I grew up with three little brothers. Every Christmas, we'd have piles of toy trucks and Lincoln Logs and G.I. Joes under the tree. Those were for them. For me? My No. 1 favorite present of all time: books. Two or three tall stacks of wonderful stories that I could lose myself in for weeks.
In decades from now, I'm sure they'll say we Joes were all noble, every one of us grimy but patriotic cherubs. Because we won a war. Back home they already do think it, thanks to the publicity teams, the ads, correspondents, censors. I'm not buying it. If we have to come here and fight to do away with your Hitler and the sorry mess he created, then people ought to know just how much the effort sucks all our souls. That way, maybe no one will try a war again.
You should have seen the costumes for the last few prom themes: Pimps and their srteet ho's; CEOs and their office ho's; GI Joes and their combat ho's; Gardeners and their garden hose;Firemen and their fire hose... If you ask me, a 'masquerade' theme isn't flattering for anyones features, nor does it define the apppropriate gender roles very clearly.
The Harvard Lampoon
I went to the archives to see what Dumbo work there was, not for current film, but just for my love of animation. And I couldn't believe all the artwork the guys had done to find this universal empathy to Dumbo. There was one drawing where they used his ears as a sign: "Eat at Joes!" These guys were continually searching and digging to see what that is.
We've been trained to spend money since we were born with all these commercials with toys and G.I. Joes and Transformers. But there's so many things in the supermarket, there's so many things on television that automatically, when you turn it on, are saying, 'Buy! Buy! Buy! Buy! Buy! Buy! Buy!'
The last publicized center of American writing was Manhattan. Its writers became known as the New York Intellectuals. With important connections to publishing, and universities, with access to the major book reviews, they were able to pose as the vanguard of American culture when they were so obsessed with the two Joes--McCarthy and Stalin--that they were to produce only two artists, Saul Bellow and Philip Roth, who left town.
Fifth grade was fourth grade with something wrong. Nothing changed outright. Instead it teetered. You'd pushed futility at Public School 38 so long by then you expected the building itself would be embarrassed and quit. The ones who couldn't read still couldn't, the teachers were teaching the same thing for the fifth tim now and refusing to meet your eyes, some kids had been left back twice and were the size of janitors. The place was a cage for growing, nothing else. School lunch turned out to be the five-year-plan, the going concern. You couldn't be left back from fish sticks and sloppy joes. You'd retain at the least two thousand half-pint containers of vitamin D-enriched chocolate milk. Two black guys from the projects, twins, were actually named Ronald and Donald MacDonald. The twins themselves only shrugged, couldn't be made to agree it was incredible.
Nick and the Candlestick I am a miner. The light burns blue. Waxy stalactites Drip and thicken, tears The earthen womb Exudes from its dead boredom. Black bat airs Wrap me, raggy shawls, Cold homicides. They weld to me like plums. Old cave of calcium Icicles, old echoer. Even the newts are white, Those holy Joes. And the fish, the fish - Christ! they are panes of ice, A vice of knives, A piranha Religion, drinking Its first communion out of my live toes. The candle Gulps and recovers its small altitude, Its yellows hearten. O love, how did you get here? O embryo Remembering, even in sleep, Your crossed position. The blood blooms clean In you, ruby. The pain You wake to is not yours. Love, love, I have hung our cave with roses, With soft rugs - The last of Victoriana. Let the stars Plummet to their dark address, Let the mercuric Atoms that cripple drip Into the terrible well, You are the one Solid the spaces lean on, envious. You are the baby in the barn.