Last night I went to the this book launch party with my friend T. There was a lot of meat, and even more meat-themed tattoos. It was fun. During the lecture/demo, I was standing next to a woman who had brought her sons with her, one of whom was conscripted to be a human meat model.
Jessica Applestone, one of the authors, asked us, “Does anyone know where the tenderloin is?” To demonstrate, she gestured to the boy’s back. “It runs along both sides of your spine. Right there–” she pointed “–and on us, that’s a pretty tough muscle, because it holds us upright. But on cows, who stand on four legs, it’s very tender.”
Naturally my immediate thought was, “I wonder what the most tender cut of meat on a 12-year-old is.” And then I felt vaguely monstrous.
The 12-year-old asked her, very carefully, “What would be the most tender cut of meat on a cow if they walked on two legs?”
“Hm,” she said. “That would be the brisket.” And she patted her pecs. He looked satisfied with that answer. I know I was.
So, basically, I am mentally a 12-year-old boy. But not as polished.
Could it be that the tumblr format is just so damn easy in comparison to WordPress? Lately I’ve felt like the creative equivalent of some dude who hasn’t left his chair for two days, bathed in the glow of a video game, scratching his back with a repurposed spaghetti spoon and eating Kozy Shack pudding with his hands.
Whatever that means. Oh, yes: Tumblr is easier.
So, just to dilute my brand a little more, I’ve created a new tumblr, Lovely Jetsam. It’s an assortment of old items I’ve found on online auction sites, things I would probably buy if I had unlimited funds and space. Go check it out. Follow me, if you must.
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. 2 Timothy 3:1-5
Is it a sign of deeper mental illness manifesting that I’m beginning to wonder whether current world events are indeed a sign of the coming apocalypse? Are we indeed in the End Times? I hate myself for suggesting this during earthquakes and tsunamis. There are more important things that we should all be considering. But this here I’ve been thinking about for awhile. Please forgive me. All I know is that I go to Twitter or my tumblr dashboard or Facebook and it’s about 1/3 Serious News and 1/3 Charlie Sheen and 1/3 Other Legitimately Upsetting Social Things. I feel like a dilettante trying to comment on any of those topics. But it’s not because I’m uninterested. The Internet is full of experts. I’ll let them be the experts.
But seriously. Have you seen TV lately? The fact alone that two Jersey Shore cast members have books right now is a sign of…something. There are still bird and fish kills going on. (I really expected that to die out before the elections.) And seriously: Has anyone watched the Real Housewives franchise critically? Because those harpies are harbingers of Dark Times, mark my words. I can’t watch. It’s too hard. Anyhow: We’re all gonna die. Enjoy.
So. I feel effete saying so, but beyond making vague gestures at TV and pointing drunkenly at easy targets, I can’t make a better argument than HOLY WALKING FUCK WHAT IS WRONG WITH US. Seriously, though. We’re doomed. Start stocking up on canned goods, kerosene, wool blankets, and firearms. Because in 10 years…well, just trust me. Maybe five years, even.
My new shrink (not the old one, who did the “you-can’t-fire-me-I-quit” dance with me this past fall, and I am fortunate she ditched me when she did) is an amazing mix of Zen calm and Texan laidbackitude and he looks like a cross between Anderson Cooper and John Corbett and I don’t ever suspect that when we meet he’s eager to google a Robert Mitchum film while we’re talking. Anyhow, he laughs at my jokes, and I suspect that’s part of the therapy, but I mentioned that I went to the Karlheinz Weinberger show at the Swiss Institute and he was all like oh, you mean the photos of the Halbestarke?
Which of course it’s because he’s familiar with because he spent a few years growing up in Zurich. Because that’s how unexpectedly cool he is.
