Have you bought your tickets to see Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds, Masked Intruder and Direct Hit! at the Beat Kitchen on Feb 15 yet? You haven’t? What the fuck is wrong with you? It’s the Wandering Birds’ second show ever, and this is your big chance to see Masked Intruder before their gimmick gets stale and they have to go back to working at Perkins’. Here’s a link. Go buy. Anyway, that’s all. Onto the point:
Today on Gawker, a dude posted a semi-amusing video of himself walking through a cruise ship, giving the viewer an expletive-laden tour. It’s all quick cuts and, although it’s bleeped, one would imagine that the uncensored script would read something like this as he walks past various features on the ship: “fucking bar. Fucking ping pong. Fucking ice cream bar. Fucking pool. Fucking indoor pool. Fucking ocean” and on and on like this. It’s okay. It definitely sums up the feeling of overwhelming helplessness that comes with being surrounded by a mega resort, whether it’s one that floats or one that just sits there. I found it to be a pretty decent way to spend 50 seconds.
In the comments section below the video, someone wrote something to the effect of “I know that cruises suck, not because I’ve ever been on one (I haven’t) but because I’ve read A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again by DFW.” This comment makes me completely insane.
Now, for those of you who don’t know, DFW stands for David Foster Wallace, a dead guy who wrote incredibly terrific essays as well as intimidatingly long books. He was from central Illinois. He was, and remains profoundly famous and respected. He was unquestionably extremely intelligent. He was also a depressed weirdo and a bit of a loon who had some addiction issues, as people who are really super smart and depressed tend to have.
A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again is a book-length essay that DFW wrote about his experience on a cruise. It’s exhaustive and while it starts out attempting to hover around having journalistic neutrality, the piece eventually comes down firmly on the side of “cruises suck the balls.” Just check out the title if you don’t believe me. Anyway, it’s a great book. It’s funny and insightful and more than a little bit sad somehow, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can’t recommend it highly enough. HOWEVER, I would not EVER suggest that reading A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again is in any way a substitute or equivalent experience to going on a cruise. That’s fucking stupid. It’s one very weird, hyper intelligent man’s extremely detail oriented experience on one cruise. It’s not the best ad for cruises, for sure, but reading about something and doing something aren’t the same. Yet here on the internet, where you can read a zillion opinions about anything, and you can virtually experience things like ‘sex with a living woman’ or ‘being in a casino’ or ‘being a tough guy’ or even ‘being a creepy peeping tom’ all without getting off the toilet, we’re starting to forget that. And when someone says something like “I know cruises suck, because I read the book” that ACTUALLY seems like a MORE hands-on experience than most people get these days in most situations clicking through webpages. As a result, this sort of bullshit is often given a pass. Well, fuck that. Hey dumb commenter on Gawker: you don’t know dick about cruises or anything else. I shit on you (Imagine that I’m saying this last line with a Russian accent, please, for the full effect).
I have a friend who, in the last year or so got on facebook and said something to the effect of “man, I’ve never heard a Kanye song and I’m pretty proud of that fact. Fuck that dumb cunt.” My reaction was something along the lines of “how the fuck do you know that he’s a dumb cunt if you’ve never heard his songs? How can you be proud of NOT knowing something?” Now, I realize these questions are a bit naïve, in that Kanye West is OBVIOUSLY a total wang, and there are things you can be proud not to know about, as in: I don’t know what it feels like to not have a gigantic, supremely satisfying schlong. But these are obviously academic points and not at all related to the real issue at hand. The point is, celebrating ignorance without giving due diligence to the subject you plan on hating, whether it’s Kanye or cruises or Mormons or chili cheese Fritos is intellectually identical to people who just hate faggots/niggers/spics/chinks etc. on the grounds that they’ve heard some shit, and the shit that they’ve heard sounds unappealing to them. Fuck getting to know someone and seeing if maybe there’s something to their identity beyond the opinion that someone else handed to me. I just don’t like ‘em because it’s easy to not like shit. And that attitude, my Dogs Of War, is FUUUUUUUUUUUUCKED UP. And yes, there are revolting people out there. Since this is, after all, the internet, someone is SURE to point to the Westboro Baptists and/or the Nazis and say something like “Well, I don’t need to go hang out with those assholes to know I hate them.” To those of you out there who’d say this, let me respond with the following: You’re a fucking lazy dork. You know what I’m talking about and in being unproductively argumentative just for the sake of pointing out holes, you’ve actually made MY list of people that I don’t need to hang around to know I don’t like, right up there with the WBC and Nazi skins, in fact. Nice work.
In summary, how do you KNOW you don’t like the Wandering Birds if you don’t come see us? You can’t. So go buy some tickets here.