Too much information, baby, I love you
Stormy Daniels is going to tell her story and if it is true that she whispered in her lover’s ear to meet with Kim Jong-un and talk about denuclearization and if steel tariffs were also part of the discussion, it’ll be news for a week and then something else will come along and she will be forgotten.
There is way too much information out there. It is filling our heads with sawdust and getting in the way of our direct experience of the world. For example, the fresh snow in my front yard, the birch trees, the bright winter sky, like so many bright winter skies going back to when I waited for a school bus under one when I was 13. On my front step is this morning’s paper and if I pick up the paper and open it, the school bus disappears. Either I can read about Stormy or I can see this day for all that it contains.
The past is still present all around us and the news does not prove otherwise. I wouldn’t have said that when I was young and scuffling for attention, but now I live on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi and the interstate and watch the daily struggle for prominence, the horns honking, the fists shaking, the Lexuses and Audis competing for an inside lane from which to ace out the Chevys and arrive at their reserved parking spaces three minutes earlier. I sit up here like a marsupial in a persimmon tree, observing the male elk bashing each other bloody, and I glance at the paper where President Nebuchadnezzar says once more that he is a genius, and then move on to what’s real: our family and friends, the ambitious young, the elders sliding with dignity into oblivion.
I went to my friend Leon’s art show Saturday and was stunned by his extravagant genius. I only know him from having had lunch with him regularly; he doesn’t bring paintings to lunch. My people are Yorkshiremen and lowland Scots; his are Ukrainian. If my people took brush and paint in hand, we would paint walls, whereas he and his people paint horses, curtains and windows, the faces and forms of beautiful women, lush plumage and vegetation. Some of the work contains glitter. My people would never put glitter on anything; they’d remove any glitter already there. What’s my point? It’s that our lunches are about news and meanwhile he’s made his life into art and with art, the past lives on into the present.
I’ve been making notes for a memoir and discover oddly that my clearest memories are of beloved teachers and relatives, lucky accidents, wonderful trips, magical places. The gloomy periods of self-pity tend to vanish, the breakups and defeats, the manuscript lost in the Portland train station, the easy pop flies I dropped, the stories rejected. I spent two years once on a novel that nobody liked except me and now I can’t even tell you what it was about but I can close my eyes and relive a hard-hit ground ball down the third-base line that I caught on the first bounce backhanded, braced my right foot, and threw to first, nailing my uncle Don by two steps. I was 14.
Life is a comedy. I wasn’t brought up to think so but it now seems evident by what is remembered, what has disappeared. Watergate is dead matter, a dim mist of images and transcripts that only a dozen historians care about, whereas the musicians in my backyard on a summer night in 1973 are very clear, sitting in a gazebo, fiddles, guitars, mandolins, a concertina, a cardboard box for a drum, someone blowing on a beer bottle. The sun went down, we lit a fire, children who are now middle-aged parents roasted wieners and marshmallows, and the music played on and on, old tunes that if you didn’t know them were easily picked up. And after enough beers, we put down the instruments and sang Beach Boys songs, Supremes, Shondells, Temptations, Drifters, songs everybody knew the words to—“My Girl,” “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “Save the Last Dance For Me”—and the neighbors came out and stood in their backyards and listened. It’s all still there somehow. Clouds of cigarette smoke in the air. We were venturing into our 30s, our prospects uncertain, singing “Baby, don’t you know I love you so, can’t you feel it when we touch,” and I hear it still.
"D-Yikes!" is the sixth episode of the eleventh season and the 159th overall episode of the American animated sitcom South Park. It first aired on Comedy Central in the United States on April 11, 2007. In the episode, frustrated with men, Mrs. Garrison makes the boys write an essay on The Old Man and the Sea. The boys hire Mexican day laborers to do the job for them, but they misinterpret the term "essay." Meanwhile, Mrs. Garrison has become a lesbian and finds the bar she hangs out in is about to be taken over by Persian club owners. Mrs. Garrison takes a stand in the name of saving the one place that lets her be the woman she is.
The episode is rated TV-MA, and is a parody of the film 300.
When the episode begins, Mrs. Garrison storms into her classroom enraged over a failed date, and takes her anger out on her male students with an essay assignment over the weekend, making them read The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway in its entirety. At Cartman's urging, they hire local Mexican laborers looking for work to read the book and write their essays for them. When they come back for their essays on Monday morning, they find out that the Mexicans misunderstood them, and instead of writing essays they wrote to their éses, a slang term in Chicano Spanish for friends. Meanwhile, Mrs. Garrison is working out at Curves when she meets a woman named Allison. Allison invites her to "Les Bos" (pronounced "le-bo"), a nearby bar, but Mrs. Garrison is shocked to find out that it's a lesbian bar. After being seduced by Allison, the two engage in scissoring. The next day, when the boys try to explain themselves to Mrs. Garrison about their essay, she happily gives them more time to work, announcing she has become a lesbian, which the class is highly supportive of.
Garrison returns to Les Bos and becomes sociable with all the women, but then is shocked to discover that the bar is being sold to Persians, who plan to make it into a Club Persh Dance Club. Soon after, the Persians send a representative to see the women at the bar. The representative tries to persuade the women there will be no real change, as the lesbians will still be welcome. Nevertheless, it will no longer be solely a lesbian bar, and will be decorated with stereotypically Persian decorations. Mrs. Garrison kicks the messenger in the testicles in retaliation. After the representative returns to the Persian's club, an army of sixty other Persians prepare to storm the bar, but they fail to defeat the women. The remaining Persians go to see their boss, Rauf Xerxes, who decides to handle the situation personally.
Mrs. Garrison decides that the lesbians need a spy inside Club Persh, in order to find illegal activity to use as blackmail, and hires the Mexicans to spy on the Persians. Later, Xerxes arrives, and attempts to reason with Mrs. Garrison, even offering her the job of running the club when he takes control. Mrs. Garrison declines, and tells Xerxes that she knows the Persian leader's secret, found out by the Mexicans — Xerxes is actually a woman. Xerxes is shocked that Mrs. Garrison knows her secret, and says that the other Persians cannot know, as women cannot be in charge in Persian culture. Mrs. Garrison agrees, and in a parallel of her own seduction by Allison, she seduces Xerxes and the two engage in scissoring. Xerxes decides to keep Les Bos a lesbian bar, and is seen at the bar herself. Mrs. Garrison then explains that the school has hired substitutes to take over her class for a while, who turn out to be the same Mexicans again. The boys then decide that the Mexicans are better teachers than Mrs. Garrison. During the math lesson, the Mexicans are explaining how to add fractions, when Kyle remarks, "I think I'm actually learning something".
IGN rated this episode 6.5 passable and said "There are some funny moments, as is almost always the case with any episode of this series. When Ms. Garrison first realizes she's a lesbian and tells the class "I'm gay!" Everyone is a little confused and Stan says "Again?" The joke about "writing essays" is a good laugh. Another moment is when "Janet" Garrison first figures out how two women make love and there's a smash cut to he and his new girlfriend "scissoring." It's a shock moment and makes you wonder how they get away with stuff like this. However, when they use the joke again at the end, it's now not nearly as funny. You can't shock the audience twice with the same joke - it just doesn't work that way."
The lesbians' fight against the Persians, with Mrs. Garrison kicking the messenger, Rauf Xerxes's physical appearance, and a plethora of slow-motion sequences, are references to the Zack Snyder film 300.
It is also a take on the closings of gay bars across the United States.