Archive for December, 2009

Proof, further

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

I didn’t participate in any of last or early this year’s many outpourings of memorial affection following Dave Wallace’s death, aside from a short note of expressing sadness and gratitude. But as I’m preparing to teach Infinite Jest at SAIC and write an essay of my own about rivalry, athletic fanhood, and envy, I’ve found myself back deep into “Consider the Lobster”, both the book and (right this second) the essay, and I’ve reached this moment here in a particular footnote that just about captures, for me, the true wonder of Dave’s work, a wonder I could no easier describe with English words than I could pull wings from out my ears and fly myself off to Cambodia. The moment, from the tiny type at the bottom of p. 247:

Is it significant that “lobster,” “fish,” and “chicken” are our culture’s words for both the animal and the meat, whereas most mammals seem to require euphemisms like “beef” and “pork” that help us separate the meat we eat from the living creature the meat once was? Is this evidence that some kind of deep unease about eating higher animals is endemic enough to show up in English usage, but that the unease diminishes as we move out of the mammalian order? (And is “lamb”/”lamb” the counterexample that sinks the whole theory, or are there special, biblico-historical reasons for that equivalence?)

Reading this essay now, contextualized by the issue’s recent Foerization and Natalie Portman’s resulting and fairly comical and completely insulting soapbox derby, is a bit like waking up from too long a sleep beneath too many blankets, wearing flannel pajamas (with cute little attached booties) and sweating terribly, then rolling out of bed into a tub of ice water. We miss you, Dave.

A Video Asterisk

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Well, I have done it. I’ve completed my first ever iMovie with footage from my Panasonic Lumix handheld camera thing, a sleek black camera I bought for the sole fact that the Crailtap guys told me to, meaning I fell prey to celebrity endorsement, the simplest and most transparent of all advertising ploys. Who cares.

Here’s the video enjoy it please!

Conrow Joe from Edsel Denk on Vimeo.

Re: Dude Life, the always reliable Pretty Blog provides explanation here, but Ryan’s quote bears repeating:

The focus of Dude Life is just dudes who are into stuff, whatever that stuff may be. Primarily, it is skateboarding, babes, tacos, hot dogs, rock and roll, jobs without bosses, beers, road trips, art, and buddies.

Exactly, Ryan. That’s exactly right.

New Work: Podcast and Video

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

I mean sorry! Sorry! Been working, busy writing and teaching and traveling and being as complete and whole a person I can manage. Leaves holes in the blog though, don’t it?

Here’s something: a recording from last week’s reading (mine) at the Parlor Reading Series, there in the Busch and pretzeled home of Green Lantern Press. Many thanks to all who came and heard me read for thirty minutes from my novel in progress, especially the skateboarders who don’t normally frequent readings. It was a rad night, totally and completely satisfying. The podcast itself can be found right stinking here.

And for those of you with eyes, here’s a video of the flashback section of the reading (that’s a Busch burp there at 0:33, if you’re curious).