Bargain Ransoms

Triple Patti

A) Erin Markey began her performance on Sunday with a pun. She said something about how people from Michigan must be really excited about the show, because the show was free. Then she admitted that she is from Michigan (as if we didn't know), so she was also excited about the show being free, and being a Michigandress herself, knew how much other people from Michigan like things that are free. She smiled and said "Daylight Savings."

B) I think it must feel good. Right? It must feel good to point out hypocrisy. Because then, you know, you have this really clear, this totally unfuckwithable moral imperative, a duty to tell the truth, a really clear-well-lit path on the moral high ground to take. I think that for you it must feel good. Like:I caught you. It has to feel good or you wouldn't do it. It's like being a cop or a superhero or having a really important job: I know who I am and I am the one who tells you why you're not real. I caught you in a lie.

But for me, it seems a small price to pay. A low bid. A cheap ransom. What's that word? A pittance. Discount. I mean: it costs me nothing to be called a liar. It costs me so little, to feel the rage of your three-inch fury. You caught me saying one thing and then saying another. it's not as if I'm actually a liar, or actually a hypocrite, I'm just not defending myself against you because it doesn't hurt. I want to be a rag doll for you. I want you to love me for the same reason you loved your dog, the one you tortured as a kid. She can take it. She can't talk back to me.

C) I like your face. It's ugly. The pressure's off. I keep thinking of that Christine Baranski quote: "I was never beautiful so I’m not unbeautiful." This sounds like I'm being mean but I'm not. I like an ugly face. I want bad things to happen. It's not morbid. Do you know what a sky burial is?

D) I haven't read any of her work, but I'm totally bowled over with Sheila Heti. Been reading all these fantastic reviews of her new book. In a recent interview with Heti, there's a quote which really resonated with me:
Q: I read in a Paris Review interview with Jean Rhys that she could never write when she was happy, which struck me as a sad fact considering how much she wrote. Is that the same kind of necessity that you are referring to?

A: No, it’s not about feeling bad. Someone can be writing in a state of great joy. What I mean is that it can’t be like a writing exercise. It has to be more than that. It has to be connected to the writer’s living. I don’t care to be shown off to. I don’t find people impressive because they show me an impressive skill. Making art is an instinct. As much as sex or wanting to eat. I think it’s a real drive, and it should look like that.
Woah, right? I'm just now finding out about her work, because I really don't follow what cool writers people are into for a number of reasons, and it's totally blowing my mind. I definitely am having this moment called inspiration where someone articulates something which I've been struggling to understand. It seems like certain themes of Heti's work: identity, postmodernism, morality, etc. are things I wrestle with as well. It seems like some of the places she's looking for answers, like the language of self-help, like recordings of conversations with friends, are places where I like to look for answers as well. So, in a way I sort of feel like just as I was about to begin work on this project (which I am about to being work on, but more later) there's someone else doing similar stuff. I mean: probably there are and have always been people asking similar questions and in similar ways. It's not all about me. My point is: I feel sort of freed up to go on and find some more specific question to ask? Or in another way? And also: I'm so excited to read all of Sheila Heti's books, like right this fucking second. So, expect to hear me gushing about this for a long time.

That quote from the interview also makes me think of that Kiki Smith quote: "We're not doing research here, our lives are at stake." I am definitely of the class of artists and thinkers who feel like we need to interrogate our priorities and our pleasure. A lot of times I deliberately make things look easy in order to show that ease, comfort, pleasure are myths, are over rated. I like the idea of taking a clear-eyed look at what you're thinking and why you're thinking it. I just feel so plugged in, for some reason, to know that there's this brilliant writer I had never read who is doing cool work that is right up my alley. I have an alley! This is great.

D) This morning I woke up and brushed my teeth I made coffee and I meditated and THEN I turned on my computer and PLD sent me the link for this song, the new Cat Power song. You guys it's so great. When I saw her on Twitter talking about her new album, responding to bewildered twitter users who didn't know what "#CatPower" is and why it's trending, I made a joke about how we finally have a hip-hop album from Chan Marshall. But I was right! Now we finally do.

Although this isn't her first hip-hop record. I guess that song she made with Handsome Boy Modeling School is kind of funky, right?

E) Sad about Nora Ephron. Did you know that When Harry Met Sally is one of my favorite movies? I'm actually not really into meg Ryan or Billy Crystal or Love or Romantic Comedies or Fantasy Versions of Manhattan but for some reason, the two title characters' abilities to be so unlikable and still manage to find each other really touched me. And Ephron's always admitted that the way those two end up together is not how things happen in real life. I don't know. Something about them really loving each other and both being so uptight, so prohibitively horrible (let's be honest) really made me feel good. This fantasy that you can get back together with your ex, that things work out, that everything will always wind up okay. It's a classic fantasy, and Ephron's nuanced understanding of the ways in which people admit what we want, to ourselves and others, made her such a perfect person to play with this fantasy. I liked her work a lot and I am sad that she's gone.

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