Saturday, July 30, 2016

Saturday, July 16, 2016



Friday, July 15, 2016

and I kneel down and pray

you can turn it off or on

That first "Hey baby" just absolutely fucking slays me.
So far 2016 seems like one of those years that gets described in history books like "As the world slid farther and faster towards fascism, most citizens felt powerless to do anything other than witness the horror." Jesus fucking wept.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Monday, July 11, 2016


Method actors like to talk about something called “public solitude” — that is, the ability to seem alone onstage. Really, to be alone, without wondering how you look to the audience. They will tell you this is the basis of naturalistic acting: to forget about the audience. Only then can you build a character, pay attention to others onstage and act out a scene.
To write a story also requires public solitude. You can’t be worrying how you sound. You can’t wonder whether you or your characters are likable or smart or interesting. You have to be inside the scene — the tactile world of tables and chairs and sunlight — attending to your characters, people who exist for you in nonvirtual reality. This takes weird brain chemistry. (A surprising number of novelists hear voice, and not metaphorically. They hear voice in their heads.) It also takes years of reading — solitary reading.
For all these reasons, writing fiction is pretty much the opposite of writing a good tweet, or curating an Instagram feed. It’s the opposite of the personal-­­­slash-professional writing that is now part of our everyday lives. More than ever, we need writers who are unprofessional, whose private worlds come first.
Women are good at translation. We are culturally programmed for it. We learn early on to translate the world we inhabit: to adapt the stories that permeate our culture to have meaning for us; to adapt our own stories to be amenable to the male ears that might be listening; to adapt our bodies, our voices, our words, our thoughts to make them acceptable.  We translate to find our own stories in a male narrative, and our own vision in a world framed by a male lens.
From childhood, we develop this skill....Of course, this type of translation is not a linear search for linguistic equivalence. It does not prioritise a seeming originary text. It does not see a clear progression from source to target. It does not even consider fidelity to the source important – because that source invariably negates the female experience. It is a lateral, rhizomatic form of translation that gives a resigned shrug and weary sigh to the traditionalists’ frequently, and tediously, trotted out axiom, traduttore traditore(translator, traitor), and carries on regardless with its own meaning creation and quiet works of subversion.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

books read in July 2016

Fiction is in red. Date of first publication in (parentheses).

35. The Dead Ladies Project: Exiles, Expats, and Ex-Countries, Jessa Crispin (2015) (AKA 'Eat, Pray, Sulk'; remarkably shallow and twee)
36. An Abbreviated Life, Ariel Leve (2016)
37. Stone Mattress, Margaret Atwood (2014) (deliciously wicked indeed)
38. The Lyre of Orpheus, Robertson Davies (1988) (reread)
39. Truth: Red, White & Black, Robert Morales and Kyle Baker (2004)
40. The Marriage Plot, Jeffrey Eugenides (2011) (just BAD)
41. Kill the Messenger: How the CIA's Crack-cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb, Nick Schou (2006)
42. The Killing Game: Selected Writings by the author of Dark Alliance, Gary Webb (2011)
43. Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion, Gary Webb (2nd ed., 1999)
44. You Will Know Me, Megan Abbott (2016) (very disappointing; time to stop buying her books new)
45. Aftermath, Rachel Cusk (2012)
46. Hagar, Barbara Hambly (2015)
47. Death on the Moon, Barbara Hambly (2016)

all 2016 booklist posts

Monday, July 4, 2016

smash those faces bro we're watching The Social Network (yeah I am ALWAYS this behind the cultural curve, I go back so far, I'm in front of me as McCartney sings) and the impression I have so far from the first half-hour is that if Zuckerdude had been able to keep his mouth shut long enough to get a pity fuck from a townie girl, our future here-and-now would be OH SO VERY different.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Chuck Klosterman apparently just went through incredible contortions (and so many words!) to answer "What artist would represent Rock and Roll far in the future?" and admitted the obvious fucking answer would be the Beatles, but then he'd get paid about ten cents for the goddamn article. Then he admits the second obvious fucking answer is Elvis, but somehow he has to cram Bob Dylan in there, because....don't ask me, man. (Bob Dylan, rock? Really?) So he talks and talks and he talks and then finally the grand conclusion is --

Chuck fucken Berry.

I like Chuck Berry okay but oh my fucking God, no.

Also nobody has to pay anyone else to cudgel their brains and kill trees pixels to come up with an answer to this question anymore, because I found it for all time after thinking for five fucking minutes:


You know who is not mentioned once in that fucken article as far as I can tell?


Yeah, Klosterman, I don't motherfucking care if two white people picked Chuck Berry to represent us all on Voyager. The answer to your fucking question is


I mean, JESUS FUCKING CHRIST. He caps it all off triumphantly with a quote from John goddamn Lennon anointing Chuck Berry. I can top you there, man. (And of course I can't find this interview right now, dammit. I know I have it in a book somewhere....)

INTERVIEWER: What musicians have influenced you?
INTERVIEWER: ....and what other musicians have influenced you?

This right here is the fucking biggest way Gen Exers get fucked over, man. We're squeezed to death between the Baby Boom and the Millennials, nobody gave a damn when our futures went bust in the nineties, grunge is a hissing and a byword when it's not a joke, and our NYT-sanctified spokesperson is....Chuck fucking Klosterman.

Who has apparently never heard a BO DIDDLEY RECORD IN HIS ENTIRE LIFE. I don't even fucking know. It's like being represented by Elmer Fudd.