Saturday, December 17, 2005

Insight from Marc Maron, Self Involved Diary Blogs....Are they worth reading?

I'm really slothful. It's 3:47 pm and I'm still in my pajamas and still listening to morning radio. How is that? It's because I'm working. I'm listening to "back issues" of Morning Sedition as an accompaniment for the most tedious parts of end-of-semester grading. Somehow, these tasks wind up taking longer than I ever anticipate. It took TWO hours for me to edit and correct my students' paraphrasings of Federalist #10. It's taken four hours to calculate their homework grades and I'm not even done yet. In another two hours, it will be time for me to put on my "street clothes" as we used to call them and go to a going-away party for some friends of mine who are leaving the US in disgust. I had thought I would get to one of the ten books on my list from a few days ago, but my brain has been so unstimulated for so long now that I am wondering whether I will ever retain anything more complicated than a comedy bit on talk-radio ever again.
Speaking of radio bits....some back issues of MS have some of my favorite bits. One of the June shows (with Sue Ellicott still on and irritating both Marc and Mark) had the much-missed and against the twelve-step rules: "Recovery Corner" where Marc M. gave George Bush AA advice.
As the episodes get closer to the present, the one thing that sometimes struck me as "off" about the show, which seemed to increase with its success, was Marc's preoccupation with talking about his personal life on the air. On the other hand, some of that stuff is truly funny once you get past waiting for him to "talk about the issues!" and it probably explains why so many of us feel that we really know Marc Maron as a person. He's pretty insightful about himself, I think. I was able to get something useful out of his reflections of some of his very human failings, like his enduring resentment of John Stewart's success. He's even able to talk about how Stewart won the arguments they used to have.
Speaking of lingering resentment, my enjoyment of the radio show and my feelings about Marc M. are bound up with my with my lingering resentment about my last relationship. One of the great benefits of our break-up was guilt-free and judgement-free enjoyment of "Morning Sedition," which my ex hated, and seemed to look down on me for enjoying. There are other things that I enjoy more intensely because of my experience with that guy too.
The only good thing about not being able to get rid of your hatred for and anger at your ex is that you can coninue these intense feelings of enjoying things that the ex in question hated. Before meeting that person, you might have taken them for granted, but until your little detour into self-denial with some judgemental jerk, you never quite realized how GREAT your favorite morning show really was, and how GREAT you are for listening to it, and how MUCH your life has improved since you stopped being with that mean guy who kept criticizing your favorite morning radio show. I felt the same way about cheese and wine after I got dumped by a vegan straight-edge guy that I dated for about a minute in Grad school. I don't know if there have been that many others, but being with someone who's really critical and judgemental can make your own life seem like an unending river of joy in comparison.
And now, it's sundown and I haven't gotten dressed yet. wow.
Back to grading.
Maybe later I'll say something more interesting for more of you.

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