Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Theoharides on the Apocalpyse

Hey, my Puddlers. Sorry for the lack of action or communication over the past week or so—writing up these hilarious lists, maintaining an absurdist based Twitter feed, and posting things to Reddit can really take the life out of you. I also went away for the Memorial Day weekend and I have some kind of idea swirling around for an epic post; something with "mud on it" as Delmond from Treme so recently said on a great episode of that show. I'm going to try to get it up here this week, but it may have to wait until next week due to my busy personal and professional life (plus the NBA Finals is taking up much of my attention).

Also, later this summer I will be taking a break from posting in order to finish my revision of Last Mound of Dirt so that I can begin pitching it to agents. This should also coincide with the redesign of the entire site, so stayed tuned for announcements regarding all of that. There is no Mad Men season this summer so I won't be doing recaps to fill in the space. Instead I may just post guest posts and small little updates or thoughts from myself. Nothing going over 300 to 500 words, though. We'll see. I may just give the entire world a vacation.

Anyway, this week we'll have a Mark Jack post on Friday and next week or the week after we'll make another stop in the mind of Puddles of Myself Special Guest Columnist, Erik Lilleby, who will share another personal story.

However, today, we have Mr. Alex Theoharides who has a few things on his mind:

Theoharides On America in the Age of the Apocalypse:
A Rant & A List (Let’s Call it Wednesday)

Alex Theoharides

The Rant (written, as all good rants should be, in the third person plural):

America the wonderful, we proclaim. Land of opportunity and of Thanksgiving. Jazz and Hip Hop. Steinbeck and Kerouac. Cracker Jacks and Micky D’s. Microsoft and Macintosh. Baseball and Football and Basketball (oh my!).

And yes, also the Land of the Apocalypse.

This past month, Americans have waited with baited breath for the earth to cave in beneath us -- our breath held not because we fear the end of the world, but because we secretly pine for it, longing to be witnesses to the end. How else to explain our obsession with crazed preachers and Mayan calendars, our deep-rooted affinity for movies such as Armageddon, Mad Max, Water World, I Am Legend, novels such as Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and Roberto Bolaño’s 2666, our bitterness that this past week didn’t end with earthquakes but with yet another proclamation -- the end is nigh, the end is nigh.

America’s obsession with the Apocalypse stems from our base understanding of ourselves, of our nation and its place in the history of the world. American children are taught to be dreamers, to live with a suspension of disbelief; the suspension being, of course, that America is the ideal society. Borne out of the linear dynasties of Greece and Rome and the United Kingdom, America, we feel in our heart of hearts, our bones, is the land that stands for all that is right in the world. Sure we protest the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, we bemoan the actions (or lack thereof) of our political elite. Certainly, when we travel abroad, we feel contempt for our fellow stupid Americans. However, lurking just beneath our skin-deep criticism of our nation is our deep-rooted pride in the American Dream, in the Greatest Generation’s storming of Normandy, in the Beats travelling by jalopy from sea to shining sea.

We want America to go out on top. We don’t really care about the threat of global warning. We’re not good about conserving water, recycling, reusing, or reducing. And we secretly suspect re: (hope) that the rash of earthquakes, giant waves, hurricanes and tornadoes that have occurred over the last few years is a sign. A sign of what? Of the Apocalypse (cue somber music), of course.

Signs of the Apocalypse

Yesterday, two eight-year-old boys in front of me on line at the local Dunn Bros coffee shop, ordered Caramel Mocha Lattes.

Barry Bonds, without making a big deal of it, without even jamming a single needle up his sizable rear end, offered to pay tuition for the kids of the Giant fan in a coma.

The President of Urban Outfitters (yes, that hipster locale) has been making large donations to anti-gay politicians.

Lebron’s “The Decision” turned out to actually be good for the NBA.

A fetus has over 200 friends on Facebook.

A rash of horse herpes has forced a group of riders to practice their craft on … wait for it … stick horses.

Airline passengers got into a fight over a reclined seat.

And yes, I wrote a blog post about the Apocalypse.

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