The Know is located in Portland, Oregon
, at 2026 NE Alberta Street.
What is The Know?
(the scene: Theatrical stage. bright footlights illuminate a maroon back-curtain. An old-fashioned microphone on a stand is front and center)
(Offstage, deep voice): Know. Ow. Kow. Now. No. Wonk. Monk....
Announcer: (Steps in from stage left and walks up to microphone. clears throat.) Ahem. About a year ago we started looking for a place. a space. a bunch of walls that we could pay someone to be in between, so that we could flop around in there and let other people flop around in there too. Seems a simple enough task, right? But no, it took a long time to find just the right set of walls, and ceiling, for that matter, and floor (though we could have lived with dirt) too. We finally, and oddly enough, suddenly, did. At least it seems right.
All of us have had experience with this sort of thing before. Not exactly the same experiences, but we're all old enough that you probably shouldn't trust us. Except the guy with the pony tail. He's okay. Apparently, so I'm told, there was time when you knew that every guy with a pony tail was on the right side. Now you can't be too sure. That's why I cut mine. I think.
Anyway, there's a group of us doing this, and we come from a variety of backgrounds. Some of us are carpenters. some are computer geeks. Some are filmmakers (well, actually just about all of us). Some are musicians. Semioticians. Linguists. Jaded hipsters. bathroom-tile-layers. zinesters. cynics, innocents, playwrights, poets, engineers and chauffeurs.
(rips off mask and clothes. smaller man steps out of wreckage and begins talking in a slightly higher, less affected voice)
Smaller Announcer: (stretching neck to reach microphone) I can't do this anymore. What a useless, meaningless exercise! Standing here talking about poetry and film when children are getting their limbs blown off in a desert we'll never even see except on television, while old men in suits drink shot glasses of human blood and count their money? Adorno was right about Auschwitz. what the fuck am I doing here?
(walks off stage in a huff. sound of face being slapped, a yelp. small man is propelled back on stage by some unseen force, very rapidly. one cheek is red)
Okay, okay, I'll do it. jeez. (clears throat, smiles sheepishly at audience). Uh, hi. (coughs.) Umm, yeah, so, we got this brand new space, this place, called, uh (coughs again), it's called "The Know", and uh, it's going to be a cool place, it's got a theater, where we'll have films, and performance, and music, and stuff.... and, and the other room, which is like a computer lab, and a gathering space, to hang out in, and drink tea and eat a bagel and meet people, and (coughs), uh, and stuff. Yeah. It'll be really cool. So, yeah, so there's a calendar and other information in this here booklet (waves small bundle of paper. droplets of sweat begin running down his forehead), and also on the, uh, the cyberwebintermall, at Aych-Tee-Tee-Pee, Colon, Slash, Slash, TheKnow-dot-(coughs violently, droplets of sweat flying off his head)...dot...info.
So, yeah, that's that and, uh.... Did anybody here know that the U.S. Military is planning to switch from depleted uranium to tungsten in a few years? Isn't that just grand? (large hook appears from stage right and drags him offstage)
(taller man walks on from stage left. He is not quite as tall as the announcer originally was, but taller than the announcer eventually became. Smiles, a bit too sincerely)
Ah, Good evening. What my colleague was trying to say just now is that we here at Space Development Kit Corporation are here for YOU. We've created this amazing new space, The Know, as an alternate reality to this modern, spectacular society of consumerist fantasy entertainment and purchased life. Have you ever wondered why everything costs so much? Why everything at least always costs SOMETHING? Have you ever wanted something truly diff--
(hook drags him off also. curtain lowers suddenly. On the curtain, in glittering sequins, are the words "The Know." They glitter in the footlights for a moment. Lights out. Applause. Fade out)
What I think I know about The Know
Can one be told what The Know is? (is it more easily explainable than The Matrix?)
I thought so, but then I sat down to write something.
I guess I just have expectations that are too high.
The Know has nothing to do with the War on Iraq.
The Know has nothing to do with my respiratory illness.
The Know has nothing to do with making a living.
The Know has nothing to do with making a killing.
The know has nothing to do with Homeland Security.
The Know has nothing to do with the War on Terror.
The Know has nothing to do with the War on Drugs.
The Know has nothing to do with the stock market.
The Know is not your father's Oldsmobile.
The Know is not even your Oldsmobile. you yuppie fuck.
The Know has nothing to do with your checking account.
The Know has nothing to do with your credit card, debit card, Safeway card, coffee-club card, or new Homeland Security Federal Smartchip-encrusted National Identity Card.
What is the Know? That's for us all to find out.