Thursday, April 03, 2008

Auto-Fun of the Day :: 4-3-2008

As you can see, I'm not in China. So I can talk about Freeing Tibet and saving Chinese girl-babies all I want, which's good news for everyone, but especially for the Dalai Lama and the gays! Luckily, having not explained my reasons for going in the first place, I also won't explain the reasons for the trip's postponement. Lozo offered this comfort: "If you want, when I get off work, we can walk around Chinatown and pretend."

quote:"When I graduated from college, my father told me he was concerned that I didn't express enough enthusiasm in job interviews, and the comment shocked me. Enthusiasm was a thing you were supposed to show? Of course you wanted the job, I thought, and the interviewer should know that because why else would you have shown up in his office?" (Curtis Sittenfeld, "Prep")

1) Janice Erlbaum (who wrote the fab memoir I actually read Girlbomb)'s BAP blog post, Let Us Now Praise People We Want to Have Sex With mentions Maggie Estep, who I also love, and so, therefore, my head did a dance for it. Perhaps yours will too. (@best american poetry blog)
2) Jessica Crispin of Bookslut Goes Vegan for Two Weeks (@smart set)
2) I hate it when my suspicions about social trends ("young [journalists/writers] are turning their backs on magazines") become articles about social trends: "Freelance Fizzle!" (Howevs, also love it when my declarations about the financial realities of mag writers are verified in articles about the financial realities of mag writers.)
3) More on Sweet Valley: "The Wakefield Twins Are Back -- and Now They're Armed With Cell Phones!" (@the hipster book club)
4) "Next Stop, Broadway, Showbiz Youngsters": the two young writers of Broadway musical Glory Days profiled. (@nytimes)
5) The traditional rules of economics don't apply to poverty, argues economist Charles Karelis in "The Sting of Poverty": "When we're poor, our economic worldview is shaped by deprivation, and we see the world around us not in terms of goods to be consumed but as problems to be alleviated." (@the boston globe)
6) UK Grants for the Arts now asks its applicants to declare orientation: "bisexual, homosexual, heterosexual, lesbian or unknown." Like MySpace! (@the times uk)
7) "I've recently come to the conclusion that I have no natural social skills." Self-monikered "Weird College Kid" asks Cary Tennis for Advice: "Since You Asked" (
8) The debate "against reading" (but really, against books) is taken up by a lifelong librarian: "Q&A With Mikita Brottman, author of The Solitary Vice: Against Reading" (
9) Listicle: Most Tortured Pitchfork Descriptions of Singers' Voices (@yankee pot roast)
10) Point: RKB on why "Circumcised Guys Do it Better".
Counterpoint: Esther Goldberg says "Foreskins: Bring 'em!" (@jewcy)

most recent autowin: "what i learned from the teevee: family film edition"
most recent autowin reader survey!: "so much more than just the auto-fun of the day"
lozo has feelings about baseball, do you?


Anonymous said...


I think that the Dali Lama is perhaps a painting?

riese said...

hm, I never cease to amaze myself.

Perhaps it is a painting, surrealist llamas?

stef said...

for the full experience, i'd recommend re-watching big bird goes to china. that guy had a knack for getting hopelessly lost in asian countries and finding charming, english-speaking children with mysteries to solve.

Razia said...

#5 makes me want to bang my head against the wall, for real.

Shame about China dude, keep on keepin' on.

JD said...

So, I just read the Observer article on young writers and the path to "success," or at least financial stability. Not being a writer or anything even associated with publishing/media, I was looking for some insight on this quote (btw, there are a ton of things in this article that I would like writer's opinions on, but l'll keep this short) :
"An editorial assistant at a major magazine is unlikely to make more than $30,000 a year, whereas a successful blogger right out of college could pull in as much as $50,000—a big difference when it could mean getting out of a bedbug-infested Bushwick loft share. "

Who are THOSE people-the $50K bloggers

eric mathew said...

um so if you want to be excited...there may be a whole section in my latest vlog dedicated to you and hav.

