A Portrait of the Database Analyst as a Young Fool
I just finished the book I was reading, so today, glancing along my bookshelf, I decided that I should finally read A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce. It’s a classic, all the critics say, and I figure that I should at least give it a shot, despite a lack of any real desire to do so.
I’m not sure why I’ve never been interested in the book. Maybe it’s the stream of consciousness style that Joyce wrote in. Maybe it’s the use of the word “Artist” in the title, which immediately rubs me the wrong way. I went to Film School, which is technically part of the Art Program, which means I went to school with a bunch of insufferable corksuckers that fancied themselves “artists”, which somehow made them feel superior to the rest of the unwashed masses because of their “vital” “artistic” abilities.
And since “art” is so subjective, if you tried to tell one of these “artists” that their “art”, indeed, blew goats, then their excuse was always that you were too stupid or too shallow to understand their work. It never occurred to them that perhaps they just sucked copious amounts of ass.
I may not be very smart, but at least I was aware that my filmmaking sucked copious amounts of ass. O No! - Not them. Not only are most “artists” arrogant, but they’re also ignorant. They’re Ignogant.
I talked to a guy Saturday whose brother-in-law is a computer graphics “artist” in NYC. They were playing Trivial Pursuit, and the brother-in-law was asked a question about the Knicks, to which he responded: “Who are the Knicks?”
Now, I can see not caring about sports. But YOU LIVE IN NEW YORK. You have to have your head buried so far up your ass that you can taste your dinner to not know that the Knicks are the local basketball franchise.
I’ve never been to China, but I know where the Great Wall is. I’ve never watched an episode of American Idol, but I know who frickin’ Sanjaya is. Cripes, people!
Not all individuals in the “art” world are like this, but sometimes stereotypes are uncomfortably accurate. That’s the reason I would never want to be labeled an “artist”. I don’t want to be associated with a bunch of talking anuses.
But if I can get past James Joyce using a title that shows he obviously feels that he’s an “artist”, I must then face the stream of consciousness style.
You know stream of consciousness. People use it all the time, especially those who have trouble focusing on anything for more than 10 seconds. My girlfriend is a master of speaking in stream of consciousness when she’s in the right moment. A conversation with her at one of these times might go:
No, kitty, I don’t want to play. Did your ex-wife call you and complain about the kids again? Ow, my stomach hurts today. I wonder what I ate? What time is the game on tonight? I think I’ll make pierogies for dinner. No, kitty, I don’t want to play. Are these dishes clean? My toe is peeling. No, kitty, I don’t want to play. I’ve heard it’s probably not smart to vacation in Cambodia. I don’t like spiders. Have you ever eaten a mothball?
As fun as it is to have a conversation with someone that keeps leaping from thought to thought like a rabid squirrel on crack, it’s even more fun to read. You find yourself turning back a couple pages, frowning, and asking yourself, “Who the farg is he talking about?”
Maybe it just takes some getting used to. Maybe book critics really need some quality time with a double-jointed hooker. Maybe I’m just ignogant.
***I am shocked – SHOCKED!, I tell you – that the military lied about the death of Pat Tillman. It is so unlike the government to conceal the truth in any matter of this nature. Or anything at all.
***It was probably wrong for Alec Baldwin to call his 11 year old daughter a “rude little pig” on a voice mail message.
But seeing as she’s the daughter of two Hollywood stars and has probably been pampered to distraction her entire life – I’d bet a shiny nickel he’s right.
***4/25 – Cavs vs. Wizards Game 2 “Thoughts”: In the playoffs, one should just be happy with any victory, even against a perceived lesser opponent. But this is not just a lesser opponent, but a crippled and outmatched one at that. So I found this game somewhat frustrating, with the Cavs building a sizeable lead, only to let it slip away and create undue stress on your humble narrator.
I’m actually had trouble watching this game. It made me uncomfortable, and I found myself wishing that I just knew the final score and that was that. I almost feel that way about this entire series. Just kill off the poor Wizz and move on to a series that matters.
***4/28 – Cavs vs. Wizards Game 3 “Thoughts”: See above.
***I wrote the following on Friday, assuming that the Browns were going to select Brady Quinn at #3:
At the draft party, you should have heard the wail that went up when the Browns made their selection. As you know, I’m not the biggest fan of the pick either. But it’s not like my opinion makes a difference in the grand scheme of things. I don’t really get the indignation and the stress. You’d think some of y’all weren’t Browns fans. As Browns fans, we must learn this lesson: Hope for the best. Expect the worst.
And if you just expected the Browns to take exactly the player you least wanted, then you would have been like me: not shocked, not angry, just bitterly amused by the fact that the lowest expectations always seem to get met.
In retrospect, the above paragraphs are rendered amazingly moot. I did expect the worst. And got far more than I ever could have even joked about. Browns fans everywhere know exactly how rare this is.
The truly hardened and bitter Browns fan has one of the following two complaints:
To address the first issue: In order to move back into the 1st round, we had to give up our 2nd and next year’s 1st rounder. Assume that trading next year’s 1st rounder for Number 22 in this year’s draft as a wash (the Browns took their 2008 1st round pick in 2007). So we gave up our second round pick for Brady Quinn. But, we moved back up to the 2nd round to get Eric Wright, who many people think we would’ve taken at 36 anyway, so we got that 2nd round pick back. The trade back up to the 2nd round cost the Browns a 3rd and a 4th (they swapped 6th round picks).
