Like a Rice Cake and Lettuce Sandwich--No Flavor
I bruised my knuckle hitting the heavy bag. Or maybe I sprained it, or fractured it. I don't know. But something is definitely wrong with it, so while I wait a couple days to let it heal, and while storms and heavy rains continue to assault the Bay Area, I've got to get my cardio elsewhere. Last night, I rode the exercise bike in our garage.
Compared to hitting the bag or running, the bike is pretty boring. So I picked up a Chronicle. Actually it was last Sunday's paper. Like one of those weirdoes in a station wagon, I collect the damn things. Anyway, I made the mistake, for like the 1,000th time, of reading Parade magazine.
Parade is a fascinating story in no story, the art of non-offending. 35 pages of saying nothing. Interviews with actors go something like this:
Parade: So what advice would you give to the kids out there who want to try acting?
Actor/Actress: Never stop believing in yourself. And listen to your parents (unless they are pedofiles and/or drug addicts. In which case, report them to the proper authorities [this last part implied]).
It is a magazine entirely devoid of any personality or edge. I haven't really been following the whole Charlie Sheen debacle (except for my personal trainer, Adam, shouting the occasional "Winning!" as I am blasting my pecs), but the only way you are seeing Charlie Sheen in Parade is after he cleans up, stars in a wholesome sitcom about a preacher and his talking goat, with a headline like "My Long Road Back," and there will be nary a mention of the dirty things Bree Olson does (OK, that part I picked up on. I mean, she's almost my ex-girlfriend we've been intimate so many times).
You can picture the editorial board's selecting of stories and interviews for Parade, and the pain they must take in aspiring to see that no one is the least bit offended. There are lots of pieces about soldiers returning (but never the conflict's origins or anything remotely bipartisan), old women who take in stray cats (but never delving into the lunacy that is owning three or more cats), someone's harrowing ordeal with danger (but without terribly intimate details), all ending well, one way or another. Feel good stories.
It's OK. I get that not everything is going to be Kathy Acker's Don Quixote or even Pulp Fiction. I just wonder who is the market for this stuff? I mean, fucking Peanuts. Fucking Peanuts wasn't funny the first time, and now Chuck Schultz is dead and the fucking thing is still running reruns. Who the fuck opens up the Sunday Paper and rushes to see the same lame Peanuts' cartoon for the 700th time? Full House ran for, what, like 20 years?
This isn't a political rant (I promise Duane/Jimmy), but even my right-wing friends want some edge to their art (they read this, don't they?) Where do all these easily offended people live? Not SF or LA, NY or even Miami. Not the coasts.
The Midwest. All these fucking people live in the Midwest. Or Texas. Which is why I hate anything not on the coasts, and you can fuck all of Texas (including Austin).
I gotta go. Holden is eating my phone cord. Again.