Posts Tagged ‘karma’

Aint No Right: the Verdict is In…

July 2, 2009


I’ve pretty much given up on the idea of karmic justice, the older I’ve grown. I’m not a pessimist–but I know what’s happening (most of the time)…

Let’s face it, good is rarely rewarded. Hard work doesn’t pay off too frequently. Look at the facts:

Rush Limbaugh is rich, popular and successful…that alone proves that there’s no karmic justice in this world…but that’s just one example. Barry Bonds still holds the home run record, asterisk or not…The Octo-Mom is getting her own TV show, and the media will continue to enable all that’s wrong in this world…Bush gets to retire with no scrutiny of his wrong-doings…

Rarely is the world fair.

I mean for the love of god….They’re remaking the cult-classic film, the Warriors…Seriously.

Today, however, my faith was restored a little.

Salinger won’t be coldplayed…not today.

This morning, as I sorted through the headlines of the day, I noticed a big one; it just jumped off the screen and did a little metaphorical happy-dance before my weary eyes…

60 Years Later Blocked: Judge Says No to Salinger Spinoff

From Larry Nuemeister via the AP:

NEW YORK — A Swedish author whose new book was promoted as a sequel to J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” cannot publish it in the United States because it too closely mirrors Salinger’s classic without adequate parody or critique, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Swedish author Fredrik Colting tried every avenue of argument and defense, claiming it was:

  1. A critical examination of Salinger’s most famous character, Holden Caulfield (U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts shot that claim down as “problematic and lacking in credibility.”)
  2. The depiction of a character in Colting’s book representing Caulfield 60 years later was a parody. (To this she said She said that Colting and his publishers made no indication before the lawsuit was filed that the book was meant as a parody or critique of Salinger’s work.)

She went on to say, “Quite to the contrary, the original jacket of ’60 Years’ states that it is ‘… a marvelous sequel to one of our most beloved classics. It is simply not credible for defendant Colting to assert now that this primary purpose was to critique Salinger and his persona.”

So there it is…Salinger’s classic character, a character as big as American youth and angst, has been protected.

We’re lucky he was still alive to challenge the publication…had he not defended his work himself, I doubt the ruling would be the same…

Sadly, Mark Twain wasn’t around to do the same. I have no doubt he’s spinning in his grave at every turn of the page of the atrocities of such writers as Lee Nelson, Greg Matthews and Jon Clinch


Rorschach’s Ribs Sample 3: Prom with an Open Bar

March 8, 2008

“Confucius say: Just because a man looks like a donkey, doesn’t mean he’s an ass.”
“I kid you not. Here’s my card,” I say handing out my third card of the night.
“Does it pay well?”
“More than you’d think.”

I’m talking to Ricky David. Back in school, he was one of those kids who could be so cruel. He did his best to make me feel like a steaming pile of shit most of my high school existence. His goal was to make me the butt of as many jokes as possible before graduation. It’s like I always say: Never trust a man with two first names.

Ricky David is not aging gracefully. He’s got a double chin and a really bad comb over. He sells RV’s, and bought his parents’ house when they upgraded to a condo. He never left.

There is some karmic justice after all.

Our reunion is being held at a place called “Pipe Fitter’s Hall.” During the week, it’s a meeting hall for plumber’s and pipe fitter’s union number 1201. During the weekends, it houses wedding receptions and high school reunions.

The night is like Prom all over again–with an open bar. Pipe Fitter’s Hall, coincidentally, is where we had our actual prom ten years ago. The DJ is playing all of the popular hits from the year we graduated and were released back into the wild. Old cliques have reformed. Aside from the fact that we don’t have to sneak our alcohol in this time, it’s not too different.

Shitz and I split up. He’s across the room sitting at a table full of theater geeks with his shit eating grin firmly in place. I wonder what he does for a living right now. I’m staying near the bar.

When I was in high school I was what most would describe as “non-descript”. I was pretty much average in just about everything. Aside from painting, I blended in nicely most of the time. I didn’t really start going nuts until college, so most of my former classmates know a very different Escher Smallwater.

“Escher? Is that you?”

It’s Kimmie Flanders; cheerleader, illegitimate crush.

“Kimmie Flanders,” I start. “Wow. You haven’t changed a bit.” I’m lying through my teeth. She definitely can’t fit into her old uniform anymore.
“It’s Kimberly now. Kimberly Jones. Married 7 years next fall,” she says staring at my bright blue head, and ironic neck-tie. “Wow. You look, um,” awkward silence, “How have you been?”
“Great,” I reply, reaching into my jacket pocket to fish out another business card.

So far tonight, I’ve been a rodeo clown, a chimney sweep and most recently, a fortune cookie writer. I’m almost afraid to look at my next business card.

“I’m a professional assassin.” funny Shitz. “I, um, really enjoy being my own boss,” I say with as straight a face as possible.
(blank stare)
“But enough about me. Kimmie Flanders.”
“Kimberly Jones.”
“What are you up these days?”
“I’m a stay at home mom,” she starts, as she opens up her purse. “I have two beautiful angels.”

With that the pictures come flying out–in abundance. Photo after photo, pose after pose, I look at Kimmie, I mean Kimberly’s ankle-biters. They’re cute, don’t get me wrong. But aside from what they’re wearing, they look pretty much the same in every snap shot.

And this, in a nut shell, is the majority of the evening. A parade of stay at home mommies and fatter, balder versions of former jocks and pretty boys. I would have been better off asleep on my balcony.

Most of my classmates stayed within a five mile radius of where they grew up. It’s bizarre to me. The county is so slow, and behind the rest of the world. It’s one giant strip mall. I can’t help but wonder if they stayed behind out of laziness or fear.

I take a drink of my bourbon. I’m drinking bourbon because it keeps me honest. I’m no better at drinking it than Phil. I’ve been nursing the same drink since my arrival. I need to keep a clear head tonight. The deal is coming closer to becoming a reality with every tick of the clock. My time in this world is limited; a fact I haven’t forgotten.

I think I’ve had enough time flying solo through this surreal car accident of a reunion. To my left, Ricky David is fast becoming a bad drunk, not unlike his former, younger self. I give him another 10 minutes before he picks a fight or cries.

I wander forth in search of Shitz, stopping every ten or so feet to make empty small talk with another former classmate I never hung out with in the first place. In the span of twenty feet, I’m a professional juggler, a crime-scene mop-up guy and a dentist. Surprisingly, dentist is the hardest to bull shit about.