Whew. I mean: Whew. Nothing like a few days of more or less solid errand-running and chore-chasing to make you appreciate the last days of the best year of your life. But we have a breathing space now, and what the hell, let’s relax a bit. All I have to do is put a chicken in the oven sometime in the next 40 minutes.
I don’t even want to think about it, but it’s true: This is the second-to-last week. Our last seminar is tomorrow. We graduate a week from Thursday. What’s next, many of you have been e-mailing. The Magic 8 Ball says: Answer cloudy, try again later. When I know, you’ll know. In these last few days, I’m taking advantage of the perks of holding a valid M-Card — libraries, collections, access and, of course, an excuse to spend an hour staring out the window. One of the Fellows was talking about just that the other day; actually he was watching his cats watch the squirrels capering outside the window. “I remember that as a pleasant interlude,” he said, and who am I to argue? No doubt it was.
Speaking of argument: I’m going to miss it. It abounds in an academic environment, although I tried to pick one with my screenwriting prof last night, to no avail — he just barreled on ahead. But I’m sorry, I said it last night and I’ll say it again here: The Billy Bob Thornton character in “Sling Blade” is not a Christ figure, OK? You can’t give him a Bible, a book on carpentry and another on Christmas and say this makes him a modern-day Jesus. (Although, I’ve noticed, that’s how lots of lazy artists work: Look, Madonna’s wearing a crucifix as jewelry, obviously a sly commentary on her Catholic upbringing. And so on.) Cool Hand Luke — now he’s a Christ figure. (Here he is, performing a miracle.)
Back when I was the mother of a little baby and used to torture myself with the Dr. Laura show, I became a fan of its far more entertaining shadow entity, alt.radio.talk.dr-laura — the Usenet group of mostly Dr. Laura doubters who follow the show. Although I haven’t listened to the Toxic Harpy for years, I still keep up with the postings there. It was there I learned that after years of preaching that orthodox religion is the only true path to decency and an upright life, poof she’s no longer practicing Judaism. ARTDL also let me know which college finally accepted pampered D.L. progeny — the mediocre, cultish Hillsdale, located just down the road right here in southeast Michigan. When the Schlessinger spawn dropped out after a mere semester, the posters were all over it with credible hypotheses of what happened. And now they’ve turned up the even more wonderful truth: My God, young Derky is opening a hookah bar. In freakin’ Hillsdale, Michigan. It is to laugh.
Also, a couple of people mentioned that Bob Dylan is now hawking Victoria’s Secret? Slate explains. Points for the headline: Tangled up in boobs.