?

Log in

Yesterday between my therapists appointment at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. I re-read the novel Less Than Zero (which I first read in high school) in its entirety. I am now extremely depressed. While the drugs, promiscuity, prostitution and snuff films the book touches upon are pretty removed from my life the sense of anxiety and alienation at the novels heart isn’t.

I’m trying to balance out my immersion into Bret Easton Ellis by reading Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. When my nephew was visiting a couple weeks ago he talked about being a big fan of the series and it’s important to keep up with the eight-year-old in one’s life.

Tags:

stalking bret easton ellis

I originally read Bret Easton Ellis’ novels Less Than Zero and The Rules of Attraction when I was in high school. I was just a few years younger than the novels anti-protagonists but my life couldn’t have been more different. I found sex and drugs almost impossible to come by and far from being detached and emotionally numb everything mattered a great deal to me. Still, there’s something about Ellis’ Less Than Zero, Rules of Attraction and later American Psycho that’s haunted me for years. Apparently it’s haunted Ellis as well, if I correctly understand the plot of his 2005 psuedo-memior novel Luna Park which deals with a writer living in a haunted house.

A couple weeks ago I watched the 1987 film version of Less Than Zero mostly on a whim. A young, drug addled Robert Downey Jr., a ridiculously soft-featured James Spader as a bad ass drug dealer, the Bangles singing Simon and Garfunkel classics… Since then I’ve really wanted to read the book again. Looking up Less Than Zero on amazon.com I discovered that it now has a sequel, Imperial Bedrooms.

I find myself wanting Imperial Bedrooms with a passion I generally reserve for unattainable men. I started reading it in a bookstore in Ithaca. It begins with the narrator’s discussion of the previous book and the movie it was made into, continue to disclose the fate of a leading character, victim of a gruesome murder, their corpse in its blood streaked white Tom Ford suit mistaken for an American flag. I ordered a copy a couple days ago. I feel an obsession coming on….

Tags:

Writer's Block: Capital offense

What is your opinion of the death penalty? How important is this issue in deciding which political candidates you support?


Idiot Whistle

"This disc is dedicated to Richard Cunningham
An attorney for condemned men his whole legal career
He used to tell me when politicians come to
Talk about the death penalty
To get out my Idiot Whistle
Politicians especially love the death penalty
Because it makes a bunch of candyasses look like tough guys
Kinda like the war on drugs or terrorism or poverty
Well they want you to know that they're the warringest
little soldiers on Gods' green Earth
They especially love executions
Nothing like putting a black man or a brown man or some
Hillbilly white trash to death
Kinda makes their shoes shine a little brighter
And makes them feel downright up-righty
Politicians know better than you and me
Hell, they'll tell you that themselves
An eye for an eye?
Meaning that when someone spills blood we should
Spill more blood to make things right
That makes perfect political sense
Just remember that here in Illinois 17 men just
Walked off death row after being exonerated by DNA testing
An eye for an eye
Know that when the State executes somebody
They do it in our name, they're doing it for you and me
Know that execution does not bring back a loved one
That execution degrades and dehumanises us
That revenge is not the same thing as justice and
That killing anyone for any reason just
Furthers the cycle of violence.
The President just signed off on another execution
Get out your Idiot Whistle
and BLOW!"

Tony Fitzpatrick and Jon Langford

RIP Harvey Pekar

I found out yesterday that author Harvey Pekar, known for his autobiographical comic book American Splendor and his jazz reviews, died at the age of 70. A real shame. I loved his dry humor and insight.

I watched the film adaptation of American Splendor but only really got into Pekar about a year after moving to Chicago when I went on a few dates with a guy named Bob who was a big fan of his and lent me his American Splendor collections. I eventually bought my own copies and followed Pekar’s new work such as his graphic novel The Quitter.

This morning I went to Oneonta for a doctor’s appointment and stopped at the Palace Cigar Shop, which sells a wide range of magazines. I was browsing through the latest issue of my favorite art mag Juxtapoz and found an article on Pekar’s latest creative effort, an on-line work called The Pekar Project where four artists adapted his stories.

I ended up buying the issue and found that it also had a very interesting and unlikely article—an interview with actor Matthew Gray Gubler (Dr. Spencer Reid on the television show Criminal Minds) by Kirsten Vansgness (Garcia on Criminal Minds) about his drawing, painting, monster finger puppets and other creative endeavors. Really interesting and it’s been a long time since I’ve been excited by a magazine. One of the things I miss about Chicago is making my monthly visit to Quimby’s, a Wicker Part book store with a huge selection of eclectic magazines and independent comic books overflowing with new ideas.

