Inspired by the link from Chris Ott's so good blog, I made a mix (thanx limewire!) of the Pazz and Jop single's list for 1990. You can/should too, because when was the last time you jammed on some World Party?
1. Lisa Stansfield - "All Around the World"
2. Black Box - "Everybody Everybody"
3. Madonna - "Justify My Love"
4. Soho - "Hippychick"
5. Public Enemy - "Welcome to the Terrordome"
6. DNA Featuring Suzanne Vega - "Tom's Diner"12
7. The B-52's - "Roam"
8. Boogie Down Productions - "Love's Gonna Get'Cha (Material Love)"
9. En Vogue - "Hold On"
10. Public Enemy - "911 Is a Joke"
11. Paul Simon -"The Obvious Child"
12. Snap "The Power"
13. Jane's Addiction - "Been Caught Stealin'"
14.Power Jam Featuring Chill Rob G - "The Power"
15. Iggy Pop with Kate Pierson - "Candy"
16. Bell Biv Devoe - "Poison"
17.C&C Music Company Featuring Freedom Williams - "Gonna Make You Sweat"
18. Monie Love - "Monie in the Middle"
19. Sonic Youth - "Kool Thing"
20.World Party - "Message in the Box"
It sounds like a knock knock joke or a bad review from an old issue of Your Flesh:"Imagine Blackie Onassis and the bassplayer from the Gap Band in a jail cell together"
PONYCAPADES! PONYCAPADES! "Magical Encouter Between Man and Horse"?! I saw some shit like that once. True but pointless story: 1995, Age 19, Los Angeles. I walk into my apartment and see my then boyfriend and room-mates doing lines of blo-caine off the glass top table. Seated behind them on the couch is a greezy man-boy who now fronts, I blv, The Warlocks. On the TV, an "Italian Horse Porn", a man on a ladder, enjoying a horse, if you will. I am not sure what made it Italian, the man or the horse.
Oh my gosh, it was not even some paunchy ILM noize boys clambake fueling the google-flood! It was not people reviving the ol' "Who is more macho? Chesnut Station vs. Superwolf (after last call at Max Fish) It was Mitch Clem's "nothing nice" comic! I love the whole thing, but the "ask me about my period" t- shirt is the next one I make after I finish embrodiedering "MY OTHER COCK IS A PENIS".
Not to be all, self interested, but if you are one of the two dozen people from a spate of liberal arts colleges on the East Coast that googled my name or the emo is sexist article in the last 24 hours, can you drop me a line and explain why? Totes curious. Point me to the ILM hateration or whatever is feeding the mcflurry.
Theres other stuff I meant to tell you. Big important stuff. Things that felt meaningful during the 47 minutes I spent in line at Home Depot today; but while Matt was edging a brush around the trim of my pink office (not a metaphor) I fell asleep in a pile, on the hardwood floor, right there and the fumes got up into my noggin and kicked out the clear thought. Plus, now there is pink paint smudges on my (livin' better now)/ faux Gucci sweatshirt (now), which is unflossy and matching, fully, the shitacular haircut I gave myself. I paid someone the equivalent cost of 4 cans of latex paint to cut my hair and the gave me a haircut that was much too..Peaches roadie... and so I hacked it off with pinking shears. I never leave the house any more anyways, so I'm not sweating the "appalachian farm boy c. 1937" I am now rocking. I have thing I want to tell you, stuff that has to do with the cultural constructs of marriage, the awe-zummmm new Sir Alice record, ghosts, musedom and the propriety of only commenting on songs and albums about me for my P&J ballot, cancelling my free subscription to BUST, the Talib Kweli mixtape, but the paint fumes killed all cogent thought .
And Still! Week five and my dreaming and waking life is haunted by Suicide Girl and now I wake up from tragicomic nightmares pondering the cultural and economic impact of 800+ SG punk-models all waxing their assholes. Black Flag says it right: "Damaged by you/ damaged by me/ i'm confused/ confused/ don't wanna be confused/ stupid attempts/ no conclusions." Story is done tomorrow, supposedly, we rewrite the ending and ouila, we out. Every day, a new draft, every day, closer! I keep telling Julianne we gotta dream big but she says she kinda doubts that the Pulitzer committee is really giving daps to SPIN these days, but, me, I ain't ruling it out.
