Thursday, August 02, 2007

Why is the World so Weird?

I am a Stephen King fan, and I logged onto the official Stephen King site's message board and realized I'd missed the July issue of Esquire Magazine with his new novella "The Gingerbread Girl". I decided to go to one of these "news stands" not far from my office to see if I could pick one up. The guy there is holding ONE copy for himself, and had sent all the rest back (after all, the next tamest thing they have there is Playboy, and it's mostly hardcore porn beyond that). But he sells me the Esquire and for some reason we start talking about how prolific Stephen King is, and I explain that I'm plot-challenged and do better at songwriting, and we start talking about the Europeans and Goethe and Mark Twain and the catacombs under Paris and the Inquisition and atheism ... I'm standing there talking philosophy with this Austin guitar player while gazing on the racks full of silicone simulacra of male sex organs in every size and color (including purple with sparklies). It was an odd way to spend my lunch break. But at least the guy at the store was intelligent and interesting and turned me onto a writer named Christopher Hitchens, who would be the approximate equivalent of Sam Harris as a nonfiction author on the subject of religion. I know of no other business where you can pick up lubricant, sex toys, porn, and get caught up on atheist philosophical literature, all in one place.

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