Friday, March 29, 2013

Rules of "The Game"

Aaaaand I just lost it.


Until I was 18 I refused to have a "favorite band." It was stupid. You say you like The Beatles and somebody nearby shouts out, "Man … fuck the Beatles!" and you're expected to defend them or conversationally concede that the surviving Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr deserve to be forcibly copulated.

Then I stopped being afraid of what other people thought. Then I found a band so embarrassing to like, but loved so wholeheartedly that it stopped mattering. My favorite band is Long Island alternative quintet and former pop-punk losers Brand New. I don't even really like their last two albums, more the first for sadly ironic lyrics and the second for being AMAZING, and you kind of have to fold in the 2005 demo album that was semi-abandoned after early recordings of it leaked online. But fuck it, I love Brand New. What they did in the beginning, and how it fit into my life, that justifies in my eyes everything they crap out forever.

I'm 26, and I just realized why I loved them, and why I loved the train wreck that was Jersey Shore, and Joss Whedon's final failed TV series Dollhouse, and books about journalists touring with rock bands and wrestlers and emotionally damaged pick-up artists.

I checked a copy of Neil Strauss' "The Game" out of my local library. I walked in and got a library card just to read this. This beautiful piece of trash laid out on a canvas and dyed beautiful colors has clearly been checked out previously by just truly sad, sad people, an average of three times a month since the new year. It's fun to read about horrible people being absolutely brilliant at what at best can be described as psychologically fascinating, at worst as morally … evil, I guess. Vile, maybe.

But it's also fun to see where pages were once dogeared, despite the handy built-in red string bookmark; where an idle pencil mark wasn't completely erased, what on that page must have been a wise pointer meritorious of being jotted down.

And who am I to judge a single one of the losers to read this book before me. I very proudly sauntered up to the librarian in my post-business finest and checked out not a single other book to mitigate the social miasma that follows this tome. She even asked me, "You want to check this out?" as if she were confused. And I avoided a panic attack by a respectably not-so-slim margin as I did so.

Yes, I'm curious as to what's in this book on a blatant level. As confident and not self-depricating as I try to be, I have fear of rejections issues. The best way to overcome this is to fail. A whole lot. Spectacularly, if possible. In public. Have other people see it and walk away without having a damn heart attack over it. This book, I think may actually have some cogent points in between the horrifying mistakes that ultimately lead to the situation introduced on page 1.

I don't discount a priest's wisdom simply because I hate organized religion. Conversely, I don't discount brainless reality programming if I learn something from it unintended by the producers. [Note: I am not sure there is anything to be learned from Honey Boo-Boo except how to be terrible parents and/or give yourselves and your children early-onset diabetes.]

Just someone punch my in the sternum if I start wearing a feather boa and calling myself "Midnight" or something.

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