28.9.05

INTERVIEW WITH CRIS MAZZA

Hello Chiasmus visitors:

Welcome to the Chiasmus Interview Series. We are proud to share with you our interview with the most fabulous Cris Mazza. Go ahead, read it--there's pictures! Please share with us and Cris your reactions and insights as well. A little reactivity does the body good.

Enjoy,
Chiasmus Staff

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1. Some of the chapters in MWTGIMWTSI have been published before. When you began this work did you have a clear sense of where it was heading, or did it just start accumulating, or was it something else entirely?

CM: I’m not sure how interesting the life history of a novel is to most people, but of course I find it enormously fun to think back. This book started life as a somewhat loosely plotted novel titled Two Halves, written originally around 1987-88, before my 3rd novel Your Name Here:___ Even though titled Two Halves, the book had two parts that alternated. What is now the 2nd half of MWTGIMWTSI came, in chapters, in between chapters of the first half — and those chapters were not separately titled as they are now. The characters and their problems and motives were basically the same, but it was longer by at least 75 pages. The title, Two Halves, was meant to highlight the idea of a person’s life being divided into two parts, the time while they are developing and deciding who they’ll be, and the time after it’s pretty much set in stone, dealing with who you’ve turned out to be. A few commercial editors showed a lot of interest, one even pitched it to a committee, but ultimately, it didn’t sell. I decided to try to create excerpts from it that I could place in magazines. I cut the excerpts out, titled each like a story and shopped them to magazines or anthologies as stories, never calling them excerpts. I think I thought the novel, as a novel, was dead, and publishing the individual stories was the only life outside my brain that Loralee would have. When these stories started being published, and mostly in anthologies, I wondered if the book might be resurrected as a “story cycle” (or “story cycle plus novella,” because I had never excerpted anything from the 2nd half). I just threw away anything from the 1st half that hadn’t been taken for an excerpt. It was like rolled out cookie dough after the cookies have been cut out and put onto a baking sheet — the leftover dough wasn’t reused, just tossed out. So I called it a story-cycle-plus-novella and tried shopping it. Still got interest, but no takers. I changed the title to Heart Problems and tried calling it a novel again and meanwhile kept revising the 2nd half, the last revision involving research into all the sexual slang the character uses, trying to never use the same sexual euphemism twice. That was when the titles for the two parts came to me, “Many Ways to Get It,” and “Many Ways to Say It.” Then I changed the overall title again to Young in the 80s (keeping the two subtitles for the two parts) When the opportunity to publish this long-suffering novel with Chiasmus came along, I knew I also had a publisher who would give me freedom with things like how long the title was, so I made a final title change to Many Ways to Get It, Many Ways to Say It.


2. When writing MWTGIMWTSI, did you find your writing style or ideas about craft shift within the period you were writing the book? How did that influence the final product?

CM: Since “the period I was writing the book” could be counted as a decade or more, then yes, many of my approaches to writing changed while working on this book. Most notably: The 2nd half was originally in 1st person — it was the “notes” Clay was dictating into a tape recorder while on this bus trip, so a journal-like form. But it began to feel phony. No one would narrate long dramatized scenes into a tape recorder. I knew I didn’t want him to be narrating the whole thing, later, in past tense, because then I would have a character who had already been through the whole story and had come out the other side, was already affected by whatever would happen in the story, and therefore wouldn’t narrate in the same agitated way I wanted him to sound. This might have been the beginning of my deeper understanding of 1st person: my realization that too many writers don’t utilize all the complexities and layers of 1st person; my dismay over the growing over-use of 1st person — especially 1st person narratives that didn’t seem to understand or take into consideration issues like temporal distance and irony and what motivates the telling; and finally my turn away from being able to use 1st person because it had so much baggage. [I’ve since decided I have to try it again, and not only carry all its baggage with me, but use its baggage in the texture of the novel. And this, I often preach, is the only way it should be used.] All those changes in my opinions and attitudes caused me to change the 2nd half of MWTGIMWTSI to a 3rd person present tense, so close to the character that it could be his voice creating the narrative (there are no “he thinks” or “he wonders if” — his thoughts and questions and conjectures and anxiety and assumptions are just sewn into the narrative). Thus the tone of anxiety is his, and is his present condition, but there’s no responsibility on the book (or the character) for what I call “motives for telling.” Technically, and literally, he’s not “telling.”

