Thoughts generally are random. That’s what makes them magical. Or at least interesting. The random nature of thought, or what some of us might call stream of consciousness, leads to the difficult brilliance of the likes of Joyce and Borges, or the hilarious (but studied) non-sequiturs of Family Guy’s Stewie Griffin. Wait. I think watching Stewie read Joyce would not just be funny, it would cause a worm hole to open up and for Spock to come back and not die again. (see what I did there? And I’m sorry). Or, look at the clouds in the top image. A bunch of random shapes creating drama and beauty.
So, in the spirit of Leopold Bloom or Stewie Griffin, some random thoughts.
1) I haven’t written here in a while. I know. And I don’t feel the least bit guilty.
2) I was in Malaysia on business a few weeks ago. If you haven’t been, go. If just to eat the food. I tried to eat all of it. I wasn’t successful. I’m going to have to return.
3) Anyone in the West who complains about an excess of materialism has never been to Asia. Ever. And, frankly, does not understand the nature of the world they inhabit. Or of human nature.
4) My novel, that thing that exists for no other reason than I had a random thought and strung some more random thoughts into something somewhat linear, was rejected by another publisher because it was “too quirky.” If I put all the faint praise from all my rejections together, I might have an extremely awful poem.
5) I have been thinking a lot about the nature of time recently, and what a crock of shit it is. Time is a human construct. It makes us feel important. It’s something to own and lament and study. And waste. For proof of this, consider the recent transit of Venus. Without making a joke about Serena. Or at least her butt.
6) Beer is a universal good. Unless you’re not allowed to drink it. Then, what I said is either gloating or irrelevant. (and never mind that some think that beer was one of the reasons humanity went for agriculture – though this sounds like wishful thinking to me)
7) Something might be happening with my Twisters in a secret kind of way. Could be exciting. More later.
8 ) I’m still trying to figure out if the book business is where the music industry was about a decade ago. It feels like that. Except that the manner in which musicians can earn money – by performing – is not really open to writers. Unless we all learn to dance. I can see the TV show now: Writers Can Dance! In this episode: Stephen King goes against Margaret Atwood! But then Amazon goes and buys a publisher – why would they do that? (my guess is because they can and I suspect they might do it again) – and takes a stake in Waterstone’s (a major book retailer in the UK) and, well, who knows? I don’t. I suspect a few things. But I don’t know. I wish I did. Now: Jennifer Egan dances off against Jeffrey Eugenides! The winner gets a three part movie deal, a diamond cased iPad and a new car! Yes!
9) I should write TV. I think I’m going to do that. All the good writing is on TV now. No. Stop. I didn’t say my writing was good. Please.
10) I’ve become like a touchstone, at least my Twitter feed has. For “writing short.” Look it up. Google me (I would add quotes around my name otherwise you end up with a lot of Bollywood – not that there’s anything wrong with that). I suppose it’s good to be known about something.
11) My kid, at 12, has become a teenager. In attitude. But then in a moment of introspection, he told me he didn’t want to be “independent” because that would make him into “an adult” and he didn’t want to become one yet. Of course, this all started because he wouldn’t make himself a snack.
12) The Euro tournament is three days old and I am already sick of the song. I’m not even going to link to it here. Its awful. Europe has a long and noble tradition in music. Why must everything from there now sound like the product of a broken synthesizer found at the bottom of the Danube?
13) You haven’t really lived until you’ve heard a Malaysian cover band do the Bangles at a bar called Waikiki overlooking a swimming pool in the middle of Kuala Lumpur. I think I was drinking Carlsberg. I wish I had taken photos.
14) Why do North American advertisers use British voice over talent? Do North Americans still believe a British accent makes something sound more classy? Really? Are we that insecure? The British stopped being classy a long time ago.
15) The troubles in Montreal. Perhaps you’ve heard of them. Here’s where I stand: I don’t believe education should be free – because it’s a choice not a necessity. Please don’t tell me it’s a necessity. if it were, every graduate everywhere would have a great job right now. Having said that, student debt is a huge issue and I think debt should be tied to income so it can be paid back in a way that is not crippling. Banks shouldn’t make billions on the backs of students. Something feels wrong with that. And here’s where I especially agree with the students: the corruption and waste by the universities is a real issue. The government needs to clean up their own spending before asking students to pay more. But how ironic that the students want the same government or system that encourages such waste to take on the entire burdon of paying for their education? The logic of that escapes me. Mostly, though, neither side, student or government, knows how to escape this situation. Neither side thought the other would be this stubborn. Both miscalculated. I’m pretty sure neither side knows how it will end. Having said that, anyone who thinks this is really about tuition is mistaken. It’s not. The tuition is a symbol but in the end this is not a protest over $325 as some have said. It’s not. If you think so, you’re wrong and need to stop passing judgement. Maybe go back to school.
16) And having said that, if you’re young and don’t raise your fist at the world, something’s wrong with you. Something is obviously going on in the world. There is a sense of the world becoming more and more unfair. This sense is feeding protests around the world. Again, I don’t know how it all ends.
17) Finally, the Boomers in Quebec told everyone “you can have everything for free” but never really figured how to pay for it. I don’t blame the students for saying “But you said we could have stuff for free” and then freaking out when their Boomer overlords take that promise away from them.
18) Boomers kind of suck. But Boomers in Quebec suck the most.
19) Don’t think student debt isn’t going to be a huge issue in the years to come. What’s going on in Quebec is just the start.
20) And just when you think the world is against you, you’re out walking your dog and you see this sight and you think, the world is lovely. How do I make it lovelier? (and isn’t that top image great? I took that from my plane between Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur last week)