Earlier tonight, someone tweeted at me, “Not to be rude, but you’re part of the problem. You’ve compromised your integrity as a journalist by being an activist.”
There are always a few things that come to mind when I hear this viewpoint expressed. First of all, my role at GameSpot was not that…
Peyton Place, 1957
But there was a fifth season, of love. And only the wise or the lucky ones knew where to find it…
Russ Tamblyn in Peyton Place, 1957
1. Don’t try to piss quietly. Nobody in a public restroom thinks you’re knitting in your stall. They came to piss, just like you. And if you have to take a dump, do it. Get over your fear of public toilets. It’ll make life a lot easier.
2. Masturbate. Masturbate a lot. Talk about it with your friends. You’ve got the right to make yourself feel good and brag about it just like all the boys with extra large kleenex packages on their desks.
3. If you want the large fries, get the large fries. Hunger and appetite are nothing to be ashamed of, just human. Don’t ever feel guilty for eating in front of others. You need to nourish your body to stay alive. We all do.
4. Laugh as loud as you have to, no matter if you snort or gasp or literally scream.
5. Fart when you have to.
6. Always remember you weren’t born to visually please others. Forget the phrase “what if they think it’s ugly”. If you think it’s lovely, it is lovely. You wanna wear it, wear it!
7. Speak your mind! You can learn to do so without insulting others or shoving your opinion down other people’s throats.
Whatever teaches us to talk to ourselves is important: whatever teaches us to sing ourselves out of despair. But the painting has also taught me that we can speak to each other across time. And I feel I have something very serious and urgent to say to you, my non-existent reader, and I feel I should say it as urgently as if I were standing in the room with you. That life—whatever else it is—is short. That fate is cruel but maybe not random. That Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn’t mean we have to bow and grovel to it. That maybe even if we’re not always so glad to be here, it’s our task to immerse ourselves anyway: wade straight through it, right through the cesspool, while keeping eyes and hearts open. And in the midst of our dying, as we rise from the organic and sink back ignominiously into the organic, it is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch. For if disaster and oblivion have followed this painting down through time—so too has love. Insofar as it is immortal (and it is) I have a small, bright, immutable part in that immortality. It exists; and it keeps on existing. And I add my own love to the history of people who have loved beautiful things, and looked out for them, and pulled them from the fire, and sought them when they were lost, and tried to preserve them and save them while passing them along literally from hand to hand, singing out brilliantly from the wreck of time to the next generation of lovers, and the next.