Other People Exist

and are not just sense data

My Photo

Studies show that even when they are not there, other people exist, with thoughts, feelings, and desires just like you



Drop your butler here. These good folks will amuse him while you enjoy the State Fair.


LP store categories, Toronto

My father liked possums, and in his old age, he used an email account with the username PossumNibbles. When it came time to choose the text for his headstone, we thought it only natural to include his second name.

Photo is from a recent trip to the military cemetery where he is interred. Kerning errors are courtesy of the US Government.


Gotta = got to, as in "I gotta go."

Gotta got a

How many committees did this get by at Urban Outfitters before it was approved for in-store use? 


It all depends on whether 66° is higher than 64°.


Puppy von Puppington III (and caregiver) waiting for a train in Germany.
Puppy von Puppington III aka PVPIII aka Puppy was born in China. He has been to California, Germany, New York, and Maryland [update: and Denmark & England]. He has a twin brother who lives in the closet and will only come out should anything happen to Puppy.

Puppy recently used the internet to find others in the von Puppington family tree. He was excited and waggy upon finding these relatives:
Sir Milo Von Puppington [sic]
Maia deNovo von Puppington and her brother, Mobius Georg von Puppington (of the N. Buffalo von Puppingtons)
Puppy would like to meet some of these relatives, but it could be awkward, as he doesn't speak Bark. 


When selling items on craigslist, they say not to have buyers come to your house anymore, as they may rob you/kill you/grab the item and run. They say to meet them at Starbucks, and bring a burly friend. But what if you are selling something like an amp, and the person needs to hear it before making the purchase? I googled my prospective buyer, and he had a large internet presence, so I asked him to text a pic of himself so I could confirm he was who he said he was and not a robber/murderer. Here is what he sent.
postscript: I lived. I also sold the amp.


His plane crashed into Block Island Sound, pictured


Plastic flower vase/cemetery visit

"I knew you'd much rather have a cigarette. I love you."


OPE At Joshua Tree Music Festival


Job titles


The "penetrating gaze" of the artist

Readers may be familiar with Smiley Face (pictured above), created in 1963 by Harvey Ball. Before Smiley, humans had no way to graphically represent the happy feelings they experienced inside.

Friend of OPE (and caretaker of Kurt's bike) Doug has long enjoyed drawing Smiley Face. After many years of meditation on Smiley, and utilizing the artist's "penetrating gaze," Doug was able to decipher some of Smiley's mysteries. Though Smiley has only ever let himself be seen in full frontal view, Doug was able, after much reflection, to draw this profile of S.


From the Wall Street Journal

He looks great for a dead guy! (no offense to Mr.Goldberg intended)


From the archives


The early reviews of issue #42 of Other People Exist are in:

"btw, excellent new OPE." - a subscriber, in an email on another subject.

"An exceptionally entertaining issue. This year, for the first time, I'm sending you my renewal check almost completely ungrudgingly." - a longtime subscriber.

The issue under consideration


Issue #42 of Other People Exist, the 9th Annual Death/Christmas Issue, will enter the mail stream today at approximately 12:00PM EST. Subscribers should begin their vigil by the mailbox immediately. 

Several people have written asking me to recommend the best type of chair for vigil purposes. I cannot recommend any chairs, since I don't recommend sitting at all during your vigil. Sitting leads to distracting activities such as reading, resting, or eating. I recommend standing beside the mailbox with a hand or arm resting gently upon it. In this position, the vigil-holder is quick to detect any motion in or around the box area, particularly the insertion of mail.

Stay by the box. Don't lose focus. If you are performing the vigil correctly, you will be there for the arrival of the issue. That is the point of the boxside vigil.


The Internet, in a nutshell




An honest sign

Issue #40 of OPE zine has entered the mail stream. I recommend readers begin their vigil by the mailbox tomorrow morning, just to be safe. Plan on being out by the mailbox by 7:00 AM. Subscribers who live in foreign lands should consult their national postal service for estimates as to arrival time. They are probably safe waiting until Friday morning to begin their vigil beside their culture's traditional mail receptacle.

Please, apply sunscreen at least thirty minutes before you take your place by the mailbox, and have your snacks with you; you don't want to miss the arrival of the zine because you were inside buttering a muffin.

One reader suggested placing a baby monitor in the mailbox, then attending to one's regular life tasks while keeping the monitor nearby. I don't recommend this. The level of vigilance sufficient for infant care is probably inadequate for this task. Stay by the box. Keep the box in your sight. Don't lose focus.

Best of luck.


Question: shouldn't this magazine be called just "MD"?


