Today while I was walking home I passed this girl.


What with all the exterior and interior stimulation that my fragile brain has to sort out, I almost missed the fact that she was rocking an entirely new form of fashion accessory: the bag-hat hybrid. Inspired by this young woman’s resourcefulness, experimentalism, and indifference to weird looks, I decided to make a tribute post to people like her – everyday people who find ways to break the chains of tradition and expose the possibilities just beneath the surface of conventional thought. In no particular order:

Robert Tilton: Farting Preacher

One of the things that I find most impressive about Evangelical Christians is their ability to incorporate any and all worldly phenomena into their mysticism. Take this preacher for instance. Here is a man, the Reverend Robert Tilton, who clearly suffers from a potentially traumatic digestive problem. But instead of letting that hold him back, instead spending precious time and money trying to conceal his condition, he is embracing his weakness and in doing so transforming it – water to wine style – into strength. And I’m sure that there are more than a few in his flock that believe his serial farting is nothing other than the earthly evidence of the good reverend’s divine line of communication with the Lord.

William AKA Billoon: Balloon Enthusiast
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According to his youtube profile, William is a 46-year-old school janitor who likes oldies and classical music, and movies of all types, especially anime and sci-fi. For a reason that I haven’t seen explained, William has made it his mission to successfully insert himself into a weather balloon. He’s made several attempts and diligently documented his progress (all available on youtube). Of course, you can probably find other people who’ve tried to fit inside an inflated balloon, some have even succeeded I’d imagine. But there is something about William’s good-natured commitment and the seriousness with which he pursues what the typical non-next level thinker would consider a ridiculous waste of time that evokes the dream of transcendence that moves all true visionaries.

Tito Seif: Male Belly Dancer
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I realize that Tito Seif is not unique. There are male belly dancers now and have been in the past. But that doesn’t make him any less of a trail blazer to me. I think the thing I find most enjoyable about this clip is how much pleasure the women in the crowd are taking from it. It’s nothing compared to the immense pleasure Tito himself seems to be taking from dancing, but still, I enjoy the dynamic.

Sugisaku Jtaro: Air Sex Machine
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The Japanese excel at all sorts of weird competitions. They’re famous for humiliating fat Americans in eating contests, they dominate the robot wars scene, and for two years straight now a Japanese has won gold in the World Air Guitar Championships. Why this is, I’m not sure. Part of it must be the never-say-die ganbare spirit that runs throughout the culture. But I also think it must have something to do with their extraordinary comfort with the virtual. I have a friend in Osaka who bought an Aibo robot dog when they first came out, and treated it exactly as if it were a real, flesh and blood dog. He actually argued for its superiority to a real pet on many many occasions. I could never bring myself to actually pet it, because to me it was just some plastic, motors, and LEDs. He concluded that this demonstrated a shocking lack of imagination on my part, and he’s probably right.

Anyway, I guess it’s inevitable that, once you’ve crossed the conceptual gap between real and imaginary, any sort of simulation is possible. So, as an extension of Japan’s long line of innovation in air-based activities, a filmmaker named Sugisaku started getting lonely people together to have air sex. According to him, “You act as if the man or the woman is actually there – from the meeting, getting to know each other, falling in love, up to climaxing. If you can combine all that then you can do great air sex.” Well, this clip is mostly just showing the sex part, no real courting, and a lot of it seems to involve air masturbating which, to me, misses the whole point. But again, that’s probably my own lack of vision.

Sha Yeya: Creator of the Basketball-Bucket


This one comes courtesy of my friends at Urban China magazine. Their chief editor Jiang Jun discovered an old basketball that had been retrofitted for use as a water bucket while visiting Yangjiang, a small town in southern China. Apparently a basketball makes a great bucket, since it’s air-tight and very difficult to break. Jun found the guy who figured that out and got a few new ones made.

Charles Wright: Salesman

Someone sent this story to me as part of one of those “World’s Dumbest Criminals” type emails, but I can’t dismiss it so easily. Long story short:

Vacaville police are warning residents about scams Tuesday after a Vacaville man was arrested on suspicion of trying to sell a “wide-screen television” that turned out to be a used oven door.

I think this man is on to something. To me, if you can convince someone that an oven door is actually a flatscreen TV, then you’ve earned their money.

This is just a starting point. PLEASE feel free to add on. We need to celebrate some next level ladies especially.

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