I Got Saved at San Diego’s Creationist Museum (Just Kidding, It Sucked)
In addition to the fancy multi-million dollar creation museum in Kentucky, there are several smaller, shittier ones dotted around the US. Last weekend I took a trip to the one in San Diego called the Creation and Earth History Museum. I brought a camera with me so you could laugh at it from the comfort of your own home without having to deal with any weirdos.
There was a fleeting moment when I first arrived at the museum when I thought it might actually be a fun place. There were a bunch of model dinosaurs outside, and inside near the entrance they had one of those electro-plasma things where the lightning follows your finger as you touch it. And everyone loves those (although, like all things in museums that are there for children to touch, it was coated in some kind of sticky substance that smelled like McDonald’s).
But then I turned a corner and found myself in snoozetown’s central square. This is, essentially, what every single room of the museum looked like: a wall covered in little signs.
Have the people who made this thing never been to a science museum? They’re AWESOME! They’ve gotindoor tornadoes, mock spaceship rescue operations, robots that are able to autonomously interact with visitors… they’ll even let you drive a goddamn 350-ton train. That’s the competition. And the Creation and Earth History Museum is gonna come at it with a wall full of shit to read?
And the barrage of text doesn’t stop with the signs. They have these little computer printouts, called “Insight…,”next to each exhibit that you can take home so you can read more about it later.
And if that STILL isn’t enough reading for you, they have QR Codes to reveal EVEN MORE info.
I read almost everything in the museum. (Mostly by taking photos of each sign to read at home later. I genuinely don’t think there would be enough hours in the day to read everything while you were there.) Here’s a breakdown of what I learned about their version of history:
- God created the universe in seven days.
- There was no bad stuff in the world until that dick, Adam, ate an apple.
- Noah’s Ark was real and it’s stuck on top of Mount Ararat, but nobody can find it.
Fashion Week Sucks Balls
Thanks to my job, I’ve been going to various fashion weeks for a few years now. Usually, when friends find out I’m going, they start begging for invites and guestlist spots for parties and free goodie bags (or something—I’ve pretty much stopped listening). This is because everyone is an idiot, and you have been lied to about fashion week. Fashion week sucks balls.
Here’s what happens at a fashion week:
As you approach the Lincoln Center (where the main NYFW events takes place), a terrifying, dark desperation hangs in the air. Dozens of photographers wait outside the door, hungrily looking from person to person, hoping to see either a celebrity, or someone with a bloggable outfit that they can photograph.
Though there are close to 100 different photographers there, they’re not shooting for anyone you’ve ever heard of. They all “work” for “online magazines” that have “.blogspot.com” in their URL. You will see the above scene (a woman, who is probably a fashion student, being mobbed because she’s wearing a “funky hat”) play out multiple times.
Once inside, you join some kind of line, which you will be in for a very long time. And it’s not like some relaxed Space Mountain line, either. Fashion people are fucking INTENSE. There are different line-heirachies, which leads to a lot of shoving and shouting (especially if you’re in the plebe’s line, like I always am).
Obv most stereotypes about groups of people are untrue (JK), but everything you’ve ever heard about fashion people is correct. Zoolander is pretty much a documentary.
At one show, I was stuck in a line behind two girls who had a 13-minute debate (I timed it) about whether or not to eat a free sample of yogurt covered pretzel (they decided to not eat the pretzel, but take a three mile run the next morning anyways, phew!).
Also, this is an actual conversation I overheard in another line:
Girl: You should have a theme party!
Boy: Eugh, I would love to, but I can’t really do parties.
Girl: Why not?
Boy: It’s just that I have too many friends. I couldn’t invite everyone, it would be impossible. And I hate excluding people.
Girl: That sucks.
Boy: Yeah, it really bums me out.
There’s something a little upsetting about being around fashion people, too. Does the thought of this kid staying up all night hot gluing feathers to his shoes make anyone else wanna cry?
Also, Mercedes sponsored the main event space, so this car was positioned at the entrance. Which made me think of some car crash pictures I saw on Reddit a few days ago (don’t click that link if you ever want to relax in a car ever again, btw), so I spent a lot of my time at fashion week thinking about being trapped inside that car as it burned and having panic attacks.
Anyway, Fascinating Fashion Week Fact: Over 100 percent of shows at NYFW used that one Grimes songas the soundtrack.
I had no idea it took so much equipment to play a Grimes song, though. Who knew DJing was so complicated!
