“That’s the whole trouble. You can’t ever find a place that’s nice and peaceful, because there isn’t any. You may think there is, but once you get there, when you’re not looking, somebody’ll sneak up and write “Fuck you” right under your nose. Try it sometime. I think, even, if I ever die, and they stick me in a cemetery, and I have a tombstone and all, it’ll say “Holden Caulfield” on it, and then what year I was born and what year I died, and then right under that it’ll say “Fuck you.” I’m positive, in fact.” – from The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
I could be a bit off base here, but I feel like it’s become something of a cliche to say The Catcher in the Rye is one of you favorite books, but damned if it isn’t still one of my favorite books. I’ve read other Salinger, and I’ve enjoyed all of it. I also know that he has stories that are perhaps regarded with more esteem than The Catcher in the Rye, but damned if I don’t love that book more than almost every other book I’ve read. J.D. Salinger knew how to tell a story, and his style is absolutely one of a kind. He’s probably my number one influence as a writer, and, along with Kurt Vonnegut, is the reason I decided I wanted to write in the first place, even though I can’t tell a story for shit.
Re-reading The Catcher in the Rye as an adult, Holden Caulfield comes off more petulant than he used to, but unlike some other books and movies I used to love, I still find myself identifying with him – often more than maybe any other fictional character I’m familiar with. That’s certainly a testament to Salinger’s gift as a writer, but it also offers evidence of my continued arrested development.
I rewatched High Fidelity for the first time in years during The Shutdown, and I did not find Rob Gordon as relateable (or likeable) as I once did. I used to really identify with Rob, and I liked him in spite of his flaws (without which there’d be no story), but last time I watched High Fidelity I mostly wanted him to shut up, and I sometimes found myself really disliking him. At any rate, I don’t know when (or if) I can watch High Fidelity again. The soundtrack is still great, and I’m thinking about giving the book another shot soon, but probably not before I read The Catcher in the Rye again.
Garden State is another movie I used to just adore, and I wanted to crawl out of my skin last time I watched it somewhere between 2 and 5 years ago. I still like the way the movie looks, and there are parts I still enjoyed, but Andrew Largeman is insufferable, and there were some scenes where I just felt embarrassed for the people in them. That soundtrack is still pretty alright.
“Hey Joel, what the fuck are you talking about?”
Sorry, I got a little carried away. I was just tryin to say that not all things stand the test of time. That’s obviously a well-established truism, but I mean it more like some things are only supposed to be with us during a specific point in our existence. Take Garfield, for example. I laughed myself stupid over Garfield comics when I was a kid, but somewhere in my teens, I tried to re-read Garfield Takes the Cake: His Fourth Book, and I wondered for a minute if maybe I was dead, because I didn’t even smile. It was like reading The Famliy Circus, or Cathy. What I finally came to realize is that Garfield didn’t need to still be funny to me to continue being a part of my life. That helped me come to terms later on in life with my new(er)found disdain for Rob Gordon and Andrew Largeman.
I’m digressing hard here, sorry. I will get to my point, I promise. Onward!
Futurama is coming back (again)! Hulu ordered 20 new episodes, and I’m just fuckin ecstatic. If you give a shit about Futurama, you almost certainly already know this; if you don’t give a shit about Futurama, thanks for reading anway, I guess.
They made 140 episodes over the show’s original stretch (it’s been cancelled at least twice before, and probably thrice, but possibly
frice four times), and there was only one episode in the entire run that I found to be completely unfunny. The most recent seasons were mostly less “good overall” than the “classic” seasons, but it never stopped being a hilarious, intelligent, highly watchable show (except for that one episode). So even though technically the potential exists for 20 clunkers, the odds are in my favor.
Anyhoo, Mrs. Circlepit tagged me in the comments of some facebook post about the news, and I decided to read the comments, because I’m filled with self-loathing.
Sure enough, some know-it-all named Joe had to show up in the comments and fart in everybody’s salad. Joe said a lot of things, but he finished with “Besides, Fry and Leela essentially went back to the beginning of the series, how are they possibly going to move forward from that?” and I was all like “IT’S A FUCKING CARTOON ABOUT TRAVELING THROUGH TIME AND OUTER SPACE, JOE. IT HAS ALIENS AND SEWER MUTANTS AND SENTIENT ROBOTS IN IT, JOE. REMEMBER THE LAST TIME THEY REVIVED THE SERIES, JOE?”
“HOW COULD THEY EVER REBOOT A SHOW LIKE THAT, JOE? HOW COULD I POSSIBLY SUSPEND MY DISBELIEF TO ACCEPT THAT THIS TELEVISION PROGRAM SET ONE THOUSAND YEARS IN THE FUTURE MIGHT BE ABLE TO EXIST AGAIN, JOE?”
Only I didn’t say any of that to Joe, because I don’t think I’d like him, and I don’t wanna waste any of my precious remaining time on this plane of existence interacting with people I don’t like. Instead, I decided to share the contents of my jumbled-ass brain with you gentle, genteel souls. (Not to be confused with my jumbled ass-brain. I’m not ready to share that with anyone just yet.)
Here’s my point, though, because ain’t nobody got all day to put up with my jibber-jabber: some stranger’s comments on a facebook post made me think of that quote from Holden Caulfield up at the top of this mess, and I wanted to share it with people. In other words, Joe got to the comments first, and he basically wrote “fuck you” there, and I wish people were capable of not being such dumb-dumbs.
On an unrelated note, you should proably be listening to Neil Diamond. He rules. Duh.
Thanks for reading. And try not to be a Joe, From the Comments.