"Suddenly There's Vancouver!"
Jeffrey Rubard < email@example.com>
Now for a lighter touch. I went in the Beaverton (OR) library this afternoon, after getting the promised haircut -- I look more like a French cop, though. Since I had forgotten my card and left my ID card back at the homestead, I decided to try and read a magazine: why not the NYRB, which I used to read during those useless days of Risperdal therapy? I sat down and read some articles, including one about the Holocaust: not the ones by Michael Chabon or Isaiah Berlin, but this one by Timothy Snyder, which bore a faint resemblance to a theory I floated about the Holocaust with Lou Proyect and Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. after talking to the ADL pursuant to a girl at the group-home. See how you like our style today.
I thought it was pretty great, although the idea that Jews were improperly counted as Russian "citizens" by the now lean-if-mean Stalin chafed a little (I thought upon seeing the trailer that indie movie *Refusenik* was bound to fuck things up). I left to catch the bus, but those ATU guys are messing with me or anyone that looks like me by now, so I went back: on the way, I discovered I did have my Oregon ID with MES-like picture and former address, so I rolled back in and got my card number. I got on the terminal and I wrote Pinch about my desire not to be the next "rehabilitated" Unabomber (the NYRB published a very learned letter by him about antiquities) but also Wittgenstein For Real; then I floated around a little by the magazine racks again, and saw this:
But you know, when things start leaping out at you it means your "better half" has, like Poison Idea once upon a time, the beat. In other words, well, and of course Jon might be able to do something for you now and maybe you already know and tell that, and well, but I did come up with a pretty cool formal theory of it based roughly on a woman I used to like to pretend was Ruth Berlau 'cuz and "The KKK Took My Baby Away":
link to jeffrubard.wordpress.com
Kind of a bummer, I know, though it's not my job to hold Duke professors' hands (it was my pleasure). However, the other side to this came to me after reflecting a little bit on New Deal iconography. It was a hysterically funny time in American letters, from "We're going down to the Trans-Lux to hiss Roosevelt" to making fun of all the three-letter acronyms coming into use, but really even before the war a lot of it was deadly serious. Roosevelt was not just a great guy, he was your exceptionally rich Knickerbocker benefactor who really broke it down for you, including breaking your mind down: some of those fun sayings like "Careless Matches Aid the Axis -- Stop and Get Your Free Fag Bag" were really 'straight shots' of pure capital (not money or visuality, mind you) that leveled you or leveled you. I have a theory of that, too, but like someone could tell you I'm part storyteller and part autodidact. Better to focus on the Italians, the Americans, and whatever else you ate in Vancouver.