Monday, June 05, 2006

Monday Ritalin: a post for short attention spans

Over Memorial Day weekend, Brian and I watched Michigan softball before his kick-ass barbecue. The following dialogue occurred:

Me: "Wow, this is really bad. I'm rooting for them but I keep saying, 'Go bitch,' and, 'Yeah bitches.' It's offensive, but I mean it in an affectionate way."

Brian: "I think you just summed up your entire personality."
***
I used to think that this guy is the best pure writer among New York bloggers. (And he is very good, even if he gets overindulgent comments.) Now I think the title goes to this guy: "My focus was so intensely concentrated on the nerves in my feet that I think I could have read a newspaper with my toes, no brail. I could have identified Coke over Pepsi with the soles of my goddamn feet right then, I swear."

Other people write sitcoms. He writes short stories. Almost every post is outstanding.
***
On Saturday night, I went to dinner and drinks with two longtime friends who had a baby in December. The rain had just broken. Their baby sat silent through dinner, transfixed by the leaves and our drinking water.

Afterward, we went to get some pints at a bar. (We were those guys.) The baby was happy. She bounced to hip-hop as she held onto my finger. I petted her hair and said things like, "Nice kitty," and, "Good dog." For a few hours, I thought, "Huh. This is okay."
***
In terms of originality and insight, Spinachdip's post beats the shit out of my own weak attempt to discuss the National Review's list of 50 "conservative" rock songs. This should go without saying.

But here's a question:

Where's Neil Young?

"Needle and the Damage Done" was the first anti-drug song by a major American recording artist. "Let's Roll" must have been the first prominent song about 9/11. And aren't, under the rules of this contest, "Powderfinger" and "Down By the River" pro-gun? The only explanation for those songs' omission: Living With War really pissed them off.

Also, what about The Hold Steady's "How a Resurrection Really Feels" -- the New Testament finale to an Old Testament album?

That list blows.
***
Anyone who's traveling to Europe; anyone who's been to Europe; anyone who's heard of Europe: You must read Tony Judt's Postwar. I finally finished it over the weekend. The continent stereotyped for Sprockets and cheese-eating surrender monkeys will never look the same, and you'll never again get distracted by tourist traps. One of the best pieces of non-fiction I've read -- a surprise on every page and an epilogue that reveals the book's thesis with the momentum, logic and credibility of great fiction. It's as good as it gets.
***
A counterproductive Sunday afternoon: I'm about to take a nap on the couch when I get a call from our former Baghdad Bureau chief.

It'll just be a couple of beers.

Eight beers, several cameo guests, a pack of Marlboro Lights, one long-distance inquiry about hooking up with the relative of an Alabama quarterback, and one rainstorm later, I'm home writing this post.

The week is taking shape.

5 comments:

waterloo said...

CrimeNotes,

Thanks for the tip about "Postwar." Add another charge to the Visa ...

Have you read "Europe: A History" by Norman Davies? Perhaps it's a good preface ... albeit a 1200-page one.

Waterloo

CrimeNotes said...

I haven't read either of the Norman Davies books -- either "Europe" or the one about the British isles. My interested in European history is relatively new.

"Postwar" is tremendous, though. Paul Berman also has a relatively new book about Germany that I'm also curious to check out.

Ryan said...

Stop, you're making me blush.

Ryan

CrimeNotes said...

Yeah, I know, Ryan. I'll probably get bored with your site eventually. You should write something stupid and predictable, like about how girls make you mad and how great "Entourage" is.

Ritalin Side Effects said...

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Lance Burnet