23 March 2003, 01.51

Do you like American Musick?

back & forth

From the Damnfool Files : Wondering why the hell I still couldn't access the new members.diaryland.com — shit, I thought, C*mc*st may indeed have wretched service, but they would have reset their DNS servers by now . . . then (purely by accident) I had to restart my browser. Huh, that worked ; yes, mesdames et messieurs, I do do this for a living.

I don't travel in cars very often these days. I ride a bus, I can say, in my manliest voice. Bus-riders of the Plains. Riding a bus feels urban without being urbane. It's a pleasurable guilt, or a guilty pleasure, or something. The Invader Zim episode I watched this morning with ED and KH included a horrifying scene with our little green friend surrounded by the raw, oozing humanity of bus-riding. Bus-riding : on a bus, Rabelais would be in heaven, if they allowed you to drink on the MBT*. I read lots of Rabelais on the bus. Ye cannae shove yer granny, et c.

From time to rare time I ride in my friends’ foreign cars. I almost never ride in *m*r*c*n cars. The last person in whose capacious *m*r*c*n car I remember riding is probably JT, way back a billion years ago. The front seat was the size of a basketball court ; I cowered on my side of that leather desert trying to get my point across to JT in semaphore. If pressed, I will concede that MG had for a while an old domestic vehicle (behind its vast wheel the six feet of him — plus — nevertheless looked like a ptarmigan steering a battleship) but it was most inessentially a "car", in that it didn't work, and any americanness to it was overpowered by the more pungent alterity of age. Besides, MG's Car per se Car was swedish. It's SwEEdish! My hairdresser says simply EVERYTHING's going to be SWEEDish this year! Cars of memory have always been some comfortable japanese or german car. My parents have always enthusiastically purchased japanese cars, most of my friends like the brisk teutonic engineering of VWs. I joked ruefully when I moved into the Q***r W*rld that if only I'd bought that sweet little Maserati, the three of us (then and there) could have put on Cars of the Axis Powers! : the Musical. I thought to myself on the way home from the movie this evening that in twenty years — who knows? — we might all be driving *r*q* cars (those of us who drive, who would not be I). No, no — that's all wrong; it will be the *r*q*s who shall be driving *m*r*c*n cars; history, having played itself out in today's deadly dumb-show can then return for the twenty-year play-by-play commentary-cum-sequel-franchise of McD*n*ldses and Chr*sl*rs. The aggressors somehow leak through, wondering why, wondering who they are at the end of it. In twenty years we'll have new Marriages of Maria Braun and shibuya-kei to show for it, at least, I hope. [You can insert your theories about the act of violence and appropriation that is *m*r*c*n music here.] Machtlos ist besser zu sein, says Hedwig's mutti.

The only exceptions to my no-american-cars rule or rather invisible guideline have been taxis, of course, and taxis are definitely enemy territory, rather like buses but even less predictable and a great deal more expensive. I didn't have to take a taxi tonight, because I went to see Adaptation in H*rv*rd Sq*r*, afraid I'd miss it if I didn't see it now. It was very good, which is to say I liked it. As Old Housman puts it to Young Housman in The Invention of Love, when YH asks about Baehrens' Propertius edition: “Oh,“ asks young Housman “. . . so is he good or bad?” — “On that,” says AEH, “You’ll have to ask his mother.”