Rat Girl

Photobucket

Just yesterday I heard about Rat Girl, an upcoming memoir by musician Kristen Hersh. I'm very excited. I've been following Hersh's career as front woman of the band Throwing Muses and as a solo artist for the better part of 20 years.

I was first introduced to Throwing Muses on Good Friday of 1993 by my friend Justin who played me their self-titled debut album (originally released in 1986). It sounded like nothing I'd ever heard before. Songs like "Hate My Way", "Vicky's Box" and "Delicate Cutters" seared themselves into my memory.

In addition to the music I was taken by the personal stories of Throwing Muses. The was band originally included Hersh's step-sister Tanya Donelly who went on to become a member of The Breeders before forming her own successful band Belly. Between them Donelly and Hersh were full of strange stories of body horror and mental illness, dark fairy tales of what happens when female goes wrong.

My best friend Viviene and I used to say that Hersh was what would have happened if Laura Palmer had lived or if Sylvia Plath had been a singer instead of a poet.

I can't wait to read her book.

Tags:

Three Things Meme (from radiosilents)

THREE NAMES YOU GO BY:
1. Bitterfig
2. Mimibutch
3. Chartruse Lily

THREE THINGS YOU ARE WEARING RIGHT NOW:
1. My red Reservoir Dogs t-shirt with the neck cut out (aka my favorite t-shirt)
2. My black slacks that I’m supposed to keep clean for work.
3. The padded bra I bought at Wal-Mart on the way back home from Chicago (all my other underwear was packed in the back of the truck

THREE THINGS YOU WANT VERY BADLY AT THE MOMENT
1. A decent job—I’m still at the supermarket and my receptionist job hasn’t started yet even though it was supposed to start on May, 24. I interviewed Tuesday for a civil service job that sounds great. I really hope I get it.
2. The Fables graphic novels I bought on E-Bay last week.
3. For the BP oil leak to stop.

THREE THINGS YOU DID LAST NIGHT
1. Laid down—I wasn’t feeling very well yesterday.
2. Worked on compiling the master list for 10,000 Lilies a femslash porn battle I hosted.
3. Watched Bruno for the 2nd time.

THREE PEOPLE YOU LAST TALKED TO ON THE PHONE:
1. My mother who needed me to pick up groceries because she doesn’t have a car.
2. My father who needed me to go with him to pick up m y mother’s car.
3. My conspiracy buff friend (who may become more than a friend) Hans

THREE THINGS YOU ARE GOING TO DO TOMORROW:
1. Go to the Farmer’s Market in Cooperstown.
2. Prepare the Father’s Day card I got my dad this morning.
3. Go to the gym to take a shower and wash my hair (my grandmother doesn’t like me using up all the hot water at home.)

THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE DRINKS:
1. A nice bottle of cheap wine (but I can’t have that anymore)
2. Diet cherry vanilla Pepsi
3. Stash goji berry green tea

THREE THINGS THAT MADE YOU SMILE TODAY:
1. Beautiful sunny weather after several days of gloom and rain
2. Petting my grandmother’s cat who is warm from sunning himself
3. The Hit-Girls cover of Joan Jett’s song “Bad Reputation”

Tags:

in defense of my foul mouth

Last week a friend of mine visited for a couple hours. At one point we were talking about my experiences with therapy and I found myself using the term “fucked up”.

I realize it was the first time I’ve cussed aloud in some time. While I habitually incorporate cuss words into my writing I rarely use them verbally. Most of my interaction with others is with family or when I’m at work, both situations were swearing would be unacceptable. I found that I quite enjoyed being able to swear aloud.

I have a pretty complex relationship with foul language.

I was raised very strictly never to say “damn” or “oh my god”, much less my favorite curses, “motherfuck” and “cunt”. I was told that using words like this showed you were uneducated or as my parents put it “low class.” In elementary school I would take great offense when my classmates said “Jesus Christ” or “hell”. When teenage rebellion hit however I became very interested in profanity though it probably wasn’t until I went to college that I dared use words like “fuck” in conversation.

When I first started really cussing as a freshman in college I went overboard for a while. I remember visiting my sister (then a senior at Vassar) and every other word out of my mouth being fuck. After a while however I calmed down. I began to regard profanity as a sort of spice, something to season my language with in moderation. These days I cuss sparingly and in a calculated manner but I remain fascinated by other’s use of colorful profanity.

