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I live for tea sandwiches. I troll the menus of fancy hotels for tea sandwich ideas, which are strangely few and far between. As mentioned, the best big honkin’ sammie ideas evar came from Chicago’s Cafe Lula, and Alice’s Tea Cup in NY (Lula’s Tineka sammie — peanut butter, sambal, sweet soy sauce, vine ripe tomato, red onion, cuke, whole grain; Alice’s Tea Cup — cumin-roasted carrots, tapenade, goat cheese on sesame semolina). The one takes a day’s shopping and the other a day’s cooking and another day to wash the dishes, but they are ROLL YOUR EYES BACK good. Alai Nna, who learned to cook in NOLA, with Vietnamese touches, is the best sandwich imagineer ever. I think she might find these a little heavy, both in concept and with the hippie dippie bread.
This one, from a five star British hotel I cannot now name, fits way more easily into the Dolce Far Niente summer cooking style: Pickled onion cream cheese, cukes, cress on — what have you. A nice challah toast, I’m thinking.
Slice a cup of red onion very thinly. Put it in a microwave bowl. Cover with red wine vinegar and pickling spice. Nuke. Cool. When they’re sufficiently pickled (I waited a couple days), take a well-drained handful (2/3 cup) and add to food processor with a bar of Neufchatel, some pepper and salt. Blend. It’s pink. It’s awesome. It’s ONION DIP, people. without the frightening sodium content of the Lipton’s kind. Total prep time, possibly five minutes, and five minutes to wash the processor. Lick first.

http://lulacafe.com/
http://alicesteacup.com/menus/ATC_all_day_W_30.html

Wordle: Me

Doris Lessing may have been — but for her acceptance of the Nobel Prize — the first of the feminist breed for whose existence Virginia Woolf called in *Three Guineas*. The non-secessionist outsider.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/w/woolf/virginia/w91tg/chapter3.html

I never loved the *Golden Notebooks*. As someone who had from my childhood in Africa been there and done that it was no big woop. I have to think more about Lessing as an African, an Africanist, and an Afro-futurist.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/15/arts/design/the-shadows-took-shape-at-the-studio-museum.html?_r=0

A much greater book, *The Four-Gated City*, has immortal passages, not least of Martha Quest walking for days through Blitz-cratered London, one of the 20th century’s number one *flaneuses*, a woman seeing the city. Check out Deborah Parsons’ important book on this matter.
http://www.amazon.com/Streetwalking-Metropolis-Women-City-Modernity/dp/0198186835

*The Four Gated City* is the only book I can think of, with Dickens right up there at the top, which actually gets down to what the virtue of money is. One of the protagonists is a rich schizophrenic. In those days the treatment was some lobotomizing drug like Lithium. The rich schizophrenic has the wherewithal to reject Lithium, go home to a safe and well-equipped basement apartment in the family home, in a safe neighborhood, with servants, and stay there, going over the walls with her fingertips, until the fearful tempest has passed. Martha Quest stays with her and takes care of her. In this way, the rich schizophrenic is not a vegetable all the time, but can continue with a life of the mind and maternal affections when she is not ill. That is the value of money — and it presumably exists in village or community life even when there is no money, and a superfluity of unmarried women at home, if not precisely servants. This scene speaks directly to one small political aspect of Foucault’s indictment of mental health practice — Lithium is brain police for the poor.

Lessing’s third great contribution to civilization was frankly telling it like it is about motherhood and abandoning her two little children, just as her mother had spent Lessing’s own childhood telling her what a burden it was. Yep.

The science fiction was, perhaps, a mistake unless you think of it more as unmedicated Sun Ra Afro-futurist riffs. Did she deserve the Nobel? I think perhaps not. But I would have given it to her just for saying motherhood is too hard, spiritually deceptive, and not as important as the patriarchs want you to believe.
http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2007/lessing-lecture_en.htmlSt

Don't call me.

Nearly 50 new civil claims for phone hacking against News International are surfacing in the UK, as a lawyer here in the states claims he has four clients with substantial and substantiated evidence of phone hacking by NI on US soil. Other American complainants of various things against various NI fronts, including Fox News, are coming forward, he says, without their cases yet being substantiated.

Rupert and James Murdoch both are to testify before the UK inquiry panel next week.

The 12th Murdoch-owned Sun journalist was arrested, this one for bribing police.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/apr/20/phone-hacking-news-international-claims
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/apr/19/murdoch-news-corp-lawyers-us
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/apr/19/leveson-inquiry-rupert-james-murdoch
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/apr/19/police-arrest-three-alleged-illegal-payments

Deconstructing Derrida: Who's the fairest of them all?

