ww: tom wolfe vs. kurt vonnegut

15/09/2010 § Leave a comment

She is from a small town, cradled in the valley of the Blue Ridges Mountains in North Carolina, called Sparta.Despite the town name’s glorious connotations, the town boasts less than 2,000 people, all of whom speak with accentuated drawls and contractions, “you ain’ known ‘oo dunnit”. Her life there could have been simple, but instead she was given a sense of academic purpose and a will to use it. Her name is Charlotte Simmons.

She got into a prestigious American college called Dupont, where the post-boarding elite and full-scholarship basketball jocks levy the school’s international recognition. Entering pure and naive, Charlotte faces the turmoil of not belonging to either of these categories. She puts her own prodigious prowess on hold in order to fit in. Her story is the same as most.

He is a pensive science fiction writer from the back washes of the U-S-of-A. He is friends, or associates, with an automobile salesman by the name of Dwayne Hoover, a man who could be simple but also thinks too much. The writer’s name is Kilgore Trout.

He has a simple way of enduring hardships as a 3-time divorcée to beautiful and intelligent and patient women, having a son who’s last words to him were “you crawled up your own asshole and died”, and holds a general lack of interest in life. He was given, by his writer, “a life not worth living, but an iron will to keep on living it”. His story is the same as most.

Sitting on the balcony with thoughts in other places and ideas outside my own experience, I can hear the brat below yelling profanities at his mom, “Mom! Shut up. You are such an idiot. Yeah! I will do it when I want to!” His hot-headed breath makes me crinkle like shrink-wrap. I assume by his voice, with undertones of squakishness, that he is in his early teens, an age that you feel forcibly undefinable. He is not a boy, nor a man. He is no longer at the top rung of the school’s social ladder, but rather a freshman or sophomore in some high school. He enjoys playing basketball (most nights I can hear him and his friends playing in his backyard court) but needs to take all his compulsory academic courses. He doesn’t want to do a lot of things, but feels the need to do them. His life probably seems tough.

Last night, Tony told me about a video that shows the relative life span of the Universe. It starts billions of billions of years ago with the Big Bang and fast tracks to our current age of Obama-nation. Even people who live past one-hundred years barely register as any time at all. The video is a visualization, not contrived, of the bigger picture.

Two nights ago, Tala brought Sasha Greene to my attention. She is “hot stuff” right now because of her openness as a sex-loving porn-star with no reservations. She is the hype because of her honesty, her realness inspiring People readers to embrace who they are or what they do. Although the idea is romantic — the people confidently wearing name tags that say “Hello! My name is Sue and I like cashews!” — I wonder what the need is to declare anything at all.

Sometimes we are labelled as egocentric or self-absorbed, wrapping the world around our shoulders, cozying into the idea that our life is so important (and it is, because it’s the only one we have). We come up with ideas and create thoughts that we believe make us unique and subjectively special. If proven wrong, or slighted in any way, we see it is a personal attack against our individual integrity. Reality and experience show that this belief is just one’s pride talking. Reality and experience show that everything is just a beautiful blip in life, moments to be picked apart and plastered like putty onto our own creation of ourselves. The reality of experience shows that there may or may not be a God except, perhaps, the one in our mind. The creator that imagines everything — the good, the bad, the necessary.

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