Sunday, February 24, 2008

Unwanted Heaviness Bummers!

"Every time you eat a steak, a hippie's hacky sack goes into the sewer." —Patton Oswalt

Two instances, all in a Sunday afternoon's strolling:

1. Browsing in a bookstore. There's a poetry reading going on in the middle of the place, and you kind of have to maneuver through the audience to get from section to section. Lots of middle-aged faces knotted up into dazed smiles that say, "Isn't poetry just delightful? Wow, what a wonderful world unfolds for me every time some other fellow steps up to the podium to declaim! Now if only I could track down a taste bud-sizzling bowl of farina..." Still, easy enough to ignore, until one fellow starts cranking up the discomfort, belting out some half-assed satirical rhyme about (I'm paraphrasing here) fossil fuel-burning Bush and his grand greedy schemes. Chuckles and claps after every zinger. The performance ends with a booming cry of "...American GREEEED!" So, there you have it. A little slice of intellectual life in America, and maybe a clue as to why the left seems just a little bit helpless against the reign of Fuckface. Since that encompasses half of my adolescence and all of my adult-ish life so far, I gotta wonder why I don't respond better to the blind anger and mockery it has inspired. Maybe because that shit starts to sound pretty damn dull and useless in its eighth fucking year?

2. Catching up with my pal and his girlfriend in a shop around the corner. My friend, definitely better than I am at stirring up conversations with strangers, has the clerk on a roll about her book in progress. She's got a slightly challenging idea about sexism, gender, and, in short how men have it tough these days. At first I want to lump this in with the previous experience, but it's nice to see some actual effort going on in someone's head, and maybe a bit of modesty too. And then it's time to goof off for the rest of the afternoon. Yay!