Pictures of Racists Looking Dumb

August 19, 2017
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MILK WAS A BAD CHOICE

The Unrated

August 14, 2017

This is probably the longest I’ve gone without blogging in years.  But in my defense, I was in Provence watching bullfights (true story!) and dealing with a teething four-month-old. I’m kind of a boring bougie asshole, aren’t I?

But no matter.  For whatever it’s worth, I’ve thought a lot about blogging, but lacked the resources (good WiFi, a moment to myself during which I’ve had use of both hands) to do it.  Most of the things I’ve considered noting down are lost to the sands of time, but I do remember this one: while in France, I read Chuck Klosterman’s book But What If We’re Wrong? Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past, which is oodles of fun, especially if you’re a contrarian who hates the present as much as I do.  Anyway, here was one nugget I found enjoyable to contemplate.  He’s talking about which writers might be posthumously wrenched from an obscurity which is a byproduct of their marginal social position:

“The uncomfortable, omnipresent reality within any conversation about representation is that the most underrepresented subcultures are the ones that don’t even enter into the conversation.  They are, by definition, impossible to quantify.  They are groups of people whom––right now, in the present tense––it is still acceptable to dislike or discount or ignore.  They are groups who are not seen as needing protection or support, which makes them vulnerable to ridicule and attack.  Who are they?  As already stated in this paragraph, I am in no position to say.  If I try, I can only be wrong.  Any argument in their favor is an argument against my premise.

Still, the history of ideas tells us that there are many collections of current humans we do not currently humanize.  They exist.  So find them right now, inside your own head: Imagine a certain kind of person or a political faction or a religious sect or a sexual orientation or a social group you have no ethical problem disliking, to the point where you could safely ridicule it in public without fear of censure.

Whatever you imagined is the potential identity of the Contemporary Kafka.  And if your fabricated answer seems especially improbable, it just means you might actually be close.”

When I read this, I thought to myself (perhaps because I’m not creative), “I can’t think of any groups the mainstream reading public”––which tends to be socio-politically liberal––”would easily discount.  All the identifications previously considered aberrant or abhorrent or both are now trumpeted throughout the land.  There might not be any more openly derided––”

And then it hit me: Scientologists.  MIC DROP.  I’m done.

Ideas Machine

July 30, 2017

Once, when I was lamenting to a friend that I didn’t have any projects in the pipeline, she tried to console me by calling me an “ideas machine.”  To which I could only respond by pounding my head forcefully into the nearest hard surface.

But it occurred to me a few weeks ago, that I do in fact have a lot of ideas.  A vast majority of these ideas, however, I am definitely the wrong person to see to completion.  Perhaps there is something like an ideas broker, in which I could maybe sell the ideas to the best candidate?  Here is just a taster of what’s to come:

1. From the Times of London obituary of Helmet Kohl, former German chancellor:

“In late 1944 [Kohl] was sent to a pre-military training camp as part of Hitler’s desperate effort to save the Third Reich by enlisting boys and old men, and ended up in Bavaria. At the war’s end he and three classmates walked 250 miles back to Ludwigshafen through a country in ruins. They scavenged for food, were attacked by liberated Polish prisoners, and saw the bodies of deserters hanging from trees.”

BAM!  Movie.  Right there.  Three boys wander through the German rubble.  Maybe there’s a bear involved, or is that a little too Stand By Me?  Anyway, you’d need to have a thorough, localized understanding of World War II, be able to write adolescent dialog, and speak German.  Well, preferably be German––I think this would work better as a film if it were made in Germany by German filmmakers.

2. Recently I read a long piece in The New Yorker about Augustine, and it commented on how in Confessions, you never hear from his longtime lover and baby mama, who is summarily tossed out of his house when A’s Oedipal nightmare moves in and asserts her power:

The woman with whom he had been living “was torn from my side, because she was supposed to be an obstacle to my marriage,” Augustine writes. “My heart, which had fused with hers, was mutilated by the wound, and I limped along trailing blood.” Of his mistress’s feelings, he gives us no glimpse, noting simply, “She went back to Africa, vowing to you that she would never know another man.” Then she is gone from his account, leaving him with the gnawing sexual appetite that she had served to appease.

