to me on the bridge

getting in

Police were everywhere, it was nuts

Combing the streets2

Her mom made 12 collages representing her view of the world from the years 2000–2012

Combing the streets3

this guy took a pic of me on my bike at an equal rights march
i rly would like to see that pic though
“nice comb”

Combing the streets4

this is where the march ended up

The sculpture at the center of this park is called “The Fountain of Eternal Life” It was put there in 1964, the decade that many people I interviewed said they might want to go back to.

We’re still reaching

“the best time in history was way before colonization”
“it’s going to be a slow struggle from where it is now. People are people.”
same park 978.
somebody called me a “cuck” I didn’t notice it at the time. this will come up again later

Combing the streets5

Here is this place in 1910. the next screenshot is from the same angle
“Do you guys know each other?” “no, we’re brothers in christ, we just met.” ”yeah, god brung us together”
dangerous move
“you know that ‘us and them’ really starts a lot of wars, starts a lot of killing, scares the poopy out of me. So I’m just here to kind of say, ‘lets make it a better world.’”
This just guy wanted to know how periscope worked, but then I interviewed him.
on to the next zone

Combing the streets6

“she loves those strings. yeah she makes a lot of money from those strings”
“oh honey i really..theres was a lot about the 70’s that I really really loved but I really can’t discuss because you see this line of officers over here— No! I’m just kidding!”

went home for a sec to put on sunscreen

and the history of these statues

The bridge only allowed pedestrians to cross. That stone figure is one of our 8 gods of blue collar labor.

I feel bad not actually knowing about these statues so I did too much research for you.

They were made from sandstone found 15 miles southwest of Cleveland in Berea
Berea was founded in 1953 by a staunch abolitionist, John Gregg Fee. John’s father never stopped hating him for his views on slavery and owned slaves until he died.
John named the town Berea after a biblical town that was known to be openminded and tolerant.
years later, they discovered sandstone underneath main street. The mining operations destroyed all of the original downtown.
Bob Hope’s dad and a other local stone masons took the Berea sandstone and shaped it into these 8 large figures on either side of 4 large pylons. The figures are art deco with hints of greek and Egyptian (King tuts tomb was just discovered and people were super hyped on that shit)
they may be based on a kind of guardian statue found at Assyrian kings’ palaces. Walking between them grants you protection.
Here is an early sketch.

They were originally supposed to have all kinds of transportation in their hands. You can see a small list at the bottom of this sketch that reads:

Motifs of Locomotion:
The Horse and Wagon
The Ship
The Motor Car
The Aircraft

That would have been pretty neat I think. But instead they decided to go with only “ground vehicles”

I think Bob’s dad is fourth from the left

They went with things like, stage coach, street car, dump truck full of coal, and…cement truck??

A stone man holds a vehicle that holds liquid made-made stone

(Turns out it’s an oil truck??)

1932 vs today

They are no joke called, “The Guardians of Traffic”

So I was pretty much right by calling them ‘the gods of blue collar labor.’

This week for security reasons, the bridge is closed

The guardians of traffic, will see no traffic.

and the guardian of the guardians is this snow truck

that only moves for authorized vehicles

free water over the bridge though
Today, the quarries of Berea are man made lakes where couples take their engagement photos.

Combing the streets7

This guy sells Cavs shirts from a tent in the parking lot of a shell gas station a few miles outside downtown. He didn’t know what was going on downtown,
Business is good even though the big game was a month ago
“If you’re not in that predicament, why would you give a shit? why would you care if your not black?.. people just talkin right now, people don’t give a shit”

Going back in again

not a very good scope, honestly. it was fun to ride on the vacant bridge though

Combing the streets8

He looked at himself in the scope, “now that i can see myself, I can see how much i don’t look like trump, hahaha”
He said we need to simplify our lives and stop thinking about ourselves so much. ““whose going to think about US ALL?”
At the time, i didn’t see the screen name or avatar, just “Ur number???” and just imagined it was probably a rly smart and cool mega babe. it kept me going. Rewatching these has burst a lot of balloons.
(this was accidentally an “untitled” periscope)

Combing the streets9

at sunset a man was crossing the street carrying a cross that said “vote -4- Jesus”
“ [jesus] said ‘everything they did to me, they’ll do to you’ so anybody that REALLY lives like jesus, is gonna get crucified, one way or another.”
Laughing , I asked “how do you live like jesus then, if you don’t wanna be crucified?”
“the thing is, you gotta wanna be crucified”
“if everybody had blonde hair and blue eyes, they’d still be killing each other, its just the nature of the beast”
idk if its rly my fav. but i like that this guy talks about how crazy you have to be to really be like Jesus. Some real frank talk about a touchy subject.

