"Imagining a positive outcome conveys the sense that you’re approaching your goals, which takes the edge off the need to achieve."
There's a whole bunch of ways to read now, and we'd like you to indulge in all of them, as you wish, even in the ways that don't particularly help us publish writing. One thing we've often heard from folks is that they would like a quiet thing to sit down with for reading—away from the laptop and the desktop, away from the IMs and Twitter and email and noise.
With the help of 29th Street Publishing, we've made The Weekend Companion. It's a weekly Awl magazine, and it comes out every Friday, for iPhone and iPad, through Apple's Newsstand. Each issue has just five or [...]
Here is a list of "ten thoughts that may be stressing you out," but it doesn't include "They're on to me," "It can only get worse from here and it almost certainly will," "Are the Mormons going to posthumously baptize me?" or "I am all out of people to blame," which are usually the ones that get me going.
After menopause, I discovered the joy of drinking wine, and of sinking deeply into writing and time alone. These things replaced the sex drive I had thoroughly cruised down as a youth, exploring one dead end, detour, and unpaved dirty road after another. I have refused to take the libido-restoring male hormones constantly proffered me by this culture and Suzanne Somers and her hordes of apologists and postmenopausal cougars…. I am old now: gray, wrinkled, tired, and bloated, and my joints ache, too. But I am ready to come into my full destiny—as my childhood dreams predicted—as a Neo-Amazonian Pirate Queen of my own vessel: firing cannonballs at [...]
Here's Tina Brown, from January, 2009: "For a while last year, the downsized people I know went around pretending they enjoyed the 'freedom' and 'variety' of doing 'a whole lot of interesting things.' Twelve months later, nobody bothers with that cover story anymore. Everyone knows what it actually feels like, this penny-ante slog of working three times as hard for the same amount of money (if you're lucky) or a lot less (if you're not). Minus benefits, of course…. The managers of all these disintegrating companies tend to be mesmerized by the notion that everyone can now be hired cheap-that everyone is slave labor." And then there's Tina [...]
I am glad that there is such a thing as Russell Brand, and I was as impressed with his recent conversation with Jeremy Paxman as everybody else was, for I share his egalitarian and environmentalist views. It is beyond refreshing to see someone in the public eye willing to speak out in this way. I've read Brand's books and seen some of his comedy and movies, too, and heard a little of his old radio program, and am generally a fan.
However I believe his calls for "revolution" are the absolute worst, even if he means the Velvet kind, as I hope and believe he must.
"In a new study, researchers found that when people wrote down their unwanted negative thoughts on a piece of paper and then threw the paper away, they mentally discarded the thoughts as well."
"The Loser, so well known for its irregularities, is a surprisingly good example of the traditional novel devices of character grouping and gradation and plot and subplot, albeit so forced and exaggerated as to make them instances of what I call stressed form; that is, the form is stressed to the point of implausibility." —Here are way more thoughts about how Thomas Bernhard's The Loser is constructed than almost anyone needs to read. (via)
This Was Supposed To Be A Review Of The Movie 'Pacific Rim' But It’s Mostly A Review Of My Above-Ground Swimming Pool, But 'Pacific Rim' Is Crazy, Man!
Wowee, America* I am having a super-fantastic summer, seriously, I fixed the vinyl liner in my above-ground pool and now I can go swimming whenever I want, which is really great because of how hot it has been, which summer-wise, is a plus, the hot, and being able to come home all hot and bothered and then slip into a cool pool and a cold beer is very satisfying, in a totally Suburban way, which is not a disparagement of Suburbanites, because I live in a City, but it’s just kinda like a Suburban thing to have a pool, even though mine overlooks the alley and there are feral cats [...]
Wake up when you have to.
Take as much air you need.
Examine trivial details, the bubbled foam on a just-used but not-yet-rinsed toothbrush.
Eat what you eat too often.
Have or dwell on the possibility of sex.
Envy things but realize it is not the things you desire so much as the comfort of envy itself, the notion that you might one day have more.
Some of my favorite haters—Céline, Pound, Bernhard—seem to have been exceedingly nasty people. Maybe they needed to be, or whatever, but is art worth it? Rilke skipped his daughter's wedding because he didn't want to lose his concentration. I say go to her wedding, make her happy, it's just a poem, dude.
But I do admit to finding our culture of positivity a bummer. I agree with Adorno that "The common consent to the positive is a gravitational force that pulls us downwards." Vituperation is a defense against vapidity. I live in Mississippi at the moment, where social relations are modeled on the butterslide. Everyone is very polite, [...]
"I’ve never had any luck with publishing companies. Nobody has, really—discounting the handful of Famous Bestselling Authors you read about in the NYT. It occurred to me, a few weeks ago, that I personally know about forty people who have sold books to big or medium-sized publishers, and their experiences are all the same: Long after you’ve written it and long after you’ve spent the advance on food and rent, a forgotten little bundle of words with an inscrutable cover is released in the night, you might do a few readings in empty Barnes & Noble stores on a weekday, and then four or five years later you still [...]