Saturday, October 4, 2008
sitting watching paint dry on a "kook watch"
In last week's episode of "Mad Men," Sal, Kinsey, Ken, and Harry are ridiculing Freddy. They called him a "real whiz" in advertising because he had a "wet" accident in the office. Don replies: "you dine on the drama of other people's lives like a bunch of teenage girls."
I heard that line and I was reminded of a forum's never-ending fixation with "Robert Blue." They pull apart every entry at his blog like my Aunt Sadie ripped into the chopped liver on the schmorgasboard at my cousin Melvin's Bar Mitzvah. And when they rolled out the Viennese table, she fressed on that three-tiered chocolate cake till the family turned out the hall lights.
Yes... the members of the RobertBlue/TrentSketch fan club are indeed the internet version of my Aunt Sadie.
When I obsess, it is about an issue somewhat related to me. I am self-involved that way. I don't waste my time commenting about the activities of others. I just don't care.
And ladies and gentleman, I sure do obsess. In retirement, one must hold tightly to the wheel. In the 9/8/08 issue of The New Yorker Alec Baldwin says: " I always think, What if you just took your hand off the wheel, and slowly, over time, it all went away, and your life became about, you know, 'Is the mail here yet?' I always think about that."
But my life sort of always has been about, "Is the mail here yet?" My doorman can confirm this. When I retired from teaching, in 2002, I took a line from Noodles's book in, "Once Upon a Time in America." When he was asked by Fat Moe what he had been doing all those (lost) years he replied, "I've been going to bed early."
I am a night owl. So I go to bed at 4 AM and arise at noon. But it is the same concept. You deteriorate into unscheduled time when you have no place to go. But I will be damned if I will spend one second of that time dining on the drama of the life of a total stranger.