shoot your daughter in the calf muscle/adult education is a wonderful thing

i signed up for a german class at (the) Goethe-Institut. then it rained and i almost had a conniption because i TVed up my new shoes. except i only marginally got TVed. i have been teaching myself literary theory and keeping very still in recent days; you can say that i did not learn from you, as will oldham is telling me at this moment. god may in fact be the answer. several weeks ago, someone made an offhand comment about the appropriate focus in life right now being “moneymaking schemes”–i’ve really taken that to heart.

half-baked consumption and criticism
:: The Squid and the Whale ::
I will go to bat for this movie, specifically because it is much darker than people seem ready to admit, and because they never really address how extra TVed-up the little brother is. I also reacquainted myself with Kicking and Screaming. if whit stillman was a basketball team, Kicking and Screaming (not the Will Ferrell mediatation on children’s soccer) would be the third string point guard. that said, i would also be excited when it was on the court, because. Ultimately, this is probably no better than the NYorker/MFA program EZbake fiction/all of mainstream US fiction that the writer parents probably produced, although hints in the dialogue tease at a underlying disrepect for pretty much anything that isn’t an exegesis of how fucked up your own personal situation is. short on imagination, long on wrenching, embarrassing, bitter humor. i can see why it was successful, in some senses, and not in others; it’s not a nice movie. i recommend it with minor qualms about putting too much faith in confession as prelude to redemption. you’ll have to forgive me getting some rust out of the faucet here; i intend, as always, to start posting more but need to get my bandy little legs into shape before i try either A) actual substantive critical thought (never a strong suit) or B) long strings of obscene jokes.

:: The Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq ::
It’s kind of hard to give a full hermeneutics on this without taking away something from the potential fun someone might have reading it; i don’t really understand Houellebecq’s artistic project just so, other than the fact that he does not like people very much, which I’ll sign off on as a good idea but not as um, a philosophy unto itself. although it certainly works in most situations. one complaint: houellebecq, or his translator c. vintage books 2003, writes very boring prose. maybe that is some kind of riff on the giant up yours ending (there are THREE of them, all coming in the last 70 pages).

:: Seize the Day by S. Bellow::
!. you’re crying for yourself at somebody else’s funeral and people think you’re crying for the deceased; they comment on the depth of your feeling. turns out you don’t even know the someone else, you just wandered into the church because you’re having a nervous breakdown about losing your last $700 to a weird stock market scam. also your dad hates you. on a scale from 1 to displacing the electrons inside my soul, i give this book a score of approximate 900. the last person dies, the grave digger still wants his money.

Topics for further study:
William Carlos Williams
Mike Judge
A Sentimental Education
The Baffler
Dos Passos
How anyone with an MFA should probably be put in an internment camp
Personal failure
Flann O’Brien
the “strong poet”

I was a big old bear once (x4)

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