Aug 14, 2006

Bla Bla Blog sheep

A famous literary couple in the East Bay had an interesting problem recently. The woman wrote in her blog that she was contemplating suicide. And the implication was, soon. Her husband was on a book tour and had no idea. Someone told him he should check in with his wife. He did and she didn't, commit suicide. Yet.

The person that told me this was sitting with her legs across my lap telling us, my wife and I, about her new lover. We were discussing how much people should reveal in their blogs, and how much men in particular should reveal. That in turn lead to the question of how reserved one can afford to be in this open, all or nothing culture. The answer, this woman proposed, was that you can be as open as you like but what's sexy is the person who withholds.

Which was always true, no matter what feminists said.

But what to do about the blog, that open sesame to experiences that may have interest only to the blogger. And anyway isn't this desire to take ones skin off, and one more proof that with all the activities and distractions, with all the publicness, people still feel disparate and desperate, and have no desire for privacy. In fact, they fear it.

It is increasingly becoming a woman's world, and yet this woman was saying that she likes a man to be vulnerable but not to reveal himself. What's he to do then?

Read men these days and they sound like all minorities, like women writers from India or China. Men are the new wetbacks and micks. And it's interesting to watch them clamour for attention... while women sit with their legs across your lap telling you about their new lover and their old lover and how men are no different than they've always been.

Aug 12, 2006

Mary Before She Was Even a Virgin

The cities creep along.

In car city, nuance is everything, definition and meaning. I lose myself among the nuances, for example, the way in which a subtle fold in the door panel of a new model Acura speaks, the way it creates a shadow, which in turn creates a contour, which is different or exciting, even original. "Wow," I think, and not cynically.

"So clean, so pure." "Follow me," says the design. "Look at me, watch me. You find me hot, no?"

Some of these designs speak like the magician with rabbits, and girls willing to be dismembered and re-membered. Design is mesmerizing, pacifying, even as it is a reminder of Ozymandius's lament.

In car city, I live in the equivalent of an old brownstone walk-up, like the one at 54 E. 66th Street in Manhattan where I spent three years, between 11 and 13. It's a 1990 Saab, with nearly 180,000 miles. It creaks and groans, you can hear the car slowly coming apart, on its way to heap and scrap, black red rust and odorless, colorless dust. And all the while I'm scrambling like a hamster on a wheel to keep it up, dreaming of how I will or would refurbish it, bring it back, preserve it.

Why? Because a car is a Jungian sympol, a subconscious anthem. It's a sign. It conveys work. If your car is breaking down, your work is breaking down. If your car is fast and sexy then you can see the echo in your own life. This is all true in the material girl world, signs are everything.