Cynicism, Eloquence, and Character


The "new music Tuesday" playlist from Spotify today includes "11," by Hitchhiker, a song that is nearly indescribable. Imagine a psychopath making the "wah-wah-wah" sound that little kids create by smacking their mouths when they're pretending to be Native Americans. (Has society come up with a politically correct alternative to that? Or have children abandoned make-believe in favor of educational iPad games? Cynicism!) Now imagine that sound being ten times more annoying than you ever dreamed possible. It's downright impressive, actually.

"Caught in the Act" is an endearing article on Al Pacino published in the September 15, 2014, edition of The New Yorker. One section in particular focuses on Pacino's admiration for Oscar Wilde and his work. "Part of Pacino's fervor for Wilde comes from a desire to claim the writer's intelligence and eloquence . . . Pacino, whose formal education ended in the tenth grade, grappled for years with a sense of intellectual inadequacy." There's a quote later on from Pacino himself, talking about how he overcomes this on the stage (emphasis added):

You don't need a college education. All the things that you were inhibited to talk about and understand—they can come out in the play. The language of great writing frees you of yourself.

New copier repair man did not come to the office today, so my anticipatory anxiety remains. If the dad from Calvin and Hobbes were here, he'd assure me that this experience will build character. Then I would pack sandwiches and comic books in a knapsack and run away from home with Hobbes.