Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

The Worst Summer Ever?

God, I hope notAs mentioned previously, we have definitely entered the ass-end of August. Even the most measured and serene of observers have expressed their displeasure with the closing of the season. Salon's Rebecca Traister goes so far as to call it "one of the most cheerless on record." But is it really as bad as all that?

I can certainly see the argument. The oppressive heat and humidity have made the act of venturing out so unpleasant that even when you arrive at an event which might otherwise bring you some modicum of joy you are already so wilted and irate that there's no salve to restore your cheer. Plus, you're counting your pennies and drinking the kind of crap you haven't slugged back since college and wondering whether you should make an early exit lest you find yourself on the hook for another round.

There's not much to do if you stay in either. Except for "Mad Men" and "Louie," TV is a rocky shoal littered with reality-show detritus and "Lifetime" movies, which you now watch unironically and without guilt, and your acceptance of this passivity inspires more self-loathing than any hour you devote to "The Bachelor Pad" ever could. Maybe you could read a book, except your attention span has been decimated by years of blogskimming, and you can't go more than three pages without giving yourself some excuse to see if someone has tweeted at you or forwarded an amusing Taiwanese CGI take on the news. You'll buy the new Franzen, but it will sit there unopened, silently mocking you. Then it will audibly mock you, probably in that annoying, draggy voice poets use when they read their work in public. Eventually you will shove it under the bed, where at least it can stay up late having college-dorm conversations with Chronic City.

The world at large proves no more uplifting: clear and present environmental disasters on nearly every continent augur the looming worldwide environmental disaster we all know is coming but refuse to do anything about. We are still at war, and if the more aggressive elements have their way we will find ourselves involved in even more conflicts. At home, our politics are defined by invective and intransigence; our flawed system and damaged economy has caused so much frustration that the electorate is poised-after the briefest of exiles-to return the levers of power to the feckless cynics who brought this disaster on us in the first place. Duplicitous commentators condemn our nation's destruction of its proud manufacturing base without ever noting the role they themselves played as handmaiden to the architects of that destruction.

God knows if there's ever going to be a new James Bond movie.

And still, let me offer you one bit of hope. It is anecdotal, to be sure. I have no facts or figures to back it up, only my limited powers of observation. But when I look around these days, at the bars, at rooftop parties, on the streets and avenues of this still-great city, I see an army of young people out there having a good time. They retain all the optimism of youth. Their prospects may be just as grim as everyone else's, but they don't let that affect them. They use their relative poverty to their advantage, creating fun through thrift. They are building the very memories that they will look back on a couple of decades from now and think, "Man, that was the greatest summer ever."

And it will absolutely be true. Two decades from now we will all be bog people living in warring tribes among the marshes of the New Jersey Meadowlands, skinning rats to provide pelts for warmth and eating their chemically-infested flesh for the tiny bits of protein we are able to provide to our bodies. As the kids of today huddle around the tire fires of tomorrow, they will tell stories to their undersized, two-headed children (assuming mankind remains fertile then) about those balmy summer days before the floods and fires when a six pack of beer and a bittorrented rip of the new Arcade Fire were very heaven. It will sound like paradise.

Then they will be eaten by mutant alligators.

In the scheme of things, this summer could probably be worse.

49 Comments / Post A Comment

cherrispryte (#444)


Mindpowered (#948)

Maybe this will help

keisertroll (#1,117)

Even the Summer of Death was mildly disappointing. Not a single Beatle.

Tuna Surprise (#573)

Summer's last chance hinges on a plane being piloted by John Travolta taking out the entire guest list at P. Diddy's White Party over Labor Day weekend. Otherwise, it's going down as the most alive Summer of Death ever.

keisertroll (#1,117)

The Summer of Alive

deepomega (#1,720)

From blog people to bog people. Perfect.

Uncle Grambo (#579)

I think we should bring back Bros Icing Bros.

But that's what mutated the alligators to begin with!

"We're unforgettable,
Daisy Dukes,
Bikinis on top;
Sun-kissed skin,
So hot,
will melt your Popsicle;
da da da, duh da da da"!

It's not all popsicles and bikinis you know. This is the first warm weather we get all summer and NOW we have to drain the pool for maintenance. Oh the humanity!!!!!!!

