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2500 Random Things About Me Too

This is a book for the era of Facebook, memes and all. Matias Viegener heard about a spate of peeps posting Facebook lists of 25 Random Things about themselves and decided to assign himself the task of creating such a list for 100 days, posting each daily to Facebook. Thus he ended up with a total of 2500 ‘things’ which not surprisingly proves more than enough to fill a book.

This is a book for the era of Facebook, memes and all. Matias Viegener heard about a spate of peeps posting Facebook lists of 25 Random Things about themselves and decided to assign himself the task of creating such a list for 100 days, posting each daily to Facebook. Thus he ended up with a total of 2500 ‘things’ which not surprisingly proves more than enough to fill a book.

There’s a little bit of everything in here: personal diary, autobiography, confessional tell all, updates on the general health of Viegener’s dog Peggy, ars poetica, sex, travel diary, family history, professorial stumping, random sex, bragging, and plain old gossip. Viegener’s not at all famous. There’s no reason for him to be and that’s perhaps the one significant feature of the book. It gets boring (a la John Cage). And he acknowledges it. That’s something. It also becomes repetitive and Viegener’s likely well aware of that too. Many of his 2500 Random Things appear more than once, having been ever so slightly re-phrased or with additional detail added. He also mentions more than once how he becomes ever more greatly conscious of what gets listed.

For those expecting the Facebook version of Joe Brainard’s I Remember, don’t because you’ll be disappointed. Viegener is decidedly no Joe Brainard. Which should be obvious, but in addition to that fact he also set himself this writing assignment in such a manner that he ends up, oftener than not, coming across as being more busy with completing a task rather than accomplishing anything too artistic—or being very entertaining for that matter. Where Brainard wrote to amuse himself and/or his friends, Viegener is usually just writing here. Sometimes it’s heartfelt or amusing or sad but quite a bit of the time it just is what it is.

Vigener’s a professor at Cal Arts and a sometime conceptual artist of sorts. As a statement of Facebook aesthetics, and perhaps a kind of social commentary, his book finds a place. He’s admirable at times for how unflinching he allows his statements to be and he never displays any truly bad habits— although this may perhaps be the most significant failure in the book. I frequently found myself thinking he’d get along famously well with my sister who also happens to be an Arts professor in Southern California.

This book is probably about as insightful as being friends with somebody on Facebook gets. Viegener also has the good/bad luck of the additional fact he was good enough pals with Kathy Acker to be present at her death. His reminiscences of her as well as those regarding his deceased mother, combined with his continued coping with his dog Peggy’s final weeks, prove to be the most memorably significant Random Things he records.

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