Three Awesome Things I Discovered This Week

I know I’ve been slacking in the regular updates department lately and it’s shameful. The truth is, I was busy spending time with these three awesome people:

1. Lisa Robertson 

Last week at work I had the pleasure of creating a literary anthology section and came across dozens of copies of the Chicago Review that’d been sitting around the bookstore for years, probably. My boss let me have a copy of their Spring 2006 issue, a large portion of which is devoted to Lisa Robertson. Little did he know that I had already combed through her 20-page poem, “Palinodes,” and was primed to consume every piece of literature written and about her in the issue. One of the first lines in her poem is “Though my object is history, not neutrality/I am prepared to adhere to neither extreme,” which made me do the bookworm equivalent of a fistpump in my brain. I’ve read the whole poem through a couple times now and keep finding more and more to get excited about. Not to mention her statement on the art form is pretty intriguing, too (emphasis added):

I need a detailed account of passivity so I’m trying to make one. I have never completed an act of passivity. I built nothing. I don’t know what I’ll do with it. I memorize in my bed at night and loose the words in my sleep. I record that loss. I started thinking about passivity by studying furniture. I picture here the sociality of cinema, but with no image–Derek Jarman’s Blue perhaps. I thought of a bed. I thought of a chair. I thought of a cupboard. I want to think about the shapeliness of reception, about expectancy recumbent. I wanted to participate in change. I was lucky and I was wrong. I’m not sure it’s identity.

She also has a great poetic essay on the history of clouds in that issue, an interview that explores her relationship with feminism and DIY art scenes, and a whole lot of other stuff that got me excited. At the risk of going on too long, I encourage you all to pick up a copy of Chicago Review Spring 2006 (we have a few copies at Powell’s in our amazing anthology section too!).
2. Britney Spears

My friend Megan Burbank read a hilarious and so-damn-true essay on Britney Spears circa 2007 at Bad News Bible Church on Saturday which had me knee-slapping for the entire eight minutes she was on stage (and every once in while quietly confiding in Julia, “I relate to that SO MUCH.”). Today her piece was posted on Pank Magazine, one of my favorite online publications. Despite the essay being pretty specific to Megan’s experience at Smith College, I think it capture the essence of what it was like to be a college-aged woman with ironic tastes in 2007, and the sudden awareness of that situation that Britney Spears evoked.

For better or for worse, Britney Spears was a mentally ill woman living out her nightmare in the pages of Us Weekly. She had also become human to us in a way that was identifiable. And if anyone could relate to a woman who was going a little crazy, it was surely the women of Smith College. We were a rare mix of estrogen and neuroses. Most of us were on antidepressants. We went to our six free counseling sessions every semester like it was our job. After about two days at Smith, you learned that if you saw a girl bawling on the steps of the library, you let her do her crying in peace. It wasn’t so much that we were unhappy as that we were swimming in age-appropriate confusion, and trying to be proactive in the face of our anxieties. And we were beginning to suspect that Britney Spears was one of us.

(Read the whole piece here! It’s worth it, I promise!)
3. Vermin Supreme

This whole Republican caucus thing has me really stressed out. Mitt Romney might be okay, but both Gingrinch and Ron Paul scare the shit out of me, and all of them are vocal opponents of women’s rights (and, let’s be real, human rights in general). Therefore it’s really comforting to me that I’ve finally discovered a Republican candidate who represents my best interests: Vermin Supreme, a self-proclaimed “friendly fascist — a tyrant you can trust.” Imagine a country where we work on a pony-based economy, adhere to a mandatory toothbrushing law, and the “awesome power of zombies” is harnessed by giant turbines. This video pretty much tells you everything you need to know:

And remember, kids, a vote of Vermin Supreme is a vote completely thrown away.

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