Friday, July 4, 2008

A Jon Carroll Roundup

I had about 20 unread Jon Carroll items in my Google Reader this morning, so I decided to plow through and read them. That sounds like I thought it would be unpleasant; quite the opposite, actually - I was looking forward to it. Much in the way I enjoyed giving my apartment a pretty decent cleanup yesterday evening (giant stack of magazines and catalogues? Recycled! Floor? Swiffered! Duffel bag from camping trip? Unpacked!), it felt good to give my reader a little purge. There is still much to do (though I did just mark 249 unread Apartment Therapy items as read...without reading them. the horror!) in order to get caught up, but in the same way I am slowly but surely clearing off my dining room table and my keyboard-cum-extra-shelf, my unread Reader items will someday be down to zero. Maybe.

Anyway, there were some Carroll columns that I thought were just too good not to share. So here they are.
  • Soft Action Shirts: This one had me literally laughing out loud.
  • Clintonmania Abates: About how Obama is making the politically necessary baby steps towards the center, and how it sucks...but so do politics.
  • Operator, Can You Help Me?: It's funny 'cause it's true. Or maybe it's terrifying 'cause it's true.
  • That Noise? Birdies.: Jon Carroll goes to the opera. It really made me want to go to the opera.
  • Trauma Techniques: My high school started the really toned-down version of this, where everyone knows it's going on, and volunteers from the theatre department act in it on the day of. I don't think either way is really effective...but I guess we won't know until it's been going on for 10 years or so and someone has done studies about it. Reading the material at, and thinking about it, I can see how parents/teachers/people who are not disaffected high school students might think it is effective - and it's certainly better than doing nothing at all. However, I know that if this had happened at my school while I was there, we would have thought about it a bit on the day of and then looked at the tragic memory pages for the students who died (usually from drunk driving accidents) that year in the back of the yearbook. I don't propose a solution, but I don't think that this is it either.
  • This one didn't have a title, but it was just so lovely. When I was young, I was really into cemeteries. Now they kind of freak me out, and I'm not sure I'd want to picnic in one, but this sounds very pleasant and gave me that sort of "everything is connected" feeling I get when I'm standing on some sort of hallowed ground...old buildings, historic monuments, they make me feel connected.
  • Remo Man: Read the paragraphs that describe the fantasy remodeling situation. I've never remodeled a home (not having a home to remodel), but my parents did some backyard work a few years ago, so I have an idea of what he's talking about. And I'm pretty sure it's the same everywhere.

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