This from Harper’s “Findings,” May 2013
I love the word heliosynchronous!
It makes me high.
I would swear that it even pitches my voice higher.
I also think it goes very well with smartphone.
You can’t leave out Orbit!
Another outta-space word right there!
Contains Orb and
Orb is religious, sacred. Space bends back in on itself.
Earth the size of a pool ball would be smoother.
Why, it begs, is there a smartphone orbiting Earth? Makes sense that it’s on time and in tune, however, being that it’s a smartphone. But why is it screaming?
I prefer to remain in the dark as to the undoubtedly reasonable explanation and instead stay heliosynchronous to my ignorance.
And in a nod to the power of reasonable explanations, also from “Findings”…
“Scientists proposed that male lions’ skill at ambushing prey in dense vegetation was previously unknown because of scientists’ fear of being ambushed by male lions in dense vegetation.”
Right on, that.
That just occurred to me, suddenly, but what does it mean? I think that what it means is to be good is simple and all of our evolution and intellect and religion and forward progress really has nothing to do with being good. Good is there in its most basic form. You can see it in children and you can see it in the animal kingdom. That’s enough. The rest is all of us just trying too hard to claim it.
Facebook is to communication what chicken McNuggets are to haute cuisine.
Facebook is where people who don’t really like each other can stay in touch.
Facebook is to friends what is to happiness.
Facebook is an opportunity to say “happy birthday!” (to veritable strangers).
Facebook is where real thoughts are nipped in the bud and presented as such.
Facebook is a grandmother’s dream come true.
Facebook is where you can picture yourself over and over and over…
Facebook is where people are sure to find…something.
Facebook is where bitter people blossom.
Facebook is where interesting ideas can be shared until they are no longer.
Facebook is where people who are obsessed about something obsess.
Facebook is to friendship what water is to single malt scotch.
Facebook is the bathroom wall for logorrhea sufferers.
Facebook is where you can care shallowly.
Facebook is to productivity what termites are to two-by-fours.
Facebook is for sad people to seem happy.
Facebook is where you can change your status without changing one iota.
Facebook is a kennel of barking dogs.
Facebook is the La Brea tar pits for the egregiously self-centered.
Facebook is a tower of babble.
Facebook connects human beings to bits.
We do lots of things and believe lots of thing without really thinking about them and sometimes someone else shines a little light on the strangeness of it all. To wit: I came into the bathroom and my eight-year-old daughter was holding one of the large bath towels. The area between her two hands – an eight inch circle – was soaking wet. She was obviously washing her face with it.
“What are you doing?”
“The towel – it’s soaked!”
“That’s a towel!”
“You should be using a wash rag!”
“Why? It’s the exact same material.”
“Wash rags are for washing!” I was getting a little snarky. “Towels are for drying!”
“Drying wet things so they get wet – like this.” She held up the towel.
“Not like that they don’t!”
“If it’s wet enough they do.”
“Yeah, but now…”
“It has to dry.” She finished my sentence. “Like it always does when it gets wet. And then it gets dry and everything is fine.”
“But that’s too wet!” I said and just then realized how ludicrous this all was. Two pieces of the same material – one two feet by four feet, the other six inches by six inches. I’ve always known that the smaller piece could get really wet and the bigger one could not! Period. End of story.
But why? Just because!
Part of me wants to say “Hip Hip Hooray for Rob Portman!” The republican senator from Ohio came out yesterday in support of same-sex marriage – which is gutsy in a party that generally thinks homosexuals are deviants, the earth is seven thousand years old, and all you need are bootstraps to be as fat and happy as Wall Street CEOs.
It seems Rob’s son came out to him and that is what changed his mind. This is all still laudable, but when you are unable to have empathy for any sort of person until there is one of those sorts of people in your own family you might be lacking a sufficient amount of empathy. I’m not even sure empathy is what we feel for our own children considering the absolute closeness we feel with them. The sadness and joy we feel when our own children feel sadness and joy seems closer to some sort of Vulcan mind meld than something called empathy.
Either way, I’ll go with “Hip Hip Hooray!” And add, “Welcome to the enlightenment, the 21st century, and common human decency!”
I can’t say how much I love how Edward St. Aubyn skewers the holy, high and mighty, landed, nam-ed, people of his Patrick Melrose novels. But I also feel a similar anger toward his own prodigious talent. Like, well, fuck you, Eddie, with all you got through whatever genetic re-redistribution that led to your own genius! You are the heir to whatever it is you do. You skewer them with the same unabashed cruelty and poetry that they do others. Yes, you are infinitely better and more able, while they skewer, you fillet. And I Iove you for it. But I hate you, too. That cruelty doesn’t come from nowhere.
And that’s the point, I guess. I love you again.