Monday, February 18, 2008

Reading Takes Forever

I've been on something of a reading jag lately which I'm sure I have my newfound singleness to thank, but I also have to the acknowledge the role the new year's played in all my bookishness. There is, simply, so much good shit out right now! I'm not sure when the book industry's Super Tuesday normally is, but there just seems to be a glut of exciting books on the horizon.

I'm currently reading Charles Bock's Beautiful Children which has been getting some great buzz so far, and I just finished José Saramago's Blindness (an oldie but goodie). Saramago's a Nobel Laureate with a severe case of the magical realisms, which I've never been a huge fan of, but Blindness is refreshing if for no other reason than the shear amount of shit and defecation that makes a special guest appearance throughout the novel. Conversely, this is also the reason I'm sort of sad to see this picture of Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo in the film adaptation:

Moore and Ruffalo: Spic and Span

In the novel, Moore's character is the only person alive who retains her eyesight while the rest of humanity is struck by "white blindness", including her opthamologist husband played by Ruffalo. Everyone goes around shitting any which where and not wiping themselves and sleeping in shitty bedclothes and having sex with shit-covered partners and basically being pretty shitty to each other both literally and figuratively. At any rate, Moore and Ruffalo are way too clean in the above picture and even if this scene takes place at the film's outset, I'm pretty sure a major Hollywood production isn't gonna be willing to take it there quite like it should.

The only complaint I find myself making about reading these days is that it takes forever. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that's part of the appeal, but I have such a backlog of insanely awesome books waiting that I can't help but want to pound through them faster. I'm actually shocked that I get as much reading done as I do, but I suppose this is part of the appeal of public transportation and recumbent bicycles at gyms.

That's not to say that I'm not still appropriately depleting brain cells by watching television. These days, pretty much the only shows I watch on a regular basis involve celebrities in faux rehab, or poorly-dressed women in serious need of some sartorial rehab. I did, however, rewatch Annie Hall for the first time since high school last night and might I just say, MY GOD, how that movie takes on a new meaning once you've been through a handful of relationships in the interim.

Who plays doubles tennis anyway?

In high school, I loved Annie Hall. It was witty, it was about New York, it had undertones of LA-hatred, and most importantly, it had Diane Keaton in menswear. Essentially, it was pretty flawless. Yet, I watch it now and it's lost much of it's luster. I suppose I don't think it's any less of a movie, but my perspective has fundamentally changed. I was once able to interpret Allen's character's egocentric musings as lovable but now they come across as blatantly destructive. Pardon the cliché, but if I had a dime for every time a significant other of mine turned one of my problems into something about himself, well, I'd (to continue this post's defecatory nature) be shitting bricks of gold.

It's also worth noting that 2008 John views Diane Keaton's character as vaguely cloying (what movie of hers isn't these days?), and all the couples activities as hopelessly unrealistic (who plays doubles tennis or goes to museums together anyway?).

So, for now, I'm sticking to books. I'm sure all of this will be over as soon as the new season of Dexter premieres, but since the writer's strike slowed things down on that front, I've got a little bit more time to eat up some good lit.

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