Cali, my dear friend and man behind the life blog, Teenage Teardrops/I Wish God Were Alive To See This has lodged a formal complaint, with me, for not updating the bloggerstein. I said "Dude. It's priori-zillion right now. I got other dilemmas. I have this story to edit, with Julianne. I have to find another word for "avanteur", right now, cos our editor busted me for using a word last in common use during Chaucer's time.(which is what you get for reading too much Rick Moody). Gotta go! Peace!" so I am hoping, you, too, will gimme a pass til I reconoiter, finish moving, finish writing about Patty Waters and Patti Smith, finish figuring out how to better describe "Fiona Apple's mood" and having extended discussions with Matt about the difference between eggshell-finish and matte-finish paints. Seriously, if I blogged this shit now, you'd log off and go hang yrself with yr American Apparel dog hoodie it's so "dull". (I want you to live! Don't Do It!) Go email Britt and ask her to blog about me and my mom visting her in the hospital and my mom bringing her a promotional bottle of Antonio Banderas lotion for women, a far better story.
It just sounds a certain way. It conjurs a certain adherance to American Adult Idea and The Right Way and a exacting sort of Intersection of Conubial and Aesthetic. And I just refuse it, you know, on principal. But, the fact of the matter is, I spent the afternoon fussing over what color to paint the walls and cielings of our new apartment. We are moving into a nice apartment, together, even, in a safe neighboorhood and it's my first place that is not punk hovel. (It is as big as my last "big" apartment, which Teeter and Emily and I could only afford because we got a discount on it because the previous tenant had been murdered in the living room after a drug deal went "wrong"--and the "wrong" end of the hammer was implemented as a weapon and the blood still flecked the living room floor, perma-preserved under the new coats of polyurethane.) It seems very grown up. Living with the man I love in some place that is kill-free --and not a single sink in it has duct tape on the drain! I am totes into it.
Do you remember your voice as a teenager? Maybe you were on a calm platitude, and yr voice was a sweet even chirp. Today, around my cousin, age 15, I remember well that I was nothing if not a gurgling font of disgusted tone and exaggerated and heaving sighs and snorty scoffs which dappled my sentences like morse code: SOS 16 SUX STOP SEND HELP STOP GOD MOM DO YOU HAVE TO CHEW LIKE THAT STOP I HATE YOU GUYS STOP UGH I CANNOT WAIT TIL I CAN MOVE AWAY FROM HERE FULL STOP. Actually, I think I still talk like that most of the time, though I have managed to stop rolling my eyes with such revolted vigor in the in last year or so. My cousin, her entire emotional economy is built upon embarrassed fluster with her mom and dad, I secretly love watching it. Teenagers are so perfect and raw. We think of them as being fake, putting up a front trying to fit into some teen-peer mold of whatever, but I think--and granted--this is a revelation that came to me after spending 22 says on Warped Tour, mind you--but I think teenagers are so real. They broadcast their awkwardness, they have no choice, all their emotions are on blast. I secretly admire it. We grow up and we learn politeness and we learn that not all of our ideas are the best and we have false humility from having "lived and learned" or whatever. Teenagers are chaos3000, lists of demands, shooting you Firestarter looks ever 13 seconds because everything you do embarrasses them to the core of their being. I LOVE IT. Luv it.
I also love, and am perhaps one of the only people who will say this: I love Cleveland. It's sprawling, half forgotten and brokeny like Chicago, but not so brokedick ugly with gentrification. Cleveland is like the Har Mar Mall of the midwest--no one's going to refurbish it. Ever. It'll just get bulldozed one day, but until then, it's just the $2 movie theatre with no heat, Neon Beach unlimited tans and a halloween store.
"Imagine what it will feel like when we are done with this.
It'll be like that slow motion running scene in the Chili Peppers "Under The Bridge" where topless Anthony Keidis is running majestically right at us. Finishing will be like Anthony Keidis has arrived and has put on a shirt. Thats what it will feel like.
I wrote this to J Shep, in regards to the story that we are finishing tonight, the story that has eaten the last three or four weeks, the story that gave me a $400 cell phone bill, the story that had me and J Shep on the phone for almost four hours since 8:42am CST. Props-zillion to my woman friend, my pal J Shep, who is a great reporter and writer, deserves some special chocolate dog sculpture and/or spa-day just for having the patience to deal with my interupting but but buts. Secondary and similar props to my boyf, who for the last two days has brought me food, so that I can tend to my writing and interviewing schedule. He too, should get a chocolate dog sculpture.
I had to get up early this morning, a task that is nigh difficult for me, but Matt made it worth my while--he played me a medley, on guitar, of Neil Young songs with "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer" worked in. What a guy! The best!
I know they sold a lot of records, but I feel like we've all forgotten: The Association are a great band.
