Saturday, October 25, 2003

A Perfect Day for Bananafish

J.D. Salinger taught me something important.

Prof. Corum said in his lecture that the underlying message of Salinger's Nine Stories is that the only real form of happiness in the world hides in the world of children. The further into the adult world people slip, the less chance they have of ever achieving true happiness. Throughout the stories, which I think I'll like even more when I read them again, the characters try different methods of masking their dissatisfaction with life: alcohol, repression, and — most shockingly in the first story, "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" — suicide. However, Salinger suggests one possible solution: to draw from another of his books, being the catcher in the rye — some wise adult who's there to help make the adult world seem just a bit less sinister to wide-eyed children. Boo Boo Tannenbaum does it in one story. She's the coolest mom ever. Boo Boo's brother, Seymore Glass, does it in "A Perfect Day for Bananafish," but he's the one who commits suicide immediately after when he realizes that the happiness he gives to kids is one he can't have.

I'm probably not a catcher in the rye for anyone. This is something I have to work on. But what did strike me is the notion of true happiness being the claim of children only. I agree.

Everything I've done to make myself a happy person has drawn me back to my childhood: my preoccupation with cartoons, my refusal to stop playing video games, the Walter Mitty daydreams, the movies I watch that have these boundlessly creative structures that defy traditional narrative conventions — more like a child's story than anything. Even my tendency to act like a selfish asshole — that's me as a kid, not considering other's feelings because I would rather I had been never taught to do that. It's funny to admit, but I honestly never want to grow up.

Ha. Look at me, typing away before I go to bed. I just realized I'm Doogie freaking Howser.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Say Yes — Say No

What turned out to be strep throat — not mono, thank God — kept me home all day. Jessica called and told me that Elliot Smith was dead. He stabbed himself in the heart.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Run Fay Run

Sitting in a dirty Mustang and listening to Isaac Hayes, I think the decades preceding the death of cool collapse and, truly, 2003 is 1975.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Queen of the Crime Council

As your leader, I encourage you from time to time (and always in a respectful manner) to question my logic. If you're unconviced a particular plan of action is the wisest, tell me so. But allow me to convince you and I promise, right here and now, no subject will ever be taboo — except, of course, the subject that was just under discussion. The price you pay for bringing up either my Chinese or American heritage as a negative is — I collect your fucking head.

Just like this fucker here.

Now if any of you sons of bitches got anything else to say, NOW'S THE FUCKING TIME!

I didn't think so.

— O-ren Ishii

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Made in India

<.warner>

I don't care what Nate says. The purple, pig-faced frog of India is cute. This little guy and Shobhna — that's two Indian imports I find cute.



(Something else I thought was cute)

The mini-keg I picked up today. It's the same proportions as a normal keg, just a bit more squatty. Cute and filled with alcohol is the best kind of cute.

Friday, October 17, 2003

The Big One

There was a big earthquake fourteen years, three hours, and twenty-seven minutes ago.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Run, Sarah Connor, Run

I leave the Nexus office just as Tuesday becomes Wednesday, twelve chiming bells and all. I did the opinion page all by myself for the first time, yet I'm going to wake up with a new governor — one made of metal and circuits.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Fake Words TV Has Taught Me

  • opinionation
  • perpittity
  • bitzelcocker (disagreeable vagabond)
  • persefunctant
  • acribits (an action stock markets can take)
  • kwyjibo (a big, bald North American ape)
  • embiggen (to make bigger)
  • cromulent (valid)
  • pathetisad
  • sarcastabitch
  • vondruke
  • spooknife (spoon-knife)
  • kniffoon (knife-spoon)
  • comfortador (not a conquistador)
  • crelbow (the spot on your arm opposite your elbow)
And who says TV rots your brain?

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Centering

Govinda bowed low. Incontrollable tears trickled down his old face. He was overwhlemed by a feeling of great love, of the most humble veneration. He bowed low, right to the ground, in front of the man sitting there motionless, whose smile reminded him of everything that he had ever loved in his life, if everything that had ever been of value and holy in his life.
— Herman Hesse, Siddharta