Friday, February 28, 2003
I'M A LONER, DOTTIE. A REBEL.
You crack me up. You're so right about marriage. And I too am getting tired of tiny little penises.
As a person who spends a great deal of time not doing anything, and/or putting off everything until a few minutes before the deadline (another example of structure making you free), I'm putting out the word about my new book, Party of One: the Loners' Manifesto (Marlowe & Co., March 2003). It's about loners - the subculture that will never join hands, never rush together for a group hug, never convene in a rathskellar to plan its next rally or pride day: the subculture that prefers to think for itself. Praised by Kirkus and Amazon readers (whom I swear, as a loner, I don't know), it's funny but intelligent, incisive but readable: a creed for those who feel most inspired alone, most creative alone, most alive alone ... but whom the mainstream world condemns as freaks, geeks, sad, mad, bad, and lonely; as stalkers and celibates and serial killers. Why has a once-heroic icon - the lone wolf, brave cowboy, bold pioneer, film-noir protagonist, brilliant inventor and explorer and artist - suffered a total image reversal over the last hundred years? Party of One has the answers to this question, as well as the answers to these:
* Why are most people so terrified to spend time alone?
* If, as is declared in Party of One, the typical serial killer isn't a loner - despite what the papers always say - then why do the papers always say he is?
* Who are the world's most famous loners?
* Do loners have sex? If so, with whom?
* What should parents do about kids who like to play by themselves? (Hint: leave them alone.)
* What life experiences made it clear that Party of One had to be written?
* What do loners have to offer the world? (Hint: creativity, originality, daring, courage, inspiration, adventure, Pink Floyd, and the theory of relativity.)
Who do loners have sex with? Vagrants? High-priced whores? Their loner boyfriends?
Your book sounds interesting; I'd like to check it out. Personally, I walk the line between loner and joiner. I spend time alone in order to create, to get inspired, to think my own thoughts. I spend time with other people in order to escape my own thoughts. This is also why I watch really bad TV shows and read stupid magazines.
Still, I have a kneejerk negative reaction to group situations - Dead Shows, yoga classes, fan clubs, etc. In some cases, overcoming that reaction is just a matter of giving in, following, and turning off your brain. In other cases, I don't want to overcome it. However, I'm more suspicious than I used to be about using my sense of superiority to avoid joining in. So my question to you is, how can you determine if you're a loner for healthy reasons, or if you're just hiding from the world and cutting yourself off from things that might bring you happiness and fulfillment?
Thursday, February 27, 2003
A BEAUTIFUL DAY FOR A NEIGHBOR
Mr. Rogers died of cancer today, at age 74. I loved Mr. Rogers. He was so calm and relaxing, like children's percoset, or baby vicodin. He never lost his temper, which made him entirely different from any adult I was familiar with. But then again, I went to Catholic school, where all the teachers were seething lunatics. I mean, they were smart, good teachers, too. The smarter they were, the more insane they were, generally. But Mr. Rogers, he was the Zen master of children's programming. My mom always thought he seemed fake, but I think as a kid you can tell who's fake and who's not, and we kids knew that guy was the real deal. He was praticing what he preached, that was for certain. Why else would he have allowed that drippy chick on the show? He probably respected her as a person or something crazy like that. Hello, non-Hollywood casting decision.
IT USED TO BE ABOUT THE MUSIC!
Oh, the unbearable glamour of blogging. The hot lights, the cheese platters and Stoli on ice, the hustle and bustle of stylists and make-up girls, the two-week-old articles in the LA Times... Sometimes it's all too much, I can't take it, it gets under my skin. Which means I need to move up my rolfing appointment to Friday, which throws my whole schedule off! You can't imagine the pressure! Some days, even the whisper-quiet hum of my assistant's Palm Pilot can bring me to tears. What's it all about, anyway? How did I get into this crazy business in the first place?
Oh yeah, it's not a business. Anyway, um... I would mention something about last weekend's blog panel, but I think we've all had just about enough of blogs and panels by now. And let's face it, the only people who really care are other bloggers, and most of them are just pissed that any of us are getting singled out for attention. After all, the whole point of blogging is to express your own stupid little opinions on your own stupid little blog, and every blogger shall have an equal voice, etc, etc. Just because a bunch of bloggers draw attention to each other constantly, who cares? They're like the popular kids at school who were loud and obnoxious or wore ass pants or made stupid jokes - people talked about them because that's who people talked about, not because they were actually all that interesting.
I'm certainly not all that interesting. Christ, I can't even talk about how boring it all is without boring myself.
Let me just say one last thing while I still have the bong - er, microphone. This blog is about words. People may get here because they read Filler, or Salon, or they blogrolled into town, but they come back (or don't) because they like (or don't like) the bullshit I post. For me, the point is to try to write something entertaining enough or stupid enough for people to enjoy. I don't always succeed, let's face it.
In other news: Some woman on "The View" just cited a study that said that 71% of women say they regret getting married. Who knows if that number is accurate, but it's still amazing how obsessed our culture is with marriage and getting engaged, given the reality that sets in after the $500 flower arrangements have wilted and the thank you notes have been sent. Clearly marriage is a beautiful thing for many people. But what's with all this bad reality TV about "Who will she choose to marry?" and "Who will America force him to marry?"? Our culture's childish idea of romance centers on chaining yourself to one person for the rest of your life before you have any sense of who they are, or who they'll be over the long haul. I'm all for commitment, personally, because I think that sharing a life - let alone a bathroom - with someone depends on it. I also think that arbitrary, ill-considered commitments often turn out exceptionally well. But for those with a fragile grasp of the realities of relationships, America's holy grail of marriage and babies can turn into an arduous burden overnight.