My brain and capacity to write is wiped, I have no witticisms or mockery to spit down yr gaping maw, fair internet. Still on deadline, and past that, more deadlines, other projects on hold waiting impatiently. Words are all wrapped up and spoken for.
I know the facts:
1. I listened to the Gene Autry version of "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" three times today, because it is my favorite song other than "Peg" by Steely Dan and the bells are "soothing".
2. The heaters in my house do not go any lower than 90 degrees, and as a result, it's drying my eyes and face out-- I look like Klaus Kinski in Cobra Verde now . Look for me tonight at the White/Light show, I am the one with raisins for eyes.
I know, three weeks ago i wrote that i would post my 90 min convo with Dov Charney, owner of American Apparel, here on TLG, for all to read, but I am not going to, at least not yet. Keep yr huff and curiosity on hold--I am not going to post anything until I get a chance to full check out all sides of all stories, likely in the form of some investigative report. I will issue it either here, or more likely, in the pages of some publication in due time. In the interim, shop however you feel is most concionable. Or, best yet, make things yrself from things you buy at a charity-resale thrift, or really meditate on yr purchases and their life cycle and why dog-hoodies exist, or why you do not "have the time" to make a simple patterned thong or t-shirt or cornbread or a grime anthem or stain remover. Beware--once you start thinking, it'll fuck you up, but in the long term, it makes it easier. It kind of, initially, feels like yr abstaining from the funn of American E-Z, entitlement and freedom in spending, abandon in purchasing, depth and security in ownership--alla that--the petit mort of all consuming consumption, but then, seriously, once you get the hang of it, asking the questions about yr own want, the REAL and honest means of how the food/clothing/Dipset CD/Windex/Geritol Complete/signed foto of Ann Coulter/etc got in your hands, you will find great relief under it.
Oh man, I love Robin . Eating salads in the movies is an idea whose time has come. I also love Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, my great writing friend; her and I are making a great reportage about an important topic and now spend 4 hours a day on the phone instead of just 1. J Shep is a wizard of improved and improbable solutions; we do these interviews for the story together, and she has the thing to tape record the interviews with her at all times just in case, and the other day, she stopped her visit to the Met so we could interview this Federal Prosecutor Dude on the tele, and where she was was loud, so she put her head in her tote bag for quietness and phone integrity. In public. Head in tote, questions like lightening--- UNSTOPPABLE. I wonder if anyone walking by would have guessed she was on the phone with the federales? I doubt it!
PS, kids and adults. I saw Milemarker tonight, with the double drummers, double guitar and fucking violin and everything, addition of Remus and his sister singing together with Al and Dave's newfound ANGRY SOLOS ANGRY ANGRY WEEDLY SOLOS. It made me want to get some sort of pinprick blood pact going, some ritual to bind me to the awesomeness. I get the feeling, this Milemarker big band, is just in it's infancy. I think it's going to become one big crushing blow--right now, it's just like getting socked in the gut. By the end of this tour, as it clots and congeals, it'll be like... getting toothless via skinhead beating kind of pummel. You know? tour dates are NOW.
Also too: this weeks Reader has some funny letters in responce to my Animal Collective/Bell orchestre splay, one of which I think is from the horn player in BO's dad. OUTRAGED FRENCH CANADIAN PARENTS UNITE!
Flight after cancelled flight gave me much time to chew up at O'Hare this morning. Up and away to Minneapolis, the old home that barely feels like home anymore. I have spent equal amount of years now with my Chicago times, my 312-habitue as I did on the clean, mean streets of the 612, the Minneapolis that is my "from". The last few times I was here, I was still sick from the fumes from my aborted attempt to move back here about this time last year, every street corner heaving and shaking and spitting up some ancient chaos, some teen tumtult, splitting the difference with the then-current chaos and tumult. Mostly I hated coming home because it reminded me that I was the same kind of iron-willed stupid at 28 as I was at 17, kid mind foolish and hastey, righteous and scared and feeling far from god.
But today, on the way in, in this horrid yellow rental with a spoiler, I thought of nothing. The town ghosts gave up--maybe, the mythos has been shucked, finally perhaps. Maybe they are less concerned with me, or I with them. An abscence of care, it's just geography and houses I used to live in.
I am coming to Mnpls tomorrow, I cannot find you, and I'd like to. Call me.
