Thursday, December 18, 2008
My Very Momentous Day
This bulletin board is in the room where I just gave a final. They tear all the fliers off at the end of the semester, I guess.
Maybe the thing I remember most from the documentary Crumb is RC talking about how he could never remember how transformers and power-line architectures and such looked because he never really saw them when they were in his vision. He had to get somebody else to go out and take photos for him so he'd know how they looked.
Here's one of the passages you'd have had to ID if you were in my class:
"Then they said, but isn't death, considered as a fundamental datum, the means by which the taken-for-granted mundanity of the everyday may be transcended in the direction of—
I said, yes, maybe."
B. likes to look at the IDs and see how many of them she can guess without having read the stories. This time she guessed 3 out of 10.
While my students were working I corresponded with Avery #4 issue-mate Jamie Iredell and coded for Wigleaf and evenutally added the new Lauren Becker stuff. I hadn't read her postcard carefully before today. It made me laugh.
When everyone was done I walked back across campus and saw this guy.
There were two guys there originally, standing in front of that truck. I guess they were w/ a third guy who was laying salt in a little motorized cart -- because they were looking in his direction. But they didn't look interested in the third guy, or in each other, since they weren't talking. As I got closer to them it seemed to me that they might be standing for a portrait, and I said that as I came up to them, I said, You guys look like you're standing for a portrait. Then it occured to me that I might be the photographer, so I got out my cell asked if it was okay. One of them, the one who would have been there to the right of the guy pictured, turned his back to me, chuckling, and walked off.
That made me feel like a partial asshole. A 15-20% asshole, maybe. The one who stood for the picture said, What's this for? And I said, I don't know. Maybe my blog. And he repeated that word, Blog, while thinking about how I was right then commodifying him and how he wasn't going to make a penny.
I made that joke in a story once, the first version of a story called "Johannsen's Plant" which nobody except Steph at Avery and my grad-school friend Andrea Karafilis has ever appreciated. But they didn't read the first version. In the first version, this somewhat skeezy guy approaches a girl, who for some reason--I'm forgetting--calls him an asshole, to which he responds by giving her a stricken look and saying, Yes, I'm half asshole. My father was one. I didn't think people were still so prejudiced....