3. In MWTGIMWTSI, much of the narrative explores the idea that men and women are essentially unknowable to each other. How does this theme inform the actions of characters in your novel? Why is this kind of exploration important?

CM: I’m going to use a quote that I’ll cite (with its author’s name) again later: “Hunches are important to writers; intuitions are essential. Pursuing them honestly and enthusiastically towards success is what we …do.” Except often, for me, it’s less a hunch and more intuition. The concept that a good reader sees being explored is often not the idea I started with. Yes, I certainly became aware of it, and it became my guiding principle at some point while working on this book, but it wasn’t what I was “exploring” while initially writing the first draft. I often start with just a condition, a type of life that interests me, that I might like to vicariously try for a while. In this case, I was thinking about the girls in high school for whom college was not the obvious, logical, and always-known next step, the way it was for me and most of my close friends. Girls whose families either never mentioned it, never suggested it, and for sure never encouraged it. Girls whose life experience would have “taught” them that high school was enough, they would graduate, get some kind of job, have some fun being young, then get married, have kids, etc. I sat in classes with girls who already lived a very different life than I did: some of them did the grocery shopping for their families, some of them never had to be home at a certain time, didn’t sit down to a family dinner every night with everyone around the table. Why else would I remember one day in 10th grade world history class, a girl came in wearing the same clothes as the day before. I heard her tell someone else that she’d been over at a friend’s house and had just decided to spend the night and then came to school directly from there. (I couldn’t imagine suggesting such a plan to my mother.) That same girl, who had thin blond hair, an angular face, a husky voice, and was not well endowed, became the head cheerleader and then became Miss Spring Valley. Our school bordered three towns, and Miss Lemon Grove and Miss La Mesa were also in my class … none of these girls went to college. So I wanted to imagine that kind of life, with the life of support-yourself decisions being made at 18, when my mother was still deciding what I would have for dinner each night. I made a composite girl, thought of the boldest, most audacious traits I’d ever observed, made my girl more audacious than these, and set off with her, giving her that important craving: not knowledge, not a future, not accomplishments — but an adrenalin rush. (A craving I was well-aware of, although hadn’t followed at any length, not even on roller coasters!) It was in following her life, her reactions to the consequences of her actions, her method of “caring” for her young husband, and then, in the 2nd half, how her earlier experiences had shaped her view of life, that I came to understand the wall between her and the men she was physically intimate with. Also, in developing her “male double” in Clay — how that double would be different even though similar, how he looked at the world, sex, happiness, love, etc. — that I discovered the fissure between them greater than I ever thought. At one time I used to declare that men and women were really the same, except for different hormones and body parts; but things have changed my view, and writing this book was certainly one of those things. But, getting back to your question, the theme of being unknowable to each other didn’t necessarily inform the characters’ actions — their actions informed that theme, and then, once recognizing it, I was able to strengthen it in various ways on revision.


4. Where do you think you writing fits into the literary spectrum?

CM: I’m going to answer this question (or not) with a little story:

In fall of 2004, ebr (electronic book review) ran a series of essays on postfeminism including one containing this hypothetical question:

“I myself would love to know how authors like Mazza see their work in relation to other waves of feminism and feminist narrative practice: how [does her work] compare with, say, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway?”
—Lisa Yaszek, “I’ll be a postfeminist in a postpatriarchy.”

The editor of the series of essays invited me to offer a response to Yaszek’s piece. By logical inference, my reply should have contained my answer, but didn’t, because I couldn’t, or wouldn’t. What I wanted to say instead — my reason for not answering — had already been said, and better, almost twenty years ago:

“The orientation of scholarly and critical work is towards judiciousness — working deliberately, thinking carefully, and not being swept away by enthusiasms. We are all familiar with the orientation, and in fact many writers embody it superbly well. But others of us do not, for nowhere is it written that all of us handle the creative act as if it were a session in court… Hunches are important to writers; intuitions are essential. Pursuing them honestly and enthusiastically towards success is what we want to do, yet at the same time those ‘successes’ can appear to come and go with a facility which seems to betray more inspiration than judgment, to some of our colleagues.”
— Bruce Cutler, “What Happens If We Win?” (AWP Newsletter, May 1986)

But I do want to account for my opposition to answering this kind of question, which represents my resistance against making any synthesizing statements about the literary “movements” in which I participate. My reason comes in three parts:

