Archive: May 2004
You ain't even
I’ve always been a firm believer that Harold Bloom should only criticize Shakespeare when he can do better. However, anyone who has read Edward III knows he probably could. The way I see it, there’re those who sweat out art from a painful pore (and let’s remember what Duchamp canonized: that bad art is still art), and there’s the wannabes whose best moment is when they get up the guts to say “your mama”. I mean, yes, of course, “your mama” is a damning and revealing criticism, but — oh wait, no, it isn’t.
Or, to quote the poet, “you talk all that Glock shit, but you don’t rock shit”.
Life is a struggle. There are always going to be two forces at work. One is recently busy defending Lost in Translation as a legitimate statement on something, while the other is trying its best not to be stuck at the same party with those people. Here at Trouble Sells, the Blog that Looks Like America, we find ourselves with those who favor fire; though, to be honest, for destruction ice is also great. Let me also say that while we do torture our victims, they must have Internet access aforehand, and that puts them into a self-selected luxury category that the Defense Dept.’s torture victims can only dream of. Oh, you heard about that, right?
I’d also like to bring your attention to the fact that while in these end times the new slogan of a once-powerful telecommunications multinational is the glyph “&”, as in “beans & cornbread, hotdogs & sauerkraut, chitlins & potato salad, local & long distance”, once the same corporation urged you to consider the limitless future you, or least their customers, had ahead of you, or them. For example, ten years ago, if someone had said to you, “Have you ever read chillingly significant aphoristic monologues by a misanthropic alcoholic?”, you might have replied, with laughable certainty, “Of course not,” but AT&T and Trouble Sells, had it existed, would have of course pointed out, with their characteristic precognition, that “You will.”
As much as I enjoy tearing down the cathedrals of others, whether they be overrated ex-girlfriends in the New York Review of Books or Antoni Gaudí, I must pause to join hands with you all: Happy Mother’s Day. One Love.
The lost episodes
Long ago, in, let’s say, A.D. 1999, a much-loved segment of the Twentieth Century, it was widely noted that anything involving the Internet happened a lot faster, in Einsteinian perceived time, than those things which had the misfortune not to involve the golden touch of the Internet and its World-Wide Web. What this was supposed to mean I don’t really know; I assume it was a shot fired across the bow of rival venture capital firms to suggest that their money-bleeding delivery services were not as hip and with-it as ours.
Flash forward, gently, to A.D. 2004, when the premier form of delivery offered by the Web (World-Wide Edition) is culture-shaking commentary from those iconoclastic pits of self-indulgence: the worldly, word-wise blogs. And what blog could be worldlier and wider than the one you now hold in your metaphoric mandibles?
But the fact is, I’m pretty damn slow, whether in a relativistic or absolute time sense. I lost an entire two months while you were all growing as people. Let me try to explain why, lest you judge me too harshly.
To put it concisely, it was the fault of the vast not-me conspiracy. People who were not me, nor had any desire to be, nor had any guilt over not being, got in my way. I can’t forgive them for that. It was wrong.
Let me point out that despite what you may have heard from those who hate my freedom, I am a great lover not only of humanity, but people. Even though in the particular they can do nothing but disappoint me, I have enough sense to front like there’s still the chance that somebody, someday, will make a difference in my life, somehow. I mean, don’t hold your breath, not that you would, because that would signify an interest in something outside yourself. You see what I’m getting at?
So let’s just say that during the time I didn’t spend confessing to you, I was embroiled in an ill-conceived adventure with the latest in a continuing series of manifestations of the deity’s primal urge to distract and destroy, which for me takes the form of pretty girls who know where their next drink is coming from.
Again, I must stress that I have no ill will towards the female of this or any species. It’s just that who cares about men? Not me. So the evil that women do to me, well, that’s about all that matters.
So what did she do? In fact, she did me a favor. Well, no, not me — it’s too late for me. But you can all, men and women, benefit from my experience. Since the beginning of time immemorable, and especially since Johnny Cash folded up his tent, it’s acknowledged that people can get lonely, and they often seek out other people as a result. Whether or not this is a reasonable behavior is outside the scope of this reportage, but let’s just say there’s worse things than being lonely, and I dated some of them.
Your chronicler, me, I met a woman, and her encyclopedic knowledge of Booker T. as well as the MGs had me eating out of her hand. Little did I know that her hand contained, in addition to nectar of the gods, also arsenic of the rats. We fooled around in public for a while, and then reconvened in an apartment that must have belonged to somebody. We burned up the phone lines as in that historic television advertisement which asked “Have you ever become maddeningly frustrated, sexually, while talking to the hottest woman you will ever meet?” and answered, with a knowing smirk, “You will.” We planned grand tours of the Tri-State Area that involved naught but a book of wine, a well-versed jug, and yow. In short, it was on.
In Manhattan there is no greater compliment than to allow someone to visit your apartment, because nothing is worth more than this island’s real estate, and a stay in an apartment that is not followed by an invoice is a special time indeed. This woman was invited to stay with me, in my apartment, by me, for an unspecified period. The invitation was accepted, with a view to more trouble, and fucking.
Much of that came to pass, and we also ordered in Chinese more than once. All the decadence of this lifestyle took its toll on our very notions of right and wrong: I no longer knew the best way to confess to my lover that I was sick to death of her, and one morning I woke up to find that she no longer knew that it was not acceptable to take my stereo and split.
Here we come to the moral, which is, as always, “Don’t be like me,” and the specific text of the recommendation, which is “Be careful who you sleep with, because they might be lame”. Or more to the point, in our litigious age, be proactive, and draw up a statement of intent before you unroll that futon. As part of the foreplay of your blissful union, share with your lover your expectations about how you will act towards one another after you have screwed each other silly and begun to be embarrassed by it.
This kind of venereal contract, a “prefucktual agreement,” is increasingly popular in the country’s most carefully progressive communities, such as Sherman Oaks. It need not be as shallowly practical as the one I should have signed, specifying that the bitch can’t try to steal my shit, but even might be someday seen as an important preliminary step in mutual, loving understanding. But in an era in which people who go to bed with you more than once are beginning to think they have some sort of rights, it’s important to do your part to make sure they know, beyond a reasonable doubt, that they sure don’t.