1.
Thinking about Lena Dunham’s Girls, and the New York magazine drama derby, in which the best TV shows of the past 25 years battled for dominance in two parallel contests — one voted on by readers (Breaking Bad vs. Buffy was their titanic final battle, both fantasies of suburban vigilantism), one voted on by scholars of television (The Wire vs. The Sopranos, urban vigilantism), in which all the protagonists are violent and repellent beyond belief. Mad Men was a quarter finalist in the critics’ lists, and its sexual violence is well described in the contest.

This violence and repulsiveness snuck up on me. I remember first being shocked by my callousness while baby-sitting for one of my godsons 20 years ago. I stepped away from the TV to the kitchen, from which he was visible, but from which I could ignore the tube. When I tuned back into the tube, I found him watching Married with Children. He was about five or six, and he had the familiar mouth-open hypnotized look children got when the cathode ray started zigzaggin’ their cones.

And I was appalled by what was permitted on TV at 6 p.m. for little boys to watch. Married with Children? Holy crap? Christina Applegate? Disgusting. I am reminded of what happens when, taking a break from my bacon fast, I ordered bacon for breakfast at the local greasy spoon. I nearly fainted when those nitrates hit my tongue. Watching that depraved television show with a six-year-old was like having a clean, innocent, nitrate-free tongue. Ouch.

There are a lot of good points in the critics’ discussion of the drama derby contenders, including some very subtle ones about how self-defeatingly full of non sequiturs Breaking Bad is. It breaks the narrative and character development arc and makes you wonder why — aside from the tongue-panging violence — you care so little. Another interesting point; the Breaking Bad wife, Skyler, is a thousand times more interesting than either Betty Draper, Peggy Olson, or Carmela Soprano, all of whom are….boring.

That all the heroes are vigilantes, and all the women of the best TV dramas of the last 25 years — with the possible, and very problematic, exception of Buffy — are wusses, to put it politely, is a serious critique. The woman thing drew the attention of the perspicaceous New Yorkers, as did the parallels — one heroic suburbanite with a dark secret — between Walter White and Buffy. If those links ever come back up, I’ll get them for you.

2.
Vigilantism. Whoa. Don Draper, the swordsman, is the one exception. So far.

3.
Interesting discussion of Derrida on Virginia Woolf on deconstruction on the VW listserv.
My email:

I was just reading a review of a new biography of Simone Weil, who has been ignored and also vilified, most recently by Francine du Plessix Grey in her 2001 biography. For many of the same reasons V. Woolf has been vilified (frigidity, mandarinism, anorexia, anti-semitism, whatever).
http://lareviewofbooks.org/article.php?id=237

The new Weil bio has been written by a philosopher who recognizes, in Weil’s notes about, for example, eating and gazing, key philosophical concepts rather than neurotic self-hating Jewish anorexia.

It strikes me Derrida is doing the du Plessix Grey thing here. Certainly Woolf asserts that Defoe is deconstructing the desert island. Deal with it.

I’d love to hear an account or get a URL for Jane Goldman’s paper, and for the VW Among the Philosophers conference in general. I suspect (based on a query to VW long ago about her familiarity with Bergson) that VW is a mighty philosopher, as perhaps Weil is, whose clarity of apprehension has been much belittled by psychobabble. And not just from the French.

4.
This is part of what Virginia Woolf, who had she written no novels, no feminist manifestoes, would be immortal as a literary critic, wrote about Daniel Defoe and Robinson Crusoe:

Nobody who has any slight acquaintance with English literature needs to be told how many hours can be spent and how many lives have been spent in tracing the development of the novel and in examining the chins of the novelists. Only now and then, as we turn from theory to biography and from biography to theory, a doubt insinuates itself — if we knew the very moment of Defoe’s birth and whom he loved and why, if we had by heart the history of the origin, rise, growth, decline, and fall of the English novel from its conception (say) in Egypt to its decease in the wilds (perhaps) of Paraguay, should we suck an ounce of additional pleasure from Robinson Crusoe or read it one whit more intelligently?
http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/w/woolf/virginia/w91c2/chapter4.html

Watched Girls last night.
http://www.hbo.com/girls/index.html#/girls/episodes/index.html&isVideoPage=true&g=u&subcategories=none&order=date-desc&limit=none

It reminded me of nothing so much as Larry David. The ultimately repellent characters of Seinfeld and the entirely repellent character of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

As I am very easily entertained, I thought I’d dash my response in here and then Google it. I was chuffed to find George Packer, for example, a straight-arrow reporter of apocalypse, backing me up on the creepy frivolity of Mad Men, if not the very nearly pornographic use of anachronism. I think the falling man credits approach obscenity. Aaaaaaaaaaaanyway, let’s see who thinks Lena Dunham is Larry David.

