This particular volume is one of my favorites. It came to me about 5 years ago, totally out of the blue. I had opted to stay on campus over my senior spring break and pick up some spending money with the library staff, where I had been working a few hours a week on a work study position since my sophomore year.
With most of campus empty, they took the opportunity to do some major overhauling — clearing out old, outdated, and unused volumes from various storage locations that had accumulated over the decades. Small groups of students were dispatched to various buildings, and as there were more of us than there were supervisors, what this often actually entailed was a series of short naps and ample opportunities to sit and rifle through bits & pieces of literary history.
“Dan McCarroll’s Space Diary” caught my eye one day, due to its size (about half a sheet of newspaper), shoddy composition (tanned, tattered, faded pages) and slimness.
I opened it up, and was presented with a goldmine of cheeky philosophical nuggets, accompanied with all manner of doodles and scribbles (think first drafts of characters you’d see in a New Yorker cartoon). I found myself very taken and fully absorbed in this man’s words. They were relateable, and they resonated. Naturally I was not going to simply discard them.
I haven’t provided backstory for the other volumes I’ve written on…just because, really. I think the sentiments work as well as standalones with a bit of commentary, as they do within the context of their publications. But this one is a nice bit of nostalgia for me, so there it is.
I share with you now a collection of my favorite quips (the book itself reads like a collection of heady Tweets).
Oh, and it was published in 1977 — that should tell you pretty much everything you need to know about how & why it came to exist at all.
One of our favorite tricks is to pretend that by talking about a problem we’re doing something about it.
And speaking of Twitter. . . .
Aside from ribbing social media, this really goes a lot of directions. Based on years of near misses & close calls, I was pretty sure drinking was a problem for me, and every so often in the company of a close confidant I would debate myself on this point.
But then it took several more years after those conversations, even, before I finally came to the inevitable conclusion, and finally took action.
The simple act of “talking it through,” while helpful, is rarely in and of itself a solution.