Tuesday, August 24, 2010


"Haley Joel Osment said 'Party girl' which was a term they had for people who did not speak in a quiet monotone and were not severely detached. Inanimate objects and situations and animals and boys could also be party girls. Dakota Fanning said if they wrote a book about a party girl called Party Girl they would be rich."
(Tao Lin; Richard Yates p. 94)

I have been reading a lot about stuff like Object Oriented Ontology recently, and it seems cool but also awful.

A few days ago, I saw Piranha 3D in theaters by myself, and I can't remember ever having seen such a mean-spirited film. And last night I watched Megapiranha, and that one seemed to me about as affectless as you could make something.

The thing about Piranha 3D was that it didn't stop at asking you to glory in the cynicism of "doing violence to those who deserve it," or even at the more refined level that films like Craven's Last House on the Left operate on. It pushes past those so far that it has to drag out of itself the most miserable, disgusting, hateful sort of action movie, and immerses itself in being that (along with its other cynicisms) so well that it really expects you to cheer when the lady cop tases a single piranha to death.

Megapiranha on the other hand is the sort of movie you can watch without feeling anything, and yet as soon as I finished it I had a dream a about it. In the dream I was traveling along the megapiranha-infested Orinoco river with a bunch of people, carrying along my Chococat w/ Snow Cape plush. I kept dropping/losing the plush, and finding it in the muddy banks of the river, and knowing that I had to get it back no matter whether or not I was likely to die in the process. And no one would help me, except until the end my friend Tanya leaped over the river to help me retrieve him.

I read Richard Yates by Tao Lin tonight and it was fantastic. It made me think of my idea that "meta" is, far from being clinical, a constitutively emotional construction/form of representation. But also that that seems tangential to the book itself. More crucial seems to be an argument, embedded within the book, about realism. I'm not sure I know what can be taken out of it, really, but when the climax of the novel is an email detailing every lie told over the course of a relationship, it seems like something that is fair to say.

I was also struck, while reading it, that it seemed to have the opposite message re: the Internet than people will inevitably want to read into it. The novel seemed to foreground beautifully how it is not the Internet, but rather the structures of life that we occupy and bring with us to the Internet, that are the "causes" of our alienation.

This is maybe the great strength of the novel, that it allows the arguments that it never quite makes to possess their own weight. That it respects itself as fiction enough not to try to weave what people like to call "themes" into the "dialogue" or whatever.