Quote of the day: REPRESENTATION

March 20, 2017

REPRESENTATION

There is an adage on Capitol Hill that five letters from the district about a bill is cause for alarm, and 10 is a full-blown emergency. By those standards, a couple hundred Tea Partyers, besieging their elected officials in person, was a borderline apocalypse.

–Charles Homans, “The New Party of No,” New York Times Magazine, 3/19/17


R.I.P. Mark Thompson

March 20, 2017

The latest issue of RFD, the radical faerie digest, is rightfully dedicated to commemorating Mark Thompson, the visionary gay writer and editor who died last August at the age of 63.

As I say in my contribution to the issue:

The radical faerie world will always be indebted to Mark Thompson for his skill and generosity in chronicling the emergence of this gay spiritual movement as a professional journalist and as an observer-participant. He attended the legendary first “Spiritual Conference for Radical Fairies” Labor Day weekend 1979 in the Arizona desert, convened by Harry Hay, Mitch Walker, and Don Kilhefner, and he wrote about it in Gay Spirit: Myth and Meaning, his ground-breaking anthology of writings that linked contemporary gay liberation thought to previous generations of gay visionary writing by the likes of Walt Whitman, Edward Carpenter, and Gerald Heard. Few books ever published have had as big an impact on the gay world as Gay Spirit did. It emerged from and contributed to a hunger for deep exploration of gay people’s evolutionary purpose on the planet, and it spawned a small but important pocket of gay scholarship that manifest in essential titles such as Randy Conner’s Blossom of Bone and Walter L. Williams’ The Spirit and the Flesh.

I am pleased to have my short essay published alongside the work of many dear friends and colleagues, including Andrew Ramer, Winston Wilde, Robert Croonquist (Covelo), Keith Gemerek, Bo Young, Stephen Silha, and Leng Lim. You can find the magazine in the kind of bookstores that still carry small-press gay journals, or you find out how to order it online here.

Here is my piece (click to enlarge):


Quote of the day: SONGWRITING

March 18, 2017

SONGWRITING

If you want to catch songs you gotta start thinking like one and making yourself an interesting place for them to land like birds or insects. Once you get two or three tunes together, wherever three or more are gathered, then others come. It’s like a line for a hot dog place, you know? And when there’s four people lined up on the sidewalk, some people will stop and get in line just ’cause there’s a line.

–Tom Waits, interviewed by Wyatt Mason in the New York Times’ T Magazine


In this week’s New Yorker

March 12, 2017

The March 13 issue is especially strong in both the feature well and the back of the book. I was edified by:

  • Jake Halpern’s report on a safe house in Buffalo designed to help refugees making their way to Canada from the U.S.;
  • “The Polymath,” the ever-brilliant Alec Wilkinson’s profile of Jack White, whose music (the White Stripes, etc.) has never interested me but who turns out to be a fascinating, adventurous, productive guy;
  • “Donald Trump’s Worst Deal,” Adam Davidson’s excellent follow-the-money expose of the current president’s unlawful business dealing with a legendarily corrupt Azerbaijani family — there are clearly innumerable stories like this to be told, not likely to result in impeachment given the Republican strangehold on Congress, but it’s an in-depth account of the thriving world of international corruption;
  • Ariel Levy’s characteristically exquisite and intimate profile of Catherine Opie, renowned photographer of communities on the edge (the New Yorker website and tablet app include a portfolio of 15 amazing Opie portraits and landscapes, including “Self-Portrait/Nursing,” below);

 


Quote of the day: LETTERMAN

March 11, 2017

David Marchese: I’ve always loved Leaves of Grass, so it’s a pleasure to meet the man who wrote it.
David Letterman: I’ve given up on making that kind of joke because I ran out of people with beards other than Walt Whitman that anyone knew — the joke didn’t work as well when I used Frederick Douglass. But great things have happened to me since I’ve been walking around with this beard. I was in Santa Monica, at the Ocean Park Café, and this woman comes over and she says, “Are you who I think you are?” And I said, “That depends on who you think I am.” She said, “You’re Chuck Close.” I said, “Yeah, yeah, I am.” She said, “Oh my God” — she has a whole story. She was an art major, and for her final project she did a pencil-drawing portrait of Chuck Close. She said, “It was the best thing I did in all of college.” I finally said, “I’m not Chuck Close.” Boom, she’s out like a shot. Gone. Then she comes back and says, “That really disappoints me.”

The other thing is that somebody who loves Chuck Close that much might know that, unlike you, he’s in a wheelchair.
Good point. I wish you had been with us.

“In Conversation: David Letterman,” New York



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