Jesus, maybe I should be on "The View." I'll be the cynical loudmouth version of Debbie Snuffleuppagus, minus the looks. Dennis Miller in a skirt, post-lobotomy. The drugs are just starting to wear off, but he still has the dark circles under his eyes, and the sense of dread, and most of the crappy jokes but only a couple of the good ones.
Wednesday, February 26, 2003
I'VE GOT YOU, BABY BELL
pacific bell rep: Is Mrs. Hawru... Hawrullsky...
rabbit: No, she's not here right now.
pacific bell rep: Is there another decision maker there?
rabbit: No, definitely no decision makers here.
pacific bell rep: When would be a better time to call?
rabbit: Hmm. Maybe this evening? No, no, morning is probably best. But sometimes I sleep late... Shit, I can't decide!
pacific bell rep: I'll try back later.
I'm so glad she called, though. I mean, I don't feel like I'm truly alive unless I'm contemplating my current phone services at least once or twice a day.
Monday, February 24, 2003
MOONS OVER MY GRAMMY
I didn't watch much of the Grammys last night, but caught Simon and Garfunkel and Coldplay, both damn good performances. Personally, I like Norah Jones a lot, but that "Don't know why I didn't call" song is dulll as mud. Pleasant at first, but ultimately drippy and passionless upon repetition. I tend to like music that's awkward and unlovable, but gets better and better over time. Plus, as a performer, Norah didn't seem possessed by the music. On the other hand, Faith Hill seemed possessed by evil spirits.
And who knew Sheryl Crow was a hawk?: "Despite concern about anti-war protests, the few mentions of the possible conflict with Iraq were muted. Sheryl Crow had 'NO WAR' written on her guitar strap, but her hair usually covered the 'NO.'"
Sheryl shouldn't worry that her strap just said "WAR." Women are now empowered by everything they do, from talking on the phone for too long to getting their asses waxed.
ACF blog panel rehash soon to come, so blog-happy blogrollers should stay tuned. The rest of you, simmer down. Willfully whimsical wandering words are on the way.
Saturday, February 22, 2003
CUTE AS A PANIC BUTTON
Panic really is the new black, isn't it? This piece is just... I don't know. Hysterical? Useful somehow? I have mixed feelings. But then, I don't read Tom Clancy novels, either.
Last night I wrote this piece about Bill Maher and Ali G, and, thanks to the magic of technology, it's already published. Instant gratification!
Tonight, another blogging panel, unbelievably enough, one that asks, "Have we produced a nation of Tom Paines or navel-gazers?" I think you know my answer to that one.
Friday, February 21, 2003
CHEER UP, HONEY, I HOPE YOU CAN
Dear Angstful Rabbit,
About that blog panel. While the others looked suitably humble, hopeful, and indeed happy, you, Rabbit, looked as if you were about to be called to the principal's office for making Lisa Campbell eat pencil shavings. Between the times you roused yourself to answer those questions about fandom and fame, your face slipped back into a rictus of anxiety and tension. You looked, actually, like you were awaiting and dreading some terrible news, from a relative's deathbed, or bankruptcy court. I was expecting your phone to ring and you to have some anti-Evan moment, publicly revealing some terrible loss.
What is it that has you so terrified? Is it the impending demise of Salon.com, steady publisher of your American-Idol-esque musings? Worries that Joe Millionare would throw away his best chance for hapiness? Actual, no-bullshit-now, contemplation of the financial prospects for a freelance writer? Poor pre-public-appearance choices at El Cholo? Boots too tight? Wallet too empty? Looming WaPo deadline? Pre 10K jitters? Confusion at not being the tallest girl in the room since, like, 5th grade? Generalized crushing self-judgment?
Unburden yourself of your cares to us, O Rabbit! Tell your loyal readers what is troubling you. It's cheap therapy, will make us love you more (not despise you as a weak and confused nobody, oh gosh never), and may even result in positive contributions. Certainly epistolatory empathy, maybe a big clink in the ole' tip jar, perhaps a "Scene and Herd" column in the new LA Examiner, who knows?
Your concerned but not cloyingly solicitious fan,
That look of anxiety, tension, dread, and fear? Sadly, that's my default facial expression. When I lived in San Francisco, I would every now and then catch a glimpse of my face in some reflective building, and I was always shocked and unsettled by how shocked and unsettled I looked. I willed myself to lose that expression, to relax my facial muscles, to affect an appearance of boredom, but it never worked. I just happen to look bugged out and scared most of the time.
So anyway, you won't believe me, but while I was sitting on that panel, I was fairly relaxed. My neck hurt a little. I wanted a drink. That's about it.
I knew I should've worn a fucking rabbit costume.
I would take this opportunity to whip up a little inner turmoil for your amusement, but suddenly the subject of me seems incredibly tedious. Let's talk about something else, OK? What did you eat for breakfast? Is that your real hair color? Have you noticed that green tea has a sort of Fruit Loopy taste to it?
Weak and confused nobody,
I just read your Salon article about "Are You Hot?". I had pretty much decided that I wasn't going to watch the show, but your review cinched it.
Still, I wonder about the possible psychological make-up of their target audience. Maybe it's just the Valentine's day blahs talking, but there was a small feeling of joy in the smallest, blackest, ugliest part of my heart. I try to be open minded and cheerful, to give folks the benefit of the doubt, but in some small way I kind of like the idea of a bunch of incredibly attractive people being taken down a peg on national TV. Of course, I immediately felt guilty about these feelings, which then turned into ambivalence. Is this the emotional response the producers are looking for?
