I'm searching for new employment right now. I have very little doubt that I can get another middling office job much like the one I have now in the near future and yet...I have at least one friend who fears exposure of his name on the Internet in silly contexts will spell professional doom. I gently laugh at his paranoia (as I do the paranoia of others) but I *have* heard of employers Googling people. If that's the case, I'm probably screwed now and forever. But I'm content to be a martyr for truth and freedom. If people are barred from the marketplace because they're funny and interesting, then that's pretty bad for the world.
However I feel it may be appropriate to say very explicitly that I'm really quite a nice guy and I do NOT have actual, murderous intentions towards Julia Keller or any other Chicago Tribune columnists (except Charles Krauthammer) and that I do NOT have any active plans to liberate any animals from the Shedd Aquarium, or any other major zoological institutions.
It's possible that I may alienate some portion of my audience with that obscenity laden title. Fuck them. They don't belong here. Some concepts are obscene. Some people are obscene. Some things just can't be described any other way. One of those things is Julia Keller, the Chicago Tribune's "Cultural Critic". I am a participant in our culture, as are we all, and I want to say right now and for all time that I for one do not appreciate the critique.
There are a lot of things going wrong in my life, now and always, but in a perverse way, I want to thank Keller, for allowing me to focus my rage upon her.
I have detested this woman for years. She writes absolute tripe. Reading her work, you're overwhelmed by the sensation of being condescended to by someone who enjoys not the slightest fraction of your intellect. This is not a pleasant sensation. Her columns purport to bring the enlightenment of her powerful erudition to us mouth breathing masses by referencing great literature or whatever and "cleverly" strewing it with idiotic pop culture. Example, last year she wrote about how Oprah, due to her literacy promotion efforts, should be referred to as "Guttenberg's galpal".
I want to torture her, slowly and methodically.
There are other local hacks who inspire fury, but at least Chicago Reader film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum has the decency to write about stuff I've never heard of while he's implying that I'm a moron. And he's such a hilarious parody of himself that he's great to have around.
I don't think I've been able to get through an entire column of hers since at least 1999. The fists start curling up and I start to get afraid I'll break something.
Her new series of columns is about how she's auditing a class at Depaul about Jonathan Swift. She hates Jonathan Swift. She *hates* Jonathan Swift! Seriously, who *hates* Jonathan Swift? He's probably one of the single brightest spots of the 18th Century canon, and most sane people would probably prefer him to like, ten zillion of his contemporaries. But not our girl Julia who has no use for his "lofty sarcasm [and] misanthropic superiority". She's taking the class because she wants to give him "a second chance". He's been jumping up and down in his grave for this opportunity so I hope he doesn't blow it. She hasn't told anyone in the class about that she's a reporter. She suspects her "cover" is safe because "so many studies show that the under-30 demographic never reads newspapers, they'll surely remain in the dark all quarter long, even as the stories appear."
Then I read (as much as I could stomach) the second part of the NINE PART (rabid Keller fans beware, George Lucas fans were hoping for nine Star Wars movies and our hearts were broken) series today.
What can I say about an article ostensibly about studying Gulliver's Travels that begins, utterly inexplicably with the words "Donald Rumsfeld I salute you" and then goes on to say virtually nothing about Donald Rumsfeld? Okay, she references Rumsfeld because he stands up during his press conferences (like pretty much everyone stands up during press conferences) and she stands during class. Or something, I really don't know. I could go on, but it would take a braver man than I to wade through this typeset muck.
But the best part of the column? The part that I read and immediately knew I would be writing about here? The fact that the column is titled "The Da Vinci Code of its day".
Her crimes against logic, language and literature defy both comprehension and forgiveness, but because I am a fundamentally compassionate man, I offer these words of warning to Ms. Keller: Don't ever let me catch you in a dark alley, BITCH!
I think I'm fairly similar to Martin Luther King Jr. in that we were both born in January.
Like most Americans, I spent his day in quiet, reverent contemplation of his life and work. That's not entirely true but I read some articles about him and watched a documentary. People from my hometown threw rocks at his head. That's a pretty infuriating thing to read about. I was thinking how a lot of those people were very young at the time and their probably walking around this city (well they probably mostly moved to the suburbs) and I would like to throw rocks at their heads. This is not what the man himself would have wanted but bugger nonviolence, I think it would make me feel good.
Best Chicago related thing this week: Shedd Aquarium. I've got this whole plan to liberate sea otters from captivity now. My plans are rarely pragmatic but always visionary.
My birthday was this past Wednesday, I got some really great phone calls from well wishing folk. But some people who called me last year failed to call me this year, an unacceptable decline in standards. And yeah, I *know* I didn't call you on your birthday and it's only a week before mine, but two wrongs don't make a right. So I say this with a heavy but determined heart: Eamon Johnson, you're on notice.
Well it *is* past midnight I guess it's a time for lethargy. Still I was hoping to shave tonight. And do pushups. Didn't do either of those things. You may have noticed that my ambitions are not exactly Shakesperean in their scope these days. The imminent onset of middle age you know. Worked a bit on the second draft of my current play. So much for the last night of my twenty eighth year (that means I'm going to be 28, lot of people don't get that, it's the same thing with that whole millennium controversy) Of course, it's technically 1/11 now, making it my birthday. I have passed through Rock Star Death Age intact. I'm not sorry I'm alive, but I am sorry I'm not a rock star.
Jon Stewart's hosting the Oscars?
I am so seriously watching them this year. Take note TV network folks.
It's hard to imagine something more screwed up than what happened to those miners in...Pennsylvania. I assume. Wherever it was, it was very terrible. At least 12 miners are dead, but the awful thing within the awful thing is that bad information led their families to believe they were alive when they were in fact not alive. They were all gathered in a church, holding a vigil, when they heard the fake wonderful news, they burst out into rapturous gratitude towards God, whom they credited with Doing the Right Thing By Them. They praised Him and they thanked Him and they glorified Him, for saving the lives of their fallen loved ones. They sang "How Great Thou Art".
Then it turned out to be bad intelligence, the miners were dead after all. And joy turned to grief turned to fury. They were furious, with good reason, at the people who'd bungled the information. God though?
I doubt many of them got all that angry with God. Conforming to the illogic of what the Bishop John Spong calls the "Santa Claus God", we are given to understand that He Works In Mysterious Ways and We Cannot Know His Plan. Nobody's singing "What a Dick Thou Art". I don't know the plan, that's for sure, I just know twelve working men died on the job and that sucks.
So, New Year's Day. Have been feeling disgustingly lethargic for a while. This is wrong, I should be doing things instead of not doing things.
2005 was to be The Year My Enemies Fell Before Me. This turned out to be true, as I am tripping over fallen enemies right now, but not true to a sufficient degree at all. Therefore 2006 shall be The Year The Enemies Stay Down And Don't Get Up Again Because I'm Serious About Not Being Threatened By My Enemies.
I feel I could accomplish this much better if I weren't lying in bed websurfing and such.
Must do things. Will be attending New Year's Pancake Brunch in a few minutes. That's sort of like doing something.