Monday, December 31, 2007

Transhipped Reality and the new year

The surreality of modernity swoops into even the most hermetically sealed lives. Even I can't escape pop-culture in it's entirety no matter how hard I try. For whatever reason the end of the year triggers all kinds of nostalgic reminiscence about the receding year. As if art, music, if any of the cultural products that now have to be reviewed have some cyclical relation to the seasonal changes. Culture moves and lurches at an uneven and unsteady pace, and it feels foolish to me to try and simplify or box up neatly the messy realities that are a part of these processes. I know it can seem more comforting to have these well-tailored explanations for the complexities of art or life, but I really feel heavily that they are just stage props for an unsteady civilization.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Asparagus, popcorn, wrestlemania

I just finished Haruki Marukami's Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World, and it is one of the most unbelievably brilliant novels I've ever read. It has the most incredible structural work I've seen maybe ever, so creative and unique. I'd heard the name Marukami kicking around the internet, but I generally don't read writers who are from the contemporary half of this century, which I really should work to correct. Marukami is the new touchstone for me. He's the next evolutionary step from Kafka, who I love, but Kafka's got nothing on this guy, except maybe some existential dread, which is all deadpan, hardboiled in Marukami. How freaking awesome is that? I'm not generally a gusher. I usually cast a pretty critical eye on the things I love most. I'm sure I'll get more critical as I read more of his stuff, but right now I just have to lavish mountains of praise on this man and his work. It is unquestionable genius. There can be no question.

Monday, December 24, 2007

What is the ha?

I just finished reading Steve Martin's intensely poignant autobiography, Born Standing Up, and as wonderful as it is, I did not find it in any way funny. It just kind of struck me as I was reading his explanation of the beginning of his stand-up career take-off where he was suddenly playing twenty thousand seat arenas after ten years of grinding it out with no appreciation, funny is so situational and personal and subjective that it's really hard to nail down. He included some of his favorite lines from those years, and they seem mildly amusing within the context of a much broader book on family, struggle, the early conceptual work he put in to realigning comic elements within the stand-up form. Within all that, the silliness of those lines doesn't play.
The worst thing you can ever do is watch a comedy by yrself. They suck something fierce without the echo chamber of other people's laughter to reinforce yr own or something to that effect. Whatever it is the only movie I've ever seen that made me crack up laughing while watching alone was an old Roberto Begnigni film, Johnny Stechino. It was uproarious, just totally brilliant slapstick like only he can do. Regardless, it's such an ineffable thing, so rarely translatable from one medium to another or one place to another, but it's such a huge part of what being human is. Laughter is an intensely human experience of the joyful recognition of the contradictions, inanities, implacabilities, all the wild scope of life. It's the way out of the tensity of modernity on so many levels that I can't even begin.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Tangential imminence

I have this new obssession with the words tanorexic and celebuttante. I think I can blame the blogosphere for that. On a completely unrelated side note I love the self-referential nature of the blog. Anyway, someone needs to make a movie called and about The Killer Tanorexic Celebuttante Zombies from Beverly Hills. This could be fodder for a great B-movie zombie schlockfest as well as an insightful commentary on the presentation of women in the media and how this objectifying influences the young'uns. I mean come on that's like it for me: Zombies and social commentary. What else do you need? I can't imagine.

random ramblings

I've been at this ebjoing (see last post for explanation) thing for one day, and I'm already superhooked. It's the joint for sure. I've now spent a few moments ranging around the bjoursphere (again last post for exp.), and I find that my initial statements were a little harsh. There is definitely some seriously interesting and witty stuff out there. Plus, I mean it's meant to be off-the-cuff. That's the style, and I'm really starting to dig it.
That was one of the main reasons I wanted to get into the bloggame. I've been keeping a journal since I was about thirteen, but recently it's turned into this really heavy thing. It had become about immortal words and serious philosophical ideas instead of just what's up in my world, and I needed some sort of random, no pressure self-expressionary medium. I'd say I found the right fit.
Anyway, I was reading some of the literature about acceptable content and promoting yr blog, and it seems hateful content is only allowed if it's not directed at some specific group of people. If yr just generally hateful, I guess that's exceptable, which seems to jibe with my notions of freedom of expression, so I say right on. They also suggested that you keep yr posts short and to the point, which is so not my style. I'm all about the long, pointless, and rambling. Is there any other way?

What's in a name?

I have to say one of the initial barriers to starting a blog for me was the word blog. The word seriously sucks, not to mention is conceptually faulty. A log is what truckers keep to account for how much sleep they've gotten while they're on the road. The general form of blogging seems closer to journal writing. Plus the word blog is two letters away from being blah. Is that really where we want to be? Given that we (and by we I mean a generalized me or a stereotyped you) love to acronymize, abbreviate, and generally shorten over words, it would have to be something that can be in some way truncated in a satisfying way. So on that note I vote for the slight and easy shift to webjournal, and we can then shorten it to the much more endearing word ebjo or even bjour. Admittedly, those shortenings aren't entirely satisfying, but to me they are miles ahead of the word blog, or maybe we could come up with a good acronym like WEPJEC for web-enhanced personal journaling experience and content. I suppose ultimately it's too late. The word has been permanently tattooed in our collective consciousness, so I'll just have to live with it, but I still like ebjo or WEPJEC better.

The unbearable lightness of blogging

I had never actually read a blog, but since I'm a fountain of oppionation, it seemed like it would be the right fit. I love to talk endlessly about my life and ideas and whatever else comes into my head, and I had this idea in my head that that was what blogging was all about. So I thought it might be a good start to actually read a blog, and so far I'm highly unimpressed. I was thinking it would be a little more substantial, mostly it seems like people just recount the days events, which is really not to my interest. Well, since I've only actually looked at two I can't really be considered an expert. I did check out some kind of blog popularity rating system, and found out that the most popular blogs are about technology and gossip, which I think speaks volumes about the world we live in.
Anyway, here is my entry into the increasingly blogomaniacal world. I composed this opening blog in my head about fifty times before I finally sat down to write, and it was infinitely more interesting than I've been able to capture here, which is the story of my life. It's always more interesting in my head, and I mean that in a semi-objective way, not in some sort of seemingly self-deprecatory way. As much as one can be objective about one's own internal dialogue...well, whatever. I'm getting away from myself here.
So, I'm being told that it's time to interact with real people and do Christmasy stuff. I would so much rather write anonymous, nonsensical persiflage to a currently nonexistant audience than actually talk to people, but since it involves playing with my one year old niece, I'll acquiesce. So, here I am blogosphere, hear me roar.