Since you've said that you'll soon start handing out advice again, I thought I should also ask whether or not I should worry about my ambivalence, caused by my feelings of guilt, caused by my feelings of joy? Is this just another example of how "Are You Hot?" is hurting people? Should I have asked a vague question about how one "becomes a writer" instead?
I guess that show is about making hot people uncomfortable, just like "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!" is about making "celebrities" uncomfortable. It's a worthwhile cause on the surface, until you recognize that hot people and celebrities are just as insecure and miserable as everyone else, in their own way. I mean, self-loathing is an equal opportunity employer, and most of us will jump at the chance to fall apart under the hot lights or anywhere else. We're all just a random insult away from questioning every decision we've ever made.
But I wouldn't feel guilty about some random emotional reaction you have to something on TV. TV is made to illicit random emotional responses, otherwise it wouldn't have the power to distract us from the events in our lives that cause not-so-random emotional responses. That's why we watch.
So let's forget the hurt people. You want to know how to become a writer? By writing a lot instead of watching bad TV, particularly when you're having a not-so-random emotional response to some event in your life. Instead of distracting yourself, write about it. Then, once writing comes as naturally as breathing, you might get a job watching bad TV and writing about it. It is to dream!
That's right: Cast aside those shallow distractions now, so that you might submerge yourself in them completely someday. Sad, isn't it? Yet oddly enjoyable.
Wednesday, February 19, 2003
HAVE A BAVARIAN KREME DONUT DAY!
What do you suppose glucono-delta-lactone is? How about sodium stearoyl lactylate? What about the gums, guar gum and xanthan gum? Those add gooeyness, yes? Springyness?
Well, come to find my favorite donut in the universe has some pretty creepy-ass ingredients within. And how did I discover this?
It all started with my search for the writings of one Kitty Bukkake. With a name like that, she had to be a soulmate. Also, she stood up at the Blogosphere event, as I mentioned, and asked me a question about losing all confidence when presenting yourself to those who are more familiar with your alter ego. Naturally, my inner non-Polly, non-Rabbit could relate. The basic idea was: Once I was overconfident, now I'm a stuttering jerk. What happened? I very much appreciated the way she stumbled on her words while asking.
I know I've seen her name before, and maybe even visited her site, but this time I took more than a cursory look around, and, wow! She has some seriously worthwhile stuff over there, including a hilarious interview with a former Dunkin' Donuts employee.
Sometimes I think discovering new blogs is like bumping into people who seem really cool, but damn it, you already have enough friends. Who has time for a new friend, when you hardly spend enough time with the friends you do have? I try to read Ken's blog, and that funny girl's blog and then there's Mickey Kaus's Slate-sponsored blog, and hot shit, here's a blog by Ana Marie Cox, my former boss! She's using the same template as my other former boss, Piker! Conspiracy, or just a gentle wave of paranoid ideation to set your teeth on edge, and to add an edge to your edgy writings from the edge?
So I spend most of the morning reading blogs, and at the end of it all, I have to ask myself, Um, shouldn't you also read the paper? Or the weekly? Or what about that book by Joyce Carol Oates that's been sitting on my shelf for over a year? What about all those other motherfucking books I haven't read, right there, on my shelf, mocking me for reading blogs all the damn time?
But then, when you meet someone really great, do you ever really regret making a new friend? I don't think so. Thus, by virtue of her unfaltering devotion to donuts, Kitty gets thrown into the mix for good.
MY MIND IS FILLED WITH SILVERY STARS
Forgot to mention, I reviewed When The Messenger Is Hot for the Washington Post.
Also, please keep an eye out for my recap of The Bachelorette on Salon tomorrow. Pinch me, baby, I love writing about this shit. And if you really want to keep the hot coffee flowing, subscribe to Salon and keep that ship afloat. Go ahead and tell them you're only doing it for the rabbit, I don't care. I'm really enjoying writing for them, especially lately, and if they go down the tubes, I'm shit out of luck. If they thrive, I thrive. At least in theory.
BLOGGERS IN THE STREAM, THAT IS WHAT WE ARE
Live from the Blogosphere was a damn good time, as it turned out. Xeni Jardin did a great job - kept up the pace, asked good questions. She had a nice way of signaling "shut up and let's move on", too - she'd raise the microphone closer to her mouth, as if she was prepared to speak the second you'd let her. Subtle, but useful. At one point, I had really only said a few words, and she gave me that signal, and I panicked and shut up. Seconds later, I realized she had saved me - I really had nothing at all to add. I was poised and ready to repeat myself, but she saved me from that fate. The woman is a true professional.
I liked Beverly Tang, too. And Susannah Breslin was extremely tall, pretty, and frank. A nice combination. Of course, I knew that Tony Pierce would be entertaining and funny, and he was . I also figured Doc Searls would be confident and eloquent, and I had heard that Mark Frauenfelder was a really nice guy. No surprises there.
I did not know Evan Williams would be so cute and friendly, however. Apparently every woman there wanted to get in the little chipmunk's pants. See how I'm forced to compare him to a small animal in order to counterbalance his popularity, his aw-shucks humility, and his pretty doll face? I sort of secretly hope he's a real cocksucker underneath it all.
Anyway, I had a great time. And thank god for Kitty Bukkake and that woman from Variety for asking such funny questions. I thought I was going to have to talk about the future of blogging, or blogging and the media. ZZzzz. I guess I can save that for the ACF blogging panel at AFI this Saturday. I know, it's fucking ridiculous. I write stupid shit and post it, end of story.
But then, popularity is rarely justified. And I've always thought that unjustified popularity was the best and most enjoyable kind, really. Sort of like that time I made the Homecoming Court because not that many people bothered to nominate other people, and those who were nominated made it onto the ballot, and once I was on the ballot, the competition was slim and I was the lesser of several evils.