Watch this space.

Apparently there’s a Conan ep with David and Dunham. Let’s see if they acknowledge one another.
http://teamcoco.com/video/full-episode-weds-411-larry-david-lena-dunham-and-musical-guest-craig-morgan

Nope, David is as repellent as ever, touting a neo-Three Stooges movie — Stooges a landmark abyss between the sexes, men loving them and women finding them disgusting. Go, Lare.

Dunham appears at about 30.12, can’t get it to stream for me yet.

The recent face-off in New York magazine of the best TV shows of the last 25 years had the Sopranos and Mad Men and The Wire coming down to the wire, hehehe, and serious scholars of TV writing about it. (The fans had their own massively gendered version of the playoffs, which, like the fans’ list of the best 100 non-fiction books of the last 25 years was deeply wack. The fans drama derby had Breaking Bad vs. Buffy as finalists, and Breaking Bad won.)

Buffy is the only non-criminal among them. Sort of. And while the Sopranos, of which I’m resuming my study after a three-year hiatus, has something deeply frivolous about it, interspersed with excellent writing on character development, pissing corpses and closeups of septic wounds, Mad Men is even more frivolous and also pernicious. When I finally grokked the whole falling man thing, I fell out, and will have to think about this some more. All of them, except Don Draper, are vigilantes of the subway vigilante Bernard Goetz ilk — the libertarians’ wet dream. Make my day!
http://mediacommons.futureofthebook.org/imr/2009/04/19/falling-man-and-mad-men-154

But the repellent hero — from the Larry David/Seinfeld character, through Tony Soprano, Don Draper, Walter White, and now Lena Dunham (she directs! she creates! she writes! she stars! she takes her clothes off! she grifts her parents! she sleeps with nasty men!) — has held sway now for 25 years. Was it Puck on MTV’s Real World who led the way, through Punk’d and Jackass to Don Draper and the lads? Or was it Maj. Nelson and all of the characters ever played by Larry Hagman?

I have to think about the persistence other repellent heroes in American life: Ishmael, Hester Prynne, Nick Caraway et al., back to the Aristotelian value that the devil has all the good lines.

But for this cluster of amazingly violent television shows, I’m blaming Gen X, their Prozac, their nihilism, their ironies.

Like Tiresias, who lived both as a man and a woman, I have lived two ways. First, as a student taught that there was a canon, and that it had no women or people of color in it. There were no Godless Asians, either, preaching that there is no prime mover, since neither women nor people of color nor Godless Asians can read or write. Second, I have lived as a grownup observing from afar the Afro pomo homo — what do they call it? — project of beating the dead white men to death.

I can see the face of Dr. Baizer, as we speak, making eye contact with me, the lone female in the seminar, in 1968, to announce that Jane Austen, the one female of the entire canon, was a minor and miniaturist writer, as she did not write about war. Twenty-five years later Eddie Said said, au contraire, Jane Austen is the very billy club with which British imperialists cold-cocked smart little Palestinian boys like Eddie, being eddimicated at the American School and Victoria College in Cairo ca. 1947-51.

There is a long argument somewhere, in one of the literary journals I used to read — the TLS, the LRB, the NYRB — a long and persuasive discussion about why, for example, Islamic culture failed to produce capitalism, the Protestant reformation, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution — all the anomalous glories of western civ. It was pretty interesting, and as I recall, its rhetorical stasis point was, no Aristotle. No scientific method based on thesis, antithesis, synthesis. At some point, Islamic science and mathematics — which as you will recall, invented the numbers you use and astronomy and medieval medicine — stopped competing with the argumentative Greeks’ notion that things have causes and effects, and the disputatious rhetoric of scientific method could cut these out of the morass of superstition, false witness, false evidence, to produce replicable results. One old genocide scholar, pondering the expulsion from Spain of the Moors and the Jews by Isabella la Catolica in 1492 — the end of the Caliphate all the Islamists are trying to re-establish —  pointedly noted that no academic institution of any accomplishment had been established in Spain since. One wonders if the Islamists’ implicit argument is true, that progressive Islamic culture, like the Spanish, also ended with the Caliphate.

