Joining Cults, Drinking Too Much & Other Things To Do While You’re Bored by Brian Polk | Art by Mark Mothersbaugh

From the Postcard Diaries by Mark Mothersbaugh

Joining Cults, Drinking Too Much & Other Things To Do While You’re Bored
By Brian Polk
Art by Mark Mothersbaugh
Published Issue 119, November 2023

There Should Be More Cults Based Around Bowling

Every time I go looking for cults to join, I never seem to find one that’s really into bowling. And that’s a shame, because I think I have a lot to offer a cult: I’m good at following orders. I positively melt in the presence of a charismatic leader. I’m particularly adept at striking fear in the hearts of our perceived enemies. And I could sign over my possessions to the group in order to enrich our increasingly paranoid and unscrupulous overlords. But for the life of me, no single sect I encounter has the slightest interest in bowling. In fact, some cults expressly ban the sport, because they’re afraid the overstimulation will distract our groveling little brains from the outlandish myth that unites us. But I mean, come on. As with any cult, I generally come for the brainwashing, but stay for the fun. And if there’s no bowling, then it’s like culting without meaning. (Note: I did just turn the word “cult” into a verb for the purposes of this article. I have this power.) Maybe I should learn to be more charismatic and start my own bowling-based cult. Of course, that does seem like an awful lot of work. 

Coffee Shops That Also Sell Booze Are Great Because You Don’t Have To Go Anywhere Else For “Switchover Time”

The other day I was sitting in a coffee shop at 2 p.m. feeling a tad bit fidgety. I had consumed several cups of black coffee and it became apparent that it was indeed time to switch over to the booze. I asked everyone in my party if they’d like to join me in finding a bar, and one of my friends said, “Dude, they have a full bar here.” And I replied, “You gotta be fucking kidding me!” And then I ordered a double and didn’t even have to find a new place to sit. Amazing!

I Often Feel Bad About Inviting People To Watch Me DJ

I’ll say things like, “You should come see me play some records. I mean, if you want to. Although I probably wouldn’t go and see you DJ — especially not on a weeknight. So I guess you don’t have any real incentive … You know what? I’m sorry, never mind.” This is why I’m not a salesperson (or a full-time DJ). 

There’s Nothing I Love So Much That I Would Do It Eight Hours A Day

The author Kurt Vonnegut once divulged his writing routine in an interview, claiming he worked four hours a day — from 9 to 12 a.m. and then again from 5 to 6 p.m. “Businessmen would achieve better results if they studied human metabolism,” he said. “No one works well eight hours a day. No one ought to work more than four hours.” And this was a person who loved writing; he wrote 14 novels, countless articles, and even taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. I love writing too, and playing drums. But I don’t like either of these activities enough to spend the majority of my waking hours performing them. First of all, I would develop carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis after a while, so eventually I would be physically unable to keep up an eight hours a day pace. Second, all of the joy would be systematically sucked out of my formerly enjoyable pursuits, and I would begin to hate them. And then what would I have to look forward to?

Do You Ever Engage In Activities To Prolong Your Life Even Though You Don’t Really Like Living All That Much?

I drink three cups of green tea every day, exercise five days a week, eat salads and oranges all the time — and for what? To keep this shitshow going? Yeah, I don’t get it either. 

Sometimes I Eat Too Much Of An Edible And Think, Well Shit, I’m Definitely Going To Pay For That

Most of the time I take pot edibles to help me sleep at night. But sometimes I’ll take more than I should, and instead of spitting a little bit of it out — and wasting perfectly good drugs — I just swallow the whole thing. Then I brace myself for the hour or two I’ll have to lie in bed, convincing myself not to freak out. Life’s a wild ride, sometimes, no?

I Can’t Remember The Last Time I Was So Excited I Just Couldn’t Hide It

Probably when I was bowling …

Brian Polk is a Denver-based writer, publisher of The Yellow Rake, and drummer for Joy Subtraction and Simulators. He’s the author of Placement of Character and Turning Failure into Ideology. He likes writing, muck raking, yellow journalism, zines not blogs, cheap booze and punk rock.

Mark Mothersbaugh is one of this era’s most unique and prolific conceptual artists and composers. Deeply aware of the ability of precise, multi-faceted artistic expression to deliver vital social commentary, he has perpetually challenged and redefined musical and visual boundaries. Mothersbaugh co-founded the influential rock group DEVO and parlayed his avant-garde musical background into a leading role in scoring for filmed and animated entertainment, interactive media, and commercials. Mark has scored 150 films, television shows, video games, and hundreds of commercials through his multimedia company, Mutato Muzika. He has had 165 visual and audio art shows, including his retrospective traveling museum exhibition Myopia. He has received a doctorate in Humane Letters at Kent State University, his alma mater. See more of his work on Instagram and his site.

Check out Brian’s October Birdy install, Excuse Me, But I Think You’re In My Seat, and Mark’s October, From The Postcard Diaries, or head to our Explore section to see more of his work.