Oh, but I was still evil, mind you. And I loved every evil minute of my evil glory!
Yeah, I was 16. Cut me some slack.
Friday, February 14, 2003
I READ THE NEWS TODAY, OH BOY!
Another reminder that Live from the Blogosphere is tomorrow night - Saturday, February 15th. It's an event, with people talking about blogs. I'm one of the people. Theoretically, I'll open my mouth and talk a little. That's all I know. I would make such a great publicist.
In other news, I just wrote this article about the show "Are You Hot?" for Salon.
It's been a great week here at the rabbit blog, hasn't it? Strangely enough, there's a lot more to write about when I bother to read the news in the morning. Eyewitness Blog: Less bad advice, and more of the important issues that affect your lives! Dogs that have to be rescued from washes! The latest reports on the health risks of low-rise jeans! Or my favorite, when the lottery was up to $80 million: "Lucky numbers, lucky coins. But do any of these lucky charms actually work? Find out at 11!"
Don't worry. I'll go back to handing out crappy advice in no time.
the rabbit blog: 100% pure whims and digressions, guaranteed!
AMERICAN MORON, STAY AWAY FROM ME
"Still, while there is a high degree of awareness, substantial conflict and confusion exist among the public about Iraq and the antiterror campaign, so much so that 42 percent of those polled said they believed Saddam Hussein was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks. Neither the Bush administration nor any other authority has alleged such involvement." [New York Times, 2/14/03]
The hysterical media has successfully whipped me into a frenzy of fear and loathing for the first time in many moons. I have such a feeling of dread this week, it reminds me of the '70s. Inflation, lines for gas, and doom, doom, doom, with a sweet but hapless little farmer boy at the wheel. My fourth grade teacher used to scare us all every day about the hostage crisis. "This could be World War III, folks! This is baaaad!"
Right around the same time, my mom was worried because her checking account balance was off that month (she was a math major and honor student in college, so she found unresolvable numbers extremely disturbing). She also thought she might be missing a check, and then she thought maybe she left it at this camping store, so she went to the store to confront the guy behind the counter about it, and he got mad. Which probably meant he wasn't forging checks, but, as my mom said, "who knows? He could be nuts. He knows where we live, he could come by and blow up the house for all we know." My mom says she was maybe a little paranoid at the time, considering she had just gotten divorced and was feeling a little harried about the responsibility of single parenting, and she didn't actually think anyone would blow up the house and doesn't even remember saying that.
No matter. I spent the better part of my late childhood convinced that some hippie camper guy was gonna swing by and blow up our house at any minute.
Woohoo, go hysteria!
Thursday, February 13, 2003
Have you followed the story about the dentist who ran over her philandering husband? I haven't, but today I read this story in the LA Times, and it got me thinking about codependent overachieving women.
"She told jurors she wanted to save her 10-year marriage after learning of the affair. She said she quit her job, had sex with her husband three times a night, cooked his favorite meals and hired a personal trainer. She said she even went to a tanning salon and scheduled liposuction and breast enhancement surgery to make him happy, only to catch him in a tryst with Bridges at the same hotel where the Harrises were married on Valentine's Day 1992."
Minutes later, she allegedly ran over him several times with her Mercedes.
But hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, particularly when that woman just spent the past week of her life not mourning a rift in her marriage, but taking charge by making great meals and giving great blow jobs and scheduling appointments to change her body so she could be the perfect, desirable wife again.
It makes you wonder about our culture of self-improvement in this country. Clearly, self-improvement could never be cast as the enemy, but sometimes our culture's focus on the individual, on resilience in the face of disaster, on getting out there and getting what you want, damn it, and not apologizing for it, has to be called into question. People often try to improve themselves because they think it will make them more lovable - but it's a control freak's response, and the underlying issues are ignored in the process.
You just found out your husband is cheating. What about just feeling like shit and looking like shit for a few days? It sounds like this woman allowed herself no time to show her pain or anger, and just focused her energies on improving her performance as a wife in order to win her husband back.
Think of how much insane, confused anger she had repressed, while making meals and acting like a sex kitten and scheduling liposuction all week. Then she catches him holding his mistress's hand outside a hotel, when he's supposed to be breaking up with her, and blam, he's under the tires of her luxury sedan.
Moving forward before you're ready to move forward is dangerous stuff, like taking pain killers so that you won't notice the gangrene setting in. Why do people think they have to be perfect all the fucking time, no matter what happens? Is this some sick side effect of our hero worship, the way we put individuals on a pedestal, then tell stories about how they got there? By being unbalanced, single-minded control freaks, of course! Who are our role models? Workaholics, workout freaks, schmoozers, and martyrs.
How can women possibly expect themselves to have great abs, throw a lot of leg, cook excellent meals, all the while keeping their full-time jobs? The sad thing is, maybe all Clara Harris needed to improve her marriage was to slow down, step back, and look at what was there, instead of trying to change everything immediately.
Underachievers, unite! United, we slouch! Divided, we sink into the couch!
Wednesday, February 12, 2003
In case you're in need of even more proof that society is going to hell in a hand basket, feast your eyes on the following college course called "Information in Cyberspace" which features an assignment titled "Documenting a weblog". In this assignment, students are asked to follow a blog for 4-5 weeks and write a paper discussing their experiences. Has there ever been a surer sign of the coming apocalypse?
Ah, but the fun doesn't stop there. Scroll down, my pretties, and you'll see that this here blog and my friend Piker's blog are listed as potential sites to follow. Just when I thought I wasn't doing anything to contribute to society, here I am, educating America's youth with my self-involved narratives of loss, and loss!
