Monday, September 15, 2008
In which I own my crankiness and give you some background
Warning: This post may be offensive.
I'm getting so much vicarious pleasure out of reading various things about Kenny Shopsin and his restaurant. If you care to join me in this, read Calvin Trillin's article in the New Yorker. Then take a stroll over to Serious Eats and read one person's account of being thrown out of the restaurant and told to eat at McDonald's instead. You can also read a quasi-review of the book, "Eat Me", on the same site, where there's a photograph of the inscription, "F*ck You Ed - Ken". Of course, I've already recommended the movie, "I Like Killing Flies" in a recent post.
The book comes out on September 23rd. I wish I had a copy right now.
I feel completely frustrated that I'm not in New York City tonight (well, I am a bit tired). The best I can do is visit Shopsin's on the Web. Cool site, with homey links to some good drawings and other things, though I'm not so sure I feel good about the slick looking Essex Street Market, but I miss the bad old days of the Lower East Side (which is easy for me to do, given as I live in the boondocks). Kenny, if you happen to land on this site, here's a suggestion for your website: have your web designer program it to kick people off who navigate there from webpages you don't like (or randomize it). Then, for extra added realism, they can get some message about why they shouldn't be able to access the information.
I know one web designer who has worked it out so that people who are rude are shut down. I haven't tested it, so I don't know if they get a message telling them what's going on, and I won't, but I may ask if they do (stay tuned).
I thought to myself, "Why are you so fascinated with this?" Why do I want that book right now? Well, for one thing, it exonerates me in some way. I want to own my crankiness (even as I loathe the expression - yeah, yeah, I own my feelings, blah blah blah).
I've been pulling down cranky and offensive posts, trying to take the high road, as if I'm running for office or something. Who do I think I am, Obama? Even he's not taking such a high road!
Look, just because McCain has fallen off the straight talk express doesn't mean I have to become a jerk, but I am allowed to be the curmudgeon that I am once in a while. So what if I'm a Buddhist? Some of the biggest jerks around have been Buddhists! Trungpa Rimpoche? He was a drunk and a womanizer (and no, I don't approve, but he wrote some good books and started the Naropa Institute).
How 'bout Allen Ginsburg? He seemed like a happy, fat Jewish Buddhist fellow, but I know he wasn't always dancing and singing. My father thought he was an ass (though my father thinks that of everyone). Oh, Ginsburg thought my father was an ass, too, and, I discovered this bit of craziness when I was with him at an Apple Store, innocently googling his name in front of a huge monitor. Oy vay!
And no, I'm not giving away the story - if you're really curious, click the link!
Well, I suppose I'm sick of pretending that I'm so nice. I am nice, a good deal of the time. But, I'm also totally opinionated, somewhat bitter in spite of having a crazily optimistic streak, angry, tired and cranky. And if I own it (grrr), it's a-okay. It's fine! I feel oh-so-much better, thank you very much.
Expending energy worrying about hurting others feelings or being misconstrued is a big waste of my time. I am bound to hurt other people's feelings and be misunderstood. That's the nature of being a human.
As a woman (and yes, I am a feminist, and not some newly minted Republican version), I was raised to be deferential, accomodating, smiling, a good hostess, a housecleaner, and a mender, and all this I was taught by someone who held consciousness raising meetings in the living room of my family's house once a week. What kind of crazy making message is that?
Here's some more insane messages I was taught, as a girl:
If a boy hits you, it means he likes you.
Love hurts. Get used to it.
If you're unattractive, develop an interesting personality (but don't let on if you're smarter than the man you're having dinner with).
Tell an interesting story while keeping your mouth shut.
Don't masturbate in public.
Oh, that one is a good piece of advice.
There's more where that came from, I assure you, but I just ran out of steam. It was the last one that did it. Yes, I did receive that piece of advice from my mother. Why, I can't tell you. She told me lots of very good things about sex, as a matter of fact, but I wasn't particularly interested in hearing them from her.
How in the world did I get from Kenny Shopsin to my mother's nuggets of advice? Well, perhaps it's just a neurotic New York Jew thing. Realizing that Gilbert Gottfried(see note at bottom of post) is my favorite comic has caused me to start owning my, ahem, "Jewish heritage" (a topic which deserves at least half a dozen self-deprecating and/or thoughtful posts, but not tonight). Speaking of which, I had forgotten to post this earlier:
The States of Personality
This is absolutely fascinating. Check out how your personality relates to the State in which you reside. I live in Maine and therefore, statistically, I should be neurotic, extraverted, not particularly conscientious, agreeable or open-minded.
I'm originally from New York, so I started out (statistically speaking) neurotic, only vaguely extraverted, conscientious and quite disagreeable, but very open-minded.
I'm thinking "New Yorkers are less extraverted than people in Maine?!" No way. I must look into this further.
What do you think, and are you State-normative? Find out here.
(I believe the correct spelling of "extravert" is "extrovert" but I'm only copying what's on the link above.)
Okay, this long and semi-coherent post is now drawing to a close. What picture will I use to sum it all up? I have no idea. Be back in a few minutes with my conclusion.
Image note: Why? Why not? I was bound to use it sometime. Find a reason. I have mine, and I'm not telling.
The Gilbert Gottfried video is old, and not the infamous Aristocrats one. If you don't know who Kurt Waldheim is, click here before watching the clip.