Monday, June 30, 2008

And every rant requires hours of painstaking work

Our lives are made easier by comfortable fictions -- the little stories we tell ourselves to get by moment to moment. “This slight residuum of chocolate pudding on my necktie is invisible to the casual observer.” “Life used to be better, and changing (shoes, diets, boyfriends, presidents) will restore it.” “This is an unusually small jelly donut, and can be of no possible consequence.” Or one might tell oneself that surely anyone committed to writing a short essay on a regular basis would have a spare paragraph or two on hand should inspiration fail as the deadline looms. Alas. Not so.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Talent is the real glass ceiling

When Marcel Marceau died last September, I thought it best not to say anything. I mention him now because I was just downtown, where we have herds of strolling tourists and their natural predators, street performers. There's these “living statue” people ­-- panhandlers with a coat of paint. No mimes, because “Annoying Mime” has become a cheap comedic meme, like “Nagging Mother-in-Law” or “Brain-Damaged President.” Ironically, mimage (mimery?) was destroyed by Marceau; he made it look easy, and a generation of no-talent simps believed it and bought striped shirts. (Ella Fitzgerald did the same for scat singing.)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Now where did I put that wok?

I don't hear much about Rolfing these days. Okay, I don't hear anything about Rolfing these days. Not so much about the Feldenkrais method, either. Ditto the Alexander technique. Probably it's the circles I move in. Maybe at a certain age, you just stop imagining that there's going to be some simple cure for existence and its attendant discomforts. Or it could be that these things are on the back burner of the gas range that is our collective consciousness, quietly simmering, periodically boiling over in little spasms of renewed popularity like backgammon, fondue, yoga, ouija boards, and bluegrass music.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Conventional wisdom is an oxymoron

This just in: there's no reason whatsoever to obsessively hydrate ourselves. The “8 glasses a day” rule was an arbitrary invention. There aren't four areas on your tongue that taste salt, sweet, sour, and bitter either. Your whole tongue can taste everything. Oh yeah - you can safely swim right after eating, too. What next? What if breakfast isn't the most important meal of the day? The problem with a hearty breakfast is that it obviates the need to work the rest of the day. Because, once you've had enough to eat, why would you hustle around trying to look busy?

Monday, June 2, 2008

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Ridiculous. That whole brouhaha about Rachel Ray's scarf. I swear to God, it's embarrassing sometimes to be human. The thing is, these ideologue bloggers and radio hosts and columnists and commentators (Why commentator? Why not just commenter? They don't commentate; they comment.) aren't really selling ideas. They're offering the opportunity to get angry, to blow off some steam, to get your undies in a bundle. They're procurers who pander to ire instead of lust. Righteous indignation is addictive. It feels good, it doesn't make you fat, it makes you want more. No doubt about it: Rage is the new crack.