Ye ol' Al Burian and i once had a fine fine idea: run JR for local office. Mayoral, rightly, but you know, Daley's got it cockblocked by some mafioso's in salt trucks til they cryogenically reanimate the former Mayor Daley, his daddy, circa 2022--Al would write the speeches and I would campaign manage. But, please, someone, somewhere, in the meantime, give JR a column--a platform. Maybe you know someone at the Red Eye and they can sandwich his genius skizzum somewhere between a trend pce on "Is pregnancy sexy?" and an item about Jennifer Aniston's recipes for holiday meals built arund Franzia box wine and xanax. MAKE IT HAPPEN!
Hot feminism and rhetoric blog outta MN , which makes use of some Sweet Valley high art I had long forgot. Through that spot I found out about this . While "Carnival of Feminists" does not have the same excitement factor as "All the milk you can drink for 25 cents booth at the MN state fair"--it sounds pretty neat.
Also, in the new blog dept: Onetime HIOQI scribe Chris Ott has a blog monitoring redonkuliss memorabilia auction: Up this week -- $4200 for a Postal Service Gold RIAA plaque, auctioned by a former Sub Pop lackey.
Winter is creeping up, best blve. The daylight is keeping bankers hours-- in at 10 am and done by 3pm. That's fine. As long as there is no snow, there is still bikes and if yr on yr bike, even with gloves, it might as well be summer. Monkee ran away for two days and I cried. She was trapped in a neighbors garage, but JR helped me staple up 100 fliers of MISSING KITTY and even though she is home, calls are still coming in about every lost cat in the whole East Village: rooftops, alleyways, saw her in the day, saw her night time last week. The people who say they saw a cat four or five days ago somewhere, I think they are lying: who remembers seeing cats? Do you remember the cats you saw this week? When and where and what kinda fur they had? I cried and cried and blamed myself when she did not come home, I dreamt Monkee in the street with a broken tail, a young boy on rollerblades standing over her limp body yelling "WHOSE BROKEN CAT IS THIS?"--awful. But now she is home and relief is mine and she is never going out again. Ever.
Cried again, this time reading get well cards in the Walgreens, took it as a sign that I am old, or much more emotionally frail than I ever let on. Maybe it's because every card I read, I imagine old people reading them and being touched. Grandmas everywhere displaying cards on the entrance table and mantles. I advance cry for them. I popped a tire on the bike and walked to Myopic because it was barely raining by then, to buy books to take to a friend that is sick in bed. I always look for my standbys, books I give everyone I love, one of which is Rock Moody's short story collexion, the Brightest Angels one. Considered picking up his latest, The Diviners, for gift giving, a book which I started but have not finished because I think I need to ask him some questions before I can get down with chapter four, before I can plow ahead. Now, these are questions based on short stories, Purple America, his intro to the bible anthology and and and the autobiog and this new one, the Diviners one: Dude! What is yr ish with exploitation of womens body issues and self hatred and using it as signifier for "gross" or "serious problem"? Diviners: Chapter one; older woman with colitis--shitting blood--for pages. For pages about the blood and the excruiatingness. Next chapter: Binge eating bitch-daughter of the bloodshitter eats donuts in the back of a limo, 4 at a time, for an hour. Also intersperesed: Assistant to the binger having meaningless sex with washed up actor. Taken all together, it's way fucking harsher than the opening of Purple America, with the resentful, bizerk son dutifully washing his invalid mothers vaginal-area. These women--It's like Von Trier meets Gaitskill minus (the raping that duo would imply)--with this flat ache of McSweeney's cleverness and tic. Meaning it's half heartedly horrifying in this too casj way. France is going to ash, it's almost 2006, USA is making hell come alive in fluerescent colors worldwide, and seeing our gluttony as it REALLY exists, not in fardly metatextual whatevs, is sin qua non of the right- fucking-now.
(Also, note to EchoCam buffs, that adult boy showing up tonight through midweek, is my better half, Matt. He plays a show with his experimental noise duo, White/Light, tomorrow mid evening at The Stone as part of that Jim O Rourke thinger. If you are in NY, and like loud wonderful wooshing sounds on Tuesday nights, you should go, two sets, possibly featuring "some other people". Trust.)
"If I was going to lose my virginity a second time" --- Missed connection, classic and drunkposted, on Craigslist from last night's Promise Ring reunion show here . See also: Sadly missed connection, between a fist and some jock-jaw, during Make Blv's opening set here. If ever there was a show where a jocks vs. troo punx fight should of broken out, just as the violent cherry on top of Kinsella's merciless confrontation of 1100 middle aged emo-nostalgics, fucking a it was that one. Tim had a home made sign that said "lets evolve", refuses to wear chubby man clothes now that he has put on his just-married 40 lbs, looks like Castro, screams like Pere Ubu's Dave Thomas fronting Born Against, and his between song "banter" will have you thinking deep about the hose of cultural construct upon which we lap nightly, call it last call, or teen-years retribution, or call it "opening band"... he was fire, he was wishes coming true, collect call to arms and then some. AMEN. Fuck the FRAT BOY IN FRAT JACKET With the fuck you.
