Note: Thanks to an Italian Hacker the old theme has been compromised. I will have to start over with a new one. This one is buggy and some of the files won’t work – ARE
The following blog entry will destroy me. For what I’m about to say I will be forever an apostate among the Literary Hip. The Hipster equivalent to the SWAT team will raid my house. First they will confiscate my rare LP’s of indie artists who are know only to three people, including the artists, one of who now resides in a sanitarium. Then, they will crook my designer glasses. Also my collection of obscure gay Cuban poetry books and dead, nazi-sympathizing European novels will also be loaded into their biodiesel Volvo. I will then be barred from all basement gallery parties and will have to stand in the back of the protest line next time some football star kicks a puppy.
But it must be said: I didn’t like Catcher in the Rye at all.
I didn’t think it was trash, I just thought it was a ranting piece by an depressive, ungrateful rich kid. Who doesn’t think everyone is a phony at 15. That’s hardly a revelation. Where did the Central Park ducks go in winter? Well, Holden, being so much enlightened that the rest of us, how about going to a library and finding out? Even a phony like myself can tell you: They go ‘effing south in the winter.
Also, I can’t dismiss the impact of this book on counterculture. Catcher inspired legions of rucksack shouldering searchers who tramped down America’s backroads to judge and ridicule the ignorance of its residents. In every major city with a hip area (Atlanta cool wasteland is Little 5 Points), the bars and cafes are full of mismatched Holdens pining away for a Feelies reunion, working low paying, but total chick magnet, jobs and dismissing everyone’s hopes and dreams. This rebellion lasts until the parents cut off the trust fund or a Gap is dropped onto their favorite, if-you-heard-of-it-then-we-don’t-sell-it used record store.
I always hear how so many were changed by Catcher. I was 23 and living in Prague at the time. This was shortly after the Iron Curtain fell and many Americans came to see what was on the other side of that curtain. I met a guy who pleaded with me to read Catcher and dared me to not be changed by it. So I read it in less than two hours.
We met later and he asked me what I thought. We were in a Cafe owned by Americans, staffed by Czechs, and patronized by young Americans expatriates. What I thought? I listened to the conversations on the other tables.
Of course she was a typical American.
My parents expect me to go to work when I go back. I am working. I’m an anarchist poet.
All these posers are ruining Prague. I saw a bunch of Jocks with their Jansport backpacks…
What I thought? I’ve been hearing from Holden since I set foot in Prague. Whiny, spoiled, and escaping into bohemian excesses not because of their love or art or life, but to escape responsibility or obligations. I was Holden, too. I didn’t want to go back home to hear my parents ask what I intend to do with my life. I didn’t even know if I wanted shaved chocolate on my moccachino.
“I thought it was OK. ” I said and reached for the dusted vanilla.