Sunday, November 22, 2009

True stories

Hypothesis: A bad play is better than a mediocre movie, because a live performance, when it fails, fails in interesting and complicated ways (Is it usually better? Usually worse? Who is at fault, one or many? What effect does the audience have?), whereas a movie, as a finished product, is understood to be the best version of itself. A movie's failure is not dynamic or interactive.

I had a nice day yesterday. I woke up around 6:30 (why do I wake up early on the weekends when it's so hard to get up on the weekdays?), cleaned the bathroom and ate a big breakfast, then got coffee with my friend Kate at Ula, where we saw a tall, almost "modelesque" guy walk in wearing a red onesie with penguins on it. He seemed cold, but impervious.

Then I got my hair trimmed at Biyoshi. On my way there I was semi-accosted by some (drunk?) Allston guys. Went something like this:

D-Bag #1: Where'd you get that iced coffee?
Me: JP.
D-Bag #1: Where?
Me: Jamaica Plain!
D-Bag #1: (something unintelligible)
Me: What?
D-Bag #1: (louder) What, you don't like techno?
Me: o_O

Then Douchebag #2 runs over and gets right up in my personal space, so close I think he's going to kiss me. But instead he just sort of fillibusts, like he's trying to keep me interested while he works out a plan. I tell him I'm going to be late for a hair appointment, and he asks me, "Color or trim?" He says I can be late for a trim. Then a minivan pulls up and his crew all starts piling in and a girl calls out to him, "Brett, honey, we gotta go!" He looks disappointed that the tension he's managed to fabricate won't come to a resolution. Was his motivation solely to impress himself upon me, random passerby, to force a stranger to remember him if only for a few hours? The pathological egotism of the douchebag. The fear of disappearance of the douchebag.

After my haircut John and I walked over to the Sam Adams Brewery and took the free tour. Then I made risotto. Then we went to a show at Johnny D's, part of Music Hack Day. It was a good show. First up was Faces on Film, and their set was very pretty and atmospheric. Next was Bodega Girls, who would make a good wedding band. Their enthusiasm was hilariously out of proportion to that of the audience. This one dude on a laptop kept taking off more and more layers. Last was El-P, a pretty awesome experimental hip-hop/rapper dude + friends. An excellent live music experience all in all, especially since we got to sit down the whole time, with table service from an incompetent but adorable waitress.

Tonight we saved a stray kitty. It was so little and scared, and we had to kind of corner it (sorry, I don't know how to sex kittens) by this dumpster where it was foraging for food, then we carried the poor little guy (/girl) to the shelter. About halfway there it tried to leap out of John's arms and then puked on his sleeve, but he was brave and stalwart and didn't drop it. Kitty! You should all go to the MSPCA and adopt it. A little black & white kitty. Why are kittens cuter than babies? Evolution-wise, it seems unsound.


  1. i always get nervous at plays because i'm afraid the actors are going to forget their lines or trip or something.

  2. can u generate a plausible convo involving two consecutive o_Os, e.g.

    A: o_O
    B: o_O

    how about three?

  3. if it was a three-way convo one guy could say something baffling and then both other parties could go o_O in turn.

  4. not bad, but i was hoping for more boundary-pushing along the lines of

    "Punctuate the following so it makes sense:

    'John while James had had had had had had had had had had had a better effect on the teacher'"

  5. El-P was at Johnny D's? Thats buts.

  6. Why use a mysogynist term as a name-marker?
    Ok, maybe one could make a genderbending argument, but, mmm, nah, I'm not sold. Ok, to backtrack a bit: I know douchebag is a colloquialism at this point, but...does that make it immune to critique?

    Adam Strauss

  7. It's news to me that "douchebag" is considered a misogynist term, honestly. I run with a feminist crowd around these internet parts and I've never heard that complaint lodged. But I don't want to offend people inadvertently.

    Is "scumbag" sexist by the same reasoning?

  8. @Brian: "Thats buts"? I'm not familiar with this phrase. I'm learning a lot today.

  9. I'd argue the term is problematic because it is one which, in its literal meaning, denotes women--well, a function which pertains to the female realm--so it's not just a negative term, but one with specifically feminine connotations; it may then be that to use the term for anyone, and perhaps especially a guy, is troublesome because it potentially implies that the wrongness has something to do with a specifically gendered component; I know that the term is used much more generally than that, but I think one can make a case that disses with overt connections to one gender are worth wondering about. Colloquialisms are fascinating to me precisely because they morph denotative meanings so much so frequently. I hope all's well.

    I don't for a seocnd think I've made a perfect case: I'm just trying to propose a possible way of viewing the term.

  10. I see your point, that it's fraught for similar reasons as using "gay" to mean lame. The difference, I think, is that "douchebag" is more tenuously connected to gender. Yes, douching is traditionally associated with women (and I think calling someone, say, "doucher" as an insult would be worse) but the douchebag is the contraption, not the woman.

    HOWEVER I did a wee bit of research and saw a claim ( that "douchebag" was originally used to insult women (whereas now it seems to apply exclusively to men) so, historically, I guess it is sexist. (The feminist who wrote the article says she didn't know this either, before consulting the OED.) I think the fact that the word denotes a thing, not a kind of person, has allowed it to morph to the point that most people don't hear it as problematically sexist.

    Anyway thanks for coming by and commenting.

  11. John "while-James-had-had-had-had-had-had-had-had-had-had-had-a-better-effect-on" The Teacher.

    Sort of like Jesse "the Body" Ventura, only a more post-post-post-post modern World Wresting Entertainment wrestler name.