The Week In Review is my attempt to turn the old into new. Alchemy, you might say. At the end of each week, I’ll summarize many of the things I wrote about, offering commentary when appropriate. Also when inappropriate. Please forgive me. This should only be slightly more boring than listening to A Prairie Home Companion.
The beginning of July. As a heat-wave swept across the Eastern and Central parts of America, I found myself on Facebook, teasing my mid-Atlantic friends about how pitch-perfect the weather was in California; it’s an occupational hazard. On Facebook, I learned that many of my friends are getting married. It’s always bothered me how some people nowadays make proposals so elaborate. They turn them into syndicated reality TV shows with more twists than a child-proofed ibuprofen bottle. They’re so elaborate that men hire hundreds of people to gyrate back and forth in unison. Golly. Is that love, or is it love of attention? You decide.
I got my first comment this week — wahoo! In my article on L.A.’s attempt to make drinking water safe by covering a reservoir with McDonald’s PlayPen balls, a kind but curmudgeonly fellow suggested that we stop treating our water with chemicals, engaging me in some great but ultimately unconvincing debate. Sorry if I thought that only Bear Grylls deserves Giardia. I’m paid way too little to suffer through that—please, have mercy. But, seriously, my first commenter is a good guy and I’ll always remember him for taking my cherry.
Then we saw a little overseas action. First came a story about Hemingway in Paris, then another about a wild, face-scorching fire party in Japan. Both were really stories about drinking, in war and in peace. Looking back, I think my subconscious was psyched about fire and booze stories because I associate them with Independence Day. Can we all agree that fire and booze are the platonic ideals of 4th of July?
On the 4th of July, I posted my first poem. Before then, I honestly hadn’t written a poem since my freshman year of college, and we all know that the poems you write your freshman year, if you wrote any at all, are guaranteed godawful. Very, truly bad. This poem is a step up in mediocrity. Only slightly.
Then came the disturbing news that hotels in the Pacific Northwest are trying to capitalize on a new literary craze by offering packages inspired by the Fifty Shades trilogy. Yes, “literary craze” has not yet become an oxymoron. I’ll give it 20 more years.
Finally, even more disturbing news that the phenomenon known as sexting has reached epidemic proportions. Prosecutors have their hands tied in a very un-kinky way because they may be forced to charge “several million” teenagers under existing child pornography laws. Millions of sexters going to jail because the law can’t distinguish between curious enfant and serious offender? At least the kids will be in a safe place when we decriminalize marijuana and a million hopheads bumrush the streets.