March 31, 2011 § 1 Comment
“Even a middle-aged person too busy with work and family to read novels still knew that no other book than a novel could be written about his life that would do the least justice to that life in its complex way of taking place, as it had to, simultaneously in his head, in his household, in his society, and in history.”
This article freaked me out. The arguments are so cogent and compelling, our fate as a waste economy bite-sized image-based culture seems ineluctable. But what to do? It looks like a losing battle. You must join them to beat them, but in the joining you’re only adding to the noise and chaos. To withdraw into our warm cozy cave of literature is to give up – but maybe if we few readers go underground together (we’ll grab the Booksmith boys on our way down), we can spend a generation or two reading and breeding and learning to eat roots and bugs, and our children’s children can emerge to a blank slate, an earth wiped clean and ready for the new dawn of the novel. I’m pretty sure Franzen will still be around and eager to write the first one.
March 28, 2011 § 2 Comments
Follow the girly logic train – first, we were talking at work about a certain someone who would be the perfect man if only he suffered massive head trauma that rendered him mute. Then the last post reminded me of Sean Connery in his short-shorts and how he got in trouble for saying that it’s okay for a man to slap his woman every once in a while, and I remembered way back then thinking “Yeah, but look at him. It IS kinda okay, isn’t it?” Then I was listening to music tonight and the next thing you know I’m making a list of the unlikeliest sexiest men…purely subjective but I think I’m right.
1. Pete Townshend. Come on. He’s a rock genius, and sorta sensitive, and that nose lends him such a sober puppy cuteness.
2. Peter Dinklage. He’d go straight to a normal sexiest men list if it weren’t for the, ummm, height thing. That long conference table in Elf? I would jump him on it, for sure.
3. Bill Clinton. Right? Brilliant, and a douchebag. I have a soft spot for that combo.
4. Peyton Manning. The smartest athlete, hands down. Intelligence makes up for a lot, and who doesn’t melt when a guy can do things with his hands?
5. Woody Allen. Ignore his passing resemblance to my father, it ain’t about that. It’s about the brilliant douchebag combo plus a side of superbly funny. We’re all powerless before it.
I’d love to hear your lists, they’re guaranteed to be amazing.
March 27, 2011 § 2 Comments
Ah yes, Elvis Movies. Is there another genre of film so dedicated to pure enjoyment as the Elvis Movie? My mom is a big Elvis fan, so I watched a lot of Elvis movies as a kid. From what I remember of this one, Elvis gets a job as a lifeguard/lounge singer at a hotel, putting him in direct competition with his co-worker…who is the champion diver of Mexico. Hilarity ensues! Heck, Angela Lansbury plays Elvis’ mom in ‘Blue Hawaii.’ I’m pretty sure Angela Lansbury doesn’t even come close to being old enough to reasonably portray Elvis’ mom. It’s as if they tried to think of another older woman but then they were like, “fuck it, we’re shooting this thing in like three hours anyways.”
90% Elvis singing + 10% people who look good dancing in bathing suits=150% awesome.
It’s great that THE Bond Girl stars in “Fun in Acapulco,” as “please enjoy this lady’s pointy breasts” is also an important sub-plot in the always super fun and only sometimes racially insensitive early Bond movies. It also gives me an excuse to include perhaps the greatest movie clip of all time: the underwater fight scene from ‘Thunderball.’
March 27, 2011 § 1 Comment
I’ve been sitting awkwardly cross-legged for hours, dumping my many CDs into iTunes so that more work mixes can be created. One thing I’ve learned is that I need more furniture and way better lighting. One thought I’ve been less awkwardly pondering while pounding feeling back into my lower half is how subjective and combative we can become about music. Much moreso than books, at least for me. If I pass along a book that I love to someone I think will love it equally, and the person is “meh” about it, I take that response and break it down into chunks, parse it for educational background, personal taste, timing, etc., and try to do better at recommending a book the next time. If I pass along a CD that I love to someone I think will love it equally, and the person is “meh” about it, we might not be friends anymore.
What is the emotional connection to music that is more immediate than to the written word? I mean, it is music, right? We wouldn’t connect more to an audiobook than a paperback simply due to the addition of sound. Something about a voice, a chord, a harmony makes an immediate impact in our brains and cements a relationship with whatever’s going on around us at the time. I include Arthur Russell above as an example – the instant I hear the cello I am flooded with the feeling, the insane sense memory of falling in love for the first time, really falling hard, of needing no food or drink or any sustenance but the physical presence of this person one more time. And if I hand this music over to you, and you go “It was okay, kind of poor production value, and his voice is a little whiny, and doesn’t he look like a wasting version of that guy from Sideways?”, I will slit your throat.
One of my best friends holds a precious spot in my life because we’ve known each other so long and so musically intimately (while also not knowing each other well at all in many ways) that we can hold entire email conversations whose sole content is song titles and lyrics. It’s our shorthand, and I know where he is and how he feels line by line, and he knows the same about me, and it means something. Wanna know what it feels like to fall out of love with me? Here, and I will slit your throat if you disagree…
March 26, 2011 § Leave a comment
That’s right, kids, we’re all depressed. And none of us go to college anymore. I like to listen to this song because it helps ease me into a nice soaking mope, like dipping a cookie into milk. Partly it’s the lyrics and partly it’s the fact that I played it on my radio show in college, WHEN IT WAS BRAND NEW, almost 15 fucking years ago, and that seems impossible. And partly it’s Davey’s lisp that drives me crazy with emo-boy desire.
But this morning (and maybe only for this morning, so I decided to commemorate it) I choose to hear it as a statement of fact, and thus a statement of purpose. Okay. Yes. We don’t go to college. We don’t know anything. We have no idea where to put our hands. Now let’s just live it already. I said something stupidly pretentious the other day (building on someone else’s words) about how enviable are the people who gracelessly bumper car around with their loneliness and strangeness, rather than overanalyzing and resenting it and hiding it and never ramming into another driver. It was really pretentious, but it’s maybe time to start driving like crazy motherfuckers – it can’t go any more badly than staying in park…
March 23, 2011 § Leave a comment
Just when it seemed all hope was lost, the world’s smallest peeps rose to the occasion.
Check out her blog for more itty bitty cutesy wootsey foodsies to soothe the long-suffering soul.
March 23, 2011 § Leave a comment
Check it out, it’s a beautiful version of a song that makes me miserable. This morning (all the many hours since midnight, too) my thoughts have turned towards what to do when someone simply isn’t who you thought he was. Greenberg reminds me so strongly of this person, the total confusion about what to do with his life and how to treat the people in it, the inability to recognize what he has in favor of what he wants, the pure fear of growing up.
I want to be angry and I want to end our friendship. But then I look at myself and I’m Greenberg, too. We all are, at a certain age – Lorrie Moore has this line in Anagrams about the period between like 25 and 37 being called “stupidity” because you’re too old to think you know everything and not old enough to be comfortable with all that you don’t know, you’re just old enough to realize how stupid you are and powerless to fix it. He’s there, I’m there. Who am I to judge when life scares the shit out of me too?
He will always own a part of my heart and I will always be a safe place for him no matter what – and maybe all the pain and disillusionment that goes with it is the price I pay for being stupid and selfish and careless in my own way. But consider me officially broken, I can’t do this ever again for anyone.