I love this so, so much. But you knew that.
I love this so, so much. But you knew that.
Volume Ten, Issue Two of The Lifted Brow: Digital has entered our worldly, wordy realm! Fire up your apple device to get this latest literary sensation, featuring:
- #nofilter fiction from Kevin Fanning (USA)
- Lee Tran Lam navigates an exit survey,…
If you go to the app store and download the newest issue of The Lifted Brow you can read my story about sexually-charged brand interactions. I really like this story and there aren’t a lot of mags that would have been so enthusiastic about it so THANK YOU to The Lifted Brow. Here’s a lil pull quote:
You stumbled gracelessly around the screen until you found star_travlr420’s profile. You noticed that he had 114,000 followers.
“Um, you have 114,000 followers,” you said.
“I know right?” he said, without looking up from whatever he was doing.
“I don’t know? I guess? I just really exist, is how I think of it.”
“Are these all real accounts or Brazilian robo-corporations or something?” you asked.
star_travlr420 thought for a moment. “Every account, every profile, every brand, is true to itself, is real on some level.”
You desperately hoped this was true, with your zero posts and 1 follower.
All men must die for the sin of Jay-Z’s verse on Drunk In Love.
A story about two sisters repairing their relationship over a Chipotle’s sofritas bowl.
I participated in this thing for The Guardian. It involved digging up an old Diaryland entry from infinity years ago and then reading it now and then talking about how it made me feel. It was a burdensome ordeal so please click through. Also choire is in there and his is good.
Years ago on livejournal I asked if anyone wanted me to write their biography. I wouldn’t write one for people I’d met in real life, I would only write bios for internet friends, based only on whatever I remembered about whatever they had posted about themselves online. (Which at that point meant websites/blogs/lj etc, this was before Twitter, or even Facebook, maybe?)
It was fun! They were not super good biographies—the main takeaway was that the pieces of ourselves that we put online never provide a complete (or even partially complete) look at who we really are. (Duh.) (A few reactions to what I wrote were along the lines of: “That’s what you think of me? OK!”).
I’ve been wanting to do this again so I wrote Paul Ford’s biography. Paul is kind of an outlier in that I’ve been reading his writing for years, and a lot of what he puts online is about himself (as opposed to the average tumblr user, where maybe 1 out of 100 posts contains a speck of personal information?).
I didn’t do any googling or additional research. Anyone can Google—what do you retain, is the question. What do you “know”. (As an additional exercise I only gave myself 10 minutes to generate ideas and 50 minutes to write and post the thing, which is why it’s extra crummy in parts and I wish I could go back and fix things, but that’s about my need for constraints, nothing to do with biographies in general.)
I didn’t tell Paul I was doing this but I hoped he wouldn’t mind. So I posted it and then a few days later he chimed in, adding notes on things I’d screwed up or gotten completely wrong. So now there’s an additional layer of things he’s chosen to say about himself online over the things I took away from the things he chose to say about himself online.
I wrote some recommendations for Bygone Bureau. They include Aaliyah and creative drinking and Teen Wolf.
The short list of things I wanted to recommend but didn’t have space to write about included:
but anyway the stuff I did recommend is pretty solid.
Every Halloween TMN does this thing where people contribute endings to classic scary tales. This year it’s the one about the guy whose wife dies, but after the funeral he’s worried they buried her alive? And he wants to dig her up because he swears he hears her calling to him? So fucking sad. Like, too real, honestly. So some of these endings are funny or scary but mine’s definitely the saddest!!!!!
When I was young my family went to Ocean City Maryland every summer. There’s a boardwalk along the beach, and we’d walk different parts of it every evening as the sun set and the beach cleared out and the lights came up. I remember: french fries with vinegar, terrible haunted house rides that we went on multiple times, tourist shit-shops filled with pink & fluorescent yellow t-shirts (it was the 80s), sea shells with glued-on googly eyes, watching sand artists sculpt inspirational bible quotes into their castles. It was the best.
There was a little shuttle you could ride if you were tired from walking or wanted to skip to different parts of the boardwalk. One night we walked all the way down to the very end, and decided to take the shuttle back to our hotel. A few minutes into the ride a pair of young couples got on, cramming into the seat behind us. Probably what happened is my dad started making dumb jokes and they laughed politely, but what I remember is all of us having the best time on the ride home. My mom and dad laughing with them, everyone saying funny comments about things we saw along the way, strangers immediately connecting and bonding, on just the perfect night, the best time, driving very slowly along the beach at night.
Eventually we came to a stop and the couples climbed off the shuttle. I called out: “See you back at the hotel!” and they stopped and turned and my mom had to explain, No, they’re not staying with us, they’re going to do other things.
And I was like: We’re never going to see them again? Like, ever? I was not just distraught or sad but immediately inconsolable. These were our friends. How are these people who we just met and who we like so much, who we’ve had so much fun with tonight, going to disappear from our lives forever? We’re all ok with that? We’re all ok with going off into the night and never seeing each other again?
But of course that’s what happened. They walked off and we went back to our hotel and I’m probably the only person in the story who remembers any part of it happening, and none of it really matters, except that I still feel the sense of missing those people whose faces I don’t even remember as acutely as I did back then.
And I would love for the ending of this story to be: And that’s when I decided I didn’t need my heart anymore. But I do. I hate it, but I do.