The Will To Flower
Always, the relentless prospect of having to support oneself, not for a day or two, but until the end, whenever that occurs; of needing to perform maintenance, simply to preserve this already woeful state of affairs; of contending with the specter of consequences in the event that one is unable to fulfill these basic obligations.
What Janet plans to do at her place by the lake in a few weeks.
Host a shindig.
What happens to Janet when she stays in the house too long.
Janet’s elegant solution to the problem of getting nutty.
Get out of the house a little.
Epicurus claims that one is capable of finding spiritual equanimity under any circumstance. Meanwhile, parked at a rest stop along an unrelenting stretch of Midwestern interstate, I observe a tired woman Windexing the glass doors of an edifice denoted by a sign (mistakenly, I assume) as the Welcome Center. Minutes later, she’s moved to a metal bench, where she smokes a cigarette while gazing without interest upon a collection of nearby weeds.
The tableau would appear to offer a compelling counterargument to Epicurus, who unfortunately — owing to his death thousands of years ago — is unable to enter the debate.
From a notebook of Tupac Shakur come these lines from a draft of “California Love,” his 1995 duet with Dr. Dre:
Say what you say—
Give me that bomb beat from Dre—
Let me serenade the streets of LA, mkay?
Among the Hugs
It requires a certain interior strength to begin reading a novel and then, finding that it’s poor, to excuse oneself from completing it. With practice, however, it can be done.
For example: after considerable training, I’ve developed the ability to not even start reading in the first place. Each day, I specifically not read hundreds of books. Perhaps even thousands. Indeed, thousands is probably closer to the truth.
The End of History. After the End of Art. There exists a compulsion among modern intellectuals to pronounce the death of otherwise seemingly interminable concepts. Or there appears to exist such a compulsion, perhaps is the correct way to phrase it. In fact, reason dictates that such titles represent a calculated means by which to prevent the end of something else — namely, of book sales.
It’s easy — and perhaps even glib — to suggest that the only sort of acceptable polemics are those which condemn polemicists and their work.
Which, that’s why one ought to suggest it: because of how easy it is and simultaneously true.
It’s either impossible or rare to extract pleasure from the contents of a lecture while also harboring a low opinion of the lecturer himself. The inverse arrangement, however — that is, to find a lecturer compelling while simultaneously possessing a lack of interest in the topic — this is quite common.
Are there grounds, probably, on which to dissent from the substance of these remarks? Probably. That said, one can’t spend the day in explanation.