Art Yucko (#1,321)

toned, tan, fit & ready / GTL.

das motorbike (#3,228)

jesus, if the 'best times' are spent listening to arcade fire then bring on the alligators.

Alex Balk (#4)

Oh, they're coming.

C_Webb (#855)

Makes the phrase "See you later, alligator" EXTREMELY OMINOUS.

keisertroll (#1,117)

This summer has actually picked up for me this month, but yeah, early July was M. Night bad.

LondonLee (#922)

This heat has ruined my lawn, it looks like a carpet of hay.

Bittersweet (#765)

No kidding. I think the last time it rained in Boston was those floods in March. End times?

KarenUhOh (#19)

I really have no problem with an Apocalpyse, so long as there's air conditioning.

MikeBarthel (#1,884)

I just assume those kids are parent-funded summer interns living in NYU housing and desperately trying to construct a NYC-appropriate costume out of the scraps in their Maryland closets, and then return safely to my bitterness.

brent_cox (#40)

Actually according to my recollections, End Times are a great time to be a blithely happy kid in the big city.

MikeBarthel (#1,884)

I dunno, they all seem really anxious and confused, but maybe I'm projecting.

I don't know. I don't mind the heat, even the barbaric heat, and the other day someone said, "Drinks on me!" in my vicinity.

There are town homes built IN the marshes of the Meadowlands, btw. They are awful, built on landfill and so samey-ticky tacky you want to firebomb them.

Alex Balk (#4)

Oh, they will be.

HiredGoons (#603)

Firebombing wastes precious fuel.

barnhouse (#1,326)

Paradoxically, I feel so much better after reading this.

p.s. I've been having a little guilt here in LA, where the weather has been celestial all summer, so far. Never mind, though, we will soon be buried in rubble (unless the water runs out first.)

Oh, it will.

Alex Balk (#4)

"Oh, you will be," would be better, but this is close enough.

Yeah, I look at the temperature in the upper right and just laugh and laugh.

I also live within (several) stones throw of a mosque funded by a foreign government.

This is why yours is the first voice I listen to for advice, Balk.

iantenna (#5,160)

i dunno, here in oakland the morning fog has made for mellow afternoons, 30-packs of tecate are $16.99 at safeway, great weed is $40 an eigth, and the bushwhacked piano is proving to be better the second time around.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

Let me fetch a dry-erase board and I'll try to do a photolisticle of everything that was awesome about this summer.

Only another Commenter's Bawl can save us. And humanity.

Miles Klee (#3,657)

Mutually exclusive.

OK. Just us then.

Who's in charge of creating a drink called the Mutant Alligator?

roboloki (#1,724)

we can just rename the negroni.

Mutant Alligator Season > Negroni Season

C_Webb (#855)

Another Commenters' Bawl would be a good excuse for building a FAwlout Shelter under The Scratcher.

Oh, I'll be there.

mrschem (#1,757)

<3 <3 <3

Rod T (#33)

This should be read to the tune of "You Are Not Alone".

Bittersweet (#765)

Mutant alligators > naked MJ

mrschem (#1,757)


mickeyitaliano (#2,202)

All I know is, we have had about an inch of rain since June,my grass is dead, between the hydroponic lights and the A/c,I am fucked with the double bill in Sept.,and my fresh basil is basically dried oregano…yeah,this summer blew.

HiredGoons (#603)

You mistake nihilism for optimism, but essentially yes.

lilbeanie (#4,082)

It drives me crazy that everyone forgets last summer so quickly! IT RAINED FOR TWO MONTHS STRAIGHT. Seriously, it seemed like it rained every day. Yeah, it's been incredibly hot and sweaty, which sucks. But the constant rain was sooo much worse. And as far as being poor and the world sucking, I see no difference from last summer and likely all the summers of my life, so I vote that this summer is awesome.

Earlier this summer M. Night might have made yet another $100 million grossing shitty movie but the summer ended with his name being laughed at off the screen during the "Devil" trailer. The audience reaction trailers might have been taken down from youtube but they live on before showings of "Scott Pilgrim". So fear not: the shitty aspects have a way of being evened out. I consider this summer a break-even.

Roger Evans (#7,054)

I can't wait to see how bad next summer will be.

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