Monday, September 8, 2014


I nearly stepped on a snake on my walk yesterday. 

 Don't you completely dig the camouflage?

It has gone from I-hate-you-and-every-other-living-being hot to fast-track-to-fall cool. Doesn't really matter if I like it or not, it is how it is.

Listening to Graham Nash's autobiography, Wild Tales. Graham is such a lovely person and it is excellent to listen to the audiobook as he sings and such. The disheartening part, which is no surprise, is the "consumption" of women detail. I know that it is all true and Graham is certainly reasonably respectful and appreciative even of the groupies. I suppose it hits a chord, and saddens me because it distanced me then and distances me now from the overall experience and enjoyment of rock and roll. The amount of female "consumption" and "observation" is creepy. 

This is not to say Graham is purposefully condescending or misogynistic, his respect and adoration of Joni Mitchell and her clear, overt genius precludes ANY gender bias there. But hearing over and over again about sampling delicious beauties and such just bums me out. Even groupies are humans, not "taste treats" ...

I listened to Wild Tales as I took my walk yesterday. I ran out of Graham before I got home, so I switched to another audiobook, Greil Marcus' The Doors. The contrast between Graham's personal, simple narrative and Greil's over-intellectual bombast was damn striking. So far, though, Greil has not said anything gender-bias egregious, so there is that.

Today, I came over to the North Salem Public Library to see if being in a slightly less hospitable environment, more formal, would increase my productivity. This place is fairly schmancy having even a coffee machine for the patrons. And it is quite noisy although there are not many people here; I guess the stricture against talking at a normal voice no longer obtains at the library. I imagine the kids getting out of school will be here in a bit, so the volume and activity will increase. Fortunately, I remember to bring headphones and music so that I can drown them out a bit.

Had a fine talk with KH1 yesterday. I had not responded to many of her kind and frequent calls in quite a while, mostly due to depression. As I am feeling reasonably good, or at least stable, I called her to get caught up. There was something I wanted to share ... but something relative to listening to Graham.

Jay and I watched The Wolf of Wall Street on Saturday night. It's difficult to make an assessment of that experience. I can't just pretend that the callous and casual consumption of women doesn't disturb or affect me. It's not easy to watch that. And I can't say that I feel Scorsese's direction and mise-en-scène weren't purposely exploitative ... I know Scorsese is baroque and feminism wasn't part of his story, but it was still creepy and unsettling ... And I am going to assert that there were other, perhaps more compelling and interesting ways, to show the excess ... Ways that might have better enfranchised me in the watching.

Gosh, looking at that snake picture reminds me of a crazy, inappropriate conversation I was forced to have with these French businessmen I worked with. They were, well, one of them was, quoting some Doors snake reference and asking me about riding snakes. If I remember it more clearly, I will relate it. 

“If you were alone when you were born, alone when you were dying, really absolutely alone when you were dead, why "learn to be alone" in between? If you had forgotten, it would quickly come back to you. Aloneness was like riding a bike. At gunpoint. With the gun in your own hand. Aloneness was the air in your tires, the wind in your hair. You didn't have to go looking for it with open arms. With open arms, you fell off the bike: I was drinking my wine too quickly.” 

— Lorrie Moore, Bark

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