Sunday, May 29, 2011

being there and other letters

This past year I wrote a lot of things that you won't ever see because I didn't write them for any of you. Nevertheless, here are a couple things from that very long period of time. The first piece was not so subtly influenced by Gil Scott-Heron, who died a couple days ago. The second is a likely inaccurate account of when I went to Paris as a child. The third is a letter to everyone I've ever known, and I wrote it almost a year ago. The fourth is the prologue to a story, which I wrote recently.
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"Being There"

Well the first thing I want to say is that I am disgusted by what we’re trying to do, and that I was there when we started doing it.

I stood by and did nothing while the reasonable manner of our discussion packed up and moved away; just didn’t think about it and texted to 1-866-IDOLS-08.

I became a statistic in popular opinion when we were all shouting that terrorists were the enemy and not the people who were shouting.

I forgone my privacy by virtue of the attention I would extract from a glowing screen and watched my friends follow in succession.

I sexted and was sexted without knowing anything about sex.

I was there in the repulsive public school, as it lied starving, whimpering, hysterical, begging those passing by for water, and I watched them watch it die.

I yelled out “present” to my grade school teachers when I was mentally absent.

I abstained from voting on the grounds that the next movie star in line would do just fine for now.

I panicked and prepared for the end of the world, disappointed when January 1, 2000 passed and nothing happened and when January 1, 2012 passed and nothing happened.

I never loved anyone but myself, ignoring the only kind girl who loved me while I traded Pokemon cards and settled with the woman I knocked up.

I wore blackface and did a song and dance for my employers and I wore a suit while doing it.

I was taught war from the television screen, and it made sense to me.

I stood next to my father, arms shaking and knees trembling when lowering the casket of my childhood into the ground, and I wept for days.

I was there when Phaedrus was there, when Daedalus forged wings for Icarus and when he flew too close to the sun, marveling at the sight of him falling to Earth.

I broke the 10 commandments in order by Saturday and was forgiven by Monday.

I danced with the stars, idolized the Americans, made and didn’t make deals, survived and wiped out.

I saw all these magnificent children running about, naked, neighing like sheep, surprised that I was following along, nearly removing my pants.

I hoped for the world to be better, for things to be different, and this was all I did.

I made the world what I wanted it to be, and it was. I wanted to be saved, and I was.


The world will not end with a bang, it will not be televised and nobody will give a damn. We will revolt by teaching our family to care, to respectfully disagree with what is wrong, by letting go, by working 8 to 5 for money and still meeting the cost to pay attention to our children. We will arm ourselves with the knowledge of love, we will riot, and we will be there.

Because what the children want, more than the ineffable urge for those around them to love and nurture and care, is to be understood.

Blessed be to life we magnificent children.

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"Ceci Ne Pas Une Croissant"

