“Not caring about things since 1971, so that you don’t have to.”
7. People revisiting Saul Bellow’s not particularly enlightened opinions about women and minorities as uttered by an older man during the cultural context of the 1960’s, and then attempting to apply current standards as a way of discrediting his writing. First, who gives a shit what Saul Bellow said in his kitchen after his third divorce in 1964? Did you read Herzog? Can you possibly pretend that anything but those gorgeous sentences matter? The tyranny of demanding that artists possess both transcendent ability as well as ideal politics, complete open-mindedness, and workshop-level gender sensitivity will soon render all mediums sterile and insufferable. Further, who on the face of the planet could stand up to having all their notebooks posthumously poured through, friends interviewed, lovers questioned, and ex-wives given full reign to vent resentments, without coming across as a complete turd? We’re just lucky Saul wasn’t a closet Nazi cannibal. And even if he was, I’d still read Henderson the Rain King once a year.
6. Anything Bobby Jindal says on any subject, in any context, for any audience, at any venue, for any reason. Ever.
5. Snidely putting down Taylor Swift. Hey, bearded all-knowing lumbersexual hipster, guess what? You can’t play piano like that, you can’t sing like that, and no matter how slick your locally-sourced vest is, you’ll never pen an anthem that gives hope to and empowers a generation of 14-year-old girls. Teenage girls are our most vulnerable resource. They are beset on all sides by those who constantly dismiss their tastes and preferences, as well as the suffocating pressure of consumer sexuality. A song that tells them to ignore lazy detractors, and one that they actually love and listen to endlessly, is worth its weight in gold. Shake if off, Taylor. Fuck off, music snob.
4. 1999-2009. Did a single cultural event take place worth remembering, let alone remarking on, in that entire time period? It’s like a complete laudanum-induced blur. It’s a Third Eye Blind coma. It might as well have been one long, brutal summer of ’52. A total wasteland.
3. Hopeless presidential candidates. Sure, Jeb or Rubio could win it all if things shake out right. Rand Paul has an outside chance if he catches fire and avoids saying anything too stupid or having pictures leaked of him torturing cats. Scott Walker is a union-busting golem, but he has the Koch’s non-stop cash enema firmly in place, which can’t be dismissed. I personally don’t think Christie is electable, and require zero fat jokes to arrive at that conclusion. Still, it’s the unrepentant freaks who give me pause. Where do they all come from, and what can they possibly hope to gain by running except maybe a week of Herman Cain-style limelight? Even Ted Cruz‘s mother would like to drag him around behind her station wagon for a few blocks. Constipated retreads like Santorum and Huckabee don’t stand a chance. If you told Rick Perry his name was actually Pick Rerry, he’d immediately have his towels re-monogrammed. A sushi-bred parasite is devouring Ben Carson‘s frontal lobe. Lindsey Graham couldn’t get elected to come out of his own closet. But Carly Fiorina? Seriously?
2. They’re fast. They’re furious. It’s car porn. Vrrrm. It’s Diesel. Yo. Shit going under trucks, over trucks, around trucks. Ignoring lanes. Driving against traffic. That girl in the tight shirt. The other one walking cross the tarmac in slo-mo. Screechy tires. Smoke. The sad moment. The bros planning the heist in a warehouse. A plane or something. No, a helicopter. Glass breaks. The soundtrack. Bad guy zooming across town. Ducking when bullets punch holes in the hood. Punching when mouthy guy ducks out of the way. Comic relief. Big kiss. Big chase. Car silhouetted against Miami skyline. Staring over cliff at wreck. Gas tank blows. One-liner. Sober words of wisdom. Credits. Hi, I’m here for my 200 million, please.
1. The degree to which this makes me feel beyond ancient.