Combing the streets10

I ran into my friend Lauren, and we went up into an apt above 4th st. She told me about how she went in the wrong entrance and the secret service held her for 3 hours cause they thought she was trying to sneak in.“They said we were lucky to not have federal felony charges filled against us for trespassing on federal property”
She said they said It was ‘the worst thing the secret service had to deal with all day’, and maybe they were just really amped for action. “The secret service guys were like, totally jacked up…eventually they were all joking with us because we all realized how fucking stupid it was”
I had to reprimand the audience for being unappreciative of my content

Combing the Streets11

Code Pink had this pretty cool Trump head. (it was modified from a Bush head)
I had to try it on
The inside was soft and well constructed and had a very mild locker room smell.
“I don’t think human beings are born to kill and hate, I think people are made that way. I believe in the inherent good nature of human beings, I just think our society produces really really hateful people right now, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I think we’re gonna arc towards justice, and we’re gonna arc toward love, and peace, I think that’s inherent.” I told her “that was beautiful” and I really really meant it.

Combing the Streets: going home b back tomorrow

The gates I came in through were locked and I had to find another way home
“I FEEL LIKE A RAT IN A CAGE!!!”
My phone lost signal. I had to ride home through the flats, past the spooky steel mills
The Cuyahoga river snakes through “The Flats.” this is the famous 1952 fire

Water on fire was routine. For the factories inhabiting the flats, dirty red water was looked at as a sign of prosperity.

We had periodic fires for over 100 years (more than 10 huge fires between 1868–1968) before the infamous 1968 fire (never actually photographed ) sparked national outrage and led to the environmental movement.

“Hey, maybe water shouldn’t be on fire”-everyone finally

AND THEN I had to peddle up Old Denison, the steepest dang hill around
it didn’t look neat like this. it was dark dangerous/spooky.

Combing the streets day 2 : going in

My time on this bridge lead to a 4 day ‘google hole’ apology

Biking over the bridge
the gods of blue collar labor greeted me (and i guess magically protected me?…)
(…also there ware two sets, is that double protection?)

As I write this, this scope was almost two weeks ago. I felt bad about not knowing enough about these “Gaurdians of Traffic” and I also wanted to prove that they actually were the gods of blue collar labor.

And so I did WAYYYYYYY more research. too much for this humble project.

This would have been done and on the internet many days ago.


I had no idea at the time that I would spend 4 straight days in a google hole researching:

  • Art Deco and it’s predecessor Art Nouveau (and a little Art moderne which followed art deco)
  • The history of World’s Fairs and world Expos
  • The Egyptian revival of the 1920s coinciding with the discovery of King Tut’s tomb
  • The film Metropolis (1927) and other visions of the future portraying our relationship with machines.
  • A lot of other unrelated things like a storm detection machine that is just 12 leeches in jars that ring a bell when a storm is coming.

I’ll put that whole story somewhere else where it makes more sense.

But heres a cool part from the google hole:


THE YEAR: 1900

THE PLACE: Paris (Exposition Universelle)

Palais de l`Électrique (Palace of electircy) 1900 Paris Exposition

This Is the Palace of electricity. A spectacle letting civilization know, Electricity is here and it’s glorious.

It looked like a grand chapel.

A multicolored heaven.

Inside, people were transported to a kaleidoscopic alien world using lights and mirrors

it was called “The Hall of Illusions”

(sorry alamy im still using it)

Its hard to imagine all the colors in this nighttime photo ^

Also shown for the first time at the 1900 expo:

  • Diesel engines
  • Talking Films
  • Escalators

Some early virtual reality called the “Mareorama.” A a gigantic painted scroll move past riders as the boat simulated turbulence using pistons and stuff. They also simulated wind and scents.

and this moving sidewalk (made by the same person who made palace of electricity):

“Moving Boardwalk”

These are only a few examples of the wild technology people were seeing for the first time.

