Now, guys - I know they are both in london but try not to take this as an invitation to email me asking when im next going to perform/why i don’t perform more in your nearest town/city/village - that sort of thing really, genuinely razzes me off to no end. I’m trying to live my life here, just like a normal person and the last thing i need is an email from Barbara in Poole asking me when i’m next going be performing at the Lighthouse - because the answer is WHEN THERE IS NO MORE SUFFERING IN THE WORLD BARBARA - I. AM. BUSY. DOING. GOOD.
—Joining the Daniel Kitson mailing list was a wonderful choice, consider it.
Like many folks who make a living in book publishing, I spent most of this past week at the Jacob K. Javits Center working Book Expo America, the/an industry trade show. The Javits Center is almost universally despised for its (a) location (b) arrangement (c) look (d) distribution of resources (e) overall purpose (f) bathrooms. Ten years ago I spent about two weeks working for Jacob K. Javits’ widow. She lived in the nicest apartment I had ever, and perhaps have ever, been in.
This year, the final day of BEA was different than it had been in the past. There were many young people, families, children. We had a bingo game set up at our booth and I ran it like a blackjack dealer, if a blackjack dealer was me. In between stamps I asked people, kids, people questions about what books they were excited about. One boy shyly pulled out a book about Minecraft. He won bingo and for his prize selected a 3-pack of Field Notes. “These are good because I’m going to be a book reviewer,” he said.
By the end of the convention I had ink marks up and down my arms.
Last weekend, after hours afterhours reloading the #YesAllWomen tag, I thought perhaps I’d track how many times I was harassed over the course of the week. Just to see, just for data. And thus far a day has not passed since I counted an incident. Since someone said something to me while I walked my dog, or went to lunch, or sat down on the train, or worked my job. 7 consecutive days. It does not feel like an unusual amount, it feels more like a wrench or a lead pipe reminder of the skin you grow between the world and your heart.
In line with coworkers at Javits, waiting for sugar/water/caffeine, one of us commented that a man had made a comment to her. Another said another had looked at her, you know, looked her over, up and down. Another said, me too. The three of us stood facing each other, nodding.
Philip Galanes: There’s another aspect, too. As a gay guy, for instance, I often act differently in a room full of straight men — to make them more comfortable. As women, do you do things to make men more comfortable with your power?
Julia Louis-Dreyfus: No, they’re just going to have to get used to it. Wait! Nancy’s standing up. I like this!
Nancy Pelosi: [She flips her chair around and straddles it, like Sally Bowles in “Cabaret.”] Sometimes I go into a room and do this.
HOW did anyone in the room live through this moment, this moment would have killed me with a joy unparalleled.
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.)