No Aristotle? Don’t seem to have harmed the Chinese none. Chinese medicine, based on chi and no prime mover and no scientific method, is marvelously diagnostic and effective for ailments much more invasive western medicine cannot touch. A friend of mine with some physical problem and a big secret — multiple personality disorder — got up on the gurney of a gifted acupuncturist. The acupuncturist held her hands over my friend, and said, after about three minutes, There’s another energy here. I can’t treat you. But we have somebody who can.

The sadness of the idea that native Americans had not invented the wheel nor had beasts of burden (aside from women); that eyeless-in-Gaza Sphinx feeling I used to get gazing at the empty desert of pre-colonial African literature, never passes. Whether Aristotle gave syphilis to Montezuma or vice versa is something they’re still fighting about, also sadder than bears thinking about too much. I remember encountering, in New York City, at the Museum of African Art, a small mimetic 14th century Ife sculpture of a woman’s face and thinking, but there was a Renaissance in Africa. Where are the documents? Buried in the sand with Ozymandias? Sliced and bogarted by Elgin for the British Museum, or by Andre Malraux from Angkor Wat for auction? There, at least, in Europe, the third world antiquities would have a chance of surviving. As the Cleopatra-era chair at the Cairo Museum, popping pearl inlays before your eyes in the drafty glass case, or the karyatids of the Acropolis, melting in modern Athens’ carbon monoxide, and the beheaded apsaras of Angkor Wat, squeezed by boa-constrictor banyan roots, barely did.

Fourteenth century Ife sculpture: there was a Renaissance in Africa.

http://www.africanart.org/traveling/13/dynasty_and_divinity_ife_art_in_ancient_nigeria

For 20 years, a view of the Khmer Rouge genocide as the rage of illiterates held sway simply because no one had found their meticulous documents, and, oh yes! They were in Khmer. For four centuries, the documents of the Dutch founders of Manhattan lay hidden and untranslated somewhere upstate, much obscuring the libertarian and capitalist legacy which made New York City, for one brief shining moment, ca. Jackson Pollock drip paintings, 1947-Sept. 11, 2001, the capital of the world. This, the idea that Africa’s Canterbury Tales and the Incas’ World According to King Ruang, are buried somewhere in an urn under the shifting desert sands, to be recovered, perhaps only in our dreams, as were the Nag Hammadi scrolls, half of which were burned for firewood, is of course the essential problem with the canon. As with the genocide of the Jews, the People of the Word, by the Nazis, the People of the Meticulous Records, the canon rests on literacy and the preservation of paper.

It also rests on some pretty damn good ideas. That you don’t have to reinvent the wheel in every generation, for example, and the possibility that women and slaves have souls — the latter notion noticeably absent in Islamist and Chinese culture. I am thinking about Seneca, and the accidents of cultural transmission — how and why he got to Shakespeare, and Montaigne, and the Renaissance, and thence to us. According to the intarnets, Seneca wrote in Latin and other Stoics did not. Educated Renaissance Euros like Montaigne, on whose invention of autobiography (pace, St. Augustine) and interiority much of the rise of individual human rights and modernity, and the French language itself, depend, spoke only Latin until he was six years old. He could read Seneca and not others who wrote in Greek. By the same token — of Latin speakers, like Montaigne, translating into European idiom the Roman canon — Shakespeare got his English translation of Seneca in the early 17th century. There is an argument that Shakespeare’s splendid vision of man, to which modernity owes its representative forms of government — What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties! — rests firmly in the humanism of the pagan philosophers.
http://www.stoics.com/why_stoics.html

So. While the Afro pomo homos play video games, homeschool their children, and labor to reinvent communitarianism and civil obligation as Rome burns? Let’s you and me go into the back yard.  Cultivate our cabbages. Sit in the sunshine with the undertoads. Then get out and do some voter registration.

Roll on, Seneca. Power to the people.

Seneca the Younger, Nero's tutor.

(c)Jeannette Smyth, 2012-2017, all rights reserved.

Sand Cherry Dreams
Click for deets.

Here we are beginning that bed last summer.

Gopher Proofing the South Beds

Here’s what the whole area looked like in 2010. The sand cherry went in where the rake is leaning against the NW corner of the house.
West Patio Looking Northish

The garden today.

Faust's Metropolis

I am thinking about my last boyfriend, who inspired a world of numinous solitude much amplified by the self-soothing I learned as an only child, and about the boyfriend who inspired my Old Hell Freezes Over Friend (OHFOF) to get into girls.

