In our morning reading: nonfiction by David James Keaton, an interview with Matthew Specktor, and more.
Morning Bites: Viet Thanh Nguyen Nonfiction, PEN Award Long Lists, Dylan Meconis Interviewed, and More
In our morning reading: Viet Thanh Nguyen on books and politics, an interview with Dylan Meconis, and more.
by Andrew Farkas
What, bowling? Come on. Bowling? It ain’t a sport. That’s what you tell yourself. I mean, look around. You’ve got your concession stand with the wall menu still uses those plastic letters you’ve gotta stick in the slats, about a quarter of them missing. No matter. Place serves up combos of rapidly congealing grease, salt, and sugar. That sound like an athlete’s diet? There’s a bar. A bar! Fully stocked with beers your dad drinks. American Yellows. Can use those to chase the Old Grand Dad, Old Crow, Old Fitzgerald. Unlike in the wide world of sports, “old …” well, around here that’s a compliment. And it actually means “ancient.” Look at the, are we still going with athletes? Okay. For now. But look at ‘em. On their, sure, why not? field of play. Which is hideous casino carpet leading to scuffed to hell linoleum tile and then a bank of benches and chairs made of that ‘70s two-tone orange & lighter orange plastic (easier to hose off when you slop your coagulated, I guess, food on it, when you spill your whiskey and ginger ale on it), all pointed toward the TVs that automatically keep score for you (wouldn’t want you to strain yourself now), that show you little cartoons based on how the most recent competitor (seriously? wow, just wow) how the most recent competitor rolled, everything surrounded by the loudest, most headache-inducing Day-Glo decorations, usually balls and pins, sometimes swooshes and stars. And now see the contenders, the bowlers. I’m not saying everyone has to look the same. I’m just saying Olympians they ain’t, that is those folks out there on the lanes …
The guiding principle of Six Ridiculous Questions is that life is filled with ridiculousness. And questions. That only by giving in to these truths may we hope to slip the surly bonds of reality and attain the higher consciousness we all crave. (Eh, not really, but it sounded good there for a minute.) It’s just. Who knows? The ridiculousness and question bits, I guess. Why six? Assonance, baby, assonance.