So, in the end, it cost the Browns a 3rd and a 4th round pick to draft Brady Quinn.
As a non-Quinn fan – I am good with that. Check that – I’m sporking ecstatic with that.
To address the second issue: Maybe it’s the damn Martians which have been sporking us up the last umpteen years! Bentley snaps the ball, moves to his right, BLAM! – shot down by an ACL (Alien Crippling Laser).
Someone check Art Modell for antennae.
***I apologize if you were forced to talk to me at the Draft Party on Saturday. I was out late the night before, and imbibed a fair amount, and hadn’t eaten anything to soak up the evil juices, so the morning of the draft was one of pain and haze. Half my brain had unionized and gone on strike due to negligence. The other half was just mesmerized by the TV… Ooooooooo… pretty colors… Ooooooooo… greasy hair gel…
Now that I am somewhat normalized (if any of us can be called “normal”):
Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin: By no means do I expect this guy to be the next Orlando Pace or Jonathan Ogden. Nor do I expect him to be Robert Gallery. I think he will be right on the cusp of Top 10 at his position, meaning he will be a solid, good player, and he will be a solid, good player at that position for 8-10 years. And I’m fine with that. Solid and good are not adjectives I would freely use to describe our Left Tackle play the last 8 years.
Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame: As Saturday progressed, I went from praying we didn’t take him at #3, to laughing at his facial expressions as he fell, to kind of feeling sorry for the kid, to wondering what it would take to trade up and get him, to shock and excitement when we actually did. I expect about the same out of him as I expect out of Thomas – solid and good. And I think he’s got a helluva better chance producing for Cleveland with Thomas protecting his ass and the huge social burden of expectation somewhat lifted from his shoulders by being picked at #22 instead of #3.
Eric Wright, CB, UNLV: This pick excites me almost as much as the first two – maybe even more. I think this guy was a flat out steal in the 2nd round. His talent is high first round. Yes, yes, I know, he got busted with like 142 pills of ecstasy. Maybe – just maybe – that’s a bit excessive. But perhaps he was organizing a rave, or a Chemical Brothers concert. Or perhaps he thought he the pills were just aspirin or tic-tacs. Let’s not jump to conclusions, people.
Brandon McDonald, CB, Memphis: At first, this pick was a bit of a head scratcher for me, seeing as we still needed DL depth and probably a RB. But, truly, a team cannot have enough DB depth. And we certainly don’t want to end up with the CB situation we were shoved into last year. I’d rather pick up glass shards with my eyelids.
Melila Purcell, DE, Hawaii: It’s hard to get excited about Defensive Linemen selected in the 6th round, but you never know, and Simon Fraser, who has played decently for the team, was undrafted. And if I’m really in the mood for some Optimistic Kool Aid, I can surmise that this guy fell only because he was overshadowed by the more bally-hooed Hawaii DE Ikaika One Day Alama-Francis. Yeah, that’s it. That’s the ticket.
Chase Pittman, DE, LSU: It’s even harder to get excited about Defensive Linemen selected in the 7th round, but let’s give it a shot anyway, shall we? Ummmmm… he played for LSU, which had an excellent defense, and he led the team in sacks. There.
Syndric Steptoe, WR, Arizona: A little WR/kick returner from Arizona. Something about that rings a bell… reminds me of someone. I can’t quite catch it. It’s just out of reach – slipping off my fingers. I’m really dropping the ball on this one.
***So Dallas has our first rounder next year. Which makes Dallas fans big supporters of the Steelers, Bengals, and Ravens.
As if I needed another reason to hate Cowboys fans; individuals that already freely let mucus drift unimpeded down their upper lips and spend their spare time torturing small animals and whipping themselves into a frenzy by wearing faux fur panties and smearing each other with their own feces.
At least that’s what I heard.
***Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It’s been 34 years since my last confession.
That’s a long time.
Yeah, it’s my first time. I’m not even Catholic – it’s just that I’m so distressed. I need to talk to someone.
Go on, my son.
I have sinned. I started smoking again.
That is not technically a sin, my son.
Yes, it is. It’s a sin against myself. I promised myself I was done.
As you say. Tell me what happened.
Well, I was out in Cleveland, and I was drunk, and some of the hookers were smoking, and I was still tripping a little bit, so it seemed like a good idea to have one cigarette. It was really good, but then I regretted my weakness. But then I wanted another, so I stole a pack from this little old lady on the corner, and then she started yelling for the cops, so I kicked her in the kidney, and that seemed to shut her up. But then I smoked another one, and I got angry at myself for smoking again… Jesus Christ I was pissed off at myself. So I grabbed a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 and hopped in my car, but I didn’t throw the damn cigarettes away, so then I had another one, which REALLY pissed me off, so I threw it out of the car, but I was at a gas station, and then there was all this fire and explosions and screaming…
That… that’s HORRIBLE!!! That’s the most terrible thing I’ve ever heard!
I know! I told you! It’s terrible that I’m smoking again.
It feels really good to get that off my chest, Father. Got a lighter?
***Quote of the Week: “Oink.” – Wilbur. And maybe l’il Ireland Basinger.