Saturday, February 19, 2011

Eeeee Eee Eeee, 11/100

Let me begin by sharing the summary of Tao Lin's Eeeee Eee Eeee from the back cover:

Confused yet intelligent animals attempt to interact with confused yet intelligent humans, resulting in the death of Elijah Wood, Salman Rushdie, and Wong Kar-Wai; the destruction of a Domino's Pizza delivery car in Orlando; and a vegan dinner at a sushi restaurant in Manhattan attended by a dolphin, a bear, a moose, an alien, three humans, and the President of the United States of America, who lectures on the arbitrary nature of consciousness, truth, and the universe before getting drunk and playing poker.

Well, yes, that is what happens.

Certainly Tao Lin isn't for everyone. But I love his writing. I have a feeling if I ever sat down to write, something like this book is probably what would come out. Not as well written. Not even as coherent. But similar. Perhaps.

Eeeee Eee Eeee (named after the sound dolphins make), is a mixture of the absurd and the philosophical. And it's hysterically funny. It's on different wavelength than Lin's Richard Yates.

Here are some passages.

What was Andrew doing the entire time in college? Everyone was constantly busy and partying, or attempting suicide. Andrew was always telling people he'd just slept fourteen hours.

They go to Wal-Mart. They look for something to use against the little sisters. Can't find anything. They stay at Wal-Mart over two hours. In the car Andrew has a videotape, Gosford Park.

"You son of a bitch," Steve says.

"Did you see this?"

"You son of a bitch," Steve says again.

Steve on a killing rampage; mass grave in the side yard. "It won every award," Andrew says. "Because the director is a hundred years old or something. It's the Jhumpa Lahiri of movies."

"Irony is so privileged," Mark said. "It's what happens when you don't need to do anything to survive--it's when the things you do have nothing to do with survival and you spend forty million dollars to make Steve Zissou and the Atomic Submarine or whatever it's called."

He sometimes felt that life was something that had already risen, and all this, the Jackson Pollack of spring, summer, and fall, the vague refrigeration and tinfoiled sky of wintertime, was just a falling, really, originward, in a kind of correction, as if by spiritual gravity, towards the wiser consciousness--or consciousnessless, maybe; could gravity trick itself like that?--of death. It was a kind of movement both very slow and very fast; there was both too much and not enough time to think.

Was this for real? Andrew had forgotten how to be happy! He suspected that it involved unwarranted feelings of fondness for other people, too much self-esteem, a sort of long-term delusion that manifested as charisma, and a blocking out of certain things, like lonely people, depressed people, desperate people, homeless people, people you've hurt, people you like who don't like you, politics, the nature of being and existence, the continent of Africa, the meat industry, McDonald's, MTV, Hollywood, and most or all of human history, especially anything having to do with the Western Hemisphere between 1400 and 1900, plus or minus 200 years--

How can you be angry at someone else's assumption or context that was as arbitrarily chosen or adopted as your own? If you unsarcastically feel anger at anything except everything it means your context does not include the information that assumptions have been made and contexts have been created;...any unsarcastic thought or action is a horrible distortion...There are assumptions and contexts and we go around pretending and playing games by overlapping our assumptions and contexts with others until there is no more time left.

Andrew is afraid of his neighbors. The gate has a secret pass code. Sara has a secret pass code. She should. Andrew would stand there for years trying combinations. He wouldn’t keep track or develop a strategy but just continue trying different combinations and then Kafka would rise from the grave and write a novel about him.

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