Seen and enjoyed in Manhattan.


My favorite google translation to date:

"From the windows of my room there to see just a lovely big rainbow, so I have to go there now, unfortunately monkeys fascinated."

Attention Young People

1. Back when the primary medium for music was the long-playing record (AKA "the LP"), we called them "records" or "albums." We knew they were made of vinyl, but no one said "Let's go buy some vinyl" or "Let's listen to some vinyl."
2. If you want to refer to records as "vinyl" in 2015, feel free; I have grown accustomed to it and, when I hear it, I no longer feel the urge to kill. But please avoid saying "Let's go buy some vinyls." It's just bad grammar. And it might make me snap.

From the OPE Digital issue

You hold in your hands the first digital issue of Other People Exist, plus whatever else you are holding. We’re halfway through Year Five, and it’s a good time to reflect on what I’ve accomplished so far, if anything. I’ve written some of the finest and most underappreciated work in my oeuvre, I’ve kept pandering to an absolute minimum - just enough to retain my stupidest subscribers - and I’ve built OPE into the moderately successful enterprise it is today, all without losing my street cred. That’s success in my book - but then, I wrote my book. Others may define it differently, such as in the traditional manner.

As subscribers are reading this issue, their birds, bunnies and guinea pigs are hopping from foot to foot in anticipation! They know that the arrival of this publication means a fresh cage lining for them, followed by weeks of superior comfort and leak protection. It’s one of the reasons I work so hard to make each issue as thick and absorbent as I can. When I think of the looks on your pets' snouts/beaks/muzzles, I know that the work I do matters. Pets on three continents have been comforted by OPE’s familiar feel underfoot. It is the first choice among choosy masters.

Sure, my subscribers could use newspaper to line their pets' cages. But newspaper requires frequent changing, which can end up costing hundreds of dollars a month. And veterinarians tell us that 75% of all pets prefer OPE zine as a cage liner (among pets who specify a preference). One important note: I don't recommend OPE zine for subscribers with gila monsters or other monster lizards, as these animals need a substrate of playground sand or bark chips in their cage.

I’d like to thank each of you for your renewal. I know you could find other uses for your four dollars. You could buy a small watermelon and eat it with friends. You could take a child to a matinee movie with the permission of its parents. Or you could use it for a third possibility that I haven't considered. But you chose to renew your subscription to OPE, and I (and your treasured pets) thank you!


(click to enlarge; do not click and it will remain as it is)


Note that the Giant Gator flies both the US and Gator flags. ©Kurt



Thank you for your honesty. ©Kurt


From Toy Fair 2013 in New York City.



I am hard at work on Issue #35 of OPE zine, the 7th annual Death/Christmas issue. It has been seven years since the first Death/Christmas issue of Other People Exist. In the interval, I have celebrated seven Christmases and died zero times. I hope to continue this trend indefinitely.

At this juncture, six of the necessary 24 pages have been completed. It is unlikely that the issue will be ready before Christmas, which falls on December 25th this year. Still, it is always a good idea to wait by your mailbox just in case. Take your post beside the box and listen for the tell-tale thunk of OPE striking the bottom.


A clarification

Though readers should know by now, I want to make it clear that Other People Exist is written for a sophisticated audience of intellectuals and other smart-types – cultured folks who read books and enjoy $10+ bottles of wine (as well as anyone who can pay the $24/yr subscription rate). In keeping with our impressive snootiness, even our non-human appreciators are of the glasses-wearing, intelligent-seeming kind.

photo courtesy of Perpetual Chocoholic


Overheard at MOMA

click to enlarge; do not click and it will stay the same


Tip of the hat to Joanne Casey of I Have Seen The Whole Of The Internet.

Click the image and it will open a larger version of the image; if you do not click, it will stay the same size.


An email to OPE subscribers:

Issue #34 of Other People Exist mailed out today. In it, the word "supervillain" is misspelled. I apologize for any inconvenience,


Readers enjoying their OPE (updated)

Send your pic in today!


Us serious artists have to contend with meaningful questions about art such as "Is graffiti art?" I don't have the answer, but my thoughts have been heavily influenced by having the word SUMO permanently etched in the glass of the door to my home. I guess I am not a big fan of the destruction of personal property.

When it comes to the graffiti-ing of advertising in the public space, however, my view is different. I consider advertising visual pollution, filthying up the world for profit (or as They call it, "creating a branded environment.") And I think when people alter billboards and posters, it's hilarious.

I particularly never get tired of the blackening of teeth, especially the teeth of computer-generated pretty people who inhabit artificial worlds. It's like spoiling their perfect party.