If you’re lucky, the event you’re at will have free drinks. Usually made by a mixologist who has been hired to mask the taste of whatever, recently-launched-and-destined-to-fail booze brand is sponsoring the event.
Also, that is the tallest man in America. I’m not sure why he was at fashion week. Maybe he’d been hired to add some excitement to the crowd? At the show where I saw him, he was hanging with a high-fashion dwarf, a guy with 100s of facial piercings, and a furry. It was like being at a casting for a P!nk music video.
I Went to the Playboy Mansion (and It Was Kinda Depressing)
A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the Playboy mansion for a screening of that new Jennifer Lopez/Jason Statham movie, Parker. I don’t usually go to press screenings because it’s much easier to download the movie and watch it at home and not have to talk to other people, but I’d literally wanted to visit the Playboy mansion ever since I’d found out it was an option for me several seconds earlier. So I HAD to go.
Before the screening there was a reception featuring drinks and “photo opportunities” with some Playboy Playmates™® in the mansion’s main entry hall.
Hugh was supposed to be in attendance too, but he was sick. So we had to make do with this thing.
The screening was held in the drawing room. Here’s an exclusive sneak preview of it. This is from a scene where (SPOILER ALERT!!!!) Jason Statham hits someone with something.
Right after I took this picture, I whispered something to the girl sitting next to me and a guy wearing a suit with Converse shoes came over and told me off for being too loud. A suit with Converses is my least favorite look ever. Do you have any idea how humiliating it is to be yelled at by someone wearing an outfit that was last acceptable on Tom Green at the 2003 Nickleodeon Kid’s Choice Awards? Horrifying.
I needed to get out of there, so I decided to “get lost” while trying to find the bathroom, and see how long I could wander around the mansion before someone made me go back to the movie.
The first thing I did was go find a bathroom to poop in. I didn’t even need to, really. But how often do you get a chance to poop in the Playboy mansion? This is what you get to see while you’re pooping there, if you were wondering.
After pooping, I started to notice how crappy everything was. Am I an idiot for thinking the mansion would be nice? I figured it would at least be a little bit fancy. That was the main reason I’d wanted to visit—I’m gay, btw. Wait, are straight people even into the women in Playboy anymore? Or did that stop in the 90s? Wait, how does Playboy still exist now that the internet exists? Who on Earth is buying the magazine? The kind of person who wears a suit with Converses, probably.
Anyway, this is less nice than my bathroom at home. I keep my air freshener in a cupboard and everything.
I Went to Art Basel and Tried to “Get” Art
A while ago, I wrote a thing about how I don’t “get” art. In the piece, I dared to suggest that maybe it was silly that a neon sign that says “my cunt is wet with fear” is worth $100,000. It got read by a lot of people, many of whom disagreed with me and got very very angry. After reading people’s feedback, I thought maybe I had been a little harsh, and decided to give art ONE MORE CHANCE.
So I headed to Art Basel in Miami. In case you don’t keep up with #art, Art Basel is the world’s largest art fair. A bunch of galleries from all around the world gather in a big exhibition center in Miami and show off their bestest bits of art (pictured above), and have some parties and stuff.
First thing I noticed while walking around the main exhibition was the INSANE amount of canvases-painted-one-color that were on display.
I mean, I get it. It’s “making us question what art REALLY is” or some shit. Which I guess would have beenkinda interesting the first time someone did it 100 years ago. But do we really need to keep doing it? It’s been pretty well established what art is by now.
What I don’t get, is who the fuck is buying this stuff? Is this really worth $20,000? I know that nothing is worth what you pay for it, that’s just how the world works. Like, the computer I’m typing this on probably cost the manufacturer about 1/50th of what I paid for it. But come the fuck on, man. A black square? That costs as much as an entire third-world school?
I know the term “laughing all the way to the bank” is overused, but I find it hard you wouldn’t at least chuckle while driving to Chase if you were the guy who just made a year’s rent by painting a $30 canvas black.
And how does an artist even decide this is what they’re gonna do with their life? It’s like when people become an acoustic singer/songwriter. There is not one single thing that you can add to to that world, so why bother?
I guess it’s probably “Blair Witch syndrome”—where someone sees another person making a ton of money doing something that they themselves could have done and it makes them temporarily lose their mind.
Maybe that’s just what the entire art world is. Like how the tech world is made up almost completely of people who wish they could have been Mark Zuckerberg, the art world is people who are bummed they didn’t think of someone else’s obvious idea first.
