Monday, May 19, 2014

People I Hate That I've Never Met

For years I hated Jim Morrison, frontman for The Doors. As a member of Generation X, I loathed most things having to do with the '60s, and to me, the Doors' catalog epitomized the pomposity and self-importance of the Boomers. (I've changed my mind about some of their songs since, but "Love Me Two Times" and "Touch Me" still piss me off.) And Morrison seemed like the essence of narcissistic '60s bullshit - the canned beans and LSD, the Venice Beach "meet cute" with Ray Manzarek, the bare-chested pouty album covers, the rocker flameout death in Paris, the liebestod romances with Rimbaud and Kerouac. But then I found a recording of a bit of an interview Morrison did with Howard Smith. Morrison is talking about putting on a freshman thirty at college, and how he liked being fat. He's playing around with the interviewer, and it's so friendly and and down to earth, it's hard not to like him. It reminded me that hating on people you've never met is a mug's game. Actor, athlete, artist, reality TV "personality," those are only personae. Anyone older than 18 knows that intellectually...but we all have to be reminded, from time to time.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Devil's Dictionary

A hundred years ago, freelance grump Ambrose Bierce wrote a book called The Devil's Dictionary, which was full of the snarkiest definitions he could invent for American sacred cows. Of course, such a dictionary could not be allowed to pass forever from the earth - so the good folks at TL;DR Wikipedia have updated the project for the Internet Age. Enjoy!