The most salient feature of Los Angeles here in these days of early 2019, counting now towards 2020 (a number that looks distinctively like a couple dicks sidling up to a nice pair of tits, or maybe a simple set of orifi paralleled by numbers) is the stink of exhaled cannabis in all its vaporous smoky forms showing up in public outdoor venues on as random a basis as any sensual experience has ever occurred, like walking through a crowd during Christmas or at a well-attended sporting event where everyone has been assigned special symbols and time slots that, when aligned just so, requires in the designated person of the moment a massive elicitation of a warm, jolly, benevolent fart—hopeful transcendence along with measured, even cynical, chocolaty sulfuric admiration for all of life’s exquisite beauty—even widespread scented searching for the means to look down after a mountain climb on all of our collective stupid mysteries and idiotic, self-inflicted paradoxes. As if to say: I’m still trying to figure out if it has to do with breathing or drinking water and I have discovered that sex is an activity best served with love under afternoon light. It does not matter that we die.
The best fiction out there can be found in standup cabarets around the U.S. Comedians know how to wield the stick of verbal art to talk about the meaning of life better than anyone who types or scrawls alone in a room for a living. They also know how to stretch the boundaries of language and what topics we need to discuss openly given whatever input has been flooding the transom of everyone’s nightmares and unconscious fantasies.
I will never understand why LA and NYC are considered the full frontal super-weight fulcrums of the standup comedy sphere, but it doesn’t matter. Go to any standup house anywhere in North America and you’ll find men and women making up the most bizarre and often hilariously distasteful shit you’ve ever heard. I suppose LA and NYC are the best places because so many comics congregate in those regions (you can probably add Chicago in as well), but I’ve seen some great comedy in St. Louis, New Jersey, Tampa, Continue reading “On Stories, Fictions, Literature, and Jokes in the Modern World”
I just finished Haruki Murakami’s latest collection of short stories — Men Without Women. It’s a sad, surreal, gentle, loving, almost sexy group of stories about different ways men feel regarding being alone in the world and grappling with being somehow womanless.
I’d guess most people who are not heterosexual won’t really appreciate this book. That makes sense. For all other heterosexual writers, I want to apologize right now and forever more from the bottom of our hearts: we can only write about Continue reading “Male Writers Are Not Trying to Be Assholes”
The Democrats want me to give them money really badly. They say they need it to fight Trump and his cronies. For the last few months they’ve been saying they want to win a special congressional election in Georgia and show well in Kansas and Montana. They’re testing the waters, attempting to declare a referendum against Trump and conservatives in the fight for America. But I can’t give them money. I won’t give them money. Not to fight and not to pretend they have a referendum on the Continue reading “The Effect of Not Reading Books – or Why the DNC Should Stop Asking Me for Money”
I remember the good old days of college. Post-structural, post-modernist post-urinating-in-our-pants ideas floating over from Europe — Derrida, Foucault, Baudrillard, Habermas, Barthes, etc. — Them guys and their notions of de-constructing our analysis of reality, proclaiming the limits of language excited the bejesus out of us. But after a while I figured out those same titillating thinkers were sort of missing the whole point of art, especially language and literature. Words aren’t limitations. Neither is individual Continue reading “While We Wait for What Comes Next, Let’s Think A Bit More About Fear of Death and Love and Sex”
It’s clear that Putin’s Russia, and possibly others outside the U.S., attempted to fuck with the American public in the 2016 election. You have probably read more than me on this problem. I just scan the headlines now. Waiting for a smoking gun doesn’t mean you have to become obsessed.
The methodology for fucking with us has been Continue reading “Peeing on the Rug: Fake News as Urinalism”
I’m going to talk a bit about fear here. But let me just give you the conclusion to this post right off the bat: You don’t have to be afraid of anything — especially terrorism. You shouldn’t be, anyway. There’s too much craziness in your life to be scared of anything specific. Pakistani novelist, Mohsin Hamid, said it really well on NPR the other morning:
“The first line of defense in terrorism is, very simply, courage to conduct yourself in this world in a way where you are not overwhelmed by anxiety and things that frighten you.” Continue reading “Fear Factor: pick your terror, America”