I woke up cramped and tired in the motel, sitting up to see my family scattered around the room, still asleep. I was bewildered and amazed at how orange the sun looked coming over the elaborately designed city buildings and the villas within sight in the distance. We packed silently; our parents helped us pack our bags that were too heavy for our backs. In the lobby I sat on a couch too big for me watching Pepe le Pew dubbed in French, which while was probably appropriate proved impossible to understand. Still hungry having only eaten one croissant and drinking one cup of orange juice, I asked my Mom for more food. She called over a woman, and told me to tell her what I wanted. I couldn’t pronounce it, so I said, “I would like a cwah-want, please.” The woman laughed at me. She called her co-worker over and had me say it again and they both let out hyena cackles. I had never felt so helpless; I was ashamed. We walked for hours in the sun. My parents were stressed from extraneously planning country-hopping and constantly keeping an eye on us. I was wearing a sweater and was sweating, but I didn’t speak up because I was too afraid to stop or even say something. A place so beautiful, rich with life that I would not see again until decades later, quickly became my hell. I hated the people on bikes, odd-looking buildings, frightenly tall people, and of course the pickpocketers. My parents gave us a slight warning, telling us to hold onto what we had with us, which my siblings construed into scaring me into thinking pickpocketers were all over the city. I walked the streets with my hands in my pockets, sweating, baseball hat on straight, looking forward to the unfamiliar terrain, never knowing when it would end. My back hurt from carrying the weight, so my parents carried my bag for a little bit. We were all complaining, asking if we could just take a taxi. My parents weren’t familiar with the currency and didn’t want to spend more than they had to (they had all expenses planned). We eventually came to an open courtyard with a large glass pyramid sitting in the center, surrounded by large fountains. We sat next to one fountain, setting down our bags, relaxing for a breath and a splash of water for our faces. My dad, always emphasizing productivity, soon mobilized us, rising us to the occasion when we really just wanted to give up. We went into the pyramid, down an escalator, past counters and lobbies to empty rooms with lined walls with paintings, pictures, sculptures and stone carvings. I didn’t understand and thought it was awkward when we stopped at a naked woman with her arms cut off. The same went to the man sitting with poor posture, the woman barely smiling and the (naked) man with wings embracing the (naked) woman. We walked on, out the pyramid, through the streets, to the train station where we waited for a couple hours. We boarded the train and entered our cabin, finally freed from our bags and our legs. I lied down in my mother’s lap, tears falling from my face from thinking of how I failed to pronounce “croissant,” why those women were so mean, how exhausted I was, how I wanted very much to be home again. My mother turned my face around, scouring my tears until I was better, and I fell asleep right there, all the way to Denmark.

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"Start Walking"

Sometimes the cardinals outside my window will wake me up when I sleep too late to remind me that I was dreaming and that what I was feeling wasn't real. At least I think so, and that's my problem.

I get into the habit of getting into habits. I'll base what I believe with what I think to be true and choose to not understand what I don't want to, and I guess everyone does this. I don't really like that we do that, but I can at least understand.

But before me, before anything even existed, there had to have been only one truth. I hold on to the notion that this single truth was accepted until someone didn't understand it. It wasn't that they didn't want to or find a reason to or failed to see it as important, but that they couldn't understand it despite all their wanting to. Maybe it was because they thought or maybe it was because they felt or maybe it was because they loved, but it created a truth that wasn't true that hadn't existed before they made it so. They based their lives on this separate truth-- and then they lived. They lived linearly with everyone else but within a parallel reality that didn't exist before creating an original thought. Someone finally had to have noticed and rejected what he rejected, creating something entirely different but nonetheless contrarian. And then their friends would go to the dinner parties these others would host and hear about these truths and decide for themselves what they felt or thought or loved and what they would embrace for their own. And then these people had children, sometimes together, and their children would hold dissenting truths from their parents merely for dissension's sake, and they would live dissenting everything that was true, knowing what they didn't feel in their heart held the truth. The kids made rock records that spoke their truth that nobody seemed to be thinking about. They mellowed out when they got older and then they had a reunion tour. Military men would scold non-military men for speaking of military matters with such ease. Traditionalists viewed everything dissenting, commenting, or otherwise as nothing more than negativity. Observationalists would write books about the accomplishments and trials of great men, trying to capture which truth made their life so important. Dreamers would read these books and go into politics. Opportunists would damn these men as opportunists. Activists would rally behind the truth, against some other truth, and passerbys would continue to exist as such (without the need for any). But while this all happened, everything that once existed continued to exist, only in different forms and manners. And so on.

I watch everyone around me I know and don't arguing about what is true and what isn't true and how we should be feeling from my nice little perspective. The truth always sounds like such a logical and clear choice. They've found ways to compartmentalize everything that I think and feel and love to be true into identifiable sides and quick sound-bytes and medical terms using political parties and applications and buttons and lights and sounds and money. And I understand why they try to make it so simple for me. It's because they want to believe that's the way it should be, that's the way it was before me. But I know that it's not and it wasn't, but I'm not sure if it never was.

When I was younger, I used to think that everything could be true to a certain degree. I tried to be polite, picking through shit for a sliver of reason that I could hold up to whoever I was talking to and satisfy them. For some people, agreeing with the slightest nothing can convince them that you wholly embrace their (often) bullshit world view, and they only do this because they want to think you like them. But the more I think and revisit, the more I see I change, am wrong, find ways to abhor myself. There is no reason to not suspect that everything that I'm saying is absolutely wrong, even if everything I say is voiced through reason and merit. "It's just not right." "You just kind of get a feel for these things after a while." "It's hard for me to make you understand." "You can't know what I know."