I. I don’t think about it
This is going to sound an awful lot like “I don’t know much about art but I know what I like,” but it’s actually “I know about brushstrokes and textures, but not about things like the postmodern pre-diaspora of the post-masculine woman in post-9/11 post-America.”
II. Please allow at least a pretense of humility
How self centered would it be if I compared myself to this or that well-known (or even canonized) writer, or placed myself beside them on some continuum. Please let this be someone else’s job, and I’ll never complain about what they say (unless they call me a chick-lit writer).
III. The hypocrisy of deconstruction (I’m not supposed to know)
According to deconstructionists (usually professors in English departments) authors are not supposed to be the experts nor own the answers regarding their own work, but if we wanted jobs teaching in English departments, we had to go into interviews (with these same deconstructionist professors) and understand why we didn’t have the answers and be able to explain the answers that we weren’t supposed to have, and why in reality we didn’t really have them.
I like the idea that the author isn’t an expert on what his or her book means or where it belongs in a literary movement. Not because this lets me off the hook and I don’t have to have any intelligent ideas, but because when I hear a “real” literary scholar or critic pronounce what my books “mean” or where I fit, it is, frankly, for me, breathtaking. Not because what they’re saying is completely novel or exotic; it’s because I’m hearing ideas expressed in a way I never could have or would have articulated them. Certain ideas I never could have or would have explained in that particular way because they were, in the first place while creating my fictions, more of an intuition for me. Thus I recognize the interpretation, but I never could have made that same explanation myself. So under the (welcome) regime of deconstruction, critics — stewards of the now public ownership of books’ meanings — interpret me back to myself. Long before deconstruction, in a 1936 essay, “Technique as Discovery,” Mark Shorer said, “If our books are to be exercises in self-analysis, then technique must — and alone can — take the place of the absent analyst.” My text (my “technique”) may be my absent therapist, but I still need a medium (a critic) to translate.

But, I don’t want to completely avoid the spirit of this question: I consider myself a literary fiction writer who writes layered narratives, often about a person’s interior world impacting their “real world,” or so one of my former publishers told me. There is no school, camp, movement or category that I like to wear or own.


5. How do your various selves influence your writing? The author? The woman? The professor? Where do the politics of identity come into play in fiction writing?

CM: Perhaps in fiction writing —— during the hours of actually doing it —— I can completely shed the politics of identity. My identity can become as innate and basic as it is for a dog. I don’t write as a professor any more than I write as a woman. I think about being a woman when I am engaged in the task of shopping manuscripts, when dealing with issues of publicity and reviews, when I have to think about the business of the literary world and who really has the power. I think about being an author when speaking to a literature class that has read one of my books, when giving a reading or answering questions in an interview. I don’t think about myself as a professor unless I am leading a workshop or advising a student, or on campus in some other professorial capacity. I don’t think about being any of those things when I am fishing in the Upper Peninsula for smallmouth bass and northern pike on the Sturgeon River a mile past any marked trail. And I don’t think about being any of those things when I am training and showing a dog. Nor when I am writing a story or working on a novel. Those are the times I am not consciously wearing an identity, when my identity becomes just “me.” The switches of identity, however, are noticeable to me when, for example, I have to spend 2 days at a book convention, helping to promote a new book, or when I go to a fiction festival where I am reading or participating on a panel, and then —— immediately afterwards —- drive off somewhere with my dogs to a show or up to the Northwoods to fish. Sometimes, on the way, it’s difficult to shake off that “author” identity and get back to just “me.” And I do wonder if writers with other identities (say, “man” or “parent”) have this problem of shifting back to a more comfortable, more intrinsic self. Or if other people’s labeled identities are intrinsic to them.