For instance there’s my obsession with Quentin Tarantino. I love his obscenity laden dialogue. I could (and have) listened to it for hours. Recently I’ve been watching the HBO show OZ and I’m riveted by the swearing (while at the same time thanking my lucky stars that my grandmother doesn’t hear so well).

Cursing also plays a role in my dreams. Maybe because I rarely use profanity in day to day life there’s a backlash when I sleep because in my dreams I swear a blue streak. I’m always calling people “cunts” in my dreams. I’ll dream I’m at work in the supermarket and a lady complains about something.

“No need to be a cunt,” I’ll calmly say as I ring up her groceries.

“You cunt,” I’ll hiss at anyone, male or female, who crosses my dream self.

In some ways I feel like my parents denied me a certain level of aggression when they raised me to distain swearing. Also a certain level of joy. When I was at Whole Foods in Chicago the guys I worked with were always talking shit, humping each other, cussing. Profanity was natural to them as a means of expression. I loved watching it, but I was rarely a part of it.

I also adore bawdy music, from double entendre novelty songs to Peaches and Lil’ Kim’s carnal raps. Listening to Christine Aguilera’s new Bionic album I was delighted to discover one of the songs on it, “Woohoo” is all about oral sex. I think “lickey-lickey” is my favorite phrase ever.

I know a lot of people wouldn’t agree but when it comes to profanity I’ve sort of taken the philosophy that it’s part of the richness of the language. When I studied Shakespeare in college we learned that he could write dialogue for any social class and that his writing encompassed several times the average vocabulary. Shakespeare didn’t shun a word because it was what my parents called “low class”, nor did he depend upon it. It was part of the great mosaic of his language. I’m no Shakespeare but over the years I’ve come to feel that there’s room for fuck and cunt in my own mosaic of language.

kink_wiki

I'm very interested (some would say too interested) in sexuality and I recently found a fasinating site, [community profile] kink_wiki that deals with all kinds of kinks, fetishes and various kinds of play.

Also interesting to me is the way each kink is illustrated with examples of said kink occurring in a pop culture context. These range from the provocative to the hilarious and really show the way what is considered a marginalized kink really is present in the mass media on programs like The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Smallville. I've always thought that a lot of fandom wasn't so much about adding sexual content to chaste source materials but more a matter of acknowledging dynamics that were only hinted at.

Definitely worth looking at.

Tags:

a return to fandom

Gradually, I’m getting back into fandom after a lengthy hiatus.

I’ve started posting prompts again for my two multi-fandom drabble communities drabble_a_trois (for threesome drabbles) and of_the_moon100 (het drabbles) and I’ve been trying to do a piece of writing for each of these weekly prompts as well as those at slashthedrabble and femslash100 .

Additionally, I’m hosting 10,000 Lilies: A Femslash Porn Battle and I’ve done a good bit of writing for it as well as knocking off a couple Prison Break stories. Prision Break was the fandom I wrote my first fan fiction story for back in 2006, even before Reservoir Dogs or Harry Potter. I only ever watched the first season but I’ve been catching up via Netflix and am up to season 4. I’m also re-watching the harder, more realistic prison drama OZ. God damn I’d forgotten how hot and mercilessly opportunistic Ryan O’Reilly was.

Another big inspiration to me recently has been Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland. What an amazing film. I definitely consider it a worthy sequel to Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s stories. Twisted and funny, visually it’s amazing, dark and beautiful. Really very feminist as well, with a young woman regaining the “muchness” she had as a child and learning to slay dragons. I love the fact that Alice dons amour and becomes the champion of The White Queen (who is beloved of both men and women her sister complains).

Tags:

from the library

The little one room library in my hometown yielded up a surprisingly rich bounty on my last visit.

I just started reading Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. It’s a YA novel I heard about on NPR several months ago that has an interesting premise, a sort of fusion of Greek myth and reality TV. There’s a wealthy capital that governs twelve outlying districts. Each year, the capital, Panem, requires that the districts send a tribute in the form of a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18. All the tribute children are then forced to compete in the televised Hunger Games. I’m not far enough along yet to know the nature of the Hunger Games, but it is a contest to the death.

Also in the YA section I found another book I’ve been interested in for a while, Margo Lanagan’s Tender Morsels, a retelling of the fairy tale Snow White and Rose Red.

And in the adult section (the very adult section) what did I find but Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay. I will admit I’ve been curious about reading Lindsay’s Dexter novels since I watched the television series based on them last year. I’m a little scared to read it. I’ve heard the Dexter books are even gorier than the series which was right on the edge of what I can stomach. Still, I’m going to give it a try.

Tags: