1950s Vespa Service
The experience of reading has seemingly changed as well: “I remember in the late Brezhnev era riding the metro and reading the forbidden ‘1984,’ ” Sorokin told me. “It was an unforgettable feeling, Orwell’s characters were sitting all around me! I was raising my head and looking around, as if to confirm the text: here it is, here it is!” “1984” may not have the same impact today, but in other ways, Sorokin says, the past is not dead. “Most nauseating is the smell of Soviet stagnation that increasingly wafts from the Kremlin. It is that same smell that led to the collapse of the country in 1991. It appears that history will repeat itself.
Fuck yeah Vladimir Sorokin reading Orwell in the USSR.
So I’m going to be DJing happy hour every second Thursday during the summer at Dream Baby on Ave. B. The night will be called MORE THAN A FEELING, and it will feature a whole bunch of friends of mine as guests.
May 30th Maura Magazine vs. Vol. 1 Brooklyn (Me + Maura Johnston)
June 13th Michael Miller (New York Observer) and Ryan Chang (Electric Literature)
June 27th Maggie Serota and Daniel Ralston of the Low Times podcast
July 11th Caleb Bratten of Sacred Bones and Aaron Lefkove of Littleneck
July 25th Judy Berman and Tom Hawking of Flavorwire.
August 8 Lincoln Michel (Gigantic Mag) and Ryan Chapman (Atavist Books)
August 22 Bill Pearis (Brooklyn Vegan/Sound Bites) and Maria Sherman (BuzzFeed, Impose, a bunch of other places) more TBA
I start teaching my “Making Nonfiction Personal” workshop for Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop in a few days, so I’ve been going through my books looking for a few examples of things I want my students to read. So far I have:
- “Where I Slept” by Stephen Elliott.
- “Have a Beautiful Corpse” by Michelle Orange.
- “Feet in Smoke” by John Jeremiah Sullivan.
- “If God Existed, He Would be a Solid Midfielder” by Aleksander Hemon.
- “Bar Chaplain” by Rosie Schaap.
- “Home, Strange Home” by Teju Cole (I need this. If anybody that has a New Yorker subscription can help me out, I’d appreciate it.)
- And if they haven’t already read it, I’m going to tell them to go buy Slouching Towards Bethlehem. That’s required reading in my home.
I was punk; at least, I thought I was punk, until an even older punk asked me if I actually knew what punk was, thus sparking a volatile internal dialogue inside my head. This was my first experience with the Talmudic-like discussion that surrounds punk: What did punk actually sound like? Was punk a philosophy? When did punk start? Did it start in America or England? Was Emma Goldman punk? Were the Situationists punks? Was the Velvet Underground punk? Were the hippies in the 1960s actually punks before punk was a thing? Was garage rock the original punk? I meditated on these questions and made very little headway, until one evening when I saw a kid at a punk show wearing a shirt with “Jesus was the first punk” scrawled on it in Magic Marker, and I had to admit the very act of wearing that shirt seemed pretty punk, even though I wasn’t ready to confirm punk’s existence. I also had to admit to myself, as I looked around the Chicago bowling alley-turned-venue, that for the most part, for a bunch of nonconformists, us punks all looked pretty much the same. (via Paris Review – Punk Love, Jason Diamond)
Just a picture of Groucho Marx and Diana Rossdancing together to start your day.
I did a lot of research on poodles to write this piece. (via Consider the Poodle by Jason Diamond - Roundtable | Lapham’s Quarterly)