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Everything I Know About Neo-Symbolism I Learned from an
Episode of Growing Pains

Jason Bredle

It is “improper” to “have relations”
with a “corpse” is something we occasionally hear
from passing automobiles or stadium announcers
and I agree, in theory. In theory, however,
communism works, which is exactly why I’ve never
been interested in the French language. I prefer
a place where children interact with whales
in ways you could never imagine. Thích Nhat Hanh
calls that place home. Lately
I’ve been considering the capybara quite a bit,
and more specifically, whether or not people
eat capybaras. I mean, I don’t see them
in any of these Brazilian grills sprouting up
all over the place for the discerning businessman,
but that doesn’t mean people don’t
eat them. Why wouldn’t they other than
that they might be endangered or taste like shit?
In theory, I’ve broken six of the ten commandments.
Guess which ones. Someone once
posed the question, are emus birds or llama-like?
From a mere philosophical standpoint,
this may seem like no big deal,
but consider it, for a moment, from a theological
standpoint. I’ve never seen anyone
eat a capybara and in fact don’t know
if people eat capybaras, but I think they do
because “why not eat the motherfucking
capybara,” as the saying goes. It’s a rough translation
from the Guaraní. Whenever I watch Growing Pains,
I wonder, did dads in the 80’s watch this
and hate themselves? Or did they learn what good
parenting was all about? Whatever the case,
the complex family situations we sometimes
encounter—say, meeting Brad Pitt
and realizing he’s a total dick—have sure come
a long way since the days of Diff’rent Strokes,
another program touched by the divine hand
of one Alan Thicke. Nowadays it’s all
“I want a cell phone, Daddy” and “you can’t have
a cell phone, I’m going to fucking kill you” (laughter).
If I tried to encapsulate my childhood into a sitcom,
it’d have to be on HBO because
there’s just no way to finesse all that masturbation
for a network television show. A capybara saved
is a capybara earned, they say. “Mike, does
the phrase ‘get that dog out of here
before I punt it through the greenhouse’ mean
anything to you” is something Alan Thicke
once said to Kirk Cameron. It’s a bit
chilling, I agree. Lately I’ve been considering
the emu quite a bit, and more specifically,
whether or not the emu is a bird or like a llama.
And, like, if people eat emus
or possibly emu eggs. As in, “hey dude,
let’s meet up for some emu egg omelets
and talk poetry later today.” “Mike,
does the phrase ‘get Pierre Reverdy out of here
before I punt him through the greenhouse’ mean
anything to you” is something Alan Thicke
once said to Kirk Cameron. But all
I wanted, all I wanted was to feel loved.
To quote Pierre Reverdy: “it is ‘improper’
to ‘have relations’ with a ‘corpse.’” And that’s it.
It’s like, it’s like when you’re standing on the jetty
under a rainbow and you don’t understand if
however you’re waving is acceptable or not
but at the same time the sun is setting, it’s raining
to the south, your friends are all around,
and you just want to stand there and stand there
and stand there for the rest of your life.

Jason Bredle

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