Friday, May 14, 2010
"A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." So said Irina Dunn back in 1970. And there are plenty of gals out there who, at one time or another in their life and with great conviction, know just what she meant. One of them must surely be the writer Kaye Gibbons, whose Diving Women I have just this morning finished reading; my cup runneth over. I believe Kaye is the only writer I can recall whose penetrating eloquence will evoke such irrepressible, spontaneous, grateful yawps of "yes!" from my mouth every few pages. Lewis Lapham's essays have been known to affect me the same way. It's the same reaction women the world over have when they find themselves reading the words of some courageous soul who dared to speak the truth: Thank you! we breathe. Thank you for telling the truth.
This has been something of a five day reading jag. A reread Middlesex by Eugenides, and Amsterdam by McEwan. Excellent, fine reads, so very different in style but both read so long ago they seemed fresh and new, inspiring as I get ready to do more editing on my story, anxious to be finished with that so I can start the next one. Reading jags replaced Scarlett variety crying jags decades ago and are my way of gearing up for a writing jag. (I recall one woman saying, "I write in order to talk without being interrupted".) It's a kind of conversation I have with other writers since they're somewhat thin on the ground in my neck of the woods at the moment. But Kaye... I swoon when I read her. Just swoon. A fan letter may be necessary to clear my mind.
So, after yesterday's litany of complaint, let's carry on to more entertaining news. I understand the phone companies will no longer be printing phone books. No doubt they will try to pass this off as "going green", their contribution to saving trees, but it's a foil for penny pinching. We will need to pay now one way or another to get someone's number. I recall in high school being told that if one visited France the tissue offered in public rest rooms was simply the pages of old phone books. Way to recycle is what I say. Leave it to the French to be that ahead of the curve.
I also hear tell that Bert and Ernie are no longer roommates on Sesame Street; the gay thing. As though proximity (two twin beds within a few feet of each other) bred wanton sex. Anyone who watched fifties TV can tell you that simply isn't so. And Cookie Monster is now Mr. Health Food. Um... isn't the name, the fact that his appetite for cookies is monstrous, enough to imply a negative side to eating too many cookies? Not to mention his loopy disposition. No, I guess not. This new breed of witless children need a road map for everything, every relationship. The Dos and Don'ts of subtleties. And Irony? Well you can forget that..
Need a laugh? Here's a marvelous video my son showed me the other day. Absolutely hilarious. Again, something that moves me to whisper thank you! to whatever clever congregation of folks put these kinds of things together for our not so guilty pleasure.
Facebook fans! Check this out. You think these are the good guys cause they're young? And here's my question. For a company with NO income stream, what on earth could possibly make it worth billions to these folks so eager to get their hands on a piece of it? What kinds of information are on Facebook that would make it such a valuable commodity? Who might be desirous of availing themselves of such information as Facebook can provide, to which tens of thousands of people a day contribute information? The NSA? nah. Why would they do that?
Why would all these companies try so hard to get a piece of this action?
Incredible to think anyone who uses Facebook for personal rather than business reasons might expect privacy of any kind. That's, as my kids used to say, just plain dumb.
Finally, sisters are doin it for themselves, right there under the Vatican's nose. And I say yeah, sistahs. My favorite bit in this one?
She liked it better than dolls. I bet her makeshift vestments were snappy. Very Italian, of course.
As always, your comments are welcome below.