Friday, August 15, 2008

auto-da-fè. fundamentals. the day: august 15. 2008.

[al vertigo]

insomnia poem #10

i'm not in school anymore
but i like to change my whole life
every august; second nature, fluid future
i dreamed last night i pressed the accelerator
when i meant to brake/break.

is there an expiration date
on bad habits. on self-destruction.
at first, you've done something for a few days.
e.g., a drink, a person, a pill
and then before you know it
it's a month
and then suddenly
(gradually, and then suddenly)
it's been years and years.

secretly i'm a lightweight
but good at playing it straight
men used to drive me
and today i listened to fiona apple by accident
because of the alphabet
reminded me of driving my white car to his house and
it will be dark, we will yell at each other
on the driveway. as if things like this
[our words, the vast empty in-state air
full of nothing but what we gave it]
are a matter of life or suicide.

little edie: "there are other ways to kill yourself
i really do think
then swigging down that awful stuff.
it's fire-water."

back to school,
aren't you cool
get ready to rule.

if you're still wondering about the dream
i switched feet before
i saved myself

quote: "... I knew: if I really forgave her, something vast and infinite would open up inside me, some place wide and blue, and I couldn't enter such a place. It would be like some kind of health spa -- where you go in naked, without any things. God, would I ever be lost in a place like that." (stacey richter, "the beauty treatment")

1. I have way too many feelings about this article (No. #1: How does this writer have a job writing about lesbians in pop culture and I don't?): A New Meaning for Lesbian Chic (@afterellen)
2. One of many problems with the one-child policy in China: Plight of the Little Emperors (@psychology today)
3. Only the Lonely - on loneliness, lonerhood, etc. (@the smart set)
4. Balancing Your Books Budget: Reading for the Recession. (@the guardian uk books)
5. Apparently all the other ladies are making serious money from blogging. Dooce, dooce, dooce, my loins, my love, dooce, c'mon, tell me your secrets ... (@the nytimes)
6. The Sexualization of Female Olympians. (@feministing)
7. Inside the Nation's Largest Mental Institution. (@npr)
8. Black Models Take Off. (@the village voice)
9. Adventure on the Moors! A Bronte "Choose Your Own Adventure." You are Mr. Lockwood, a businessman and a plucky intrepid detective from London ... (@yankee pot roast)
10. Five Years Ago Today (yesterday), we were in the dark: When the Lights Went Out. (@the nytimes)


Vashti said...

First comment, holla!

All I have to say is that for the first time ever, I've read 3 of the article you posted.. before you posted them! I'm genuinely surprised by this.

I have nothing substance to say. I just like commenting. It's a nice way to distract me. I have a LOT of feelings right now and not enough brain space to handle them.

As always, please forgive my rambling. It may not be as late as usual but I'm all kinds of flustered.

e. said...

I *love* tonight's insomnia poem. Very much.

Mercury said...

I will second e. I'll be d. because tonight's insomnia poem I think is the best yet.

vashti: that happened to me a few days ago. I was all, wtf mate?

Razia said...

Now I feel bad for watching beach volleyball even though it's mind-numbingly boring.

basia said...

*gasp!* - beach volleyball isn't boring! last olympics the girls who won jumped on top of each other and rolled around in the sand at the end. if that doesn't give you something to hold on to, something to help you keep faith for a better tomorrow, then i don't know what does.

oh, i just read article 6. whatevs, we're allowed to sexualize women coz we're not men.

Adam said...

re: 6

I find this debate (in whatever form it comes up) extremely frustrating, so I won't wade in and vent my pent up angst...I'll just point out what frustrates me most...

a) "Women aren't made for men to oogle."

b) "Women oughtn't be oogled."

b is not even remotely logically equivalent to a, yet almost never is any sort of argument given to try to make the move from a to b...they're just taken to be interchangeable (not only with respect to oogling, but with all sorts of other arguments).

I just find the whole discussion impossible to follow, because the arguments are almost invariably question begging, and I find myself disagreeing with people I actually agree with just for the sake of pointing out that their argument is crap, and that's the opposite of productive.


