October 7, 2004

Don't Stand So Close to Me

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For this fortieth, and final, edition of Don’t Stand So Close To Me, we have composed a greatest-hits column. Each of the previous 39 columns was scoured for perception, intelligence, or humor. These findings were then lifted from their context and compiled into the composition that follows.

Kids these days are so cool. Since I have less friends my own age right now than Michael Jackson, I am trying to learn from their example. I get the hint–ambivalence equals cool. Crazy as in stab me in the chest Elliot Smith-style? One is fondling a water bottle; the other gnaws on a large slab of chicken pinioned to a plastic fork. So Ithaca really is gangsta. But, to paraphrase Billy Idol, with a rebel yell I cried more, more, more. “Dude he was cloned when the aliens took his brain. Everybody thought it was ‘Pac that was killed, but really it was the clone.” In my notebook I jot down a lesson I have learned: true rebels stick it to the man.

And fat people get to take their shirts off. I decide to casually name-drop the local scene at my next conversation. I can understand how an old white guy would like Peter, Paul, and Mary, but by what mechanism are they acquiring new fans born in the ’80s? I ask him if he uses those recessed filter tips on his Parliaments for cocaine. And I want to improve my spatial imagery. Taking the role of interviewer, he decides he will be the one asking questions: “What is this? Who are you? Is this for the radio?”

Using rude language, she tells me to go interview someone else.

His face is like a great work of art, every time you examine it you find something new, something undiscovered. At times funny, at others sublimely beautiful, his face renews in me a desire to enjoy life.

Writing a column for the Daily Sun gives you unexpected perks. “We’re minimalist or repetitive, depending on your point of view.” You won’t find the word “Attitune” in the dictionary, as it is a word salad consisting of two traditional Rock and Roll virtues: attitude and tune.

“A Quality Future For All–Encouraging Less Children.” Forced abortions are not very rock and roll. Yeah, Ted Bundy was relaxed and cute. “I’m running for student assembly. I’m class of ’08, living in Jameson. My name’s Gilbert Frances.”

“Everybody you just said is Islamic.” “No, no, no. Dilated Peoples are Christian now, they’re not Islamic.” “The Grateful Dead are advanced theologians of philosophy.” “It all starts with Kant. Read everything he wrote, all three critiques and his moral philosophy.”

The Rapists have caused controversy and calamity in their fight to be the top dog roaming the Tompkins County Region. “You can’t kill someone that doesn’t exist.” “Innit excessive?”

We have composed a greatest-hits column. These findings were then lifted from their context

Archived article by Will Lanier
Red Letter Daze Staff Writer