I got a little older and tried to find perfection, and that didn't work out so well. The more I looked the more I found wrong, the more I found I couldn't love the world for what it was. And while I hate to think that I'll ever stop looking, I realize that there are no ends. This doesn't, however, mean I have to search alone. I casually walk alongside everyone who's trying to figure it out, and it's nice to look around sometimes and not always forward. The writers seem to be trying the hardest and feeling the most miserable about it; the kids are running and it's hard to keep up; the tough guys are taking it at their own pace; the egoists think they’re the only ones walking; the religious can be the kindest but the biggest pests; the atheists can be the most sound-minded but the biggest assholes; the activists feel they have a purpose, and want to get there before anyone else; the druggies think that they're already there; the depressed don't know which way they should be going; the comics are doing it their own way; the existentialists are pushing their rocks along while the nihilists walk merely because it's better than not walking; the individualists are confidently marching in the direction of their dreams; the collectivists are carrying along those who can't walk; the poets are laying stones for people to walk on; the pessimists are walking on their knees; the optimists are skipping and hurting their feet; the tired are considering taking a break; the adventurers don't really care about getting there; the explorers walk about; the escapists never really get out; the engineers are thinking of the fastest way to get there; the laid-back aren't looking back; the worrisome are watching every step; the good are walking; the bad are walking; those who've felt love don't want to take another step alone; the forgetful can start over whenever they want to; the extremists never seem to be alone; the families are always remembering and forgetting how much they need each other; the anti-social would never let anyone know that they're looking for someone to walk with; the artists are always thinking of strange ways to walk; the athletes are distracting the rest of us; the lazy don't seem to be bothered at all by time; the parasites are being dragged behind by their betters; the kind are teaching us how to walk; the infants are crawling; the content are sitting; the talking heads are going the wrong way; the animals are trying to walk and we keep cutting their legs off; death seems to be stopping people along the way, but it's hard to tell; the idiots are walking just as we are; the haters are hating; the seasoned walk more confidently; the stoics break; the lively dance.

There are others, but there are so many that it's hard to see.

I don't really know who I am and I certainly don't know what I believe to be true, but I'm starting to figure out what it is that I'm doing, and maybe that's enough for now. And if it's not, then perhaps I'll take up jogging.

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Prologue to “Magnificent Children”

His darkened silhouette outlined in the doorframe, Mr. Steak said to his class, “Turn on the fucking light. I can clearly see you.” His students emerged from under their desks, devilishly pleased with the response. They pulled bad jokes like this on him all the time. They were more affirmed by his frustration than they would if he had laughed.

At Twinsburg, the younger teachers were always assigned the worst classes with the most deplorable students, a job that nobody took pride in nor felt encouraged to wake up in the morning to go to, especially someone with the potential of John Staek. He had fast-tracked through an outstanding educational career, graduating in the top of his class at Grover Cleveland High School and magna cum laude at Bowling Green University with majors in English and History (he had finished college in three years). After dropping out of law school after a semester, Staek accepted a teaching job at the first high school that would have him, and he was optimistic at the prospect of sharing his knowledge with receptive, developing minds. His class schedule, which hasn’t changed since starting his teaching tenure, consists of five “tech-prep” English classes, which is just Fillmore Township’s way of lumping together the kids who have little interest in graduating, the group that is kept (physically) away from the C to B students, who are (also physically) kept away from the kids who are in the START program (which stands for something, although few actually could recite it). The START kids run the school newspaper, National Honor Society, class offices, student council, thespian society, morning announcements, robotics team, international languages club, civics club, book club, spirit club, chess club, environmental club, and there are others. It was the kind of mandated segregation with a doctrine writ in water. Three of Staek’s classes consisted of seniors and two juniors. The juniors- it was the juniors that he hated. Luckily for this year, enough students dropped out that the two classes of juniors were combined, thus creating “the children.”