Atop The Palace Of Electricity is perched a 20 ft tall figure they called:

The Genius of Electricity

Huge multicolored flames spewed around the Genius

Electricity and the machine age had arrived.

Our lives would soon be spectacular

thanks to machines

And we’ve barley breached The Great Google Hole

It was an incredible journey that concluded with me writing this down:

We lust for the godlike grandeur of the ancient Egyptians. We marvel at their timeless structures. We see confident beauty in their simple repeating geometric patterns. I wonder if it helped us humanize, materialize, and finally inhabit our newest god: the machine. Modernity can be scaled and happiness can be scaled. Repetition can be beautiful and its the future. We move forward together as one and our synchronicity will set us free.
Mass Idealism
Oppression with a heart
Their alien aesthetics and superior technologies are endlessly mysterious. Then we look in a mirror into our own eyes with that same mystery. The Egyptians allow us to romanticize and re-mythologize ourselves; ‘we have been more and we will be even more’
its our time now
we are the new god people
we are everything, we always will be

And were doing it with wheels.

Honestly kind of a boring scope too

Bonus:

The terminal Tower. Built around the same time as the Gaurdians (1930-ish) by Van Sweringen brothers. This is the building that overlooks the park where most of my interviews are. You can see the memorial statue on the lower left.
The Brothers (“the Vans”) were inseparable. They never got married or had any real hobbies outside of their businesses. They even slept in the the same bedroom in twin beds their whole life. 2 years after this photo was taken, Mantis died (the one on the left). The remaining brother, Otis, said, “I don’t know what to do, or how to do it, or where to go from here.” He only managed to live for 11 more months on this planet.

They shared everything, including their tombstone:

“Brothers”

Combing the streets12

people were calling this years RNC “a zoo.” but in 1924, the Republicans brought actual elephants
people were giving speeches at the park
“Black people are very forgiving, always have been, and always will be. We have been shot down, gunned down for many years but we still forgive. So we’re not the ones that have to forgive now, okay? It is the other side, and they’re not forgiving…that side needs to give some, they’re not giving”
This mural may look enormous, but it’s actually a scaled down print, The original is 8ftx16ft, “It nearly weighs 400 pounds, it’s enormous”. He pointed out “the rising white star in the east, is symbolic of the returning of christ.” You can’t tell from the picture, but he has an english accent, believe it or not.
He dreams of “Education for everyone on an equal level so that ignorance isn’t a profitable thing”
these we’re 10 dollars

Combing the streets: riding around

I ate tacos and then rode around a little bit to show a wider vibe.
foreshow

Combing the streets13

There was a militia of about five dudes in the park.
as you can obviously see, they had large guns.
“i want equal rights for everyone, skin color doesn’t matter to me, peaceful, abide by the constitution…we’d live a peaceful life”
I tried this thing where i walked around sticking the brush in peoples face. It was rude and I quickly stopped, but this lady said, “I’m glad that we’ve been peaceful so far here.”
This guy was recording everything with four cameras strapped to his body and head. The whole time I talked to him, he fiddled with changing all his memory cards. He had a beautiful dog with A LOT of names, but “Liberty” for short.
“We’re right in the middle of the spectrum of free will, we have this choice of stand with or stand alone, thats where the word constitution comes from. ‘con’ from the word with and ‘stitu’ meaning stand. So we stand with or we stand alone. Whose choice? To what degree? So thats all of politics.”
This group was doing your typical “god hates fags, etc” stuff
This 16 year old had a argument with them in front of everyone. As they left the area, he yelled, ““get outa here! Get outa Here!” while a few people around me repeated, “shame!”
“No fighting, all religions are at peace, those white supremacists— I’d love to be at peace with them, I’d love to be friends with them. I don’t like fighting, that’s not what the world is supposed to be.”

