[the palaverist]

Monday, September 29, 2008

[regarding the posting of open letters in the comments]

Open letter to the woman who posted an open letter to Sergey Brin in the comments, which letter I'm not publishing, which makes it not much of an open letter:

Let me make it very, very clear that I do not speak for Google. I work for Google as one employee among many. My blog is not a part of Google. It's my own space for espousing my own views. As such, I don't feel any obligation to publish views I disagree with. The Internet is big, and there's plenty of space for you elsewhere.

If you genuinely want to write an open letter to Sergey Brin, please do so in a forum that is either public or your own. And don't use Blogger, because Google owns it.


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[google pride]

Google has taken a stand on California's loathsome Proposition 8, which is intended to roll back the state supreme court's decision in favor of gay marriage. I'm proud to work for a company that recognizes the importance of diversity and is willing to stand up for its employees' rights.

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[mafia laundry]

Here's a fun fact: Paulie Walnuts does his laundry at my laundromat here in Bay Ridge.

Okay, actually it's Tony Sirico — I saw him sign his laundry slip. He drives a black Cadillac convertible, and not one of those new Caddies, either. And he really does have those white wings in his hair.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

[war ... delicious war]

A century of warfare, in food.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

[online chats with kim jong-il]

[vito's coming back]

I live in a peculiar pocket of New York City, politically speaking. New York's 13th Congressional District is the only one in the city that has a Republican Representative, disgraced two-family man Vito Fossella.

Vito dropped a reelection bid when it came out that he'd been driving drunk in Virginia while visiting his mistress and their child. Now, though, he wants to come back into the race — as a Conservative, opposing not just Democrat Mike McMahon, a long-serving city council member representing Staten Island, but also the Republican candidate, Bob Straniere, a former state assemblyman.

Good luck to Vito! I hope he enjoys splitting the Republican vote while McMahon coasts to victory!

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

[no opinion about me]

Sometimes it just hurts. I was listening to Paul Simon's Crazy Love (ignore the video and just listen), and when it got to the lyrics, "Well, I have no opinion about that / And I have no opinion about me," I burst out crying.

The lyrics overall are pretty spot-on in their evocation of the grimmest, saddest parts of going through a divorce — the bewildered, deflated hopelessness, the resignation, but above all the uncertainty. And that's why that one light hit so hard: even now, more than a year after moving out and starting my life over, I'm still unable to put the whole thing into a narrative that makes any sense to me. I know the facts of the case, more or less, but I don't yet have enough distance to tell the story. I don't know yet what to believe about me, or about her, or about us. And the dust cloud of the divorce hasn't yet settled enough for me to be able to see beyond it, into the marriage itself, and understand what any of it was. Did we love each other? Was it doomed from the start? Where did it go off the rails, and why? What the hell happened?


Sunday, September 14, 2008

[dfw rip]

So David Foster Wallace has gone and killed himself.


I have maybe spent more time thinking about suicide than your average person, what with Jenny having been seriously damaged by an ex-boyfriend who killed himself. One of the discoveries along the way is that the suicide is not only a victim of violence, but also a murderer. And David Foster Wallace has stolen from us one of the most brilliant, insightful, compassionate writers we had.

We needed Wallace. Hell, I needed Wallace. I've read Infinite Jest three times now, once snce getting sober, and I've quoted it often in twelve-step meetings. I even incorporated its wisdom into a list of slogans I compiled, adapting one of DFW's insights to read, "No God minor-league enough for you to understand is going to be major-league enough to solve your problem." That line helped me get through a tough period of struggle with faith and let go of my need to understand God in some kind of comprehensive, philosophically bulletproof way before I could let God into my life.

Wallace is one of the few writers who has helped me understand the world and my life in a serious way. Most of the others are philosophical writers, usually in a Buddhist or Eastern religious vein — Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chödrön, Michael Pirsig and Benjamin Hoff at an earlier point — but Wallace was broader, helping me to understand everything from rural America to addiction, English usage to infinity.

And now he's gone. There will be no followup novel. There will be no DFW essay on getting old, just around the time I would need one. Fuck.

Let's let it end with a passage that must have haunted Wallace:
Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow
of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath
borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how
abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rims at
it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know
not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your
gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment,
that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one
now, to mock your own grinning?


Previous Posts

[things i'd like to write about but haven't]
[drop the red lantern]
[how not to apply for a job]
[pop is the new alternative]
[what does it all mean?]
[national fears]
[lies, damn lies, and sound effects]
[our pakistan moment?]
[how to fail like an olympian]
[cold winters]


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