It's funny when you get caught on film being a cliche of yourself. I was not being confrontational, I was just asking how she liked her job with the softcore site. Working on the story that J Shep and I are working on involves spending a decent chunk of time on ye olde internet porn sites, and it's impacting my dream life with bad metaphor--I dreamt last night I was a Suicide Girl, but in place of breasts, I had long flappy basset hound ears, and I had to pose artfully and origami them into boob shapes to disguise the ears.
Also, I linked to it before, but I spoke with her today, and you should send Britt a get well card or a drawing, as she will be in the hospital for another week or so: BBL, PO Box 16101, St. Paul, MN 55116. Being sick is bad enough, being in the hospital is terrible and boring and yr surrounded by virulent germ strains. The girl is resting up and doing math puzzles 29 hours a day holler at her. Doesn't matter if you know her, if you have read her blog twice--you should drop her a note.
And a quote for today, courtesy of Bruce Adams, Kranky honcho, discussing the trend of hirsuteness brought on by the popularity freak folk --"And with all due respect to "New Beard America" a close, comfortable shave is the second best thing a man can do to and for himself."
Just up: This week's Reader, fall book special --I wrote about Joan Didion, punk author Brian Costello and then harshed the mellow of Animal Collective and Bell Orcestre. I fought for use of "freak folk ho show"--I'm elated it made the cut.
I'm sick. Here is a conglom of links and notes in leiu of ideas, or self referential posey (active-tense of "poser").
Clash songs en francais? In case you missed it -- Joshua Clover's overview of the riots in france .
My oldest and best lady pal, she of the Hookers on Stilts, Britt Barton Lindsay, is in the hopsy. Send well wishes or a card .
This is my first week of music helping for This American Life . The main story this week is about the holocaust. If you hear a rocksteady version of a Bread song, that's totally JR's handywork though.
Hit it or Quit it has been picked up for distribution to stores and newsstands by Ubiquity. Tell yr zine store, or magazine stoickists. Ubiquity also supplies mags to Whole Foods, so maybe once we stop uh, putting the words "feminist", "shit" and "fuck" on the cover in 32 pt bold type, you'll find us in the check out sadwiched 'tween Third World Suffering, Travel and Recipies Monthly and Dr. Phil's Vagina-Advice Journal .
I wrote this note on the way here. Now I am going home.
"Serpentine ropes of river map the valley depths against the saw-toothed plateu tops. First the plateus seem smooth, their outline impossibly carved, thick ridges cored from the earth, then there is a section of snowy peak, then beyond that, the cuts in the earth devolve in to artless, constant pocks and divots in messy swells; topographical contusion that grow greener as you progress further into California. The westerly ridge faces are treeless, as if the sun melted the life off them, exposing swathes of the ridge's ruby brown under color. "
A man previously unknown to me called at just shy of 1 am, and identified himself by his name, and then his professional reknown, 'the rock n' roll chef (pause)". I had left a note on japanese girl paper, in his mailbox. I had a question for a story we are working on, and I needed an answer, and the answer came from him. It's about his basement, and it's very simple: Is it livable? Is it nice?
"Of course it's nice! I am in it right now. It's not a basement-- it's a bottom floor. We're remodeling the upstairs. To say it is not nice is tomfoooolery! Who told you that?! It's very nice. It has tiles and in the other room, I make chocolates. You know, just chocolates for friends. Who said it's not nice?! If you want to come over and see it, you should just come over right now. I have bonfires on the porch, no one complains."
The chocolate making rock chef invited me to the not-creepy non-basement of his childhood home after midnight, to verify it's tiles. I took a raincheck.
Tonight, I realized as the lights went down in theatre 5 of the Arclight, that in 14 years of knowing each other, Cali and I have never been to the movies together. Somehow, this is a more shocking revelation than the story Cali told about the time he walked from Fairfax and Beverly to MacArthur Park to cop drugs with the last $22 he had, and since it took him so long to get there, it was well past dope-availability time, and so he bought a $20 bag of coke and a $2 syringe from a guy in Dunkin Donuts and cooked it up using water from the lake in the park .Who shoots MacArthur Park Lake and lives to tell the tale, laughing and sober, years later? The lake, which, has been scientifically proven to be 75% piss, 11% junkie vomit, 8% duck shit , 4% decomposing gang member, 1% ancient DDT and 1% water. Certainly not that primo River Thames / 80,000 lines proof.
