Saturday, January 20, 2007

Rejoice, We Have No Choice

The totally wacked-out writer Michael Chabon has a little tidbit here about The Future. (It took me all of a month to get through his freakin' brilliant review of the Dark Materials trilogy.)

As a (American) parent this graph naturally stood out:

If you ask my eight-year-old about the Future, he pretty much thinks the world is going to end, and that’s it. Most likely global warming, he says—floods, storms, desertification — but the possibility of viral pandemic, meteor impact, or some kind of nuclear exchange is not alien to his view of the days to come. Maybe not tomorrow, or a year from now. The kid is more than capable of generating a full head of optimistic steam about next week, next vacation, his tenth birthday. It’s only the world a hundred years on that leaves his hopes a blank. My son seems to take the end of everything, of all human endeavor and creation, for granted. He sees himself as living on the last page, if not in the last paragraph, of a long, strange and bewildering book.

Heck, my 6-year old daughter believes she's going to sing and dance to High School Musical forever. And that one day Troy (the boy lead in HSM. They're all "Troys" nowadays) will kiss her - on the lips. I am not going to tell her otherwise. I don't want her growing up to marry Chabon's little weirdo either, as what kinda childhood ideals would he have to fall back on/impose on her?

If more singing and dancing, feminine ideals in other words, were perpetuated in Western culture, we might not be in some of the cultural pickles we're obviously in now. Blame it on men and their violent pessimism. I'm really starting to think that most literary giants, other than Jane Austen and Tolstoy maybe, are full of shite. And yeah, particularly Faulkner. (Like Jamie Foxx saying "nigger," I can say stuff like that since I'm a white Southerner. Same argument, eh?) Maybe Chabon needs to pull an alethiometer out of his ass.

I hope, with my help, my kid continues to sing and dance her little heart out, for life. She'd better; her first talent show is this Friday night. Sheeze, all of us women folk had better be practicing our all-American moves... really really hard.

This post put together by this song, naturally enough:


tribalecho said...

"Give me an underground laboratory, half a dozen atom-smashers, and a girl in a diaphanous veil waiting to be turned into a chimpanzee, and I care not who writes the nation's laws." S.J. Perelman (1904-1979)

Damn it. I can't take another interesting blog. I already practically live here.

Just for historical reference, I remember sitting in my dorm room listening to this CSN&Y album and deciding, yes, I will sit on the hump in the back seat of that Firebird and join the anti-war march in DC. ( I didn't tell my parents and got into big trouble when someone who found my lost wallet sent it back to my home address )

Good wishes on to your daughter on her big night.

tribalecho said...

BTW Gracey, have you seen this Limey doing his bit on The History of Oil ?

Grayson said...

Gonna go cast over there right now, Tribe.

Grayson said...

Echo... I'll add "bicycle" ideals to the list, as long as the only place I have to actually bike to is the pub. Where I'll write the (regional?) laws. And they'll be short and to the point, unlike fiction writers.

1.) Don't fuck with me, I won't fuck with you.
2.) Unless you just want to fuck, then let your intentions be known.
3.) Fucking CAN be an act of peace. (But I won't write that into law, I promise.)

Stuff like that...

tribalecho said...

Say what Grayson? I'm afraid we've reached a generational divide or something.

But don't you love his Tony Blair?

Grayson said...

Didn't get to the Tony Blair. Just noted the bicycle imagery/power. And just babbling too. That can be done at any age. Don't worry. Only bs-ing away here on a blase Sat. morning.

tribalecho said...

No, no Grayson. You gotta see it. Watch the whole thing. I know it slows down about 3/4 through, but keep on trucking.

First there's Blair as Goebells, or whatever his name was, saying that if there was a better way to unite militant and secular Arabs, he'd like to hear it. Or something like that.

And then there's the part where he plays a Brooklyn gang guy, beating up Iraq, and Venezuela says, hey 10 years ago you wouldn't have broken a sweat, but now you need friends, and the Brooklyn guy says, you mean this bitch? Then there's a very brief but very funny Blair thing.

"oh, by bitch I think he means...."

Catherine said...

Btw Gracie, Chabon is from the US and Berkeley. :)

Grayson said...

My bad. Don't know where I got the London thing. I'm too lazy to go back and try and find it too... all the London stuff that is. But his site seemed awfully London-centric. Then again, I cain't read; I'm a southerner.