Thursday, January 22, 2004

Days like today, I realize that I live in New York. I just ate take-out Chinese food for dinner and I walked one block from my house to get it. That is wonderful. Now if only there was a burrito place a block away from my house . . .

I bought some wine and some wine glasses today. I did not write one word of one cover letter. I spent all day finishing Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre, the recent Booker prize winner that has been slammed by a few American critics as a painfully inauthentic rendering of American teen life. The criticisms are true. However, if one can get past the abundance of fat American jokes, the book does have quite a few shining moments. It is funny. I am also starting to notice a shared theme with two other novels presenting unsettling pictures of America: Portnoy's Complaint and The Corrections. In both of these, the father figures have difficulty controling their bowel movements. Portnoy's dad is constantly constipated while Alfred craps his pants. Vernon also has trouble controlling his BMs, having to run off and crap in bushes. Instances of bodily humor are funny because they are society failing, and nature rearing its head to let out a big belch. The body pooping is a fissure in the civilized ordering of things, the body erupts in these books to show that the constructions of society are just that, constructions, and here is a pooping body to prove it - to contrast this act of nature with a society that would hide these things, to show the "unnaturalness" (and I use this word very hesitantly, unable to think of a better word) of the current society.

But these aren't healthy bowels, so I am not sure if this theory is still applicable. Perhaps it is, if we say that these either stopped up or too loose bowels are proof of the "unnaturalness" of society and of how it not only effects us mentally, but also bodily. That our very bodies can also become disordered as a result of a disordered, corrupt society should be cause for alarm.

In other words, I like fart jokes.

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