Also, for the amount of time I've been subjected to the area just below Michael Phelps' waistband, beautiful though it may be, I feel a little beach volleyball ass is a fair trade.

a;ex said...

omg I love beach volleyball. Esp the match with Belgium yesterday. Obvs we won.

errmm... that is all for now. I promise I'll read an article or two and get back to you on that. ;)

Kelly said...

The Little Edie quote... FUCKING PRICELESS

"Dave Lozo" said...

It's actually adventure on the Moops. Sorry.

JD said...

Yeah, re: AfterEllen fashion montage article.

Chicken-or-egg questions are generally pretty pointless, but especially in the arena of who’s inspiring whom for the Shane look. Really, Papi? I always thought it was an implicit understanding that entertainment, esp today, is always going to be both a reflection of, and projection onto, popular culture. I guess “thorough” was really the only strong feeling that I had after reading the whole article.

Speaking of blogging-for-the-money and niche audiences, if anyone is interested and hasn’t already heard about this from logo:

Leah said...

I have been frustrated with my place in the lesbian world lately, cuz Im a "femme" bisexual (I guess thats what Id be categorized as). Im tired of hearing "Youre GAY?!" with such confusion and shock. No, Im not, but Im with a girl instead of a guy, I dont wanna cut my hair, and I like tights and dresses and heels. Always have. When I try to "fit in" and wear something I think will blend me in a bit more, I feel silly, like its not really me. I dont have the confidence to rock big jeans and beaters and a low pony tail (cuz I couldnt let my crazy hair flow...G-d forbid!) Anyway, I have decided to say F it and just be. So profound, I know, but its the only way to go. I just dont get much respect from other lesbians (except my girlfriend) becasue I look like a girl who is just a bisexual bottom trying out new ways to get off.

BTW, In my bedroom, I do the SAME THINGS {wink wink}that the butch girls do. Maybe even better. :)

SO there!

caitlin said...

first of all, i heard on the news yesterday that it was the 5 yr anniversary of the blackout and i auto-thought of haviland. also, i would like to talk to dooce cause her blog is so boring, who cares about her kid and her celebration of every month she was born? not me that's for sure. the lesbian fashion thing was confusing. also, there's an article in this month's esquire about lesbian fashion and sex which was confusing for me. i dunno. i'm gonna be way happier though when there are no more insomnia poems, as awesome as they are, you gotta sleepy sloos.

Vesper de Vil said...

august and september will always, ALWAYS be back to school time to me.

autumn m said...

ok so i just dont get why one night with no lights is a big deal?? it happens all the time. try living without Electricity and gas for over a week in the middle of december. that sucks. that happen last year when the ice storms came. i just dont understand.

ok on a different note, i totally had a weird dream last night. you had decided that you didnt like blogging like usual, so you posted like a city and a certian type of place and you would write on the stairs, and if anyone really wanted to read what you had to say, the would go find it. so the first thing you put was, detroit and a homeless shelter. so we all had to go to ever homeless shelter in detroit and look at the stairs to see if you wrote on them. it was some weird messed up stuff.

Anonymous said...

by accident!

riese said...

vashti: Maybe I was a little slow on the uptake this week and that's why? I think commenting is the best way for anyone to distract themselves from anything in the whole world.

e.: *thanks*

mercury: yay! thanks!

razia: I think we should all cherish athletic women's bodies. I mean; it's one thing to sexualize a 14 year old gymnast, but another thing altogether to appreciate the finely toned physique of a volleyball player.

basia: omg, I remember I took this screenshot from that and used it in some kind of link somewhere maybe. It gave me hope for tomorrow.

adam: Okay, but I think the piece is saying that we shouldn't have to limit our conception of women's attractiveness to young white girls in evening gowns -- that if these magazines appreciated these women as sexy in their volleyball outfits (as we all do), it wouldn't be an issue. I know the fashion spreads she's talking about, there's a few every year and they always make me feel a little itchy, like they really love throwing women's weightlifters or water polo players into these ridiculous dresses that obviously make them feel weird.

