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Monday, January 26, 2004

Not much to report for the weekend, except -- I totally finished some books! Like, three of them!

I'm going to start my review of How Soon is Never? tonight -- it's a Bookslut book -- but I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I like it when naval-gazing roman a clefs can take on a universal meaning -- it made me think about the music I loved in high school, and how much it meant to me. Things mean an awful lot more in high school.

Nicky gave me Total Sell Out, a Brian Michael Bendis collection, for Christmas, and while I'd been flipping through it off and on, I hadn't sat down and actually read it until Sunday morning. Bendis, of course, has moved from being The Hottest Marvel Comics Writer Ever to being That Guy Who Was Pretty Good Before He Started Doing Twelve Books At Once, but his earlier stuff, alternating between super-noir crime stories and cartoony comic strips, is fresh, human, and funny.

I've had Philosophy Goes to the Movies out of the library for forever, so after I finished Total Sell Out, I put on some pants and walked to a WeHo cafe, where I sat outside, ate French toast, drank coffee, and finally finished the last chapter and a half. For a book that was 200 pages long, it took me forever to read this, but I kept getting mired in Marxist theory while on my lunch breaks. (Note for the future: Marxist theory during lunch breaks -- not so good for employee morale.) I dig philosophy, though, especially as illustrated by Monty Python and the Holy Grail (a key part of the chapter entitled "Critical Reason"). I still don't feel like I have the foundation to tackle serious doorstops like Simulacra and Simulation, but the basic principles of philosophy -- question everything and assume nothing -- are ones I can get behind. I just need to understand existing schools of thought a little bit more.

But I got all the time in the world to figure some of this stuff out.

In the meantime, Salon is serializing Dave Eggers' new novel. As I'm the only person on the planet who hasn't read Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, reading this feels strangely out of order. But if a lifetime of tv watching has taught me anything, it's that I like things that are serial.

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