This will be a blog with a number of unappealing features. It will offer tentative cultural criticism. It will display unabashed baseball nerd analysis. It will have a sometimes vague, sometimes more definite attachment to feminism and left politics. It will engage with early 20th century horror fiction, and fantastic, speculative fiction in general from Swift to Delany. The relevance or lack thereof of these forms of fiction to the 21st century will be a strong and tedious concern. Jokes will sometimes make appearances like awkward coughs on elevators. It is recommended that you not ingest this blog if you have an aversion to any of the above.
The main tenets of this blog are that: 1) The short story is a superior form to the novel; 2) Short story anthologies are one of the best inventions ever; 3) The designated hitter in baseball is an abomination. These dogmas aside, feedback, criticism, and general back and forth are welcome and desired.
I previously ran a YouTube channel that featured early American roots music (Hish, Lord of Silence). It is now largely inactive.
As a demonstration of the kind of political and cultural ambivalence that will characterize this blog, I’ll take a leaf from Spike Lee’s playbook and pull out two contradictory quotes:
“There was this area called Times Square which was then a cornucopia, a Disneyland of sex and pornography and peep shows. I used to go there all the time. I grew up watching a lot of television and taking a lot of LSD so I had a really abstract view of reality, nothing seemed real to me. So this seemed to me a perfect thing. You could have sex with someone in ersatz, you would never have to touch them, in fact, they would never even see you. There would be these booths that were separated by a two way mirror, and on the other side was a man or a woman or a hermaphrodite, it didn’t really matter – pretending to masturbate. There was a little speaker by the window and this little bee like sound would transmit between the two of you that was intensely erotic. To me that was the final result of American culture, where you could experience your life without really experiencing it. And I think that’s a good thing. I think that means we as a society are heading straight to heaven.” – Michael Gira.
“What the philosophers once knew as life has become the sphere of private existence and now of mere consumption, dragged along as an appendage of the process of material production, without autonomy or substance of its own. Our perspective of life has passed into an ideology which conceals the fact that there is life no longer.” – Theodor Adorno.