rock the set

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Miyavi in the July 2015 issue of +act. magazine.

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Legends of Tomorrow | 2.14

Wait, Haircut’s on the moon?

history of the entire world, i guess; a transcript

hi. you’re on a rock, floating in space. pretty cool, huh? some of it’s water. fuck it, actually most of it’s water. i can’t even get from here to there without buying a boat. it’s sad. i’m sad. i miss you. how did this happen? a long time ago, actually never, and also now, nothing is nowhere. when? never. makes sense, right? like i said, it didn’t happen. nothing was never anywhere. that’s why its been everywhere. it’s been so everywhere, you don’t need a “where”. you don’t even need a “when”. that’s how “every” it gets. (pause). forget this. i wanna be something, go somewhere, do something. i want things to change. i want to invent time and space. and i know it’s possible because everything is here and it probably already happened. i just don’t know when to start. and that’s exactly where it started. (background noise) woah. i… paused it. i think there’s a universe now. what’s it made of? quarks and stuff. ah, that’s a thing, in a place. don’t like it? try a new place, at a different Time™. try to stick together because the world is gonna get bigger and emptier. but it’s not empty yet. it’s still very full, and about a kjghpillion degrees. (about no seconds later). great news! the quarks are now happily married in groups of three called a “proton” or a “neutron”. and there’s something else flying around too that wants to join in but can’t cause it’s still to (HOT). (about ten minutes later). great news! the protons and the neutrons are now happily married to each other (some of them even doubled up). (about 380,000 years later). great news, the electrons have now joined in. congratulations, the world is now a bunch of gas in space. but it’s getting closer together and it’s getting closer together and it’s getting closer together. it’s a staaaar. new shit just got made. some stars burn out and die. bigger stars burn out and die with passion! and make some brand new way crazier shit. space dust! which allows newer, more interesting stars to be made, and then die, and explode into even crazier space dust. so now stars have cool stuff around them, like rocks, ice, and funny clouds, which can make some very interesting things. like this ball of flaming rocks, for example. holy shit, we just got hit with another ball of flaming rocks, and it kinda made a mess. which is now the moon. weather update: it’s raining rocks from outer space. weather update: those rocks might’ve had water inside them and now there’s Hot Steam in the sky. weather update: cooler temperatures today, and the floor is no longer lava. weather update: its raining. severe flooding alert: the entire world is now an ocean. volcano alert: that’s land. there’slifeintheocean. what? something’s alive in the ocean. oh cool, like a plant or an animal? no. a microscopic speck! it lives at the bottom of the ocean and eats chemical soup which is being served hot and fresh made from gnarly space ingredients leftover from when it was raining rocks or whatever. oh yeah, and it can do that. it has secret instructions written inside itself telling it how to build another one of itself. so that’s pretty nifty, i would say. tired of living at the bottom of the ocean? now you can eat sunlight. using a revolutionary technique you can convert sunlight into food. taste the sun. side effect: now there’s oxygen everywhere and the sky’s blue. then the earth might’ve been a snowball for a while, maybe even a coupla times. it’s a sponge, it’s a plant, it’s a worm and some other types of weird strange water bugs and strange fish. it’s the Cambrian explosion. “wow, that’s animals and stuff.” but we’re still in the ocean. hey, can we go on land? NoO. why? the sun is a deadly lazer. oh okay. not anymore there’s a blanket. now the animals can go on land. come on, animals, let’s go on land! “nope, can’t walk yet. and there’s no food yet so i don’t care.” (100 million years later) ok, will you learn to walk if there’s plants up here? “maybe,” said some bugs, and fish. “uh. uh. uh.” (five million years later) “ok so i can go on land but i have to go back in the water to have babies.” (idea) learn to use an egg. “i was already doing that.” use a stronger egg, and put water in it, have a baby, on land, in an egg. water is in the egg, baby, in the water, in the egg. works for me. bye bye ocean. aaand now everything is huge. including bugs. wanna see a map of the land? sure. ah fuck, now everything’s dead. just kidding here are the survivors. keep your eye on this one because its about to become the dinosaurs. here’s another map of the land. yeah, it broke apart, don’t worry about it, it does that all the time. here comes a meteor. and the dinosaurs are gone. its mammal time! here come the mammals. look at those breasts. now they’re gonna dominate the world, and one of them just learned how to grab stuff. and walk. no, like, walk like ‘that’. and grab stuff at the same time. and bang rocks together to make… pointed rocks. “ouch.” and set things on fire. “yeouch.” and make crazy sounds with their voice (“gneurshk.”) which can mean different things. that’s a human person. and now they’re everywhere, almost. ice age. what? you can walk over here? cool. not anymore. i guess we’re stuck here now.

