Friday, February 01, 2008

Books You Should Be Reading Number 37 Of A Bunch

Apathy Jack writes:

What I Do: More True Tales Of Everyday Craziness, by Jon Ronson

Monday night. People keep telling me that everybody in North Pole loves Christmas. But I’ve found someone who doesn’t. In fact she hates Christmas. Her name is Jessie Desmond. I found her via Myspace.
‘Christmas is a super big deal around here,’ she emailed me before I set off for Alaska, ‘but for me it is a general hate. Please don’t go off me about that.’
We meet in a non-Christmassy bar of her choice on the edge of town. She’s in her early twenties. She was educated at the middle school, and is now trying to make her way as a comic book artist. She has a Batman logo tattooed on her hand.
‘Christmas really grates on me, all the time, in the back of my head,’ she tells me. ‘Christmas, Christmas, Christmas. It drives me nuts.’
‘But there must be something you do like about North Pole,’ I say.
Jessie thinks about this. ‘Well, if you get into an accident or something, everyone’s willing to help you,’ she eventually shrugs.
I decide it’s safe to ask Jessie – being anti-Christmas – about the mass-murder plot.
‘Do you know the boys?’ I ask her.
She shakes her head.
‘Apparently they drew up a list,’ I say.
‘Well I have a hate list on my wall too,’ Jessie replies.
‘Yes,’ I say, ‘but I’m sure you don’t have access to weapons.’
‘I have a revolver in my bedroom,’ Jessie says.
‘Do you stand in front of the mirror with it and shout “Freeze!” and imagine what it’s like to kill your enemies?’ I ask.
There’s a silence.
‘I might,’ says Jessie, finally.


This is the second collection of Ronson’s Guardian columns, and is, to my mind, better than the first

Oh, and just in case anyone wants to get into my head, then they just need to read the first half of this book, because that is, in essence, me. I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, or punch someone in the back of the head when Ronson details his rage at an admitted mostly imagined slight from several years earlier, that has him so riled that he is ranting about it to a stranger he meets in a bar, who asks him:
‘How can you find room in your life to harbour such anger against this person?’
I looked at her, perplexed, and replied, ‘I can find the time. Don’t worry.’

(For those keeping count, I decided to punch someone in the back of the head.)

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