you’re goddamn right this bitch is haunted.

Wayne, traded to the Kings at age 27.

I just suffered through my 27th (like literally cried for the entire week surrounding it) (I know, gross)  so you wouldn’t have to (actually I got a pair of Guatemalan-printed platform sandals, so whatever). Esquire covered the 27 yr old woman in ’99 (“They are old enough to be haunted, at twenty-seven, and thus old enough to be haunting… They’ve got you cornered, at twenty-seven”) (also, watch out for that Cameron Diaz reference, which, LOLLZ for real), and the Awl just posted this great article about the age at which you’re allowed to die famously, or write The Great Gatsby: your choice.

Half a century after the invention of the teenager, we’ve fully learned to fear the process of aging and discount the wisdom that comes with it in favor of auto-tuned tweens and a healthy diet of botox and starvation should you be past your quickly approaching expiration date. But even realizing that such traps are beneath contempt, why does the idea of wrinkles and the fact that I could conceivably have them at this age actually give me anxiety? Mostly because it’s hard to imagine the physical iteration of life’s comedown when one feels like chapter books were just conquered last week. But, I look forward to wrinkles and gray hair and not knowing anyone on the cover of grocery store magazines  or what next year’s dubstep is. I already genuinely pity/loathe neon-ed nineteen-year-olds, so I’m halfway there. Perhaps anxiety over age comes with not yet having written one’s own Nevermind before happily settling into those wrinkles. Either way, I’m about to haunt the shit out of you.

Love Letter to Lester

Maria Bustillos on Lester Bangs in the New Yorker:  “for a certain cohort of bookishly inclined kids… there was only one writer.”

Perhaps the sweet spot of a Venn Diagram conjoining “bookish” and “reckless” might be more descriptive of Lester Bangs, his writing and his legions of young followers.  This isn’t Proust, where the squares of our Venn will huddle.  Lester writes about acid-drenched parties where he and his friends do stupidly destructive things in psychotropic-induced rages, his battles with his own demons and intermittent hero, Lou Reed.  As a tween from the purgatory of mid-Atlantic suburbia looking toward bored binge-drinkers as the best-case scenarios at the liberal arts college of my choice, I was scandalized and intrigued. I forfeited my pass to join the future bloated depressives of America in a game of STD bingo and spent weekends with Lester instead. For those certain bookish and (imaginarily) reckless among us, reading Lester was not only finding a friend, but a key to that desperate, manic, breathless, joyful voice in our own heads, to magically transform us into writers, or at least made us think that it could.

I began living vicariously through others’ accounts of what went up Charlie Watts’ nose as a sixteen year old, and the third-hand records satisfied all the curiosity I had toward real recklessness; my lust for the dark side remained cerebral, not manifested (back then at least). My journey through bold-faced names of the 1970s underworld led me to Lester, and cracking open his first collection, Mainlines, Blood Feasts and Bad Taste was like meeting a person I’d always imagined existed and was waiting to meet: someone who never shuts up but everything that comes tumbling from his mouth is somehow thoughtful, impassioned, shocking and true. Sure, like anything that has enough courage to be alive, he’s damaged, but you wouldn’t trust an artist who wasn’t crushed under the weight of existence (or the Lower East Side in 1977), and also drunk. In a self-penned “about the author” featured in the intro to his second posthumous collection, Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung, Lester refers to himself as the best writer in America, pitting himself against Hunter S. Thompson. He’s right. Thompson may remain the the ruling king of the literarily debauched, but thirty years later, the poetry and rage of Lester’s work somehow hum and scream off the page to a truer tone.

Aside from Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s turn as Lester in Almost Famous and a few name-checks by unknown contemporary bands, Bangs has been conspicuously absent from pop cultural discussion (a biopic starring R.Patz is somehow not in the works), so I was thrilled to see Bustillos’ paean to him in the pages of such a tony rag.  In awe of his wit and seemingly tireless intellect, Bustillos outs Bangs as a lit nerd in rock writer’s clothing, rather than painting him as the oversized, benzedrine-ridden Falstaff many others have (perhaps that both portraits are accurate explains his true complexity and endurance).

A comment on the article  identifies Bangs as “mainly notable for being an extreme example of rootless, insecure, self-destructive hipster nihilism,” inviting others who subscribe to his worldview to follow his example “all the way to the cul-de-sac where it inevitably leads.” Besides assuming that the commenter must then view a cubicle and three-car garage as ultimate transcendence above said existential cul-de-sac,  nihilist struck me as a low and ugly epithet, as well as completely misguided. A true nihilist does not create. To create requires an intense engagement with the world, a leap of faith that another human will understand what you’ve made.  Each of Lester’s pieces are loaded with nothing but his impassioned joy or hand-wringing. Sure, he hated Prog Rock and most white male singer-writers of the 70s and his teenage hero, Bob Dylan, let him down. But true despair (for Lester, over the career of James Taylor) can’t be known without experiencing pure ecstasy (granted by seeing the Stooges live or tricking a record clerk into selling a favorite, obscure Count Five record for 89 cents).