Combing the streets14

These women were at the Rock n’ Roll Hall of fame.
Best joke of the whole series. you’ll have to watch

Got some Bike Lights

Eating raw carrots always makes me feel bouncy. like Bugs Bunny.
RGB back tire

Ride Arounds

idk these are nice for street atmosphere


Combing the streets15

This scope was my lowest low

This guy and his twin? brother were selling these shirts that read “Hillary sucks, But not like Monica!!!! Trump That Bitch on the back!”
I liked almost everyone I talked to. These guys were probably the only exception. If you are a hacker, plz play a prank on them (playful plz).
This guy quoted the bible and a lot. He was nice. I don’t know if I really talked to him.
These three glossies were making fun of me. So I walked up to them and gave them my mic and let them host.
They began pointing out and giving scores to all the women around them “We got a 7.2 behind the camera over there. SMOKIN!”
“she was a 5.5 but upon further looking she was more of a 6.5 to 6.6 which was very nice”
They tried to hand the mic to their friend, but he was the only one that thought this might be a bad idea.

my signal was junk so I rescoped, this is where the interviews actually happened:


Combing the streets16

Found this husband and wife from Puerto Rico. She (pink) didn’t want to talk though.
His english was not so great. That’s okay, he still said some really great stuff “I hope the world changes. Take your time for positive situations. This is world is for everybody” I prob should have been like “en esnanol” cause then he could express himself in the exact way he wants to and maybe there were Spanish speakers watching. and i didn’t know I was doing this , but now I could have translated it. that would have been a fun surprise.

Going Home

I went horizontal and answered questions on my bike ride home.
It was fun to have a convo while zipping home. it was really dangerous but it felt fine for some reason. idk. i know i need a helmet

Going in day 3

Cleveland at around noon
Some protestors formed a fake wall of Trump. They had brick wall costumes.

Combing the streets17

Here’s a whimsical picture from 1910
Here’s a whimsical picture form the same location Today. These colorful things were dancing very gently
The wall that was on 4th st in the previous scope, began to form again in the square
“This country does not need anymore hate, we have enough violence, we have enough problems, we don’t need hate”
This guy mentioned the singularity and so I asked if he believed in it, ”HELL YEAH! 2045, BABY! …you don’t have to be beholden to any of this bullshit, you can be free to be whoever you want…we are part of this process that is beautiful and wonderful, we are so lucky to be alive right now at this point in time”
Using a sousaphone that read “SEX MACHINE” a man kept blasting the classic tug boat noise at the westborough-esque religious haters
i asked this group of people if someone would talk to me. another dude volunteered… sry for many dudes
“man I just want people to connect, and hear each other, you know, and like anybody can say anything, and we just hear it and we don’t react to it and get all mad and blah blah blah blah… like I wanna live in a world where theres not this crazy hierarchy, different privileges and people have these different experiences and different access to resources man, that’s whats fuckin causing this shit. so yeah man, i just want people to know what they’re capable of, I am so in love with humanity”
out of batts

combing the streets18

Afternoon at the square
Some tourists in the square 100 years ago
“I think everybody’s getting punched in their face. this is like pimpin’ and rapen’. This is so sad.” (she was ultimately optimistic though , FYI)
I like this lady even though she didn’t want to talk to me
“I think they’re making a lot of noise, but they’re not paying attention, the people that make the decisions need to pay attention to what the people say… We’re the people.”
“Once in a lifetime event…best of all, its nonviolent, Cleveland is nonviolent. you see that? I like that…it’s awesome man, awesome!”

Combing the streets19

flag burning

Cleveland RNC 1924. Those eagle pilers lined many streets and each costed 400 dollars. Adjusted for inflation, in todays economy that’s over $5,000 a piece.

I didn’t want to go to this but a lot of the people commenting wanted to see it. It was weird to have a comments section on reality.

everyone with cameras swarmed to get a shot of the combusting cloth
A line of bike cops flowed into the center of the crowd. A slender black stream of wheels and muscles chanting in unison “Move! back! Move! back! Move! back!”
I never really felt alone with the scope on
my bike. “The bike’s in a shitty spot!”-a lady right next to me who didn’t know it belonged to me
:(
17 people were arrested
you can see the burned flag in the hand of an officer if you look to the right of the word, “TROOPER”
I repeated their chant clearly into the brush mic, “They’re saying 1–2–3–4 slavery, genocide, and war. 5–6–7–8 America was never great.”
I let the viewers know I had less than 10 percent of battery left

I was happy to get back to just talking to people.


