.@femfreq A group of brooding white males is called a sulk.— Michael Hughes (@mobilesworking) June 9, 2014
While I admired her understanding and fancy, I loved to tend on her, as I should on a favourite animal…
Och. Et tu, Mary? (Frankenstein, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley)
That’s Victor describing to Walton his cousin Elizabeth (with whom he was raised and who his mother [a woman plucked from destitution by his father just after her father died] wants him to marry).
Blah blah of its time; it still rankles. A favourite animal, indeed.
—all these, with the cries of the headsmen and harpooners, and the shuddering gasps of the oarsmen, with the wondrous sight of the ivory Pequod bearing down upon her boats with outstretched sails, like a wild hen after her screaming brood;—all this was thrilling.
in “The First Lowering”, _Moby Dick_, Herman Melville
There were additional impediments to seeing [Judy] Malloy as the originator of hypertext that [Robert] Coover does not name: to look to the west coast for literary origin; to esteem comedy more than tragedy; to recognize coterie distribution over a press; to praise a single mom with a Bachelor’s degree over a young male novelist with a print novel and a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Such are the human judgments that launch a million clicks.
"…to praise a single mom with a Bachelor’s degree over a young male novelist with a print novel and a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop."
I would like to say in my defense that I don’t really get the appeal of YOLO. I live many times over. Hypothetical, subterranean lives that run beneath the relative tedium of my own and have the power to occasionally penetrate or even derail it.
Zadie Smith, “What to Read This Summer" in O Magazine.
I used to think that maybe I’d let my anger serve as an engine. But I’ve since discovered that my anger over each new racist incident is now rivaled and augmented by the anger I feel when asked to explain, once more, why black people shouldn’t be brutalized, insulted, and killed. If you’re a person of color, the racism beat is also a professional commitment to defending your right and the right of people like you to be treated with consideration to an audience filled with readers champing at the bit to call you nothing but a nigger playing the race card.
I wish I had anything more intelligible to say than, word, but I don’t.
It’s that thing where majority types don’t understand that/how marginalized people are required to be experts in the lives and ways of the majority just to navigate the damn world that the majority runs.
my super-smart friend Jeff A.
And in the end, forgiveness in the absence of love is a more interesting and curious idea than forgiveness in the presence of love. Why would you even contemplate showing any mercy to someone who had been merciless to you when that mercilessness was your only real bond? It’s a more philosophical question than why you would show kindness to a friend or spouse or parent who hurt you. It’s more pure: There’s no relationship other than pain. What’s the motivation for grace?
Challenge update: all done! …or am I!?
In March, I watched 25 movies  and read 3 books. Of those 3 books, I read 2 of them each in one day: Helen Wan and Jenny Lawson got their hooks in almost immediately and I couldn’t put the books down (except to get a snack).
Of the movies… Oblivion was the most surprising and possibly my favorite. Well, second favorite? Because 20 Feet From Stardom. The biggest disappointment for me was The Counselor. Surely, I thought, this low, low Rotten Tomatoes rating is just so many people Not Getting It, right?
Turns out: nope! Tons of potential, rubbish movie.
In other news, I’ve decided to extend the no re-watch portion of the challenge through the end of June(!). I’m enjoying it a lot.
1. 7 of the movies happened in one day when I went to see the Oscar-nominated animated shorts. (:
[All of us Minority Darlings who had made it this far] collected something else, too, unbeknownst to the other colleagues we shared laughs and drinks with after work. We kept a meticulous tally of all the slights and slurs collected over the years—each look of surprise on a new client’s face upon first meeting, every hushed, broken-off conversation when we entered a room. On rare occasions, in trusted company, we aired them out, dusted them off, and tossed them around like war stories. Rolled up our sleeves and revealed them to each other, like battle scars.
The Partner Track, Helen Wan
Every single one.
From looking at me, you wouldn’t know that I was a woman who ‘d just broken up with her boyfriend, stumbled home to her apartment in the wee hours of the morning, and was operating on three hours of sleep. My makeup was tasteful and perfect. Every hair was in place. I looked, well, fucking impeccable.
The Partner Track, Helen Wan.
Oh man. Word, Ingrid—well, Helen; fucking word.
Challenge update: still going strong! :D
13 movies and 2 books in February. Does Coriolanus count as a movie? I mean, we saw it in a theater, but that was a broadcast of a stage production, so it’s not technically a play…? In any case: it is fantastic and definitely worth seeing as a companion to the Ralph Fiennes version—they’re both really well-suited to their medium (even though the National Theater production goes a little… Flashdance there about 1/4 of the way through; what is that?)
At the other end of my spectrum you’ll find Great Expectations (1998) and The Dinner by Herman Koch. GE is… well, it’s pretty terrible. I barely made it through to the end, spending most of the movie wishing for a drink stronger than a beer.
The Dinner… I like the fact of the book and find the story interesting but can’t fucking stand the characters. Mean, hateful, deeply selfish, I’d kick everyone of those people in the shins given the chance. And yet: it’s well-written.
…I was realizing that we had not quite been told the truth. It wasn’t that we had been lied to, exactly. … We could definitely have A Lot. Many of us even managed to have Quite A Good Deal of It. But we were all finding out that, no, actually, regrettably, painfully, we had not quite figured out how to have It All. At least not All at the Same Time.
The Partner Track, Helen Wan
What a shame, I often think, that she foresaw only the end times, never hot dogs.
"Vampires in the Lemon Grove", Karen Russell
All listen raptly to Chapter Five, where Ingrid compares herself to a young, white woman at the firm:
'I was jealous of her confidence and her utter unself-consciousness. What would it be like, I marveled, to go through life so utterly unwary? So wholly certain of your belonging to a place that it was never necessary to consider how your next move would be perceived? Making partner at Parsons Valentine felt like a big final exam to which a select few held the answer key. While the rest of us schmucks had to study.'
From Helen Wan’s first novel The Partner Track (via “Beyond the Bamboo Ceiling”)
Definitely putting The Partner Track on my list.
(What would that be like?)