Between airing his many grievances over the state of popular music, New York, Detroit, Idi Amin, women, men, and the list goes on, Lester let his joy and wonder of life and the world show through:  “Lately some people have begun to assert that, with 1967 so far gone and all, ain’t nothin’ cosmic anymore. They say that rare evanescent psychic Pez drop has gone out of contemporary life. But I Know Different.”

angsty things about smooching and guns

me: wait should I get morally vacant and spiritually dead tatted on my thigh?

kelly: the answer is YES
thigh tatts are so hot forever

me: totally doing  it.
also just watched an ESPN docu on pablo escobar and the colombian national soccer team of the early nineties
GOOD GOD


first of all, cried
(duh)
also, UM
drugs are a bad idea, officially.
mostly because colombian babies are lying in the streets for our noses
which is really unsettling
but also
holy shit, colombian drug cartels
they like ran the country for real
as in owning the police force and whatnot
and then killed their star player
after the team failed to advance in the world cup
kelly: ok holy shit knowledge drop
i feel like
you should give me your mom’s netflix login so we can be in a digital bookclub
me: GAH
kelly: and i can have knowledge
me: I DIED.
kelly: i guess it’s like 7$/month
i’m making coffee right now, also?
and bout to collage for Thrashin’

me: espn’s 30 for 30 series is s0000 intense
kelly: HAHAHA
you JUST SAID THAT
me: sports are like really a metaphor for the human experience, kind of
or the modern human experience
kelly: ohhhhh yeah
me: plus, nationalism!!
kelly: watching a player’s career as the arc of a human life
it’s tragedies
bad choices
me: yes!
kelly: triumphs
me: GUH
kelly: injuries
death (retirement)
drama (trades, fights)
etc
me: i cried during the one about the Gretzky trade too


i need to retire from netflix
but it goes really well with embroidery, you know?
kelly: uh YEAH IT DOES
that’s why i need it for cut/paste
me: also check out this artist’s website!
shes kind of a baller
her “paintings” are mostly embroidery
i was like HOLY FUCK
also shes Egyptian but a lot of her subject matter deals with explicit imagery
kelly: damn that’s awesome
me: AH look at this one
genius
its refreshing to see a successful contemporary artist that doesn’t blow
kelly: yeah no shit
also it’s time to learn another language probs
and get an EU citizenship, defs
i am speaking the bored language of mortals // americans
want 2 speak teh dark tongue of bears
me: wait have you seen batman yet?
kelly: god dammit no
UGHGHGH
supposed to go on a date with a bro to see it, so.
i kinda feel like my response to a bro letting me slip through his fingers is always something along the lines of “you’re gonna regret this”
which: LULZ
me: the best way to go about it, of course.
also, i am legitimately pissed about miley cyrus’ new haircut. As in the one she STOLE FROM ME
kelly: also, who//what is she?
called her as a hologram in ’09, world
me:  i kind of h8 everyone who would identify in her peer level
kelly: i kind of h8 anyone that earnestly identifies with any celebrity
like people commenting on kim kardashian’s instagram photos
so many levels of ew
“oh that? that’s me being embarrassed for you”
me: at least they’re all miserable people, so that makes me feel better
kelly: it’s like playing along with kids about santa
like, alright, you believe that huh?
i guess you’re entitled?
and that makes you happy
but i can’t believe you haven’t figured this shit out yet

I live like a trust-funder on less than 13k a year and you can too.

this is my pretty sister Elsa being chic on public transport.

I’m currently too broke to leave the house– and I’m having the BEST VACA EVR. Magnum P.I. is streaming on Netflix AND two words: Vinho Verde. Consider all my contacts DELETED (sorry bros, grow some chest hair and I’ll reconsider).

By now, we can all agree that having money is for the homely and sad who can’t get by on their good looks and charm. People who have money or are concerned with the pursuit of it are morally vacant and spiritually dead. Not to mention illiterate and definitely not 10s. I barely work, but I’ve got a great tan, my embroidery could make you cry and I’m currently absorbing the grace of Olga Korbut through osmosis and youtube:

Here’s how to live like like a member of the idle rich: (But with friends, because everyone knows that rich people are boring and vacuous and responsible for luxury brands and their vicious war on subtlety [burn your counterfeit handbags yesterday everyone, you’re embarrassing yourselves])

First of all, stop going out. Bars are boring and no one is hot. When’s the last time the bro/ad of your dreams made eyes at you during some drunk boomer’s sad rendition of  “Some Kind of Wonderful” while you were waiting twenty minutes for a six dollar microbrew? Ok except for that one time which turned out to be a huge mistake, NEVER. Make some friends, have a porch and pick up a $5.49 bottle of Sauv Blanc. No awkward encounters with people you’ve formerly thrown up against a wall in the bar bathroom, BONUS.

bkyd bbq > sweaty bar full of 4s.