So––what about a historical novel from a silent figure?  A la Colm Toibin’s book The Testament of Mary?  This would involve “world-building,” and I do not care to delve into the research on the Roman Empire in North Africa, among other things, enough to do this.  But I think it could be great.  Highest bidder!  (Question: should this service be financially based, or require the applicant to submit a proposal of sorts?)

 

Yeesh

July 18, 2017

While looking up something about The Glass Menagerie, I found this scathing review of the recent New York production directed by Sam Gold. Hilton Als, tell us how you really feel!

The despair and disgust I felt after seeing the director Sam Gold’s rendition of Tennessee Williams’s 1944 play, “The Glass Menagerie” (at the Belasco), was so debilitating that I couldn’t tell if my confused, hurt fury was caused by the pretentious and callous staging I had just witnessed or if my anger was a result of feeling robbed of the beauty of Williams’s script.

Me Too, Bette. Me Too.

July 16, 2017

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Something to Ponder

July 14, 2017

Do you think Sofia Coppola ever wishes she had just been born Peter Weir so she could have made Picnic at Hanging Rock and called it a day?

Who Said It: Meat Loaf or Lao Tzu?

July 13, 2017

And wherever you are and wherever you go

there’s always going to be some light

 

If you don’t worry about the future, sooner or later it’s the past

 

The further you go, the less you know

 

Heaven can wait

And all I’ve got is time until the end of time

 

The nameless is the origin of heaven and earth

 

Some days it don’t come easy

Some days it don’t come hard

 

Sometimes you lead

Sometimes you follow

 

What about your gods?
They’re defective! They forgot the warranty

 

The beat is yours forever
The beat is always true

 

She cries all day without getting hoarse.

She is the ultimate in harmony.

 

Does it come with the darkness? Does it bring out the light?

 

How deep! How dark! In it there is an essence.

 

You were only killing time and it will kill you right back

 

Though you lose the body, you do not die.

 

And if life is just a highway, then the soul is just a car

 

Assignment

July 10, 2017

The following is an essay prompt given out to students of the Enfield Tennis Academy class “The Personal Is the Political Is the Psychopathological: the Politics of Contemporary Psychopathological Double-Binds.”  I would like each of my readers––yes, all four of you––to please submit your responses by 2359 GMT today.

KEEP YOUR ANSWERS BRIEF AND GENDER NEUTRAL

ITEM 1

(1a) You are an individual who, is pathologically kleptomaniac.  As a kleptomaniac, you are pathologically driven to steal, steal, steal.  You must steal.

(1b) But, you are also an individual who, is pathologically agoraphobic.  As an agoraphobic, you cannot so much as step off your front step of the porch of your home, without undergoing palpitations, drenching sweats, and feelings of impending doom.  As an agoraphobic, you are driven to pathologically stay home and not leave.  You cannot leave home.

(1c) But, from (1a) you are pathologically driven to go out and steal, steal, steal.  But, from (1b) you are pathologically driven to not ever leave home.  You live alone.  Meaning, there is no one else in your home to steal from.  Meaning, you must go out, into the marketplace to satisfy your overwhelming compulsion to steal, steal, steal.  But, such is your fear of the marketplace that you cannot under any circumstances, leave home.  Whether your problem is true personal psychopathology, or merely marginalization by a political definition of “psychopathology,” nevertheless, it is a Double-Bind.

(1d) Thus, respond to the question of, what do you do?

(No cheating off Schacht and writing “mail fraud,” please.)

Yesterday Was Not a Very Productive Day

July 6, 2017

As is evidenced by my biggest win: watching a clip of an old Oprah episode and finding myself beguiled by this glorious early nineties haircut.

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Burning Books (and Plays)

July 5, 2017

I wrote a funny (I hope) little thing on the act of burning books, and then today, read this funny little thing about Edward Albee’s will, which stipulates that his unfinished work be burnt after he died.  Here’s the important bit:

Was he working on anything when he died? We may never know.

Why not? He requested that all his unfinished manuscripts be destroyed after his death.

In another part of this “article” (faux Q&A?) the writer says that the executors plan to grant Albee’s wishes.  Which made me really curious: was Albee a longhand man?  Meaning: do they need to destroy physical works?  And if so, would they let me attend the bonfire?  I will absolutely not sneak a peek at anything!  I would consider that a sacrilegious act.  I’m considering writing a note to the two executors, named in the New York Times, asking for permission, but I very much doubt they’ll be open to it.