Wednesday, April 11, 2007

r.i.p. kilgore trout (or: lots of things were ugly, and most everything hurt)

First Saul Bellow, now Kurt Vonnegut. I guess I'm a real grownup now.

My roommate and I went to see Vonnegut speak at USC in 1995. We were both pretty heavy into Spaghettios at the time, and we had an unserious plan to go up to him after the talk and invite him back to our dorm room to share a can with us. This would be a much better story if we'd actually made the attempt, but I suppose it's just as well, because I'm 94% sure he would have accepted, and we wouldn't have had a clue what to do with him.

Now it's twelve years later, and I don't think I've read any Vonnegut in at least a decade; but still hardly a day goes by that I don't think about some damned filthy thing he wrote about assholes, or five-and-a-half-inch-wide penises, or mushroom cellars. This is, needless to say, high praise. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that reading Vonnegut provided me with my first introduction to the art of using obscenity, irony, and cruelty to say deeply humane things — to the only kind of art I take seriously, in other words.

So: Why don't you go take a flying fuck at a rolling donut, Mr. Death? Why don't you go take a flying fuck at the mooooooooooooon?


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

today in Life Imitating Art

Günter Grass' The Tin Drum:
Why all these onions? For one thing, because of the name. The Onion Cellar had its specialty: onions. And moreover, the onion, the cut onion, when you look at it closely... but enough of that, Schmuh's guests had stopped looking, they could see nothing more, because their eyes were running over and not because their hearts were so full; for it is not true that when the heart is full the eyes necessarily overflow, some people can never manage it, especially in our century, which in spite of all the suffering and sorrow will surely be known to posterity as the tearless century. [...W]hat did the onion juice do? It did what the world and the sorrows of the world could not do: it brought forth a round, human tear.
Article in the Daily Mail:

Against a backdrop of crashing choral music and candlelight, a group of elaborately costumed young women are dabbing their eyes with a handkerchief, their mascara running to form black rivulets down their cheeks.

It is not difficult to see why they are so distressed: in front of them, a mound of pungent onions is being vigorously and elaborately chopped by a serious-looking young man in a tailcoat, and the fumes are overwhelming.

Even the male guests are wiping away the odd tear. [Ed. note: !!]
So, someone needs to sue someone, is all I'm saying. I mean, if I'd invented onion-based emo LARPing in a Nobel Prize-winning novel about the blasphemous sex adventures of a hunchbacked, compulsively drumming midget*, and then forty-eight years later some Harvard-ass pipsqueak decided to steal my idea, I'd be all over that lawsuit. Like white on rice. I am just saying.

*Novel has been grossly oversimplified for the sake of pith

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

according to my horoscope:

Today, "communicator Mercury" is "sextiling" my "key planet, Venus." Which apparently means that it will be difficult for me to be objective today. It really sounds like it should mean something sexier than that, though, doesn't it?

In other news, OMG shoes.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

i actually took this picture

Well, my camera did, anyway. But I bought the camera, and this is America, so I think that means I get the credit.

More pictures (so many more) here.