Lozo said...

sorry, kiddo.

but hey, that uh huh who wha huh her thing? congrats. you're big time.

oh, actually, it's good that china trip got canceled. my going away party was going to be awesome, but probably very racist. i was going to give everyone scotch tape to pull their eyes back and chopsticks and make everyone pronounced their l's as r's.

if you were going to japan, we could've eat sushi off some naked japanese chicks. oh well. next time.

Diana said...

Re: Self-monikered "Weird College Kid"

Did you read, or have you read prior, the Jonathan Rauch essay they linked to in the Salon response, "Caring for Your Introvert"? It is filled with awesomeness!

e. said...

Postponed: meaning you're still going to China eventually, no? So, y'know, something good to look forward to. (I keep picturing cool bamboo groves and quiet, slightly misty rice-paddies in the early morning. Which is dumb, because, like...Beijing, Shanghai, hel-lo.)

I bet Tinkerbell's kind of disappointed, though--most dogs I know have a
pretty shaky grasp of the concept of delayed gratification. (And just out of curiosity, have you checked her tags? China could very well be her motherland, for all I know. Despite the assumed Mexico/Neverland associations.)

riese said...

stef: I wish that when I got lost in my own neighborhood that I could find charming, english-speaking children with mysteries to solve. I need what Big Bird's got.

razia: does it? how so? I assume this is related to your study of economics (I know nothing) ... I actually agreed with a lot of it -- it seemed to put into perfect science an experience I've had personally which's that when I'm poor as hell, I'm much more reckless in how I spend and act 'cause it's like, who cares, even if I pay off $100 of debt I've still got $25,000 more (or like -- why take this $10/hour job when that'll barely cover half my rent or whatevs, why not just stay home?), but when I'm doing well, I'm much more careful and also more motivated to make more money and be even better budgeted. I'm interested in what you thought of it.

jd: I have absolutely no 'effin clue who those people are. I'm thinking possibly writers for like ... gawker? kottke? dooce? But I had the same thought when I read that sentence. I think the key is "as much as." Like "if your name is Perez Hilton, and you have no soul"?

eric mathew: The potential group blog you suggested in your vlog was very exciting, I can't even imagine. But I would like to imagine you and alex doing some sort of dance routine, since you both you know, love to dance.

lozo: I have only one regret in life and it's that you didn't offer your penis revelation as a prize for the Uh Huh Her concert ... now THAT would've been "big time." You know what I mean?

As for the racist party, what about people that are already Asian? What are you gonna do to THEIR eyes? It's only postponed, y'know, so that party could still happen ...

diana: I didn't ... but now I SURE WILL.

e. Oh yes, eventually. I am not sad, as I will be going to China within the next year and I heard somewhere that anticipation is the purest form of pleasure. And, I checked -- you're right, Tinkerbell was indeed "made" in China. I know she hasn't revealed the innards of her purse-pouch on the interwebs, but it's got a sort of Chinese theme to it, actually, like those little change purses you can get in Chinatown, for serious.

Lozo said...

when did you put that lozo/baseball/feelings link up? i figured since we've talked baseball, i can still do that as a lesbian.

also, there was no need to offer my penis for the wha huh say who her contest. i only break it out when it's needed. like a fire extinguisher. the size and color of the two objects is mere coincidence.

Razia said...

Well on a personal note I'm not quite the same, debt and financial instability is something I cannot handle and I go into crazytown mode to just get out of there. I guess coming from a family of immigrants who all tell the story, "I came here with $10 in my pocket" and now are pretty loaded also affects my beliefs regarding the working class. I've witnessed the class ladder being climbed by people who once weren't even fluent in English, in the US and Australia.

His "familiar situations" make me antsy and nervous, he confuses economists with the fat cat businessman and the use of marginal diminishing utility - whether it's flipped or not - makes me a little uncomfortable because I don't think economists (or anyone, really) can honestly say that x means less to someone because they have plenty of x's. The example of the seven ice creams is always used and although it may explain the principle behind marginal utility it's not logical because a dollar and an ice cream are very different things. Nobody wants seven of the same thing but no two dollars are exactly identical because a dollar is the ticket to have whatever you choose.