Like how Tracey Emin made a bunch of money writing completely assinine statements in neon lighting, and now there’s an entire artistic movement of it. Like what you see above. Which are just four examples of about 1000000 I saw at Basel of people taking nominally profound statements and then turning them into art 3D objects to be sold for more than I make in a year.
Weirdly, Pharrell is taken seriously by people in Miami. I saw him at a bunch of shows, and he wasn’t laughed out of the building a single time. He even did a talk about design which, unfortunately, I missed, as I’m sure it would have been fucking GOLD. Apparently Kanye showed up and they had a debate about modern aesthetics, hahahahaha. This is the same guy who once asked everyone to start calling him “Skateboard P,” right? The one who was “rhymin’ on the top of a cop car”? I didn’t imagine that? And people are paying to hear him give his opinions on design now? Got it.
Sedona, Arizona is believed by many to be the “energy capital of the United States,” as it is surrounded by several energy vortexes.
For the uneducated, “energy vortexes” are swirling centers of mystical energy that come from the center of the Earth (duh). Because of this, Sedona has a booming new age tourist industry (pictured above).
I’m not a very spiritual person, and am frequently jealous of those who are, so I decided to head to the desert to explore these vortexes and try to have a spiritual awakening. Luckily for me, there are multiple companies in Sedona willing to take your money in exchange for guiding you on a vision quest.
I went with a company called Red Rock Tours, because they were the first thing that came up when I googled “vortex tour.” For just $105 (+ tax), they will take you for a three hour tour of Sedona’s most sacred mystical spots.
This is my tour guide, Mark, who is trained in both matrix energetics AND reconnection therapy. I don’t know what either of those things are, but they definitely sound pretty cool.
As we drove to our first location, Mark gave us a little bit of history on Sedona and the vortexes. Which was pretty TLDR, but the gist of it is: the Earth is covered in these things called “ley lines,” which are lines that energy moves in. When two lines cross each other, they create an “energy center,” which in the case of Sedona, manifests itself as a series of swirling “vortexes.”
Mark drove us out to the first vortex on our agenda, which was located by Sedona’s airport. He warned us, “you’ve gotta promise me you won’t do any levitating! The pilots really don’t like that.” Which was promising.
He told us that a minor miracle once happened here. He was taking a tour group that included a man from Texas whose arm had been crippled for seven years due to a stroke. (That’s Mark showing you what a crippled hand looks like. Just in case you were unsure.) After just a few minutes at the vortex site, the man was able to feel his arm tingling. A couple of hours later, he was able to raise it all the way above his head. Mark thinks it was DEFINITELY because of the energy, ”I do not believe in coincidence at all. In no way,” he told us.
Can you imagine how weird life must be if you don’t believe in coincidences, BTW? Like, a couple of days ago, I was walking in LA with my iPod on random, and the song “Stay” by Lisa Loeb came on, which was featured on the Reality Bites soundtrack, and I thought to myself, huh, I wonder what Janeane Garofalo is up to these days? at which point I realized I was standing directly outside the building where they filmed the opening of Romi and Michele’s High School Reunion, and I was like “woooooah,” because Janeane Garofalo is also in that movie. AND THEN, when I got home, I looked on the Daily Mail website, and there was a story about Garofalo, right there on the homepage. I don’t hear anything about JG for ten years, and then she’s there three times in one day. I guess what I’m trying to say is, if I were Mark, what the fuck would I think that meant?
Anyway. This is where the vortex is. Which was super nice. It looked like a desktop background, but IRL.
We were told that a lot of people feel a tingling when they’re there, or the hair stands up on the back of their neck.
I felt nothing, but Mark told us to go off and take some time by ourselves to try and connect with the energy. He told us, “It’s really about opening your chakras and being present and getting out of your left brain. Breathe and be in the moment.”
This is me breathing in the moment, trying super hard to get out of my left-brain. Turned out to be pretty tough. Mainly because I couldn’t remember which one was the right brain and which was the left brain. Based on the general hippie vibes, I guessed that it was the non-arsty one. So I tried to get way outta there.
Reasons Why LA Is the Worst Place Ever
I recently moved from London to Los Angeles. Despite the fact that LA is the undisputed worst place in the entire world, I’ve been trying super hard to like it. Mainly because I like being that guy who likes the thing everyone else hates just to annoy people (which reminds me, people I know in real life: I never really liked Skrillex or Twilight. You should’ve seen your faces though).