Combing the streets20

turbulent commenters

Th commenters almost tricked me into talking to a girl just cause she was wearing yoga pants
Geraldo was at the park
me and Geraldy
“I feel things are gonna get better cause people are tired of negative stuff…you can’t just have like, negative, negative, negative.”
I asked him about his earliest memory. “Grown’ up on a farm, having a dog, mans best friend…My dog was a german shepherd…he was black and white had some tan in him…his name was boss…I had him a couple years until he end up getting hit by a car.”
He was very hesitant but still let me brush his beard
“I hope for peace in this nation, and equality, and justice for all” then she sang the national anthem a little bit.
Normally its too sunny to read the comments, but when the sun goes down theyre right in your face. for better or worse
Female police officer asked for a pic with me. A fan? Some commenters suggested that pic was for the FBI or something. “facial recognition, they have you now” “you’re screwed” idk who my commenters are
our dude from before blew his rams horn
At first, the police chief refused to talk to a brush
“we’re all equally lost”
At the end of most streams, I’ve started to thank the audience and brush my hair.

Bike home

Kind of a janked up scope. But whatev. it was a nice night.

Going in day 4

final day


Combing the streets 21

Bright hot day
You think this is like, effective? you think we’re moving forward culturally and this is how we do it? “Always, peace is always the answer, I think the best way for us to come together is love and support each other and even though we don’t know each other, we gotta try to understand each other.”
I think racism will never die.
you really don’t think so ??
no
you don’t think we can like
no
no
no
not for one bit
why not?
what we want and
why do you think so though?
it woulda been happened by now
you don’t think so?
no, it’da been happened … itwoulda itwoulda happened by now.

I was criticized for not talking to enough women. maybe a fair critique. so I quickly found this person. I asked her if this whole protest thing is “ like a…an actually effective way to make change?”

“I think that it is if you’re organized, right? you have a clear list of demands. you have people who are milling about hear what your saying and are able to resonate with it —I think chanting into a bull horn and not being particularly clear about what you’re advocating for, um , is not the most effective way to get your message out, and I don’t, you know a lot of people were milling about on the outside of the protest and sort of saying, ‘do you know what this is about? do you know what this is about?’ and trying to listen trying to figure it out. um so I think they could have done a better job in that sense. But then you know I applaud anybody whose willing to be engaged in the process. So I’m happy they’re here but protest works best when it’s organized.”
“For my generation, the millennial generation, people between the ages of 18–35, 75 million people, its the largest generation of americans ever! bigger than the baby boomers. right? if all those people did something then that would have some results right? but not everyone participates. And participation is the first step.”
“my dream is to have a dream again” She said a lot of great stuff.
Hey it’s that 4 camera dude’s dog, liberty. hey liberty!

Still feeling like I had a female quota to fulfill I found another:

“everybody's warning us you know, ’stay out of cleveland this week’ and ‘its dangerous’ but who would not come theres so many exciting things happening…the media makes things seem huge, so coming here and seeing this, it’s like a reality check its like, ‘oh, I’m seeing this is really tiny’ and I see it on the tv screen presented like its something really big and important and I’m like ‘I just saw that and it wasn’t big at all, it’s like nothing!” So yeah, thats been awesome.
She said you should maybe keep your dreams a secret, “Don’t tell a lot of people because people…”
“they just wanna crush your dream”
“and just wanna CRUSH IT!”
“…and step on it and like tell you that you can’t do it because it make them threatened you know? they feel like well if I, if they go for their dream then that means I lost out, and now I’m stuck! and people just, they get stuck-don’t let yourself get stuck. you know? for all we know, maybe this is it. ”
the day before I made some slips of paper with my twitter and the words “combing the streets” so I could hand them to people I interviewed if they asked. I only got to hand out this one.
I asked her to keep the audience busy while I got the slip of paper and wrote in “21” after “combing the streets” so she’d know this was the 21st scope. I‘m watching this back for the first time and am seeing that she sort of talked about the things she liked about Cleveland. It was very sweet. What a great surprise. So fun. This was a fun time.

Combing the streets22

I’m a cuck

Halfway through the fourth straight hot and humid day of riding my bike around and interviewing people, I was struggling to find the energy to keep scoping. Sleepy and mostly braindead,I started the 22nd episode and hoped for someone soft and gentle

This intersection is where they burned the flag yesterday. It’s right outside and entrance to the RNC area, and a lot of trump stuff is being sold right there.

This lady was not that. She (politely) kept turning my questions back on me.

