Friday, June 1, 2012

Internet Lovelies

Happy Friday!

It’s one of those books. Kerouac, Salinger, Vonnegut maybe, even that one where the private school guy pushes the other private school guy off a tree, etc. Essential, right? There’s an age window for these things, 17-23 maybe, or you know. Miss that window it’s like the space shuttle (we used to have a space program with actual shuttles, kids) and reentry vectors. Go now! You read the book, it slides into your musty quiver, you go past it onto other things. It’s not disregarded, it’s just done. To read the book at my age is a bit like the grown man wearing a football jersey in public. You know, “that guy.”

Sean Lovelace reading Tom Wolfe, Link

I feel like I've missed my window of opportunity to read The Catcher in the Rye. Because that's a thing I haven't done. There are so many pieces of "essential" literature I missed out on because my high school's English program was ridiculous. We read Oedipus Rex five times before I graduated. Yeah, that definitely wouldn't scar anyone for life.

But in regard to the above quote, I always feel I'm being judged when I pick up anything by the Brontes or Austen. Or when I admit Jane Eyre is still, after 16 years, my favorite novel. Like that's something only a ninth grader would say. Oh well. Come at me, haters!

In a very deep sense, you don’t have a self unless you have a secret, and we all have moments throughout our lives when we feel we’re losing ourselves in our social group, or work or marriage, and it feels good to grab for a secret, or some subterfuge, to reassert our identity as somebody apart.
Dr. Daniel M. Wegner, Link

And that's what anonymous internet identities are for.

So. The world hates you. You are considered the worst thing to be compared to. Throw like a girl. Talk like a girl. Cry like a girl. God forbid we ever be girls.

No, we wouldn’t want to take utter delight in beauty and love. We wouldn’t want to carefully watch and study something to learn. We wouldn’t want to look at the world and for just one second think that we have as many opportunities as boys. That we can play sports. Play the drums or saxophone. Play video games. Excel at science/math. And for that second, before something or someone starts opening their shit-hole to put down little girls, we can fly.

So what can we do, dear daughter? When you get a little older, I will be honest with you and tell you – fuck ‘em. You will not change their mind by arguing, by telling them they are wrong. You change their mind by showing them how being a girl is awesome. You show them by not hiding, by not being demure.

You show them by being more than your looks, even if that’s all people comment on. You show them by your independence. You show them by being more than they expect to see. You show them by not taking their shit.
 Mur Lafferty, Link

You should click that link and read the entire essay. It's worth it.

A book of poems is a book, not a collection of poems. It accumulates, gathers into a FORCE or PUSHING or like if you threw the book at a wall, it would scratch there, but then imagine the INSIDES of the book, propelling, the concepts, the words, the forms and functions, like they would go through the drywall, or the fake rock, or out the other…expand like the copper mushroom around the lead, a bullet (compression forms) I mean, metaphorically, but if it HITS you as you read, moves synapses, rattles acetylcholine, is it metaphorical at all? What is it to MOVE?
Sean Lovelace, Link

It’s funny, as someone who’s on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible, how pansy-assed some people react when you push back.
Dan Savage, Link

Always hilarious/disturbing to see how the majority handles being "bullied" by minorities. If that's even possible. Fox News seems to think so. "War on Christmas" and all.

If no one savored and treasured and bought and sold and swapped and talked and argued about books in little cool energetic flavorful cheerful clean entertaining bookstores owned by the people who run them then we would starve for all sorts of lost books and stories and we would have only stories yelled at us from screens and stories sold to us by cold pollsters and that would be a reduction and dilution of the nation and species we are. If we did not have independent bookstores we would be even more herded prey to the most brilliant marketers among us than we are now and that would be a great shame.
Brian Doyle, Link

I think it's true. Which is why chick lit is EVIL, because it convinces women that they should be doing a job in marketing while living in a flat and obsessing about shoes and boyfriends.

While everyone in their right mind knows that a proper, self-respecting heroine should be running round the moors in a damp bonnet while demanding a relationship of utter equality with a gentleman.

Comment by UrsulaWJ on the NPR article "Can a Fictional Character Take You Over?", Link 

I have been thinking about that opening question for weeks — would I be the same person if I had been born male? — and can’t even really imagine it. It’s not just the male body, a body that, while I enjoy my proximity to one, I don’t really understand. It’s the impossible pressure to conform. It seems to me, from afar, that men must choose a subculture and mold themselves accordingly. They are not encouraged to drift between as women are. I’ve read enough gender theory to be able to parrot simple reductions like “femininity is a performance” whenever appropriate. But masculinity is a performance, too, and it seems like a much less fun performance.  
Jessa Crispin, Link
So basically DC are trying to go legit with characters that were created as a satirical pastiche of classic comicbook superheroes in the first place.
 Comment by Subterranean99 in regard to the Watchmen prequels, Link

Pretty much, yeah. Prequels are evil.Then again, Prometheus is looking pretty damn good. Fingers crossed. 

I won’t even go into all the girl sh-t that went down during my formative years; it pains me to remember it and if you’re looking for petty content, you can just turn on Bravo. I’ll simply say this: girls are the worst. They just are. I don’t care if that’s not a feminist thing to say, and I definitely don’t care if it’s a stereotype. I learned in middle school that when it comes to girls, you gotta find the good ones, stick to them like they are the air you breathe, protect them like they’re your first-born children, and never, ever let them believe they’re fat.
Sydney Nikols, Link

By discounting these books, the big chains and Amazon did to the independents what Walmart has done to mom-and-pop Main Street retailers: crush them by running a race to the bottom. But there was more collateral damage. In time, discounting also deprived American readers of the opportunity to read foreign authors of a high literary reputation because, in an aggressively commercial publishing environment, translations are often risky and expensive. In the words of a high-ranking CEO in New York, “I don’t publish manuscripts I cannot read.”
Michael Naumann, Link

Needing to kill time on my lunch break last week, I went into a Barnes & Noble for the first time in probably a year. I discovered I own more books of poetry than they do. There were several hardback copies of Hilary Mantel's new book, Bring up the Bodies, but none of Wolf Hall, its predecessor. I could feel the toppling displays of Fifty Shades of Grey stalking me throughout the store. A teen vampire hissed at me. I bought a The Strokes CD and left.


  1. I feel the same about high school. I was just telling someone that Catcher in the Rye would be the next book I read. I wish I had been forced to read Dickens, Tolstoy, Hemmingway and the like during high school. It's a lot to catch up on now.

    I've been catching up on classic cinema for years and still am not finished. And that's only a 100 years worth of the medium. Becoming familiar with classic literature is going to be so much harder.

    1. I think we could all play 'catch up' forever. Not just books and film but listening to classic albums, playing video games, seeing artwork in museums, etc. I can't even keep up with my twitter timeline.

      Here's a post you might be interested in: it puts the vast number of films currently in existence in perspective --

  2. There's nothing wrong with loving JANE EYRE. :)

    I get what you mean. I haven't read Catcher in the Rye either, and I wonder if reading it now would be the same. Probably not.