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More, Now, Again – Interrupted

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I was here on 9/11 and stood speechless, watching as a plane flew into the second Twin Tower and knew that, that morning, my mother – a flight attendant – was about to take off from Newark at 8:45 a.m. and for the hour or more that they did not know the plane’s identity, all I could think about was my mother who I love and who I’ve been such a pain in the ass too, flying into this building and dying this way. What I know is that no matter, it was someone’s mother, daughter, father, lover, brother, husband, son. It was someone’s somebody and that was enough to make me drop to my knees and cry. It was enough for the nation to drop to its knees and weep and we did. Should it come as any surprise then that the so-called “rules of engagement” have then changed? That instead of people turning toward each other as I would have expected – lovers becoming closer and the like, and we did see some of that, I agree, for the most part, the statistics bear out that the rates of infidelity actually rose sharply after 9/11, particularly among office affairs, people who work together, which is where most affairs start anyway, but the rates actually increased.

I can’t explain it. I don’t understand it and I don’t think I want to. It sickens me. Was it, Oh Brad, tomorrow we could die in a fiery inferno, so let’s do it now? or some other line that cheapened and dirtied what had really happened to this country and to those people. Those after 9/11 infidelities that only tore away at the fabric of our country all the more and broke up so many families, showing the terrorists, if they cared to read, that after all, we Americans for all of our togetherness and talk, were actually quite weak in this way. That we took out our grief by fucking and by fucking over those we said we loved the most because now, now we loved Chloe the office-girl from _____ (insert exotic place here) because we were so fucking afraid of dying, because they said, we realized we could die at any moment so it somehow validated our infidelity and actions against the nuclear family and the promises we had made and were breaking. We were, at last, within our rights to run off with some chick named “Monsoon” (as happens in Riding In Cars With Boys) because it was war, damn it, and war somehow equated with this bullshit.

All of this knowledge haunts me and it is hard for me to see the beauty in humanity, let alone the world as a whole because I am too damn busy worrying, as so many Gen Xers feared all along, that it would all come down to some awful nuclear holocaust and here we are, vulnerable because of our power plants and nuclear weapons and, once again, we are seeing our families break up just like when we were kids, only this time, it’s our own lover as noted above. We were right and, Christ, I wish we had been wrong. I think none of us wanted to be right about these things. So if there was ever a time to become a drug addict or drop out like Kaysen or hang around an institution and have some order put back into your life, some regimen and some semblance of normalcy. Yes, now, dear, is the time to schedule your breakdown.

The appeal of Wurtzel’s Florida life is undeniable. Perhaps the drugs aren’t such a great idea but even here she makes them sound appealing almost to the point where I would say this is a dangerous book to read because, though the end is a wake up call, the rest of the book is one big love story between a girl and her Ritalin.

For a moment, I even wondered what it would be like for me, whom Ritalin has never gotten high, to grind it up and snort it. What would happen then? Would I “meet Jesus”? Would all this war and this social awfulness fade away? Yes, I would hide out with my grandmother in Florida but I figured, even on drugs, I could take care of her just fine, especially on Ritalin since she has so many errands that need running and so much taking care of since she’s been ill that I’d be like a machine and finally, finally, my life would have meaning – I’d be taking care of someone and that would mean everything, and while yes, in the process I’d be killing myself…. Oh, right.

About Sadi Ranson-Polizzotti

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Wow — thanks for this impressive (and impressively long!) review, Sadi.

    Please consider breaking up future lengthy reviews into two or more posts (this one clocks in at a hefty 4,400 + words), which will likely draw a higher readership for a Web readership.

  • http://www.tantmieux.squarespace.com sadi

    Dear Eric:

    My apologies; the piece just went on as long as it did, and needed that much space. IN the future, though, i will break it up into two pieces. i see your point. i apologize. it’s never been a problem in the past, or not that i’ve been told – E.O.- do you want me to do this? Let me know. I”ll do whatever makes you happy. So, Olsen, please let me know which you prefer.

    Thanks for the comments and the good point. I’ll take it up with Eric O. for his input as well and take it from there.

