Monday, December 08, 2003


Anyway, that's my working term for a certain kind of essay that a certain kind of essayist writes about his/her personal life. And because I am a big chicken, I am not mentioning any names, but these kind of essays...they bust out all over the place around the holidays. The short version of the one I most recently read was: "Families can kind of suck. But in the end, aren't they all we have?"

Well, in a word, no. Or, to quote the great Ben Kingsley in a genuinely heartbreaking movie, SEXY BEAST, No no no no no no no no no.

I don't mind this kind of essay when it is written by someone who is traditional and conservative. That is that writer's job. To shore up this structure, to assure us that it, in the end, doesn't need fixing. But it's somehow much worse when it's someone who's crawled away from his or her Crazy, 60s-Drenched Life to hawk a certain kind of feelings porn that numbs us and stops us from questioning.

Can you tell I've been watching Angels in America? Hey, have a Tony Kushner Christmas!


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