But for now, it is rare for me to laugh aloud, particularly when reading something.
And yet, there is this classical pianist named Jeremy Denk, whose writing is so imaginative and strangely witty that I have found myself actually laughing aloud at his blog. It's quite amazing.
It was after being steeped in 9/11 memories and sadness that I read his take on our poor Miss Teen South Carolina, and like at the end of Sullivan's Travels, was reminded that comedy is a great gift to the world:
By now, we are all familiar with the recent performance of Miss Teen South Carolina. (I know what you’re already thinking: “why, Jeremy, why from the shelter of your Upper West Side comfort, hemmed in by prolific ATMs, would you feel the perverse need to pile any more scorn upon this poor girl? Just get a puppy if you need something to do!”)
I think it helps to divorce oneself from the visual component of this event, and focus on the pitiless words themselves:
Q: Recent Polls indicate a 5th of Americans can’t locate the US on a world map. Why do you think this is?
A: I personally believe that US Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and the Iraq everywhere like such as and I believe that they should our education over here in the US should help the US or should help South Africa it should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for us.
… and they say poetry is dead! Grammar itself cowers in terror before this free-ranging masterpiece. [snip]
The proper vehicle for addressing this text is musical, not semantic or grammatical (though it refers to the semantic and grammatical in order to create its pseudo-musical paradigms). It begins innocently enough, with seeming Mozartean grace:
Antecedent phrase: I personally believe the US Americans are unable to do so…
(moving from tonic to dominant)
Consequent phrase: because some people out there in our nation don’t have maps.
(dominant back to tonic)
And on Jeremy goes, with such pearls of wisdom as "She has absorbed the lessons of Verlaine, but has transported them to Applebee’s."
His post on airline online checkin issues is equally entertaining.
Pop on over at your own risk. A doctorate in comparative lit and a degree in music will be useful, but isn't necessary. That airline stuff--it's like having Alan King back in his prime.