let’s review. there’s people on the planet. and they’re chasing their food. fuck it, time to plant some grass. look at this, i control the food now. now everyone will want to be my friend and live near me. let’s all build houses except mine is bigger because i own the food. this is great, i wonder if anyone else is doing this. tired of using rocks for everything? use metal. it’s underground. better farming was just invented in a sweet dank valley right in between these two rivers, and the animals are helping. guess what happens next. more food, and more people who came to buy the food. now you need people to help make the food and keep track of the sales. and now you need houses for people to live in, and people to make the houses. and now there’s more people and they invent things, which makes things better and more people come. and there’s more farming and more people to make more things for more people. and now there’s business, money, writing, laws, power. sociiiety. coming soon to a dank river valley near you. meanwhile, out in the middle of nowhere, the horse is probably being tamed. why is all my metal so lame and lumpy? tired of using lame, sad metal? introducing bronze, made with special ingredient tin from the far lands of tin land. i don’t know, my dealer won’t tell me where he gets it. also, guess what - egypt. meanwhile, out in the middle of nowhere, they figured out how to put wheels on a horse. now we’re getting somewhere. also, china. and did i mention indusrivervalleycivilization. norte chico. the middle east is getting more complicated, maybe because it’s in the middle of the east. knock knock- er, clop clop, it’s the people with the horses? and they made an empire! and then everyone else copied their horses. greeks! ah look, it must be the greeks, or a beta version of the greeks. let’s check in with the indus river valley civilization. they’re gone. guess who’s not gone? china. new arrivals in india. maybe it’s thosehorsepeopleiwastalkingabout or theircousinsorsomething. and they wrote some hymns and mantras and stuff. you could make a religion out of this. there’s the bronze age collapse. now the phoenicians can get down to business. also, can we switch to a metal that’s a little easier to find? thanks. look who came back to israel, it’s the twelve tribes of israel. and they believe in god. just one though, he’s got like a ten step program. here’s some huge heads, must be the olmec. the phoenicians make some colonies. the greeks copy their idea and make some colonies. the phoenicians made a colony so big it makes colonies. here comes the assyrian empire. nevermind it’s the babylonian- median- it’s the persian empire. “wow, that’s big.” ah, the buddha was just enlightened! who’s the buddha? this guy, who sat under a tree for so long that he figured out how to ignore the fact that we’re all dying. you could make a religion out of this. oops, china just broke, but while it was breaking confucius was figuring out how to have good morals. ah, the greeks just had the idea of thinking about stuff. and right over here, alexander just had the idea of conquering the entire persian empire. it’s a great idea, he was…great. and now he’s dead. hopefully, the rest of the gang will be able to share the empire evenly between them. knock knock, it’s chandragupta, he says, “get the hell out of here, will you get the hell out of here if i give you 500 elephants? ok thanks bye; time to conquer all of india- or most of india”. but what about this part? that’s the tamil kings, no one conquers the tamil kings. who are the tamil kings? merchants, probably. and they’ve got spices. who would like to buy the spices? “me,” said the arabians, swiftly buying them and selling them to the rest of the world. hey, china put itself back together again with good morals as their main philosophy. actually they have three main philosophies. out here, the horse nomads run wild and free, and they would like to ransack your city. let’s check the greekification levels of the greekified kingdoms: greekification overload! “bye,” said the parthians, “bye,” said the jews. “hi,” said the parthians, taking over the entire place. “heyyyyyyyy,” said the romans, eating the entire mediterranean for breakfast. “thanks for invading our homeland,” said the jews, who were starting to get tired of people invading their homeland. “hi, everything’s great,” said some guy who seems to be getting very popular, and then gets arrested and killed for being too popular, which only makes him more popular. you could make a religion out of this. want silk? now you can buy it from china! they just made a brand new road to the world…or you can get there on water. “sick, new trade routes,” said india, accidentally spreading their religion to the entire southeast. hmm, that’s a good place for an epic trading kingdom. there goes buddhism, travelling up the silk road. i wonder if it’ll reach china before it collapses again. “remember the persian empire? yup,” said the persians, making