On this summer solstice day, sunny and humid in Boston, my mind increasingly slips in vacation mode — that special frame of reference where it’s OK to rock out to Guns ‘n’ Roses, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Queen and the Monkeys all day long. Lyle Lovett’s Joshua Judges Ruth album, with it’s southern gospel overtones, plays particularly well on a day like this.

Yesterday while hanging out at Designs for Living I came across the infamous John Bly cure-all immasculated men, Iron John. Having just read Elizabeth Wurtzel’s Bitch, I thought I’d get a different perspective. Instead, Bly comes off like a college stoner who has read far too much Jung and Campbell. Taking the old folk tale of Iron John (in which eponymous wild man is dredged up from a lake, imprisoned by the King and freed by the Prince), Bly opinion-barfs about “weak men” who need to get down with their bad wild-man selves. Although I do enjoy much of Jung’s philosophy, it can easily be misused by those with an ax to grind (see Germamy circa 1929-1945). Like religious fundamentalists of all creeds, Bly seeks
salvation in the soft-focus lens of the past in which we were better than we are now. This kind of nihilism bores me. I’ve heard it expressed by many people in many forms (e.g. “things were so much better in the past”) that I’m considering using personal violence as a means to wake those sad people. Life isn’t a rehersal. If you aren’t happy with it, change it. Easier said than done? Of course, but the alternative (not doing anything) is appalling.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to my train ride to St. Louis and YAPC that begins monday. The trip will take about 2 days. Perhaps I can shoot Bison from the train like passengers did in the late nineteenth century. Fetch my pith helmet and quinine, Jeeves! Adventure awaits!

[Original use.perl.org post and comments.]