Remember last Thursday when, regarding the "girlcott" of offensive shirts, A&F's spokeman was all "It's all just good publicity for us, I doubt this will be impactful, it's such a small amount of girls with a problem, we are so not sweatin it, dog"? Welllll, They pulled the shirts from stores today.
We were driving to this party after the show, a party of old people we knew back from when. It was billed as an old people scene reunion. Some of the old people are still friends and were calling themselves "The Original Jabberjaw heroin crew" in laughtones, en route. They are all sober now and none of us like going to parties and most of us stilt ourselves above nostalgia.
Once we arrived, I could not find the motivation to "catch up" with anyone other than those whom I arrived with. Mostly I talked to Johnny Jack Bumblebee (not his real name) about what his job as the wardrobe guy on one of the CSI shows involves, as so many plotlines involve attractive-ish science cops analyzing clothing fibers for clues. Blood, sweaters, dressing autopsies in three stages. Poly-blends, jeans and these Miami murders.
Johnny Jack-- Oh, It's nice to see him well. The last extended conversation we had had prior to this was 1995; he was kicking dope in the bed that I shared with my then boyfriend, here in Los Angeles. He had stopped by looking for the boyfriend, looking for a safe place to kick. Everyone in the house had disappeared on an extended bender or narco-jag. I was alone beyond alone and told him "sure, come on in," like he was just asking for a glass of water.
I attempted to be a gracious hostess as he soaked our mattress with putrid dope sweat, and so I gave him asprins and told him they a secret stash I had of codiened Tylenol 4's, and he gobbled them 'tween heaves. JJB was one my boyfriend's bestest friends, and one of the only people in town I even half liked. He was an artist, for real, and seemed like he was from Ohio and not LA. Kicking the bed, shuddering; he wept and stank up the room with a singular toxic waft. I was so desperately lonely and idle, that even in his ill fits, he was welcome company. He'd been a skinhead, and I was romancing a rude girl aesthete (shaved head, boots, braces, alternateing between drunk and straight edge every other week). I Nightengaled, he puked, and we rode a rail of punk bond and bottomless desperation. It was two pitiful days of his nausea and my incessent chatter --about art and Oi. About what the future would be like when we could get past this current pathos, and be people with plans.
Be people held in place by promise fulfilled.
Rather than a fake skin girl of 18, hiding in hedge rows crying alone and bargaining with a god you do not know.
Rather than being a sick painter kid of 23, attempting to kick drugs for the 560th time, being fed Rite Aid generics for yr ills.
Around three am, I was standing barefooted in the kitchen of my aunt, a woman of remarkable personability and Christian sweetness. I am knocking back my bedtime water and staring at her fridge, with ancient envy heavy in my pulse. I beleived that normal was a fridge-door water and ice dispenser. I beleived that if we'd had a crushed or cubed option for ice, my parents would not have divorced.
We were turning into the driveway, and my dad and I are discussing the split level ranch house my aunt and her family live in.
"The accoustics are weird. You can hear every conversation in the house, no matter where you are." I say.
"Yeah, maybe it's the vents, or could be thin walls" says my dad.
"There's no privacy then" I say, "Maybe they don't need it."
We were quiet.
"Is that how most families are?" I ask.
"Normal families. And some big families, I think, generally, are like that." my dad says, with feigned authority. We might as well have been talking about squirrels we learned about on an tv special.
His family seems normal from the pictures, but tonight, the way my grandma's head bows when I mention I found a picture of what appears to be, her and grandpa in Hawaii. "No, no we never went any place like that. I think that was Michigan. It was a convention, we took a ferry." It was someplace sunny and tropic. Not Florida or California. I could swear Hawaii, but it's likely that luau's were de rigeur for conventioneers in the early 60's. It was dumb to ask, I asked because I forgot. My grandma, age 89, has never been on a real vacation, she has been to about five states aside from Indiana. (Trips for graduations do not count. Ferryboats in Michigan for the supermarket distributor sales convention does not count, sadly, even though you got to stay in a hotel.) "Dorthea, next door, you know, she's been all over the world." she says. Her voice curls when she says this. She flips and folds the paper back, pauses. "They have all these different kinds of faucets. It used to be everyone just had the same kind. Thats all you needed. Now it's just different ways for your money to spend."
