David Rakoff kicks ASS and ALWAYS WILL
Having spent all Summer listening to This American Life podcasts, I was incredibly sad to hear about David Rakoff’s death. Now, usually, pointless RIP tweets drive me to bake big, fatty wrath-cakes for the whole of humanity. But when I heard about Mr. Rakoff’s departure I was *this close* to doing one myself. I FUCKING LOVE HIM.
Radio is, of course, the best medium for discovering a new person upon whom you can fixate; I loved David Rakoff the minute I heard him talking about how the offices of Martha Stewart Magazine made his brain go all Narnia, and I melted when he rang people he had made pointless craft objects for, to see if they still had them. Nothing - absolutely bugger all - makes me as happy as making a pointless object for someone I like. So to hear this mindless, particular and gratifyingly private kind of creativity treated with the rigour it deserved, just made me gleeful. People who make pointless crap probably do do it for selfish reasons and the pleasure it gives them (I know I do) - but that doesn’t mean they don’t also do it out of love; or that the recipient’s pleasure doesn’t greatly add to their own happiness. Best of all, it’s secret, like a lot of my favourite things. I think we undervalue private displays of love these days, especially now all marriage proposals must be Instagram’d and YouTubed so the world knows just how FUCKING SPECIAL we are.
Anyway. Today I found this blog, which collates all the crafty crap David Rakoff made for other people. He’ll never see it, because he’s dead. But it made me cry. Because it’s more touching than any self-aggrandising, profile-raising, commercial art - of any kind - could be. It’s art created with a one-person audience in mind - noble artistic endeavours that will never end up in a gallery, because that wasn’t the point. I feel glad that I still have all Rakoff’s books to read, and sad that once I’ve finished consuming all his work, there won’t be anymore. What a ruddy hero.