6. What do you see as the role of the independent press in contemporary publishing?

CM: It’s a huge and important role, no matter how it’s defined. We all know the issues associated with commercial (or corporate) publishers. Simplified: The bottom line is money. Lots of it. The way toward lots of money is to tap into a mass audience. And the mass audience in the United States watches reality TV and follows the Brad-and-Jennifer divorce. Sure the corporate presses publish what they call “literary fiction,” and some of these books — even many of these books — are books I can enjoy reading. But so many of them are of a simple structure: starts here, goes forward, ends here, with some flashbacks. What happens in between may be shocking, fascinating, intense, important … I’m just talking about the structure being uncomplicated. Most of these commercial literary novels are easy (or easier) to follow. [I said most; I know people are going to want to throw the exceptions at me.] They aren’t layered, either with different passages in time or different portions of the character’s brain at work presenting different language, forms and voices. And 80 to 90 percent of them are in 1st person, tapping into that “reality TV” and talk-show confession and morning-news-around-the-coffee-table feel, the sensation that a “real” person is telling his or her own story. As an example, I have a novel MS in which the character becomes intrigued with a name on her family tree and begins to invent (and relive in her fantasy-mind) the story of that person’s life. So a subplot runs throughout the novel which is the character’s fantasy-invention of this distant relative’s life. Obviously (to most readers) this subplot says volumes about the character who is inventing; the original name on the family tree and what her real life was is irrelevant. And outside that thread the novel has dramatic scenes in the tangible “reality” of the main character’s life. When shopping the MS to agents, one agent suggested to me that I just make the novel two separate narratives about “the two women,” instead of trying to have one of the stories come from the mind of the other character. Two narratives about “the two women”? There weren’t two women. One of them was just a name and her “life story” wouldn’t exist without the other character inventing it. And that she invented it, and how she invented it, and why she invented it were major components of the novel! But contained in this agent’s suggestion is that easier road for readers: just tell a story, start here and end there, don’t mess with layers of consciousness and the reasons for fantasy and how fantasy and telling a story are the same thing, and how in the invention of another life a self is discovered. So in this experience is the role of independent publishers: Give those readers who don’t need the easiest structure and a confessional 1st person POV a choice of good books. This has been the age-old comparison of corporate to independent publishing: Indies “get to” publish daring, inventive, un-commercial books. Once at the old ABA (American Booksellers Association) convention, some representatives from a corporate publisher were out on the floor looking at other booths and came past the independent publisher’s booth where I was helping to introduce one of my novels. “You guys get to publish all the good stuff,” one wistfully said as she grazed her fingertips across the row of new books at the front of the booth.

However, something scary has been happening lately: independent publishers are unconsciously, perhaps unwillingly, adopting the same attitudes as the corporate publishers. One of my publishers recently wrote to me: “… you’re plumbing the depths of traumatized passive women who live inside their heads instead of in the real world. And as we’ve discussed, it’s not the easiest theme to present these days. I respect your decision to be true to your vision, but it does make your books more of a challenge for a marketing staff.” Another independent publisher told me they are no longer doing novels as they have been hard to sell; an occasional themed story collection might work, but novels just don’t sell. Many other independent publishers have dropped collections of short fiction, due to the difficulty of getting reviews and therefore the danger of low sales. And one publisher said he has to only consider MSS under 300 pages, regardless of literary quality of longer projects. So something has happened to the old fissure whereby the corporate publishers worried about making sure a book was marketable and profitable, but the independent publishers looked for writing that was significant, bold, entering new territory, or in some other way carried high literary value regardless of its potential to create revenue. And yet, this idealistic vision of what independent publishers “should” do, of course, disregards the very real problems of funding. Paying for book production, for editorial services, for publicity, for the time the publishers are pouring into their ventures has become more and more difficult as granting organizations tighten up, as government grants become controlled by arch conservatives, as too many publishers are competing for the same pool of serious book buyers, and as the pool of book buyers becomes, mysteriously, stagnant. I wonder: with the plethora of writing programs not only churning out new writers but turning away a certain percentage of applicants … aren’t all those would-be or promising-new writers also readers? Why hasn’t the buying of literary books increased componentially with the increase in enrollment in writing programs?

These are not problems any single independent press can solve. But independent presses can team up with disenfranchised (i.e. labeled “unmarketable”) writers and work together, instead of trying to emulate the priorities of corporate publishers.

12.9.05

INTERVIEW WITH LANCE OLSEN

To Chiasmus visitors:


Welcome to the Chiasmus blog! To launch our on-line interactive- and reactiveness, we decided it would be cool to do an interview series with our authors. Feel free to respond and converse as you like--the interview is here in the blog for you to read and react to--so go ahead and react.


Here is our first interview, with Lance Olsen--author, internet master, and all-around good guy (really, he's got awesome all over him).


--Chiasmus staff


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CP: 10:01 employs much different formal moves than your previous novels. Was it the content you wanted to tackle or the limitations of the form of the novel or something else entirely that led you to choose the form for 10:01?


LO: I don’t like to repeat myself formally. The pleasure in writing for me is to try something with each book that I haven’t tried before. Otherwise, I find the process of composition feeling flat and faded fast.


