Still working on David Rakoff’s book, and am particularly loving his essay “Beat Me Daddy” about gay Republicans, published in GQ in 2004-ish. Hilarious, astute, amazing. He wrote about a gay Republican group called Log Cabin Republicans, and had this to say about it:
Such abject masochism may make for great Billie Holiday songs – it kind of ain’t nobody’s business if Lady Day is beat up by her papa; he isn’t hoping to pack the courts with anti-choice troglodytes or to defund social security – but the Log Cabin blues have ramifications beyond the merely personal. It might be a price they are willing to pay for the sweet lovin’ they feel they’re getting from the rest of the GOP package, but I didn’t sign on to get knocked around by someone else’s abusive boyfriend.
In this whole Grizzly Mamas Sarah Palin feminist brouhaha, I’ve never seen a feminist writer take on why it’s so uncomfortable to watch these women sell us out to the GOP in a funny and concise way. There are a tiny handful of funny feminists, but they still aren’t writing stuff this good. He also interviews the head of some Pro-family bigot organization for this piece, who spends nearly an hour obsessing over anal sex, and the following bit of absurd hilarity ensues:
But if Knight displays an obsession with the mechanics of sodomy – simultaneously mesmerized and sickened by the tumescent, pistoning images of it that must loop through his head on a near-constant basis – he is notably impervious to an image he conjures when I submit as how HIV is transmissible through normative, upstanding, God-sanctioned heterosexual congress as well.
“Not as easily,” he says. “The vagina is designed to accommodate a penis. It can take a lot of punishment.”
My regards to Mrs. Knight.
I hate to say this, but if feminists were this fucking hilarious, we would be in much better shape. Can’t someone – other than Alex Pareene, a dude – just absolutely skewer Michelle Bachmann properly and we’ll be rid of her?
And bonus points! He’s Canadian!
Have you read The Possessed yet? No? Silly goose.
Her essay in The Guardian upon the release of her book in the UK:
So it’s difficult to articulate what possessed me, at a later, boozier point in the dinner, to ask Franzen whether he had any weed. In part, I was curious whether he had any. And in part, despite severe fatigue and a mild constitutional dislike of weed, I felt somehow unable not to pursue momentary contact with a half-glimpsed parallel world in which the evening continued in this really different, really mellow way.”Wheat?” Franzen’s agent repeated, frowning. “Why would you need wheat?”
“Not wheat – weed.”
She stared at me blankly.
“Weed,” my agent repeated.
“There’s some in my freezer,” Franzen said. “But it’s all the way uptown.”
The night began to unwind with increasing rapidity, like a spool of thread.
We watched The Other Guys last night, which was wonderfully strange and totally hilarious. Mark Wahlberg playing an angry guy is one of my favorite things. It doesn’t get any more disgruntled than Detective Terry Hoiyts, the partner to Will Ferrell’s bumbing Detective Gamble – and the scenes where Wahlberg is pissed off at Ferrell, other cops, his Captain, his girlfriend, or the world in general (basically the whole movie) are side-splitting. I don’t laugh out loud at many movies but there were moments in this movie we had to pause and then rewind because we had to calm down and breathe deep until the giggle fits went away.
I am also currently reading Don’t Get Too Comfortable by David Rakoff, a nonfiction writer/regular on This American Life. He is also often hilariously disgruntled:
It has been a good while since 12:00am held much attraction for me beyond a perfectly lovely time to be ensconced in the comfort of my own home, sitting in my underpants, contentedly worrying about something.
And my husband, who is never disgruntled until he suddenly is, standing still this morning in his towel fresh out of the shower, trying to find clean socks and not wanting to go to work. As someone who has spent my life in various stages of disgruntled-ness, I completely empathize.
Disgruntled. Looks weird written down. Fun to say. Kind of fun to be.
because his writing is too beautiful, and makes me think too much. In this month’s Atlantic, on the new Malcolm X biography:
Conscious sects sprang up—some praising the creator sky god Damballah, some spouting Hebrew, and still others talking in Akan. Consciousness was inchoate and unorthodox—it made my father a vegetarian, but never moved him to wear dreadlocks or adopt an African name. What united us all was the hope of rebirth, of a serum to cure generational shame. What united us was our champion, who delivered us from self-hatred, who delivered my mother from burning lye, who was slaughtered high up in Harlem so that colored people could color themselves anew.
Ta-nehisi is too good.
The music I write about is awesome. The writing itself I wouldn’t dare call awesome – but it ain’t bad, if I do say so myself.
Part 1. On Robbie Robertson’s new album and assholery (which is nothing new).
Part 2. On old geezer music and why it rocks.
This is vital music; so full of energy, surprise, beauty, strangeness. Gorgeous. Merril Garbus sings like Phoebe Snow, but even crazier.
and completely neglecting the outside world, housework, and the blog. Just finished Patton Oswalt’s book Zombie Spaceship Wasteland… it was great. I know him as a comedian, not even that well, but his writing is surprisingly amazing. Super well written book.
Currently reading Neil Strauss’ Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness. Basically, everyone who is famous is absolutely nuts. Except Chris Rock. Strauss has interviewed pretty much every famous person in the world.
From Chris Rock’s interview, a truth nugget:
Basically, whatever was going on when you started to get laid will stick with you for the rest of your life.
So that explains the recurring nightmares featuring lots of Dick Cheney and Kid A. Overshare: I tried to lose my virginity the day the U.S. declared war in Iraq. Kid A was playing. We were ultimately unsuccessful. I was in America at the time. Scary yet fun times, with a scary yet beautiful soundtrack.
On my bed side table, there is a pile of books about to topple over. Theo Fleury’s memoir, early Sedaris that I finally got around to purchasing, the Savage Detectives by Roberto Belano (awesome first 200 pages), Jessica Anya Blau’s Drinking Closer to Home, Sarah Vowell, and a 1000+ page tome by Adam Levin. Oh and David Rakoff, and Tana French.
This is what happens in the weeks following my birthday. Everybody buys me books and I hibernate.