Category Archives: Essays & Interviews

A chaotic summary of the week in eight acts.

the-sick-roseYou were a royal swan once,
and now you have become mute.
Lal Ded

I’m a mystic, but only of the body.
My soul is simple and does not think.
Fernando Pessoa

One. Everything is happening so much faster than I had thought, the blood is here, quick, like summer. We wear sandals and denim jackets. If clothes are confusing, feelings are even more so. It’s monday, we talk religion. I buy myself a notebook because I’ve been eating alone.

Two. I detest the smell of the market at night, as much as I detest the words inheritance, mortuary, orphanhood. I detest having to suffer rhythm, appearing empty, belonging to someone. I love, without limit, the promenades of Pueblo Seco. We discover ourselves in small sullen spaces throughout the city. You go out for a run and I buy myself a carpet. I want to fly away with it. I want to understand this rhythm. I want to belong to you.

Three. Gonzalo is going to New York, he says, and I yearn for February. How good everything was in February, I think. How selfishly good everything was in February. It’s been two months since we’ve last seen Gonzalo. His laugh is still soothing. There is now a vast distance we have learned to solve with alcohol. Beer, white wine, pearls of sake. If it weren’t for the fruit, my stomach would be burning.

Four. Friendships are strange, they never stop surprising me. I tell you that I just want to be quiet. That all I like to do is to eat with Mai and talk of how to climb the mountains inside us. I think of our vacations. Are we really going to Oporto? And to Paris? And to Saint Petersburg? With what money? I know I should be kinder. I know I should not be as bad as I am. I know I should be more affectionate. But I detest the smell of the market. I loathe it.

Five. I slowly write two or three pieces a day. And when I talk of what I want, I recover confidence in my profession. Last Friday I noticed how one small phrase thrilled a friend. That’s what I expect from literature. You ask me if there is conflict in being a journalist, a publisher, and a poet. They only conflict, I think, when you don’t like one of them. But I like them all. Communication is a necessity. A loving obligation.

Six. This computer is missing the 6 key. Instead I write . Look: . This is a . A six. A . . . This computer, that was once yours and is now mine, does not know how to write out the day I was born. Let’s say I was not born. Let’s imagine the evaporation of a generation of poets.

Seven. But nothing has evaporated because the news is good and the shirts are new. I wear a floral print shirt to celebrate the letter I received today. I pray (even if I never pray) for my beautiful sister from Mexico to come with us. If everything works out, she’ll come. If everything works out, we’ll hug you. If everything works out, long tribute. All my life. Long tribute.

Eight. Lal, Lalla, Lalishiri. Even if I never pray, I speak to you. Your voice is of a mermaid who only knew the desert. Lal, Lalla, Lalishiri. How many generations have ignored you? If you were a man, everyone would love you. But since you are a woman, I find you among the heavy geometry books, ripped, heavy, heavy, a meditative testosterone for the soul. Lal, Lalla, Lalishiri. You married at twelve and divorced at twenty-four. At that age I’ll be a mother, I promise you, Lal, Lalla, Lalishiri. I promise you, miswriting your name, that at that age I will not be divorced but that I will be married to my embarrassments and to my abandoned flowers. Lal, Lalla, Lalishiri. You say that the dead do not exist. What can I give you as tribute?

 

Translated from the Spanish by Luis Silva

The Protective Mundane

One day I feel the loss of growing up too hard. All formations of adult emotions seem neutered and true and achievable and inevitable. I consider that I had had the kind of innocent romantic love people write chamber films about and that I left it for knowledge in an ostensibly Faustian move. I consider that I maybe just should have remained a baby deer and enjoyed a life of milk being fed to me by hand. My biological interior is freaking out. My shell is expanding and shrinking in localized and minute ways. I feel encephalitic. I skip class for the second time this week and cry.

(To be honest this whole thing is mostly my blanket’s fault. I have felt imprisoned by this blanket in what seems like a Chinese finger trap kind of torture, where every struggle to escape makes its creepy microfibers close in on me even more. Inventing a blanket that prevents its inhabitant from venturing out to seek food, water, or sex seems like a dumb evolutionary move, imo. I am making a mental note to write a strongly worded letter to its manufacturers who will no doubt see this as some sort of mock-angry praise.)

Anyway so I’m here stuck in this blanket thinking about all the ways in which growing up is hard and unpleasant when I begin to cry even harder realizing that it’s not hard, actually, it’s exceedingly easy. Life is very very easy for me because I have all these resources at hand that I’m wasting, essentially, because I’m finding out that Santa Claus doesn’t exist. I get very angry at myself and start counting the ways in which I’m failing other human beings.

