Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Raymond Carver

‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Mad-Cow Disease’

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Absolutely the greatest McSweeney’s posting of all time: “What We Talk About When We Talk About Mad-Cow Disease.”

Dan, Cheryl, and Clare were all vegetarians once but not anymore. We were having a barbecue. Dan and I were standing by the grill while Cheryl and my wife, Clare, were up on the patio, talking.

“The only thing that makes me sad about veal is when it’s overcooked,” I said. I was trying hard to be funny.

Dan chuckled, though I didn’t believe him. “This isn’t veal you’re grilling,” he said. “Tell me it isn’t.”

I didn’t answer but went on: “Those poor baby cows suffered. On a certain level, it’s the moral responsibility of the cook to make sure they’re delicious. That’s why overcooking veal is such a crime.”

“I guess I can see that,” said Dan. I was half certain he was fucking my wife. We were all alcoholics.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 12, 2008 at 1:38 pm

Peak Oil, Raymond Carver, Environmentalism, God, Larry David, Comics

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Links for this fine Monday:

* Marjane Satrapi interviewed in the New York Times.

I don’t very much like this term of graphic novel. I think they made up this term for the bourgeoisie not to be scared of comics. Like, Oh, this is the kind of comics you can read.

* Using Curb Your Enthusiasm (which is having a terrific creative renaissance in its sixth season, by the way) to treat schizophrenia, in the New Yorker.

* The PETA article up today at Salon is interesting insofar as it demonstrates the hostility to environmental and animal-rights movements that dominates popular discussion of these issues. Even though (aside from the hyperbolic “#1 cause!!” claim) PETA is otherwise correct that a meat diet significantly contributes to global warming and other environmental hazards, the article is still framed from the headline on as “Suck on this, PETA.” I’m not even sure why the PETA angle was necessary in the first place; couldn’t the same article have been written without name-checking a hated fringe group?

* In other environmental news, another new report argues that we passed peak oil in 2006.

* I haven’t commented yet on this whole Raymond Carver kerfluffle, and I don’t have much to say now, except that I think there’s a good argument to be made that Gordon Lish was the actual writer of those stories, not Carver, and that in any event it’s as certain that they should be left alone as it is that a collection of the “original versions” will be out next year.

The case is complicated by the fact that Carver himself, unlike Eliot, seems to have persisted in preferring his own original versions (though this is a murky matter too). He went on to publish a rewrite of The Bath entitled A Small Good Thing. In it, the painfully bleak ending is replaced by an upbeat reconciliation scene, with the baker turning out to be a sweet, vaguely Christ-like guy, and the parents reconvening at his store where he plies them with some heavily symbolic warm bread and pastries – a scene of saccharine religiosity that betrays the hard truth of the tale, replacing it with the sentimental wishfulness of the teller. A lot of people prefer it, but then a lot of people prefer bad art that makes them feel good to good art that makes them feel bad.

* Searching for God in the brain. Bet he’s not in there, either.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 22, 2007 at 1:20 pm