Posts Tagged ‘literature’

Vonnegut Month: A sensational invitation

February 7, 2011


She was a dull person, but a sensational invitation to make babies.

(Slaughterhouse-Five. 1969.)

Is that often the case? I’ve been trying to get to know dull people more, because I did this thing when I was younger where I participated in cheer and rushed a sorority and I discovered that all those people that I’d a), reverse discriminated against by assuming they thought they were too good for me; therefore, I considered myself the superior one and assured our mutual alienation and b), speculated must be completely empty-minded automatons programmed to do nothing but stroll down the street saying, “Where you at?” on their cell phones like cockroaches who keep living despite having lost their heads, were at any rate just as real and authentic as me, and during this time of social expansion I found that I was the guilty snobbish one, and they each had their own personal memories and dreams and private tragedies. This probably seems overwhelmingly evident to you but it was brand-new shit to me: I’d always assumed that those type of people were just dull sheep. I’ve found myself slipping back in to that sort of deliberate ignorance of slick or facile-seeming people, and I’ve been trying to fight this bullshit reverse-elitism by purposely starting conversations with waitresses with bump-its and guys in leather car coats at the bank. I encourage you to give it a whirl, too. … Especially the waitresses.

Dickens December: “Naked Girls Reading” do Dickens tonight in NYC

December 16, 2010

These are actually shots of a Chicago reading, but you get the idea.

If you live in New York City or environs, slide on down to the Pinchbottom Burlesque’s Naked Girls Reading show tonight at Madame X to hear the timeless classic A Christmas Carol read by the lovely and talented Nasty Canasta and friends.

Miz Canasta.

On Thursday, December 16, at 8:00pm, host Nasty Canasta (declared by the New York Times to be “perhaps the loveliest and certainly the nudest Scrooge in history”) leads an all-star cast of exhibitionists in an in-the-buff reading of this special version of A Christmas Carol, just as Dickens himself originally performed it — although perhaps a bit more naked.

(BWW News Desk. “Naked Girls Reading returns with ‘A Christmas Carol’.”

Naked Girls Reading has clearly evolved into something more than just titillation. It is titillating, but, after the first thrill of the initial disrobing, the pleasure of seeing beautiful women undressed fades besides the sense of intimacy achieved from someone bearing both their body and their soul at the same time. It was a remarkable experience.

(Steven Padnick. “Naked Girls Reading.”

To summarize: Pinchbottom Burlesque will be performing their Naked Girls Reading of A Christmas Carol tonight at 8 pm, upstairs at Madame X, 94 W. Houston St. (between Thompson and Laguardia). Tickets are $20-$40 and can be purchased in advance from Pinchbottom’s official site. Go check out the show that NBC New York said, “will leave your chestnuts very warm indeed” — and, if you do swing by, send pictures or it didn’t happen.

Bitch, why do you tell me this fucking news when I do not live in New York goddamned City and cannot attend? Relax, neither do I. And may I add you cuss a lot? Because I am filled with holiday spirit, here’s a quick and generous guide to the doings of Naked Girls Reading around the rest of North America, Potty McSwearmouth.

Naked Girls Reading Elsewhere:

  • In Chicago, home of the original show, the Naked Girls have already celebrated Dickens, on December 3rd. Sorry, dudes.

    Seattle gals.

  • The ‘Couv: The lovely and talented ladies of Naked Girls Reading in Vancouver (B.C., not WA) will be reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas December 23 at Beaumont Studios, 316 W. 5th Ave. Doors open at 8, show starts 8:30. Advance tickets $15 general, $20 front row. At door +$5.
  • Madison nakies had a slumber party on December 12, where they read classic tales of teenage awkwardness. Look for more events from the Wisconsin chapter in the near future.
  • Seattle: Seatown’s Naked Girls Reading appear to be cooling their jets after a very big and successful to-do last month. They’ll get back to you, but they’re washing their hair.

  • Photo of SF Naked Girls Reading by Shilo McCabe, of the extraordinary Sex Positive Photo Project on the blogger.

  • San Francisco’s chapter will not be doing a reading of A Christmas Carol, but check out “International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers” on December 17th at the Center for Sex and Culture. 1519 Mission Street @ 11th. Doors open at 8:30, show starts at 9. $15 gen. adm, $20 special reserve seats. Readings will come from pieces written by actual sex workers.

