living in the past is wrong
it may be tempting to dwell
when your life’s gone to hell
but sometimes you must simply move on
The Tropic of Answers
Today I finished The Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller, the last book I’ll read “for fun” in a very long time. It’s not because school starts up again next week - I never let that claptrap get in the way of my reading - but because a lot of what I read is superfluous. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the Tropic of Cancer and one day I’ll get around to The Black Spring, The Tropic of Capricorn and any other Tropics he’s excreted over the years, but the novel has very little to do with my as yet undefined worldview.
Sure we would all want to traipse around Paris starving and dodging syphilis, yet it all seems so pointless. Maybe that was Miller’s intent to show that, in the words of N.W.A., “Life ain’t nothin’ but bitches and money.” And so that may indeed be true and one day I may indeed double back to The Tropic of Cancer and worship it thusly. For now though, that doesn’t seem to be the case, so I’m left to marauder in a direction suggested by arbitrary gut feelings that advance and retreat inexplicably.
People tell me I’m an “old soul.” If that were true, I don’t think I would be so unsettled. Unless age doesn’t bring wisdom or certainty or comfort. Maybe to be an “old soul” isn’t the compliment everyone thinks it. To be an “old soul” might just mean someone who knows that life itself is spinning out of control and that there’s nothing that can be done to stop it. Therefore, the sign of a wise man is not knowing that you don’t know anything at all, but instead knowing that you don’t know anything that can relieve your pain. I am, as Miller put it, “inexplicably healthy,” leaving me plenty of time to burn out on the way towards the next
Anonymous said: wine guzzling jackass
Well what’s so bad about that?
Anonymous said: You windy cuntbag how dare you attack six word stories?
You know you can only call someone a “windy cuntbag” once and been seen as perhaps a tad creative? Yet you expend it on me and on this of all things.
My position needs very little defending but here it goes: Six word stories are cheap, lazy porn for the Twitter age for people who can’t sit through a 60,000 word story. They are a cheap, masturbatory exercise for people who think they’re the next Ernest Hemingway trying to emulate “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” that “story,” by the way, has at best a very dubious link to Hemingway. And that’s a very good thing because a story like that would tarnish his legacy.
That baby shoes nonsense, we’re told, is suppose to break our hearts because the baby died. This explanation carries about as much plausibility as mine: that the baby was a fickle brat who wouldn’t wear the shoes, turning this tear charmer into a story of babies with a fashion sense.
ISIS probably writes six word stories.
Anonymous said: Hi Zack! Just to say that I too have Christopher Hitchens-signed books precious to me - he was giving a talk in London, so I took a couple of paperbacks along and he was kind enough to delay his departure to sign them. I may not agree with every single thing he said or wrote, but his good sense is evident and I respect him utterly. You have a great tumblr, btw!
I don’t really get jealous, except when I meet people who have met Christopher Hitchens. My greatest regret in life is that I never met him.
One of the great things about him was that he gave so much of his time to his fans, especially young people, often going out of his way to do so.
Thank you for the kind words about my Tumblr. I’d like to give an opinion on yours, but I don’t know who you are!
ashleyconda said: can *i* take you on a date?!
Maybe if you do something about Ferguson, Mr. President.
Anonymous said: Are you single and can we go on a date?
Oh now, now…