Oh, if I could write like Joan Didion…

I’d be a happy little camper. So succinct:

When I was starting to write—in the late fifties, early sixties—there was a kind of social tradition in which male novelists could operate. Hard drinkers, bad livers. Wives, wars, big fish, Africa, Paris, no second acts. A man who wrote novels had a role in the world, and he could play that role and do whatever he wanted behind it. A woman who wrote novels had no particular role. Women who wrote novels were quite often perceived as invalids. Carson McCullers, Jane Bowles. Flannery O’Connor, of course. Novels by women tended to be described, even by their publishers, as sensitive.

From the Paris Review interviews. You don’t need an MFA, just read these sometime.

A debate on Toronto beaches…

Yeah, I wouldn't go in if I were you either, kid.

ALIX: so where does one go to a beach around here?
RANDAL: the toronto beaches are all pretty damn clean
ALIX: except for all that poo in the water
RANDAL: we have some of the cleanest water in the world, yo. It’s tightly regulated and Toronto closes down the beaches at bacteria levels 3-4 times less than the ones in Cali.
SO BAM
but yeah the water right by the harbor is shitty… full of garbage
ALIX: I”M FROM A PRISTINE ISLAND IN PARADISE a toronto beach WILL NOT
DO
RANDAL: LOL
yeah I didn’t think about that
ALIX: I have pretty high standards

Been busy this week…

Doing my patriotic duty at Brutish &  Short.

Canadian music Part 1

Martha Wainwright doesn’t have bangs, but more importantly, doesn’t sound like she has bangs.

Canadian music Part 2

Hawksley Workman has no equivalent, American or otherwise. Most musicians can be compared to somebody — Hawksley certainly has influences, but he mangles them all together in such a way that they come out like musical compost, rich and dense with nutrients. Sometimes he sounds like Prince, sometimes he sounds like Zeppelin, sometimes like Freddy Mercury, sometimes like Katy Perry.

Canadian music Part 3

In parting, here’s a perfect example of what I mean when I say ‘a brave Canadian song’ — basically something Stan Rogers would stomp and sing along to if he were still alive, while Leonard Cohen sat in the corner, nodding approvingly at the lyrics:

I can’t believe I’m so into this family…

I blame Newfoundland.

I watched four hours of the new season of Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels last night. It’s been a pretty eventful season so far – Shannon, fed up with Gene’s bullshit philandering and groupie-loving rightfully tells him “you’re 61 fucking years old,” and that’s she gonna leave him if he doesn’t change his ways. They eventually patch things up, and take a family trip to Israel where Gene reconnects with a family he doesn’t even know he has. Obviously, Gene and Shannon are finally going to get married at the end of this season.

That’s the thing I love about this show — it’s so obviously staged to a certain point, but then is also so incredibly sincere. This is without a doubt a very loving family — you can tell by the way the kids act around their parents, and by how happy their dogs always are. My mom and I agree that the kids turned out so well because Shannon Tweed is from Newfoundland and hasn’t lost that Atlantic Canadian no-nonsense/common sense parenting style.  I haven’t been keeping up with the show over the last few years, and I was so happy to catch up last night. I hope Gene gets his shit together, because Shannon is amazing and his kids really do adore him. There was a moment in one of the episodes last night where Gene was sitting alone to watch Nick sing and some groupies started sitting on the couch next him — and then Sophie came over and cleared them out with a killer look. Oh, I love Sophie.

I know it’s a reality show, and it’s probably very scripted, but I can’t help but believe what they’re selling me.