ALL SYRUP SUPER SQUISHY!
All of us, in our own way, are borderline mad.
It's what makes us unique individuals.
Though in the main often similar.
Individuality often repeats.
HUMMINGBIRD, LITTLE GRASSHOPPER, HUMMINGBIRD!
I was at a neighborhood oasis the other evening having a cocktail after work - having cleaned up an account which had been a right mess for over a year, my brain was fried - when a bunch of bright and sparkling young people came in and sat next to me.
They were obviously foreigners in these climes, and I asked them where they were from. The tall young lady with a very broad leather belt over her jeans was from Minnesota, one of them was from NY, and a young gentleman admitted that he hailed from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
What had brought him out here was Jack Kerouac's book "On The Road".
He admired Kerouac, and in large part could identify with him, see him as in some way representing him. Especially because Jack Kerouac had described Harrisburg as a cursed city, gloom-filled, and ghastly. A veritable armpit.
"It was the night of the Ghost of the Susquehanna. The Ghost was a shriveled little old man with a paper satchel who claimed he was headed for 'Canady.'...He was about sixty years old; he talked incessantly of the meals he had, how much butter they gave him for pancakes, how many extra slices of bread......"
The gentleman from Harrisburg fully agreed with Jack's assessment. It had made him respect the man, because Jack had instantly recognized the dreary dysfunction of the place. That, more than anything else, spoke to him, and he had devoured all of Jack Kerouac's books because of it.
Was there, he wanted to know, someone of equal stature that I respected, whom I could say spoke for me and elucidated my life-view better than almost any other person?
Well, yes. But it really reflects my imperfect fit with reality.
Especially during that episode in which Apu had been up for ninety six hours, working at the Kwik-E Mart. After which he temporarily thought that he was a hummingbird.
We've all been there, haven't we?
[Note: for over two minutes of Apu channeling the profound and admirable hummingbird, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bz3fWAtOMV4. Go. Life is too short to embed that video on this blog. It could lead to an existential crisis or something. Lord knows I don't want you to have that.]
Apu is the most likeable person in the series by far, probably the most intelligent, and, far more than Homer or any other character, represents an everyman with whom people can identify. His hopes, his fears, his snide comments, are all expressions of an individualism that stubbornly refuses defeat.
There is far too much Homer Simpson in this world.
And not nearly enough Apu.
Homer: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Apu: San Francisco, Outer Space.
Get rid of Homer.
Liberate the Apu within.
Don't Bogart that squishy, and if you survive, please come again.
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