a new one. axum is getting so powerful they would like to build a long stick. has anyone populated madagascar yet? let’s do it together. china is whole again…then it broke again. still can’t cross the sahara desert? try camels. “hell yeah, now we’ve got business,” said the ghana empire, selling lots of gold, and slaves. “hi i live in the roman empire and i was wondering, is loving jesus legal yet?” “no” “actually ok sure,” said constantine, moving the capitol way over here to be closer to his main rival. don’t worry about rome, it won’t fall. it’s the golden age of india. there’s the gupta empire. not chandragupta, just gupta, first name chandra, the first. guess who’s in rome? barbarians. what’s a barbarian? “non-romans,” said the romans, being invaded by non-romans. r.i.p. roman empire. or actually, just half is just fine. but it’s not in rome anymore so let’s give it a new name. the mayans have figured out the staaars. oh, and here’s a huge city, population everyone. the göktürks have taken over the entire eurasian steppe. great job, göktürks. how’s india? broken. how’s china? back together. how’s those trading kingdoms? bigger, and there’s more of them. korea has three kingdoms. japan has a kingdom, it’s the sunrise kingdom.

deep in the arabian desert, on the top of a mountain, the real god whispers in muhammad’s ear, so he goes down to the cube where everyone worships gods, and he tells them their gods are all fake. and everyone got so mad at him that he had to leave town and go to a different town. you could make a religion out of this. and maybe conquer the world as well. the roman empire is long gone, but somehow the pope is still the pope. plus there’s new kingdoms all over europe. i wonder if there’s room for moors. here’s all the wisdom, in a house. it’s the baghdad house of wisdom, just in time for the islamic golden age. “let’s bring stuff to the coast and sell it, and become the swahili on the swahili coast,” said the swahili on the swahili coast. remember this tiny space you have to go through to get from here to there? someone owns that now. wanna get enlightened in the middle of nowhere? the franks have the biggest kingdom in europe, and the pope is so proud that he invites the king over for christmas. “surprise, you’re the new roman emperor,” said the pope, pretending to still be part of the roman empire. then the franks broke their kingdom into what will later be called france and not france. the northerners, or just norse if you don’t have that much time, are exploring. they go north, from the north to the northern north, and they find some land. two types of land, and they name them accordingly. they also invade some other places and get called many names, such as vikings. there’s the rus, the kievan rus. are they vikings? “i don’t think so,” said the kievan rus. ok, fair enough. the pope is ready to make some more emperors of the roman empire, the holy roman empire. it’s actually germany but don’t worry about it. new kingdoms! christianizeallthekingdoms. which brand would you like? “mine’s better,” “mine’s better,” “mine’s better”. “time to conquer england,” said william. it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s the seljuk turks. “ahh!” said the byzantine empire, who’s getting so small it almost doesn’t exist anymore, “we need help!” they need help, so they call the pope. “hey pope, can you help us get rid of the seljuks? maybe take back the holy land on the way? come on, i know you wanna take back the holy land.” “yes, i do actually want to do that. let’s do a crusade.” crusade. they did many crusades, some of which almost didn’t fail, but at least the italians got some sweet trade deals. goodbye mayans. hello toltecs, goodbye toltecs, hello mississippi. look at those mounds. there’s the pueblo. i always wondered how to build a town in a cliff. guess who’s here? khmer. where? here, and pagan is there, and vietnam unconquered itself, korea just became itself, and japan is so addicted to art that the military might have to take over the government. china just invented bombs, and typing. and the mongols just invaded most of the universe. nice going, genghis. i bet that will last a long time! some of the islamic turks were unaffected by the mongol invasions because they were busy invading india. is it tonga time? i think it’s tonga time. i just found out where the swahili gets all their gold. look at this chad (means lake), there’s an empire there, right in the middle of africa. the king of mali is so rich he’s going on tour to let everyone know. “wow, that guy’s rich,” everyone said. the christians are doing a great job of conquering iberia which will soon be called spain and not spain. please remain christian. we will check in later to see if you are still christian when you least expect. whoops, half of europe just died. ming. china’s back, yay. hey khmer, time to share, new kingdoms here and there. oh look who controls all the islands, its the mahajapit. majahapit, mapajahit, mahapajit, mapajahit, majapahit? oh, italy’s really rich, time for them to care a lot about art and the ancient classics. it’s kinda like a rebirth. here’s a printer, lets make books. so you think you can conquer the byzantine empire? “yep,” said the ottoman turks. nice job, ottoman turks. whoops, you missed a spot; don’t forget to ban europe from the indian spice trade. “what? that’s bullshit,” said portugal, spiceless. well i guess we’ll have to find another way to india. “wait,” said christopher colombus, probably smoking crack, “if the world is round, lets go this way to india!” “nah, don’t worry we already got this,” said portugal. so chris goes to spain. “hey spain, wanna hire me to go find india by going around back of the world?”  “no.”  “please?”  “no.”  “please?”  “no.” “please?” “ok.” so he sails into the ocean, and discovers more ocean, and then discovers ‘the indies’ and ‘japan’. let’s draw a line to decide who gets which half of the world. the aztec and inca empires are off to a great start. i wonder if they know that europe just discovered their continent. the habsburgs are marrying into so many royal families they might have to start marrying each other. move over lithuania, here comes moscow. ivan wants to make russia great again. move over timurids, maybe go invade india or something. persia just made persia persian again. let’s make it the other kind of islam, the one where we thought the first guy should’ve been the other guy. hey christians, do you sin? now you can buy your way out of hell. “that’s bullshit, this whole thing is bullshit, that’s a scam, fuck the church, here’s 95 reasons why,” said martin luther, in his book which might have accidentally started the protestant reformation. “you know what would be magnificent?” said suleiman, wearing an onion hat, “what if the ottoman empire was really big, which it is now.”  “what if russia was big,” said ivan, trying not to be terrible. portugal had a dream that they controlled the entire indian ocean, including the spice trade, and then that dream was real. and spain realised that this is not india, but they pillaged it anyway. “damn,” said england and france, “we gotta start pillaging some stuff.” then the dutch revolt and all the hipsters move to amsterdam. “damn,” said amsterdam, “we gotta start pillaging some stuff.” question one: can you get to india through north america? no, but at least there’s beaver. question two: steal the spice trade. that’s not a question but the dutch did it anyway. sugar. guess where all the sugar’s made? in brazil. stolen! in the carribean, and it’s so goddamn profitable you might forget to not do slavery. the next thing on russia’s to-do list is to get bigger. britain and france are having a friendly discussion about who should control the entire world, more specifically, ohio. then it escalates into a seven year discussion, giving prussia a chance to show austria who’s boss. but what about britain and france, did they figure out who’s boss? yes they did, it’s britain. guess who’s broke? also britain. so they start taxing the hell out of america.

“fuck you,” says america, declaring their independence, and fighting for it. france helps them win, now france is broke. and britain will have to send their prisoners to a different continent. wait if france is broke, why do the king and queen still wear such fancy dresses? “let’s overthrow the palace and cut all their heads off!” said robespierre, cutting everybody’s head off until someone eventually got mad and cut his head off. you could make a reli- no don’t. haiti is starting to like the idea of a revolution, especially the slaves, who free themselves by killing their masters. “why didn’t we think of this before?” wait, who’s in charge of france now? “me,” said napoleon, trying to take over europe. luckily, they banished him to an island. but he came back. luckily, they banished him to another island. there goes latin america, becoming independent in the latin america wars of independence. britain just figured out how to turn steam into power, so now they can make many different types of machines and factories with machines in them so they can make a lot of products real fast. then they invent some trains, and conquer india and maybe put some trains there. “hey china,” said britain, “buy stuff from us.” “nah, dude we already got everything,” says china. so britain tried to get them addicted to opium, which worked actually, but then china made it illegal and dumped it all into the sea. so britain threw a hissy-fit and made them open up five cities and give them an island. britain and russia are playing a game where they try to stop each other from conquering afganistan. also the sultan of oman lives in zanzibar now, that’s just where he lives. india had a revolution, and they would like to govern themselves now. “nope,” said britain, governing them even harder than before. technology is about to go crazy. the united states finally figured out whether slavery is good or bad. “it’s bad,” they decided. and then they continued manifesting their destiny, which is to kill the rest of the natives and take their land, and maybe kick out the mexicans too. “i know, let’s rape africa,” said europe, scrambling to see who could rape it the fastest. they never got ethiopia.  