Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Finding Anne Frank

I'll spare you the details of my New Year's--there's a limit to how much you can embellish a night of organizing tools in the basement to make it worth reading. I was, however, listening to the radio just shortly after midnight and some guy came on prattling off a list of lessons learned, endowing them to a younger generation like, 'wear sunscreen' (silly), 'do something every day that scares you' (trite), etc.

I don't make resolutions, and I rarely make promises, but I decided to start things off I would at least get around to getting my archived blogs up and posted. Somebody I was speaking with made a point the other day in this age millions of people are 'putting themselves out there'--through blogging, webpages, facebook, etc.--leaving a part of themselves behind to be discovered by a future age. I remember when I was in junior high a friend and I discovered a stack of trainlogs from the early 1900's underneath the abandoned Doylestown station (we had a habit of ripping out the boards and crawling around underneath the platform, just to see what was down there). It wasn't the books themselves or what they were about (we had no intention of reading a bunch of trainlogs)--it was the discovery of something from another era. At no other time in history have we been able to read about so many ordinary people's everyday lives, and so easily, as we can in this blogger age.

Of course I hope to be discovered someday...why else would I write (blog)? You want to leave a mark worth making. My Ego attempts to ensure that this happens by pushing my writing along, recalling old adages like: "Always wear clean underwear...you never know when you might get in a car accident," or "remember when Clinton had to admit he smoked the jawn (but never inhaled)?" I guess his point is that you don't want to leave behind shit (no pun intended). "El Grande" (his nickname) always dresses sharp and cares what people think. He can be voraciously noncompliant but is incredibly fragile--his sense of self is dependent on affirmation. But if I must respect him for one thing, it is that he is fully convinced that he matters. Unlike the glib pretentious nihilist ("Nada," who drinks umbrella drinks on the black sand beaches of Coasta Rica, waiting for his clock to run out and planning only to leave the smugness of his smile as an artifact for the fucked generations to come), El Grande wants to leave a more profound mark on the world. His motives are mixed: He wants to free his grandiose fantasies from the confines of my mind. But he also knows that it is the actions of noble men that are remembered most.

And so, for his final mark, he desires to be noble. He pours everything he has, everything he is, into this final deposit. The irony cuts like a crisp crease: in being most true to himself--that is, pursing his most egotistical self-interest--he transcends it and leaves the world with a story for all the world to read, like an oyster churning its excrement in its fermenting shell and spitting out a pearl. It could be strung up for a rich divorce in the Hamptons, or it could be discovered by a poor fisherman's son in Havana and used to pay off their boat. You never know what good your shit is going to be to the world. Enjoy the posts.

Music Suggestion for the Day: Madeleine Peyroux, "Dreamland"

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