@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
The Roaring 20’s
For the end of 2019, I was invited to two Roaring 20’s parties, neither of which I went to, not because they are a themed party, but that’s sure not to help. I suspect a lot of people romanticize the 20’s for the same reason people think Long Islander’s are drunk drivers… because of F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Once, when I was a student at Hunter College, I told a kid in my class I was from Long Island and he said, “oh are you rich?” “No,” I wished, “why would you even ask that?” “I just always assumed people from Long Island were rich after reading ‘The Great Gatsby.’” “Fucking Fitzgerald,” I replied.
As far as iconic authors go, I preferred Hemingway. To be honest, I find Hemingway’s stories to be kind of bland in themselves. But his prose is unmatched. The way he writes is some kind of poetry, so it’s no mystery why he’s one of the greats. Plus, I’d also be drawn to doomed love and stories of those who live so passionately, they make themselves miserable. And alcoholic writers. Oh, how I love the alcoholic writers. Even before I drank. Even before I wrote. And Hemingway had that toxic masculinity to him, but not without the ability to relay messages in his words that made you think and feel, with a certain confidence. That was Hemingway’s gift.
When Hemingway’s father killed himself, he said he would probably go the same way. He did, in case you didn’t know, though I think his (fourth) wife said it was an accident while he was cleaning his gun, though I don’t think anyone believed that. There was no note, which, morbidly, seems kind of unfair that one of the world’s greatest author’s would kill themselves without a farewell. Even Hunter S. Thompson wrote us a (short) note before shooting himself.
I once credited my inability to write a suicide note to being the very thing that saved me. That penning my last words to paper felt unfinished, and worse, the thought of my parents state in the wake of my death shook me even at my most depressed. So, this could be to say, that love saved me to some capacity.
A friend of mine who battled his own demons, made me laugh, when he said about suicide notes, “fuck that! No one deserves an explanation!” If you don’t see the humor in that, I suppose nothing I write is going to make you smile.
The 1920’s, however, was an interesting time. It’s the birth of consumerism, which gave way to greed, desire, the birth of mobsters and the start of what society is today, for better or worse. But best of all, in my opinion, would be the literature and music. Throw out the fashion, fashion has always been a game for people easily duped into loving garbage and meaningless sheep mentality. Give me jazz. Give me love (heartbreak) stories. Give me something that makes me feel.
For the new decade, well, who knows what it will bring? Some years ago, my sister lived in Hawaii. We skyped her into dinner one time with my now deceased grandfather, who said, “I can’t believe it, I wasn’t sure I’d live long enough to see her again… I remember going to the World’s Fair as a child and seeing concept technology and thinking it was science fiction… it could never happen, and now I lived long enough to see it.”
Technology is a wonder. I don’t know how almost anything works. It’s an amazing and complex world, to be sure. The tragedy of technology, however, is simple. We could be using it to simplify our lives, and yet, we continue to make it more complex and busy ourselves further.
I know you don’t visit my blog for good news, but here it is: despite what the 24/7 news cycle would have you believe, we actually live in the least violent time in human history, ever. We are evolving. Into what, I’m not sure. Idiots? Yeah, probably. It wasn’t that long ago people would go watch someone being hanged for entertainment (yikes).
My predictions for the new 20s? It’s probably best you don’t hear them. They’re not very good. Not for humanity nor for me personally. Quite frankly, I’m tired of being proven right all the time.
I’m not even sure why it’s so important to me to write my “masterpiece” before (probably also kill myself eventually) my time is up. I’m not even sure what it would be, a screenplay or a novel. My stand-up years I fear are coming to a slow demise, a painful break up for me, but one couldn’t knock me for trying with all my heart. After all, I fancy myself an Epicurean and a true Epicurean doesn’t give power to legacy. Do I give power to legacy? Or do I not really give a shit? What am I even doing, existing in a space I don’t believe I have a future in? Or perhaps that’s the true Epicurean heart in me, that the only thing that truly matters is trying. In trying, you’ll find fulfillment. In your journey, you’ll find friends. And life, is quite often, only as good as the company you keep. So when you find good company, keep them.
Take less offense in the new decade. Remember, most of life is but a TV channel. If you don’t like it, turn it off. If you can’t do what you love, be where you love. If who or what you love doesn’t love you back, find solace in that it’s not in your control, let it be and recycle that love, for it’s the only chance for it to be returned to you in another way.
If there’s something I may ask, it’s one thing— if something makes you laugh, let your laughter roar. We love to hear it. We need to hear it. Just let it echo all about, so that it’s not only heard in the present, but the past and the future as well.