There is a tipping point, in geriatrix dating, where powerfuckers — of career, money, or girth, the space you take up — can change your gender as well as your class identification. Susan Sontag, in a little noted phrase, said that at some point in her middle age, men stopped fancying her and Lesbians were the only people who made eye contact. The Guardian got her on the record, denying, by the way, that she and Annie Liebovitz were an item:

She will talk about her bisexuality quite openly now. It’s simple, she says. “As I’ve become less attractive to men, so I’ve found myself more with women. It’s what happens. Ask any woman my age. More women come on to you than men. And women are fantastic. Around 40, women blossom. Women are a work-in-progress. Men burn out.” She doesn’t have a lover now, she lives alone.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2000/may/27/fiction.features

I’m not sure that men burn out; Eddie Said’s Late Style indictates that it is possible for a philosophical and stoic (git your Montaigne yayas out) man to become hotter than ever as he shrivels. I met one such man in the garden section of Lowe’s the other day, an old Chicano with a Yorkshire terrier in the child’s seat of his grocery cart. Those teeny teacup dogs are the Baby Girls of all the scariest Hispano gangsters here. You see 400-pound Breaking Bad narco terrorist XXXtras stomping down the street with five pound Chihuahuas on a leash. This Yorkie’s brown eyes were as calm and alert and playful as Don Juan’s own. You don’t often see a two-pound meat loaf dog carrying herself with gravitas; you do here, and it may be the finest thing about the Land of Enchantment. (There are also a lot of Hispano guys resurrecting shelter pit bulls with fringed cartileges into lovebirds.)

Columbia professor Said throws a stone at an Israeli guard house.

Maybe white men in the chattering classes Sontag was cruising burn out. Maybe men of color who live to be old are hotter. I proffered the back of my hand to the Yorqui Princesa to sniff, and we talked a little. He said she helped him in the garden. I said I bet she did.

Clearly I’m not into girls.

Well, about the man who inspired my OHFOF to give up white boys. He was “separated” from his wife? Or, come to think of it, not. One way the dating pool of white boys grows skanky for the geriatric dater. He was married. He was Catholic, and always would be married. God was forcing him to cheat. But, as amenable as he and his rusty gentlemen’s pneumatics were to my OHFOF’s liberated sexual mores, there was one thing he would not do. He would not come. It kept him faithful to his wife. The minute OHFOF stopped counting the ill-gotten Monopoly money of his amazing stamina, she flipped the fuck out. And went out and procured herself butch blue collar Catholic girls twenty years her junior, frighteningly smart tranny dominatrixes whose loving lashes did not assuage Ms. Tran’s paranoia about getting a passport. Lack of European travel finally put the kibosh on loving women. OHFOF was truly courageous and went back to boyz after a while not just because women are poor, and trannies have this problem with papers, but because — well. As one happy femme bisexual explained it to me once, while girls may be the only ones who rilly know how to do it, they don’t have anything to do it with.

I’ve known of another Catholic cheater with the something like the same ontological problem as the gender-shifter, and this loser — who could also not afford a dirty weekend away, or flowers, or dinner out — kept another geriatrix dater friend of mine in sexual torment for months. (Part of the geriatrix dating deal is, erhm, patience.) My friend was afraid to confess this to me. As well she should have been. I was mean. I said to myself, Wait. He’s married? He’s broke? And he can’t get it up? MARRY THIS ONE.

(c) Jeannette Smyth, 2012-2017, all rights reserved.

Lena Dunham’s Girls has been on the tom toms for about a year, I think, with spreads on the actresses in the ladies’ magazines and Gen Y buzz based on Dunham’s indie film success with Tiny Furniture.*

Alessandra Stanley, who has had her own Carrie Bradshaw life in Manhattan, comments wonderfully on the differences and similarities between the Sex and the City generation and the Girls generation. Men haven’t changed since Haight Ashbury, she points out, which revolution was withered by Stokely’s observation that the only place for women in the movement was prone. Joan Didion, Stokely’s equally conservative sidekick, quoted somebody as saying the whole ’60s phenom was about Hippie chicks fuck. For Carrie Bradshaw’s generation, coming up just behind the boomers and before Gen X, one could still reasonably maintain expectations of a satisfying sexual encounter, a satisfying career, and summers in the Hamptons.

Author and star of Girls, the Gen Y Sex and the City, Lena Dunham.