She said “Theres too many fractions, theres too many people…I don’t think the people that are fighting want to agree. I don’t think they want to have peace. I don’t think they’re interested in it.” This is not related to this controversy below.

I said something about white males being favored throughout history. Some of the audience turned on me.

It was also one of my worst interviews. I should have taken a nap.

The interview ended and I addressed their concerns.

A cuck but funny

brooding and thrashing

They also called me a Nissan Juke? let me google that real quick.
I’m this.. what a weird joke. I like this roast
“Being white is great, right?” “Libcuck”- 2 cool dudes

Combing the streets23

media row. and more cucking around.

Media row is where the press retreats to crank out the news. Most of the time this is actually a parking garage. Notice the white ceiling beams

I did a dumb thing

got a press badge

Look

You know tensions were high for this whole event. People told me things like, “don’t go downtown all week, it’s dangerous” The police presence was infamously astronomical. The security was legend. ‘they have this shit locked down’ folks were saying

between me and media row there was a super high security checkpoint much like a TSA line.

ok

I had a little bit of weed

I thought that there was a chance I’d run into someone and use it to bond in some way and have a better convo for the show. I never got to use it, and I know what you’re thinking: “oh, so this dude was just high all week. Now it all makes sense.”

1. grow up hahahaha 2. the only drug I did all week was caffeine

I was too hot, tired, beaten, and bullied to think about real consequences. Too brave and cocky. “what are they gonna do?? throw me in jail?” I thought.

probably though!

I kept all this to myself.

I was already to having a mental argument with the secret service

persuading them that they’re overreacting

Some might say my attitude toward the situation was very alpha. or it might be proof that toxoplasmosis is a personality type.

it was terrifying. but I got through

just barely though!!!!

there was a VERYYYY close call

again. what a bad idea.

Then I got made fun of some more for being a weak white beta male

I’m not sure what kind of Planet of the Apes, testosterone fueled, reality these commenters live on.

Acknowledging their trolling broke a key rule of the internet: don’t feed the trolls. Even reposting these here is probably a bad idea, I’ll blame the toxoplasmosis again.

I guess I just wanted you to see the latest baby cries.

I was already tired and exhausted and now I was being made fun of. The psychological abuse got to me. I thought these people liked me. I don’t like bullies. Maybe they feel threatened because their oppression is so local, because men do it to each other, and we do it to ourselves. White males create constraints for other white males. I mean, just look how conservatively we dress. A subtle deviation in a tie design can be a fashion risk. We made this world in our image and it fits us like a shrinking wetsuit. We’re simultaneously the most free and least free. The dichotomy is treacherous. Who imposes these rules? IDK. Maybe our final enemy is this folklore about ‘what it means to be a man.’

The final thrashes of folkloric masculinity

hahahaha

I love you.

surrender to yourself

surrender to each other

surrender to freedom

hahahahahaha

(I laugh as if I’m not also thrashing)

Had to restream cause the wifi sucked. “media row redooo” below. not very great scopes TBH

hahahahahahahahahahaha, quant. Name calling and dehumanization—making someone feel less than equal or not fully human— is how we are able to do the worst evils. It’s how we simplify our problems to binaries because we can’t handle the complexities of reality. Please think about this. I promise I like you. Sorry I called you trolls. I’m gonna call you ‘keyboard cowards’ ahahhaa

“You can’t hide behind a beta male when the revolution happens”


Combing the streets24

exhausted, tired, destroyed, reanimated with too much coffee, still jittery about potentially going to jail, and emotionally fragile because of the bullies inside my phone, I began to break down on camera.

Around the baseball field, they created “Freedom Plaza and Marketplace”
This is as close as I got to the actual convention center.
They were selling dumb stuff like this. true freedom
“31 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren and it’s just wonderful to see them progress, and besides they’re all republican so thats why I love them too! NO! hahaha!”
“I maybe would like to go back to the cave days to see how exciting it was to discover and how you name things.”
She was skittish. Rightfully so, I was talking to her with a brush and she couldn’t even see my eyes.
I clumsily removed my sunglasses to see if it would help. No.
Her bottom lip was trembling. her nervousness was contagious. I BECAME NERVOUS. I froze (this is a post reenactment of my mental horror)
For some reason, a lot of people at this convention thought hugging will solve everything. So I suggested “we’re both kind of…do you wanna just like stop for a second?” It might have made it worse. idk. I was a mess. maybe its fine
I calmly asked, “so liberty, peace, happiness, can we get there as humans?”
she took her time, and deeply considered it. “…we…we can..”
“but will we?”
everyone felt awkward. 4 REAL. I needed a nap.