What’s always intrigued me about the communal event of film watching is how, when you’re partaking in it, you’re surrounded by an ocean of others, each with his or her own secret history. I’ve always suspected that those secret histories are much more emotionally and intellectually appealing than what’s usually blowing up on the screen. That suspicion suggested the form and led me to write the print version of 10:01, which is set in an AMC theater on the fourth floor of the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota—that is, smack in the heart of the American Dream. The narrative drifts in and out of the minds of forty-some-odd moviegoers, one mouse, and one cat during the ten minutes and one second before the feature begins, nestling into various narraticules behind what appears to be The Narrative (i.e., the about-to-begin movie), but isn’t.


Novels mine psychology in a way that films can’t. Films are all about surface and speed, novels depth and taking one’s time. What other art form allows you to live inside another person’s consciousness—a theater full of other people’s consciousnesses—for days or even weeks on end? Much of the satisfaction I experienced in writing 10:01 was using one genre (the novel) to explore the limits of another (film).


CP: It has been claimed that the novel's role in fiction writing has been the pursuit of historical accuracy or truth seeking. How does this idea resonate in current novel writing versus its significance in the past?


LO: Much mainstream fiction in the last decade or two has conceived of itself as an art of consolation and solace. It is concerned, that is, not with historical accuracy or truth-seeking, but with making the reader feel at the end of the day cozy, complacent, satisfied. Why might this be? Because the literary equivalent of Zoloft sells almost as well as the chemical compound does.


But the texts that have engaged me most through the years are the ones that impede easy accessibility, move us into regions of disturbance, make us feel the opposite of comfortable. It’s there that we can begin to begin to think and see in ways we may not have done before. It’s in the topography that lies just on the far side of our comfort zone where we start to sense change within ourselves, recalling that the our books, our lives, and our worlds can always be other than they are. This is the aesthetico-politico-existential purpose of vanguard writing.


CP: The fragmented form of 10:01 could be said to reflect the lack of linearity or causality in people's lives. With that in mind, would you consider the formal choices within the novel to present a more natural view than a more traditional narrative structure?


LO: Is standing on a street corner in Manhattan, or channel-surfing, or trying to navigate the web or a declining relationship, or hearing that a close friend died last night more like a mimetic novel or an experimental one? Experimental fiction is the real realism. Mimetic fiction teaches us, inaccurately, that life is an interlocking, coherent, fathomable whole that concludes in neatly wrapped-up revelation. Innovative fiction teaches us that lived life is just the opposite—that, as Celan Solen, one of my characters in 10:01, realizes, “Life flies at us in bright splinters. We turn them into significance.” And we should listen to what Celan Solen says, since his name is an anagram of the author’s.


CP: How did writing 10:01 change or utilize your methods of craft?


LO: I had never juggled as many consciousnesses in a single text before as I do in 10:01, and I found that a great delight and a great challenge. I wanted to keep each narraticule, each secret history, as brief and concentrated as possible. I wanted to generate the sense of a whole life, a whole way of perceiving the world, in as few words as possible—a few hundred in most cases. So for inspiration I turned to prose poetry, in which I immersed myself heavily as I worked. It’s an extraordinary form—flash fiction, only denser, more distilled, more in love with language.


About halfway through writing the print version 10:01, the idea arrived of creating a complementary and complimentary hypermedia one—a version that isn’t simply a digital adaptation of the print one, mind you, but a rethinking that through its hypertextual form and function opens onto questions about how we read, why we read, what the difference is between reading on page and reading on screen, between reading and watching, about which text (the one made of atoms or the one made of bytes) is the more “authentic,” and so forth. Tim Guthrie, an extraordinarily talented assemblage and web artist, had approached me about a year earlier with the suggestion that we collaborate on a project someday, and 10:01 seemed the perfect occasion to do so.


The more closely one reads and compares the print and digital versions, the more unlike one will likely see they are. In the gap between them, I hope, exists a third virtual version that’s the most textured.


CP: How do non-literary art and entertainment forms such as television, film, and the internet influence what you choose to write about?