    For more on the doings of chapters in Toronto, Dallas, Los Angeles, et al, please do hit up the Naked Girls Reading official site, and, hey — don’t be afraid to practice at home.

  • Fight Club Friday: Rule 8

    December 3, 2010

    Friday night’s all right for fighting.

    Rule 8: If this is your first night at Fight Club, you have to fight.

    On a re-read. Doesn’t stack up. His never do (commence hate mail from rabid fans) other than Invisible Monsters. All my library books are overdue, including this. There is a robot who calls now to tell you so, and called me yesterday. I picture this robot coming to my door in another week and breaking my back over the unreturned books. Thanks a lot, the future.

    Yesterday’s News and Burroughs Month: Double inaugural editions and an introduction

    September 9, 2010

    Mexico, September 8, 1951 — The Daily News reports that, in a drinking game which turned tragic, writer William S. Burroughs accidentally shot wife Joan Vollmer fatally in the head. He was aiming for the glass of gin on top of her head.

    William Seward Burroughs, 37, first admitted, then denied today that he was playing William Tell when his gun killed his pretty, young wife during a drinking party last night.

    via Le Revérénd Docteur right here on the wordpress.

    Apparently William S. Burroughs was also a heroin addict and later threw out being bi and went whole-hog homosexual, being one of the first to identify as “queer” and reclaim the word as positive. The latter I’m way down for and think is great, the former …? — I don’t get how people can be addicted to heroin and still live long and functioning lives. Heroin addicts, clue me in on how this is possible? Seems so inescapably destructive a drug that it kind of puzzles me. I suppose having a lot of money helps. Then you don’t engage in all the risky behaviors poorer addicts do in order to acquire money to buy the drug. This is speculation: I am neither well-off nor a heroin addict. I like to try and take a “never say never” approach to life but I feel safe asserting that I will probably never be either.

    I’ve used this picture before, but I cannot get enough of Burroughs’ delightfully priggish and pedantic expression. Looking straight down his nose at Kerouac and no doubt both laced to the gills. 1953, Greenwich Village.

    I say “apparently,” about those factoids from his life story because, you guys, it’s super embarassing and inexplicable, but I know pretty much zip about William S. Burroughs. I don’t know how it happened, but seriously — virtually zip. I don’t even know if I’ll like all that I plan to read by him, but I was idly flipping through my millions of pictures and run across the scan of the newspaper clipping. I decided that the coincidence of a) searching for someone new to focus on this month; b) toying with an idea for a feature called Yesterday’s News that would be news out of history that had also literally been printed the day before the present date, rather than the more hackneyed “on this date in history…” etc, and c) finding something on Burroughs that’d been published yesterday in history* was too much synchronicity to ignore. So today marks the beginning of Burroughs Month. Welcome!

    To be clear: Joan Vollmer was killed September 7. The article is dated September 8, and is the “yesterday’s news” to which the category will henceforth refer. This is partly a “how good am I at searching archives” challenge as well.

    edit: Please read the comments, where DaveW takes us to school in re: heroin and Ms. Vollmer. Thanks for the info and insights, Dave!

    E.E. Cummings Month: “Buffalo Bill’s”

    August 2, 2010

    Buffalo Bill’s
                 who used to
                  ride a watersmooth-silver
    and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat
    he was a handsome man
                                              and what i want to know is
    how do you like your blueeyed boy
    Mister Death

    (E.E. Cummings, “Buffalo Bill’s,” 1920.)


    Well, how do you, Mr. Death.

    This is one of several Cummings poems first published in The Dial in 1920. A very early example of his fascination with unusual forms, “Buffalo Bill’s” use of whitespace in the poem is in part influenced by Pablo Picasso, who Cummings met in Paris after serving time in France on a trumped up charge of being a spy during the Great War (total folklore — he was a volunteer ambulance driver and was guilty of nothing more than being an outspoken critic of war, violence, and suffering in general). Cummings was also a painter and was inspired by Picasso’s formalistic experiments in cubism: he carried the philosophy forward in to his writing as well.