“This Album Couldn’t Wait”

Celebrate our beautiful, troubled world with this lovely conversation between pioneers Lizzo and Janelle Monáe.

I didn’t feel like I had all the time in the world to write Dirty Computer. When you think about the state of this country, when you think about who’s in office, when you think about having a Vice President who believes in conversion therapy, and you think about how 77 percent of LGBTQ teenagers surveyed in 2018 report feeling depressed or down over the past week — I didn’t think that this album could wait.

I read from the Trevor Project that suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 10 to 24. And that LGB youth contemplate suicide at at least three times the rate of a heterosexual youth. When you think about our trans brothers and sisters, our trans sisters being murdered, and when you just look at the state of the world, and when I’m working on an album like Dirty Computer that is centered around uplifting marginalized groups and those who feel isolated and outcast from our society, this album couldn’t wait.

 

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Mary Karr 2020 Why Not?

Mary Karr* is the only writer I’m reading lately whose sentences are so good that I stop reading to write them down. These are from Cherry, her memoir of school years, which perhaps if you’ve never read Mary Karr you may think a dull premise for a memoir. Like, in third grade I loved Garbage Pail Kids but my mom wouldn’t buy them because they seemed to reject classical Western/religious principles of personal/godly dignity and ennoblement (Hi Mom!), now buy my life story!

But Mary Karr’s alchemic pen spins sand to gold and writes a memoir backwards and in heels:

Continue reading

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Some Nuance on Opioids

We need both quantitative and qualitative subtlety about the opioid epidemic. Dr. Marcia Angell brings both in this review of a cluster of related books. Since you’re busy trussing a sheep or stuffing a souffle I’ll executive summarize it:

  1. Street drugs now kill many more people than prescription painkiller addiction.
  2. Prescription painkillers are the only way to make a breath breathable for those in significant pain

If you’re looking for some light holiday reading, prose that reminds you of the season’s glitter, flip through Angell’s writing on medical approaches to addiction.

Peace and love to all.

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T-giving 1-line Book Reviews

Here are some books I’ve lately enjoyed, boiled down to concentrated truisms useful for holiday table talk, you’re welcome.

Octavia Butler: Young black women should rebuild our communities.

Wild Seed: The real fantasy here is that a woman can make herself wonderful/beautiful/powerful/loveable enough to ensure the dude won’t kill her or those she loves.

Fledgling: White supremacy is as timeless as a vampire’s ability to survive it.

Colson Whitehead: White capitalist supremacy has poisoned our land.

Zone One: Our consumption-fueled society undeads us, undeads everyone, transforms our sense of time, suffocates relationships, spreads gore and death, and FILLS NEW YORK WITH ZOOOOOOOMMMMMBIIIIEEEEEEEEES.

The Underground Railroad: Black communities engineer their own survival, and our country’s truest beauty, wrested from this desperation, steams along out of sight; bonus Holocaust reference reminds us of the universality of racial domination.

Claire Messud: Women’s primary relationships are with other women.

When the World Was Steady: Middle-aged sisters can take their mom’s advice, flirt with criminals, abandon their religion, repress their lust for women, fight and reconcile, and do any other damn thing a teenager can do thank you.

The Burning Girl: Class determines the life choices available to you, sure,  and women’s lives are forever obscured by our fabrications about them, yes, but no way can a high school junior write like that narrator.

 

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They colonized white people too

Ravages of colonialism, Brexit edition.

It would have been easier, perhaps, if it was all as overt as potato jokes. But what kills you is the ignorance; what grinds you down is how much they don’t know about the past and, if they do know, how little they care. It’s a strange and maddening thing to discover about the people who shaped your country’s fate and who are poised to do so again.

I learned this about British youth when I lived in Ireland for a mere 5 months and visited a friend studying in Cambridge. Otherwise lovely college students thought Ireland was part of the UK. In 1997.

Bonus A/V on the persistence of struggle:

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Burn Burn Burn Burn Burn Burn Burn

These f-kholes want the state to force women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term. They also want to reduce funding for contraception. For health care. For child care. For public education. They want to impose this clusterf-k of hardship so bad that they have voted to put a rageaholic drunk who asserts on the record factually erroneous legal  shit, and who’s been credibly accused of criminal behavior, into the highest court of the land really fast right now before anyone gets a chance to bring additional if-you-listen-to-women-you-know-they’re-true sexual assault and rape charges forward and before the blue wave that I’m atheisticly praying so hard may actually happen.

But this blog post is funny.

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