Monday, October 27, 2008


I'm listening to a radio interview with Mike Leigh, one of my favorite filmmakers, and the interviewer keeps hammering at him about what the symbols mean in his latest film. I love his answers. When asked about the symbolism of his main character's large circular earrings possibly meaning a deluded happiness that's locked in a cycle, and her taking the earrings off indicating a new way of looking at the world, Leigh politely but firmly tells him that most earrings are symmetrical by their very function, and she took them off because the next scene they filmed required a lot of tussling and struggle and the earrings made too much noise on the soundtrack. Then the interviewer asks him if the character's back pain symbolizes a reluctance to look at her past. Leigh: "You are plainly a fundamental unreconstituted top-rate intellectual, which I am not. I think it's fascinating, your analysis, but I think it's a load of old rope. I can't go along with it at all."
There is so much depth and mystery and substance lodged right on the surface of great work, and people are so afraid to deal with it directly and plainly, so they have to go symbol hunting. It's like all the music critics I used to read but now generally avoid who spend most of their word count analyzing the meanings of the lyrics, without once making an attempt to find a way of talking about the sound of these words, as sounds, as a part of the texture of sound created by the people performing the music.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Terrifying fact

I'm almost twice as old as I was when Bill Hicks died, yet every one of his non-New Kids on the Block-related jokes is topical. Holy shit.

Post Edited 2 Minutes Later: New Kids on the Block are currently in the midst of a reunion tour. I forgot. Please mentally delete the phrase "non-New Kids on the Block-related" and weep aggressively. Thank God McCain is running as inept a campaign as every non-Bill-Clinton/first-and-only-term-Carter Democrat since my birth. I also think it's astonishingly depressing that Biden is the second-poorest politician in our current Congress, yet he still makes about six times what my parents make, and no one is even remotely close to starving at either my mother's or father's home.

Monday, October 06, 2008


The bloom is off the rose. I want to be done. I want a real job. I want to be done. I'm too old to study for tests. To quote the eighth-graders I student-taught last spring, my classes this semester are "stupid and boring."
One of the fun parts of college, part 1 was staying up all night on weeknights. In college, part 2, all my classes are early in the morning. The metabolism of the Dr. Mystery of today is a jerk. I want the metabolism of the Robot X of yesterday. I'm tired of reading academic articles about education. The fads of today don't work. Also, the perpetuation of grotesque, monstrous, selfish, unequal, greedy, failed policies don't work. All public schools should have equal funding, you anti-Robin Hood motherfuckers. Keeping poor schools poor hurts everyone, and the kids who stop going to those schools because they have no books, computers, working bathrooms, good teachers, etc. are absolutely justified in carjacking and stabbing your ugly, handsome children. Constant group projects don't teach kids anything about individual responsibility. Standardized tests don't teach kids anything except how to take standardized tests. Letting politicians dictate curriculum standards is like letting politicians dictate medical procedure.
My biggest beef, however, is the bus. The bus is always massively overcrowded. Trying to find a seat on the bus this semester has been a cockfight of clusterfucks.
And for god's sake, when the bus is crowded, and more people get on, and you're already standing up in the middle of the bus, and there's space in the back, MOVE BACK! And if there's an empty seat, SIT IN IT! What the fuck is wrong with you? Fuck! All you selfish idiots who won't sit down in empty seats or move from your precious spots when the bus driver lets 38 more people on the bus are contributing to about 65% of the cockfight of clusterfucks! Why are you so stupid and boring and worthless? Why are you such narcissistic bags of shit? Why didn't your parents abort you? Or at least teach you some manners or public etiquette? Were they too busy calling the school every time you got less than an A- to harass your overworked teachers? Were they too busy letting their housekeepers raise you while they went to Belize for three weeks? Did they let you make important household decisions when you were three years old? Did you get whatever you wanted if you cried long enough? Does your geographic proximity to Russia give you foreign policy experience? Despite reading "all" of the newspapers, are you unable to name even one? Are you, like 50% of the people in my English classes, an English major who inexplicably has zero interest in literature or the written word of any kind and never reads any of the assigned work? Are you just a dick? Or an asshole? Or a "motherfuckin', titty-suckin', two-balled bitch" (a phrase chanted on the playground of my elementary school)?
I'm just a grumpy old crank. Like my Grandma used to say, "You can't walk across the pigpen without getting some mud on your shoes." Even better, to quote Orson Welles quoting Ferenc Molnar: "Never touch shit, even with gloves on. The gloves get shittier, but the shit never gets glovier."
No recess for the wicked!