Liking LA also seems to be “a thing” lately. I’ve seen a bunch of articles about it, like this one by Joseph Gordon Levitt that people keep sending me. In it, he talks about how LA is superior to New York because you can sing in the car when you’re stuck in traffic, and also he once saw the movie Swingers here.
Anyway, below are the main things that have been annoying me since moving to LA.
THERE IS DANGER EVERYWHERE
In London, the worst that can happen while you’re out walking around is maybe stepping in a puddle or gettinghappy slapped. Here, I have to worry about drive-bys and forest fires and mountain lions and “The Big One” and rattlesnakes and brain-eating parasites and home invasions and fucking TSUNAMIS! Why did someone think it would be a good idea to build a city here?
IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE A NORMAL NIGHT OUT
In London, or New York, or Paris, or any other city on Earth, going out means either walking/taking public transportation to a bar or club, then maybe walking to another place after that, then taking a cab home. This becomes problematic in Los Angeles, because public transportation does not exist. And I’m pretty sure cabs don’t exist, either. This means everyone drinks and drives, and I’m not sure if you’ve seen those ads about it on TV, but drinking and driving is really, really, really not OK. Then, you have to find somewhere to park or pay a bunch of money to valet, and then line up to get in, and then before you know it you just paid $30 to get into a “yoga rave” that’s ten minutes from ending, you’ve forgotten where you parked and, oh shit, you got a ticket. Fun times.
THERE IS HIPPIE BULLSHIT ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE
Every time I think I’ve met a normal person, I find out they’re extremely into some kind of new-age nonsense. Did you know that Mercury is in retrograde right now? Me too, and I really, really shouldn’t know that.
Here’s Jamie Lee Curtis Taete’s anti-hickey screed, “Hickeys Are Lame and Gross and Everyone Should Stop”. You should read it, but: Hickeys make you look like a tough, sexually active teen and is there really anything cooler than that?
My name is Jamie Taete and I write for VICE. Just before 8 PM on Saturday evening, an email entitled “Donald Trump is obsessed with Jamie Taete” landed in my inbox.
The sender was someone called “Peterbd”—a name I didn’t recognize. As you can imagine, this was fairly disorientating for me.
So I’m gonna do what I always do when I find something confusing and creepy—post an unedited version of it here for your amusement.
DEAR VICE - DONALD TRUMP IS OBSESSED WITH JAMIE TAETE
‘jamie taete aint about that life’
‘fuck you jamie taete. motherfuck you and everybody you know’
’ jamie taete has hair that isn’t atrocious. fuck him’
‘you see this unfinished building i’m pointing to? this building is gonna be turned into a 5 star hotel. i’m a successful business man. i get money. what has jamie taete done for society besides being chill and funny. oh my god. fuck that guy’
‘IF JAMIE TAETE AUDITIONS FOR THE APPRENTICE I’M GOING TO HIRE HIM JUST SO I CAN SCREAM ‘YOUR FIRED’ AT HIM. I’M GOING TO SCREAM THIS AT HIM AND I’M GOING TO GET SATISFACTION FROM SCREAMING THIS AT HIM. HE AINT BUILT TO BE MY APPRENTICE. HE AINT BUILT TO BE MY RIGHT HAND MAN. HE DON’T KNOW THE WORK I PUT INTO THIS. I’M CASHIN OUT. I’M COUNTIN STACKS. GET ON MY LEVEL JAMIE TAETE OR GTFOH!’
‘peep my smile jamie taete. peep my double chin. peep my confusing hair choices. peep my discolored skin. peep my boring fashin sense. wanna date me? i have hotels in atlantic city. we could go on a date there. fuck you if you say no’
- - - - -
I’m not entirely sure why you have sent me this. I assume it’s some kind of wacky internet art. But, generally, I never get sent anything but press releases about Las Vegas-based DJs. So in that sense, I guess I better thank you.
Unfortunately, I just googled you to try to figure out what your deal is and you appear to be some kind of super-mysterious, internet alt-lit-type person. That in mind, I regret to inform you that I definitely cannot spare any more than one minute trying to “figure you out.” I have very little patience for “alt-lit,” and when it exists on the internet, where anyone can write about whatever they want for however many words they want, it’s pretty much my worst nightmare.
- Jamie Taete
PS, if you know of a way I can stop getting five press releases a day about DJs from Las Vegas, please lemme know.
Follow Jamie on Twitter: @JLCT
Previously: Dear VICE - I Think You Got Me Fired