Village Vitals


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I Love You More Than You Know

Odd timing, wouldn't you say? 

From Jonathan Ames, I Love You More Than You Know (Black Cat Press, New York, 2006): 

In 2004, I was one of many writers who wrote definitions for The Future Dictionary of America. This book was published by McSweeney’s to raise money for progressive organizations and was edited by Dave Eggers, Jonathan Safran Foer, and Nicole Krauss. The directions I received for creating words were the following: ‘Each writer should use or invent a word (a noun, a verb, an adjective, whatever) for something whose existence would make America a better place. Think of it as a dictionary of language for describing what the future could look like. A dictionary that is both useful and romantic. Hopeful and necessary. Pragmatic and idealistic.’ 

Bald-is-beautiful (Balled-iz-byoo’te’fel), adj. A description, usually directed at men who have lost a good deal if not all of their hair. What had previously been a some-what jokey, somewhat consoling remark, meant to soothe the egos of bald men, became an official part of the lexicon in 2009, when it was discovered by beauty scientists at Carleton College in Northfields, Minnesota, that bald is actually beautiful. A statistical analysis of Michael Jordan, the bald American eagle, several million infants, and old movie footage of Yul Brynner in Westward helped lead to this discovery. Further proof was culled from a controlled experiment by the Carleton scientists in which several thousand men with comb-overs had their heads shaved and it was revealed that 78 percent of these formerly mildly unattractive men were now beautiful. The findings of the Carleton study were then confirmed with Donald Trump, a noted financier, real-estate magnate, and New York mayor (2008-14) celebrated for his bad taste and astonishingly freakish comb-over, succumbed to pressure from the UN in 2009 and shaved his comb-over. Images of Trump, which were proliferating around the world due to his election as mayor of the Capital of the Universe, were causing psychotic breaks from reality for fragile people with hair issues and an international health crisis was declared. Once Trump shaved his head, people marveled at how lovely he actually was, and after serving as mayor he began to hang out with the famously bald Dalai Lama, forging a connection between spirituality and the accumulation of wealth that had previously not existed, which benefited a good many people—the poor opened savings accounts and the rich started praying and helping the poor. This gorgeous teaming up of the Dalai and the Donald thus solidified the phrase bald-is-beautiful as a full-fledged member of the English language." 

I do not think the President-elect has any shot of being beautiful, nor "lovely." But I thought I'd share this one reading because of its timeliness, Ames' humor (I recommend his essays to laugh out loud while reading), and the sheer fact that this was written in 2004 - predicting the wildly unlikely scenario of Trump holding office.