In anticipation of the arrival of the latest issue of Other People Exist, subscribers may want to take this opportunity to perform their annual mailbox maintenance.

For ease of maintenance, you may find it easier to unmount your mailbox and perform these procedures at your workbench.

Begin by removing and cleaning the hinge pin. Scrape away any rust with a wire brush. Coat the hinge with WD-40 or other water-displacing lubricant spray and reassemble. Adjust hinge play per the owner's manual.

Wipe down the interior of the box with a damp rag and allow to fully dry. Tap the box body. It should resound to the blow. Boxes that respond with a dull thud should be replaced.

Inspect your mail pick-up flag for chipping or pitting, and touch up as necessary with red enamel paint. To prevent dripping, do not oversaturate the applicator.

Align your box post using a two-way post level. Remount the box. Add shims as necessary to level the box in the horizontal and vertical planes.

Add a sprig of rosemary or a potpourri sachet to the box to keep your mail smelling fresh.

Your box is ready to receive mail for another year!


Today we mourn the passing of our Sharp AL-800 copier. It was with us for ten years, and it served us well, making approximately 20,000 copies (it has an internal counter somewhere, but we've never seen it). Its paper feeder recently broke off inside, and we knew the end was near. We tried to copy issue #33 of OPE with it, but it was no use. The paper just jammed. I have removed its toner cartridge to give to a friend who owns Sharpie's twin, and Sharpie sits in the hallway, gutted.

In other news, our new copier arrived yesterday. We watched the sales like a hawk and got this one for $99 (with free shipping). It makes 23 copies per minute (almost four times faster than Sharpie) and even does double-sided copies! The zine is so easy to copy now, I may start taking on additional subscribers!

RIP Sharpie.


Another email to lapsed subscribers of OPE

Dear Lapsed Subscriber,
This is Kurt's assistant, Malcolm, again. I hate to be a pest (not true), but I still have not received your remittance for OPE Year Six. Kurt has urged me to "let it slide," but I was not raised that way. My caregivers taught me the importance of responsibility. They also kept me in a laundry hamper until the age of seven, but nobody's perfect.

The point is, those who wish to receive OPE for one more year need to remit $24 to Kurt ASAP. I can't keep writing reminder emails all the time. I have filing to do.

The best part: Kurt will never know that you needed multiple reminders to renew; he'll think you remembered on your own, and it will warm his heart.

The future is up to you,


Here it is: the latest Leak&Spill catalog. As someone who both leaks and spills, I am finding many useful products inside this catalog. In addition to Grippy® Mats and Fat Mats®, this catalog features the Haz-Mat, which can soak up "acids, bases and unknown liquids."

As you can imagine, unknown liquids are what trouble me most. Where do they come from? Of what are they composed? One day the floor is clean and tidy, and the next day there is a puddle of something, but it does not look like something I normally leak or spill.

Perhaps two known liquids leaked or were spilled, and these two liquids melded into one puddle, possibly overnight, while I was asleep. But this only makes the above questions doubly troubling. Especially when I do not remember spilling anything nor do I recall anyone or anything leaking in the area.

Haz-Mats, by the way, are $61 for the pack of 50. They will soak up the unknown liquid, but the questions remain.


T-Shirt giveaway

I received an email from a custom t-shirt website asking me to try two of their t-shirts for free in exchange for reviewing them on this blog. Normally, I'd cut off my ear before I'd shill for a website, but I thought I could give the t-shirts away to readers of this blog and it would be a win-win (assuming they like t-shirts).

***Shilling begins here***
I uploaded my own image to ooShirts.com and, using their interface, I was easily able to customize the size and placement of my image on the t-shirts. The checkout process was a little bit confusing for me, but after getting help from someone who doesn't give up at the first sign of difficulty, it went fine.

The shirts took about two weeks to arrive. The shirt is a "Gildan Heavy Cotton" tee shirt. The image quality looks excellent to my eye - the line is crisp and clean - though I should note that the OPE logo isn't a complex image. I'll have to wash it to judge the comfort and image durability, but I don't expect any problems. [update: I washed the medium shirt and, as predicted, nothing untoward happened]
***End of shilling***

Knowing that my readers come in various sizes, I ordered a medium and a large, and the only fair way to decide who will get the shirts is for each of you to send me nude photos of you, and we will all vote on who would most benefit from wearing a shirt. Alternatively, you can leave a comment on this post, mentioning your shirt size, and I will pick a winner at random. [update: winners have been picked. Shirts have been mailed.]

The shirts are arriving: