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  • Writer's pictureJ Wolfe

Escape New York, Enter AI

Updated: Aug 11, 2023

I’ve been getting really freaked out about AI. I’d much prefer zombies, like if the world is gonna end, or if some other “lifeform” is going to take it over can it at least be a classic monster?? Oddly enough, I do think aliens will save us by triggering the next enlightenment. We have always been more afraid of ourselves in other forms than we should be.

All of these statements are insane. I know that. And climate change is also happening, as my brother, after sending this terrifying video to me, loved reminding me of with the fact that “luckily AI isn't the only approaching danger” in our texts today. Yet, the thing the girls around me worry most about is love. On the train ride home from work today I read a passage that will stand the test of time in my life, it’s an instant classic. Cookie Mueller’s Escape from New York, and in these terrifying times I think it speaks wonders to every scary thing that’s going on right now. Even Barbie made a point about how uncomfortable being a person is. So I thought I’d share this passage here.

Cookie Mueller’s Escape from New York published in “Walking through Clear Water in a pool Painted Black”

Lately, a couple of my girlfriends have committed suicide. One jumped off a building and the other one took pills. As I remember, in conversations with them not long before they decided to do this, they told me they were depressed because:

  1. they were reaching 40

  2. their careers were at a standstill and

  3. they were lonely.

All valid reasons.

There have been times when I’ve been so depressed about these same things that I couldn’t be emotionally positive enough to get up from bed at 5 in the afternoon to take a piss even when my bladder was bursting.

So I understood.

I have tried to commit suicide but the famous Dorothy Parker quatrain rattles in my head.

Guns aren’t lawful;

Nooses give;

Gas smells awful;

You might as well live.

You might as well. You’re going to die soon enough anyway and I guarantee when it happens you won’t be ready.

In retrospect, I know what I should have said to them. I should have told them about my personal cure for deepest depression, which never fails.

“Girls,” I would tell them, “Girls, don’t be such pussies! Get the hell out of here! Take a break from the city! New York is only a small part of the world. Being 40 ain’t so bad in the rest of the world. Nobody on the Adriatic in Yugoslavia will see your hairline crows’-feet wrinkles. In Lesbos, Greece or Fez, Morocco, nobody cares about careers and if heterosexual loneliness is the problem, get your butt on an airplane. There are millions of hetero men walking around in all parts of the world that would fall to their knees in front of you and lick your toe jam. And they’re great looking, some of them have money, even. Not all men in the world are assholes or married or attached or anal or too career-oriented or gay or balding like they are in New York.”

It wasn’t as if these girls couldn’t get together the plane fare to somewhere.

And it wasn’t as if these girls had inextinguishable burning desires for power and New York city fame that they would be throwing away if they left.

But it was true that each of them was sad because they didn’t have a partner.

“Look,” I should have told them, “if you’re going to kill yourself anyway, why not go to some country where you can hook up with some fisherman on some coast in Turkey or Italy or Spain or Brazil and be anonymous? Why not start a new career as a fishwife? Fishermen always need wives. Or why not go into some European urban area and hook up with a restaurant owner? You could be the lover and bartender. Or go into the rural areas in southern hemispheres and meet a sandal maker. Think of the fine footwear you’d have.”

I mean, hon, if you’re going to kill yourself anyway what difference does it make if you don’t get a mention in New York magazine and what difference does it make if a Women’s Wear Daily photographer finds you sheep-herding in Sardinia wearing a peasant blouse?

The next time you find yourself climbing out on a ledge, give me a call. I can recommend a travel agent.

If you guys haven’t seen what all those evil people in the world are using AI for.. You know like actually evil people, not like the boys who don’t know what to do with themselves once their moms are no longer willing to take care of their every need, I honestly suggest you avoid learning about the subject all together and just accept whatever fate that comes with, especially if you are at all paranoid or OCD prone.

My brother continued, “climate change is getting bad, politics is at the worst spot since the civil war, global impending war. Shits not great rn and we have fully elderly retards in control of everything.” I went on to add “and we’re approaching a recession.” Although economists claim by our current definition we are not in one, I know that I am paying $5 for a bag of chips and there is something very wrong about that. I then added, “It makes me nervous being so far away from you.” We ended the conversation by talking about how my dad is taking mushroom chocolates today, which are truly one of the only saviors this world might have left.

But it is essays and sentiments like this that tell me that hey.. At least we are alive and if at any time things get too boring, too depressing, too scary.. a lot of the things that worry us fall away when we are willing to become anonymous. Even AI can’t threaten us much if we don’t have an identity for it to steal. I mean what could AI take from that one guy Poudii interviewed, especially before he made people chuckle on youtube. He’s poor, he lives in the middle of nowhere, he doesn’t have all of his teeth, and if he doesn’t respect black people there’s no way he’s gonna take a piece of computer code seriously. Well.. on second thought maybe that’s not true, but it’s definitely not a threat to him. There’s nothing for it to take. And like Cookie Mueller talks about in her qualms she had with New York when she first moved here she didn’t like that the central park water didn’t have fish in it, but as she became seasoned she realized it’s because hungry people ate them. As she says, “I’ve been hungry and I have a fishing rod, so I get this.” She goes on to say something else that was striking and feels relevant, “I know for a fact that the wild people on the street corners who are talking to themselves aren’t crazy and lost, they just don’t get enough carbohydrates to sustain the weight of the profound ideas rushing into their cerebral cortices.” And after someone stole my wallet at the club this weekend I think I am heading toward one of those places as well, hence this essay.

Lastly, I just want to make sure that all my girls read what Cookie had to say here. Because there are days I wake up and I worry about men all day, whether it’s the ones in my life or the ones that are annoying me in the park or the ones who have wronged me in the past but girl.. Do not let it make you depressed, cause ultimately we are all heading toward a plethora of options for the end of the world anyway and all I want to do is fight my way right to it, and I want all my girls to be by my side.

And on that note, happy national girlfriend’s day.

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