Fish Knives

“Americans who travel abroad for the first time are often shocked to discover that, despite all the progress that has been made in the last 30 years, many foreign people still speak in foreign languages.”

While quoting Dave Barry is always an exercise in sheer comic bliss, here he has put his finger on something eternal, something existential, something irritatingly true.

And that is, other people are so terribly, awfully … other.

For one thing, they understand the gibberish with which they speak to one another. Whereas I, a proper English-speaking person, fail to see any difference between their babblage—however mellifluous (en Francais) or, as is the case far more frequently, just plain strange—and the language my sister and I made up on the spot, on long boring car rides. Complete with hand gestures. Never understanding, of course, a word that was said. Continue reading “Fish Knives”

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Meaning Beyond Question

All I know is, my soul is a pest. Or whatever is that internal thing that has kept yammering away, lo these many decades. Always with a very clear idea of what is right. Not what was easy, at the time, or even possible. Certainly not taking my children into consideration, when I was young and most wretchedly married. Just, Move on, move on. You’re going to leave here, sooner or later. One of the leavings was without my children—and I have never been able to explain why that was something I had to do. Granted, I thought it would be a separation of months—but back then, and perhaps still, a girl who would do such a thing was a slut. Beyond slut: inexplicable. I simply knew that if I had to move to Iowa and live in married-graduate student housing, I would kill myself. Having seen the sad and depressed women who lived in the same at Princeton, which I figured to be a fucking palace compared to Iowa.

Women then had nothing to do but childcare, which is a really boring thing, as occupations go. And the grad student housing itself had wallboard that picked apart in shreds, the rooms were tiny, it was terribly hot. I saw enough. We lived in a cottage, as my then-husband’s family knew someone, a family so extended it was hard to go anywhere in America and not know someone. In truth, for a while I wanted to fit in with them, it was ever so much better than my family, which had no influence at all–except for my father’s fellow physicists, scattered along the Eastern seaboard at just enough removal so that every night, when we travelled north or south, there was always someone from whom to cadge dinner. For all six of us. Something I did not know was strange until I studied the whole autistic-spectrum thing and began to see my parents for who they were. People hugely without a social clue, which is where shades of autism show up. Who saw nothing wrong with arriving, four children in tow, just in time for dinner. I remember clear as day my father checking his watch, noting that it was ten to six, and, getting out his address book, punching into a pay phone the number of tonight’s potential suckers. And the worried look on the wife’s face of the wife, trying to make her bean casserole stretch.  Wondering, I realized later, how to feed another six people, while my mother sat silent, mortified—but then, she was always mortified—as the husbands talked physics or whatever the hell it was they talked.

The soul so intimately tied up with memory. When everything fell into place later, in adulthood, I realized most of what my soul had nattered on about was the normal. Healthful. Not a massively distorted life. It definitely wanted and still wants for me to live amongst people who love me, and whom I love. Something I’ve had very brief experience of. And trying to stay sane in the midst of thought-disordered people is the biggest damn energy-suck. The point always was, I coulda been a contender. Instead of a bum. Which is of course what I turned out to be.

Words to that effect.

 

{ fin }

Just Shoot Me 2010, v.1

Sheria at The Examined Life posted some statistics from the Daily Kos depression poll of the century. Just as well, I need crap like this … extrapolated so as to keep it at some remove. Sanity is precious, you know,  and one wants to go on believing the best of ones’ neighbors, in both the immediate and existential sense. I have always thought that being hateful inside must be the most boring of lives. Continue reading “Just Shoot Me 2010, v.1”

The Yeast People

kunstler

Clusterfuck Nation: Moron culture in the USA really got full traction after the Second World War. Our victory over the other industrial powers in that struggle was so total and stupendous that the laboring orders here were raised up to economic levels unknown by any peasantry in human history. People who had been virtual serfs trailing cotton sacks in the sunstroke belt a generation back were suddenly living better than Renaissance dukes, laved in air-conditioning, banqueting on “TV dinners,” motoring on a whim to places that would have taken a three-day mule trek in their grandaddy’s day.  Soon, they were buying Buick dealerships and fried chicken franchises and opening banks and building leisure kingdoms of thrill rides and football.

It’s hard to overstate the fantastic wealth that a not-very-bright cohort of human beings was able to accumulate in post-war America.

Continue reading “The Yeast People”