She writes, “Sex and the City,” which began in 1998, when its heroines were already in their 30s, placed boy trouble in a satiny frame of glamour, cocktails and pricey real estate. On “Girls,” the women are in their 20s, and boy trouble comes with cramped apartments, S.T.D.’s and dead-end volunteer jobs.

I’d like to pause here briefly, and think about the thrill of subscribing to The Observer and reading Candace Bushnell’s original SATC columns in the 90s. The Observer, like the Financial Times, was a peachy pink color. It had all the news I wanted to know, including a wonderful column hitting the hi-lo, mandarin/Lawn Guyland realms that only Ron Rosenbaum, the last true downtown Village Voice flaneur, could discern. I mean who knows as much about the iambics of Horace, the incarnations of Hitler, J. D. Salinger, Sid Vicious and Joey Buttafuoco as Rosenbaum? What other beat is there?

Sex and the city is the other beat. The idea that people from St. Augustine to Gogol through Flaubert to Mishima go to the city to get some, and that sex — not the dark Satanic mills or storming the Bastille — is what makes life on the sidewalks the very center of revolution and modernity itself had kind of escaped me. And the anthropology that my friends, our mothers, our grandmothers had been discussing, as Bushnell’s girlfriends do, in the kitchen within the 100 years of living memory I can claim direct knowledge of, had finally hit the front page of a newspaper. Candace Bushnell and her girlfriends, like Seinfeld, worked the taxonomies out around the Formica tables of midtown coffee shops. She said it, based on her own experience and that of her clever and adventurous field workers, that there were modelizers and Peter Pan men and that men treated women ruthlessly as a matter of course. How the gay television auteur Darren Starr changed SATC into far more a feral cruising narrative (and, I believe, ripped off Bushnell in the process) would be, should be, just another anthropological field study of men for fans of the Bushnell column. She once said she strove to be Edith Wharton; while Wharton’s nearly Marxist critique of woman’s lot is a worthy and plausible aim, I think the only equivalent of her ’90s SATC columns,is Kingsley Amis’ misogynist masterpiece, Jake’s Thing. Certainly the phallic emphasis later limelighted by Darren Starr stripped Bushnell’s narrative of its more Whartonian affectional and social critique.

Candace Bushnell marries Charles Askegard, 2002.
Photograph by Jodi Hilton.

Now comes Lena Dunham. I am very interested in how it’s going for Gen Y, because it strikes me that’s how it’s going for the boomers, and how it started for the boomers. The point which struck me in Stanley’s review which made life easier for us boomers was that men — and women — were still grateful for, and not entitled to, sex in those days. Stanley writes:

Adam lets her visit his apartment for sexual gratification — his own — and ignores her desires; most of his sexual fantasies seem borrowed from video games and porn videos. He is just as callous about her feelings, grabbing her stomach rolls and asking why she doesn’t lose weight.

Those sex scenes are shocking not because they are graphic, though they are, but because the sex is so unsexy: they are as clinical and coldly funny as the seduction scene of Dottie in McCarthy’s novel “The Group.”

I am grateful that never happened to me. And I am grateful for the compliments I just remembered, reading this piece, and will not be writing down here or making a movie about, compliments that even the most worthless or chemistry-free boyfriends were dishing out to the body St. Francis (and I)  called Brother Ass. They liked him a lot and were grateful and said so. I married somebody because I was grateful, and because he could dance. For about six years I went nowhere without being spooned into that man. That’s the truth.

I also ended the war and invented rock and roll, civil rights, jobs for women, free love, Gandhi, pantyhose (those miniskirts were hell), and smoking marijuana. I feel it happening, as if Gen Y and the boomers are uniting against the truly joyless generation, Gen X. Irony, like Charles Manson and speed, kills.  Be grateful. And if you are, you will storm the Bastille and turn this bad time into a counterculture worth giving up heaven for.
____________________________
*[This reminds me of nothing so much as what it felt like, graduating from college into a world which didn’t hire girls and sent your boyfriend to Vietnam, watching The Graduate.

[Not to be a boomer buzz kill, but that’s a different post. Someone on Jezebel has just been complaining about boomers bitching about not being able to retire. You try looking for work with an oxygen tank, little missie. And forget about a rent-free berth on this fucking ice floe. You want to bitch about boomers? You can do it on Medicaid. If you’re lucky. Note to self: post on the rise of intergenerational meal-ticket nut-cutting.]

(c) Jeannette Smyth, 2012-2017, all rights reserved

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