So, I thought I might help out some of those slacker kids to whom my blog must naturally appeal. Undoubtedly, these kindred spirits haven't browsed a single blog all semester, and here we are, just a week and change away from that paper's due date of February 25th!
Fear not, my lazy compadres, for all you need to complete your little assignment is right here, at your fingertips!
The instructions state that "While you are following the weblog and when you are writing your paper you should consider several questions..."
Who is the intended audience of this weblog?
The target demographic for the rabbit blog consists of individuals interested in procrastinating. Such individuals habitually seek out ways to waste time on something purposeless in order to avoid another, more time-sensitive task. Most are between 20 and 58 years of age and are downwardly mobile, thanks to their poor work ethic.
Why do you think motivates the author of this weblog?
Caffeine. Hard cheeses. The promise of sleep. Guilt. Fear of her own inconsequential existence. Dissatisfaction with what few small accomplishments she's achieved thus far in life.
Who is writing the weblog?
A small mammal who is not well.
How often does he/she add entries to his/her site?
Not nearly often enough.
Why do you think the creator established this weblog?
I think the rabbit is a very lonely, very sick person who feels compelled to broadcast her mediocre thoughts in order to feel that her life has some semblance of meaning. She claims she "just wants to write a lot" and enjoys "writing whatever the fuck [she] feel[s] like writing whenever the fuck [she] feel[s] like writing it" but clearly there's a toxic blend of obsessive-compulsive behavior and narcissism at play.
Do you find yourself agreeing or disagreeing with the author? Why?
I know she's a sick individual, but I still find that I agree with almost every assertion the author makes, mostly because the author seems to be right about almost everything.
There, I did my part. Now do your part, my slouching student friends, and send me your final paper! Trust me, you could make my decade with just that one small gesture. And if you want, I'll even publish your stupid paper here, on the rabbit blog! That's right - glory and fame could be yours, in an instant! Finally you'll live the life of glamour and intrigue you've always dreamed of! Send those papers, kids!
Tuesday, February 11, 2003
UNCLE SAM I AM
Anti-Americanism Growing in Europe?
Why, that's anti-American!
Christoph Bertram, research director of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, tells The Washington Post that "The Americans are pushing their weight around and doing it with rhetoric that may go down well in some parts of the U.S. but rubs us the wrong way all of the time."
Bertram also states that "[T]he fact we're aware of our continuing dependence on the U.S. doesn't help. It's American power, but also the rhetoric of American power that has exacerbated the sense of weakness, alienation and uneasiness that we see all over Europe."
You guys think you're the only ones feeling weak, alienated, and uneasy?
What about the dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, fatique, dry mouth, and insomnia we Americans are feeling? In fact, studies show that American power gives many Americans diarrhea, abdominal pain, aggravated hypertension, indigestion, and chills. Moreover, the rhetoricof American power incited migraine, neck stiffness, twitching, vertigo, and hyperglycemia in four out of five American subjects.
And that's not all - two out of five Americans, upon hearing the words "infrastructure", "justice", and "apparatus of lies" experienced morbid dreaming, periorbital swelling, and ejaculation disorder.
You Europeans might be slightly chafed from being rubbed the wrong way "all of the time", but that's really nothing, compared to periorbital swelling.
Monday, February 10, 2003
This site is now accessible via the url rabbitblog.com. I'm growing bored with tiny little penises - who doesn't grow bored with them eventually? At some point I have to make the official switch, but you can help me out by bookmarking/linking to rabbitblog.com instead of tinylittlepenis.com. I'll write more about the penis thing later, but right now I'm tired, and I'm regretting the hour I just wasted watching Joe Millionaire. What the fuck is wrong with me? I have to admit, though, I am wondering if he'll pick the money-grubbing, manipulative blonde (Sarah) over the down-to-earth, understandably self-conscious brunette (Zora? Is that a made-up name?). The Australian butler seems to favor Zora.
Boy, someday I'm really going to regret spending such a large chunk of my life watching reality TV. Like, tomorrow, for example.
COME TO BED, LAURA BROWN!
John C. Reilly sure knows how to make marriage look not just unappealing, but downright horrifying. I just rented The Good Girl, the third movie this year in which Reilly plays a chumpy husband whose wife is either cheating on him (Chicago, The Good Girl) or considering suicide as a reasonable alternative to spending the rest of her life with him (The Hours). Reilly used to live down the street from me in Silverlake, and I always thought that, as he loaded and unloaded dogs and kids from various cars, he made the husband/father thing look pretty good. Ah, but the camera knows better!
The fucked up thing about marriage is, it's impossible to say just how it's going to turn out until you're actually in it. It's like you're following a new recipe you found in a magazine, and you have no idea how it's going to taste, but you still have to eat whatever it is, no matter how crappy it is, for the rest of your life.
Maybe it's unrealistic to aim for the rest of your life, but without aiming that high, you might not make it past the first few years. Everyone goes into marriage as an idealist, and after a few years, if the marriage is actually working, most of those ideals are boiled down to practical plans and ways of dealing with day to day life. Those who cling to their ideals, heedless of reality, or refuse to put down their ideals for a second when, say, the house is on fire, or they use their ideals to beat their partners about the face and neck? They don't have good marriages, generally.
Because ideals sound really good on paper, but if they're in the wrong hands, they can be used to justify anything. People use their ideals about marriage to justify cutting themselves off from the world, because they fear sharing their partner with others. They idealize the security of marriage because they fear change, or they fear sharing themselves with anyone who isn't utterly trustworthy, i.e. idealized/on a pedestal (and therefore destined to fall to the ground eventually).
