101 in 1001: 010 attend a taping of (jon stewart's) the daily show
Dear Daily Show Audience Members,

Due to a writers strike, “The Daily Show” taping on Wednesday December 12th, 2007 has been cancelled. Unfortunately, we have no additional information as to when this strike will end. Your cancelled show tickets will NOT be automatically rescheduled, you will have to start the process again. If you would like to attend a future taping of the show, please reserve tickets on our website at www.thedailyshow.com. Since we have no direct control over the strike, we cannot guarantee that the show will actually tape on the new date that you select. Of course, we are all hoping for a speedy resolution to the labor dispute.
i reserved those tickets back in june, man! i don't mean to whinge - being a thwarted daily show audience member is a lot better than being a daily show staffer right now, to be sure, and we're flying out west tomorrow anyway* - but that sucks.

out west, yes yes: joe's parents were going to be here in manhattan for the week surrounding christmas, but plans mutated, and we're heading out to arizona instead. speaking of 101 in 1001 items, i have high hopes for 086 (tour arizona mining towns with joe). expect sexy photos of frontier decrepitude! and please don't be put out if your annual "season's greetings from new york!" card has a phoenix postmark - until, oh, fifteen minutes ago, i've been up to my eyebrows in the february issue of the ladymag. it's been extremely unpleasant.

at the extremely pleasant end of the spectrum, louis menaud's "woke up this morning" (from last week's new yorker) yielded several of the most satisfying phrases i've read since...well, since the last time i read fitzgerald or wilde. a few of my favorites:
The impulse to keep a diary is to actual diaries as the impulse to go on a diet is to actual slimness. Most of us do wish that we were slim diarists.


At least one person has read the entire “Journals: 1952-2000,” by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. (Penguin; $40), from start to finish, and this person can report that the work yields the exact degree of pleasure that can be derived from standing on a moving sidewalk: it’s painless, you don’t want it to stop, and there is not a single surprise in it.
the whole feature is great, both in little bites like those and because of menaud's larger points about what makes someone a great diarist (warhol was, reagan wasn't). it made me want to be a diarist, or to have a diligent and affectionate editor who could unpack my writing (i should be able to do that for myself, of course). read, internets, read! if you yourself have a diary, and/or a blog, consider what menaud calls the id/ego/superego theories** of diary-keeping: do you agree with any of them?

*we planned the trip after the strikers settled in for the long haul.

**as follows:

Writing is onerous (especially with an ultra-thin pencil)—writing feels like work because it is work—and, day by day, life is pretty routine, repetitive, and, we should face it, boring. So why do a few keep diaries, when diary-keeping is, for many, too much?

Three theories immediately suggest themselves. They are theories of the ego, the id, and the superego (and what is left, really?). The ego theory holds that maintaining a diary demands a level of vanity and self-importance that is simply too great for most people to sustain for long periods of time. It obliges you to believe that the stuff that happened to you is worth writing down because it happened to you. This is why so many diaries are abandoned by circa January 10th: keeping this up, you quickly realize, means something worse than being insufferable to others; it means being insufferable to yourself. People find that they just can’t take themselves seriously enough to continue. They may regret this—people capable of taking themselves seriously tend to go farther in life—but they accept it and move on to other things, such as collecting stamps.

The id theory, on the other hand, states that people use diaries to record wishes and desires that they need to keep secret, and to list failures and disappointments that they cannot admit publicly have given them pain. Diary-keeping, on this account, is just neurotic, since the last thing most people want to do with their unconsummated longings and petty humiliations is to inscribe them permanently in a book. They want to forget them, and so they soon quit writing them down. Most people don’t confess; they repress.

And the superego theory, of course, is the theory that diaries are really written for the eyes of others. They are exercises in self-justification. When we describe the day’s events and our management of them, we have in mind a wise and benevolent reader who will someday see that we played, on the whole, and despite the best efforts of selfish and unworthy colleagues and relations, a creditable game with the hand we were dealt. If we speak frankly about our own missteps and shortcomings, it is only to gain this reader’s trust. We write to appease the father. People abandon their diaries when they realize that the task is hopeless.


tom said...

Well, I don't have ready access to the book, but from what I know about id/ego/superego generally (which is not much anyway), I can report from my (former) blogging that the gut reaction, visceral posts do not, on further reflection, stand up very well to reason. It was very much venting.

Blogging definitely lends itself to that sort of thing--you type it and, two minutes later, you're done and it's off to posterity, and the world besides. Visceral, dead-wrong-after-a-week entries in a written journal/diary happen too, but the act of drawing pen against paper is by its very nature more deliberative.

Or maybe I've missed the point of the question, altogether. ["Or maybe you've missed the point of the question."]

lauren said...

that's certainly on-topic! the whole article is online, actually (that hyperlink from the title), but it's a bit unfair for me to ask you to hunt around in it for the passage i'm talking about - so i'll add it to the post. truly, the whole piece is worth a read, though.

g said...

oh, crap! i thought you guys were leaving tomorrow, not today. i should've met up with you last night. have a lovely arizona christmas. will you be back for new year's?

also crap, no daily show for us. i'm still feeling a bit put out about that.

lauren said...

no no, we're here for christmas! we get back in town first thing in the morning next thursday, the 20th. sorry, the head cold is making me lie.

also, baby jo and chris will be in the house as of the 26th or so, so your presence is required to help us paint the town mauve.

i had a secret theory that the strike would end today and we'd actually miss the first new show in moths - no, months - DAMN YOU HEAD COLD! - but alas. no teeny funny man for us.

tom said...

On reading the passage: the id and ego really are tied together (imagine that).

Diaries are essentially introverted things -- if you only wrote down what you shared with others otherwise (phone, e-mail, etc.), it wouldn't be a diary, but a transcript of your life. (Trust me: reading transcripts is a dull exercise -- I was there for the real thing.)

So you write down your private thoughts -- some benign, others deeper, and some which begin to touch the deepest (perhaps darkest) bits of you. And you look at it two months later and say about much of it (if not all): "what are you, twelve?"

As for superego theory? Meh. We all do stuff to justify our existence, to seek approval. This is just another way of doing that for some (but not all). The value of that is in the eye of the beholder, of course.

uncle paul said...

Man, for me it's all superego pretending to be id. Don't tell my dad.

Man, now I am sad that I don't go to Arizona for even-numbered Christmases - otherwise I would try to meet you guys in the mining towns. Have you ever been to the OK Corral where tape recorders play fightin' words from inside crude statues of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday? Cause, you know.

Meg said...

I'm sorry you are missing the teeny funny man. At least you can reschedule. Had they cancelled our last week of NYC Daily Show "meg and david living the dream tour" I would have cried.