Archive for the ‘Jesting, Infinitely’ Category

Schools of Therapy

March 1, 2021

One of these days I promise I will get around to writing my essay titled “Against Therapy,” but until then, here are two satirical (but possibly very effective!) modalities of therapy I’ve invented. Feel free to practice them on yourselves!

1. Radical Death Therapy

This therapy involves a patient speaking continuously for forty-five minutes in a manner typical to normal psychoanalysis/therapy. At the end of the session, the therapist smacks the patient with a rolled up newspaper and yells, “Don’t you realize you’re going to die some day?!”

2. Internal Rock Therapy

This is a kind of mindfulness-based therapy that involves the therapist encouraging the patient at every turn to imagine a large, immovable rock inside of them, that cannot be hurt by any external force. Problems in your love life? Think about the rock. Boss treating you poorly? His taunts can’t hurt the rock. Feeling like a piece of driftwood at the mercy of the forceful river of life? You are the rock. You see where I’m going with this.

Is This Funny?

September 22, 2020

I started to write a “humor” piece about someone calling Gd’s office asking to reschedule the end of 2020 like it’s a doctor’s appointment, but I’m not sure it’s funny, or, even if it is, there’s enough to go on. Thoughts?

Hi. Oh, yeah, hi, um, can you hear me? Sorry, trying to use Skype cause of long-distance charging and all, sometimes the service isn’t so great. Uh, hi. I’m trying to reach God, or whoever is in charge of His scheduling there? Sure, I can hold.

Hi! Yeah, so I’m really sorry for the late notice, but I’m calling to reschedule an appointment. Yes, it’s “the remainder of 2020.” I’ve been meaning to reschedule for ages, but things have just been so hectic, with the Zoom school and the remote working and everything.

Yes, I do realize you have a 24-hour-cancellation policy, but if we start the cancellation from 24 hours from now, can I avoid the fee? You know what, actually, on second thought, I don’t think I can endure another day, so I’ll just pay it. Yes, the credit card on file is fine.

So as for rescheduling, hm, let me take a look at my calendar. I was really hoping to make it up when my kids are able to dress themselves, but before I am no longer able to. Some kind of sweet spot like that––maybe when they’ve just gone to college? Do you have any openings in 2040? Really any time that year, I don’t have anything scheduled yet. Oh, there’s another pandemic scheduled for then? And a world war? Shoot. Is there anything else I should know about for 2040? You know what, don’t tell me, I almost think it’s better if I don’t know.

Hahahaha

June 12, 2020

For work I get the online dispatches from the medical journal JAMA, and today one of their headlines is below.  What an understatement!

Screen Shot 2020-06-12 at 4.59.04 PM

Lego Auschwitz

March 29, 2020

Libera, Lego Concentration Camp

From the beginning, Konzentrationslager caused a huge sensation, with viewers split on whether it was an important work or a travesty. Depicting genocide with a toy made people uncomfortable. Some Holocaust activists saw the work as trivializing the experiences of survivors, while others disagreed. The Jewish Museum in New York City displayed the sets for several months in 2002 as part of an exhibit on Nazi imagery in modern art.

Even LEGO joined in the criticism, complaining that [artist Zbigniew] Libera hadn’t told the company what he was intending when it donated the bricks and that this contribution didn’t constitute sponsorship as implied by the packaging’s labeling. LEGO tried to get Libera to stop displaying the work, backing down from its pressure only after the artist hired a lawyer.