I remember talking about Picasso with my dad. He said Picasso could experiment and do the things he did because he had proven himself to be a skilled representative painter first. Performing whiteness is a prerequisite to being able to do anything else with any degree of institutional support. I realize I have been pretty good at this performance. Now nothing I do to reclaim or reexamine Indian anything will ring true, because I’ve already vetted myself with whiteness, and am therefore safe. Safety in this case feels cowardly and like a betrayal to those who can’t cast their skin off so easily.

I don’t feel guilty for doing it, really. It’s a survival technique. But I do feel guilty for being successful at it. It seems to indicate a treacherous ability to morph. My memories of being teased for not being able to speak English don’t exist anymore. All sensations of shame from middle school I attribute to idiot children’s actions. Anything that I can call upon to feel rage is gone. My body can rid itself of trauma peculiarly well and this scares me. A person without the memories of their formation is not a person.

I look up ‘suicide methods’ on the internet. I come up on a site that supplies a matrix of considerations based on time, pain level, and efficacy. I’m not going to go into it because I already feel weird saying that this resource exists, but basically I start eyeing my room for structures that can support a weight of ~100 pounds. My room is a very tall and very small square with no protrusions of any kind except a doorknob that falls out with obnoxious regularity.

I should mention here that I’ve eaten two caffeine pills. I am getting really restless. I look at all the clothes hanging on my garment rack. A wool pea coat derives visual strength from invoking a naval power that brought India to its knees. An epaulet on a military jacket confers hierarchical status. Knockoff Swedish Hasbeens in wood and blue leather speak to Nordic genteelness. My hair is artificially lighter than black. I love minimalism and Dutch inspired fonts. I’ve only dated white men. I am killing myself studying science because I am convinced that it is the only mode that can truly affect change that isn’t entirely evil, that it’s the only way to be intelligent. 

The website says to wait a week before taking any kind of action. I agree that this is reasonable. But I like being prepared. I write a really stupid draft of a suicide note that is not worth describing. I step outside to a beautiful summer evening.

The walk to the hardware store feels very nice. I feel good because I feel determined. I smoke a cigarette and consider the beauty of the world impassively. The fact that I can do this indicates to me that I’m making the right decision. That it’s possible to intellectually acknowledge that something is wonderful or broken or fearsome and not freak out about it seems wrong and bad. I don’t want to be an adult who becomes so good at not freaking out that she begins to consider freaking out a bad thing. It seems irresponsible to say all oppressed people should feel rage because rage is really bad for you, but apparently not feeling rage is also really bad for you. I try to feel hatred, or at least anger, toward white people. It is impossible. Some type of looped cognitive circuit ends up rerouting all anger back to me which is redundant at this point.

The hardware store is closed. I am extremely annoyed by this. I Yelp some more hardware stores in the area. They are all closed. It is only 6 pm on a weeknight in a major metropolitan city. What the hell. I need rope and zip ties. (if an alibi becomes necessary I will say that I am going crabbing and need these zip ties to affix chicken wings to a net). I walk over to a burrito place and eat a shrimp burrito. I feel kind of dizzy and consider what just happened. I want to laugh. It all seems pretty goth. I mean I literally have a tattoo of a dead raven on my back.

Later that night I climb a radio tower to look at the eclipse with my boyfriend and his roommate. The blood moon keeps slipping behind shawls of cloud. We yell at it every time. I was hoping for a bloodier moon, one that might nod at what a weird day it’s been. I look at this crazy pretty city that has always been my dream laid out before me and I don’t know how to feel. I wish I were on drugs. I consider that drugs, like people, try to sustain the problem to which they are the solution. At the top of the radio tower there is a lot of wind and it is uncomfortable. We make predictions about whether we’d be able to see the eclipse at the correct time, which is a little past midnight. We can’t see it and go home.

It is hard for me to accept still that I have to hurt people in order to survive, and that important things sometimes will not feel insane. But it’s like you can’t continuously gasp without exhaling sometimes.

The End

P.S. I’m okay really thank you for worrying.

Luna Miguel goes to New York City

Luna-Miguel-Diary

In February 2014, the Spanish poet Luna Miguel visited America and the alt lit writers of New York.

