Last night, I went to Electric Larryland in some state of disrepair; feeling again like a fragmented unit. It’s useful yet uncomfortable to feel a bit taken apart; more can be assimilated but less can be understood. I’ve decided that I don’t like it unless I’m safe.
He pierced my heart-gate; I came back together again, gratefully if not painlessly.
And then Jean flew in! And we put the Miata top down, and her huge suitcase on top of it, and home we went. And it was like the moment when your beadwork finally comes together, and bing, in your hands is a shape, and I felt a sense of completion, and happiness.
I miss Roger Ebert more than I expected to; I liked him better on paper than in person and now, I have to say, he shines brightest of all, having left behind a sparkling legacy of words and a nicely courageous final battle, without a lot of drama, and a set of some of the best and truest insights I could ever have imagined anyone setting down.
I read this Slate piece again this morning, and wept crocodile tears again. So elegant, so exactly how I feel. Or more maybe exactly how Bill feels. I’m even less sure than he and Roger are about winking out, and find it actually difficult to believe that my individuality will be lost. I don’t buy that for a minute.
Anyway. Don’t miss this short piece. An excerpt:
Raised as a Roman Catholic, I internalized the social values of that faith and still hold most of them, even though its theology no longer persuades me. I have no quarrel with what anyone else subscribes to; everyone deals with these things in his own way, and I have no truths to impart. All I require of a religion is that it be tolerant of those who do not agree with it. I know a priest whose eyes twinkle when he says, “You go about God’s work in your way, and I’ll go about it in His.”
What I expect to happen is that my body will fail, my mind will cease to function and that will be that. My genes will not live on, because I have had no children. I am comforted by Richard Dawkins’ theory of memes. Those are mental units: thoughts, ideas, gestures, notions, songs, beliefs, rhymes, ideals, teachings, sayings, phrases, clichés that move from mind to mind as genes move from body to body. After a lifetime of writing, teaching, broadcasting and telling too many jokes, I will leave behind more memes than many. They will all also eventually die, but so it goes.
O’Rourke’s had a photograph of Brendan Behan on the wall, and under it this quotation, which I memorized:
I respect kindness in human beings first of all, and kindness to animals. I don’t respect the law; I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper and the old men and old women warmer in the winter and happier in the summer.