Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I Don't Use A Helmet When I Rollerskate

We were sitting in HUB and A says to me, "The new word is fellationship." Which word makes the other two people we were sitting with stop talking immediately, the girl actually snorting. "As in," I say, "we're really committed to this fellationship, or, this fellationship is never going to work." "Exactly," grins A.

Which leads me to speculate, so bear with me. I keep hearing this persistent rumour about St. Albert girls—my girlfriend told me; a classmate, unasked, told me; A (a different A) told me; and now, yes, I realize, I'm telling you—which is that the coloured braces these little teen girls wear are supposed to designate how many guys they've had fellationships with. I don't know, it sounds very urban myth to me, you know? Sure, every school has a couple of Rizzos, but this Rainbows & Braces Club is too elaborate, too much work and design. Nobody needs to be told who the sluts are—that's why God invented STD's.

"Taxi" + My darling YOU! In honour of their new EP, The winter will take us all, which came out last week, here's some old MdY (I have absolutely NO idea how to do that acronym). I posted on this song back in the coldest greyest month of them all, when music like this was sorely needed. That was before this blog became a Yousendit blog, though, so those old posts don't count. This song is brilliant pop, very lo-fi instrumentation, but talent like whales in the sea. I like the part where the singer closes his eyes and lets the taxi-driver have his way with him. It's funny, but sad, but mostly funny, and very well sung. Actually, MdY songs tend to be very roughly sung, but with a certain skill that displays a definitely deliberately awkward cadence. Which, of course, adds to the heartstrings of this song. I've been listening to My darling YOU! for something like fourteen months now and for those fourteen months, in two and three minute snatches here and there, mostly in the evenings and once when I had a barbecue, they have made my world a better place. Love them, love their crazy hair, love their music. Hey-o, they have Myspace, don't you know?

The Small Boat Of Great Sorrows + Dan Fesperman Aside: the best novels always transcend their genre (and, yes, I just used the word "transcend"—God help me, my tiny vocabulary can't come up with an appropriate synonym). Instead of being a science fiction novel, for instance, a novel merely happens to contain a lot of elements of science fiction: I'm thinking of my softcover The Caves Of Steel, here, a schlock Azimov mystery which determinedly presents what it means to retain a soft human heart in the face of prejudice and technology—and, in so doing, becomes a wonderful novella and not schlock. When I was a wee tyke, I read science fiction novels and mystery novels like they were going out of style. It was the details of the genre that appealed to me, the Barsoomian death ray, the body in the library, Alan Dean Foster and Agatha Christie. But then I read Bradbury, as every twelve-year old boy should do, and I was carried away by the emotion of the stories, and the romance. And then I read Dorothy L. Sayers, and realized that a mystery novel could be so much more whole and complete than a mere whodunnit. Which is not to cry down those classic detective tales, because I still love them. I'm just arguing for the superiority of novels over genres and for the unforced equality of those same good novels, no matter what genre they happen to illustrate. The Small Boat Of Great Sorrows is one of those genre-overwhelming novels. The plot of the novel, a great deal of the action, happens to revolve around a mystery, which is not so much who-did-what-to-whom as it is what-is-going-on-right-now. It's a novel of secret agendas, a Cold War thriller set in modern Sarejevo and Germany and The Hague. It's extremely well written, very noir, every chapter ending with troubling beginnings for the next chapter. I haven't read the novel that comes before this one, a work called Lies In The Dark, but, based on this book right here, based on the intelligence and empathy and sheer pleasurable-writing, I'm going to try and track the prequel down. For sure.

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