Mark Spitz had met plenty of the divine-retribution folks over the months. This was their moment; they were umbrella salesmen standing outside a subway entrance in a downpour. The human race deserved the plague, we brought it on ourselves for poisoning the planet, for the Death of God, the calculated brutalities of the global economic system, for driving primordial species to extinction: the entire collapse of values as evidenced by everything from nuclear fission to reality television to alternate side of the street parking. Mark Spitz could only endure these harangues for a minute or two before he split. It was boring.The plague was the plague. You were wearing galoshes, or you weren't.
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They jostled one another, competed for space below as they did above, in a minuet of ruin and triumph. In the subway, down in the dark, no citizen was more significant or more decrepit than another. All were smeared into a common average of existence, the A's and the C's tumbling or rising to settle into a ruthless mediocrity. No escape.
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Nature is a strong brand name. Everybody knew that. First thing, Nomenclature 101. Slap Natural on the package, you were golden. Those words on the package promise ease from metropolitan care, modern worries. And out here, if you opened things up, underneath the cellophane, what did you find inside? That fruit has splendid packaging, it has solid consumer awareness and is an animal favorite. Its seeds will be deposited in spoor miles away and its market dominance will increase. Splendid and beautiful petals are great advertising-the insects buzz and hop from all points every weekend to hit this flower-bed mall. Natural selection was market forces. In business, in the woods: what is necessary to the world will last.
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Two people, two hands, and two songs, in this case "Big Shot" and "Bette Davis Eyes." The lyrics of the two songs provided no commentary, honest or ironic, on the proceedings. They were merely there and always underfoot, the insistent gray muck that was pop culture. It stuck to our shoes and we tracked it through our lives.
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In keeping with my family's affection for doomed product lines and hexed formats, we purchased a Betamax. The year before, we'd bought a TRS-80 instead of an Apple II, and in due course we'd unbox Mattel's Intellivision, instead of Atari's legendary gizmo. This was good training for a writer, for the sooner you accept the fact that you are a deluded idiot who is always out of step with reality the better off you will be.
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As time went on, we learned to arm ourselves in our different ways. Some of us with real guns, some of us with more ephemeral weapons, an idea or improbable plan or some sort of formulation about how best to move through the world. An idea that will let us be. Protect us and keep us safe. But a weapon nonetheless.
You swallow hard when you discover that the old coffee shop is now a chain pharmacy, that the place where you first kissed so-and-so is now a discount electronics retailer, that where you bought this very jacket is now rubble behind a blue plywood fence and a future office building. Damage has been done to your city. You say, ''It happened overnight.'' But of course it didn't. Your pizza parlor, his shoeshine stand, her hat store: when they were here, we neglected them. For all you know, the place closed down moments after the last time you walked out the door. (Ten months ago? Six years? Fifteen? You can't remember, can you?) And there have been five stores in that spot before the travel agency. Five different neighborhoods coming and going between then and now, other people's other cities. Or 15, 25, 100 neighborhoods. Thousands of people pass that storefront every day, each one haunting the streets of his or her own New York, not one of them seeing the same thing.
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There was one moment of intersection, when the topic of hate-watching came up. "Why do you watch TV shows-and keep watching them-if you don't like them?" Terrence asked. Simple: Some days, all you have is gazing upon horror, and the small comfort of being surprised that it is not yours.
Era diventato un conoscitore della poesia trovata nei nascondigli abbandonati. il minuscolo cuneo di spazio stentato fra i mobili ammucchiati e la porta di casa in cui si erano infilati coloro che se ne andavano. L'ampio arco invitante di una vecchia chiesa oppressa dai palazzoni, l'unica porta aperta nell'intero isolato, le macerie sulla scalinata spinte via durante la fuga e il passaggio sgombro a creare una sorta di tappeto per gli sposi diretti alla limousine della luna di miele. Fuori, in campagna, la sola finestra libera fra le altre rivestite di assi al primo piano della fattoria e lo zerbino di vetri infranti. Quelli dentro avevano tentato una sortita e le¬ la storia si interrompeva. Ce l'avevano fatta?
