Posts By: Karl Low

Darjeeling Jones

Darjeeling is a teacher, writer, and amateur drycleaner. Fetishes include ’70s funk, Stanley Kubrick, Korean barbecue, and cream-filled donuts.

Porkpie Hat—The Noble Act of Escape

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill When I was twelve years old, I dreamed of being abducted by aliens.  On a few warm nights that summer, I would lay in my sleeping bag in the backyard, pointing my flashlight up at the stars and planets, in the hope that “they” would… Read more »

Porkpie Hat—Real Life

It’s been many years since Marcus and I shared a pitcher in the beer parlor of the Astoria Hotel on Vancouver’s East Hastings Street.  I can’t remember which mutual friend or acquaintance had introduced us, but I have never forgotten sitting across from him in the smoky, gloomy room, with its permanent funk of tobacco,… Read more »

Porkpie Hat—The Gift of Melancholy

Recently, suffering from a flu bug, I watched Melancholia, a 2011 psychological sci-fi drama film by the controversial Danish director Lars von Trier.  The film revolves around  a soon-to-be-married couple and a group of their guests who gather at an elegant country estate to celebrate the wedding, just as a rogue planet (named “Melancholia,” giving… Read more »

Porkpie Hat—An Ordinary Joy

I often think what a sweet luxury it is to just be ordinary; to be possessed of only modest talents, and no all-consuming ambition for recognition or legacy.  Being able to amble through life having not too much, but not too little.  A small circle of friends, perhaps, a handful of people I love, enough… Read more »

Porkpie Hat—A View of Haida Gwaii

We humans have done so much shifting and transforming of the natural landscape: bending the shape of the planet with all of our bright, infernal machines, fueled by our reckless brilliance and boundless greed.  We seldom remember that there are some landscapes which, if we move slowly through them with an open mind, an open… Read more »

Porkpie Hat—Together and Apart

Like all our fellow travelers, our journey is too long, our journey is too brief.  We are immortal and god-like, filling up the universe; we are tiny and fragile, our lives as flickering and insubstantial as sparks from a campfire.  We carry our burdens across barren lands beneath what must be a thousand years of… Read more »

Porkpie Hat—Embrace the Chaos

If there is one thing I should probably not be doing in this life, it is giving advice.  Whatever good fortune I have come across, I have typically stumbled into ass-backwards rather than achieved through any sort of strategy or wisdom.  Nevertheless, you just never know when somebody might benefit from a word or two… Read more »

Porkpie Hat—Life During Wartime

“Transmit the message to the receiver/ Hope for an answer some day” – Talking Heads, “Life During Wartime” There is a battle raging all around us, a deadly skirmish in the only war that has ever mattered: the struggle between the opposing forces of love and fear.  It’s a senseless conflict, one that should never… Read more »

Porkpie Hat—Of Flight Attendants and Pink Flamingos

I’m twenty years old, living in the basement of a ramshackle pink building in Vancouver’s wild West End.  My upstairs neighbour, appropriately named Byron, is about seventy years old, a salty and poetic soul, a former flight attendant for a British airline.  His studio apartment is cramped and narrow, but the furnishings are suggestive of… Read more »