Sunday, February 1, 2015
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Friday, January 30, 2015
In my fragment grad class someone talked about the Sesame Street book Who is the Monster? and Grover discovers at the end it's him. Amazing.— Kate Zambreno (@katezambreno) January 28, 2015
Perfect leaping off point for unreliable narrator, we are all monsters, narrative as suspense.— Kate Zambreno (@katezambreno) January 28, 2015
and one more
I am the Monster at the Beginning and end of this Book.— Kate Zambreno (@katezambreno) January 28, 2015
CW TV Pitch: Socrates in High School. Have it all worked out. A bunch of gorgeous boys & then this ugly-hot Latin teacher who wears no shoes— Kate Zambreno (@katezambreno) January 24, 2015
The other night I sat down at my desk. I used to always write at night, often very late, but the last few years I've taken to writing early in the morning and going to bed before midnight. Lately, though, I've returned to my nocturnal ways. And it works.
Writing at night: all those hours before you in the dark. Nothing in the way. And the room dark, and outside dark, and just the spotlight of the lamp and the screen, the desk a small stage. I light a candle every time and start the music (I'll listen to the same album hundreds of times when I'm writing, usually something instrumental like Sigur Ros or Amiina or Kammerflimmer Kollektief, lately it's been Yo La Tengo's They Shoot, We Score.) My notebooks around me. The little flame flickering. Just like I always have, from Brooklyn to Iowa City to Portland to Berkeley to Portland to Oberlin to Virginia. It is the most familiar thing in the world, this small pretty space in the dark. And more than anything else I know it feels like home.
- Chelsey Johnson
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
- Andrew Sullivan
As seen in these stunning photographs of St. Jude's annual feast day on October 28, 2014, the celebrations of the patron of lost causes are wildly colorful affairs with devotees from all walks of Mexican life, but especially the working classes, lugging life-sized statues of the holy man, and many others dressed in his trademark green and white garb, which are two of the three colors of the Mexican flag. What really stands out at the monthly fiestas attended by thousands is the presence of marginalized teens and 20-somethings, hundreds of whom are huffing glue and smoking marijuana on the sidewalks that abut the temple. Ironically, the saint who is depicted with the flame of the Holy Spirit on his forehead, has a reputation for healing drug abusers.
via (more pictures)
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
- Henry Miller
Saturday, January 24, 2015
Friday, January 23, 2015
Thursday, January 22, 2015
- The Evil Hours, David J. Morris
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
We are born in debt, owing the world a death. This is the shadow that darkens every cradle. Trauma is what happens when you catch a surprise glimpse of that darkness, the coming annihilation not only of the body and the mind but also, seemingly, of the world. Trauma is the savagery of the universe made manifest within us, and it destroys not only the integrity of consciousness, the myth of self-mastery, and the experience of time, but also our ability to live peacefully with others, almost as if it were a virus, a pathogen content to do nothing besides replicate itself in the world, over and over, until only it remains. Trauma is the glimpse of truth that tells us a lie: the lie that love is impossible, that peace is an illusion. Therapy and medication can ease the pain but neither can suck the venom from the blood, make the survivor unsee the darkness and unknow the secret that lies beneath the surface of life. Despite the quixotic claims of modern neuroscience, there is no cure for trauma....Trauma is our special legacy as sentient beings, creatures burdened with the knowledge of our own impermanence....The best we can do is work to contain the pain, draw a line around it, name it, domesticate it, and try to transform what lies on the other side of the line into a kind of knowledge, a knowledge of the mechanics of loss that might be put to use for future generations.
- The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, David J. Morris
(He's clearly remembering Feeble's "we owe God a death" from 2 Henry IV, which is neat, as part 1 has Lady Percy quizzing her husband on his PTSD symptoms: "Why dost thou bend thine eyes upon the earth, And start so often when thou sit'st alone?....")
- review of Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, by Hilton Als
Meanwhile the discussion of culture is being steadily absorbed into the discussion of business. There are “metrics” for phenomena that cannot be metrically measured. Numerical values are assigned to things that cannot be captured by numbers. Economic concepts go rampaging through noneconomic realms: Economists are our experts on happiness! Where wisdom once was, quantification will now be. Quantification is the most overwhelming influence upon the contemporary American understanding of, well, everything. It is enabled by the idolatry of data, which has itself been enabled by the almost unimaginable data-generating capabilities of the new technology. The distinction between knowledge and information is a thing of the past, and there is no greater disgrace than to be a thing of the past. Beyond its impact upon culture, the new technology penetrates even deeper levels of identity and experience, to cognition and to consciousness. Such transformations embolden certain high priests in the church of tech to espouse the doctrine of “transhumanism” and to suggest, without any recollection of the bankruptcy of utopia, without any consideration of the cost to human dignity, that our computational ability will carry us magnificently beyond our humanity and “allow us to transcend these limitations of our biological bodies and brains. . . . There will be no distinction, post-Singularity, between human and machine.” (The author of that updated mechanistic nonsense is a director of engineering at Google.)
And even as technologism, which is not the same as technology, asserts itself over more and more precincts of human life, so too does scientism, which is not the same as science. The notion that the nonmaterial dimensions of life must be explained in terms of the material dimensions, and that nonscientific understandings must be translated into scientific understandings if they are to qualify as knowledge, is increasingly popular inside and outside the university, where the humanities are disparaged as soft and impractical and insufficiently new.
- Leon Wieseltier
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Listen: there was once a king sitting on his throne. Around him stood great and wonderfully beautiful columns ornamented with ivory, bearing the banners of the king with great honor. Then it pleased the king to raise a small feather from the ground, and he commanded it to fly. The feather flew, not because of anything in itself but because the air bore it along. Thus am I, a feather on the breath of God.
ETA: how many fucking kinds of fake gourmet pepper do you need, anyway
Monday, January 19, 2015
MY SLEATER-KINNEY T-SHIRT THAT I ORDERED ALL THE WAY BACK IN OCTOBER ARRIVED
I might have slept in it. Just maybe. (The grey is darker than it looked on my monitor, it's very pretty and classy. I am pleased.)
I usually don't wear shirts that advertise stuff because I think people who pay to make themselves into walking billboards are chumps. I am happy to be a walking billboard for Sleater-Kinney.