Jordan Bates

“And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades.” Haruki Murakami, a modern master of magic realism and mind-bending metaphysical mischief (holy alliteration!), has an uncanny [...]

“I am soon to become an emperor-ha-ha-ha-ha! I am destined to be a lousy beggar – ha-ha-ha-ha! It’s all a game. Any part will suit me fine.” For thousands of years, Eastern sages have taught a method for reducing or eliminating suffering — in a word: non-resistance. The idea is this: As humans, we possess [...]

If mankind were contacted by an alien race, how would the world react? How would people change? In his novel, Contact, the late, great astronomer Carl Sagan explores this fascinating question. I recently had the pleasure of reading Contact, and one of the aspects I most admired about it was Dr. Sagan’s humble suggestion that communication [...]

Recently, Noel Gallagher, the frontman of the band Oasis, (I didn’t know who he was either) lashed out against fiction, saying, “I only read factual books. I can’t think of … I mean, novels are just a waste of f–king time.” Though we’re all entitled to our opinions, I was perturbed to see such a [...]

Three months ago, a video called ‘The Innovation of Loneliness’ was released online. It proceeded to scorch in viral glory across the web, garnering 3 million+ views as of my writing this, and not without good reason. The beautifully animated four-minute mini-film provides a simple yet profound response to a poignant question: What is the connection [...]

“You’re gonna like the way you look. I guarantee it.” Everyone reading this probably recognized that opening sentence. It’s the snappy little catch phrase thrown in at the end of every Men’s Warehouse commercial. These types of ostensibly encouraging messages are a staple in the world of fashion and beauty product advertising (You can be [...]

Recently, I read an extraordinary collection of letters written by Rainer Maria Rilke, the renowned Bohemian-Austrian poet who passed away in 1926. Between 1903 and 1908, Rilke penned a series of responses to a would-be writer, offering advice on poetry and on being a sensitive individual in an often cruel and unforgiving world. These letters, [...]

I was thinking about Banksy the other day. You know of Banksy, right? He’s that notorious, enigmatic England-based serial street artist. He’s produced countless iconic works of satirical graffiti, and his art often contains subversive anti-capitalist or anti-establishment messages. He’s also a writer, painter, and film director (his documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop, is [...]

Around midsummer of this year, I was undergoing an inexplicable spell of irrational guilt. These types of episodes have come to me before, but they’re infrequent, thankfully. What happens is this: some tiny aspect of who I am or a deed I’ve done (or have failed to do) bubbles up into my consciousness, and for [...]

I don’t have all the answers. I am not an enlightened guru who is incapable of getting pissed off or being judgmental. I am not one of those eternally smiling people who “chose to be happy” and poof! became happy. I am not a high-flying neo-Jesus of the Internet screaming “FOLLOW ME TO THE PROMISED LAND, Y’ALL!” (although someone should go [...]

1 2 7 8 9 10 11 13 14