A Good Yarn

Friday, March 24, 2006


This has been a short week, but I'm still happy it's the weekend. I saw a great play last night, "Do You Want to Know a Secret" at Intermedia Arts. The play is about a political activist, Karin, in post-war East Germany. She is married to a meek man, Walter, and they have a daugher, Erika. Karin is eventually jailed for her political activities. After the reunification of Germany, she is released from prison and elected to the legislature. She works for the release of everyone's personal files from the secret police so that informers can be revealed. The main characters are played by a real life wife, husband and daughter. They all do an incredible job of portraying some very complex characters. I really liked the structure of the play, which had short acts separated by videotaped pieces which moved the narrative along and planted a lot of questions and eventually answered a lot of questions. However, there's a lot of food for thought in the play and we were having a great time talking it over afterward. I wish I hadn't been so tired and we could have grabbed a cup of coffee and chewed it over some more. The play closes this weekend, so if you're interested in seeing it, get there now!

I also started a new book last night:

This is our next book club book and I'm really excited to read it. As I mentioned, I was really tired last night, so I didn't get into it much, but there are some really nifty turns of phrases, so I think this will be a well-written book with an engaging story.

I decided to put down "A Million Little Pieces" for right now. I reached the exact mid-point and it also was the start of a new section of the book, so I thought it was the perfect time to take a break. I'm just really having a problem with the way Frey portrays himself as such a badass and so hardcore, when I know this isn't true. I tried to just put out of my mind that this was presented as memoir and read it simply as a novel, but I haven't been successful at it. In the previous chapter I ran across this section that just seemed so hypocritical to me, I decided that at a good stopping point, I was going to take a break. The section is about a lecture at the rehab clinic. The speaker is a rock star who sounds an awful lot like Steven Tyler from Aerosmith. He's talking about his own chemical dependency and how important it is to be sober. Frey writes:

I don't like this man. I don't like what he has to say or how he's saying it. I don't believe him and his Rock Star status isn't enough to make me buy the shit he's trying to sell. Four to five thousand dollars a day of anything is enough to kill a Person several times over. Five bottles of strong liquor over the course of a night would render the strongest human on Earth comatose. Forty Valiums to sleep and he'd take a fucking nap from which he'd never return. He'd never return and maybe that would be best. An Addict is an Addict. It doesn't matter whether the Addict is white, black, yellow or green, rich or poor or somewhere in the middle, the most famous Person on the Planet or the most unknown. It doesn't matter whether the addiction is drugs, alcohol, crime, sex, shopping, food, gambling, television, or the fucking Flintstones. the life of the Addict is always the same. There is no excitement, no glamour, no fun. There are no good times, there is no joy, there is no happiness. There is no future and no escape. There is only an obsession. To make light of it, brag about it, or revel in the mock glory of it is not in any way, shape or form related to its truth, and that is all that matters, the truth. That this man is standing in front of me and everyone else in this room lying to us is heresy. The truth is all that matters. This is fucking heresy.

Well, that's a good point. So why in the hell should I read this book when you are bragging about your addiction, reveling in the mock glory of it? If al that matters is the truth and you are an admitted liar, does your book matter at all? I wonder how he felt while writing that passage. Was he really pointing the finger at himself? Did he feel like a complete fraud? Or was he just so caught up in his lies that he didn't even think about it? Obviously, that really pissed me off. I'm going to read the other book and then if I feel like picking this up and finishing it off after calming down a bit, I will. I do feel compelled to finish it because there is some realness and truth in there. It's also almost like a train wreck and I'm fascinated by comparing how he fabricates the story and how it really happened. That's probably just the voyeur in me. And by the way, the random capitalization is Frey's. It's another piece of pretension that I find irritating.