The point they made about the female asses was just sort of irrelevant. I mean, who cares. At least they're oogling asses of athletic, strong women instead of airbrushed drug addict asses.

a;ex: Okay, i'm still waiting, here I am!

kelly: HOLLER

dave lozo: C'mon do you think I know how to read?

jd: thanks for the tip! I feel like that writer didn't really have a point to her article -- 'cause the only point she's actually making, as you suggest by pointing out that it's not really all that polarizing -- is that there are simply more young lesbians being represented in the media right now. Young people will be trendsetters. But if her thesis was "young lesbians are more visible in the media" then she would've realized that that really isn't a thesis when you're writing for a site that pre-supposes that thesis in order to simply exist ... so she needed some other argument to make. And I don't think she really found it, 'cause all she came up with was lame. And therefore she has a job @ afterellen and I don't. waaa. 365 gay here i come.

leah: I think as the wise Haviland Stillwell said in our advice column vlog #28: "When I'm on a date with you, I'm ona date with you." Because people always ask her that too 'cause she's "femme." But I think those labels are getting broken up a lot more now, though I live in an urban center and therefore probs have different feelings about it.

As a bisexual it took me a long time to realize that it's not about being more "boyish" or "girly" -- which lingusitically begins from man and then defines everything else in relation to man when really we should just define everything in relation to everything, or define nothing at all. That makes sense to me, though I imagine I jsut lost everyone else.

caitlin: Remember when they had the blackout on tlw and we bet that haviland would say something about her memories of the blackout? That's one of those things that makes me laugh and I think makes Haviland scowl with ire. Radar magazine does a piece on it this month too.

I know I've been thinking about what I'll rename them when I actually start sleeping like a real person ... so weird!

vesper de vil: For sure, gt get a new trapper keeper asap

autumn m: Ok if that happened to me for a week in December I clearly would pitch a giant fit. And in the middle of the summer when you don't expect it -- it's different than a weather-related thing that you might be prepared for in some way? I dunno. We're spoiled I guess.

Your dream about me sounds like the kind of dream I'd have about me. For real.

dani said...

the poem speaks out of my soul...
so good.
i love beachvolleyball too...but we're out.

Adam said...

I have a bad habit of replying to the commenters at the posts you link instead of the links themselves. You're right, the actual article has very little to do with what I was whining about.

You do raise what I think is a more interesting question though:

Why do male athletes feel comfortable posing for GQ in men's fashion, but female athletes look out of sorts in "pretty dresses". Maybe the answer shouldn't be "make it acceptable for them to pose in athletic garb", but instead "figure out why kickass girls don't feel comfortable in dresses, and fix that."

MoonKiller said...

I've just read (semi-skimmed, like milk) nearly every post you've posted since the beginning of July and I have a lot of feelings about them. Though if I write/type down all of these feelings my head might explode so just know this: I think you're wonderful.

Also, my mother read Wao after me and I went into town with her earlier and she goes to me 'Look Rhi, Oscar Wao's over there' and it actually could have been him.

riese said...

dani: Thanks! And I'm sorry. Maybe you will acheive in another sport.

adam: You do have a bad habit of that I remember being really confsued once about Augusten Burroughs and Sam Anderson.

Personally, I think anyone who wants to kick any kind of ass -- man or woman -- is gonna feel comfortable in a crazy ass ballgown. So I think what we need to do is what you said, and also cotton is the fabric of our lives.

moonkiller: HI!!!! I wondered where you were for real. 'Cause I also think you are wonderful. I hope you get the next book, it's called "Lying" and my copy seems to never want to emerge.

We spot Oscars everywhere it's like our hobby we saw a lot of Oscars at the b-ball courts the other day.

The Brooklyn Boy said...

Things I've been meaning to say since Friday:

A) All these articles were awesome.
B) This verse:

i'm not in school anymore
but i like to change my whole life
every august; second nature, fluid future
i dreamed last night i pressed the accelerator
when i meant to brake/break.

was ab-so-fucking-lute-ly ri-got-damn-dic-ulous.

Just so you know.