But then, without any ideals at all, a marriage is just a practical agreement that either party can break at any time, based on what they happen to need at that time. Personally, I find monitoring my needs on a minute to minute basis highly chaotic and dissatisfying. I'd rather be roped into some basic structure, because without it, I'll never build anything that's worthwhile. Back when I felt like I could do my job (writing Filler) from anywhere in the country, I used to sit around trying to decide where I should live. I would imagine what it might be like to live in various places, then I would try to make a decision based on what I imagined. This was a major waste of time.
Making major decisions using your imagination, or using your complicated, circular thoughts, is pretty much a waste of time across the board. I think the best way to make good decisions is to decide you're good at making decisions. Then, when a decision needs to be made, you just pull the damn trigger. I do this extremely well when I've had a big cup of coffee. Coffee beats back the wishy washy rabbit.
My friend from high school who's becoming a yoga instructor told me something recently about how freedom comes from structure - you feel the most free when you set boundaries for yourself.
Now I've done it. I've wandered so far from the point, I can't tell where I am. Something about marriage, decision-making, structure. What the hell do I know about this stuff? Who started this? John C. Reilly is to blame!
Let's all read Ken Layne's blog instead. I love the way that wine-swilling lunatic writes. It doesn't matter what he's writing about, really. And, he makes marriage look good. Don't ask me how. I guess his wife Laura should take most of the credit for that.
But who knows how shady things are behind closed doors? Maybe Ken says, "Come to bed, Laura Crane!" in a creepy voice that makes your skin crawl, while Laura hides in the bathroom, weeping piteously.
Oh Jesus, am I going to pay for this one.
Saturday, February 08, 2003
AND A CHOIR OF BLOGGERS RAISED THEIR VOICES TO THE HEAVENLY SERVER HOST
I just read your post on blogs. I think your attitude of relaxing and enjoying having the thing is probably best. Why get hung up on some possible, like, artistic importance of individual blogs? If there is something timeless and beautiful etc. being written out there, I'm sure someone will find it and it will be taught in Eng. 301 in 100 years. And if some blogging-type person writes a timeless and beautiful etc. novel, and becomes famous forever and ever, then their blog will probably be looked at as the equivalent of personal correspondence. It'd be "The Selected Blog Posts of Such and Such..." rather than "The Selected Correspondence of Such and Such..." But at present, like the personal correspondence, it must be serving a more personal need -- it must be giving the blogger a creative boost, like letter-writing can. I don't have a blog or anything, but I'm sure it must work even with audience = 0.
But there's something intriguing and attractive to me about a bazillion blogs out there that has nothing to do with which, if any, get singled out as being important in 100 years. The whole cacophony is important, even if individually much of it sucks unspeakable dick. Like one of those poorly rehearsed choirs with a thousand kids -- I mean technically it is awful, sure, but kind of neat for its own reasons. Or at least good enough for a Mike and the Mechanics song, so yes, totally bad, but you know what I mean. I read about a guy who was collecting as much home movie footage from the '50s as he could, because he thought it was the only truly unspoiled glimpse of that era around. I like that. Maybe a bazillion blogs could be that in word form -- unabashedly crap but unspoiled.
It's a testament to my argument about the utility of posting any old thing that I'm actually going to send this email. What can I say? It is hour number 8 under the fluorescent lights and sending my two cents worth seems like a fine idea. To posting any old thing!
It's funny, because this morning I was thinking about how I wrote that thing about "How Blogs Won't Change The World", and I was thinking, what the fuck was that all about? I mean, obviously I was just making a joke about panels dedicated to stuff, and how you don't sit on a panel and say, "This stuff we're discussing is utterly insignificant", unless you have a mood disorder or you're a sociopath. But I have a problem with frowning on something just because it's sometimes not very good, or as you put it, sucks unspeakable dick. Saying that blogs are bad because most blogs are bad is like saying that art is bad because most art is bad. Meanwhile, if it weren't for bad art, we'd never appreciate really good art. Bad art reminds us of how much we love good art.
If we love good art. I'm not sure I can stand behind the statement "I love good art." I probably love a lot of art that other people hate. And besides, when I think "art" the only thing that comes to mind for some reason is The Raft of the Medusa. I guess it's been a rough week.
Anyway, then I was thinking: How can anyone dislike the fact that self-expression is becoming more popular? I guess it's quite possible to do so, just as it was possible to be annoyed and grossed out back when nudity was popular but Pilates wasn't and flabby hippies roamed the land singing the body electric, or drinking electric Kool-Aid acid, or drinking the Kool-Aid, or whatever it is they did.
But I thought about all the bloggers out there, typing away, expressing themselves, finding solace in writing down their thoughts, and that struck me as a beautiful thing. Then, of course, I thought "This can't last long!" and "Soon blogs will be stigmatized as cheesy, because people can't just stand by and let people express themselves without judging them badly for it." and "Blogs are already considered cheesy, probably, I just don't hear about it because I have one!" and "Maybe old acquaintances of mine read this blog and compare notes about how the things I write reflect exactly what they always disliked about me!" That last part was kind of exciting, actually, which I think makes me a sociopath.
Paranoid ideation aside, though, is it cynical to think that people generally freak out and can't let others express themselves honestly without judging it as "weird"? Or is this my own little internal world I'm expressing?
Sometimes I wish my internal world were more soft and friendly, like the kind of interior climate you get when you grow up with really warm, expressive hippie parents. Now, sure, the towels didn't get washed often enough, and you wore homemade clothes and ate weird foods so that kids at school tormented you for being a freak, but you still grew up with a sunshiney view of the world and of other people.
