Friday, October 22, 2010

Andre Agassi is a better writer than Thoreau


The ultimate coup of an Open -- as opposed to say a Walden -- is that Mr. Agassi, apparently prompted not by his ghostwriter's advice but by that greater guide Instinct, elects to set his book in present times. Are the hairs on your arms standing up yet?

And in doing so, in choosing our own contemporary era out of all the epochs in material history, Mr. Agassi has freed himself up to tell a story not only relevant to him (he can write about his tennis career, his personal relationships, his own inner psychological dramas, etc.) but to us (we too have an intimate understanding of the world in which he's set his book).

So Thoreau's mistake, you see, is not that he neglects to write about feelings of alienation upon visiting Brooke Shields on the set of Friends (though that would have proved interesting). His error is in setting his work in a time when the very act of visiting Brooke Shields on the set of Friends would be impossible.

The unspoken tragedy here is that it is Mr. Thoreau, not Andre Agassi, who is the more original thinker. Both writers explore the notion that a man's meanest jailor is his own conception of himself, but there's a certain poetic profundity to Thoreau's exploration that Agassi's nakedly lacks.

We may one day meet that writer who weds Thoreau's sagacity with Agassi's topical discussion of such matters as "the 2-year rule" (the idea that Andre Agassi, prior to dating and then marrying Stephanie Graf in 2001, felt that all of his relationships with women became stale around the 2 year mark). Until then, we must accept that our greatest writers are, like us, imperfect. Though some (Andre Agassi) are, by the narrowest of margins, better than others (Thoreau).

It must also be noted that Agassi is the better visual artist. His hardcover book features a beautiful high-resolution image of himself staring straight at us. Thoreau's book is paperback and beginning to tatter.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Average Guy with Common Sense who Lives in the Past

chats up easily-impressed TCBY-dispensing Mexican gal.

Guy: You know had I invested in Apple in 2003 like my gut told me to, I'd be a rich man today!

Gal: Oh, meester, you a beeznees man!

Guy: We shouldn't have invaded Iraq. Was all for it at the time. It's turned into a real big mess.

Gal: Oh, you such a espsanive globeel theenkerrr!

Guy: Life can be real...tricky. You learn a lot from the past. But then you also repeat a lot of the same mistakes.

Gal: Oh, and you pheelosopher like Plahto!

Guy: I'll have a vanilla. Used to get strawberry a whole bunch.

Gal: Weeth mind thass as neembull as oleempic geemnist!

Precocious Four Year Old from the 80s Vs. Rugged Expat

P4yo: I've had sushi. I like the sushi bar. I don't eat the raw fish kind cause not even my dad really does, but I love bbq eel, and almost no kids my age do.

Rugged Expat: I almost died one night during a massive wharf explosion in Kobe. Ended up spending that trembling night in the arms of two kind and rapacious prostitutes.

Rugged Expat wins.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Proudest Moment of My Childhood?

Dragging my kind of selfish 12 y.o. black friend to my appointment with my somewhat inept black doctor and staring at both of them like an eager yenta matchmaker as I thought to myself James! Dr. Hawkins! The two black men who know me best! Aren't I evolved?! Aren't you two both so floored by how unprejudiced I am?!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Child is Father of the Fat Man

You know how after a massive late night meal you'll look at your reflection in a shop window and notice both your protruding stomach and your difficulty breathing and think to yourself, this is so fun, I'm a 20 y.o. skinny kid getting to feel what it's like to be Tony Soprano / Joel Silver for a night.

Actually, you're almost 30 and just a regular fat guy.