“The hut vanishes, and with it the sea and the sands – only Karun’s body, locked with mine, remains. We streak like superheroes past suns and solar systems, we dive through shoals of quarks and atomic nuclei. In celebration of our breakthrough fourth star, statisticians the world over rejoice.”—Winner of 2013’s Bad Sex in Fiction award: The City of Devi, by Manil Suri
What is smarm, exactly? Smarm is a kind of performance—an assumption of the forms of seriousness, of virtue, of constructiveness, without the substance. Smarm is concerned with appropriateness and with tone. Smarm disapproves.
Smarm would rather talk about anything other than smarm. Why, smarm asks, can’t everyone just be nicer?
As of yesterday, I’ve been a professional book designer for five years. It’s a job I lucked into without knowing anyone out here on the east coast, during a hellish economic collapse, while carrying some half-assed posters and a state school BFA in filmmaking. It’s a job that has let me make a surprising number of mistakes in those five years. Unfortunately for my coworkers, I still have a lot to learn.
Thanksgiving’s past, but the thanks still need to be given. I owe a lot to the wonderful bookish misfits I work with. Where would I be without them? No clue. My only other professional experience was bagging groceries and asking “paper or plastic?”
Can’t get out of here without mentioning you all, either. I’ve met a lot of great people thanks to this reject freak show called tumblr (through good times and bad, through pizza and pizza fights). Stay weird, gang. Don’t let the small stuff make you small. Let’s get drunk and sing Tom Waits songs.
[Black Panties] is a nearly perfect achievement of bluntness, literalism, and indefatigability. It’s just what you need after all the cuteness and pandering men are doing right now in popular music. For more than a decade, lust and carnality have been the women’s prerogative — Missy Elliott and Khia and Lady Gaga and Rihanna, with Madonna as the living legend and Peaches as high priestess. The men are really boys who are experts in adorability. And after you’ve listened to good artists sing about luck and heaven and putting on a suit and tie, you’ve just kind of had it. Justin Timberlake understands sexiness but knows nothing about sex. For Pete’s sake, he should be taking the suit and tie off.
R. Kelly has made a career — remember, he’s been at it since the early 1990s — out of exposing the lie of popular music. There are no blurred lines for him. He doesn’t mind making love. But he really likes to fuck. Kelly knows that if he’s going to do a song called “Mirrors,” it won’t be a metaphor for love or self-obsession or whatever it is that Timberlake is going on about. Kelly’s “Mirrors” would include cleaning instructions for the housekeeper and the mirror would be on the ceiling.
Singer-songwriter Mark Mulcahy is our guest tomorrow. He joins the studio not only for an interview, but also to also play a few of his songs.
The novelist Rick Moody describes Mulcahy as “A remarkable songwriter” and called his new album “Among the very best records of 2013.” In an article in Salon, Moody wrote: “The recording bristles with wordplay, with remarkably inventive lyrical turns, contains some of the best singing by a musician known as a singer’s singer, is full of despair and provocation, and rocks harder than almost anything that has come out this year. Considering the context, the result is explicably full of loss, from the first song to the last.”
The context Moody is referring to, is the death of Mulcahy’s wife in 2008. His most recent album, “Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You,” is the first since she passed away.
"She Makes The World Turn Backwards" is one of the songs from his latest album.
File under: a thing I did not know about Nebraska/hockey.
In Canada, three leagues and 60 teams comprise what is called “major junior,” unquestionably the most elite tranche of under-20 hockey in the world. In the United States, the top circuit is the United States Hockey League, or USHL, a 16-team collective whose most distinguishing feature is that it is designed to preserve players’ NCAA eligibility as amateurs. The USHL has existed in some form or another since 1947, and has included the NTDP Under-18 team under its umbrella since 2009. The Tri-City Storm has been part of the league since 2000, before which the franchise was located in Minnesota and named the Twin Cities Vulcans. The team is one of three USHL teams in Nebraska, and it plays in the league’s smallest market.
"These families open up their homes to these random high school players," said Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Matt Carle, who played for the U.S. national team and then what are now the Omaha Lancers of the USHL. "They’re kind of the backbone of the league; without them, it doesn’t work."
Lots of people on here talking about books, recommending them, and it’s easy to start ignoring them all (there are so many books, you guys, it’s nuts out there). Who can you trust? Who can guide you through the murky, aggressively-marketed depths of contemporary fiction? Maris can. Trust.
“If you are 35 or younger - and quite often, older - the advice of the old economy does not apply to you. You live in the post-employment economy, where corporations have decided not to pay people. Profits are still high. The money is still there. But not for you. You will work without a raise, benefits, or job security. Survival is now a laudable aspiration.”—
Everything that could’ve happened in college football happened in college football. It was glorious and wild. Many thanks and praises to Grantland’s Holly Anderson, maybe the best (and definitely the most fun) college football writer on the planet.
“America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves…. It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters.”—Quote by Kurt Vonnegut: America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but … (via pieratt, related to last)
Rest is a luxury for the rich. I get up at 6AM, go to school (I have a full courseload, but I only have to go to two in-person classes) then work, then I get the kids, then I pick up my husband, then I have half an hour to change and go to Job 2. I get home from that at around 1230AM, then I have the rest of my classes and work to tend to. I’m in bed by 3. This isn’t every day, I have two days off a week from each of my obligations. I use that time to clean the house and soothe Mr. Martini and see the kids for longer than an hour and catch up on schoolwork. Those nights I’m in bed by midnight, but if I go to bed too early I won’t be able to stay up the other nights because I’ll fuck my pattern up, and I drive an hour home from Job 2 so I can’t afford to be sleepy. I never get a day off from work unless I am fairly sick. It doesn’t leave you much room to think about what you are doing, only to attend to the next thing and the next. Planning isn’t in the mix.
Her response to the first (agressively negative) comment is worth reading as well.
Kleenex Cool Touch tissues are the real deal. Ultra soft and 3-ply and suspiciously cooling. A Rolls Royce for your snot.
Canned chicken soup is grossly overrated, and I don’t think anyone rates it very highly. Sausage/potato/kale soup? Awesome.
Hot sauce on everything.
Sudafed is great for waking up in the morning. (Insert Breaking Bad meth gif here)
"Drink lots of fluids." Green juice isn’t the worst idea, but the stuff in an average grocery store tastes like rejected compost (I’m looking at you, Bolthouse Farms). Flavored seltzer is the business. 50/50 seltzer and OJ could save lives.
A cold is a great reason to not touch or interact with people. (Nasally congested voice) “I’m doing this out of concern for you, now leave me to suffer!”
If you’re like me, you walk past a pile of dirty dishes and say out loud “I don’t want to do dishes, I want to nap!” That moment, realizing you want to nap and you can because it’s Sunday and who’s going to stop you, no one that’s who, is the greatest dumb epiphany of your dumb life.