Saturday, July 14, 2012

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, by Tom Robbins

Support the blog by reveling in this book!

Well, whaddya know, pardner? Alone at the Microphone is celebrating its 100th post today. That's one hundred books (give or take) that spurred musings of one kind or another, one hundred threads of thought woven together into an Indian blanket that keeps a mind warm at night, one hundred forays into the e-frontier of the Wild Wild Web.

Thank you all for hitching your wagons to this here train.

What better way to commemorate one hundred posts than with a book that knocks me clean out of the saddle every time I read it?

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues was one of the first books to make me evaluate the world and how I live in it. The fact that it's just as powerful on re-reading proves that its potency was no mere trickery of radical language on my malleable undergraduate brain.

What I appreciate now, and feel I missed the first time through, is that Tom Robbins expands the mind without dictating new ways of thought. His characters (who alone can make a reader spin around and take stock of the world) spout some form of quotable wisdom about every third page -- and every single instance of such sage thought is questioned, or willfully contradicted, or gleefully countered. Who's to say what we should think?

What we think is not the goal. How we think is not the aim. That we think -- now there's the ace in the sleeve.

The form of thinking most dangerous to each of us individually occurs when we align our wheels with the railroad laid by someone else -- and then allow our cabooses to glide along the rails without wondering when we should jump the tracks. Realize what your words mean when you use them; aim for freedom (in yourself -- forget politically; political freedom will be irrelevant when we are all free in our own selves) over happiness (for what could be happier than freedom?); revel in your paradoxes and find in your contradictions the truth of your existence!

Or don't. Why should Mr. Robbins and I tell you how to think? We shouldn't! What do we know any better than you? Buy into what I say, or what Tommy says, just because we say it, and you're not thinking for yourself.

As you should. (There I go, telling you to think for yourself. A contradiction?)

So don't listen to me. Except when I say that you should read this book. (See? I revel in my contradictions!) It's rude, irreverent, and farcical. A thumb debates civilization with a brain. Gender is blurred. Semen sloshes and vaginal odors waft. (This book may not be for the puritanical or the chaste-of-thought. Or maybe it's perfect for them!) And through it all, you will think.

Now tell me, pardner: what greater gift can a book give you than the gift of thought?

1 comment:

  1. 100 posts! How fantastic! I am proud to say I've read them all...posts that is. I'd be a better and smarter person if I read all those books, too!