February 18th, 2004


Pancakes, Vodka, Kissing, Vodka, Vodka Make Russian Winter Bearable

I can't remember who recced wperoundup to me. Maybe kjv31. But those flat, pithy blurbs that mimic the absurdity and horror of AP wire headlines are pretty much one of my main sources of news these days. Funnier than The Onion. Though maybe the tone wouldn't be intuitive to everyone at a glance? It's funny (er, ha) how humor can depend so much on cultural shorthand, idiom, or I guess just the ability to read in a certain way, between the lines, at an angle. Like the roundup's headline, "Fags Marry While There's Still Time," taken out of context, sounds obviously homophobic. But after you read more of the headlines, more updates, you realize that the intended point of view isn't literal. You're meant to read the headlines through the eyes and sensibility of another, imaginary reader: Slacker Joe America, this bored, cynical, apathetic guy who scans the daily news with a dismissive, ironic reaction to everything, a series of knee-jerk reductions that are half dismaying and half painfully true, half reactionary and half liberal. I think more of us are half reactionary and half liberal than admit it.

(All of the above is basically just my way of talking to myself and clarifying something I've only thought about in a muddy fashion.)

The use of "fags" makes me think of a bit from the new Reginald Hill book where Dalziel makes some off-color comment and another character muses that he can never tell when Dalziel is being genuinely, appallingly offensive or postmodernly ironic. I love Dalziel, by the way. Death's Jest-Book is a bit hard to get into so far--all that blather from Franny Roote strikes me as an odd narrative choice--but maybe it'll pick up later.

I watched the rest of "Fredless" and then "Billy" last night. Was struck by how poignant Fred's anguish was when she tried to run from her parents, and the psychological reasons for it. I don't know that I had such a strong reaction the first time around, but it really teared me up this time. And "Billy" is of course an incredibly intense episode, especially all that riled-up Wessage. Charisma Carpenter was too deliberate in her line readings sometimes; it wore thin. But there was so much great stuff, including Lilah-angst. Are there any vids that try to explore Wes's issues? Can't imagine what song there'd be with lyrics to suit him, but I kept having that thought when watching him stalk Fred through the hotel.

I am Slacker Joe today.