I really don't think that this guy's idea of replacing the established programs with a cash only welfare system will work to benefit the poor (ps, using the word 'poor' to identify a group of people always makes me uncomfortable) but I don't think that they should be given their basic needs and then just be neglected either. I think there needs to be some serious investment in education and infrastructure around those areas. Not to get all Obama on everyone but the deficiency is no longer monetary, it's psychological - there's no hope. If the government were to heavily invest in the communities, however, I think that would inspire change. A lot of money needs to be spent on working class communities. Not only is it the right choice from a humanitarian standpoint but purely from an economic one as well, the cost of an underclass is far greater than the cost of investing in proper resources.

Razia said...

Oh and art, obvs. Cannot forget the arts.

If everyone gets the chance to do what they've always desired and given the opportunity to flourish then we will truly have the best of the best working in all of our sectors resulting in higher quality everything. Everybody auto-wins.

Vote Razia for treasurer. Holler.

eric mathew said...

i know. semi and i could do some wonderful dancing. since we are both shorter in stature we would prob be good partners that is.

now the hunt would be on for the best song...i mean there are so many possibilities.

Mia said...

Okay so i had to let you know about this because i am a little overwhelmed with all the ways my different worlds are converging. One of the writers of the new show Glory Days, James Gardiner, went to my high school along with Gaby Christian from South of Nowhere. They were both a year ahead of me and now that I am thinking about it, I am pretty sure I saw them in a few shows together at our school. It is super weird to see them both in things like the NY Times and countless lesbian websites. Anyway I think they were close friends in high school but have no idea if they are still are. Just thought I would let you know because it is not everyday that I see two people from my high school referenced on the lesbian blog I frequent.

P.S. I realize you didn't actually mention Gaby today but you do the recaps so I figured it counted.

L said...

ok, so now i can recognize it: i feel empty withouth the l word. how do you manage?

riese said...

lozo: I put that up when I put up the rest of the auto-fun. I won't say anything about your penis's ability to put out the fire when it was um, offered up ... but you know, it shouldn't be like burning anyway. Sexual stuff. My cleverness, p.s. ... totally out for the day.

razia: I just want you to know that I fully am super glad that you actually explained this to me, furthermore I agree with you and it did expand my mind considerably. But also ... I think the "climbing the class ladder" is -- while definitely not easier by any means -- is somehow more achievable by immigrants who come to a country with the specific goal of climbing said class ladder. Two of my closest friends come from families with that story -- "I came here with $10 in my pocket" -- and I think it's a whole different mentality than being born into a family and a neighborhood your friends & relatives have been miserable in for years (whether it be the urban "ghetto" or a poor rural area -- it's defo not race specific at all, just class specific), going to a school that's barely funded, and existing with the weight of generations of American poverty behind you, rather than coming to the country seeking a fresh start. Does that make sense? I mean, like, the Jews who are widely perceived to be super rich now came to this country with nothing at the turn of the century, just like everyone else who immigrated then, including many groups who haven't been as successful, so, I know it's fully possible to go from nothing to everything, look at all the assholes in this city who's grandparents came here with nothing.
I also know though from Crystal that your public schools in Australia don't have the same sort of issues that ours does (the total inequal distribution of funds meaning many kids literally don't have books if they're in a poor neighborhood) -- e.g., as you mentioned, everyone getting a chance to do what they've always desired, which includes especially and above all the arts. Anyhow all of what you said makes sense and is right, that's my only counterpoint. I will vote for you for treasurer.

eric mathew: Oh just wait until the next vlog, it has a "dancing with the stars" special segment. But the lighting was bad and you can't see Semicolon dance, so that'll have to be your job.

Mia: It totally counts! I went to a boarding school for the arts, so I feel like I have this feeling frequently (the one you describe), but sometimes it'll be super crazy word collision central (like three ways at once or something) and my head will really explode all over the place, which is probs something like what you are feeling. But also, omg, was Gaby so cute in high school? I bet she totally was.

Mia said...

haha that's a good question but i think my answer is going to be a little disappointing because i can't remember a whole lot about Gaby in high school. I know that her hair was a lot darker and maybe a little curly? actually when i saw her on south of nowhere i was surprised because i thought she looked younger there than when she was in high school. but i will say that i saw her in a few musicals and she has a pretty decent voice