I don't care what anyone says, Lana Del Rey's producers are still interesting and fun to listen to.
This was truly wonderful. Thank you.
@C_Webb It's only awful if you don't do it right!
The best thing about showing people NYC is touring a place they've heard about and seen in movies a thousand times, and then peeling back the layers. Show them things WITHIN the banal locations that they couldn't find on their own. You can get good hot chocolate anywhere, see lovely cherry blossoms most anywhere, but why are they BROOKLYN, why are they MEANINGFUL? The dry-as-toast Blue Guides are extremely helpful for quick lookup of all the dirt on any area you might visit (http://www.amazon.com/New-York-Map-Blue-Guide/dp/0393319857) and they're standard curriculum for becoming a licensed NYC tour guide. They give you the brief synopsis of the things that happened in each neighborhood, year after unbelievable year. The tour guide's job is to make those dry little nuggets shine. (/The Cruise/, the Timothy Speed Levitch documentary is required and wonderful viewing for this.)
Coney Island is intense but it's ESSENTIAL if you're talking Brooklyn. It's one of the most emotionally layered places in New York.
Basically the best thing that has ever happened to me in Brooklyn was walking innocently out into the misty green of Prospect Park at 5am on a sleepless Sunday morning. I thought I would sit and meditate and watch the sun come up. I had no idea about the dogs. The rising sea of overjoyed, leashless, romping dogz. DOGZ!!!
Also, I think Coney Island is important. It's basically the same thing on a sunny day, but with all the humans of the world, in swimming trunks.
@Pierre About the dreams! Are you guys having anxiety nightmares about falling off the wagon?! I started December 27th and I've had these terribly vivid dreams that leave me feeling guilty and uncomfortable for half the day until I remember that I didn't wake up and guzzle myself into oblivion the night before. It's not even that I'm some kind of terrible person when I'm drunk! I'm not! IN FACT, I mostly got off of the booze because I kept on waking up the next day feeling wracked with inexplicable guilt. I think it's a loss-of-control thing.
And now, guilt anyway. Drynuary, you are worthless.
Also, I wanted to add that this morning I discovered that putting "buttered rum" flavored syrup in your latte is TOTALLY BOOZE FLAVORED. None of this laughable so-called "butterscotch" crap. Is it weird to like the taste of booze? Should I not? Oh god!
@dj pomegranate Thanks, I hadn't heard of that group. Very interesting.
@mae Thanks for the suggestion... I'm with you, or think I am, on how much greater awe there is in even basic appreciation of science. It's nice to have that door open, in the fifteen years or so since I stopped arguing with science teachers about the legitimacy of the fossil record.
It's funny, I've swung into atheism for a spell, then sort of swung back out again because I can't really function without some acknowledgment of... the pertinence of the ineffable and intuitive. I feel that both atheism and deism can be somewhat restrictive and reductionist, as people tend to insist on them. Science is a huge joy, but to go ahead and (fuckin') quote Albert (fuckin') Einstein (yeah!): "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."
I want more science like that, don't you? (May the Force be with you, yo.)
@barnhouse I'm sure my insistence on it really nails the point home, but anyway. Therapy.
@barnhouse Of the Sessions piece: Nicely written but facile. It posits a world in which Christians can somehow choose to feel less than embattled against popular culture. They are re-born, servants of a higher king, ergo counter-culture. Being embattled is central to Christian-cult mentality, and honestly half the fun.
@barnhouse Thanks for the recommendations! Do you mean this piece? http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Creation-Crusade-David-Sessions-04-28-2011?offset=0&max=1
I wish I could say that I'm comfortable with uncertainty. At the very least, I have been willing to be uncomfortable in the pursuit of something-closer-to-truth, and I remain so. But no, when you're raised/brainwashed the way I was, it is tremendously difficult to even choose a hobby without the blessing of the faith and family and community. Hell, I used to have trouble with the hobby I HAD--beadwork--because there were dream catchers in the store (portals to the demon world) and some of the quartz pieces had pagan uses (although of course all the stones are God's creation alone... but never too careful.) and I had to be careful that I didn't become exuberant and accidentally use a charm that invoked some New Age concept, like, say, a peace sign. (Connected to the pentagram, used by Satanists/hippies.)
I mean, you can't even imagine how many things there are to fear. Christians make up new things to fear every day, just in case.
I wish I were smarter or stronger, but I was forcibly hospitalized, re-programmed, drugged for a year (without reference to my feelings, just... whatever my mom asked the psychiatrist to do), and exorcized three times before I was finally kicked out completely and cut off. I'm a business owner in New York City, I finished putting myself through a secular university, and I have traveled alone in many "pagan" lands full of "Satanic" temples. I think I'm probably remarkably strong and independent all things considered. But unfortunately, I don't feel comforted by the existential uncertainty right now, because of all the things that uncertainty represents.
And P.S. Thanks for your interest in these comments. I have been afraid to chime in for a long time. But I expect and hope I can't hurt Michele's campaign now, so this level of disloyalty is hopefully not too gauche.