Electric Aphorisms, John Roderick
Read: 22 to 23 December 2011
4 / 5 stars
One of the few reasons I bother (albeit rarely) with Twitter is that John Roderick, the sasquatchian mastermind behind one of my all-time favorite bands, has an account there. I can read his 140-characters-or-fewer bursts of dry wit for free, aye, but he can't very well autograph my computer screen when I see him next month, can he? (Though the internet doesn't get ink from its cover all over my hands and its pages dont't start falling out halfway through the reading experience, so score one for gadgets.) To appease the unbridled fangirl in me, I ordered this book, which arrived the same day as the tickets to John's January solo show. Is that the hand of Fate scrawling out a message for me? Of course. Duh. What, the universe doesn't rearrange itself for you?
I gleaned some crucial information from this collection of amusing assertions. Like me, John talks to machines in the hopes that the human behind the curtain hears him. He, like me, has a soft spot for songs in 3/4 time. He clearly enjoys dropping allusions to Idiocracy, "Kashmir," Janis Joplin tunes, MST3K and Gabo, much like I do. He scoffs at folks who make responsible life choices, uses "sarcasm to soften [his] fury and use[s] over-formal politeness to soften [his] sarcasm," looks for grammatical errors everywhere, knows that Sarah Palin is evil, appreciates aging technologies, hovers somewhere left of center (unless the punchline calls for an exaggeration of political ideals), feels like his nature alienates him from modern society, likes watching fat animals be fatties, stays inside for days, and facetiously revels in his complete lack of interest in other people (including his future self), all of which sound just like me.
All of this leads me to believe that JoRod and I should be the bestest of buddies, complete with those plastic heart necklaces everyone rocked like they was pimpin' in the early '90s. I'm sure he'd appreciate my hilariously ironic fake-racisim just as much as I'm tickled by his -- even if I can't play guitar like a middle-aged prodigy or cover 80% of my face with a beard that would make everyone in ZZ Top drip with envy.
I'm also now armed with the knowledge that Mr. Roderick, like my darling husband, is a left-wing gun nut who embodies many bearlike qualities, which will be quite useful in convincing my beloved that I'm not really dragging him to a show he's guaranteed to be lukewarm about.