"They don’t even agree on how they met. In Currie’s version, he was working the book table at one of [Anne] Carson’s readings in Ann Arbor when, during the reception—while everyone else was enjoying the feast (it featured a shrimp volcano)—Carson brought him a plate of food. 'I have no memory of this,' Carson said. In her version, Currie was suddenly just hanging around. 'There you were, and then you were there more.'"
This Nathan Englander story in the New Yorker is pretty great! And in my favorite genre of story, which is "people in a house talking."
THIS IS THE PERFECT TREND STORY! This is IT. It is about how young gay men are "increasingly" (!!!) becoming "sugar babies" to pay for college! Let us break down how it works!
• "Kirk is hardly alone in his decision to sell sex in order to pay for school." (Just alone so far in this story but hey, we get more anecdotes later!)
• "An increasing number of gay male students"
• "In addition to a lackluster job market"
• "While young gay men exchanging sex for money certainly predated the financial collapse"
I'm so pleased to report that yesterday's story about Mierle Ukeles is, as I suspected, a bit too pat to be true. (It contains "wisps of truths," she says—and they're good wisps!) I'm pleased because I loved the story but I disliked the moral. Also? Hillary Clinton was just coughing in the situation room in that already-famous photograph. This is the deal with narrative, am I right?
Are you a subscriber to The Tobolowsky Files? The podcast, a project of actor Stephen Tobolowsky-the youngs will know him as Sandy Ryerson on "Glee" and from "Heroes" and the olds will know him from films as diverse as Groundhog Day, Thelma and Louise and Basic Instinct-with David Chen at Slashfilm, just put out its 38th episode. Here he writes about auditions, Memento and the thrill of trying out for characters named "Masochistic Gay Man."
Of all the gates that stand before actors, one of the most daunting is the audition. I imagine because it is the grand meeting of everything and nothing. Hopes, dreams, expectations [...]
In what seems like an unexceptional moment in the history of blogging, this gay Irish youngster wrote on his blog about his enormous abs and how much he likes them! But actually, it's fascinating? We mock people who work out, and think they're stupid, even while we demand that our famous people have absurd bodies. (Even their non-famous younger brothers have to work out.) There's a funky stew of jealousy, desire, hatred-and, naturally, animal compulsion to look. So his explanation of what it's like for him when taking off his shirt and having people sort of explode is really interesting.
I have had a ton of questions this week about Rom Houben, the Belgian man who was supposedly completely conscious during a 23-year coma. Like, "Really?" And, "How does that work?" And, "Doesn't this sound a little unlikely?" Well, now that the world has reported the miracle and all of its amazingness, there are finally some other people who have questions. Like this guy.
One day, after my Sunday shopping excursion, walking south, I suddenly really had to pee. I raced home, dropped my groceries at my door, and ran to the bathroom to relieve myself. Two minutes, that was all it took. In two minutes I went to retrieve my groceries in the hall, and they were gone. Someone had stolen them. In fury I took out a sheet of paper and wrote in black marker, “Whoever just stole my groceries from my front door, that was my food for the week. Please return them. #5A”. I taped the sign next to my door and waited. Surely, some family member would [...]
From a scientific perspective, of course, stomping through inaccessible rainforest and looking around at random trees is hardly a methodologically sound way of finding a tree kangaroo…. I observed to John Lane that a bunch of Californian college kids in the middle of a jungle sounded like the archetypical setup of a 1970s exploitation movie. And it did seem as though an F/X crew was on the premises. One morning, Lane woke to find a 10-foot web stitched between the same pair of trees as his hammock, an orb weaver spider the breadth of my palm splayed at its center. There were at least three species of scorpion [...]
"Even Kirstie Alley, who is living in an apartment next door, makes an appearance. She crawls on to her fire escape with a cigarette, making sure that the paparazzi below get a shot of her book, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. An African-American pap takes a few pictures, because there’s nothing else going on, but then she starts yelling about her privacy being invaded, except she yells at the wrong black pap. 'The other black guy is darker than me, and bald, and shorter, Ms. Alley,' shouts the other pap. 'I’m not the same black guy.' He shakes his head. 'But we all look alike, right?'" —Vanessa Grigoriadis! [...]
"You’d meet, say, a cook at a Times Square restaurant standing on the shower line behind the Port Authority bus terminal. He’d emerge combed and shaven in his white uniform and rush uptown to work. You’d bump into a Cooper Union-trained fine artist at the Goodwill Back to Work center in the Bronx. You’d hear from decorated war heroes who could back up their stories with news clippings and medals. You’d bunk down with day traders from out of town who carried two expensive smart phones and an internet tablet, monitoring the market for their way back in. You’d joke around with friendly Africans and Chinese who were just [...]
"I wondered what my mom would say if she knew men were willing to pay up to $250 an hour to worship me." Well, we may never discover what the mother of this fun young tale-telling dominatrix might say, but we sure know what anonymous Internet commenters will say: "You are a totally whore and God hates you. Creatures like you should just go kill yourselves. Your a prostitute and driving this country into the ground." Why do Christians hate the free market?
Oh yes: this is the story that has it all, baby: Four Loko, insurance scams, foreclosures, a retired ladies detective club, RICO complaints, fake absentee ballots, the FBI, Las Vegas, offshore bank accounts and actual broken kneecaps. Stick with it, it gets crazier and crazier.
It's the spookiest website in the world, made up (stories about) of terror and spookiness!
"After dinner Larry said, 'Come into my study, Terry, you’re going to need some money for the weekend.' We went into his office and he said, “There’s a briefcase by the couch where you’re sitting. Put it on your lap and open it.” So I did. It was full of packs of hundred-dollar bills. Larry said, 'It’s a million dollars. I have this on hand to give validity to the offer.' And he showed me this circular: A standing offer from Larry Flynt to the following women who are prepared to show gyno-pink. One million cash to Barbara Bach, Cathy Bach, Barbi Benton, Cheryl Tiegs…. They were mostly kind [...]
I came late to Facebook, after going through all the predictable phases: the disdain, the excuses, the stalking via “borrowed” log-in, the particular form of procrastination known as “what-would-I-put-in-my-hypothetical-profile?,” followed eventually by an ambivalent, job-search related realization that I had to bite the bullet. But before I did—before I opened the floodgates of reconnection—I knew I had to pick up the phone and call my childhood best friend. We hadn’t talked in years, but I couldn’t stand the thought of putting our past on the same level as everyone else’s, basically ensuring that our long history would be reduced to smiley, yearbook-style platitudes.
"Nobody seemed to understand the concept of depression-possibly a good thing-or what a burrito was. Were they allowed to leave the country? Some visited Miami every other month. Others said they couldn't leave their province. They certainly had access to the world of entertainment outside of Cuba. Bootleg recordings of American movies, mostly dubbed from cable-equipped televisions in the fancier resorts, are passed around the black market. Cuban televised news had a Caribbean Pravda slant, but its focus on international affairs, lack of filler, and attention to detail put CNN to shame." -Another trip to Cuba.
"How cheap is cheap?"
That was my instantaneous, inane response in the single most pivotal moment of my decade.
I was sitting in an internet cafe in Florence, Italy. It was early August 2001. I had been trading emails with a woman with whom I went on a blind date three weeks earlier. We had hit it off, but a few days later, I was jetting off for my first trip to Europe–three weeks of touring by myself.