Bryan Joiner

Why then I

Tag: flannery o’connor

“Your girl”

I recently wrote my second email in a week with the subject line of “Your girl.” The construction of these emails is pretty straightforward: I send a link with no text attached, with information contained therein that refers to someone whom the recipient has noted some attraction or non-email-style attachment. The idea is that they don’t necessarily know who I’m talking about until they open the link, and then they think, “Yes, that is my girl!” Or more: “Yes, that is my girl. More than it is anyone else’s. Except in like real life.”

The first one I sent was to an graduate student in creative writing and was a video of Flannery O’Connor at age five featuring a “backward” walking chicken. I was being ironic. My friend loves to hate Flannery because he loves her writing and hates the not-always-undertones of racism radiating therefrom (and in her public statements) that ruin the whole thing for him.

The second one I sent was to a friend who recently met an, I guess, media personality with whom he’s had some digital contact and whom Frank Rich mentioned in his most recent column.

If I had any interesting Keira Knightley news, one of my brothers would get it with that subject heading. If I had intel on Amy Adams, it would go to the other one. (I’m with the second one.)

If Alicia Keys sent me an email by accident, I’d forward it to a college friend who would deny that he loves her half of the time and be really proud of it the other half. You’d never know what you’re going to get.

Likewise, if I got Kristen Stewart’s phone number, I’d probably tuck it into a message to my friend on the west coast, though I’m not sure if she’d really want to hear him drone on about how handsome Eli Manning is.

If I saw Drew Barrymore falling down drunk on the Lower East Side, I’d write up the story with the subject line and send it to another friend who’s had a reliable thing for her for a decade. I would also prepare to argue the appropriateness of the heading, because it could always be coming.

If I “accidentally” watched one of the masterpieces of the multitalented Maria Ozawa and wanted to compare notes, I’d connect with my old roommate, an expert film critic. If you’re tempted to Google that name, I strongly, strongly suggest you don’t do it at work.

If something something Kirsten Dunst, I’d send something to Moacir just to see if he responded angrily just so I could ask him why he was so angry.

If Kyle Farnsworth spontaneously learned how not to give up home runs and was the feature of an photo gallery, I have a guy friend who I’m pretty sure would toss down some clickthroughs.

If Mariska Hargitay was on my block for a Law & Order shoot—not inconceivable, by the way, they were filming Bored to Death across the street last week—I’d tell a friend a day after it happened just to have him swear at me. Not that I’d need to see Mariska for that to happen.

If I saw Scarlett J. near the Apple Store in SoHo—and I’m pretty sure I did a couple years ago—I’d tell both a far-flung Frownie-faced friend and my trusty local Diceman. For the record, I don’t get it.

If I saw some Romanian or Korean or Togolese movie that starred an actress of obvious talent and sublime and/or understated beauty, I’d mention to a friend that I’d seen his girl while being about 40 percent sure he’d have no idea of whom I was speaking (and in the other 60 percent lies the joke).

If it was Audrey Tautou, though, it would go to the schoolteacher who I’ve known for damn near 20 years, and who we bafflingly realized were each other’s oldest continuously-held close (/proximity) friend over beers on a Sunday afternoon. And then we’d argue for hours over the ideal size and role of government.

If Chris Onstad drew an Achewood comic where Téodor passed out drunk while searching for naked pictures of Meg White, I’d send it to an ex-coworker. Oh wait: he did and I did.

After all this, who’s “my” girl, you might ask?

I suppose that would be up to you.

Chasing Lost’s Wild Geese

I don’t think any other show taps the potential of the Internet as well as Lost does, by intentionally sending its viewers on these wild goose chases to learn ancient and modern theories and philosophy in the service of trying to figure out what’s happening on a television show. Shoot, Lost is the only reason I read Flannery O’Connor, which means Lost is the only reason I’ve argued with Mik about Flannery O’Connor, and thus is the only reason I’ve read emails Mary Gaitskill sent to Mik about Flannery O’Connor, and is thus the only reason I’ve then re-read Flannery O’Connor to see how my interpretations match with Mik’s and Mary Gaitskill’s interpretations of Flannery O’Connor. Pushing it further, Lost is the only reason I mentioned Flannery O’Connor to my former roommate James, who said she was his favorite author. And all that is based on three seconds of screentime last spring. I’m not a nut to figure out what everything “means” on Lost, because I know full well that if you’re trying to “solve” it through hidden clues UR DOIN IT RONG, but I was without a book to read at the time, saw Jacob reading a F O’C joint, and bought it. Now I know enough to hold my own in a conversation with serious English Literature hedz. Thanks for jumping out that window, John Locke. Keep plucking that chicken.

If you want to read some good recaps—and Lost is the one show where the recap is, if not crucial, certainly helpful for you to get to whatever level of understanding you desire (even if it intentionally slows your roll)—go here or here or here.

Books, Vince Young, Radiohead — It’s a Rambling Tuesday Post

I have this nasty habit of buying a bunch of books and piling them up, just waiting for them to be read. Right now I’m reading at least three of them simultaneously: The Book of Basketball, Imperial, and Light on Yoga (h/t CF). They sit in a stack near my bed next to loose magazines, and in the minutes before I turn it, I turn to whatever suits my fancy for the day.

I get more magazines than I need. This is a fact. I went on a buying spree in the summer, when ate lunch outside every day. That’s prime magazine-reading time, so in early August I ordered up a bunch of subscriptions because at the time I was only getting The New Yorker and Sports Illustrated (and Sports Illustrated suuuuuucks). By the time they arrived I was back on an indoor lunch schedule, and my indoor lunches take place in front of the computer. For better or worse.

I re-read Flannery O’Connor’s “Everything That Rises Must Converge” last night, because I saw a screen shot of Jacob reading the book in Lost, and the cover is the same color as one of the other books I was reading, so I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I bought the book shortly after seeing it on Lost because I think the day before that episode I had finished whatever I was reading previously, so I thought, well, why not? Title story much better on second reading. What is the point of all this? I’m not sure. I just like watching that word counter go up in the lower-left-hand corner.

As long as we’re hopscotching topics, I love the Vince Young resurrection. It’s a great story, and he’s the single best test case for how much harder the NFL is than college football. Dude won the National Championship in one of the best performances of all time, certain the best in the BCS era, without apparently being able to run a complicated offense. He got to the NFL, hit it fairly big on talent alone, then bottomed out, personally and professionally. Now he’s slowly working himself back into a decent NFL quarterback. That’s some The Natural sh*t right there. I actually like Tennessee when he’s playing, but I can’t stand Kerry Collins, so last night’s game was a treat.

Due to the rousing success of Music Monday, and the festivity of the short week, here’s a ridiculous video the MZA pointed me toward yesterday. If your sentiments run anti-Radiohead or anti-Japanese animation/themes, this might not be the video for you. You’re wrong, but it might not be the video for you.