Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Thinkin' Steve Martin

For some reason, I've got Steve Martin on the brain this morning. Oh, wait; I know the reason. It's this clip.

Steve Martin is one of my all-time heroes, one of my favorite writers, and probably my favorite comic. His first book, Cruel Shoes, is a masterpiece of wild absurdism that goes so far beyond mere zaniness it becomes haunting. Often when I think about the World Situation, the following piece comes back to me:

Demolition of The Cathedral at Chartres

Mr. Rivers was raised in the city of New York, had become involved in construction and slowly advanced himself to the level of crane operator for a demolition company. The firm had grown enormously, and he was shipped off to France for a special job. He started work early on Friday and, due to a poorly drawn map, at six-thirty one morning in February began the demolition of the Cathedral at Chartres.

The first swing of the ball knifed an arc so deadly that it tore down nearly a third of a wall and the glass shattered almost in tones, and it seemed to scream over the noise of the engine as the fuel was pumped in the long neck of the crane that threw the ball through a window of the Cathedral at Chartres.

The aftermath was complex and chaotic, and Rivers was allowed to go home to New York, and he opened up books on the Cathedral and read about it and thought to himself how lucky he was to have seen it before it was destroyed.

The entire text of Cruel Shoes is available at The Compleat Steve. [LINK]

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