Wednesday, September 27, 2006

three cute blue-eyed cubs=one angry tiger stranded on boat

The New York Times is all about trendspotting. You don't say, people use this thing called
craigslist for more than just sketchy apartment rentals? Really? People still care about looks even though it's online dating? I think they should do an article about super-snobby subway reading. There are the Post readers (would be treated with barely-veiled scorn, maybe by Michiko herself), the Metro readers (desperate) the Times readers with the intricately (inexplicably!) folded paper turned to the Travel or Books section (professors taking the train up to Columbia, core audience) and then there are the various types of book-readers. Man reading dog-eared Colette? Perv looking to impress . . . impressionable young hipster girl with headphones, who is reading Bukowski but wishing she was reading the new Jennifer Weiner book. Legions reading fat paperback Left Behinds, Zane (et al.) and Terry Goodkind novels (they live in different universes (red states?), critics can't be expected to explain them) . . .

So, according to the Times, the F train is the intelligentsia train, chock-full of aspiring writers and acclaimed novelists (I'm sure someone spotted one of the Jonathans once. I've only spotted Jon Heder and Ana Gasteyer, so it's become the nonstop laugh-track/body odor/unwashed hair/eating large containers of chinese food train to me). I would link you to the article but unfortunately, it's Times Select. But man, is the teaser exciting. So what happened to me on this genius train, finally reading Life of Pi? I actually got a scornful look by some guy reading Notes from the Underground. Please. That was so 1995. Or 1864. At least I was wearing black nail polish when I read it. Whatever. I'm not going so far as to endorse some sort of populist view on literature, because really, it's not for everyone. If it were, we would live in a different sort of world. Platonic? Fascist? We'll never know. But you can't deny that people do check out each other's reading material, just like we try to sneak a peak at each other's iPods. And we make judgments. But everyone should get a get-out-of-jail-free for subway reading, since we're really reading so we won't have to focus that someone's hand is resting on our asses and our heads are cradled gently in some guy's armpit. So, whatever looses you from the bonds of reality, whether it be Dan Brown, lurid headlines or Russian existentialist literature . . . go for it. But, I bet the woman reading the steamy romance novel is escaping from her surroundings a lot more effectively than you, Mr. Dostoyevsky. If looking up every other word in the dictionary interrupts the narrative flow, I guess you'd better get back to imagining that pregnant woman naked. Good thing you didn't offer her your seat.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Did you know that the saying egg-sucking (and the reverse, which I used to use as a pretty big insult as a kid, e.g. Your Red Rover technique sucks eggs!) can refer to the practice of dogs who steal eggs on chicken farms? Of the many things I've learned from Johnny Cash--Juarez is DANGEROUS, you can't build a luxury car from stolen car parts, and frost on cotton leaves means that you're in the South--this one is the most useful. Because while telling someone to go suck an egg (or eggs) can mean something really lewd, that's really not the way we meant it when we were screaming it in the schoolyard. And it's always nice to find a curse that doesn't involve fellatio. G.M., tormentor of my elementary school years, (sigh, did you know how much I loved you, with your puffy hair and yellow adidas shorts?) you're a dirty old egg-sucking dog!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

stewart and colbert in '08! Scorn and Zegna suits all around...

And the dork-girls in glasses go doo doo doo, doo, doo, doo . . .

It's not like he said, "I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected."

(Oh Sherman, when am I going to do a book about you?)