Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hot Diggity Dog!

Happy day, happy day!  My new books just came in!  The new Dalkey Archive editions of The Recognitions and JR by William Gaddis.  I'm so excited!  Although I just recently finished reading The Recognitions recently (library copy,) I'm tempted to read it again.  Right now!  Best damn novel ever written, hands down.  But I've got too many books going right now, so it will have to wait.  Besides, I haven't read JR yet, so that will have to be my next Gaddis.

One of the books I happen to be reading now is Wittgenstein's Mistress by David Markson.  I have to admit, I enjoy Mr. Markson's books very, very much.  His are some of the most enjoyable reads I've ever come across.  Reader's Block and This is not a Novel were brilliant.  I practically inhaled them.  And I'm having as much fun with this one (funny, his character even mentions Gaddis and The Recognitions quite a few times in it.)  

I also happen to be reading Fernando Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet.  I didn't realize it until after I started reading both, but they each have isolation as a key theme. 

Isolation.  Solitude.  Something I cherish very much.  Don't get me wrong, I love my wife and daughter.  But I also enjoy my time to myself.  Some people can't stand to be alone.  They will do anything to deflect it if they find themselves alone for more than a few minutes:  watch TV, turn on the radio, surf the net, anything to keep from being alone with their thoughts. 

But not me.  It is the only time I can think.  Really think.  And while I've never deluded myself in believing I have anything grandiose lurking in my cerebrum, still, my mind is the only thing I can perhaps ever really hope to understand.   No matter how much you think you may know someone, you never really know what's going on deep in their brain.  Hell, they're probably not aware of much of it themselves.  How could they be if all they're looking for is distraction?

Know thyself, Socrates said.  If I could just accomplish that, I would be content.  And although I'm quickly approaching the half-century mark, I feel I still have a long way to go.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

FFF Unite!

Did you know that the universe continues to expand? It gets a little bit bigger every day. As this happens, galaxies move ever farther away from each other. There will come a time in the distant future when we (I say “we,” but of course we will be long dead by then (although I have been thinking about having my head frozen so my brain could be put into an android’s body when that technology becomes available—and it will happen, trust me))look up to the night sky, and won’t see anything, because the stars we see now will just be too far away. Twinkle, twinkle, little star? Not anymore. The future is cold and dark.

It also occurs to me that humans by then will look completely different than we do now. One of the differences will probably be the loss of our pinkies. And I’m talking hands and feet. I think the pinky toe will be the first to go, because it’s already damn small, and really doesn’t serve much of a purpose anyway. But the pinky finger won’t be too far behind. It’s going to be harder to flip somebody the bird, because the symmetry will be off, and it just won’t look right. But maybe it won’t matter, because by then all of that hostility will probably be gone, since we will have learned to live together in peace and harmony.

I’m beginning to think that certain cartoons, like The Simpsons, and others that show the characters with only four fingers on each hand, may have been due to time travelers coming back and subliminally planting that idea in the cartoonists’ heads, just to give us a taste of what it will be like. Or maybe the cartoonists themselves are from the future. Yeah, that seems more likely. Anybody have any photos showing Matt Groening's hands? Of course, he could just have holographic projectors embedded in the sides of his hands to give the illusion of pinkies. People from the future are pretty damn clever, you know. Evolution at work, again.

But every once in a while that old genetic code will still manage to pop out, and someone will be born with ten fingers. Of course, they will be looked upon as some kind of aberration, and won’t be allowed to procreate. They can’t take a chance of that mutated DNA getting passed on. Besides, who would want to have sex with them anyhow? Disgusting. I mean, it would be like one of us going to bed with one of our evolutionary ancestors, like, say, Homo Erectus. And I somehow managed to restrain myself from making any jokes from that.  I'll leave that to you guys.

But then again, maybe enough will be born (I’m back to the people with five fingers, not the Homo Erectuses (Erecti?)), and they could get together in some kind of underground movement. They could call themselves the FFF (Five-Fingered Freaks.) They would probably have to live in caves or something, so the rest of us normal people wouldn’t have to look at them (yeah, I said “us,” because like I said, I’ll be there in my android body, and you can bet you’re ass it’ll be one of the newest models with four fingers.) But they could always come out and gather together at night. I can see them now, standing around in a circle, their five-fingered hands interlaced, gazing up at a darkened sky and wishing upon a non-existent star for a brighter future.