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Thursday, February 23, 2023

Advice columns

 I like some advice columns and read one regularly now.  (Ask a Manager.) My theory is that I'm using them as "equipment for living." In other words, I run them the questions through my mind in order to process my own life. I especially enjoy it when the commenters adopt funny pseudonyms and overthink the questions being asked. 


There was something else that I also use in this way, that I was thinking of the other day, and that I actually prefer to the advice columns, but now I can't think of what it is! That is ironic, since I supposedly think that this is a better thing than what I am actually doing. 


Lynda Barry (cartoonist) suggests that when we write an obituary, we talk about the external life (was born a certain place, etc...). When we write in a journal, we write about "feelings." But to write a story (she suggests), begin with an image. 

Imagine your teenage room: what posters do have on the wall?  

I know I had a full length Bogart with fedora on the inside of my door.  Dalí's persistence of memory, Picasso, 3 musicians, and a very large Brueghel of people ice skating outside. I had probably been reading Pictures from Brueghel by WCW. There, that already is more interesting than either "feelings" or external life.      

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