We talked about the show, and various Swiss subcultures, for a bit. Their subcultures were far more interesting than ours are. I remarked that the Halbestarke seemed a lot like a cargo cult in some way — or to paraphrase LCD Soundsystem, full of false nostalgia for unremembered eras. He laughed, as I expect him to do. But you look at a photo of a guy who has a hubcap-sized belt buckle with a picture of Little Richard pasted to it, with TEXAS and MEXICO written in bleach lettering on his jeans, and you think, “This happened in somewhat of a vacuum, didn’t it.”
Which makes it all the more amazing. And of course, the later photos reveal that the cool weirdo rockabilly Halbestarke kids grew into neo-Nazi biker dudes. (But isn’t that what happens in all underground movements? Look at that Friends Stand United dude getting thrown in jail. Thugs are thugs. I bet if half those FSU kids liked Oi music better, they’d be neo-Nazis instead of antifa.)
Anyhow, we talk sometimes about compassion. And how compassion for others has to start with compassion for oneself. Lately I’ve noticed that I’m not feeling a lot of compassion for other folks. Like, in the morning when I’m on the subway I look at little kids who are asleep on the train at 9 am and I’m like WHY ARE YOU SLEEPING YOU SHOULD BE AWAKE YOU ARE A LITTLE BALL OF ENERGY AND THIS IS PRIME TIME FOR YOU. That’s pretty hateful, I acknowledge that. In fact, I acknowledge that I’m fairly judgmental of anyone sleeping on the train at 9 am. And I acknowledge that I’m hateful for that. My point is that I’m NOT COMPASSIONATE.
Speaking of, we’re heading down to Florida for a few days to see my mom. She had cancer a few years ago, and it’s come back. So she has to go in for surgery this week. And regardless of what I may say about her, you know what she asked me a few days ago when I called to give her our arrival time?
“What kind of wine should I get for you guys?”
This is how blood-related people talk to me. We may not fully get along, but we speak the same language.
Anyway, I told her the truth: “Don’t worry, we’ll drink almost anything.”
We’ll be out of town for St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve never been a fan of the holiday myself, but I will say that one of my favorite live shows ever was the Pogues on St. Patrick’s Day a few years ago — N and I went with a friend who had extra tickets and we spent the night on the floor with a bunch of NYFD. The only thing that would make it a bigger stereotype would be me drinking from a flask, which yes, I did.
Prematurely, then, Happy St. Patrick’s Day:
In case you haven’t heard, Shawna Forde has been sentenced to death for the murders of Brisenia and Raul Junior Flores:
Ms. Thomas and fellow jurors were told during the trial that Ms. Forde and accomplices gained entry to the Flores home with the expectation of finding drugs there, which could be sold to finance Minutemen American Defense’s border-control operations. Finding no drugs, the intruders made away with inexpensive jewelry but, prosecutors said, not before fatally shooting young Brisenia and Mr. Flores. Both victims were American citizens born in the US.
“I see Shawna Forde as someone who would have liked to have been the face of a movement,” Thomas says.
Arriving at the death sentence was difficult, Thomas says, but it was aided by a picture of Brisenia presented during trial that was etched in her mind: “A little girl, with bright red fingernails; she’s wearing a white T-shirt and turquoise-colored pajama bottoms. She’s on a love seat. It’s a perfect, innocent picture until you realize that half of her face has been blown off.”
Read Terry Greene Sterling’s jailhouse interview with Forde (from last week) here:
I know in her mind,” Forde said of Gonzalez, “I am guilty and she hates me. I know her tragedy is extremely sad.” But on the other hand, she said “people shouldn’t deal drugs if they have kids.” (No drugs were found in the trailer.)
Forde told me she’d “lost a daughter” and she knows from experience Gonzalez will feel pain “the rest of her life” and her “tragedy is extremely sad.” “I wish I could say I was sorry it happened,” Forde said. “I am not sorry on my behalf because I didn’t do it.”
Monstrous. I don’t think anyone deserves the death penalty, but I am entirely unsurprised that the jury decided in favor of it.
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