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4 February 1999
[on why people can't read the writing on the wall and give up on unrequited love]
"There are 10-foot letters on all of our walls, and they spell 'mortality,' but we don't stop breathing on account of it. We search for soul mates, and in the process we find people who amuse us and alarm us and turn out to be interesting companions. We live in the hope of writing a great masterpiece and in the process of failing to do so, we manage to do other useful things."
-- Garrison Keillor, writing as Mr. Blue
I've had a lot of links slip through my fingers in the past few days; there's been lots of good stuff to point to out there but no time to write it up. Here's at least a little of it. All these were recently posted on Salon...
Garrison Keillor's back, again in fine form:
- Lovers and Writers by Garrison Keillor [Salon]
You walked into this story with your eyes open, and it isn't a very good story in the long run. You need to start another one.
...as we get older, and sorrow settles on us, and we learn less readily, we tend to darken and stiffen. One needs to be aware of these changes, whether single or married, woman or man, and by God lighten up a little and get out of one's rut. And an educated person needs to be on guard against arrogance.
Some valuable perspective on selective moral outrage:
- Stop using our children by Sherrilyn A. Ifill [Salon]
...the sanctimony and rehearsed earnestness of Bono's question to Craig ["What do you tell your children (about the President's affair)?"] only reveal how very out-of-touch or deliberately obtuse she and others are when they refer to discussions about the Clinton affair as among the most difficult ones American parents are having with their children.
Without question, the most difficult conversation I had with my child during the past year centered on the lynching of James Byrd in Jasper, Texas. Try explaining to your child why two white men tied a black man to a pickup truck and drove him around until he was dismembered.
On the other end of the Salon spectrum, why was this next piece even accepted for publication? It's a creepy, slobbering first-person account of failed attempts to become friends with Kurt Vonnegut, as though the author is a particularly unique specimen who 'belongs' in Vonnegut's circle.
Declaring oneself to be uniquely deserving does not make it so.
- Stalking Kurt Vonnegut by Dan Stern [Salon]
The masses didn't embrace you until you were well into your 40s. I can't wait that long, Kurt. And I know I'm not alone in my pursuit of you. I know other hopeless hopefuls want a piece of you, too. I see them standing in line, shoving your books in your face, begging you to scribble down the symbols that spell your name, that they think will make them complete. But Kurt, when I ask for your signature, I'm not only thinking of myself, I'm considering posterity. How prized my signed copies of your novels will be when I'm famous.
Kurt, I am part of your karass, can't you see? If only on the fringe of it. But I'm in there. I know I am, damn it. And I need you to see that before you head off toward your Galapagosian blue tunnel into the Afterlife.
If the piece were tongue-in-cheek or sarcastic, that would be one thing. But no, he's serious. <shudder>