“[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.)
In two weeks I’m going into the studio for the first half of the record. I am excited. I am nervous. I’m trying to write a couple more songs before I get there. WE SHALL SEE.
I’ve been continuing my self-cultural-anthropology and going back to various books/tv shows/musicians that have been important to me throughout my life, but that I have abandoned because they weren’t “cool.” This basically led to a four hour period this weekend where I was weeping while listening to Gordon Lightfoot and Stan Rogers. Also, I’ve been rewatching the L Word, which we can all agree is a terrible show but was a big part of my development as a gay lady. (Can I mention the sheer unbelievability of Jenny getting a story in “Best American Short Stories”? SHE IS A TERRIBLE WRITER.)
It’s fall and it’s beautiful. I moved into my own house this summer and so I’m becoming acquainted with a whole new set of trees. There’s this Japanese Maple in my backyard that’s just starting to change and it’s blowing my mind.
I’ve been feeling homesick lately, even though I love Portland. Not homesick for Chicago, but for Michigan, and the dumb snowy winters and the lakes and the woods and the corn. I feel jealous of the people who were able to stay. I’m mourning the time I thought I’d be able to move back.
“I always thought competition was for horse races and it never belonged in art. I never felt that competitive with other girl singers, really. I admired them; if I really admired them, I would try to find a way, if it was appropriate, to figure out a way to sing with them.”
In a blog post this week, Imogen Binnie had some really important stuff to say about the queer “community” and its treatment of trans women and about glorifying heroes who have done fucked up things without acknowledging those fucked up things (ie, how so so many people worship Kathleen Hanna but neglect to address the fact that Le Tigre played Michfest twice, thereby tacitly endorsing the WBW policy and have never apologized, Queen Kathleen included.)
Read the full piece here. Seriously, go now. This piece is part of her work with Maximum Rocknroll. You can read more of those columns on her blog and can also check out the zines she has written via her Etsy store. Additionally, she is the author of Nevada, a novel recently published by Topside Press, an independent press dedicated to publishing authentic transgender narratives.
“Poetry’s greatest task is not to solidify groups or get the right people elected or moralize or broadcast; it is to foster a necessary privacy in which the imagination can flourish. Then we may have something to say to each other.”