March 22, 2007 | HARMLESS UNTRUTHS


Paradigm I:
The Eagles of Death Metal

  • The Black Sabbath of Freak-Folk
  • The Aerosmith of Grindcore
  • The Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young of Chamber Pop
  • The Steely Dan of Post-Hardcore
  • The Doobie Brothers of O.G. Emo
  • The NWA of IDM
  • The Jam of Math Rock
  • The Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow of Nü-Metal
  • The AC/DC of Oi!
  • The Grand Funk of No Wave
  • The Bruce Hornsby and the Range of Downtempo

Paradigm II:
Reading Lolita in Tehran

  • Lending Lolita to attractive students in Łomża.
  • Feeling incredibly underwhelmed by Don Quixote in Monterrico, Guatemala.
  • Apparently having some rationale for buying a collection of essays by Nietzsche, in Białystok, but damned if I know what I was thinking.
  • Writing a song in Tübingen that makes reference to The Magic Mountain, without having actually read the book.
  • Discussing Jude the Obscure with some strange older man who claimed that it changed his life, on a bus between Washington and New York.
  • Never getting around to reading my roommate’s screenplay adaptation of Galapagos, in DC.
  • Giving The Grapes of Wrath to the girl I was in love with, after finishing reading it, in Łomża, though I was pretty sure she wouldn’t really ever read it in English.
  • Lugging The Brothers Karamazov with me from apartment to apartment over the course of a decade, pretending that I will read it someday.
  • Struggling through the German translation of Huckleberry Finn in Germany and eventually abandoning it, figuring, “what’s the point?”
  • Giving Notes from Underground to a drifter who apparently was wandering across America selling his body to random men, and asked if I had any light reading or science fiction, in the DC neighborhood of Burleith.
  • Finishing Midnight’s Children on a transatlantic flight while seated next to two old Austrian men who were doing ridiculous amounts of snuff, which I politely declined.
  • Becoming totally bored with Tropic of Cancer, wondering why people like this book, and just skimming through to all the sex parts, at the Kalorama House in DC.
  • Hating the Internet for seducing me away from books, everywhere.