Finally introduced Kara and Marie!~
“…This will not matter, because her parents work in finance, and she has good manners, and she’s going to marry up, and she’s going to get into the movies (not just guest appearances in CSI), and she’s going to launch some clothing lines at Target (no, wait, I think she already did that), and a personal fragrance (I think she did that too), and parlay all her bad press into some self-serious complaints, making good on every opportunity to monetize her career at the expense of making actual art.”
Here’s the kind of thing a music critic seriously writes when bashing Taylor Swift. This is just after he writes that he doesn’t “get” or “like” her “over-produced” music and what he calls “apparently honest” lyrics.
this is amazing. this is by rick moody, who grew up in darien, connecticut and went to a fancy prep school and then to an ivy league college and is probably better known for his 1994-novel-turned-1997-movie the ice storm than for anything else.
he also says, “look, i normally only write about things i like, things i care about, but i can’t stop myself here. taylor swift represents what makes me want to die about popular music. she makes me want to die.”
i normally only write about things i like, too, which includes writing that taylor swift makes rick moody want to die, just like beyonce made some guy hate america. this is so gratifying, even if it’s boring. whenever a male critic says something like “there is nothing in this music that does anything new besides fusing together a mandolin with a programmed drum track” at least i know that something important is happening.
let him die/Lana
i want to write a longer and more categorical response, but i don’t have it in me right now and i’m not sure that’s my thing, also i’m just seeing this for the first time, three weeks later: i use theory because i always wanted to use theory, and when i worked at newspapers and magazines i couldn’t and hated that i couldn’t, because i felt like i couldn’t say what i really wanted to say. theory helps me say what i really want to say—sometimes. i don’t feel like it earns me any extra points with straight guys because i don’t really know (and certainly don’t write for) straight guys. in fact, the last group of straight guys that i was actually friends with talked primarily about rap music and where NVC was now writing (i was like “who is NVC? who? what?”); if they gave a shit about foucault, they never let on. i was like a girl in a taylor swift or alanis morissette song: i thought it was sweet (kind of) if they asked me anything about my PhD program at all.
to reiterate: i love theory, i have always loved theory, except for when i hate it, but, like, i can avoid zizek. and it probably hasn’t really gotten me much except a lot of debt. most of my life has been people telling me not to like it, or not to do it, why would i want to give up a career at the new york times (where, once again, in my experience, the men do not care or know anything about theory. they care about the big books, but, like, the ones written by jonathan franzen, which i have never and will never read).
all that said: aliza and josh and i had another long conversation yesterday about why do we have to cite anyone ever, we don’t even believe in intellectual property, the idea of authorship and lineage is patriarchal and male, we should just be able to say what we want with no footnotes and possibly no (or low) related reading, and if one of us REALLY writes an essay on this—please let this essay manifest, the ideas seemed so good, though we drank a lot of wine at that lunch—i will obviously link to it on tumblr.
What Kara said.
But also, the things that are really so redunk in this kind of thing:
But in the opening pages of Chris Kraus’s new novel, she talks about the “thinking-cunt routine.” She’s talking about sex, but as a thinking cunt in both senses, I appreciate that being named as a routine. It helps to write your way into the world of theory, it’s great to take this long history of female hysterics that have been written about or written over and actually crawl inside of it and write from it. That’s nifty.
But if I’m trying to claim a space for my own abjection — if I’m trying to name all the weird, awkward, pathologizable, unlikable, sharp angles of my particular self, not because my self is fascinating and I want to hold you hostage to it, but because I don’t want any more men to write Fat Betty Draper into their scripts and think they’ve done a great job at creating a complicated female character, because I want owning your gendered hysteria or just your raw edges to just be something that women can do — do I need to show you my credentials? Do I need to convince you that I’m secretly really smart and cool and know what a Big Star is and read the big, thick books just like boys read, just for you to hold a space for me in this conversation, just to not be written out entirely as a freak? Isn’t that just another way of secretly encoding “but boys can still like me” into your script? Not to say that women learn all this stuff just to make guys think they’re cute — that’s a nauseating idea, which I am very certain is also completely untrue — but putting it out there, as a credential, is a way of saying “I have this form of status that has, throughout history, been almost entirely accorded to men. Therefore, men can listen to me.” A way of saying “but I’m not just some chick.” And isn’t that the conditioning we’re all consciously and loudly writing our way out of, or around?
