for fellow late-nighters

This was originally posted on Yum Yum Union.

you up late?
take my ascot
and my red lipstick
(hexadecimal #CC1100, or “Big Leg Sue“):
put them on.

go eat a banana
(hexadecimal #EEDD82, or “Potassium Lite“)
and watch bad tv
the baddest tv you can find.
i’m talking TBS, or MTV.
something you know as
three letter trash.
preferably: about teens.

put some blush on
(hexadecimal #CD5555, or “I’m Changing the Locks“)
with a pinch. turn out
the fluorescent fish light
in the livingroom,
because it’s a magic show
tv lights
and changing lights
change everything.
the coffee table is a stranger!
bad men are behind the lamp!
you are successful, and it is
sixty years ago,
before you were born
or could have been born
and your feet are exactly
the right cinderella size
and the flowers rotting in the kitchen
were just cut this morning
(hexadecimal #FCD116, or “There Goes The Neighborhood“)
and daylilies
(hexadecimal #FF6103, or “Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself“)
and baby’s breath
(hexadecimal #96CDCD, or “Of Course I’ve Read Vonnegut“)
and peach roses
(hexadecimal #FF8C69, or “I Don’t Think You Understand What
Magical Realism Means, It’s Attached to a Particular Period of
History and a Particular Region and a Particular Sect of Authors,
Do You Just Mean That There Are Certain Metafiction Elements
Going on Here? Unless You Have An Argument Ready That
I’m Talking About Lo Real Maravilloso And You’re Talking About
Magical Realism as a Natural Comeuppance of Postmodernism,
You Better Start Using That Word Properly, Buster

it doesn’t have to be sixty years ago.
it doesn’t have to be that lipstick.
you could pick that one
(hexadecimal #FF0000, or “You’re Just Like Your Mother“)
or this one
(hexadecimal #CD9B9B, or “Cultural Fugue“)
and put on some short-shorts
and pennyloafers
and watch bad tv
the baddest tv you can find.
i’m talking TBS, or MTV.
something you know as
three letter trash.
preferably: a sitcom.

and every time somebody laughs, it’s a dead relative
you never met, looking behind your eyes
and saying, “everything stays the same, don’t it, son,”
but that’s demonstrably not true
I mean
I already explained about the lights in livingroom
and maybe now the couch turns velveteen
and the freckle on your breast starts to worry you
a little
so no grandpa it’s not the same
i’m not the same as you
and sitcoms have gotten edgier

go eat an apple
(hexadecimal #8C1717, or “This Worked Out Real Well For Snow White“)
or a grape
(hexadecimal #86C67C, or “Second Cousins“)
just one.
if you’re up late
late enough that blue circles
(hexadecimal #4372AA, or “All Dolphins Were Originally Land-Dwelling Creatures,
Not Evolutionarily Speaking, They Hatch in Land-Locked Eggs on Mountain Tops
and Only the Ones on the Highest of High Peaks Have Enough Momentum
to Roll Safely Down Past Predators into the Waves
have erupted under your eyes,
know that I am with you
all of my clothes
all of my lipsticks
(all over my face)
probably sweating
but awash, even so
especially so
(grossly so)
with our possibilities.

manifesto + explanation + self-promise

I’ve recently decided to leave academic philosophy, and one of my first thoughts, after the decision had been cemented, regarded starting a blog.1 Rather: I wanted to write. Rather: I wanted to write about some things I cared about, in a way that would self-satisfy, even if it didn’t match the ordinary polish of academic work. Some of these things are articulations of old boozy arguments I had with good friends, and some of them are things that I wanted to say to facebook ranters, but I lacked the patience and courage for the inevitable tidal reply.

Mostly, I wanted to write about the things I listened to, the games I played, and the thoughts I had while scrolling tumblr. I wanted to put content to those thoughts, and see if they might be justified.

See, I’m an utter failure at Boston salon parties.2 Whenever someone tries to make a point thoroughly, I find myself losing all interest in the monologue and wishing instead that they’d just spit out their bibliography so I could read the book that they are quoting, because they are quoting, and too often I feel like interlocutors think they’ve secured some SmartPoints™, some originality, because they conceal their sources. Books must be taken seriously, but they can also be set aside, and disagreed with thoroughly.3 In conversation, the theatre of personality seems to always carry the day. But I like to chat, and I am a big personality, and I love when conversation consists in honest hunches. That’s all I ever seem to give, and that’s part of why I’m a failure among big-word talkers — I am suspicious of anything longer than a paragraph, and dislike answering questions when I don’t think the medium is suited to it, so I only cut in with a bit of boozy humor or sass.

But I might also be a coward.4

What I’ve mentioned, so far, has just sounded like academic after-hours. But that’s not really what I’d like to write about here. I’d like to write about a good thought, a good worry, with uncowardly thoroughness. I get these good worries more often from albums you’ve heard of and games you’ve already beaten.

Ergo ‘Hits.’ Hit songs are so cool that it’s uncool to care about them. Getting hit hurts. I’ve found most of my mental life involves being struck by pop culture in a way that leaves me uneasy, and here, I’d like to settle some of that.