Sunday, June 1, 2008

In which I find myself confused, once again

I just finished reading an excerpt from James Salant's "Leaving Dirty Jersey", a memoir of one teenager's drug addled life. I tend to think there's way more than enough tell all ex-junkie books out there and don't generally bother to even give any the most cursory glance. But I read a review, written by someone I know, who praised this book highly, and so, I read.

It's strange to say that reading about a young man's arrest while tripping on acid and taking heroin (at the same time no less) was enjoyable, but it was. I presume the book finds James Salant redeeming himself, but I suspect that he doesn't torture himself over it too much (though I might be wrong). My writing about it is premature, certainly, for I've only read an excerpt.

I liked the tone. He neither makes too much of what he did nor makes it glamorous enough for someone to say, "Hey, I'd like to try that, too (especially the LSD and heroin combo, most certainly!)" He's not Slash or Tommy Lee. He's some guy from Jersey (though it's Princeton, not Newark, and if you know Jersey, you certainly know the difference).

So, what has this to do with my title? I say I am confused, but you may be asking yourself, "what is she confused about now?" Or you may be yawning. How the hell would I know? I probably don't know you.

I wonder what I'm blogging about. When I started this blog, I said to myself that I would write about anything and everything (for it's all interesting, to me, as you should know from the big words at the top). But I do wonder if it's interesting to anyone else. It's so broad, and I know that that makes it marginally interesting in this increasingly specialized world.

I have a desire to write about mental health issues, to take them out of the closet, if you will, but I don't want to write about this on a daily basis. It would be depressing.

This blog is so completely self indulgent, but I want it to serve some purpose. I do, on occasion, think of how others may read it. I rather wish there was an real index, and not just the tags, for I'm so all over the map that it's hard for anyone to find the bits that they might be interested in. I suppose that the person who likes to see my drawings may hate my views on politics, or the person who likes my thoughts on religion may find my musings on perfume to be tiresome.

Of course, I could make the entire thing one long riff on the absurdity of my childhood, but that, too, would get tired after a while, though I have an endless supply of material on that. I have noticed a new category forming: old boyfriends, but until this moment, it hasn't occurred to me to tag that. If I was Jack Kerouac, I would not only tag that, but add a list of how many times I actually had sex with them. Did you know that Kerouac kept such a list? Somehow, this diminishes him in my eyes. But then again, I wasn't all that crazy about him to begin with. I have a problem with anyone who uses the word "dig" unless they are talking about gardening or burying people. See my previous rant on Richard Lewis for more on this.

Again, I have a desire to ask my few readers what they'd like to read. Perhaps I should put up a poll. Yes, that's what I'll do. I'm going to do it right now. Bye.

Painting note: Jean Michael Basquiat "Chicken Wing (Two)" 1983
I was going to use another Cy Twombly, just for the hell of it, but stumbled onto this Basquiat. I love his work. The movie about him is excellent. This is not an exact quote, but I love when his friend warns him about becoming a "famous artist" - "You'll have to paint in the same style over and over again". True enough. Sadly, he died of a heroin overdose before he had to struggle with this dilemma. So, it turns out using a painting of his for the top of this post is quite apt.

Addendum: I put up a poll yesterday and have now removed it. Everything is interesting to me and I'll keep writing about anything, and well, everything. However, I am open to suggestions. If you'd like to hear my take on anything at all, leave a comment. Caveat: I will ignore any requests for posts about quantum mechanics or physics of any sort. But, hey, you can try me on anything else.


Country Mouse said...

Here is my response to your post though I never took this advice myself - JUST WRITE!!!! Don't worry about an abstract audience. Write about what YOU find most compelling. Your take on this wide variety of topics and your natural stream of consciousness style makes your blog a success.

Here's a quote (that I found very enlightening) from the writer and pop culture satirist Chuck Klosterman: "Don't believe anyone who praises you, and don't believe anyone who criticizes you. If you allow other people's opinions to affect how you view yourself, you'll never do anything."

I guess that cancels out my opinion but I'm certain you get the point. Forget us - your imaginary audience.

As an aside, I just used the word "dig" in an email. It was used ironically. If I'm serious about my own advice I'll have to let that slide. I feel the same way you do about the word "sweet". But only when it's used to describe something nifty or cool. Funny what words bug the crap out of us.

Julie H. Rose said...

Interestingly, as usual, I don't care whether others think what I do is good or not. It's about content, I suppose, and just perhaps, when I feel a bit stuck, I would like suggestions because I am lazy.

As to the word "sweet" - ooh, I hate it when people say "shweeet" - I knew a woman who said it constantly and knew our friendship was doomed from the start.