|Bears like to put |
blankets on moose
Sunday, 2 October 2011
Eeeee Eee Eeee by Tao Lin
What Lin serves up as I was to find soon after is a tale of Karinthian (which is to say, Kafka-esque) absurdity populated by bears, moose, dolphins and hamsters who appear to dwell in various stratified metropolises beneath ours (Lin's) city. And there are aliens too, mostly vegetarian ones who are in with the President. However, wandering lost and alone through this bewildering landscape is Andrew, pizza delivery boy / man (can one with such a humbling occupation truly feel himself a man?) and self-professed musician - we never once hear him sing or play, only refer to singing or playing - who frustrated by not knowing what to think or feel at any given point (the book opens on him being fired by his manager but not caring to understand, which is never followed up on as his manager doesn't seem to know what to do either) turns to a variety of cinematic or literary references, mainly violent ones, to make sense of his ennui. The perfidious nature of his own understanding is exemplified by what turn out to be the penultimate few lines of the book -
If [Ellen] came he would tell her he was afraid.
He felt a little lonely. He felt good.
This constant and unresolved self interogation is punctuated by random killing rampages, not to mention the aforementioned menagerie. Oh, and did I mention that a particularly depressed dolphin kills Elijah Wood on an island in a fit of self-hating homoeroticism? No? Read into that what you will.
To cut a long and dangerously pointless recap slightly shorter, for I have many more unresolved resolutions to which to attend, a shortish story about the disengaged in society has been padded out with the degenerate bits perchance cut from the works of Lewis Carroll, but none of which feels wrong (in context you understand, as I hate dolphins; they're worse than Nazis) and all of which serves to underscore the increasing weight of unrest of those in the wrong quadrant of the inequality matrix (i.e. everyone in the west who doesn't earn enough to be safely ensconsed behind his arroyo blanco from the rest of us). Lin may be forcedly absurd but it suits his purpose, if he would agree that he has one. Plus, the dolphins don't come out too well either.