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On Ask Polly: How to Be Nice

Jennifer Egan is really, really nice.

Posted on June 18, 2014 at 4:38 pm 2

On Maya Angelou, 1928-2014

In 1997 I got bumped up to first class on a flight from NYC to GSO, and wound up sitting across the aisle from Dr. Angelou. I had some poetry I'd written with me and asked her if she'd read it. She touched my hand and regretted that she couldn't because she was being sued for plagiarism for her poem for Clinton's 2nd innauguration, "Because, apparently, someone else wrote about rivers and rocks before I did." But she did engage with me for the entire flight (pouring two airplane bottles of Jameson's into each cup of coffee she drank), and made me a reading list that included Grace Paley, Shelly's Ozymandias, the work of Paul Lawrence Dunbar and a few other pieces. "Read these," she said. "You will be astonished."
What a nice lady she was!

Posted on May 28, 2014 at 10:04 am 1

On Do You Know Where Your Teens Are? (They're Swarming John Green)

You should see the crowd his brother Hank draws. No really, he details each face, colors inside the lines. Everything.

Posted on May 8, 2014 at 11:06 am 2

On The Second Closet

Until one employee or customer is discriminated against for their sexual orientation, it's the anti-Chick Fil-A crowd that should retreat to the shadows. Shadows where only McNuggets and those horrible Wendy's Italian chicken sandwiches are served.

Posted on May 8, 2014 at 11:04 am 0

On How to Write

@novak Really not about you, Cochise.

Posted on May 7, 2014 at 3:48 pm 0

On Your Conspiracy Theories Began 700 Years Ago Today

I disagree with the "there's no there there" contention. What temple gave the Templars their name? Is this the same structure that inspired their quasi-successors to call themselves Masons? And if so, what was so special about whatever this building was? My answer for this is that, lore-wise, heaven and outer space are the same thing and that's why so many flags have stars on them.

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 2:06 pm 0

On The New Orleans Mardi Gras Playlist

Won't stop trying til I create a disturbance in yo' mind - or include some got-damn Jesse Hill!

Posted on March 4, 2014 at 12:32 pm 0

On Everyone's Looking At Your Dick In The Locker Room

I bristle at the author's presumed qualifications to:
a) suggest that Don DeLillo hasn't inhabited female voices under his own name
b) suggest that straight male writers don't know how to write about dicks
c) suggest that no good writing about sex occurred between, say, 1980-2005 because if AIDS.
These presumptions might fit the author's identity-obsessed agenda, but none of them are correct.

Posted on February 11, 2014 at 12:18 pm 1

On Being A Writer™

Thank you for writing this. Really enjoyed reading it- particularly the scarf and escalator anecdote at the end.

Posted on February 5, 2014 at 4:17 pm 0

On Which Museum Did Your Evil Child Try To Destroy This Weekend?

Can't front like I know the tangential relevance of this still doesn't make it appropriate, but I am still going to brag here that my wife was outta town this weekend and I took my kids, who are 5 and 3, to three museums over the weekend and nothing whatsoever was desecrated like this boo'shit!

Posted on January 27, 2014 at 10:33 am 0