Girlfriend in a Coma

No my girlfriend. I don’t have one. I’m married. Although I wouldn’t mind slipping into a coma for a little while these day (but perhaps more on that at a later date)

I’m talking about the novel by Douglas Coupland, not the song by The Smiths, although I dig that song…

….and I suspect strongly that that is where Coupland copped the titled from.

Anyhoo…I’ve been reading Girlfriend in a Coma

gfcoma_

when I can manage to muster the energy to read these days (again, I’m not getting into that right now) and I’m really digging it. It’s the kind of novel I wished I could even come close to writing.

Anyway… just wanted to share a great bit from the book, an extended quote that just hits it dead on for me. But first a brief synopsis. GFinaC is about a girl, Karen, who falls into a coma at age 17 or so after a night of partying. Turns out she’s pregnant with her bf Richard’s baby when she does and gives birth while comatose. She comes out of the coma about 17 years later. And all of her friends back from wherever their lives had taken them in the intervening years. Everyone is curious to know what Karen thinks/feels about the world she’s woken up to. She went into her coma about 1980 and wakes up in 1997. Here’s an extended response:

“Okay. You know what, Hamilton [one of her circle of friends]? There’s a hardness I’m seeing in modern people. Those little moments of goofiness that used to make the day pass seem to have gone. Life’s so serious now. Maybe it’s just because I”m with an older gang now…. I mean, nobody even has hobbies these days. Not that I can see. Husbands and wives both work. Kids are farmed out to schools and video games. Nobody seems to be able to endure simply being by themselves either — but at the same time they’re isolated. People work much more, only to go home and surf the Internet and send email rather than calling or writing a note or visiting each other. They work, watch TV, and sleep. I see these things. The whole world is only about work: work work work get get get … racing ahead … getting sacked from work … going online … knowing computer languages … winning contracts. I mean, it’s just not what I would have imagined the world might be if you’d asked me seventeen years ago. People are frazzled and angry, desperate about money, and, at best, indifferent to t he future.”

I can’t argue with that. Can anyone else? Come on, tell me. I want to hear how this is not the fucking case?

And Karen’s friend, Hamilton, replies to this by saying:

“I think I know what you mean… If you look at the world as a whole, we have to admit life’s good here where we live. But in an evil Twilight Zone kind of way there’s nothing else to choose. In the old days there was always a bohemia or a creative underworld to join if the mainstream life wasn’t your bag — or a life of crime, or even religion. And now there’s on the system. All other options have evaporated. For most people it’s the System or what…death? There’s nothing. There’s no way out now.”

Bleak to be sure, but it sure seems dead on to me. Maybe I’m just cynic. But just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean nobodies after you.

What’s really troubling, for me anyway, is that this book was pubbed in 1998. Its a decade later, after 8 years of W/Cheney, with two wars in progress and two huge skyscrapers wiped from the face of NYC skyline, and the worse economic crisis in decades breathing right down our necks like a fucking hungry lion.

But hey, we got President Obama now, and hope and a promise of change and….

…and it’s amazing how easily hope can be deflated, is all I’m saying. For now anyway….

END NOTE: Douglas Coupland often gets tagged as a Generation X writer and pop culture writer and of course he is these things, but he’s definitely more than that. Anyone who can’t see that is being purposely obtuse, or they’re just fucking ignorant.

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The other thing is…

… most of my energy was directed at blogging about the Presidential election. Firs the Dem. Primaries and then the General Election. But in politics in general. Anyhoo… once Obama got elected I kind of crashed. Felt a little used up. I’d make a lousy politico. I like the drama of the election but once it’s over, I’m pretty much done. It’s just relief to have W out and President Obama at the helm. Not sure if I’ll be doing much, if any, political blogging in the near future. We’ll see, I guess.

So now what?

Good question.

Yeah. I know it’s a good question. I’m the one who asked it.

Yikes! Someone’s touchy.

Fuckin’ A right!

Want to talk about it?

No.

Okay…. So are we done here, then?

I’ll say when we’re done.

Okay….

….

….

….

….

Okay. W’ere done. For now.

Cool.

Oh, go piss up a rope!

We need to talk….

I guess you’ve noticed that I haven’t been around much lately, WordPress blog. There’s a reason for that. I’ve been spending a lot of time on Facebook lately. At first, I thought it was just a harmless flirtation, but now I realize that it much more serious than that. Look, I didn’t mean for this to happen. It just did. And I’m sorry. Please forgive.

No, it’s not that Facebook is better than you are, WordPress. Don’t be silly. You’re great. Really great. I care about you a lot. It’s just that, well, Facebook is…I don’t know how to describe it. I feel pretty crummy about this but I can’t go on living a lie. I need to be honest with you. I’d just rather be on Facebook. That’s all. It’s not a reflection on WordPress, which has been great. It’s just, well, things change. So I guess that’s what I’m saying. I’ve changed.

But hey, WordPress. I want you to know that I’m still here for you. Anytime you need me. I’ll still post if you want me to. You know I love posting with you. It’s great. It’s always be great. Mindblowing really. I mean, hell… Well, you know what I mean. If it wasn’t great I wouldn’t have stuck around as long as I have. That sounds bad, I know, but…. What I really mean is that if I didn’t care I wouldn’t be telling you these things. I’d just, you know, bolt. I’d run away. Because, you know me, that’s what I do. I can’t deal with that Big Conversations. But I can’t do that anymore. I just can’t keep running from what thing to another. It’s time to grow up.

So…. does anyone else feel like this has gone on too long. Yeah, sorry.

I just realized that I haven’t posted in awhile, not since before Christmas. I did get some kudos on that post, though. It was about the dark side of the Christmas move, It’s A Wonderful Life. I was quite proud of it myself, actually.

Anyhoo… I thought it was high time I got back to my blog. So here I am — don’t judge me, love me!

It’s true, though I have been spending a lot of time on Facebook lately. I resisted getting on it for a long time. It seemed silly, I guess. I thought of Facebook as largely a Millennial social networking thing, and that my presence on it would be at least slightly creepy. But apparently that is now so — not that I’m not at least slightly creepy, because I am, but that Facebook is mainly utilized by the Millennial gang.

I don’t know if GenX has only recently discovered Facebook, but it seemed that way to me, at least for myself and GenXers that I know. But that’s hardly a representative example. In any case, I find Facebook to be very agreeable to a certain kind of GenX personality, and that is for those of us who enjoy connecting with people but are often reticent about it. I know I am, and I had a chat, ironically enough at a social gathering with another GenXer (who I don’t think is much vested in the GenX ethos, which is also ironic in a way, but cool) about our shared social anxiety, how we both kind of get uptight about attending such functions but usually ultimately end up enjoying ourselves. This phenomenon (if I can call it that, which I just did, so whatever) I think is best — what? — illustrated? defined? represented? I don’t know, I just thought the part in Clerks where Randall and Dante are discussing attending the funeral of a girl they went to high school with, and whom Dante once had sex with, gets at what I mean pretty well. Dante expects Randall to stay behind and watch the store so that he, Dante, can go, but Randall wants to go as well:

DANTE
		You've gotta watch the store. I
		have to go to this.

				RANDAL
		Wait, wait, wait. Has it occurred
		to you that I might bereaved as well?

				DANTE
		You hardly knew her!

				RANDAL
		True, but do you know how many
		people are going to be there? All
		of our old classmates, to say the
		least.

				DANTE
		Stop it. This is beneath even you.

				RANDAL
		I'm not missing what's probably
		going to be the social event of the
		season.

				DANTE
		You hate people.

				RANDAL
		But I love gatherings. Isn't it
		ironic?

That about sums it up for me.