If you have heard me talk about my “auto cultural anthropology” — that is, reexamining cultural things that were important to me in the past — well. Jimmy Buffett has been a part of that journey. He was one of very few artists my parents both liked, and so I spent a lot of time listening to his records when I was a teenager. I’ve always liked the records before Jimmy Buffett, The Myth becomes set. They’re engaging and resisting country music a little bit more. There are three different instances of characters on this record who have “stopped going to church.” And The Ballad of Spider John (a cover of a Willis Alan Ramsey song) is a heartbreaker. I CAN’T HELP IT, I HAVE FEELINGS.
I love these records even though they’re definitely less vulnerable than Exile in Guyville. I’m aware that Guyville also features character-based narrators (Divorce Song, etc.) but the narrators on these records are often little more protected, or observing from a distance. Still! There’s really great work here and I feel like it gets overlooked. Dogs of L.A. (linked above) is scenic and deftly sketched in a way that feels expansive.
“I love the word practice. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? You practice. How do you get to the Carnegie Hall of your soul, of your life, how do you get to the concert hall where you make best music inside yourself? You practice. How do you practice? You change your behavior. Every day. It’s very difficult, and you constantly are falling down and you have to constantly try to change it again.”
— Mandy Patinkin on Charlie Rose last night. (via jsmooth995)
“Because the fact is, the people you were lying to, the colleagues you said you didn’t respect in the first place, had figured you out ages ago. Despite what you thought of them, they weren’t dumb. And they couldn’t have cared less about what you were lying about. However, they were puzzled. Why is she lying, they whispered, Why is she saying such dumb archaic stuff? They tolerated you though, with the sweet sad sympathy of people who hoped they’d never be victim to the same self-delusion as you. They pretended they did not see through you. They felt embarrassment for you. They felt the pity felt for fools. You’d always wondered what they’d say about you. What they were saying was, Poor dear, who does she think she’s kidding, who’s she lying for? The person you were lying for was you.”
Rebecca Brown (1992-10-09T04:00:00+00:00). The Terrible Girls: A Novel in Stories (Kindle Locations 181-187). City Lights Books. Kindle Edition. (buy on Emily Books)
“[Blue is the Warmest Color’s] overwhelmingly positive reception reminded me of Brokeback Mountain’s debut, when the queers watched quietly as the critics stumbled over themselves to praise the performances of two straight actors succeeding in the “difficulty” of a gay role. Queerness as portrayed by straight people, as envisioned by straight people and directed by straight people, is Oscar bait. Brokeback Mountain isn’t an example of gay cinema anymore than Blue is the Warmest Color is an example of lesbian cinema, and I’m sorry if that comes as a shock to you.”
Yesterday Margaux told me a story that her mother often tells about when she was a baby. It took Margaux a long time to talk, and everyone thought she was a little dumb. Margaux’s mother had a friend who was a bit messed up and really into self-help books and all sorts of self-improvement tapes. One day, she had been telling Margaux’s mother about a technique in which, whatever problem you came across in your life, you were just supposed to throw up your hands and say, Who cares? That night, as Margaux’s parents and her slightly older sister were sitting around the dinner table and Margaux was in her high chair, her sister spilled her milk and the glass broke all across the table. Her mother started yelling, and her sister started crying. Then, from over in the high chair, they heard little Margaux going, Who cares?
I’m sorry, but I’m really glad she’s my best friend. If I had known, when I was a baby, that in America there was a baby who was throwing up her hands and saying, first words out of her mouth, Who cares? and that one day she’d be my best friend, I would have relaxed for the next twenty-three years, not a single care in the world.
Heti, Sheila (2012-06-19). How Should a Person Be?: A Novel from Life (p. 8). Macmillan. Kindle Edition.
(I’m not rereading this, I was just remembering this particular part today.)