Two thousand six hundred sixty-six (a summary of what I wrote in my diary during those four and a half days in New York City, world, galaxy, universe)

One
Tattooing ourselves is unnecessary. Why record on our skin what is already inside us. Why record those words if we don’t know them already by memory. Tattooing ourselves is unnecessary when our skin is already so powerful. When the words are so simple. When our love for those books has already scratched up our lives.

Two
Kiss all the mirrors. Spit on all the buildings. The city is great and fearsome. The cold grips my veins. I am somebody and nobody. I eat and drink at all hours. I see Jacob’s tongue. I see Jordan’s hands around a beer. I see Gabby’s fingers, her cigarettes. I see Rachel’s long flowing hair. Stephen’s closed eyes, what is he dreaming about?

“I dream about death,” he tells me. “About death.”

And then he reads me this poem:

You know I listened to that song, “Human After All,” on the bus today.
Those life-affirming “robots.”
Human beings in costume, faces hidden. Standing on a pyramid. Crowds of thousands.
In order to establish a connection.
To create a memorable moment in time.
For no other reason.
In the summertime.

Three
“Show me how to close my eyes,” I said, but we were already dead. In the living room, the cancers had been turned into songs. The songs had been turned into drugs. The drugs into cats: will I ever see them again? Sarah was drinking Blue Moon, Jonathan was caressing his own beard, Cris was dancing in a dark room, then two or three transgendered women threw themselves on top of each other, and then they ate chicken wings, and then I burned my tongue on some fries. Will I ever see them again? Elaine was singing Lana del Rey, Marisa was sad over a broken umbrella, Berta was absolutely beautiful, reading a poem by Dorothea Lasky. I hugged Dorothea. I hugged Tao Lin. I hugged David Fishkind. We survived the snowstorm. Poetry was stronger than the snowstorm! Everyone show me how to close my eyes, I said, but I was already getting into the taxi. Jet lag. Red eyes. Toilet water. And then, immediately, I felt like a better person.

Four
I walk alone through Manhattan and see a theater where they’re showing a movie I have already seen: David Foster Wallace Takes a Stroll Through The Desert of Roberto Bolaño, the writer is Jordan DeBor. The movie shows us the two sad writers in a strange desert looking for milk and Diet Coke. Roberto and David holding hands. Roberto and David like two tiny heroes. Roberto and David dancing in the desert, on bare feet, burning themselves. But it is all a dream. I wake up alone in Manhattan and the air heater is making me sweat. There is a spider in the bathtub. Outside, the snowstorm.

Five
I walk with Jacob. We buy clothes, we buy books, we buy magazines, we buy food, we buy Coca-Cola, we buy languages, we buy gossip and which writer fucked which or how many drugs this one takes and what they make, what they make, what these crazy kids make of their lives. Jacob is like a brother. Jacob is my brother. I know his kneeling silence as he knows my dead sailors.

Six
We are dancing again. Look. There is a cat trapped under that chair.

Seven
I wear flower print dresses to obscure what I hold within. I drink something dark and miss my family. I wear flower print dresses to obscure the fact that I don’t know the language. How I want so badly to speak today. How I want just one bar of WiFi that would let me speak to him. But then he would already be in bed, curled up with our pets. I don’t know what time it is.

Eight
(Looking at Tutu’s menu and waiting for it to be 6 so I can order the cauliflower salad): I write just to write. Truthfully…what I am is hungry.

Nine
Things that I have not done and never will = eat noodles in Chinatown.

Things I have seen and never will see again = my Topshop shoes buried in snow, and Stephen intent on rescuing me.

Things that I wanted to say but could not find the language to say = Gabby Bess is the most talented writer that I know and I am profoundly in love with her.

Things I have eaten and would like to try again = the cauliflower salad because I waited until 6 for it.

Things that I imagined and would like to live for real = to make love with him in San Carlos, watching the snow fall, sweating to the powerful air heater.

Ten
I could invent a language right now. A language to invoke my loved ones. A language to write every possible poem. A language so that I could travel freely. A language so I could say what I don’t know. A new language, to think. The hands. The cigarettes. The beer. The bad smell from the street corners of Manhattan. The price of wine. The anchor. The long hair. The sound of our feet in the snow. The sound of Alt Lit rhythmically beating. The sound of the metro. The sound of Mellow Pages. The sound of the applause. The sound of the air heater. That which has already gone past. That which had me so scared.

 

Translated from the Spanish by Luis Silva

Is there need for new translations?

roberto-bolano-2666

Over at Three Percent, Chad Post asked whether there was a need for new translations.