Staek knew his dilemma with the children wasn’t unique whatsoever. So much of the time in the teacher’s lounge at lunch was devoted to sharing the day’s horror stories (who sexted who, which students were pregnant, who was written up, which urinals were pooped in, et. al.), a practice that Staek hated to participate in during his brief moments away from the children.

Based on two years of secondhand intake of these conversations, Staek gathered that the standard method of combating the problem of TP classes went as followed: follow the syllabus, review no less than three times, teach to the required state standardized test, make sure they’re awake, tell them everything they need to know, give them the test, take their phones until the end of class, hope for the best, and move on to the next, hateful batch. Staek welcomed that the last phase of the process was upon him and wished to do nothing that would complicate it. Three weeks remained in the school year.

Staek made his first attempt of the day to win back the class’ attention, saying, “Alright, you guys. Settle and sit down, you little shits. We’re reading Eliot.” His constant cursing was something that the class expected from people, not an abnormality that yielded him any cooler. “Now, did any of you read the poem for today?” Staek expected the silence and didn’t allow it to linger for too long, but long enough for the students to feel guilty, an attempt that he knew failed. He continued, “Then I guess we’ll read it aloud. It’s called, ‘The Hollow…”
“MOO,” one student interjected. The children laughed. Staek thought it must’ve been a recurring joke that he didn’t understand.

After taking a moment to realize what had happened, Staek said, “Did you just interrupting cow me, Omar?” Omar had just interrupting cowed him. Across the room, Antoine said, “Yeahhh, you my nigga, Omar.” Omar and Antoine were the only two black kids in the class.

Omar replied, “Hahhh, nah nah nah. I’m sorry, teach. You can go on tryin’ to fix us and shit.”

“I do not have the time nor the effort to fix you, Omar,” said Staek. Some students interpreted this as racist, though it was not.

After popping her gum, Emma said, “Spoken like a true teacher.” The children laughed.

He looked over the room, at his students who were absolutely pregnant with apathy. He felt nothing for them. After a breath, Steak said, “I’m not sure you all realize the state that you’re in right now, or even, better yet, the state you’re going to be in this summer, when you realize what little you have done with your lives up until this point, up until you face the moment where you’re working at an underpaying job when you will be forced to realize, “Yep, this is what the rest of my life is going to be.”

Steven was texting his girlfriend. Madison was asleep. Eric was paying attention.

He continued. “And you’re all going to feel so bitter about it, that everyone along the way has been working against you, that things would be different if you were in charge, when you’re just too stupid to not realize that there is nothing to be in charge of.”

Staek paused for dramatic effect, an attempt he knew failed. Someone farted.

“You’re not there yet. None of you are. You’re dumb and confortable with that, so happy with what little you know, and I guess if you ignore enough, you can be quite happy. I have no interest in teaching T.S. Eliot to hateful students.”

After saying this, he had realized that only a third of the class was remotely paying attention. Another third of the class was distracted and the final third were asleep. Not moving, standing leaned against his desk, Staek lifted his stapler, forcefully launching it at the chalkboard, creating a noticeable crack. The loud impact, which could be heard from 15 different classrooms (although they all just ignored it), awakened the class, a considerable victory for a public school teacher. Staek remained still and the class sat in silence, not sure what to do next. One student spoke up, “C’mon, teach. Nobody likes a crazy person.” Steak ignored this completely and made his way directly from his desk to the board, stood in front of the crack, staring at it for a moment. “Oh SHIT,” said Omar.

“This is the way the year ends. This is the way the year ends. This is the way the year ends,” said another.

Staek took the chalk and feverishly wrote one sentence, underlining it. He turned and said, “Your final project will count for 70% of your grade. You can do whatever you want. I will remind you that this class is a Fillmore Township requirement in order to graduate your junior year and if failed you will repeat the course with me at summer school. This will be graded tough.” The children knew that he meant what he had said.

The board read, “Make something that actually says anything.”