    Cheers, and be well,

    Sadi

  • Eric Olsen

    Sadi and Eric, in the very broadest sense, shorter seems to be better on the Internet in order to hold people’s attention: short paragraphs, short posts, etc. Knowing this has been really good for me because I have always tended to be long-winded and just know I can’t on the net.

    But that’s a generality and sometimes it has to be long to say what you want to say!

  • http://www.tantmieux.squarespace.com sadi

    hmmm. okay, well, as you know, E, i tend to write a bit long, but that said, i will try try try to be briefer. yes, shorter is better on the internet. but as you said, sometimes it takes more time to say what you want to say. Perhaps E.B’s idea of breaking it up is the best way to approach it. i think if it has to be long, then i can break it up as he suggests. I hope this didn’t ruin the piece though – I was sort of into this one, though it didn’t get much attention. maybe i was off here, but i liked this one more than most for whatever freaky reason. sometimes, weird things just appeal. anyway, thanks for the help and all. as ever, yours – sade

  • Eric Olsen

    this is powerful and exceptional and needs the space it takes to say what it says

  • Eric Olsen

    I wouldn’t sell yourself short against these two ditsy knuckleheads, by the way!

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    i like the longer entries. i print ‘em out and take them home to read later.

    of course, i’ve still got that ‘printed matter fetish’/luddite thing goin on.

  • http://www.tantmieux.squarespace.com sadi

    thanks, Eric and Mark – i appreciate the comments and the vote of confidence as ever. this piece took a while to write and was fun for me… i enjoyed it a great deal as an analytical piece. apologies for length but as you said, it took the length it took. still, might be worth breaking up in the future. we’ll see. glad you liked it though. i thought it was one of the better posts i have on here – so that’s rare for me to say that. i never really like my work a whole lot, but this one just appealed and had a good energy, i thought. i’m glad you enjoyed it but again, i do get Eric B’s point abuot length. I teach web writing so i do know etc etc.

    anyway – thanks for taking the time…

    cheers and be well all. more to come soon.

    love,
    sadi

  • http://manoverboard-nz.blogspot.com/ Barry

    You know, Sadi, the only thing I could possibly critique about your review is that I feel I’d rather read you than the authors you review. Many years ago I read Wurtzel’s “Prozac Nation”: no doubt the writing was affected by the fact that she was still very much caught up in her addiction and unable to see her way out, which led to a certain lack of prespective. Maybe that has changed if, as you say, she’s now clean.

    On disillusionment, I remember back in my 20′s talking with others who were similarly disillusioned with what the job had to offer us: we had all done the good thing of going off to University to be trained up for our shining careers and then came out to find the shininess concealed a lot of shittiness, and didn’t bring the kind of relationships we’d been hoping for. Dumb stuff, really, when I think about the intervening years, and the events you write so eloquently of – who could come through them without having a major crisis of faith, if they’d had any kind of faith to start with?

  • http://www.tantmieux.squarespace.com sadi

    wow, Barry, i’m speechless. i think your comment is among the finest i have ever received. that you would rather read me than the authors i review, you say. well, let’s hope my agent feels the same way and that a publisher does too. certainly, i’ve done well, but i aim so very high. i aim, like Wurtzel, to the New Yorker as well and feel i could do just as good a job, but perhaps that is vanity, no doubt it is. But to have another person say that is an entirely different thing, for i also have a deep and nagging insecurity that holds me back.

    comments like yours and some others here through the ages have given me the confidence to pursue my writing in a far more aggressive fashion than ever before. i find myself writing new books and approachign my agent with a force that i never had. More, i find that my writing itself has picked up a voice and a tone that it was lacking in the past. That while i hate that word “voice” i also know that we each have to find our subject and it is through Blogcritics and some other venues, but mostly here, that i have been able to develop that subject and thank god, people have been so very receptive and interested and full of mostly kind words and the best part to me, they have read things that have helped them or that they relate to and thus, feel less alone, less isolated.

