Three things are pertinent right now.
1. J.D. Salinger (one of my favorite authors) is suing a fan who wrote a book about Holden Caulfield 60 years later escaping from his retirement home.
2. I have enough responses to my poll to comment on your comments.
3. My dad dragged me to my former high school to view the freshmans’ presentations on service learning.
I am an avid fan of many things and aspire to have many things be an avid fan of me. Therefore, while I relate strongly to J.D. Salinger’s desire to write first person through a despicable character that shares traits with himself, I do not relate to Salinger’s reclusive behavior in the face of his fans. I can’t wait for the years when I begin complaining about how doting and forgiving my audience is and how I wish people didn’t love me so much. Why Salinger can’t see the beauty in this is beyond me. Instead he has chosen to live in a cabin in north Vermont and become incensed at the mere mention of his name in thanks. This book, meant as an homage to The Catcher in the Rye, was in no way parodying or poking fun at Salinger’s piece of work, but rather was a “ripoff pure and simple.” God, I wish I had someone who ripped off my work. That would make me feel fulfilled instead of annoyed. It is also quite possible that I confuse the feelings of fulfillment and annoyance.
Speaking of J-Sal, I want to give a hearty congratulations to whoever offered him as an answer to my question: “If you could force me to have dinner with one other person from history (dead or alive) who would it be?” That was the answer I most agreed with. Other answers to that question that I found enjoyable:
Grace’s got to the heart of the question well: “Whoever would make you the most uncomfortable. Not sure who that would be. A pope, maybe. Or Christina Aguilera.”
Anna’s was obnoxiously boring, but simultaneously flattering: “Paul”
I’m not sure who suggested it, but this answer made me think the most: “Bristol Palin.” By “think” I mean “laugh.”
My least favorite answer: “ching chong the chinamen.”
When I went to listen to these freshman at my old high school pitch to me their projects on service learning I came to one conclusion: 9th graders are not bright. The poster about legalizing gay marriage had quotes from Brittney Spears and Miley Cyrus. There were three quotes total. There was a bedazzled out poster on horse abuse. The person who presented a “solution” to the diabetes suggested that we have a concert at the school with “hopefully, um, maybe, it would be cool if the Jonas Brothers came.” (To which my dad responded: “Are they famous?”) One student’s presentation on how to solve the problem of skateboarding on the sidewalk consisted entirely of this sentence: “People skateboard on the sidewalk, and I wanted to give money so that it wouldn’t do that.” Brilliant. Also there was a poster meant to explain to us the dangers of having military issue guns in homes which had pictures of Biggie and 2pac on it. Clear to me in all these is that these children are way too idol-obsessed, whether those idols be Nick Jonas, Horses, or some famous skateboarder, or 2pac.
So, who are my fans’ idols? From my poll, I have found that people who read my ramblings would enjoy dining with a range of people from Dorothy Parker to King Kong to Otis Nixon to Harold Ramis to Tove Jansson to Don Quixote to Amy Pohler.
My Favorite Answer: “General Tso” (Pretty sure that was Houlihan)
My Least Favorite Answer: Even if it was in irony, seeing “Jim from the office <3” on my spreadsheet made my stomach churn.
What confusing me most about J.D.’s fear of fame is that the character he is most famous for seems to have come from the mind of someone who is obsessed with the concept of fame. Someone like me. Holden Caulfield is the ultimate hypocrite (the reason I find the book so fascinating) in that he is everything that he says he hates. Holden would definitely “despise” the concept of fame. That is what would attract him to the feeling in the end. Maybe my idea of Salinger is warped because I discovered him through a Caulfieldian lens, but the J-Sal that I imagine does not live in a cabin in Vermont but rather alternates between weeks of coked out frenzies in his penthouse apartment in San Fransisco and weeks of stone soberness where he writes 20 hrs a day. This would make sense to me, that someone who writes this character represents the same dichotomy of moral values in his own life.
Speaking of things that I hate about the people I adore, let’s look at what you hate about me (the person you adore).
Best thought out answer: Rhett. – I’ll just give the cliff notes version: “You are an emotionally stunted man-child. … Your sexual politics are a frustrating combination of reasonably well-informed feminism and Rush Limbaugh level misogyny. … You told me not to write “Dead” or “Alive” in the above blank which made me tempted to do it which was annoying because that actually wasn’t a funny joke. So then I considered typing in “Pete Burns” the singer of the band “Dead or Alive” ”
Worst thought out answer: tie – “you suck.” and “Mrawhk.”
Most Painful to my Emotional Psyche: “You’re so normal.”
Worst Answer: “why does this question have an asterisk to it? am I obligated to answer it?” – That’s two worst answers for this person whoever wrote that.
Best Answer: “Here are some hurtful words, but they aren’t directed at you, per se: Harsh Spongy Clogged Orifice Munchkin Caucasian The Unborn Children”
The other reason that people shouldn’t be given the right to speak until some time after 9th grade is their understanding of statistics. I was told: “There are 25 kitties at SPCA right now and they said it’s increasing 3% a month so it’s gonna be like 100 kitties in a couple months.” I also saw a bar graph called “Increase in gun violence” that showed the number of deaths due to guns over the past 4 years. All the years’ numbers being pretty equal and not increasing over those 4 years.
So, here’s some stats about people who are my audience/doting fans.
The mean and median of people’s ratings of my blog were 6.8 and 7 respectively. Mode was 8.
People like when I’m Lazy and Horny but not when I’m Lonely. Interesting because I consider Lonely and Horny the same emotion. Maybe others make a distinction.
72% of you read Ben’s homage to me.
The people who responded were not my friends but rather Ben’s and Rhett’s as I determined by the fact that people said they liked their blogs. There is no other explanation.
People who enjoy reading about me unsurprising like filling in their own option when given the option of “other.”
Only two peopled didn’t think my hilarious extending of one question to two questions (really three) wasn’t enjoyable. Which is the same number of people who noticed and pointed out that I wrote “questios” in the poll. (The word “questios” was described as “vaguely spanish” and “a cereal.”)
The Award for Best Overall Response goes to: I think Houlihan for responses like “General Tso” What would you like me to do next? “The Twist.” and a rating of 10.
The Award for Worst Overall Response goes to: Though I want to give it to “ching ching” I’m gonna give it to the person who didn’t respond to four questions and hateful words were: “you suck.”
The Most Prestigious Award for Answers that were most similar to how I would have answered this survey goes to: The person who suggested J.D. Salinger and pointed out that “questios” sounds “vaguely spanish.”
If people would like to take claim to their responses I will send a homemade award to you via email.
Thank you, my fans, I hate you as much as you hate me.