Posts Tagged ‘suicide’
Take I: In attempting to power through David Foster Wallace’s brilliant and dense Consider the Lobster: And Other Essays, I was stunned into a literary-induced coma by the following sentence:
The positivist assumptions that underlie Methodological Descriptivism have been thoroughly confuted and displaced—in Lit by the rise of post-structuralism, Reader-Response Criticism, and Jaussian Reception Theory, in linguistics by the rise of Pragmatics—and it’s now pretty much universally accepted that (a) meaning is inseparable from some act of interpretation and (b) an act of interpretation is always somewhat biased, i.e., informed by the interpreter’s particular ideology.
By the time I came to, I had been knocked into the next chapter. Wallace’s arguments, which he conveys with the force of a firehose pressurized at 200 psi (enough to keep a Mini Cooper airborne for 6 minutes), are tossed-off with easy éclat – like he’s armed with a ready nose-dropper of concentrated insights and pinches a tiny tincture into each sentence. However stingy he may be with his pinches, they swamped me like a tsunami. When I finally surfaced I realized I didn’t understand much of what he was saying – at least at first. But when I thought about it some more I realized, I didn’t understand any of what he was saying. Read the rest of this entry »
This supremely ironic New York Times headline from February 10th reads like a ripe premise for a comedic bit. And in a sense it is a bit. It’s one of 3000 sad little bits that fell into my hands as a result of the explosion. They’re called smithereens, and like a dutiful sleuth I’ll attempt to piece this accident back together smithereen by smithereen to discover just how something so awful could go so right. In Iraq suicide bombers have become obscene background noise like rap music is in this country. What drives these suicide bombers? Where the Beach Boys once promised “♫Two girls for every boy♫,” the Taliban promise 77 virgins for every boy in the afterlife. With this sheer volume of women, one assumes there are also towelettes.
What We Know so Far
We know the noble gas Xenon (Xe) is No. 54 on the Periodic Table of Elements. We also know Xenon is considered a “noble gas” due to its philanthropic work with underprivileged elements like Bismuth and Tin. Xenon is an odorless, colorless gas similar to Senator Harry Reid. But that bears little impact on today’s story and probably shouldn’t have even been included in this reconstruction. Read the rest of this entry »
With tender apologies to all who’ve been devastated by the obscenity of suicide, I offer an irreverent antidote to this sorrowing scourge. Yes, a light-hearted look at a different way of dying. Can it be done? Well, I’ll try to walk this tightrope with the same delicacy as the late aerialist Karl Wallenda did. Mr. Wallenda, you’ll recall, died doing what he loved most – plummeting to earth at terminal velocity. And in the spirit of Mel Brooks embracing the brutal outrage of Nazis in “The Producers”, I endeavor to do the same with the sad barbarity of suicide. But whereas Mr. Brooks had talent, I can only offer chutzpah. I really hope you like this piece, because if you don’t I swear I’ll kill myself.
Few things are as ugly and sobering as suicide. Among the infernal competition of berserk human expressions, suicide always medals. It’s a depressing subject that usually isn’t discussed much or written about; and I know what you’re thinking – Why did it take so damn long for someone to develop luggage with wheels on it. My God, it was like dragging an 80lb. headstone through the airport sometimes. Wouldn’t it be easier to, oh I don’t know, put some wheels on this manhole cover. You were thinking that weren’t you? Read the rest of this entry »