So if you missed me between the cliched Times-bashing and the link to one of MLK's more inspiring speeches, it's not because I decided to remain silent until I had more ideas (sorry), but rather it was because I was visiting my parents in Florida.
Some quick notes:
1. It's amazing how much better people seem to get along when they are all exactly the same. And depressing, too.
2. I don't know what is better - having nothing to do after 11pm or having lots of options, all of which suck. If I were to move back to a small place, I would, as my memories of NYC began to fade, torture myself for not living in a "real" place with "things to do" at night, would imagine all sorts of fun being had "in the real world", would, in not-so-short, begin to rebuild this fair, as in not-quite-poor, metropolis in my head until the tension would become unbearable. I would move back here only to have my illusions burst again.
3. Then again, outside of work, all I do here is listen to music and read. If that is going to be all, I could certainly do it somewhere else and use the extra money and time to pick up a recreational drug habit and a serious relationship. Imagine: a big, cheap apartment in a culture-less and un-renovated part of a small Southern town. A few pets. European cinema rentals via Netflix. A lot of weed and a lot of 70s German psych records. You paint, I lay on the couch and read Debord. Ladies get in touch!
4. After years away I finally got to rekindle my hate affair with cable news. It's amazing to me that some of these people are so well-credentialed. And then I remembered that having the capacity for critical and independent thought is not something one has to have to get a degree, even an advanced degree from a highly-respected school.
5. MSNBC is just making things worse.
6. One of my least favorite pundits reminds me of a girl I knew and loathed in high school. She was in the same stream of advanced/AP English classes (I got 5s on both tests - oh how the mighty have fallen) as I was for all four years. I remember a particular assignment we had Junior year. We had to identify all the symbols in a handful of chapters of Willa Cather's A Lost Lady. Each symbol we found gained us a point. This girl, either due to audacity, obsequy, or complete incompetence (I think 10% of the first, 40% of the second, and 50% of the last), identified every noun that was not a person or place, ie all the things, as being symbols. Our teacher, whether due to exhaustion, resignation or indifference, didn't even correct her on this, as repeating his explanation of the difference between symbolism as a literary device and the basic fact that all language is, in effect, a symbol for something else (ie a pan and the word pan are not the same things) would have proved as futile as trying to water a plant in Egypt by shooting a water gun inside an elevator in the Empire State Building. My joke after class was that I was going to resubmit my assignment, which I had uncharacteristically deigned to complete on time, with a list of all the occurrences of the word "the" highlighted. I would then explain to the teacher that the word "the" was symbolic of the "powerful, mighty, and profound supra-atomic singularity of the object being modified". I think I would have deserved twice the extra credit that the other student got. Yes she got to go to a better school than I did. Yes I am still bitter over a decade later.
7. Speaking of books, I finally got some new ones! I guilted my parents into taking me to the local corporate temple o' readin' (the guilt part is that I made them pay - they would have gone anyways) and actually found a few of the items on my to-read list. I picked up Philip Kerr's The One From the Other, Tolstoy's Resurrection, and The Red Flag: A History of Communism. I also tried to get my hands on Handke's Slow Homecoming, a book reccommended to me in the comments section of a post a I made a few months ago, but it was unavailable. I am sure I will find it up here.
8. Up until about twelve days ago, it had been fourteen months since I had seen the family cats. It took a few days, but they finally remembered me or, at least, began to interact with me in the same manner that they used to. Supposedly, on the day I left, they were waiting by the door for me to come back. Awwww. Cat pix coming soon! And they are cute.