The comedy of Fargo is sort of secretly all about the fact that life is meaningless and yet people have to live anyway. This is not what most comedy, even dark comedy, is about. But this is what Fargo is toying with. I think this is what the people behind the TV show understood about the movie that has allowed them to make the show in the first place. The fact that life is completely meaningless and yet people have to live their lives anyway needs to be a part of every detail but it can at turns be funny and at other times horrifying. That’s the game.
In this grim world of ours you have to make tough choices and it is my firm belief that you can only love one Hanks at a time, so I’ve been thinking about it and I’m going with Colin. Sorry, Tom.
Upon hearing that two unspecified novelists with very similar last names have spent their lives absolutely loathing one another, the imaginary grandfather of my daydreams doesn’t miss a beat.
He and I are still deep in some rapid literary conversation but he, with an attentive and pleasant expression on his very grandpa-ish face, starts to move all of one of the novelists’ books. Book by book he brings them all to another place in his collection, doing so carefully even after our conversation has moved on to other unrelated matters.
In reality, I never met either of my grandfathers. They’re, you know, like, super dead.
But in this little daydream, my grandfather is not only alive but is quick-witted as he speaks with me, and, not only that, he is also the kind of man who ever-so-quietly adjusts his bookshelves to make sure the books of authors who hate one another do not end up at rest adjacent to the works of their respective, individually-declared arch-enemy novelists, which is to say, you know, adjacent to those belonging to one another.
Imaginary Grandpa takes books that seriously. He separates those that might fight.
Tell him about two novelists who are in love with each other and he adjusts his bookshelf in exactly the opposite way. Books get pressed close to one another in honor of how their lusty authors feel. You can’t keep love apart, after all.
|—||Enrique Vila-Matas, Bartleby & Co.|
How hot are the deals? SIZZLING HOT.
The deals are fucking sizzling. Listen to them sizzle. They’re sizzling like that because they’re so hot.
Have you guys ever heard the word “tablescape”? I just saw the dumbest thing in history. It had to do with, like, decorating your dinner table for a special occasion, decorating it with elaborate nonsense like selections of flowers and branches that have been thematically spray painted with “mixed metalics”
Anyway I hate people.
HASHTAG TABLE SCAPING
Upon realizing that over the last few years almost all of my most intense, wonderful reading experiences have occurred on airplanes, I suddenly—for just a tiny hint of a moment—have an impulse to throw my phone into the ocean.
I’m at the beach right now. The internet is evil in a way. One good thing about the e-readers like the nook and the kindle is that at least you aren’t tempted to tweet with them and you’re not getting text messages on them, you know? There’s a real danger if you read everything on the thing that people use to contact you. It’s an interruption machine, a distraction machine that you’re using to read—how deeply are you going to end up reading if that’s what you’re using?
Also people talk about beach books but I’m looking around this extremely crowded beach and it appears that there’s no such thing. Nobody has books. Lots of people are using their phones to take photos of the ocean. There are children everywhere and I really don’t care for them when they get at all near me. However, I have to admit that from a distance children at the beach do have their charm. They seem very at home.
I do not seem quite so at home when I am at the beach. Let me tell you about me at the beach: Shoes on. Shirt on. Haven’t touched the water. Reading my book with sunglasses on. I’m all but wearing a large spite turtleneck. But there is something nice about being surrounded by so many people who are on a totally different page than I am. When I go to the beach I feel like a goth girl at the prom who hates everything about the prom so much and so is having fun by confirming her anti-prom-ness or something. That’s the only way I can describe it. Goth girl at the prom—but in a good way.
My new aspiration is to never write a novel but to do so in a much more dramatic, interesting way than all the other people who never write novels. It won’t be easy, but I think if I work an hour a day on it, there’s some hope of my succeeding.
My mom just started telling me about a place we could go brunching in Maine. (Emily and I are going to Maine tomorrow to kick it with my mother, yo) But get this, brunch starts in Maine at like 9 am and there are no bottomless mimosas! Um, mom, what you just described is called breakfast. It sounds like something that would happen in prison or something!
Mom said since alcohol is available it’s brunch. But is it even really available—I mean we’re talking about mimosas that have a bottom! That’s like me putting you in a cage and saying hey freedom is available to you but only inside this cage! That’s not freedom. A mimosa that isn’t bottomless is in a way no mimosa at all, it’s prison food!
Anyway what I’m trying to say is I’m actually super pumped about this trip to Maine. And when I get excited it doesn’t take long before I start yelling about brunch. That’s a well known fact.
There’s a very funny radio ad around here. The whole thing’s really short. An announcer comes on the scene and promptly tells you to make plans to “protect your home against the silent destroyer”, and then there’s a brief pause, and then I’m pretty sure he says “termites” (even though I feel like I’ve basically been taught one way or another that carbon monoxide is “the silent killer”), and then he outlines the contact info for some exterminator company. But I’ll tell ya folks, and I think you’ll be able to relate to this: whenever I hear the ad, during that brief pause, in which you have to deal with the facts (1) that there is out there a Silent Destroyer, and (2) that He is something who needs protecting against, I find that, even armed as I am after repeatedly hearing the ad with the awareness that what the radio dude is about to say is “termites”, I still spend my time during that small nerve-racked silent moment waiting with some defeated resignation, sadly nodding, anticipating with total certainty that, the radio man, who has said the phrase “the silent destroyer…”, will continue, by way of clarification, to say, with some reverb:
THE WARLORD SHAR-GOTH, BLOOD-EMPEROR OF THE MYTHICAL DARK AND EVIL DEMON PRIEST LEADING THE ENDLESS GALACTIC FEAST OF ALL MORTAL SOULS.
Just one of those funny things in life, I guess!