You've met people like this, children of hippies, right? Forget the hippies, in fact, just think of the kids you knew whose parents were really, really relaxed and positive. A lot of the really relaxed parents I'm thinking of were Jewish, actually. Not that there aren't highly unrelaxed Jewish parents all over the place, but there's something about the Jewish bohemian that makes for a pretty chilled-out kid.
Which brings me to the point: these relaxed kids. I mean, sometimes they have weird names and maybe they talk a lot because they got nothing but unconditional positive regard from their parents, and maybe they don't pay their bills on time or dress very well because their parents thought styles were stupid or they mostly didn't wear clothes around the house. But they're relaxed and soothing and positive, these relaxed people who grew up with relaxed parents. If you're upset, it doesn't bother them. They want to help you look on the bright side, help you move forward. Granted, sometimes you don't want to look on the bright side, but still.
Let me be clear: I'm not talking about the motherfuckers who are willing themselves to be positive. I'm not talking about those people who say, "Much light! Much light!" but you can feel their darkness creeping in around the edges at all times. Not that they aren't good people, doing their best, whatever.
But don't you sometimes wish your old, worn-out synapses were really positive happy ones, like "What a beautiful morning!" or "Something smells delicious!" I think my most well-worn synapses are more like, "These pants are itching me." or "This post is way too fucking long. What's your fucking point? Get to the fucking point already."
And so, here we are, at the point: If there were more relaxed hippie spawn around, blogs would flourish and prosper heretofore, unmolested.
Here's to posting any old thing!
Thursday, February 06, 2003
LITTLE TEAPOT Seeking same. Me: Short and stout. Something of an exhibitionist. Supple handle, sexy spout. You: Into tipping, pouring. Those too repressed to shout need not apply. I can be yours tonight. Just tip me over and pour me out, baby.
This is the kind of crap I dream up when I can't sleep. I guess that's my lot in life. Paul Bowles awakes on sleepless nights and types out The Sheltering Sky. I awake and write personal ads for Little Teapots.
At least I have this stupid blog, right?
And if I'm going to apply my nighttime muse to anything, assuming the bitch can be asked to focus on anything beyond nursery rhymes and the latest episode of The Bachelorette (how glad are we that that defensive fuckwad Russ got the axe?), if I'm going to get inspired about anything in the world, I should start getting inspired about blogs. Blogs as a Subject of Discussion on a Panel.
So what are blogs? Blogs are websites that are easily updated, websites that even a jackass like me with very few extra skills can create and maintain. The fact that they're easy, the fact that you can post constantly, makes them popular. It also makes a lot of them highly sucky, obviously. But, given how generally sucky most people's stupid writings are (my own included, yes, yes), it's strange how many blogs are actually worth reading.
Now, is that the sound of an avoidant, shut-down, reclusive jerk projecting her slightly irritable perspective on people onto other subjects, similar to the guy who says, "Most art sucks." or "No one writes good books anymore." or "Music today is pure shit." when really what he means to say is, "The world around me is lackluster. I can't get it up for anything but the works of dead people who other dead people said were important, because I don't trust anyone alive today, and trusting only dead people gives me a sense of superiority over the living. It also gives me an excuse for refusing to create anything, since it would just suck regardless."?
Well, that was a concise point that I'll be sure to bring up at the LA Blogosphere thing.
Anyway. Um. Blogs. Blogs are good. Blogs are good because they give people an audience for their thoughts. Even if you've only got an audience of four people, that's still easier than sending your four friends long, rambling emails that bore the living hell out of them and more than hint at certain looming pathologies and dysfunctional tics and deeply buried issues you currently possess, but which you remain blissfully (and temporarily) unaware of. At least, that's what I did back in '95 when there weren't that many online journals, and the ones that did exist seemed courageous but a little creepy and unacceptable.
Yet, there's still something remarkably unacceptable about The Blog. Writing stuff down and showing it to other people, just because? Writing sometimes because you simply feel that you should, or you feel that people will be let down if you don't? Because you feel guilty? There must be a lot of Catholic and Jewish bloggers out there.
But how long can this embrace of blogs last? Will it really transform the media, has it already? Or is it just a thing a lot of people are doing, and the second it starts to seem sort of embarrassing to have a blog, or the idea of blogging becomes stigmatized simply because it was once more popular and therefore seems dated, people will stop doing it? Will it disappear when the economy improves and people actually get paid to do pointless shit again? I mean, these are the kinds of thoughts that don't generally make it into a panel discussion: Ways That Blogging Won't Change The World.
At any rate, I hope to be doing this for a while, whether it's popular or not.
But then, I think I once said that about rollerblading. Rollerblading: Yuck. Plus, if I got a taxing job that included a lot of writing, I'm not sure I'd be running home to write every night. I might rather, uh, sit on my ass and eat stuff.
That's all this blog is about, in the end. Me sitting on my ass and eating stuff.
I guess I can talk about that while I sit on the panel.
I hope there's something to eat.
THERE WILL BE POSTING, MUCH POSTING, HERE
And laughter. And celebration. Or not. But please check back this afternoon, you will not be disappointed. I will not fail you again!
Or, actually, I'll definitely fail you again. Just not today.
Monday, February 03, 2003
WILL BLOG FOR FOOD
I just found your blog through a very fun convolution on Salon. It started with wanting to ignore the original excerpts of Carina Chocano's new book. The last thing I wanted to read was another jaded relationship book. But being Salon, I thought I would give it a chance. I loved it (and actually I went out and bought it today). Then I read your interview with Carina (that was great too), and then I went on and read your article on online personals (of which I use on Salon), which brought me here.