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Monday, May 23, 2011

10 Recent Movies That Were More Impressive As Trailers

Movies are worse than their trailers all the time, but only sometimes do trailers stand alone as clearly more impressive than the movie itself. Some people have lists like this, but they suck. Bla bla Sucker Punch 300 Watchmen Sin City Battle Los Angeles blab la blab bla. Go watch ultimate fighting and watch Spike TV if you want to be among people who consider those great, you manly man, you.

Where The Wild Things Are



This is probably the best example of this I can think of. This trailer promised the world. Admittedly, I love this movie. It’s a tender meditation of childhood, exploring the blablabla. It’s very good, but not what to expect from one of the tenderest montages ever made. Did you see Max come out of that adorable hole in the ground? Look at him running! Little did we know, he was running to a giant fort to listen to giant animatronic/CG monsters talk about how sad they are. Eek. Kids movie!

The Social Network



Both are amazing, but not for the same reasons. The movie is far easier to categorize than this trailer, and I think that serves to the trailer's credit. They say so many words! Like Inception, I think of it as more traditional trailer, in that its primary goal is to question what the movie even is, which can stand alone as a work of art. Traditional trailers don’t give a shit if you know at the end what kind of movie it is, much unlike most of the movies on this list. This is a big IMO, I understand.

A Serious Man



Never has a trailer been so accurate at representing the act of watching a movie, in that it was painful to watch. That said, I hated A Serious Man. Like Burn After Reading, and pretty much every other Coen Brothers comedy, the whole point of it is that it goes nowhere and you’re just supposed to enjoy the offbeat characters and non-sequitur instances (talk about selling short Coen Brothers movies). Well let’s just say you have a hard time doing that. I could’ve easily had Burn After Reading on this list, although I laughed violently at the end of that one/was really pissed off that the whole movie was a "fuck you" to the audience. But this trailer!

Up



I just don’t like Up. I’ll save this fight for another time. Up is the worst. I rest my case. Where the movie was annoying and grotesqueness masked as tenderness, this teaser trailer was so cool. Balloons!

The Darjeeling Limited



I’m never really sure how to explain this movie to myself or others, namely because a ton of stuff happens that has nothing to do with anything other than making the movie look pretty (and the movie does look very pretty). Some people have simply written this off as Wes Anderson’s and Roman Coppola’s vanity film, which may very well be the case, because the story was all over the place. That said, this trailer was very pretty! Mission accomplished!

Cloverfield



“Cool. Cool cool cool.” – Me, after watching the Cloverfield trailer for the first time. Stupid people really hated this movie because it didn’t have a satisfying ending. I call them stupid because I feel those people always put too much importance on endings. There are a lot of good moments in Cloverfield, but it’s a bit overlong, which is strange, because it’s really short. Also, I feel District 9 destroyed any lasting impact this movie had. Sometimes I leave movies like this feeling I just watched an awesome short film, if I could just forget half of it. This trailer didn’t really make me want to see the full film, but made me quiver because I just saw the trailer.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button



Many people I know hated this because it was almost three hours. We had to know what we were getting into. The trailer promised A LOT, which the movie certainly delivered, but lacked what the movie suffered from, which everyone noticed- lingering. Benjamin Button is basically Lingering- The Movie. To be honest, I doubt directors even think about pacing when making a huge movie (see: Apocalypse Now Redux, The Thin Red Line, or pretty much any other war movie).

The American



This one’s tough. I would say this is a pretty good example of conflicting marketing. Based on the trailer, this looks like Michael Clayton as an action film, which would be awesome. Pretty much every line that is said in the movie is in this trailer. Nobody says anything the entire movie! Not that that’s horrible, but Taxi Driver already treaded a lot of similar ground, and it ended up being a bit boring with a poor payoff. I think that’s just the risk this movie takes with what it’s trying to accomplish, which is pretty much a portrait of a solitary assassin with a minor political message. I would write similar words about Syriana, except people wouldn’t shut up in that movie.