britain and france are still hungry. they never got thailand. the united states ran out of destiny to manifest, so they’re looking for more. hawaii. cuba. wait spain controls cuba. “well, blame something on them and go to war! what should we blame on them? let’s blame the maine on spain!” so they blame the maine on spain. now we’re in business. to celebrate, they kick panama out of panama and make a canal, connecting the two oceans. britain just found oil in the middle east. it makes cars go. china is so tired of being bossed around that they delete their old government and make a new stronger government, which is accidentally weaker and controlled by a guy from the previous government. europe hasn’t had a war since the last war, so they start world war one. look at those guns. it’s gonna be a great war, so great we won’t need a second one. after it’s over, they blame germany. russia went on strike and the workers overthrew the government. now everyone’s paycheck is the same. communism, in the soviet union. the arabs revolt, and britain helps. now the ottoman empire is gone, so we can give the jewish people a place to live. hopefully the arabs won’t mind. “let’s cut the cake,” said sykes and picot, carving up the remains of the not-so-ottoman-anymore empire. except turkey, turkey makes a brand new turkey. and then the saudis conquer arabia. it just seemed like the right thing to do. hello? yes, it’s the 1920s calling. let’s get in a car and drive to a party and listen to the jazz on the radio and go to the movies. the economy’s great and it’ll probably be great forever. just kidding. germany’s back, featuring hitler, the angry mustache model. he’s mad at the jews for existing. japan is finally conquering the east, and they’re so excited they rape nanking way too hard. they should probably just deny it. hitler’s out of control, so the international community tackles him and tries to explain to him why killing all the jews is a bad idea, but he kills himself before they could explain it to him. that’s world war two. bonus round: pacific showdown, united states versus japan. fight! finish him. let’s unite all the nations and have some world peace. seems legit. “hi i’m gandhi and if britain doesn’t get the hell out of india i’m going to starve myself in public. wow, that worked?” bonus: now there’s pakistan. actually two pakistans. one of them can be bangladesh later. the jews and the arabs finally figured out which one of them should live in the holy land. “me”, they both said at the same time. “let’s divide up the land so everyone’s happy.” sike! they both get angrier. look out china, there’s a new china in china. what’s on the menu? communism! “no thanks,” said the other china, escaping to an island. i wonder which one is the real china. there’s the korean war, korea versus korea, nobody wins, then it’s on pause forever. let’s meet the sponsors. oh, it’s the two global superpowers. they’re having a friendly debate over which economic system is good and which is an evil virus of satan. and they both have atom bombs. fight! wait no that would be the end of the world. let’s just keep it cool and spy on each other instead. and make sure we have enough atom bombs. “i’ll race you to space. now let’s make some more countries fight themselves.” europe is tired of pillaging other continents, so the continents they were pillaging are tired of being pillaged. so here’s a new map, with new countries. now you can’t tell who they’re being pillaged by. the united states finally decided whether racism is good or bad. they decided it’s bad, and the world agrees. south africa might need another minute to think about it. let’s check the world population. woah. okay. technology’s better too, that might keep happening. the soviet union decides to relax a little and accidentally falls apart. europe makes a union, so now they can all use the same money; except britain because they don’t feel like it. let’s check the mail. surprise! it’s on the computer! whoops, someone just attacked america, i bet they’ll remember that. phone call, surprise, it’s in your pocket! wanna learn everything? surprise, it’s on the computer! now your phone’s a computer, which is in your pocket. whoops, the economy just crashed. don’t worry, the big banks won’t fail, because they’re not supposed to. surprise, flying robots! with bombs. wanna print a brain? some people have no friends. some people have no food. the globe is warming, and the ocean is full of plastic. “let’s save the planet,” said everybody, not knowing how. “let’s invent a thing inventor,” said the thing inventor inventor, after being invented by a thing inventor. that’s pretty cool. by the way, where the hell are we?