Grit or The Best Things I’ve Read in 2010.
You don’t need to have someone’s balls hanging out for your McSweeney-esk article to have grit. It doesn’t hurt that Richard Kern has boobies hanging out in everything that he produces but somehow he does it in such a way that you don’t notice the boobies.* Besides, he’s not a writer. Still, grit is the topic here and seeing as the chosen medium is the written word I can’t help but reflect on the best things I’ve read in 2010, most of which had no pictures at all**. Enough has been written about McCarthy so I won’t go there but I did finish the Border Trilogy early this year so that makes a noteworthy mention. Yes I say vamonos instead of yellah almost every second day and yes I am on my way to the nearest Hacienda. If you haven’t read McCarthy you should; if you saw the movie The Road before you read The Road forget it, you just fucked your own life up so hard that your warped perspective will never have a chance to resettle. Please stop reading my blog… Still here? Okay don’t worry; actually you’ll never know the difference. You could, if you dare, hazard a train spotting career for a number of years, doing ice, cocaine, heroin and other drugs, hustle for a period*** and then come back to reality in early 2020 and read The Road. Just a thought.
There was rarely an issue of Vice that didn’t have at least mind fuck of an article which I devoured and would suggest that either I have had some literary renaissance of sorts or they are writing much better articles lately. Whatever the case maybe, in 2010 I put away my horrible music mags and audio mags (this does not include TapeOp which is awesome music mag), and replace them with McSweeney’s short stories, Vice and The Believer. This probably took up more than half of my reading time.
The next noteworthy mention is 1001 Arabian Nights. I’ve the deckled edge re-issue of 1910 edition for about 5 years but only just decided to read it. Awesome! I’m a massive fan of Walt Disney’s Aladdin but the original tale is deeper, darker, grittier and way more sordid. Great stuff and thoroughly enjoyed comparing the two which is something I can honestly say I have never ever done. Probably because it was so different to the original. Please go out and read it. If you can find a copy with the original Maxfield Parish illustrations then even better.
I didn’t read the paper in 2010. Not sure why. Maybe it was because it’s mainly crap but I am thinking about getting back into day trading so perhaps I may need to get back into this paper reading habit. I started to read Catch 22 but put it down. My copy of Catcher in the Rye is missing and I think I know who has it. Sadly I think that’s pretty much it but there’s quite a bit on the cards for 2011 so stay tuned.
**graphic novels are high on the list for 2011. Here’s hoping D.R. Shaw doesn’t have a snobbish approach to them.
***assuming you’re good looking enough