Monday Night Nonfiction: Unsolicited Advice

Glen Rubsamen: The gradual loss of all that gave life meaning and Joy (ARCO8 - Madrid)
Find meaning in what you do or else don’t do it.
Even if the meaning is just curiosity. What happens if … ?
Know that your actions change the world.
Your creations bring something into the world which was not previously there.
It’s OK to fuck up. You will miss the mark sometimes.
Good intentions count, but follow-through is better.
Have a goal in mind, or don’t.
Choose the path of integrity over the path of least resistance.
The fact that something is difficult to do does not make it worth doing.
It is easy to get lost in the noise of our age.
Do not join the meaningless chatter.
Entertaining delusions of grandeur has become a national pass time.
Opt out.
Opt fucking out.
Seriously.
Being important is overrated.
Be unimportant.
Take risks because they’re interesting to you.
Do it for the adventure.
Stop waiting for praise and acknowledgement.
If you don’t love what you’re doing, no one else will. And if they do, what’s that worth?
If you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re doing it wrong.
If you could change the world, what would you do?
Start now.

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Miley Cyrus Wrecks Your Idea of Herself

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So, I recently watched Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” video, and I gotta say … I know everyone’s still pissed about her VMA performance, and I have some feelings about that too, but this video on its own is actually really fucking good.

People have been saying it’s disturbing or cheap or trashy, and I disagree. Women wear skimpy clothing and dance provocatively in videos for male artists all the time. Every day, we see women in the media used as props to make the men around them look better. A woman’s beauty and sexuality are used as a marketing tool for cars, beer, web hosting, you name it. What people can’t stand is that in this video, Miley absolutely works her stuff in way that benefits herself instead of someone else. She’s getting naked to sing a song and sell some records. She’s making money. Yes, it’s shameless. It should be. If a man had *ahem* assets like that, you bet he’d be working it to sell some records. Why shouldn’t Miley?

I’m not saying I agree with everything the girl does. I think her VMA performance (along with her video for “We Can’t Stop”) was a disaster because it treated black women’s bodies as a joke. I wasn’t fond of the dancing with Robin Thicke because his whole damn song is about date rape. And I don’t approve of twerking not because it’s too sexual but because the mere thought of doing it makes my back hurt. Yeah, so what, I’m old.

Anyway, I’m not some die-hard Miley defender. I’m not really a fan of her music. I think she needs more sane adults in her life. But as for her music videos, I think the strong reactions people have to her are more indicative of our own hangups than something wrong with her. If it freaks you out that much to see a woman acting sexy without a man around, maybe you’ve got some shit to work through. If you’re afraid she’s sending the wrong message to young women, maybe think about what message you’d like your daughter to receive and then have an honest conversation about that. And of course, if you simply don’t like what you’re seeing, you have options. You could go make something better.

 

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Monday Night Nonfiction: Arson

housefire

He said, Go write. Write what? Write something just for you.

Everything I write is for me. Get in the moment of ink in pen on page stop thinking thinning out like hair growing up going up to some height unseen uncomposed undreamed. Forget to plan the right word foot in mouth disease like the dis-ease of life watch my glass ice melting smoke fills this room in me. I am a house on fire, and inside me, someone’s choking on smoke. Those poems I used to write. I was a natural. I was brilliant beautiful unedited, uncensored, unplanned. I was surprise. On the page making myself, many versions of myself, cry. Laughing so hard at how ridiculous life is all the times you’re so desperate to feel something you’ll pretend to be in love. Then real love throws you for a loop, and you have to admit to all those years of lying. But you weren’t lying. You were just pretending. It was a game. I don’t care if she doesn’t get it. I don’t get a lot of writers and I don’t expect them to write me a preface.

There is no preface to me. This is, I am, writing is experience. I am asking you to submit yourself to this experiential learning. Conceptual ideas abstractions don’t work here. We’re talking about abstractions already. You can’t make abstractions about abstractions. That’s just stupid. That’s why we never get anywhere. So that’s it.

Stop and take a sip. Get your head together again. Relight the incense. Be glad you can’t erase this. If only all life really were recorded in some great book. Memoir is how we make up for all our lost belief. There is no god to tell me I’ve been good and treasure all my deeds, so I commit them to pages and leave them to you, world.

Stop stopping to think goddamnit. He said write something for you. Do it. I don’t know how. How how how to be mine and that’s what’s scary. Yes to the night. Yes to time. Yes to smoke filling that room inside me.

Get out goddamnit get out. Climb the ladder of my lungs and slide down my tongue to freedom. Open the shades of my eyes and jump for crying out loud. Get free. Get out. Smoke is filling that room, smoke from an infinite fire, and you’ve got to open up some doors or die.

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I Love Cindy Gallop

Cindy Gallop phptographed by Kevin Abosch

“Because it is uncomfortable to work with women, because we are different from you. Women ask tough questions, they ask them in life and they ask them in business. /…/ Greatness comes out of discomfort. Hire women, champion women, promote women, spend time with women. It is not as comfortable as hanging out with the guys, but it’s going to be more productive.”
Cindy Gallop on why you need to hire women

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