Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What I Had Wanted Was to Be Chaste, Sober and Uncomfortable for a Sprawling Episode on a Beach Somewhere Dirty, Perennially Out of Fashion

A clarification: I was baiting my friends who are Breaking Bad advocates, especially the ones who won't shut up about the show. I've no doubt that once, had I watched, I would have quickly become enraptured in the show, I'd watch the five seasons over the course of a few days then watch it again and then torment you here regularly with sillyass Breaking Bad allusions to signify the religiosity of my adoration. It's what I do. Did you see the Robert Pollard post yesterday? I've only so many hours and days and so many Gods to worship.

Fewer now though, so this yodel again: Tonight in Salt Lake City DC United plays Salt Lake for a major trophy (the second most important trophy in professional club soccer in the US) with a trip to CONCACAF's version of the Champions League on the line and I don't care. I couldn't watch it if I cared - it's on a network that was dropped by most cable companies and refuses to allow streaming - unless I went to a bar in Arlington or Capital Hill, but I don't care. As I type this Monday evening, the latest shutdown kabuki ticks towards kaboom (and in this parenthesis it's Tuesday morning and kaboom happened and I don't care) and I don't care, not only don't care but don't care I don't care. I care about fewer and fewer things that I used to eagerly spend damn on. Part of me wonders if I'm not afraid that I'd become a zealot of Breaking Bad but that I wouldn't.


August Kleinzahler

What I had wanted was to be chaste,
sober and uncomfortable
for a sprawling episode on a beach somewhere
dirty, perennially out of fashion;
let the smell of cocoa butter drive deep memory wild
as the sun went down, a parti-colored blur,
examined through a bottle of pop
some kid gave up on only half-way through
and left to go warm in the sand.

The train ride would be long and hot,
and you, you've had it with men.
Me . . .
        I'm sickened by the pronoun.
Tenderness seems as far away as Sioux City
and besides, it would have cost too much.
But you should have called,

if only since a preposterous little episode like this
is just the stuff to scare off extra friends,
like soaking their laps with corrosive fizz.
And us . . .
              What an impertinence, us.
We could have played gin rummy and taken a stroll
into town or along the boardwalk, maybe,
                                      with dear old Godzilla,
the first one, the best one, the 1954 one,
reprising his role this one last time, raising himself up
over the horizon at dusk,
and hurrying us to a place we never would have
dreamt of


  1. Andrew Ross Sorkin orders pear and cheese as his dessert course as an homage to the famous Italian saying: “Al contadino non far sapere quanto è buono il formaggio con le pere” (Do not let the peasant know how good cheese is with pears). ARS, the brave undercover representative of the 99 percent, orders the signature dish of the one percent’s privilege in order to mock the aristocrat with whom he dines.

  2. What if no one cares that you don't care. I bet then you'd care.

    Also too there's always Zoloft.

    [Sorry about your team, Dog. I mean, Black/Red is part of your nom de net, no?]

  3. I care who cares less and less, a terrific side-effect of the damnlessnessitus, hence the increase in what the fucks, fuck its, and fuck thises.

    But yes, black/red. Oh well.

  4. Those of us who aren't getting paid will care for you.

    1. Yeah, it occurred to me about an hour ago to add a sentence or two to the effect that while I don't care about the kabuki I acknowledge what a fucking pain-in-the-ass this is to friends and loved ones who work for Sam. Hope it's resolved soon for your and others rents/mortgages sake.

    2. Yes, that being unemployed thing because a bunch of narcissists choose to engage in political terrorism is a tad annoying. Thanks for noticing even if it took prodding.

    3. Apologies it took till morning to clear this through. Was elsewhere last night.

  5. Cheese, Pears, and History in a Proverb

    Massimo Montanari
    Paper, 128 pages,
    ISBN: 978-0-231-15251-8

    ...But our text is decidedly anomalous within the tradition of proverbs because its prescription derives not from the desire to communicate some kind of knowledge about reality but, on the contrary, from a wish to conceal it. The declared objective is non far sapere, not to inform but to deny access to knowledge—and to deny it, paradoxically, to the peasant himself, in a saying that should have (and effectively does have) wide currency among the peasantry. It is all the more bizarre, then, that an admonition of “popular wisdom” that refers to the peasant (and in which the peasant is in fact the only social subject explicitly mentioned) should occur in the absence of the principal actor. If we were to try to dramatize this text for the theater or the screen, we would have to show a character who is speaking to another while advising, or ordering, him to keep the peasant (missing from the scene) out of their conversation.

    Something is not right here. The curiosity of the historian is aroused; he wonders what the origin of such a saying can be, what it means , what ends it can serve.

    Erasmus of Rotterdam, when he set about collecting thousands of aphorisms ( Adagia ) from the writings of ancient authors, regarded them as expressions of crystalline sagacity and absolute clarity, “clear as a gemstone.” Our proverb is anything but clear, however. Erasmus himself advises us to use these brief texts, these aphorisms, these proverbs, as so many “windows on the world,” useful not only to communicate moral or practical precepts in a witty and concise manner, but also to open a chink onto the historical context in which the proverb was produced—because every proverb, every text, is rooted in a specific culture, expresses it and reveals it.