Every woman, everywhere, has, I think, encountered the fearsome weapon of male contempt: She’s coming to the table with one of the most important feelings of her life, something that needs to be heard, maybe something that’s just killing her. And she works so hard to say it exactly right, and it’s so important to say it, and she puts it out there, and she looks at her male audience, and they just say “ew.” They give her the Here Is A Woman Being Emotional, I Have Been Warned Of Those look. And in that second, everything she feels, everything she says, suddenly just stops mattering. It’s just gone, there’s no more validity to it, all that work was for something that, it turns out, isn’t even allowed to exist. It took zero work, on the part of the guy. It took “ew,” or a little bit of sarcasm, or a nasty look. But now she has to go be ashamed of herself, and forget everything she said, because some guy decided she was acting too much like a chick.
Women spend their lives trying to get around that feeling, I think, the feeling that everything you say is subject to pathologizing and erasure at any given man’s whim. And sometimes being really self-conscious about your theoretical background can be one of the ways you do it. Like, if you say “you are holding the power to define ‘crazy’ or ‘irrational’ in a way that translates to mean that if you feel inconvenienced or wounded by what I say, it is literally just insane gibberish that makes no sense,” you’re just bitching. But if you say that Foucault said that, then they have to listen. They don’t actually, they never do, because Male Privilege is a hell of a drug. But we spend our lives trying to nail the trick that means they have to hear us out.
(Which is different from the bewildering thing about Coors Light? wtf?)
1. Seriously, all women/women who are academic or use “theory” (a completely stupid term; am I allowed to say “stupid” or is that a Coors Light kind of word? Abject?) are doing it to impress men? This is some weird tumblrized version of that REALLY stupid story that said women who wear lip gloss and not lipstick (guilty!) and shop at etsy and aren’t enough like Kathleen Turner are “really just in it for the peen.”
Basically when women do things you don’t like, they are doing it for men, someone please give that school of feminism a name.
2. Just realized this is the same person who wrote that “trainwreck” story about Marie Calloway and Cat Marnell, and I think the takeaway there was that those women were also being women wrong, however their sin is that they do for filthy money, not just for male attention and approval.
But one does wonder why there is a line drawn between Kara and Kate’s work and that of Marie and Cat? The more ladylike breakdown is more appealing? All four women are doing incredibly revealing, relevant work, in my opinion. (Disclaimer, I’m close friends with one and pretty good friends with two of them.)
I am leaning towards some kind of conversation that’s about how—and this is incredible shorthand for a complex thing that called racism and white supremacy—when WOC are confronted (as they are daily) with cultural work that erases them, belittles them, and betrays them, and they respond, “I don’t see me. This is wrong. This is violent. This has to end,” that is a crucial critique that should be a call to arms to fucking CHANGE THINGS but rarely is. (See blackamazon, m3, so-treu, leonine, and others who speak to this much better than I ever could).
But when a white lady reads a blog or listens to Taylor Swift or sees how Zooey Deschanel dresses and thinks, “I don’t see me,” suddenly some overarching menace to feminisms is called into existence and that’s for some reason more important than anything else. I should never read these blogs, THANKS A LOT KARA>
I fucking hate when people don’t like something or are threatened by it and then decide to fabricate an aesthetic or political justification for it. I’m off now to eat something lowbrow, watch something highbrow, and listen to a band so totally obscure and important it would make you cry if I dropped their name.
Rachael took a perfect photo of the flowers I made for solstice—we had an abundance of herbs and blooms, and wine and friends and love. We burnt our fears and ate almond cake (for Robin and J’s one year wedding anniversary!), joined hands in honor of midsummer, and talked about medieval art, fish songs, hearing, sentient genitals, our health, our goals, our art, Guns N Roses, zines, activism, and everything that matters. For those who couldn’t make it, you were part of the circle, always will be.
amelia jones, body art: performing the subject (via karaj)
Unless she has a cat.
Trademarks from September 1970, by Vito Acconci, scanned from Avalanche magazine, Fall 1972. Acconci’s text: “Biting myself: biting as much of my body as I can reach. Applying printers’ ink to the bites; stamping bite-prints on various surfaces.”
I assume this is the 2004 March, altho the people look a little 70s. Where’s Kara in her APC heels?
I DID MY FIRST CRUISE AND THAT WAS WHATEVER BUT WHEN IT WAS OVER WE WENT TO THE “CREW BAR” AND THERE WERE BEERS AND TEQUILA + TOBASCO SHOTS THAT...
We bought a blender so now donut summer is milkshake summer.
do you ever wonder what you would look like at your full potential like perfect hair and clear skin and a perfect body...
plot twist: yahoo buys tumblr and we get proper blocking features, lockable posts, a sent folder in messages/fanmail with a better interface, ability to search multiple tags, removal of the post and message limits, proper search engines for likes/archives and removing that bloody "reblog as a link" option.
some guy asked if he could get “some head” and biked menacingly near me