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JD Salinger, Fanzines, and other mostly dead things...

JD Salinger died today. This is sad news indeed, but at the same time I have to wonder what all the fuss is about Catcher in the Rye. I can relate a lot to certain themes- alienation, lack of identity, etc. But even listing them just makes me feel like I'm whining. Essentially that's what the whole book comes off as. I also can't stand unreliable narrators. Crazy narration (a la Patrick Bateman) is one thing, Holden Caulfield, but complaining, half-crazy, might-be-a-liar narration is another.


I'm also curious as to how and why Catcher in the Rye became such a staple in emo/scene culture. I have firsthand witnessed certain individuals listing the book as one of their favourites on social networking sites when I happen to know that none of them have actually read the novel. The irony in this makes me laugh but also hurts my soul. Honestly, there is not some emo/scene overlord checking your Facebooks and Myspaces to see if you've read Catcher in the Rye. In fact, I question how many of those who identify as "emo" or "scene" would even like the book as it doesn't involve a skinny white kid starting his own fashion line through the internet while hanging out at the mall hoping to one day become a photographer (who of course would only take black and white photos of his own beautiful self in tight jeans).

Close enough I guess though.


Also pertaining to dead things was my discussion of fanzines with a good and very wise friend of mine. To my knowledge there are very few publications round these parts in the line of fanzine. Gone are the days when writers published ideas and stories of a geeky nature in newspapery rags to be distributed around the underground for only the most hip readers. At least as far as I know. I'm curious to see if there are any fanzines still in circulation that are not online (aka blogs) and have not been turned into legitimate print magazines (like Starlog). I imagine there are lots of people with lots of ideas worth publishing in this format. I think that perhaps the internet's vastness has caused us to lose some of the potency our words once had. Who knows? (said the guy blogging on LJ :P)

One other dead thing discussed today- America's education system. I can complain for long periods of time about my experiences in the ant colonies of high school, middle school etc. but then I might start to sound like our friend Mr. Caulfield (though thankfully I haven't been kicked out of a private institution). All I will say at the moment is that achieving an actual education in school is often very hard and growing up in a school environment is even harder. It really takes a lot of love just to get through let alone flourish.

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