Messy Look

WildrootcharlieWhen I was a kid I wore my hair presentably long and experimented with Brylcreem, Vitalis, Wildroot, and any brand product down at Thrifties Drug Store that promised to corral my hair and attract girls

I tried the oily look, the dry look, the casual look, the bomb-proof look. For a period in High School I was so anal about my hair that I used great gobs of L & B Butch wax. It should be noted that butch wax was apparently made from wax lips leftover from Halloween, melted down, and mixed with a little lanolin to differentiate it from something used to deflect enemy phasers. The idea was that butch wax would make the short hairs on your head stand up straight and stay at attention. This was especially useful for the ancient hairstyle known as the “flat-top” (an early ancestor of the Fade). An although a often was forced to get a cooling short haircut for Summer, I never used butch wax on my butch haircut.

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Porn is the secret of my future success

Excerpted from article by Lydia Millet in Salon:

I've spent years writing books. Novels, no less. And for what?
I'm turning my hand to the one thing that pays. Sex

lydia_millet2-620x412It seems to me that the time for subtlety, in our American life, has passed. Do we look for subtlety in news media nowadays? In pop music? In fashion? In TV, movies? Even in visual art, is subtlety what we seek out and richly reward? Do we seek delicate phraseology in politics or other forms of public life?

We do not.

Why, then, is literary fiction, that boutique culture where I’ve set up my modest shop, such a stubborn holdout? One thing: sheer arrogance! We offer no popcorn, no concessions of any kind, not the Raisinets, not the sour gummy worms, not the Junior Mints. We offer no booming sound system. We offer no beautiful actors. We offer no dance performances and only the most minimal costuming. We certainly don’t offer libations. Not even wine or beer. Much less cocktails. Strictly BYOB.

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Maigret and Turd Blossom

Cd29vM0W0AQXpOiAn interesting observation from Georges Simenon in his novel, Maigret and the Dosser:

Maigret had known that from the start it would be a lengthy, difficult business, because Van Houtte was not intelligent. Invariably, it was stupid people that gave him the most trouble, because they stubbornly refused to answer, and have no hesitation about denying what they have asserted an hour before, without worrying when their contradictions are pointed out.

Often, with an intelligent suspect, one merely has to disclose a flaw in his line of argument, in his system, and before long everything collapses.

This strikes me as being so true. The subject behind Maigret’s (Simenon’s) observation was a criminal investigation, but doesn’t the same observation apply equally to the modern Republican Party in the United States, especially as has been taken over by the likes of Karl Rove and the ultra-right epitomized by the Tea Party.

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Mind-Games

Wally_CrowdedMallWhen I was much younger I sometimes passed the time playing mind games on myself. One highly sexist and totally shameful game was to mentally set a time limit and then, scanning the crowd at the farmer’s market or enjoying a picnic at the park or rushing to the subway, pick out the one woman I would most want to have casual relations with. Then I would reset the mental stopwatch, turn to the left, and callously cast my lusty ennui in a new direction. Obviously this was entirely mental and I never once even spoke to a woman who caught my attention.

As I think back on these episodes, they did allow me to both notice and appreciate all types of women and at the same time expose my personal ideas of surface beauty.

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