Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day (2006)

 So was I not reading anything from, like, June to November? Well, I'd certainly have enough excuses, but it's not true: I was rereading this. I don't know if I should admit this, considering that I wrote a dissertation chapter on it back in the day, but this was only the second time I'd read it cover to cover. I mean, obviously I'd read parts of it many times, but, you know, the whole thing is kind of an investment.

Still, I would definitely have finished it a lot faster if I hadn't been blogging about it. You may remember, although definitely not, that I actually made an abortive attempt to do that back when I first read it. But most of what I wrote was pretty superficial, and then I got bogged down and gave up before the end. So now, fourteen years later, blogs aren't a thing anymore, and the book isn't new--impeccable timing on my part to try again! But I did, anyway. I wrote A LOT, I'll tell you that much.

So, what did I think about Against the Day on rereading? Well...a number of things. As you might expect. Scattered thoughts:

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Saturday, November 21, 2020

Myron Brinig, The Flutter of an Eyelid (1933)

Here's a new reprint from Tough Poets. And guess what? I read it. Unbelievable, but true! It's easy to be at least a little cynical about obscure old books (or operas, or whatever) being lauded as "lost classics." Not that it can't happen, but often, my reaction is more "yeah...I guess that was okay" than "WOW!"

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Friday, November 06, 2020

How's the President doing today?

 Let's check in:

...seems like he's having a normal one.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020



WHOA THERE.  Don't do anything you might regret, guys.

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Dirty Joke Number One

Sex jokes are a very significant thing for small children, I feel, because they're a sort of mystical portal into a mysterious "adult" world. And I can remember the first one I heard, with a group of friends (as told by: Luke. Hi there, even though you're definitely not reading this; I know you're not dead, though, as I'm friends on facebook with you and also your mom and sister). I must've been seven or eight at the time, and it's worth noting that I really had no idea about sex at the time: sure, I'd asked my parents where babies came from and gotten the clinical answer, but, uh...I mean, I guess I got that babies emerged from women, but seriously "the man puts his penis in the woman's vagina and sperm comes out." Great, but I was still totally in the dark about what exactly a "vagina" or "sperm" was. Jeez!

Anyway, this is a pretty darn basic joke. You can find it all over the internet. Here it is: there's a classroom. A boy walks in late and, when questioned as to his whereabouts, replies "I was on top of Blueberry Hill." Repeat this with more boys as often as desired. Finally, a girl comes in and says "Hi! I'm Blueberry Hill!" DO YOU GET IT? I sure as hell didn't, I'll tell you that that much; I couldn't speak for my friends, but we all laughed knowingly, because obviously it was extremely vital that we not be seen as lacking the numinous information that was obviously implicit in this incantation.

I'll tell you, though, I remember very vividly the visual image I had in my head upon hearing this, and that was of poor Blueberry with all these boys successively standing on her shoulders, like a totem pole. I suppose that could potentially develop into an extremely strange fetish, but all it gave me was this anecdote. I guess that's a pretty good joke, when you think about it.

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

This is not your ordinary RPG!

This graphics are eye-popping, breathtaking, stunning and unbelievable, not to mention incredible. This is no hack-and-slash, rip-your-guts-out fighter! This is the future of RPGs, right here in your hands! With music this good, you won't turn the sound off--you'll turn it up!

No more small elves leading your team! This game contains real, believable figures. You won't be embarrassed to use your own name; you'll be proud. It's just you against six other characters in search of the 7 Sacred Runes. Whoever finds them...Rules the World. It's that simple, that easy. The only problem is you have some enemies, and I don't mean a few. I mean an army of things you've never seem before ready to raise the hair on the back of your neck and take you out with one swing. This is one powerful RPG. Can you handle it?!

Seriously, 7th Saga box: are you okay? Are you having a stroke? Shall I call 911?
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Monday, August 24, 2020

Hell: not-fun for kids of all ages

So think about what Hell is, if you believe in Hell. What's bad about it? Well, the fundamental suffering in Hell, and the only one that matters, is that you know to a certainty that you have been completely abandoned by God. Sure, we talk about tortures and things, but that's an immature way of thinking about it (okay, so a "mature way of thinking about Hell" is an oxymoron, granted; just go with it). That stuff is irrelevant. It's why Mephistopheles declares to Faustus "why this is Hell, nor am I out of it." It doesn't matter that he's not currently being poked by spiky things; he is suffering the torments of Hell as intended.
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