I would first off like to say that I love you guys (you and Carina - literally speaking :), because I don't sense any kind of negative anger / hatred towards men (I am a guy), which can be prevalent in this kind of stuff. Your tone comes across as much more human - like we all have to deal with these problems, so let's deal with them, rather than assigning blame based on gender.
I find that really refreshing, and I think you'll find that a lot of guys (in their 30s anyways) will respond really positively to women's "issues" with this approach. Maybe you do already. I mean are they really different than men's, maybe just manifested differently? You may get the monthlies, but do you know how terrifying it can be having sex for the first time with a nearly complete stranger and you start having doubts about getting it up? I've noticed that a lot of my friends are starting to see problems in terms of general human things, instead of exclusively split down gender lines.
That said, I really love your site. However, I would like to call you on one thing. Why did you remove the entry on being financially fucked two days ago, and replace it with that big diatribe on weakness? I was very moved by it (the original post), because I have been there a few times (but worked through it), and I had a really gut reaction to it. In fact I started to write an email to you on the topic, but my laptop freaked out and gave me a big blue screen with lots of weird writing on it. A message from aliens I guess. Or subliminal messaging from Microsoft.
Thanks for writing - I'm glad you enjoyed the interview and Carina's book. It's a funny book, and you're right that both Carina and I are equal-opportunity blamers.
As for your question, I didn't actually replace the financially fucked post with the weakness post. For a few days they were both on the site - the weakness thing was posted the day after the financially fucked bit. Then, a few days ago, I took the financially fucked thing down, because suddenly it just felt inappropriate. I'm not really someone who uses the word "inappropriate" very often, and certainly not in reference to the blog, but in this case, I just started to feel guilty. Guilty about those people who are in massive debt, working shitty jobs day after day - people who are truly financially fucked. Compared to them, I'm part of the leisure class. Sure, my current financial balancing act is questionable at best, but that's just the way it goes. If things got very bad economically, insanely bad, and we returned to an agrarian society - OK, that's not even what would happen, is it? I mean, it's not like all the accountants and lawyers and shit are going to just roll up their sleeves and start tilling the soil. Instead, I suppose the rich would remain rich and the poor would die, and the rich would mostly let them die. I mean, they'd feel bad and stuff, set up make-shift memorials for those who "perished in the famine" or whatever, but they'd still keep their Braun juicers up and running. I mean, there's self-sacrifice, and then there's life without handy appliances.
But anyway, let's suspend our disbelief for the moment and suppose that we returned to an agrarian society, out of desperation. And, let's say, we're all tilling the soil out by the I-5, because there are still some remnants of fertilizer along the freeway, from The Golden Age (which is how we'd refer to the last 200 years or so). This morning I was thinking about this while I was scrubbing beets for juicing; I was thinking that, if things got bad, I wouldn't have that much to offer. How would I pull my weight, when my specialty, writing, is really a luxury, and entirely beside the point when times are tough? But then I thought, what the fuck, I'd make a decent farmer/hard laborer, compared to your average bear. I have pretty strong bones, I've never had a problem with intense physical work, I don't have any back problems to speak of, and I sort of like feeling exhausted at the end of the day, like I overdid it a little. Of course, the fact that I speak of hard labor in such glowing terms is as sure a sign that I'm a pampered little flower as any. But still, I think I'd take to farming pretty well, even if it did mean breaking up dry, unfertile ground filled with trash and little bits of blown-out tire.
But then, I was thinking, what about storytellers and jesters and crap like that? I mean, those people are sometimes treated as valuable members of society. Maybe I'd be called upon to do my part, to lighten things up in the face of disaster. I mean, I wouldn't tell anyone I was a writer or anything, I'd just humbly take my hoe and line up along the freeway like everyone else. But then one day, word would slip out that I was once a writer. And even though I wasn't a really important writer, maybe a lot of the really great writers in the area had perished, and so I was really the only writer around. Scary, I know, but we're suspending our disbelief, remember? So, one day, some village leader would approach me, and he'd say something really moving and earnest about how the people need my pointless witticisms now more than ever. In order to have hope in their hearts. In order to sally forth against the tide. In order to rage, rage against the... You get the idea. He'd tell me I could save the village, just by trotting out my rambling anecdotes. "It's your calling, Rabbit! Your destiny!"
But then I thought, screw that. I don't want to be the fucking town jester. The useless pussy. I want to grow shit.
But maybe the village chief would make me tell stupid jokes! Maybe he wouldn't even let me perform in some makeshift theater, maybe he'd make me stroll along the freeway, telling jokes to the farmers while they worked. And I'd have trouble thinking of jokes, there, in the hot sun, even as I felt sorry for the farmers, with their sunburn and their aching arms. Maybe I'd be distracted by all those delicious sunburnt arms. After all, Jake Gyllenhaal might be out there, too, right? I mean, surely there's not much use for actors, post-Golden Age. Maybe Jake would distract me from my comedy, and no matter how much the village tyrant poked me with his sharp stick, I couldn't come up with anything beyond, "Hey, it's hot out here, huh? It's so hot, I've got..." and then I'd blank on the rest. It would be all set-ups, no jokes.
So the village dictator would fire me. But you don't just get fired post-Golden Age, you get stoned to death, because you can't have useless hungry mouths around, can you? So I'd have to offer up some other skill. I mean, if they'd given me time, I could get back into shape and prove myself to be a good farmer. But there'd be no time for jogging and Tae Bo and Pilates mat classes, so instead I'd have to dream up something else to do, something really useful, something that every man needs on a daily basis...
Anyway, I think you all know where this ends.
That's right! A blog! Every man needs to read a good blog on a daily basis! And so, that's when the rabbit blog finally starts to pay off...