Archive for May, 2014

Intellectualism at its Pointiest

Everything you don't need to know all in one incomprehensible edition. Everything you don’t need to know all in one incomprehensible edition.

As a dilettante of the second order, I occasionally glance at The New York Review of Books just to see how the other half lives. Alright, just to see how the other .00000000025% live. Except for Presidents giving a State of the Union Address, no one reads any more. Instead they troll for satisfying videos of some do-gooder giving a homeless guy $100 or an abandoned kitten being breast fed by a honey badger. I know I do. And I get it. Reading takes time and application. It’s proactive, but it is ultimately more rewarding and nourishing than idly surfing some video screen seeking temporary fulfillment. Well that’s as preachy as I’ll get because Wimp.com just posted a video of a Dolphin making oatmeal. That Dolphin happened to be former Miami Dolphin fullback Larry Csonka.

The NY Review of Books is bone dry and devoid of juicy gossip. If it were any drier it would spontaneously combust. It’s a narrow publication appealing to people who sometimes equate intellectual heft with spiritual awareness. The NY Review of Books is replete with bravura verbal muscularity and apposite aphorisms, soft as church music. However as comprehensive as it may be, the following words or ideas seem to creep into about half the articles or reviews. For example I’ve detected these recurring themes or phrases throughout the NY Review of Books:

  • Sylvia Plath’s suicide changed nothing. She was still unhappy.
  • So that was it. Jane immersed herself in English romantic poets as a means of coping with her intractable psoriasis.
  • Harold’s homosexuality was known only to his wife, Ralph.
  • All we had were parsnips. Fortunately all we wanted were parsnips.
  • the Zionist experience of Jewish Semites
  • the Jewish experience of Semitic Zionists
  • the Semitic experience of Zionist Jews
  • the influence of chivalric modalities in 12th century Hohoenzollern 
  • Marcel Proust would often mispronounce his name as “Proust.” Knowing that if anyone were to write about the event, no one would be able to know how Proust pronounced “Proust” in the first place. 

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A Strange Relationship. Is There any Other?

Local honey is the best! Local honey is the best! My Muriel.

After chipping a tooth on my fiancée Muriel’s prosthetic clitoris, I knew life would never be easy. Muriel didn’t snore when she slept. Instead she did something more disturbing. Whenever she entered Deep REM sleep she’d emit a Dial Tone. A Dial Tone, like from Bell Labs. Very unnerving, although after about a month I figured out a way to call China, where prosthetic clitorises are made. So I ordered 2. One for her and one for me. I explained to Muriel, “This clitoris is great. Now I no longer have to go to sleep right after we make love.” To which she responded, “Oh is that what we were making?”

Did I mention she had no native intelligence? Instead she had Artificial Intelligence. From Hasbro. It might manifest itself like this: She’d put on scuba gear and go kayaking upside down in the lake. As Muriel maneuvered the kayak around the lake I’d see her capsized hull moving through the water while the occasional oar penetrated the surface from underneath.

If forewarned is forearmed, I should’ve heeded the birthmark located on her back: Best By MAY 2014. Muriel was so advanced and yet we met offline. Way offline. It was at a Pre-stressed Concrete Convention where concrete with mother issues went for counseling before their feelings hardened into an ossified mess. Muriel and I both worked there as counselors. Muriel would often sit before a couple of yards of pre-stressed concrete annealing in its rebar and advise, “If you think about it, not only are all politics local, but so is everything else.” That paradigm-busting advice usually did it and the concrete was no longer stressed. This relief worked for most concrete, but sometimes years later it cracked up in some form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

That’s when I told Muriel about the health benefits of local honey. She agreed and said she’d be my local honey. She’s so sweet. Early on Muriel would bring a lunch to church. I thought it was a bad idea saying, “You shouldn’t pray where you eat.” She cackled like a hen, because although she was my local honey she wasn’t immune to my humor.

Then she got me back. By now we were married and living in a 2 bedroom hive in a fashionable section of Compton. We went into the funeral business called Caskets with Friends. It did not go well. Between the ill-fated Frequent Diers Program and the sign advertising “Walk-ins Welcome” business was moribund. Well more or less moribund. Business also stunk, but that was more due to our poor embalming technique than anything else.

When I mentioned how we needed to refinish the coffee table she remarked, “David, as far as refinishing furniture goes we’ve only scratched the surface.” I couldn’t hold back any more and kissed her passionately. She got very excited and began emitting a Dial Tone. Then she suggested I try kissing her mouth next time.

Her brother Giovanni was one of those rare guys. Not only did he own a very expensive Ferrari, he also had a really big “Testarossa” if you know what I mean. How did I know? Well he lifted the hood one day and showed me. Muriel’s sister Gwen was a very fetching young lady and when I casually remarked to Muriel, “You’re sister Gwen is a beaut,” Muriel said, “How did you know she was a Butte? How did you even know she was from Montana?”

As the years passed we both agreed that time had gone by and although Muriel was well past her expiration date, so was I. We were 2 peas in a pod or bees in a honeycomb. Because she is my honey I’ll always love her sweetness.