(by way of Joan Hiller)
I drove a Ford WhiteThing 253 miles today, cruise controlled 43 miles past Terre Haute. I am here overnight and I packed in a sleep deprived stupor: 16 cds, three books, a box of teas (30+ bags), a sweater, three pairs of underwear, my ipod (the car has a cd player), a 6.5 hour audio book-- the unabridged Things Fall Apart read by a man with an announcer voice who pronounces every word like it begins with a capital letter ( I would rather listen to it read by a Univision announcer who yelled GOOOOOAAAAAALLLLL at the end of every sentence.). And all I did was listen to Kanye like 6 times then Catholic Radio call-in shows, fantasizing what horrifying questions I could call in with, queries about how to best evangalize to a fetus. "Mark in Houston" called in with advice about a problem he's running into when evangelizing to his Protestant pals, and they tell him you know, they go to Protestant Church because it makes them happy and they feel engaged and they like it -- what is a good come back to that? What do you say to that, queried Mark. The host's response was so sure : "Well, remind them that this is not about "their feelings." It's about abiding by the one true church and building the Body of Christ. It's about following the dictum of Church law, not about "feeling good." He was really down on Christian plurality, and made sure to add that Mark could remind his Protestant friends to consider that only good Catholics are going to heaven. Yeah dude, great comeback, A++ for "winning solutions" . After three hyperbolic bible-jargony pro-fetal right commericals (advocating women set aside their concerns and "get out of the fetus' way") and a "special word from Deacon Crustmueller" -- The next caller's prob was that her teenage step daughter was dating a Messianic Jew, and the caller was goading the host to try and agree with her that Messianic Jews were, actually, in fact, haters of Christ. I lost the signal before his answer.
It's offish, so I can tell you. It came out of the sky like a lightening bolt to my unicorn horn--as of today, I am the music-person (I get word on my exact title next week) for my favorite radio show, which may be your favorite radio show too, This American Life.
Eric Ziegenhagen reps for Minnesotan men, and we can testify he likes smart interesting women (we have seen him on the arm of Edith Frost before):
"One thing Dowd excludes is any notion that American
men have changed between the 1950s and the present,
from John Wayne to Alan Alda to George Clooney, as if
men as a whole have either been oblivious or
reactionary to the cultural changes of the last 50
years and are upholding the traditional values of
being the caretaker and the hunter.
In my own experience, I see a huge gap in behavior
from men I know who are currently over 40 (raised in
the early 70s and earlier) and men under 40. I just
turned 35 and was a pre-teen kid in the age of the ERA
movement, Ms. magazine, 'Looking for Mr. Goodbar', and
'An Unmarried Woman'. My mom had a major role in the
ERA movement in Minnesota, was the first female Rotary
member in our town, was an op-ed columnist for the
Mpls. Star, involved with the Women's Political
Caucus, etc. -- combine that with going to a
progressive high school (at least in the sense that we
weren't segregated by gender socially, especially
those of us who didn't do single-sex athletics) -- and
then add going to a liberal arts college '89-'93 at
the height of the P.C. movement, when 'girl' was an
epithet -- all of those influences are going to shape
a guy -- and not just me, but tens of thousads of us
-- in a way that's very different from the way a man
would grow up in the same town and at the same schools
in the 1950s and 1960s.
Dowd writes about successful men picking their
assistants, nannies, caterers, etc. -- it'll be
interesting to see if this changes with men who are
currently in their 20s and 30s, who were raised with
the influence of the ERA movement, who weren't
segregated socially by gender in high school, and who
went to college sometime after 1989, when
multiculturalism and feminism began to have
substantial influence both in and out of classes. I'm
pretty sure it will. (I mean, the men she's talking
about in their 40s were raised in such a different era
- watch the 1976 courtship rituals in 'Taxi Driver'
sometime and see how upside-down they seem now.)
For us fellas who hang out with smart and interesting
women, I think the reverse of what Dowd says is true
-- we need someone as a partner who is at least as
interesting as our friends. (I would assume this is
true with gals too who hang out with interesting and
smart guys, then they're going to want to be with a
man who is at least as interesting company as her
friends.) Maybe we're the outliers in 2005, but when
our generation hits our 40s and 50s, the influence of
feminism will be clearer."