Howl



This is one of my all-time favorite trailers, and is, like many of these, very different from the movie (which is still very enjoyable). I mean, I can dog on any trailer for being selective of the footage it shows, but you would have no idea from this trailer that a third of the movie is an animated interpretation of the poem itself, which was admirable and forgettable. That's a lot of the movie to ignore in a trailer! Despite this, the trailer is similar to Ginsberg's poetry- insanely rhythmic and defiantly smooth.

Juno



Quirk quirk quirk quirk quirk stop quirk quirk QUIRK STOP. That was Juno to me. But in the length of this trailer, it all seemed tolerable (and very enjoyable). Plus, I thought Rainn Wilson was going to have a bigger role, but is that shot where he’s handing the bags even in the movie? This question is important to me.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

To the hypothetical graduating high school class of 2014,

Good evening. You may be wondering who I am, why I have been chosen to speak to you during this hard-earned, perhaps defining moment in your life, privileged with the task of providing soaring words of encouragement for your impending future, and why, above all, I have written this speech three years in advance. Save the questions, asshole. This is a speech. Show some respect and don’t potentially interrupt me again.

Your graduating class is the very first that I have nothing a part of. This means I have no “emotional stake” invested in your success. In this sense, I am the opposite of your parents. In another, to you I am some elder ghost, wholly detached from your experiences and culture and adversities and triumphs. However, what I lack in empathy and actual relevancy to your life, I can provide the service of telling what we all think of you. Believe me, it is not that good, and I’m sorry I’m the one who has to say it to you. Have a seat.

We honestly doubted that you would ever get here, and probably doubt you’ll be able to get any further. But are we really the ones to blame? Maybe I should reserve these words I have to share with you to let you know why we’re so antagonistic, of all the local news reports of you guys getting over-the-pants handjobs in trashy roller rinks, of the practice of sexting which you’ve been held responsible, justly or not, of inventing, of your shitty standardized test scores, and so on. The fact that someone of my age thinks of you at all isn’t a good sign. Maybe it’s not fair to attach you with that. You might just be a product of the culture, and, Occam’s razor permitting, most of the culture really sucks and makes you overconfident. It also doesn’t help at all that you defend your culture so violently. Believe me, you will not still be listening to Justin Bieber or Waka Flocka Flame in ten years. If you are, your peers will make fun of you. Take a look at the track listing of “Now That’s What I Call Music! 10,” released about 10 years ago.



That’s your future- nostalgic memories of Nickelback and Baha Men. I think you now understand why I had you sit down for this. You’ve never heard of anyone standing for bad news, have you? Don’t be stupid. The worst of it is, there’s nothing you can do about it! That’s just the way fashion works, it’s either hip and new or old. What I encourage you to do is the opposite of what I just did- feel superior to your old self. Allow your id to let those proverbial dogs out, or something. Things are going to change, so please, feel free to go ahead and be better than your old self. Honestly, you suck right now, but don’t look back on that person with scorn. Every poorly lit sext, passive aggressive Facebook message, pointless tweet and furled aggression loosed in the worst possible way contributed to who you are now. Don’t bite the hole that shit you, or something. Aphorisms have never made sense to me. While we’re talking about that, could we talk about risqué pictures you put online? I can’t do this without sounding 80 years old, but why would you do that? Admittedly, my peers did the same, but not at your age. It’s like you were poorly weaned off of bikini pictures taken in your bathroom. Believe me, 97% of people older than you are not sexually attracted to you in any way, it’s just that we see it and think about those 3% and it grosses us out.

Your principal is wildly waving her arms and making a line motion with her hand across her throat. Not sure what that means, but I imagine I’m running up on time. Ok, ok. Parting wisdom…. Parting wisdom…

Don’t fuck this up.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Andy Rooney Interviews President Obama

60 Minutes recently interviewed President Obama after what was probably the most celebrated murder in American history. Believe me, I think it’s great when murderous assholes die! But still, I think we can agree that was a weird moment in American history.

I thought Steve Kroft did a good job, but couldn’t help feeling it was still a missed opportunity. So you could read the hypothetical interview below, or just look at this picture and pretty much get the same message.



Scott Pelley – And now, Andy Rooney, speaking with President Obama.

Andy Rooney – Mr. President?

