Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Rosie the Riveter's off-label Lysol mandate; The Dandy Warhols, Pt. 2:

1) I bought a 1949 Modern Screen today--I'm going to frame its Ava Gardner cover--and I found this ad inside:

"Too often, too frightfully often, the romance and tenderness of married love is shattered by one sad neglect. This neglect makes a wife unsure of her feminine daintiness, and slowly but surely succeeds in causing trouble between her husband and herself. Many doctors advise their patients to douche regularly with Lysol brand disinfectant, just to insure daintiness alone, and to use it as often as they need it. No greasy aftereffect."

No greasy aftereffect, and I would imagine, no remaining vagina. Lysol douches? These women toiled in munitions factories throughout the war, only to have their men return and say, "I spent five years in a trench outside Vichy but, sweetheart, the smell of your cooter makes me gag"?

Mr. Spielberg, your next project awaits.

2) I can't stop playing The D.W.'s "Welcome to the Monkey House". It's as if David Bowie fucked a Brassai photograph--and who's to say he hasn't?--and created the lush, druggy, sticky, carnal wonder that is "Monkey House". Where The Dandys lead, I will follow.

Monday, December 29, 2003

Sharing the knowledge, sharing the love:

The past few weeks have been a maelstrom of holidays (mostly fun) and health stuff (definitely not). After New Year's Day, I'll resume regular posting, and I'm going to try to cram in an end-of-the year-meaning-of-it-all piece in the next forty-eight hours.

Interim wisdom: I discovered this week that if you're not immersed in The Dandy Warhols' "Welcome to the Monkey House" every second of your waking life, *you're just killing time*:

THE DANDY WARHOLS - Discography - Albums

Thursday, December 11, 2003

From New York Magazine's piece on the recent suicide of renowned feminist scholar, Carolyn Heilbrun:

"'The thing about suicide is that it is indeterminate,' says Susan Gubar, Heilbrun's friend and a professor at Indiana University. 'The only person to testify with any authenticity is God. Everyone else is bullshitting.'"

I've come to agree with Bukowski. In "Post Office", he writes about having the knife at his neck, seeing a finger painting his daughter, Marina, had made for him, and realizing that he couldn't do it: "I decided that if I was going down, I was taking seventeen of these fuckers with me."

Some days, I even know which seventeen.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

My aunt has cancer again.

I want to put this into a larger context or write something eloquent or profound, but right now, words seem immovable.

I yearn to believe otherwise--more than I can express here--but perhaps what I've believed all along is true: We leave this world with the important questions unanswered.

This is going to sound lumbering and collegiate, but maybe our divinity comes from loving ourselves and each other, reaching out to those less fortunate, and knowing we can change the world in meaningful ways. Maybe there's nobility in asking the hundredth question, when the previous ninety-nine have gone unanswered.


My aunt has cancer again.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

But you are heroic, Laura:

Laura Hillenbrand ("Seabiscuit") and I both have CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome). Vogue profiles her in its current piece, "Heroines Among Us: Extraordinary Women of 2003".

My fever is spiking now and cohesive thought is a joke, but here goes: Thanks, Laura, for writing such a damned good book, and for being a tireless (ha, ha) and erudite spokesperson for the CFIDS populace.

Vogue excerpt:

"After reading it," she says of the [recent New Yorker] article, which took [her] two years to write, "I think people understand that CFS [aka CFIDS] is not being tired at the end of the day, it's being afraid that you are too weak to breathe." Despite the obstacles she has overcome, in her mind she's no hero. "On the contrary," she says, "one of the frustrating things about being incapacitated is that your life becomes utterly selfish. You exist only to get your body to the next day. It's frustrating, not heroic."


Today's lesson:

If a 34 year old male goes by "Johnny" instead of "John", he is a boy and not a man.

And in this case, duplicitous and self-aggrandizing, too.