Yup, that’s good advice from Mr. Waits.
Warning, I’m in an odd mood, which does not bode well for you Reader.
I want to talk about the Cut Up technique. William S. Burroughs gave it a name. Hugh MacDairmid used it extensively. DJ Spooky uses it… another disciple of Burroughs.
In a nutshell, the Cut Up Technique is taking one piece of work, slicing it up, rearranging it, and creating a wholly new work. Burroughs did this by folding papers and using scissors. MacDairmid was said to simply slice off lines of his never ending poem and give them out like Tic-Tacs. Spooky takes fragments of songs and pieces them together.
Offices are perfect places to practice and witness the Cut Up Technique. Take, for example, my office. Next door we have two 23-ish year olds from Maryland. They work with yet another recent grad of Maryland. They provide Ken and I endless amusement, listening to their conversations. Recently, I walked into my office to see Ken, quite pale. When I inquired, Ken swore he just heard one of them say, “I was like, Oh My God!” Thin walls and loud neighbors equals endless fun.
The following is a rough Cut Up from the offices on the Friday after Valentines Day:
So he got me a bunch of presents like a scavenger hunt in the mall with cards at each store on each present and I got really sexy underwear. Sure. No, I don’t have a running database. So I was modeling them for him in the living room, just my boots and the new bra and panties. Is it turned on? Are you sure? Yeah. So we had really good sex on the pool table and then went out and had some dessert with pears or something or other. No can’t make that, maybe Thursday. Well, he doesn’t really have a dining room table so he put a plastic table cloth over a couple of boxes and we sat in plastic lawn furniture and he made chicken alfredo and the pasta wasn’t really done but that was okay ‘cuz I told him he could make up for it with unexpected gifts throughout the year.
As my boss says, in reference to Ken and I, “If you can’t hold six or seven conversations with two people at the same time, just don’t go in there.”
Changing gears: I just learned that an acquaintance of mine died in the World Trade Center. His name was Garth Feeney and he graduated a year before me at Penn. I was flipping through the alumni magazine and saw his name in the obits. I stuck out because you rarely ever meet any Garths. (In fact, the only other two Garths I know of are musicians: Garth Brooks and Garth Hudson… bonus point if you know who Garth Hudson is.) At any rate, Garth was at a breakfast meeting at the Windows on the World. 9/11 seemed so distant. The war still seems distant. Just an observation.