Way back when, I was on a panel at the London Book Fair with John Sturrock shortly after his retranslation of the “Sodom and Gomorrah” section of Proust’s In Search of Lost Time had come out. At some point during the conversation, he mentioned the accepted adage that every great work of international literature has to be retranslated every 50 years or so.

I’ve never heard a great explanation of why a translation “ages” faster than the original, but this belief—that a translation is somehow less “lasting” than the book itself—has been repeated by dozens of great writers and translators and, for whatever mysterious reason, seems to be true.

The cynical side of me would argue that the need for retranslations is tied to the financial windfall that comes from the “DEFINITIVE TRANSLATION!” marketing copy that accompanies these books. Especially since the books that tend to be retranslated are the ones with the largest classroom sales . . . Well, except maybe War & Peace, which would make most undergrads cry, but Random House still made bank off of that.

On a less cynical note, there is something to the idea that a translation can be “refreshed” every so often. That, for whatever strange mental reason, the changes to the way language is used in the target language make certain translations feel very dated. Which makes no sense when you think about it—outdated slang in the original is given a pass, but in the translation it seems glaring—but it happens.

[…]

I’m interested to hear what everyone else has to say, but the first authors that come to mind are Bolaño, Knausgaard, and . . . I’m at a loss. Even with those two, I can’t imagine retranslating either. Especially not a Natasha Wimmer translation! But I have the same reaction to every author I think of (David Grossman? Mo Yan? Mikhail Shishkin?), but yet, I know this is going to happen to some book that I revere.

Anyone who has read both a novel and its translation cannot fail to notice that they are related but distinct works.

New translations do not just update the language. Every translation loses something and gains something else. Even if two translations of one book were made in the same era, the same year, there would be some value that each would have against the other.

On Wimmer’s translations of Bolaño, she forgoes trying to translate the slang and the variations of regional Spanish. That’s a pretty big choice.

And even on the small choices in a sentence by sentence basis, these can accumulate so that the original and the translation have different syntax, rhythm, or emphasis.

I haven’t formally studied translation but I’ve practiced by translating parts of Bolaño and afterwards comparing them to the Wimmer and Andrews translations. There are choices to be made everywhere. There are times when I see that they’ve chosen to leave something in the original and not take it to the target language. And then other times when I can’t imagine how they came up with a way to convey the same tone/attitude/meaning from the original when a direct translation in language just doesn’t exist but has to be done through the translator creating something new in the target language.

Mad Men Recap : “A Day’s Work”

don and sally draper

Is this thing on? Hi!! Lucy Tiven checking in with weekly thoughts and summations on all things Mad Men Season 7. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a poet, essayist, and self-appointed authority on pop culture. Not too long ago, I graduated from a prestigious university, but now I mostly camp out on my room mates floor yelling things at the TV. I will begin talking about Mad Men now.

Particularly as it moves towards a close, Mad Men is a show about obsolescence, issuing various echoes of “out with the old, in with the new” in its themes, character arcs and even visual material. Much of the show dwells in the realm of “daddy issues”: what makes someone a good father? How does a society provide successful (or unsuccessful) models of authority?

Mad Men portrays various crises in a moment when much of the country defines itself by pushing back against conventional ideas of paternity and paternal figures. Throughout the series, fathers and father-surrogates (Draper, Sterling, Kennedy, Nixon, MLK, etc) are figuratively or actually lost, or at the very least, left greatly transformed.

“A Day’s Work” spends a good deal of time in the office: something I’ve missed in more recent seasons of the show which seem more focused on Don and Peggy’s relationships and less saturated with “office shenanigans”. Social change is slowly permeating SCP; while there is definitely still the sense of things being run by Old White Dudes, it’s nice to see Joan not only “climbing the ladder” herself, but trying to “pay it forward.” (For some reason, I find myself suddenly only able to speak in clichés…)

The shot of Dawn in her own office was definitely one of those “YOU GO GIRL!!” moments. Like, that makes you maybe spill a little of your beer in front of the TV doing some enthusiastic gesture. Of course, racially, Dawn is a pioneer in her field, not unlike Peggy was as a woman. But they are also quite different. I am reminded of when Peggy tried to encourage Dawn to follow her path last season and Dawn said she was uninterested in being a copywriter. Which seems to say not everyone wants the same things and many of the characters have come to want or be things we didn’t expect them to: Joan and Roger’s trajectories obviously come to mind.

