The Inevitable Conclusion That Carrie Brownstein is a More Complete Human Than You
Tonight I spent a long while staring at the blinking cursor on my screen, signifying the fact that I was failing to do what I had set out to accomplish. This happens from time to time, and when it does, the feeling that my entire life is fucked and I will die without leaving anything of worth behind is overwhelming.
I don’t think Carrie Brownstein ever stares at a blank screen on her computer.
Let’s get it out there: I’m not obsessed with Carrie Brownstein. I don’t sit up at night wondering to myself, “Gee, I wonder what Carrie is doing right now?” I’m not going to pull some crazy shit and attempt to assassinate Sarah Jessica Parker because I’ve got some dark thought in my head that there should only be one true Carrie who people fashion themselves after, and it isn’t that shoemonger Carrie Bradshaw, Parker’s character in Sex in the City. I also harbor no sexual feelings for Brownstein. I don’t have pictures of her taped up around a weight bench, I have no heart tattoos with her initials on them, and I don’t really even give her existence much thought unless I’m listening to her music, reading her writing, or watching her do something funny. It’s nothing weird or creepy–I’m simply interested in the fact that Carrie Brownstein is so obviously the model of human perfection, and everything that comes after her should be considered “post-Carrie Brownstein.”
Carrie Brownstein is now a celebrity. That means she is officially the #1 celebrity who I’d most like to hang out with. It used to be Bret Easton Ellis, then Stephen Malkmus, and finally Malcolm Gladwell. I stopped wanting to hang out with Easton Ellis after I realized he was probably a lot like the people in his books except (hopefully) less homicidal. Malkmus was in Pavement, but he realized he’s Stephen Malkmus, and an entire generation would like to have sex with him, so I don’t know if we’d get along. I don’t really like Malcolm Gladwell; I think he’s sort of a crackpot and people assume he’s smart because he talks a lot of intellectual mumbo jumbo, and well, people are idiots who are looking for somebody to give them an answer. I wanted to hang out with him because I once saw him in a West Village liquor store buying two large bottles of Grey Goose vodka, and I thought to myself, “Gladwell knows how to party.” But Carrie Brownstein is the ultimate celebrity friend because she is nerdy and cool, but not too much of either; and also, she’s a woman, which earns her points in my book. I like women more than men.
What’s strange about that is I’m terrified at the prospect of not having any sons. My fiancé teases me that we will end up having all daughters, because she comes from a family of all daughters, and it’s in the genes. I don’t care either way, and I’ve wanted to be a father since the point I realized that my own father sucked and I could do a far better job, but there is some shitty, misogynistic voice in me screaming “The bloodline must go on! You must have a male heir!” I’m not sure why I sometimes feel that way, as women are just as capable as men when it comes to carrying on the family legacy. I don’t know where this mentality came from, but in an attempt to be a better person, I’ve tried to squash these thoughts. And if I do have all daughters, that’s 100% awesome, as long as they grow up idolizing people like Carrie Brownstein; not necessarily just because she’s a strong, kick ass woman, but because she is good at everything she does.
In 2005 she put out one of the best rock records of the last twenty years, The Woods. She writes a lot of really amazing stuff, sometimes for NPR and The Believer. She shows up one of the best sketch comedy people on the planet in Portlandia. She’s a fucking octopus of awesome projects.
Now look at yourself. What are you doing with your life? You sold out of your bedroom-recorded magnum opus that you put out on your cassette tape label you funded using Kickstarter and from selling weed. Or maybe you wrote for The Huffington Post, killed it at the comedy open mic, made a delicious sandwich, and looked good in an otherwise horrible looking knitted hat. That’s great, but the thing is, Carrie Brownstein could probably do all that at once and more, because she’s pretty much the best human on the planet, and you’re currently failing because you didn’t realize that until now.
(Please note that the only exception to this is John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats. He might be Brownstein’s equal).
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If you’ve been looking for a chance to say something then this very well could be it.
I wish to God I’d had a list like this when I was 23.
Answer phones better than anyone else has answered phones before. Relay messages so brilliant, they bring people to tears. Turn the coffee run into the choreography of Swan Lake. Become best friends with every intern and every underling and every taxi driver you encounter.
I remember taking the pen and notebook from that woman outside the courtroom, flipping to a clean page in the book, and writing, JESSICA IS SAD in big, bold, uncoordinated letters. “My sister is going to be a good writer someday! Look at how nice her lines are!”