Make your own food. All you really need is some Udon noodles and Shoyu and you can trick people into thinking they’re dining with Ina Garten. Making fresh food is easy plus everyone will want to marry you. I made salsa the other day and now I’m like STOP SEXTING ME EVERYONE. Just grab a can of tomatoes, salt, pepper, garlic and onions and pour some Sriracha on it. Get creative. Recipes are for mainstreamers.

the phrase “domestic goddess” is by this point exhausted, but basically.

When your backyard is a paradise, you’re on vacation every day! Who needs Ibiza when you have this:

christ, I'm jealous of myself.

Also, sell your car.  I ride my bike everywhere and I basically get a tax break for having this butt. And that, friends, is true wealth.

Rack up yr library fines!: summer reading part une

blue highways.

It’s August, and if you’re lucky or European, that means evening out your tit-tan and finally putting some quality hours in with those books you’ve pretended to have read for so long. Well, call me Amelie or Emilia because I’m as colored-blocked as a Rothko and my library overdue fines are just skyrocketing. Thanks to my woeful underemployment/ entitlement granted to me the day I was born in 1980s America, I wake up every day (not before 11, obviously), pour yesterday’s french press down my gullet and get to work on the porch with a stack of books and a dictionary (a real live paper Websters, guy) while ignoring the influx of phone calls and mail that my student loaners shower me with every day (seriously guys, I never loved you. We don’t owe each other anything. Let’s move on) (and stop threatening me with the notion of “bad credit” which I can TOTALLY see through as a tool of State control DUH).

I’ve been reading Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon (naming my first born Heat-Moon, obviously) for a few months, slowly only because I don’t want it to end. Perhaps it’s because I’m feeling all too stationary, but his journey through the back roads of America is filled with quiet wisdom and wry wit, and a worthy one to live vicariously through. The book itself is an extended meditation on modern America through the eyes of its roads and the people on them, and what it means to be a human living on this land mass of incidental nationhood.

Least Heat-Moon encounters a young Hopi caught between tradition and striving for success in the white man’s world: “my heritage is the Hopi way, and that’s the way of the spirit. Spirit can go anywhere. In fact, it has to go places so it can change and emerge like in the migrations.” College students in Portland incite Least Heat-Moon to “give up on the times”: they believe that “(a) anything less than more than enough was not enough; and (b) anything not taxable was of dubious use: community, insight and so on.” Thirty years after the publication date, America continues unabashedly toward the same end. Jesus freaks, teen runaways and the old and heartbroken color the rest of Least Heat-Moon’s  highways.

Whitman provides the soundtrack to Least Heat-Moon’s journey (O public road, you express me better than I can express myself) and our narrator provides sage poetry of his own: “If a man can keep alert and imaginative, an error is a possibility, a chance at something new; to him, wandering and wondering are part of the same process, and he is most mistaken, most in error, whenever he quits exploring”; “Take the land, take the old ways, Christian soldiers, but please, goddammit, leave me my soul.”

The library set up a “Mad-Men” themed display ostensibly to trick the masses into reading (marketing degree at work, folks!), and it worked because I found Women of the Beat Generation: The Writers, Artists and Muses at the Heart of a Revolution by Debra Knight. The following statement is an exercise in redundancy, but I picked up the Beats in college and fell in love with Jack, Allen et al. In fact I’m probably still suffering from a post-adolescent wanderlust that’s since congealed into a pathological aversion to commitment of any stripe that the Beats first awakened in my then-nascent sense of life beyond the ideals I’d been (silver-)spoon-fed from day one. I hesitated to pick up the volume, as my teen crush on the Beats is now a bit of an embarrassing cliche if not an outright personality disorder, but the female angle intrigued and guilted me into picking it up. Little did I know this little book would validate all my life choices! From the intro: “…the liberal arts educations these young women were given created a natural predilection for art and poetry, for a life of creativity instead of confining it to an occasional hour at the symphony. Nothing could be more romantic than joining this chorus of individuality and freedom, leaving behind boredom, safety and conformity.” Thanks Diane Di Prima, Kerouac’s ex-wives and all the rest! Y’all are beautiful.

Next! Water crises! Sex scandal! Semiotics!

wait, did the revolution happen yet?

 

 

 

From Chomsky’s Wikipedia entry: ” Chomsky remembers the first article he wrote was at age 10 while a student at Oak Lane Country Day School about the threat of the spread of fascism, following the fall of Barcelona in the Spanish Civil War. From the age of 12 or 13, he identified more fully with anarchist politics.”

Things to do in August:

Research Linguistics

Finally check out a bio of Stalin or something

Work more/less

Popsicle white wine spritzer diet?