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He imagined a town called A. Around the communal fire they're shaping arrowheads and carving tributes o the god of the hunt. One day some guys with spears come over the ridge, perform all kinds of meanness, take over, and the new guys rename the town B. Whereupon they hang around the communal fire sharpening arrowheads and carving tributes to the god of the hunt. Some climatic tragedy occurs - not carving the correct tributary figurines probably - and the people of B move farther south, where word is there's good fishing, at least according to those who wander to B just before being cooked for dinner. Another tribe of unlucky souls stops for the night in the emptied village, looks around at the natural defenses provided by the landscape, and decides to stay awhile. It's a while lot better than their last digs - what with the lack of roving tigers and such - plus it comes with all the original fixtures. they call the place C, after their elder, who has learned that pretending to talk to spirits is a fun gag that gets you stuff. Time passes. More invasions, more recaptures, D, E, F, and G. H stands as it is for a while. That ridge provides some protection from the spring floods, and if you keep a sentry up there you can see the enemy coming for miles. Who wouldn't want to park themselves in that real estate? The citizens of H leave behind cool totems eventually toppled by the people of I, whose lack of aesthetic sense if made up for by military acumen. J, K, L, adventures in thatched roofing, some guys with funny religions from the eastern plains, long-haired freaks from colder climes, the town is burned to the ground and rebuilt by still more fugitives. This is the march of history. And conquest and false hope. M falls to plague, N to natural disaster - same climatic tragedy as before, apparently it's cyclical. Mineral wealth makes it happen for the O people, and the P people are renowned for their basket weaving. No one ever - ever - mentions Q. The dictator names the city after himself; his name starts with the letter R. When the socialists come to power they spend a lot of time painting over his face, which is everywhere. They don't last. Nobody lasts because there's always somebody else. They all thought they owned it because they named it and that was their undoing. They should have kept the place nameless. They should have been glad for their good fortune, and left it at that. X, Y, Z.
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Her father dropped her off in front of the place where she was to live and left the engine running. Lila Mae removed the two suitcases from the back of the pickup truck. The suitcases were new, with a formidable casing of green plastic. Scratchproof, supposedly. Her father had only been able to afford them because they were, manufacturer's oats aside, scratched - gouged actually, as if an animal had taken them in its fangs to teach them about hubris.
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I get invited to do panels with other Brooklyn writers to discuss what it's like to be a writer in Brooklyn. I expect it's like writing in Manhattan, but there aren't as many tourists walking very slowly in front of you when you step out for coffee. It's like writing in Paris, but there are fewer people speaking French.
Hipsters seek refuge in church, Our Lady of Perpetual Subculture. There is some discussion as to whether or not they are still cool but then they are calmed by the obscure location and the arrival of their kind. Keep the address to yourself, let the rabble fund it themselves. Wow, this crappy performance art is really making me feel no so terrible about my various emotional issues.
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Don't go searching for a subject, let your subject find you. You can't rush inspiration. ... Once your subject finds you, it's like falling in love. It will be your constant companion. Shadowing you, peeping in your windows, calling you at all hours to leave messages like, Only you understand me.
Isn't it great when you're a kid and the world is full of anonymous things? Everything is bright and mysterious until you know what it is called and then all the light goes out of it...Once we knew the name of it, how could we ever come to love it?...For things had true natures, and they hid behind false names, beneath the skin we gave them.
Best to let the broken glass be broken glass, let it splinter into smaller pieces and dust and scatter. Let the cracks between things widen until they are no longer cracks but the new places for things. That was where they were now. The world wasn't ending: it had ended and now they were in the new place. They could not recognize it because they had never seen it before.
Once I got to college, it seemed that the Hamptons were a little bit too posh for me and didn't represent the kind of values I was embracing in my late teens. So, I didn't go out there, except to visit my parents, for a long time. And then, after 9/11, I discovered it was a nice, mellow place to hang out.