    That has always been my goal; if i can just touch that one person, then i have succeeded, i always said. here, i feel i have done more than that and what could be better. This outlet has truly allowed me to develop and that’s something one never forgets.

    let’s not ever underestimate the great level of generosity it has taken eric olsen to put this area together for us to just rant and rave and say what we want and all basically for free. god, we should ALL send him a ten or a twenty every year at least just to help with the hosting costs because they’ve been out of pocket. I”m not a hawker for anyone here, don’t misunderstand; i just feel so grateful to have this arena to speak and i think we forget that sometimes. Yes, we have our own sites, but Blogcritics has developed a thing all its own and a wide audience. aren’t we so lucky to have that readership?

    So, thank you for me and thank you for making my day, my month, possibly giving me the courage to move forward with a book i’m doing at the moment, and while i’m on my soapbox, a-hem, thanks to Eric Olsen for everything he has done to make this possible and for my own part, to giveme the space to sound off on practicallly anything. What could be better than that… So much talent has grown here. I’ll never forget who has made it possible for us to be read and seen…

    cheers to all,

    sadi

    (ps. pardon typos).

  • Eric Olsen

    we all have insecurities of some sort: I believe the key is to learn to behave as if we don’t – you become what you pretend to be

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Great point, Eric — I think about the end of A Beautiful Mind sometimes. If Nash can ignore the British dude and the little girl who don’t exist and win a Nobel, I can… etc.

  • Eric Olsen

    excellent example E, thanks

  • http://www.tantmieux.squarespace.com sadi

    that’s right. both of you. and JOhn Nash is someone i’ve written a great deal about, for i admire him tremendously. A lot of the time, it is mind over matter, though for Nash, he had to first learn that he was truly sick and that yes, one could be both brilliant and to use a pejorative term, “mad”. To me, he was simply ill and like any illness, that requires some treatment. An illness that affects the brain can be both good and bad – i know that for me, my epilepsy allows me to see and do things i would never imagine possible were it not for the epilepsy, though at the same time, without it, there are ways of being that i will never know and i often wish i did know what it is like to just be “normal” so to speak.

    That said, as Van Gogh wrote, it was his epilepsy that allowed him to “go out at night and paint the stars…” Imagine if he had not had it. Had not painted the stars. We’d have no ‘Starry, starry night’, no song by Donavan, no great painting, and so on.

    For Van Gogh, alas, he was never recognized in his lifetime. It’s time that changed and that people with this kind of illness are seen for what they are in their own lifetimes – and Nash is the perfect example, yes. He won the Nobel as you say, which, by the way, is named after Afred Nobel who was, for the record, a temporal lobe epileptic also (same as me). Interesting.

    Thanks for bringing this up. Excellent point…

    ciao Erics..

    Sadi

  • mika ronen

    I am just reading “more, now, again” for the 4 time I think. I’m not a native English speaker and this is the longest book I have read more than once.
    This time the reading experience was hampered by some personal experiences. But the writing is still captivating and wins you over even if you despise women taking part in adulterous relationships, or envy the amount of money Wurzel has even after spending a fortune on an insane life style.
    After reading her huge list of thank you’s, I envy wurtzel’s talent less than I used to. Maybe she credits everyone but herself because of low self esteem, but it does give you the feeling that with a good editor anyone can be an amazing writer.

    But sadi- you are something else. Don’t mind those who say the piece is too long. It’s too short. Sometimes, when I come across a piece of stunning internet writing I start seeing each line as if it was highlighted of underlined. Maybe I too have a weird form of epilepsy.
    My only suggestions for further discussion are- should the nuclear family be sanctified at all cost, and where does the border between self fulfillment and pure selfishness lie. But these small disagreement did not stop me from tearing up while reading.
    I’ll be looking out for more of your stuff and hope the last two and a half years have done you justice.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/diana-hartman/ diana

    This was a great read. Yes, it was long, but it was a great read I will recommend. I don’t care that it was a review/epiphany. I only care about what I read.

  • http://www.rosedigitalmarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Hi Diana,

    Totally agree, a great read.

    I miss seeing you and Sadi around the place, which is the poorer for your absence.