Combing the streets25

didn’t take a nap

Back at the square. Feeling like a space shuttle being ripped apart by the earths atmosphere in slow motion.
press is out
destroyed
This guy looked nice. It looked like he was playing pokemon go, and when i asked if that was true, he said, “Of course!” as if it was a given. (this was actually Combing the streets’ first irl encounter with the infamous telephone application.) He said he wasn’t there for the protests.
He showed me that this area is dank with pokestops.
I asked him how to live. He could tell I wanted a big and easy solution. But he kept it grounded.
“I do my thing and you know, enjoy myself, enjoy life, thats it. I’m just a human being, theres a lot of limitations on what I can do, but I still try to put in some effort to try to help everybody I can help, so yeah.”
This sign made of white PVC pipe jutted up above the crowd, “How can I PRAY for you?”
Him: what do you need? Me: can’t you just sense what i need and give it to me?
I’m not an easy customer. “I can’t, I can’t do it, I mean, only god can, and if he, uh, speaks through me or whatever, that’s…that’s only him, I can’t do anything. But what I can do is pray for you”
“father God, I pray for Ryan, I pray for uh, strength, I pray for energy, that ummm…He’s feeling tired right now. I pray that ummm, you make yourself real to him and that you’ll give him the energy to continue on and to uhh do what he needs to do. I pray that ummm He would really just begin to see you. and he’ll begin to uhh understand who are are, lord and that you’ll show him your love, and that you love him, lord. we just pray that uhh, anything he needs that you’ll give him what he needs, in jesus name, amen.” to be clear, I kept the Uhhhs cause I liked them. they’re the best part.
“I’m gonna go drink a whacky energy drink or something.” then i did

Combing the streets26

hill dynamic

It’s sunset at the park. Things are mostly calm and feels like maybe its the ‘peace’ everyone is always talking about. I ride my bike around, to take in the scene.
peace?
There were two hills on the sides of the park. A bunch of yellow shirted people on one side…
…and sort of trumpyish people on the other. Was this some sort of stand off? What was the hill dynamic?
I kept riding around. A viewer said he was Andy Sandberg and so I asked him if Joanna Newsom casually plays harp around the house, cause that would be so nice.
try and find a frame without a policemen though
just doing some laps around the park on my bike.
Not counting all the weapons. It looks and sounds like a Disney movie.
circling helicopters as a constant
The guy started sending ominous updates about suspicious activity. I wasn’t sure if it was a troll trolling or not. scary.
hit the breaks! Iguana alert!
Me: is he dyed orange?
Guy: no. this is a red iguana. this is her natural color.
Offscreen Crowd of women : AWE!!
me: WOW!
Guy: her name is fluffy.
offscreen woman: ooooo! fluffy, huh? hahahahaha!
other woman: she so cuoo hoo hoot! haha!
Guy: Yeah, you’re more than welcome to touch her if you want, she’s completely social and tame.
women, hushed by the idea of a close encounter: oh, wow oh oh
woman: I don’t want to stress her out
guy: oh she’s fine
This red iguana is peace
whoops! don’t worry about that comment. just pet the lizard. hahahah, peace, remember?
Being on my bike made me feel a little better. I was fast at least.
serious boys. serious guns. hey Ya’ll
Locked up and prepared for a combing
A viewer said something about my necklace. So showed them that it was a real crab preserved in glow-in-the-dark resin
its fun when the commenters are funny
Started at the the hill I’ve been calling ‘the trump side.’
but seeing a guy with dreadlocks made me think otherwise. A trump supporter with dreadlocks? no way.
Scientific confirmation on the dreadlock thing via a commenter
“people gotta be able to accept people the way they are. That’s all there is to it”
“preserver through all” with his face pinched like a classic nobleman
this man wants “Peaceful revolution”
“Now both a man and a woman have to work just to make heads meet and the kids are in childcare , so we’re definitely not as great as we have been”
On my way over to the other hill I saw boothead. Never found out what he was all about
opposing hill views. You can see why this looked like a stand off right?
needed to get the scoop on the yellow shirts
This person with the megaphone seemed to have some authority.
“The world is torn right now. I don’t know how much of this is the prevalence of media and social networks highlighting the negative aspects of whats been going on in the world…but I don’t think there needs to be a chaotic event to bring about change. As long as we keep a cool head on our shoulders and see that there is only a minute percent of the world that is promoting chaos and that we can’t be gullible to believe thats what the world is; that we need a major catastrophe to change things. Just hone in and focus on the positives that are happening and build on them, rather than erasing what we’ve already done as a community. We will be better.”
5 cameras. 6 if you include me. Love is an endangered animal that we are desperate to prove still exists.
cool hair alert! its like strawberry ice cream.
The commenters were very nice also
We talked about the existence of aliens a little bit. I told them about the Fermi paradox and how some scientists concluded that the universe should be teaming with extraterrestrial intelligent life, so why don’t we see them??
They guess that in our galaxy, there are as many planets with life on them as there are grains of sand on the earth
1 out of every hundred grains of sand would have intelligent life
And then they figure out of those, 1,000 civilizations should be so advanced that they harness all the energy in our galaxy. So again, where are they?
Some people think aliens have ‘a look, don’t touch’ rule. We aren’t advanced enough and we need to prove ourselves worthy.
We need to to breach some arbitrary threshold.
Earth is like their zoo, and we’re just too primitive to be in their exclusive clique.
I just want the aliens to think we’re cool
She hopes, “that humanity gets along with each other and loves each other, and people will be loved, no matter where they come from, or who their mother was or who their father was or what their sexual orientation is.It does not matter. people should be judged for their hearts and for who they are.” I asked, “do you think we’ll get there?” She said, “I would hope so in my lifetime”
The commenters told me to talk to the guy with the flag
“I really wish that everybody would be able to acknowledge their own identity, while not going against other people’s identity…you know my thing is, we’re in the united states, we are human, we have a right to choice so if you wanna be gay, be gay, if you wanna be pro black, be pro black”
idlk

