The metaphysical beauty of a ruined abstraction

I sometimes suffer from an inchoate ambition to express everything in the world at once.

I like Charlie Kaufman — Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich. His new movie, Synecdoche, New York, looks fab. Kaufman believes in a life of the mind and that’s why I’m waving to him as he sadly takes off with his solipsism in the face of public scorn. You could call him a poster boy for postmodernism and a bright buckle off Jean Baudrillard’s fancy shoes, but even without the “precession of simulacra,” Kaufman can make a movie that gets us thinking. But that’s not too hard in an industry where talking dogs, the orgy of violence, feel-good blockbusters, and next-door neighbor humor dominates.

We are living in a time of paucity of wit and satire and the life of the mind.

It’s all easy gropes, grisly beheadings, Jane and Dick intellects, bland experiences, milksop music, adult babies with a mother fixation, glamour emotions, lipstick truths, and the fornication of the idiot over the amour of the poet.

I think if you asked the average man if he’d rather shag the washerwoman or fuck the marquess, he’d produce an anvil.

If you asked the same man if he’d rather read a book or squelch around in the same ignorance, he’d produce a pitchfork and shout for your burning.

If you asked the same man if he’d watch a movie that stimulated his whole being or shut down everything but the groin, he’d produce a vibrator.

If you asked the same man if he could name just one tree, flower, distant planet or guess the next American Idol, he’d produce something made in China and call it homespun ingenuity.

If you asked the same man about life, love, death, he’d talk to you about money, fear, and hate. Then he’d produce an atom bomb.

The seldom seen kid

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