Becky Smith, writes in on Dowd:
"i think the important thing to note with the whole
article, argument and response is, specifically, that
when we say "we need a new betty friedan" what we
really mean is "wow, we [remaining feminists] really
need to motivate (mostly) white middle-to-upper class
educated straight women rather than making resources
and tools availible to women who do not fit into that
mold." i mean dowd is pretty much playing friedan in
her article - talking about women on the upper east
side with ginormous amounts of money to spend on
designer baby clothes and have the privilege of
attending an ivy league school and choosing to stay
home; talking about overeducated middle-upper class
straight women with "intimidating" careers who can't
"get a man" because of the "dating ritual" which
insists that men want women who "don't talk."
i think that her view of women who are "maids"
stealing the, let's spell it out here, men that she
(maureen) feels would be worthy of her because they
are on the same corporate level power field - is
effing classist bullshit.
i mean, i know that "he's just not that into you" is a
best-seller but can we look at the demographic that is
buying that book? and buying INTO that book?
and she's "critiquing" the media, but...she IS the
media. dowd has fashioned a book, a played-out concept
that feminism has always failed women (then, now, all
the time...unless it's betty! we love you betty!),
that is going to appeal to, and moreso SPEAK TO, the
people she describes in the article and (some of) her
nyt readership; what about the people who do not fit
into the "Mrs. Anonymous Biological Robot in a Docile
Mass"? the people who like the unisex jeans, the
people who can't afford a cell phone to text message
about guys, the people who love smart, intelligent,
yes, feminism needs a boost. do i want another betty
friedan? hell no. we've done that; the straight,
white, educated, upper-class woman has been analyzed
and her "problem that has no name" has been called out
again and again (thx for bringing it up again dowd!).
can we, like, just get over it already and do some
serious grassroots work? do we need an issue? is that
it? the supreme court? what about katrina as the
feminist issue to rally around since it seems like
everyone has forgotten about it? 'cause being a
feminist IS being a "humanist"; being a feminist is
ending oppression across the board, right?
does it need to be marketed? is that it? if so, i
think fluffy dollars is more right on than ms. dowd.
i mean, can you imagine what all the dudes and ladies
would do when word got out that reading bell hooks and
being liberated was "cool"?!
but you know, if we're in a state of mind in which we
think the days of friedan were effective, then we
don't even need that. one of the best things i think
dierdre english has said in reference to the second
wave is that "the women's movement happened without
institutional support, without media coverage, without
celebrities, which is why debate thrived and why the
mainstream media never understood it."
should we ignore the women dowd references in her
article? no, but recognizing their issues as not
necessarily central to "reviving" the feminist
movement would probably be a great start. what i'm
saying is: don't worry about the feminine mystiques.
we'll start talking to them - or! after things have
started to really move - they'll start talking to us. "
Here is an article about class, race, and Coco Rosie titled "CocoRacist: You're so Worldly, Hows Mom's Audi", though we (you, me, Maureen Dowd, etc) have bigger fish to fry, is a real satisfying ouch, ouch, oh snap, damn! read. Enjoy.
Did anyone else read this Maureen Dowd bit about feminism's "failing" in the Times? I do not know whether it's like just dour prognostication, like the kind of thing divorcee's say to you drunk at wedding receptions, or if it's like The Q Gospels--the truth that no one is speaking. I have to go to the library right now (late fees are a bitch), but I will comment further on this later, but my theory is loose right now, but it has to do with Clintonian comfort--we thought we could rest, capitalism and getting power and status that is otherwise being denied women still, that the feminist backlash of the 80's became more insidious as time goes on, the popularity of home-maker reclaimative chic (keeping house, knitting, the boom of conventional marriage industries). I think it is less feminism's fault as it may have to do with market force trends and capitalism and options and that it took Bush in office to snap us from our dream-sleep. I think she is right about needing a new Betty Friedan, a somethign that galvanizes women. I think the polarized ideas about duty and morality moats some of the women that feminism needs to reach most, and then there is always like, Susan Sarandon in the new issue of BUST saying she has stopped identifying as a feminist ("I prefer humanist") because people get "the wrong idea" -- they associate feminism with "pushy" and hardline and that detracts from her ability to further her political agendas. Also, Dowd's argument, to me seems really steeped in a New York-y media awareness and ideal of achievement and place, that to me is very East Coast. The midwest, we are a little more insulated, patriarchy is not twisted or quiet and underground--it's in the bars and on the streets here more. Also, her resigned tone is totes against my bell hooks-ian fight the badness with hope and love steez that i think is key to rising feminism from the oceanic leagues where the good ship is laying, treasure-full, ya know?
Read it, then lets discuss. Send me email-comments and I will post em. Discourse, dialogue, discourse, dialogue.