• Bush-League Rebels

    I visited a camp in the city of Goma set up to house rebel combatants who had surrendered. The facility was split along ethnic lines, with only a chain-link fence separating Hutu and Tutsi fighters who have been spilling each other’s blood by the bucket for decades.  

  • My Friends Started a Bus Company in Congo

    In August 2010, I traveled to Rwanda with three friends to cover the presidential election. We spent a month there and I headed back to Europe, but my friends—Yassin, Arthur, and Louis-Guillaume—crossed the border to the Democratic Republic of Congo and decided to start their own…

  • A Visit to the German Hygiene Museum

    Underneath the pompous illusions of class or caste, we all share an essential animal trait: we have bodies. And our bodies are gross. To believe otherwise is simply a matter of fooling yourself by not looking too closely.

  • Shiva’s Wedding

    We’d been in India for a month, and it looked like the wedding wasn't going to happen. The last two times I’d been married my brides had been enthusiastic—they were insistent, even. Now I was getting married for a third time to a woman who didn’t want to marry me by a Tibetan Bud…

  • Transmutations in Tijuana

    Eduardo Herrera Gómez is 30 years old, and he is one of 25 “redeemed” homosexuals who have kneeled before Alma Leticia Rosas, a Pentecostal pastor who claims to have the power to exorcize diabolical spirits that, according to her, cause homosexuality “and other evil deviations.”…

  • Fringes

    Death of the American Hobo

    We traveled by freight train to the 112th National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa, to see what was left of hobo life. We felt as if we were a pair of early Americans—pioneers far from home on a great adventure. Each train was a roll of the die, a unique and unpredictable experien…

  • Why Gentrification Is Only Bad if You're Poor

    The revitalization of Downtown Los Angeles is universally fantastic for all citizens. I came to this point by doing one small thing. I simply decided to ignore everyone with less money than me. If this sounds problematic or impossible, then I am here to say that you just aren’t t…

  • Komp-
    Laint
    Dept.
    A Tour of the Monuments of Salt Lake City:
    Robert Smithson, the Melvins, and the Mormons

    I went out to Salt Lake City to see Robert Smithson's 'Spiral Jetty,' give a talk at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, and surprise my friends the Melvins at one of their shows.

  • Death of the American Hobo

    If highways and roads are America’s veins, the hundreds of thousands of miles of tracks are like those chakra diagrams in acupuncturists’ offices, the hidden flows of energy that affect the body as a whole.

  • The Raving Outlaw Biker-Druids and Their 1575-Year-Old King

    Since the 80s, King Arthur and his biker-druid followers have been protesting in support of the environment, druids' rights, and establishing open access to Stonehenge. These days, you can find him and his partner, the High Priestess, campaigning in the 'henge's parking lot in ho…

  • Sidemouth

    We Can Be Gyros Just for a Day

    On last month's equinox I was traveling with a friend of mine through the Aegean Sea. Over the 16-hour boat ride we passed hundreds of small islands on our way to a magical cluster of the Greek Isles called the Kiklades. They are all arid and pseudo desert-like, and every restaur…

  • Boyle's Brains

    Real Pain: Future Dead Friends Tour Live Blog

    Jordan Castro asked if I wanted to go on a four-day reading tour with him, Mallory Whitten, Scott McClanahan, Sam Pink, and Mike Bushnell. I said I did. A reading tour is like a music tour but with writers who know each other from the internet instead of musicians who know each o…

  • That's Why They Call It a Relationshit

    Breakups are usually shitty and sad-making, but the Museum of Broken Relationships in Croatia brings an entirely new perspective to the act of splitting up. After ending a four-year romance in 2003, artists Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić came up with the idea for a museum tha…

  • Firing Grenades at Somali Pirates Was the Most Fun I've Ever Had

    One day we stopped to refuel and one of the guides was like, "OK, let's go shoot an underwater machine gun while we wait." So I was like, "Fuck yeah," obviously. So we did that for a bit, then I went and got my rocket launcher and shot that off the front of the boat, which was co…