Story of My Life
If her question [How come nobody ever told us what was important?] is meant to be a neon arrow pointing damningly at our culture, this is a pretty serious book. It’s a pretty serious book.
I read Story of My Life by Jay McInerney recently (thank you Jon Fox). McInerney is an American author who wrote it in 1985. I have part of Vic Bobb’s review of it in italics at the top. (He gave it a B/B+ if you’re interested.) I’ve given STML to Jessica Lung, so if you see her, tell her to get reading it.
The first line is “I’m like, I don’t believe this shit.” Yep, it’s like that the whole way: whiney first-person narrative from a 20-year-old woman spoiled and coked out of her mind living in New York City.
I’ve also read Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell—if you know me at all, this should not shock you. A couple things surprised me about this book. (Vic hasn’t reviewed it... that’s not one of the surprises though.) First, it’s not a novel; it’s not even fiction. It’s a compilation of newspaper columns written by Bushnell. Unlike the HBO series, the women in the columns are not bonded by healthy friendships, there are way more drugs, and it really happened. It was depressing and put me off Sex for at least a week.
But for as much as the materialism, the objectification of people, the days without sleep, the sex, the makeup, and the 100% batshit-bonkery are depressing and morally bankrupt, those things are alluring. I read both books rapidly—I devoured them—for the spectacle.
What’s important to me right now is making life as pleasing as possible. (You can ask Mitch.) If you left me alone with a pile of fashion magazines, a library of books, some Mexican food, good beer, and my bicycle, I’d be completely happy.
I suspect that this is not the correct answer to “What’s important?” But all the right answers I can think of (God, Love, Education, Helping People, Saving the World) quickly spiral into abstractions whenever you get two or more people talking about them. And I’m sick of abstractions.