From The Cult of Lego by John Baichtal and Joe Meno

The Butlers of Post WWI England Are the Millennial Tech Company Underlings of Today

March 8, 2020

“In fact, a comparison of how I might interpret a ‘distinguished household’ with what the Hayes Society understood by that term illuminates sharply, I believe, the fundamental difference between the values of our generation of butlers and those of the previous generation.  When I say this, I am not merely drawing attention to the fact that our generation had a less snobbish attitude as regards which employers were landed gentry and which were ‘business.’  What I am trying to say –– and I do not think this an unfair comment –– is that we were a much more idealistic generation.  Where our elders might have been concerned with whether or not an employer was titled, or otherwise from one of the ‘old’ families, we tended to concern ourselves much more with the moral status of an employer.  I do not mean by this that we were preoccupied with our employers’ private behavior.  What I mean is that we were ambitious, in a way that would have been unusual a generation before, to serve gentlemen who were, so to speak, furthering the progress of humanity.  It would have been seen as a far worthier calling, for instance, to serve a gentleman such as Mr. George Ketteridge, who, however humble his beginnings, has made an undeniable contribution to the future well-being of the empire, than any gentleman, however aristocratic his origin, who idled away his time in clubs or on golf courses.”

Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day

 

The Playlist in Hell

February 13, 2020

I was working at a Joe & the Juice in Manhattan a few months ago, and they were playing the following songs on an interminable loop, and while I like a few of these songs on their own, by the end of a few hours I was seriously ready to die.  I think I missed a few titles but it honestly couldn’t have been more than 25 songs total.  I started to write them down for posterity’s sake, but then zoned out every so often as a means of self-preservation.

 

 
Genesis “Invisible Touch”
Chaka Khan “Ain’t Nobody Love Me Better”
Dolly Parton “9 to 5”
A horrible updated 80s version of “In the Jungle”
Fleetwood Mac “Everywhere”
Luther Vandross “Never Too Much”
The Proclaimers “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”
Hall and Oates “You Make My Dreams”
A-ha “Take on Me”
Kim Carnes “Bette Davis Eyes”
Eric Carmen “Hungry Eyes”
The Pointer Sisters “I’m So Excited”
Wham! “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”
Michael Jackson “Beat It”
Rick Astley “Never Gonna Give You Up”

Overheard on 57th Street

February 6, 2020

Walking down 57th Street, passing some of the fanciest stores in New York City, I see an old married couple.  The wife is peering in the windows at David Yurman.

Wife: I think it would be fun, don’t you?

Husband: I don’t have a choice.  Whatever you like, I like.

Wife: WHAT DO YOU MEAN, YOU DON’T––

Husband: WHATEVER YOU LIKE, I LIKE.

Funny? Please Vote

November 25, 2019

I’m thinking of starting a funny Twitter dedicated solely to calling myself out for my (occasionally!) terrible taste in music.  So sample tweets would be like, “Just a thirty-something white woman walking around streaming Lil Peep, nothing to see here, folks!” or “Wearing my baby in a Bjorn and listening to ‘Timber’ by Pitbull (featuring Ke$ha).”  Thoughts?

Performance Art

June 28, 2019

I’ve always not-so-secretly wanted to be a performance artist––bummed Marina Abramovic’s school is never gonna happen!––and I remember recently one of my only good ideas for an endurance piece, which was embedded in the text of a sort of pretentious poem I wrote a few years ago:

I retype the entire text of War and Peace on stage at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires in one sitting.  If a success, I go on tour, and “perform” Infinite Jest atthe Paris Opera House, Remembrance of Things Past at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, and Gone with the Wind at the Sydney Opera House.  All performances will be recorded and available for purchase through Apple.

I could add more performances, too!  I can think of long books and storied opera houses for days.

 

Put Me in Your Will, Mr. Waters

June 3, 2019

There’s a new article out about John Waters, which focuses on his art collection, one of my favorite topics.  You’ll recall, I’m sure, that many years ago I wrote him a note offering to be caretaker of his art collection when he dies.  I would probably strike a different tone now, but what’s done is done.

The new piece features a number of pictures of Waters’s pieces from my favorite “genre” of art, trompe l’oeil!  The toilet paper dispenser, light switch, olives, playing cards and pencil in these pictures are fake!  Basically my dream is to have an apartment riddled with fake things just to confuse my guests.