President Obama – Yes Andy.

AR – I was just checking. You never know these days. (stares at notecards for several seconds, eyes squinted)

PO – Do you need some help?

AR – Mr. President, what is your favorite color?

PO – Ahh, well I guess I’d say-

AR – My favorite color is blue. (pauses for several seconds)

PO – Hey, blue is a great color.

AR – Now don’t avoid the question, Mr. President. How do you plan to balance the budget?

PO – I’m apologize, Andy. I didn’t realize you were asking that. Just a few weeks ago I released my budget outlining the cuts across the board, forged by republicans and democrats working down the aisle. It’ll work to decrease wasteful spending, move our country forward, and invest in the future. This includes a massive increase in spending towards ensuring social security.

AR – How do you respond to those who criticize you for the proposed cuts in discretionary military spending?

PO – That’s a very valid complaint, but at the same time it cannot be ignored that-

AR – Where are my shoes?

PO – I don’t know Andy, but the choice to step back from some of that military spending derived from-

AR – I was just wearing them a minute ago. (stands up, walks around) Would somebody find me my shoes?

(crew man gives Andy Rooney his pair of shoes)

AR – These shoes are too big. I don’t like them. Don’t help me sit down, you putz. (sits down, farts)

PO – I’m sorry Andy, but if we could move this along.

AR – What country were you born in?

PO – (sigh) This country. I’ve been through this.

AR – (writes "America" down on napkin) Got it. That was just out of my curiosity.

PO – I think the sad truth was many people were curious, and it adverted us from the real issues.

AR – Why is it that so many Americans are curious these days? Back in my time, a marriage was between a man and a woman, and that’s the way we liked it.

PO – I’m sorry, was that a question for me?

AR - Osama Bin Laden is dead.

PO - I would say that might very well turn out to be one of the proudest moments of my administration. For many Americans, the news provided closure for an atrocity that had lingered on the nation’s conscious for too long.

AR - Actually, that was also a question, but thank you for talking more about it (jots down on napkin, slowly says while writing) Osama… Bin… Laden… dead…

(interview continues for two hours)

_______________________________________________

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Summer of Somnambulism

There’s a reason I fucking hate my generation as a whole. It’s because most of the time I try speaking to it earnestly, it always feels like this-



That’s from a group of middle school kids, publicly voting whether some anonymous child should continue operating an online burn book (a la Mean Girls) and continue to be needlessly horrible to her peers for the sake of attention. Because it has felt hopeless, I have preferred to do my preaching through places like here, my school paper’s opinion page, pestering Sydney Meyer on Facebook, and so on. Some of it was all right. I’ve done this so that I may speak to either no one or everyone, and the reality never really mattered to me.

It’s hard to say ,“I have a lot of thoughts” and be taken seriously at the same time.

I don’t do so much preaching anymore, but I have a lot of thoughts.

This is my place for you to see them, but I’ve been away for some time now. The kind of thought tossing hasn’t, but it’s only been directed towards three people, one who I probably won’t have read it and another who has been dead for hundreds of years (you could guess, but I’d doubt you’d be close, unless that guess is Iphigenia). I did this because I having less and less of a desire to do the same thing twice, so I wrote a book for them. Some of it was all right. Maybe that’s why I’ve been afraid to make a video or short film after I finished high school. It’s been strange, and I’ve been frighteningly aware of this.

What this means for my friends, “fans,” members of my extended family, lovers, strangers, Japanese bot accounts on Blogspot- I’m going to be making things that are very different this summer. There won’t be a schedule, and the variety of things won’t make sense, so I would urge you to not attempt to understand why one week I may write a 5000 word essay about the writing style of superhero cartoons of the 70s and the next a hand puppet remake of “The Fox and The Hound,” because I wouldn’t mind doing either of those right about now.

I will say, however, there are a number of things that I want to make this summer. Hopefully I can get to them some time or another. I'll continue to do my weekly column over at MOBFD and comment every once in a while at Videogum and text tweets every so often, but I'm going to change my routine a bit, do some traveling, get my act together.

The blog format is dead. Long live the blog.