At this point, Peggy’s success story is underscored by her increasing malaise while ‘California Pete’ (my Personal Style Icon at the moment) is weirdly thriving. Am I the only one who found Peggy’s plot on this episode completely shallow, boring, and divisive? It sucks to see characters that used to be complex turned into caricatures of themselves and used as plot devices (Peggy, mother fucking ROGER). But out with the old, right?

So far, the pacing of Mad Men’s final season is reminiscent of the last season of The Sopranos: which is to say it is slow. I have mixed feelings about this. Mad Men has never been an especially action or plot-driven show and I think holding back in a period drama can be dangerous: when so much of how it operates is already about creating an environment slowly and watching it change over time. Often, the Mad Men episodes I find the most compelling are those that draw somewhat obvious parallels between local and global events: the JFK/Nixon episode, the JFK and MLK assassinations, etc. I’m interested to see where that leaves us now. I imagine we will get to see the moon landing (Todd VanDerWerff at the AV Club suggested this as the mid-season finale, which would be COOL) and wonder what events/plots the show will use to parallel it.

 Like The Sopranos, Mad Men’s closing scenes are often the most satisfying. “A Day’s Work” ends just after Don and Sally share an intimate and honest moment once Don “comes clean” fully. On an obvious level, Don’s status as a father figure has eroded. He is unemployed. His tall-tales are transparent even to his young daughter. His apartment is cold and sad. He isn’t ‘getting any’ from his wife or any other ladies (in the pilot, he can’t even manage to philander with the forward woman he meets on an airplane, which seems like a real freebie being thrown his way).

Still, this instant, when Sally tells her father she loves him, and he reveals himself as he really is to her (even if only because he can’t do anything else at this point) was one I read as hopeful. We get the idea that Don can still be a father and a man, or that he finally is being one, for the first time, but had to have all the flimsy lies and material shit stripped away to do it. That a real man isn’t someone who “has it together”: instead, the kind of opposite idea: that human beings have to endure profound suffering and debasement in order to act ethically or be redeemed. Like in Oedipus or Lear. Or any tragedy in the classical sense. That first, pathos makes us pathetic. Gloucester, facedown on the beach. Or Keats, in asking us “Do you not see how necessary a World of Pains and troubles is to school an Intelligence and make it a soul?” (And his world was indeed a troubled one. As is Don’s. As is ours.)

Continue Reading →

Advice to an English Major

From my Tumblr:

Electric-Cereal-TumblrHer response:

Screen shot 2013-10-05 at 8.17.56 AM

Tolstoy’s War and Peace: Short Chapters

9/17/13

The short chapters are something else I have noticed. I like that type of structure. It allows for a lot of temporal leaps, long or short, and for efficient and direct storytelling. Stops any meandering or over philosophizing or purple description. It reminds me of Breaking Bad‘s method of cutting action with jump cuts and skipping over conversations that we already know the content of. Bolaño also works in short chapters in The Savage Detectives and 2666. So does Walser in Jakob von Gunten.

Even authors like Wallace and Pynchon, who sometimes let their chapters go to epic lengths, still operate on the principle of self-contained chapters. Ones that reset to give a new train of thought its own room or to let a sequence be driven by its own momentum. Like a film set piece or a short story.

Other authors like Saul Bellow and W.G. Sebald go from tangent to tangent. Mostly it seems like their chapters are just arbitrary, like they are taking a breath, or more so that they want to insert the type of commentary that can only go at the beginning or end of chapters and books. Grand statements, final words, the summing up of truth.

Tolstoy’s War and Peace: The Glory of War

9/16/13

I just read the first battle scenes. They end in a near-miraculous victory but all the glory is misplaced. Those who did the least celebrate with full bellies while the true heroes are left starving and dying outside in the mud.

Here are some battle descriptions.

The first time that Rostov finds himself at the front lines:

‘One step beyond that line, reminiscent of the line separating the living from the dead, and it’s the unknown, suffering, and death. And what is there? who is there? there, beyond this field, and the tree, and the roof lit by the sun? No one knows, and you would like to know; and you’re afraid to cross that line, and would like to cross it; and you know that sooner or later you will have to cross it and find out what is there on the other side of the line, as you will inevitably find out what is there on the other side of death. And you’re strong, healthy, cheerful, and excited, and surrounded by people just as strong and excitedly animated.’ So, if he does not think it, every man feels who finds himself within sight of the enemy, and this feeling gives a particular brilliance and joyful sharpness of impression to everything that happens in those moments.

