That's Just The Booze Talking

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Stories in an Almost Unreadable Mode

Bookforum prints a 5,300-word exegesis on why no one reads Harold Brodkey anymore. Our guess is that no one sees the value in his narcissistic and masturbatory self-regard, which informs every syllable of his prose and makes even a cursory reading of his fiction like taking a muddy trudge through the shallow wrack of Lake Bitchcakes. Indeed, it can be said with no measure of hyperbole that Brodkey, even more so than Norman “Cap’n Stabbin’” Mailer, was the single most solipsistic American writer of his time, which is saying something, given the naval-gazing proclivities of Updike, Bellow, Roth, et al.

Then again, we may simply dislike Brodkey’s writing because we didn’t think much about him as a human being. Asked to sit on a panel of lit luminaries––this was back in the ‘90s, and was somehow tied in with the 55th anniversary of the breathtakingly irrelevant Partisan Review, which, like Brodkey, was then just a few years shy of expiration––Brodkey publicly took swipes at the likes of Derek Wolcott and Robert Pinsky before a shaky, newly sober Ivan Gold took him down with an abrupt and carefully deployed verbal bitchslap that left Mr. Runaway Soul in tears. The incident made us wish that we had abdicated the world of books for more refined pursuits, like bearbaiting or chicken fucking or developing fake assholes for proctologic dry runs.

No, really. Just fill it with hamburger meat and some raw egg and you’re in business. Take it on your next fishing trip and whisper “I can’t quit you” into the whorled furls of its palpatable rectum. Comes with polyps.

Monday, January 23, 2006

I Can’t Be Arsed To Carry On In This Debate

Arctic Monkeys. So very good. And if you’re quick, you can boost their debut, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not here. Large ups to TMFTML for posting “When the Sun Goes Down” a few months ago, a post that has lead to an absurd obsession with a bunch of spotty 19-year-olds from Sheffield. Fookin’ ‘ell.

Ray Ate The Reason That Pat Is A Vegan

Oh, I see. Is this about that time the magician’s duck bit you at Raymond’s fifth birthday party?

Our Brand Could Be Your Life

Having done some sort of skeletal/muscular damage to our lower back after executing a sloppy, drunken pas de deux in the wake of the AFC Championship game**, this morning we repaired to the corner Duane Reade to set ourselves up with some Icy Hot or whatever the fuck. Interestingly, the sullen, slackjawed Cappadonnabes stock the balms/ointments cheek-by-jowl with the asshole stuff, a juxtaposition that suggests that at least one nearsighted Brooklynite is at this moment howling in agony and self-loathing, having subjected his or her Leather Cheerio™ to the sort of temperature extremes that are generally only found in desert climes. Anyway, a quick perusal of the hemorrhoid unguents revealed this, which is funny for about five different reasons. First of all, hats off to the good folks at Parke-Davis for scooping up a first-tier competitor and thereby placing itself pretty firmly as the nation’s #2 butt grape salve, right behind Preparation H. But the thing is, if you’re going to buy out Anusol––a product that absolutely no one could ever buy without a whole lot of wincing shame and furtive wallet fumbling; seriously, it’s probably a whole lot easier to purchase, say, non-ironic clown porn than something that has the medical term for winking pink brownie cake*** front-loaded right there in the name––we’re not all that sure we see the wisdom in advertising the fact that, yes, you went ahead and changed the name, because in so doing, the name is still right there on the package. Although “Formerly Anusol®” would be a king hell awesome band name.

Of course, Tucks aint all that better, come to think of it, although we sort of like how the brand actually instructs the consumer on how to use the product.

**We don’t ask for much, but if you have any love for God, country, the great sport of not-soccer and making that long green, put everything you have on Pittsburgh. They are 4-point underdogs, which suggests that everyone in Vegas hasn’t watched a lick of AFC ball this year. If Vegas were a Popsicle, its flavor would be Retarded. Or lime.

***Meatmen reference. The Suck Trilogy pretty much got us through high school.