Thursday, April 30, 2009

Burning questions

Just read the news about Chrysler filing for bankruptcy.

I tell you what, the first online source that can identify and list all the members of the "non-TARP Chrysler lenders" is going to get mad web traffic.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

And you, and you, and you

I finally watched "Dreamgirls" on DVD this past weekend. I've never seen the musical, but I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. There were four new songs added to the movie. They were pretty decent. I especially like "I Love You I Do."

Beyonce channels that Diana Ross vibe with uncanny skill and precision.

And Jennifer Hudson, my God. She's WOW. She's pretty much very extremely WOW. I am not sure that she is bitchy and Diva enough for the role but I like her so much that when her heart breaks up there on the screen, mine breaks right with her.

According to wikipedia we have Jennifer Holiday to thank for the Effie White that is in this story. She was originally supposed to die in the first act. And thank to the Gods that she survived and thrived her way into the closing number.

Not that you or I would recall but yes, of the three (I mean four) I still pick Jennifer.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A one story difference

Despite my efforts to do nothing, to avoid change, it finds me. In this revolving world, the movements of others shift the ground under my feet. A move was requested from me. So I moved down one story.

It's a lovely place. While it is one floor down, the dimensions, the amenities, even the number and placement of the windows is different. It is a place with entirely different possibilities.

It was not a very orderly move. Then again, I am not known for my orderly moves. I am not know for being orderly in general. JB hired someone to do the heavy lifting for me and I did the rest. Lots of running up and down the stairs.

Now, I can't find a damn thing. Like losing your place in a book, I've lost my place in my life. What exactly was it that I doing?

On the other hand, I have also found few things that I had misplaced, reminders of things that I have intended to do, and reminders of other phases of my New York life. Some of them seem a distant memory now, like separate lives. I can't even remember why I stopped doing those things and being that person. I just did. Perhaps it was time to move.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

At the heart of a cynic

"None of the media ever seem to look out the window. Everyone's used to being in motion all the time."
-David Foster Wallace (DFW)

You thought I was kidding when I said that I might devote all of my posts to quoting David Foster Wallace.

No joke, Friends, he is my subway companion and I am liable to start speaking only using his quotes in the very near future.

"The way the techs handle deep boredom is to become extremely sluggish and torpid, so that lined up on the ottoman they look like an exhibit of lizards whose tank isn't hot enough. Nobody reads. Pulse rates are about 40."

All of these butchered quotes (someday I will ready the MLA or some other meaningful style manual.) come from an essay entitled: "Up Simba" that he wrote about John McCain's 2000 presidential campaign.

" - what one feels when they [politicians] loom into view is just an overwhelming lack of interest, the sort of deep disengagement that is often a defense against pain. Against sadness. In fact, the likeliest reason why so many of us care so little about politics is that modern politicians make us sad, hurt us deep down in ways that are hard to even name, much less talk about. It's way easier to roll your eyes and not give a shit."

"It's like we all learned in social studies back in junior high: If I vote and you don't, my vote counts double. and it's not just the fringes who benefit - the fact is that it is to some very powerful Establishments' advantage that most younger people hate politics and don't vote."

"Why do these crowds from Detroit to Charleston cheer so wildly at a simple promise not to lie? ... Because we've been lied to and lied to, and it hurts to be lied to. It's ultimately just about that complicated: it hurts. We learn this at like the age four ... and we keep learning for years, from hard experience, that getting lied to sucks - that it diminishes you, denies you respect for yourself, for the liar, for the world. Especially if the lies are chronic, systematic, if experience seems to teach that everything you're supposed to believe in's really just a game based on lies"

"It's painful to believe that the would-be "public servants" you're forced to choose between are all phonies whose only real concern is their own care and feeding and who will lie so outrageously and with such a straight face that you know they've just got to believe you're an idiot. So who wouldn't yawn and turn away, trade apathy and cynicism for the hurt of getting treated with contempt?"

-David Foster Wallace

From the personal - It is common to think that pain and betrayal could lead one to seek justice, vengeance, sympathy, healing, closure, perhaps a state of grace where one can forgive. That's how it is in the movies. But these are not the only responses. DFW points out that apathy and cynicism can be a reaction to being hurt. A person can go numb or try to find a way to insulate or distance themselves through cynicism. It is a means by which to survive. A person's callous response to your pain may telegraph suppressed pain - an actual callous on their psyche over where they would otherwise feel empathy.

From the political - what John McCain was to the 2000 election, Barack Obama was to the 2008 election and I think what he is trying to be with his administration. Perhaps the thing to remind our leaders in business, in politics, in our communities is that lying hurts. It does harm. And when you do it, you hurt us.

I am only halfway through the essay and may have to rewrite this when I am done.

Hard Times for Snoopy

This NPR story makes me sad. :)

The recession and pets ...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A resounding gong or a clanging cymbal

1. I described myself as complicated in conversation over the weekend. The PG asked me why I was complicated. I was not quite sure how to reply to this. I told him that I want many things all at once and they are generally all mutually exclusive to each other. He replied that this did not make me complicated, this made me conflicted. To which I shrugged and said, "Tomato, Tomah-to."

And now I wonder if this is true. Conflicted, not complicated. I prefer to think that in fact everyone alive is very extremely complicated too.

Isn't there an inherent complexity to the world and our relationship to it? Yes? No? On occasion, I am accused of over-complicating things, both in my outlook / analysis and my solutions. I am accused of engaging in byzantine thinking as a self-indulgence, as a way to amuse myself. But that might just be evidence that I am a goober.

My new mantra (it's two days old) is: "What's stopping me? I am."

2. I was accused over the weekend of being "Real." I think it was intended as a compliment but if I think about it - I am Real and conflicted when I'd much prefer to be complicated and Mythical. How do I get in on THAT action?

3. Lately I have been hearing many people use the expression, "It is what it is." Firstly, tautology, redundancy. What's wrong with saying, "It is this." I suppose that it's supposed to sound Zen but it sounds resigned and defeatist to me. As CK would say, "I don't like it."

4. Because G has been reading DFW's essays and the South has as well, I bought "Consider the Lobster" and have been reading it on the train. I am tempted to devote all of my posts on this blog to DFW quotes, from now until the day I die.

"It's not that Turnbull is stupid: he can quote Pascal and Kierkegaard ... It's that he persists in the bizarre, adolescent belief that getting to have sex with whomever one wants whenever one wants to is a cure for human despair." - David Foster Wallace

"No wonder they cannot appreciate the really central Kafka joke: that the horrific struggle to establish a human self results in a self whose humanity is inseparable from that horrific struggle. That our endless and impossible journey toward home is in fact our home." - David Foster Wallace