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GLINT


So I sat down to read the Sunday Times and my brain cracked. Lately, I’ve had to do an over-intellectualized and highly affected double-take as I pick up the NYT Magazine to ensure an errant copy of Tigerbeat or Utne hasn’t found its way into my hands. It is pop culture, hipster culture (whatever), young and beautiful culture too much, too often. It is too happening. Too with it. Oh dear. Perhaps I’m only noticing this because I AM its target demographic!! How much more susceptible am I to being sucked into its slick cover stories, its photo spreads of hot Hollywood ingénues, its non-news news fluff than, say, my parents? A whole lot, methinks. I doubt my mother’s coffee grew cold as she plowed through last week’s expose’ of on-line love.

Anyway, I read the stuff on the best inventions of 2003 and it cracked my brain. This was due primarily to the extreme expand/contract mental cycle that stupid article put me through. The selections kept veering violently towards “whoooah, they can do that?” and then off into the hinterlands of, “you have got to be fucking kidding me.” Example: Tornado In a Can. Nifty. (Expand.) Tribute Bands in Denial? Nonsense. (Contract.) What is easier to see through--translucent leather or the ridiculously meta-self-referential-narcissism of The Instantly Passé Trend actually making this listing? It is oddly akin to the weird life-imitates-art-imitates-life-apes-real-life phenomenon touched on in the discussion of American Splendor. The NYT splashes “hipster” headlines all over its style pages every week, absorbing whatever fringe characteristics this interpretation of self and society ever enjoyed (questionably, granted) into the mass media garble machine and helps push it towards the great washed masses, and into the dustbin of the ridiculous and passé all at once. Sigh.

I guess I’m lucky to get off easy with just a cracked brain. Some entries almost blew my mind completely. If this listing is a reflection of the “way we live now,” I want out. Immediately. It reads like some total schmo’s holiday wish-list: oooh, perfect espresso! What a wonderful age we live in! Miracles surround us. Sad that cancer cure news shares space with beauty tricks and luxury items (but funny that the Nicotini is there too). I bet a lot of really amazing discoveries were made on scientific and technological fronts this year, not to mention strides in human rights, bioethics, etc. I just don’t know about them b/c I’m so busy reading all this mcnews crap in the nation’s top info rag. I thought inventions were supposed broaden our understanding of our world. These just made the place shrink around me, and feel small and itchy on my skin.

Speaking of wanting out, did you read Saffire’s musings on Bush’s “exit strategy?” I’d like to invite Bush and William Saffire into the men’s room of my favorite bar. I know, wouldn’t we all? But I have a reason to and that is to show them some graffiti that has provoked many a thought in my own mind since it first appeared this summer. On the door, someone wrote: Question your exit.


reflect - reinvent ....rayclaire@gmail.com... what i used to think... what i hear... what i see... where i'd like to be...


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