"It’s more applicable to compare Gould not to a fiction or nonfiction writer, but to one of her heroines, the songwriter Liz Phair. Phair has written many destabilizing, intimate songs that recognize how important sex, awful crushes, and relationships — and openly discussing them — are to women, even if they make you look bad and men uncomfortable." - Sharon Steel
So that’s a dream come true. As we know, however, sometimes a dream is what makes you a slave.
Kenntnissvonstolzundschande: The pride felt in arcane knowledge one is also deeply ashamed of having. Especially in reluctant fanboys/girls. First identified when the lovely Emily Gould (thingsiathatilove.tumblr.com) and I realized we both knew that Justin Theroux had played both Jared, the full-of-himself young novelist, and Vaughn Wysel, the premature ejaculator/crypto-Jew on seasons one and two of Sex and the City, respectively.
I am hot and good with words…
Oops, I came in my pants!
I am going to use kenntnissvonstolzundschande in a sentence later today, I’m sure of it. Vaughn Wysel comes closest of any SATC dude character to approximating “my type.”
Alert Emily Magazine reader Jaime sent word that a) Camper Van Beethoven covered Tusk in its entirety and b) you can download the whole thing here. If that last sentence filled you with renewed excitement about life, we’d get along. Christian says that this track is better than the original and, you know, sacrilegious as this opinion is, I know he’s not wrong.
I got this book on word origins (“Word Origins”) at Housingworks. It was originally published in 1950 so it’s full of charming anachronisms. Like any book about etymology or semiotics it makes you temporarily hyper-aware of your word choices and their various resonances. “Charming” for example would have been a dangerous insult in 14th-century England, when it still carried its original sense of “the Latin carmen, ‘song,’ usually a wicked chant or incantation of magic power like that of the notorious Lorelei.”
The entry on charm is in the chapter titled “Romantic Stories of Words About Women.” From the introduction to this chapter. we learn that women “have a most legitimate vocabulary that is all their own. A dress is ‘adorable,’ a room is ‘sweet,’ a baby ‘precious,’ ‘cunning,’ ‘darling.’”
We also learn that “because most women boil at a lower temperature than men, and perhaps because they are not so sharply disciplined in the accuracy of business they are given to the use of hyperbole, a Greek word that literally means ‘throw over or beyond’ and hence ‘overshoot the mark.’” The author seems not to suspect that he himself might be indulging in a bit of hyperbole.
This attitude of course is archaic except it’s hard to deny that some people “write like girls.” A former editor of mine will either deny or produce IM transcripts to verify that he once backhandedly-complimented me and Doree on how infrequently we “wrote like girls.” By telling me this I think he meant to call my attention to how often we, in fact, did write like girls. Filed under “writing like girls” = an overreliance on modifiers like “really” “very” “just” and “kind of.” Anything that makes you seem actually just really kind of unsure of yourself, you know what I mean? Extraneous adverbs and adjectives are also girly, as are chatty asides and euphemisms. You can write about getting a tampon stuck inside you for a week all you want as long as you come right out and say it and don’t write around it like a girl.
I also wonder whether anyone will ever bother to study this period of rapid linguistic and stylistic growth and change (besides Virginia Heffernan) or whether we’ll all just write tossed-off Tumblr posts about it that end with vague copout endings like “well, something to think about.” Well, something to think about.
I got back into town last night so it wasn’t til this morning that I noticed there was no coffee in the apartment. I put on some clothes and went out to get some. On my way home from the store I found myself walking behind a man who was walking his dog, a big greyhound mix. The dog was sniffing a tree, arching his back, clearly getting ready to take a poop, but the dude wasn’t paying attention, he was staring into his iPhone, so he tugged the dog along sharply without even glancing back at her.
On the next block, one block over from mine, I saw someone getting cuffed and shoved into a squad car by a team of cops. He was going quietly though and no one involved seemed too worried or upset.
The coffee I got was Stumptown Hair Bender blend and I’ve got to say, my favorite is still Gorilla Blendimentosis but this stuff is definitely a close second.
Yesterday Sasha reminded me that every few years I get obsessed with Wire and can’t accomplish anything unless I’m listening to Wire and begin to firmly believe that Wire is the best band that ever lived, and then the good part of their discography can only sustain this level of devotion for, like, three days and after that it goes low-grade and dormant til the next time. This time I discovered what can prolong the obsession: covers. I found this one on YouTube. “No blind spots in the leopard’s eyes …”