Most of the messages are generic yearbook stuff: it was fun having class with you; have a great summer; see you in high school!!! Some of them were a little passive-aggressive: you are kind of annoying but funny (fair); you are loud (also fair); have fun with your brothers (what?).
- Elisabets: Choice Horses and Notes to Self by Elisabeth Geier (aka whathappened)
This week on the Yearbook Office, I wrote about shutting down the bullies within. Plus some other stuff.
I’m getting all of you Mason jars for your next birthdays.
“There are professional thrills and there are professional thrills, but I am extra especially thrilled to report that FSG is going to be publishing John Darnielle’s novel, Wolf in White Van, this fall. John is famous for his work with the Mountain Goats, and I suspect that none of the many fans who know his lyrics and have heard his stories will be surprised by the revelation that his is a genuinely literary mind. And it’s true—Wolf in White Van emphatically proves that his imagination and voice are at least as at home on the page as they are in song.
There are many things worth singling out for praise in Wolf in White Van:the unforgettable main character, Sean Phillips, who has been isolated by a disfiguring injury since age seventeen; Trace Italian, the intricate game within the novel that Sean created and runs; the interplay of real and imagined worlds, which is both complex and heartbreaking; the structure of the storytelling—audacious, brilliant, and never anything but convincing and unreasonably suspenseful; the prose itself, which is precise and beautiful and (forgive me) lyrical.”
Read more from editor Sean McDonald about Wolf in White Van here.
so here is a thing that is happening in my life that I am really incredibly excited about
That jacket. Get your fans out. So you can fan yourself. Because it is a hot jacket.
The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour
Photo Credit: Rob Hoffman
You know how the Internet is full of photos of wildly impractical* libraries in, like, trees and castles and boxcars and shit, and people are like, “I just want to crawl inside this photo and live in it” and you’re like “really” and they’re like “yes” and you’re like “okay but” and they interrupt you to say “let me have my happiness” and you’re like “but you being happy confuses me because i’m not 100% happy at this moment” and they’re like “sounds like a YP, not an MP”?
That is how I feel about this photo.
*originally typed “impractable” here and i’m not against it
A couple of weeks ago I was coming home from work. It was dark but it wasn’t late. I had just left the subway. I was a few steps away from the entrance. Lots of people were around. Two men were walking towards me. I gave them as much room as I give anyone. One of them moved towards me. Then he reached out to me and put his hand on my arm. He didn’t grab it, and he didn’t stop. Just put his hand on my arm and then kept walking.
Or maybe he put his hand on my arm and I didn’t stop, and I kept walking.
It was aggressive. It was unwanted. I had headphones in but I could hear him laughing, saying something to me as the distance between us grew. I didn’t alter my pace one bit. I didn’t look back.
My walk home from the train is about ten minutes. I felt fearful, I felt angry, I felt cowardly. I kept thinking, there’s nothing else I could have done back there, nothing I could have said that would have made any difference. There’s nothing else. I did the right thing, there’s nothing else. But thinking that made me feel helpless, and feeling helpless made me feel angrier.
I got home and I locked the door behind me and I thought, I can’t think about this anymore. And then I thought, maybe I won’t tell anyone about it, either. Who needs to know? It happens all the time. It’s not even my worst story. It’s most assuredly not my last. It’s not anyone’s worst story. It’s not anyone’s last story. I could have had it worse. Many people have had it worse. I don’t want to scare anyone else. I don’t want anyone else to be afraid. I don’t want anyone else to be afraid for me. I don’t want anyone to worry. It happens all the time. I can live with this. Everyone else lives with this. Everyone else lives with this and they don’t say anything. I’m fine.
A lot of theater buildings feel inaccessible, too. A clubhouse for people already in the know, what with their arcane ticketing rules and inflexible schedules and clueless volunteer ushers and lack of lobby seating and strict bans on beverages in the house. I’ve heard theater people complain, “Young people will drop $100 on a restaurant, but won’t buy a theater ticket!” Well would you go to a restaurant where you have to make a prepaid nonrefundable deposit, your reservation time can’t be changed, the host is just a volunteer who wants to eat there for free, if you buy a drink at the bar you can’t bring it to your table, you have to be totally silent at dinner, there’s only 5 items on the menu and the menu never changes, and you’re kicked out of the restaurant exactly 10 minutes after your dinner? If you wouldn’t go to that restaurant, is it because you lack education?
—Mike Lew, “Arts Education Won’t Save Us from Boring, Inaccessible Theater”
I’ve mostly given up reading Blog Posts About The State Of Theater, but Mike Lew is the absolute best and when he says stuff about the state of theater I feel like I could carry a banner & torch into the streets.
(Also this is applicable to The Arts in general, but you knew that.)
as recently as last year this dude was joining people in marches in the hopes of helping in some small way to create a space for more justice in the world
that’s what he spent his life doing
you made good use of your time in the sun Pete Seeger and the work you did will live on in others and in the others who come after them. rest well in the warm earth and may your heirs be worthy of their charge
I have been thinking a lot lately about how we spend our time, and about how we react, and about what our reactions do or do not create. And how the reactions themselves are often discussed as though they are the endgame, and how we can trick ourselves into believing that is true. But the reaction is not the endgame. The quality of the reaction isn’t the endgame. It may be of note, it may be symptomatic of, but it is also just the beginning. The seed, the dawn, the first tear. So: will you spend your life just reacting? Or will there be more to tell?