I interviewed Saul in 2011 for a project about sex addiction that never came to fruition, at least in the form I had originally envisioned. A sixty-something native of Bensonhurst, he had the most delicious speaking voice, which I dare describe as a potion of equal parts Jewish, gay, and old-school Brooklyn. But it was his untapped authorial voice that moved me to develop our conversation into a monologue, unburdened by an interviewer's questions, and strung together into a reflection on the intersection of sexuality, religion, and identity in the 1960s and 70s.
I didn’t have sex until I was already out of college, and was a social worker. I [...]
Lee Smolin thinks that time is real. If that strikes you as unusual, you haven’t spent much time with theoretical physicists, who tend to think that the passing of time is either an emergent property of the universe, or, perhaps, an illusion.
“Some of my colleagues suggest that time is an approximate description of the universe,” Smolin, a theoretical physicist at the Perimeter Institute, writes in Time Reborn. “A description that is useful on large scales but dissolves when we look too closely. Temperature is like this.” The reason that some physicists have rejected time, he argues, is that they have mistaken mathematical [...]
My thoughts on the Whitney Biennial are still… congealing (???), which is good! Usually I hit the Biennial and have a snap and often dismissive opinion. This one I actually… want to return again maybe? Meanwhile here is a thoughtful interview with one of the three curators, Michelle Grabner, who is also the first artist to serve in that capacity.
One thing I did note is that the queers 'n' homos showed really well, like Keith Mayerson (above) and Zoe Leonard and Gary Indiana—and so did the painters, which is always heartwarming.
Astra Taylor’s forthcoming book The People’s Platform, about who has power and who gets paid in the age of the Internet, mentions the following quote about the virtues of “open-source” (read: unpaid) labor from Internet guru Yochai Benkler:
“Remember, money isn’t always the best motivator. If you leave a fifty-dollar check after dinner with friends, you don’t increase the probability of being invited back. And if dinner doesn’t make it entirely obvious, think of sex.”
That quote, unsurprisingly, is from a TED Talk. The talk's audience chose to reflexively laugh rather than actually think about sex or about work. It doesn’t seem to occur to anyone in the audience [...]
Doesn't matter what town we're in, my friend Chris Tucker always knows where the best dim sum is.
— Black Larry King (@BlackLarryKing) February 3, 2014
A friend of mine suggested that BuzzFeed deputy editor-in-chief Shani O. Hilton was harboring the identity of the genius behind @BlackLarryKing, the quietly funny, under-the-radar account. “I think Shani knows but she refuses to admit it,” she told me a few days ago. My editor, when we talked about interviewing Black Larry King, wrote back: “Shani claims not to know but I dunno if I believe her.” Others think Ms. Hilton might actually be BLK. “We are onto you,” [...]
Anti-procrastination. If there is such a thing, it’s distracting yourself in a way that makes you want to get back to work. My anti-procrastination is reading interviews with creative people. I read a lot of these in 2013 and tried to take something away from each one. Here are my favorites.
Martin Scorsese: “I’m Not A Cool And Quiet Person” – The Talks “I find when I make a movie that I never realize what is really involved. When we were shooting Raging Bull me and my producer would say, “This is crazy! How did we get here?” But if we thought that at the beginning, we [...]
Yesterday we cornered Brooklyn Book Festival panelists and asked them: who do you like among the younger generation of writers? Some of them had great answers!
Claire Messud, The Woman Upstairs
Gosh, the younger generation being under what? [“That’s up to you.”] You know, I’m a big fan of Sheila Heti. Does she count as the younger generation? She’s over thirty, though, she’s 35. [She’ll be 37 on Christmas.] Turn it off a for second, I just have to think! Because I’ve been mostly reading old and dead people, lately, so it takes me a minute to—turn that off! [The recorder is turned off. Then turned back on.] There’s a [...]