Author Douglas Coupland is pretty tired of email interviews, and who can blame him? To keep things fresh, Nadja Sayej interviewed him with JPEGs of handwritten questions, and Douglas responded in kind…
All I do is complain, the repugnance seems bottomless, and I’m beginning to wonder if maybe enough isn’t enough. I hear myself indulging in the kind of ritualized bellyaching that is just what gives psychoanalytic patients such a bad name with the general public. Could I really have detested this childhood and resented these poor parents of mine to the same degree then as I seem to now, looking backward upon what I was from the vantage point of what I am—and am not?
Portnoy’s Complaint. Phillip Roth.
1:51 “I’m a married man…I married a Jew broad six years ago.” Not sure if he’s saying his wife is a woman, or if he’s adding a size after her ethnicity.
8:17 Ralphie describes a woman’s camel toe as a “chunky monkey”. Other Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream flavors that could have worked for this joke: Banana Split, Boston Cream Pie, Cherry Garcia.
14:26 On why he likes sleeping in his bed: “I’m the lowest point on the bed and everyone falls to me.” Then when he gets up they are suspended in orbit.
20:44 May takes two steps to his left and then back to the microphone. Being that most of his physical humor is confined to his face, this unexpected waddle produces a laugh that is as surprising as it is loud.
23:57 “I never smoke weed in the house. I believe in Jesus…my wife hates that joke.” Well of course she does. If I remember my Bible correctly the Jews killed Jesus for getting high on the weekends.
26:03 Wife: “Are you stoned?” Ralphie: “Like a gravel road bitch. Like a gravel road.”
32:30 “[Dora the Explorer] is about a five-year-old Mexican girls who’s always lost.” If she was a five-year-old white girl there’d be a nightly news segment for her.
43:57 “California was chock full of Mexicans. Back when it was called Mexico.” Or as the German’s called it “A Whale’s Vagina”.
James Van der Beek as Nick Carraway: If you’ve ever seen The Rules of Attraction then you’re probably convinced enough to know that JVdB isn’t just a teenage heartthrob. His voice easily tells you he’s disillusioned in the way Tobey Maguire just sounds like a pouty teenager.
Runner-up: Edward Norton The biggest problem with this is that Norton’s about ten years too old to be a perfect Nick Carraway (and I mean PERFECT) But he’s got the perfect sardonic aura about him that he just needs to walk onto the screen and be him.
Christian Bale as Gatsby. Bale’s done brilliant work as two different extravagently rich people (Bruce Wayne and Patrick Bateman). This persona would be a little more like Bruce Wayne only with a much less cooler secret.
Runner-up: Tom Cruise. Again, age is a problem. Think about it. Gatsby’s a fucking liar. He’s pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes. Tom Cruise has that smile that you look at and wonder if he’s just a psychopath underneath. That kind of smile that says he’s been practicing this for hours. In essence Tom Cruise appears like someone trying to play Tom Cruise and Jay Gatz is playing Gatsby.
Daisy: Scarlett Johansson. Because Scarlett Johansson.
Tom: Cillian Murphy. He’s got a face you just fucking hate. Tom should be visibly hated and somehow Cillian just seems like a great old fashioned racist with very eloquent words. Plus you’re like, okay the only way he’s ever getting ScarJo is if he’s loaded.
Jordan: Natalie Portman. For the role of Jordan you need someone with a bit of snarky attitude but also someone you can kind of root for Nick Carraway to get with. Portman can be kind of bitchy, uptight and competitive but at the end of the day you just want to fall in love with her.
Myrtle: Lena Dunham. Remember, Myrtle’s not supposed to be attractive like Daisy or Jordon are attractive. She’s supposed to be a little…more generous with her weight distribution. Plus Lena Dunham’s got the kind of sass to play Myrtle and could totally pull of the undeserved air of it.
George: Ethan Supplee. Things that you need to make a great George: puppy dog eyes, a kind of rundown, stressed look, and someone who you could only wish was in better circumstances. Supplee playing an earnest role as George Wilson could be perfect here.
Wolfshiem: Christopher Lloyd. He played the same role in Eight Men Out. Literally, Wolfshiem is a fictionalization of the guy who fixed the 1919 World Series.
The nights are long
but the years are short
when you’re alive
I feel like I could get on a tennis court with Julian Knowle. He would beat me, perhaps badly, but I don’t feel like it would be absurd for me to occupy the same 78x27-foot rectangle as he. But the idea of me playing Joyce—or even hitting around with him, which was one of the ideas I was entertaining on the flight to Montreal, to hit around with a hot young U.S. pro—is now revealed to me to be absurd and in a certain way obscene, and during this night match I resolve not even to let Joyce know that I used to play competitive tennis, to play seriously and (I’d presumed) rather well. This makes me sad
“Tennis Player Michael Joyce’s Professional Artistry as a Paradigm of Certain Stuff about Choice, Freedom, Limitation, Joy, Grotesquerie, and Human Completeness” by David Foster Wallace via A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again
America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing.
America two dollars and twenty-seven cents January 17, 1956.
I can’t stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb
I don’t feel good don’t bother me.
I won’t write my poem till I’m in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes?
When will you look at yourself through the grave?
When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?
America why are your libraries full of tears?
America when will you send your eggs to India?
I’m sick of your insane demands.
When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks?
Allen Ginsberg, America.