Combing the streets27

The Final Brushing

The air is that perfect tempurature were you don’t even feel it
a lot of activity. These people are doing yoga?
The yellow shirt group from earlier starts a march
The guy we talked to is yelling into a megaphone
i have a true fan
One of the guys that was calling me a cuck, now jokes about explosives

hey

think

I had a real time comments section

on my life

reading them

like an internal voice

commenting on my environment

the environment I was currently inhabiting

with my physical body

my volunerable vessel

when people made jokes about explosions

that’s so rude I can’t believe it

Coincidently, the place where the commenters wanted the grenade to be detonated is almost exactly where Abraham Lincoln’s body was on display while on his 12 day funeral tour following his assassination 151 years ago.

Then I decided to go home

leaving the park and somebody said “hey!”

an IRL fan!

“I love this guy, i’ve benn watching him all week, he’s been killing it, man!”
I felt weightless wacthing the hearts float upward as the video stream blinked out

Epilogue

doodle

When people asked what my politics were I would brush it aside. They assumed I was trying to stay neutral, but thats not true.

For all my life but especially the last year or so, I’ve been really freaking out about civilization. I’ve been reading all kinds of books trying to get a grip on it all. Are we broken? can we be fixed? What do we want to be? Can we agree?

I had no real goals for this project but I had an urge and I thought it would be fun. It really really was

I‘ll show you this

For the last 6 monthsI’ve been writing things on my wrists to stop from freaking out so much. Secret symbols that only I understand. Custom reality checks.

Here’s what I redrew on my wrists every morning of these four days:

On my right wrist I drew the earth

Often when I’m nervous I imagine zooming out until the earth is a tiny dot. That makes me remember how small we are. A piece of hovering dust. And so whatever I’m dealing with at the moment is even smaller.

If someone seemed intimidating I’d remember they are also floating on this tiny tiny sphere. We’re all earthlings, stuck here together. (I know it sounds corny but this is true so sorry, I really need these things sometimes)

On my left wrist I drew a line segment of an infinite loopy doodle

This reminded me to not overthink what I was doing

and to play with whatever comes up.

IMO

Reality is a doodle. So we better start having fun

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