After having his horse shot from under him, Rostov is dazed (I’m pretty sure this is one of the book’s most famous passages):

He looked at the approaching Frenchman and, though a moment before he had been galloping only in order to meet these Frenchmen and cut them to pieces, their closeness now seemed so terrible to him that he could not believe his eyes. “Who are they? Why are they running? Can it be they’re running to me? Can it be? And why? To kill me? Me, whom everybody loves so?” He remembered his mother’s love for him, his family’s, his friends’, and the enemy’s intention to kill him seemed impossible. (pg. 189)

Rostov is wounded and sits out in the cold, alone with nothing to eat:

“Nobody needs me!” thought Rostov. “There’s nobody to help me or pity me. And once I was at home, strong, cheerful, loved.”

He looked at the snowflakes dancing above the fire and remembered the Russian winter with a warm, bright house, a fluffy fur coat, swift sleighs, a healthy body, and all the love and care of a family. “And why did I come here?” he wondered. (pg. 200)

Reading Notes for Tolstoy’s War and Peace

war-and-peace-cover

9/12/13

I started reading War and Peace yesterday. What I’m noticing about this and Dead Souls is the attention to minute details. People’s expressions, manners, language, clothing, and the perceptions others have of these. There is so much description of each character and how they communicate. Each line of dialogue is accompanied by a description of a glance, a face, a tone of voice, a smile, a flush of skin. This is all standard for a realist novel. It’s recognizable from contemporary fiction, but somehow in these 19th century Russians, it seems like the detail is all the more magnified and produced in amazing abundance.

I want to take extensive notes on my reading. Every time I try this it has never worked out. I can never form clear impressions while I’m in the middle of reading a book. I like to put myself completely in the hands of the author and let him guide my experience. Somehow in isolating parts of the whole from each other, I influence the experience into something different. I lose sense of the complete picture.

9/16/13

Tolstoy portrays how people are disengaged from the reality of war. The looming French army is just another topic of conversation. They regard it in conflicting attitudes of foreboding and irreverence.

I think he is challenging the myths that must have been commonplace in his time. There is no universal courage. The characters aren’t inspired by honor and selflessness but personal advancement.

In part one, volume one, which takes place in the societies of Petersburg and Moscow, the motivations of the characters is chiefly self-interest. The theme of these society chapters seems to be that status and social success is in direct contradiction with virtue. The relationships are either feigned or exaggerated. And those that are actually genuine seem to advance themselves at the expense of outsiders.

Even in part two, which takes place at the front lines, so many of the characters act as if they had no personal stake in the war. What they care about is their status in the army and what honors they will receive. Whether a battle ends in a victory or loss is inconsequential to them.

In a scene, where Prince Andrei witnesses this type of behavior, he says to another officer:

Understand that we’re either officers serving our tsar and fatherland, and rejoice in our common successes and grieve over our common failures, or we’re lackeys, who have nothing to do with their masters’ doings. (pg. 127)

I skimmed through my copy of Saul Bellow’s letters and found a mention of Tolstoy’s minute description:

I’m convinced that Leo was a somatological moralist. Eyes, lips, and noses, the color of the skin, the knuckles and the feet do not lie. The tone of Speransky’s laughter tells you his social ideas are unreliable. It’s not a bad system. I seem to use it myself, most of the time. (pg.256)

Napoleon is held in an awe of respect and hatred. He’s dismissed as a mere nuisance that has only gotten ahead due to luck and transgression. The old are appalled by his hubris. They are insulted that he dares to challenge their sacred greatness. That he is admired by the young is a contrast of the traditional with the modern. The young see him as a king who wins battles. His attainment of power, status, and glory by force is in keeping with their values. They can’t help but excuse his transgression as the proper destiny for a great man.

Rice Krispies

Earlier this week, Beach Sloth wrote a great review of Electric Cereal.

Long ago Rice Krispies came out with a special ‘Electric Cereal’ in the late 60s. Infused with a light electric current they were not a success. Children found themselves getting mild electric shocks from their snaps, crackles and pops. Parents loved them because it encouraged more sales of healthy breakfast items like bran, unflavored corn chips, blueberry and cardboard, along with plenty more boring offerings. With this site that’s been going strong for quite some time things are moving ever upwards, forwards, sideways, and to all sorts of positive places.”

Beach Sloth also became the first contributor to the site with the poem, Love me love me.