An author of some repute, indulging in characteristic hyperbole, has suggested that there’s nothing more frightening than a blank page. One is forced to assume, in this case, that he’s unfamiliar with the signs and symptoms of that condition known as necrotizing fasciitis.
New sitcoms are making their respective debuts this month. Here’s one of the most recent.
Through a series of absurd and ultimately unexplained Human Resource errors, celebrity philosopher Slavoj Žižek is named head coach of the Indiana University men’s basketball team. Contrary to what one might expect, however — i.e. that he’d dismiss interest in the program as a palliative endeavor for those suffering the trauma of life — he embraces his role entirely, developing almost an encyclopedic knowledge of contemporary offensive schemes and populating multiple social-media accounts with inspirational musings on the nature of competition.
I feel bad for my husband. They say you should find something you love to do, and then do it for the rest of your life. Well, it’s just his luck: he found something he clearly loves, but he can only do it for about 30 seconds at a time.
With few exceptions, the best interlocutor is a parent whose infant child has refused to nap that day. In him or her, one finds an individual who has abandoned all tolerance for idle pleasantries, who’s uniquely situated to regard life as a privilege and punishment simultaneously.
There are novels in which I take considerable pleasure and yet am relieved not to have written myself, owing both to the tedious efforts they’ve so clearly necessitated, and also to what it would reveal about me — namely, that I’m capable of enduring such tedium.
“I’m truly alive only when contemplating death,” I found myself thinking one moment recently. What I felt the next moment, though, was shame — shame for having temporarily impressed myself by means of such a sickeningly ordinary and portentous turn of phrase.
The notion that a work of unadulterated non-fiction can’t exist — it’s compelling, this. Like most notions, though, it’s a compelling only for about two or three sentences. Then one must find a new idea by which to become temporarily enchanted.