blast from the past

junior highweirdest thing happened today after andrew breitbart died. i blogged about it, then put it out on facebook and twitter as i rarely but sometimes do.

boing boing superstar @xeni retweeted it and because she has a (deservedly) huge following, a young lady i went to grade school and high school with saw it, clicked over to me, and realized it was her old classmate.

she left a mysterious comment saying that she used to have lunch with me a lot, but then she moved to california around junior year of high school. i thought i was the only one who had moved to california! oh i was so wrong.

“What I remember most about that high school cafeteria is those chocolate chip cookies. I bought one almost every single day that I was there,” she wrote.

From what I remember they were on these long metal pans, big, flat, and just out of the oven melty. So great!

“And ‘People Are Strange’ playing on the jukebox in the lunchroom. Every. Day.”

omg sooooo true. there was this girl named Jamie Highlan who was super into the Doors. in art class she would draw the most beautiful portraits of Jim Morrison. still when i would pass her in the hall i would sing van halen’s “jamie’s crying” and change it to “jamie highlan”.

maybe she was playing that doors song for me.

“If I remember right, you and I also went to Greenstream Middle School by the putrid landfill together. Nothing makes a kid feel valued like busing them at 7:30am on a January morning to stand outside locked school doors for 20 minutes, freezing their fingers off and huffing atmospheric methane. I know none of us snuck cigarettes on that campus or the place would have blown to Brazil.”

true story: first girl i ever kissed was in first grade on a winter day standing in line waiting for them to unlock the doors. there in line was this really pale fat girl whose cheeks had turned super red and for some reason i found them irresistible. so i kissed her on that big cold red cheek.

perhaps little first grade me was light headed from the fumes of the landfill over the dale

maybe its good that she and i moved as far west as possible to get away from those fumes.

died at 43 of natural causes

andrew breitbart matt welchwoke up early this morning
to finish something i was procrastinating.
and because i spent a good deal of the evening
drinking sake and beers with karisa
i had a special guest in my bed this morning:
a throbbing hangover.
so me and the hangover laid there
looking at the clock say 6am-ish
and i closed my eyes and thought about my mortality.

namely the fact that i was forty-something
with no legal heirs to my kingdom.
my hangover was convincing me
that it was perfectly fine not to reproduce
“way too many people on this rock anyways.”
and i thought about how about half of my smart friends have offspring
and about half of my smart friends do not.
and i thought about those nice women out there who i might consider cursing with my seed
and i thought how much better the rest of their lives would be without such a fate.

but i kept thinking: maybe all the smart friends should just get it together these next few years
and continue to add our DNA to the global slam dance and keep this conga line going
and then i thought wow that is a horrible reason to bring life into this world.
and then my bladder was all, ok moron, lets get out of bed.

i did the thing and turned on my laptop and saw a cohort write that Andrew Breitbart
had died at 43 of natural causes.
many things flooded my still aching head.
some classy, most not.
ok, none classy.
all i know of the gentleman was he didnt seem like a gentleman to me.
he helped blogs and websites that to me didnt need any help.
but for that i am to believe that he was some sort of genius.
he also didnt seem to be a very honorable or fully truthful fellow.

but heres the problem with my smart friends of whom i was thinking about earlier:
they know Everyone.
and there on Twitter several of them were saying things like, if i may summarize:
i didnt always agree with him, but he wasnt the tool people thought he was.
also there on twitter i read various degrees of schadenfreude
which is often distasteful, no matter how biting and clever or hilarious.
but i also read many on the so-called Left giving the man props for a variety of reasons.

and then there were my smart friends again who were truly sad at this person’s passing.

which made me seriously question
my perception of the man
because until this morning i felt very comfortable in discounting his work and ambitions
as predictable, self-centered, non-helpful, polarizing, ridiculous, and bad for blogging

one of the smartest of my smart friends wrote an excellent blog post today about Mr. Breitbart which i highly recommend, if only because he is one of the few people you will read today who knew him who was neither a liberal or a conservative and actually liked him. Impossible, you say? Hardly. Funny how when you actually get to know people you tend to omg appreciate them.

another smart friend just wrote me an email and said, “Yeah, I never talked politics with Andrew or mentioned Hollywood because of that Hulk effect it had on him, the red-eye, spitting-fire thing, but I absolutely loved this man, his vitality, his roaring laugh. He was so much fun to be around, so generous, not a mean bone in his body. He introduced me to many 80s songs, including The The ‘This is the day’. Well, this is an awful day…”

because i love my smart friends i will have to take their word for it. they actually met him, and i only saw him on Bill Maher or on Fox or somehow stumbling into a hotel conference room right before Anthony Weiner was about to admit that yes that was his photos that he had sent to various young ladies.

and even though i never considered Andrew (or anyone, really) an enemy, here is a quote from Proverbs about why it isn’t a great idea to piss on anyone’s grave

“Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the Lord see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.”

rest in peace, friend of my friends. whoever you really were.

photo of Andrew Breitbart in Los Feliz by Jackie Danicki, who adored him.