Monday, February 14, 2011

Since Always, Love Frankenstein

I finally, finally got to the point in the book where Frankenstein's monster returns to his maker and tells his story. What's remarkable to me is just how quickly, through a couple months of observation, that creature is able to pick up on human customs, and it's been not even a year since Frankenstein created the creature he is synonymous with, when Frankenstein finds himself face to face with his creature on a sheet of ice, so adrift and so cold, I can feel the chill and the rage in Frankenstein's bones. (Either one.)

Even more remarkable than that is how quickly the monster we are calling Frankenstein (hereafter referred to as Not-Frankenstein, for purposes of making readers cringe) grasps sarcasm and humor, using one of the best comebacks I've heard, ever: You accuse me of murder and yet you would, with a satisfied conscience, destroy your own creature. Oh, praise the eternal justice of man!

Or, somehow manages to capture one of the most brutal, direct and frank maxims of life in language, that well, here: [L]ife, although it may only be an accumulation of tragedy, is dear to me and I will defend it. I just stare at that sentence, sometimes, after I read it on the bus, desperately trying to find my way to Darkest Hour's gig.

There are three reasons why I like it.

First, the use of the phrase “an accumulation of tragedy” is at once both sage and reductive. You have to be thoroughly depressed to look at only the bad sides of life, but there is some truth in the choice of the word accumulation to describe life. The longer we live, the more things multiply and the more things add to each other or compound or play off of what's already there or what will come.

Second, “and I will defend it.” Note: Not-Frankenstein does not use the word kill. Or murder. He wants to protect it, but he/it hasn't expressed the willingness to go beyond that instinct.

Third, the way the whole phrase sounds, phonetically. I like the qualification in the middle and the use of commas. Each successive idea adds another wrinkle to the sentence, which at its finality, it hits like a bomb. It might suck, but it is meaningful enough on its own merits to guard.

Plus, there's love. It's a bigger subject than I can encompass.

Today being Valentine's Day, you probably shouldn't be sitting here and reading me talking about Frankenstein and Not-Frankenstein. You should (yes, I'm being prescriptive) go talk to girls. Or boys. Or both. Or those aren't that sure. It's up to you and this futile blog isn't going anywhere.

I'll see you Wednesday and if you have a partner, I had better not see you later tonight and if you don't, person, remember: more will come, so go find something to celebrate, and though this might be selfish, lift something in honor of Frankenstein. Well, Not-Frankenstein. But you get my point. Lift something. Kiss someone. Etc.

One of the tracks from Defeater's forthcoming 14-song release Empty Days and Sleepless Nights. It's two records, a 10 song hardcore punk disc called Empty Days and a 4 song acoustic EP called Sleepless Nights. This one's from Sleepless Nights, called “I Don't Mind.” It's adorable and simple.

“Did I forget to tell you how pretty you looked in that dress? And, the first time that I saw you you cleaned the mess from my head?”

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