“I write so we don’t have generation of wee lassies growing up in small Scottish towns asking, ‘what’s a lesbian?’”—Val McDermind, as quoted by Nick Andersen. “Writers At Lambda Literary Awards Debate Future of Gay Books.” Speakeasy. (via jamesbrotheridge)
“So what happened to the sax? In part, the answer might be that the ’90s happened. The rock music that dominated in the decade of ironic detachment had little room for a shiny, curvaceous, elaborately valved instrument that it’s impossible to play while looking like you don’t care. Your cheeks puff up. Your fingers flutter. There is an earnestness and a delicacy to playing the saxophone, an irreducible musicality that was out of step at a time when shrugged-off riffs alternated with bashed-out power chords on the rock airwaves. It’s laughable to imagine someone smashing a saxophone into a stack of amps, like Kurt Cobain did with his guitar—the instrument seems too refined for the gesture, like trying to talk dirty in Latin. And while ’80s metal holdouts like Metallica unleashed elaborate barrages of guitar notes well into the ’90s, they framed their virtuosity as viciousness, a trick that’s much harder, if not impossible, to pull off with the sax. Compare the fanboy hyperbole. A guitarist shreds. What does a saxophonist do? Blow? Cook?”—“Bringing Saxy Back” (via marathonpacks)
“From story to story or novel to novel the shapeless, nameless thing that I try to describe will always be there in part somehow, but getting it wrong is part of the deal. And the compensation for getting it wrong is that you get to go work on something else and try again.”—The Paris Review let me interview Chris Adrian, a favorite since The Children’s Hospital blew the top of my head off. He reads here tonight at 7—you can ask him whatever questions I missed. (via mcnallyjackson)
“Advice for young feminists? Do something else besides feminism. I’m serious. The feminist blogosphere is oversaturated in my opinion. Please, find something else you love and take feminist theory there. It gets lonely over here in tech and video games – I have a great crew of other feminists but we are a little island in a vast sea. We need more feminist minded business bloggers, feminist theory wielding finance bloggers. Labor organizers with a feminist lens blogging. Can you imagine what Deadspin (the sports blog) would look like with a feminist on staff? Restructure writes about science, tech and feminism – join her! Publish a blog doing literary criticism with a feminist lens! Take on the NYT! Talk about class issues and feminism. Whatever it is, apply your feminism in a different space.”—Latoya Peterson (via all y’all / whereisyourline.org)
It’s inevitably worse and I always found that funny
I’m an eternal optimist and when you’re an optimist you’re always opening yourself up for humiliation and failure because it’s very seldom that things turn out better than you expect. It’s inevitably worse and I always found that funny and relatable.
Indeed, people in the public sphere need to be very mindful of what they say and how they say it. Ms. Lang may not have been directly harmed by the jokes, but every single day non-gender-conforming children and teens are mocked, harassed and bullied by their peers as well as people in positions of authority. When community leaders such as news anchors ridicule someone’s identity that sends a message that this person and others like him or her do not have as much worth as “normal” people. LGBT youth are as much as four times as likely to attempt suicide as non-queer youth. When one of Canada’s most famous and internationally respected queer icons is still subject to what amounted to a public shaming for her appearance, how much tolerance and acceptance can a non-gender-conforming youth expect to get? These jokes can kill. http://www.itgetsbetter.org/ Mr. Joehnck may not be a homophobe and may be a kd lang fan. However, the complaints were not about who he is, but about what he did. The complaints were about the comments he made, which he admits to having made, which were of a hurtful nature and were inappropriate and unacceptable from someone who expects the community’s trust. The community responded, and he very quickly and respectfully did the right thing with his acknowledgment and apology. This is how we make a better world. I don’t see anything ridiculous or frivolous in standing up for principles, in demanding that our community leaders conduct themselves with dignity, and treat others with dignity.
Well, I always deal with this question. “Are you historian, are you a political organizer, are you a writer?” I don’t think there’s any difference at all. You just write the things you have to write. Then somebody appears and gives you a label of Historian. Okay, historian. Novelist. Okay, novelist. Number One Enemy of the Mexican Government, Okay, I like that. Always Politically Incorrect Organizer of Chaos. I like that one too.