LO: My generation of fiction writers is the first to have nursed on film, teethed on television. We were the ones who witnessed the web come into being and grow up around us over the last ten or fifteen years. It’s no surprise, then, that these media have had a profound impact on the way many of us structure our increasingly fractured, elliptical, inter-netted narratives, not to mention the sorts of secondary texts we appropriate and quote. If you listen closely, you can hear the sentences of many contemporary writers competing with the pop-cultural expressions of late-stage capitalism, with the latest action movie, with last week’s hot hip-hop album, with the jump-cut aesthetic of the most visually interesting videos on MTV.


On the one hand, of course, that’s liberating, energizing, deliciously appealing. On the other, it’s more than slightly disconcerting because it runs the risk of neutralizing the very thing that is special about fiction writing.


Addressing this question puts me in mind of David Foster Wallace’s 1993 critique in Review of Contemporary Fiction of what he calls “image-fiction,” of which he believes Mark Leyner’s work is the best instance: “Velocity and vividness—the wow—replace the literary hmm of actual development,” Wallace writes. “People flicker in and out; events are garishly there and then gone and never referred to. There’s a brashly irreverent rejection of ‘outmoded’ concepts like integrated plot or enduring character. Instead, there’s a series of dazzlingly creative parodic vignettes, designed to appeal to the forty-five seconds of near-Zen concentration we call the TV attention span.” Wallace concludes that such work is ultimately “both amazing and forgettable, wonderful and oddly hollow.” It is, when everything is said and done, “hilarious, upsetting, sophisticated, and extremely shallow.”


What worries me about that sort of writing is this: while image-fiction may attempt to position itself as a satiric laying-bare of the late-stage capitalist moment, it also all-too-easily aids in perpetuating the very impulses it claims to resist and dismantle.


CP: Why did you choose to place 10:01 on the internet for free?


LO: “Writers are a glum lot,” Ann Beattie commented in a recent Poets & Writers interview. “They usually expect the worst—but now that it’s here, now that corporations control from afar, and money is the bottom line, and editors are almost as expendable as writers, what are we to do but make trouble by persisting as long as we can?”


One way of making trouble, of persisting as serious avant-garde writers, is to refuse to think of art in economic terms, refuse to equate quantity sold with quality inborn. This is nothing more, I suppose, than an extension a certain D.I.Y. aesthetic that tracks back through various websites, blogs, indie music labels, and important alternative presses like Chiasmus through the early-twentieth-century Russian tradition of the samizdat (those hastily published books designed to exist below the dominant cultures’ radar), all the way to the political pamphlets like Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” passed hand to hand in the street in the eighteenth century and before.


That is, it’s nothing more than a manifestation of an essential artistic impulse to keep confronting, complicating, interrogating, and even perhaps for brief periods of time short-circuiting through myriad heterodox approaches the bird-brained, user-friendly narratives produced by our dominant cultures that would like to see such narratives told and retold until they begin to pass for something like truths about aesthetics and the human condition.


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go to www.cafezeitgeist.com to see more of lance olsen.

6.9.05

surface fictions

ok.

so let's be "real."

thousdands of black people are being "sent to," "accepted by" the state of TEXAS.

before i continue lemme say this: my mother was from texas. my sister was born there. i went to college there. my first husband was from texas, i was first married in texas. my best friend of 25 years i met in texas.

all of my mother's relatives still live in texas.

my first cousin (beautiful college girl) was raped, murdered, stuffed in the trunk of a car and left for dead, in texas.

i have a kind of position from which to say this.

thousands of black people are being "sent to," "accepted by" the state of TEXAS.

HELLO.

on the surface: benevolence.

on the surface: christian love.

on the surface: a place for suffering people to rest.


underneath the surface fiction:

you actually think these people will be given jobs?

you actually think these children will grow up with a sense of integrity and history and cultural pride?

you actually think TEXAS will sustain all the COSTS?

you actually think there have been no BACK DOOR deals made financially?

two words for you: george bush.

two other words: fucking liar.

let's talk about making fictions outside of mainstream entertainment, shall we?

fiction matters.

2.9.05

race, class, fiction and hurricanes

ten observations:

1. the people suffering from hurrican katrina are mostly black and poor.

2. the government is impotent.

3. the variety of ways in which the government is impotent is a long list.

4. prioritizing rescue of higher class people over lower class people: impotent.

5. letting thousands upon thousands (or even one) people suffer in a sea of their own shit, piss, vomit, and toxic waste from the very "industries" which supposedly make up our "economy" = revolting.

6. revolt would be a decent option.

7. remember public enemy's FEAR OF A BLACK PLANET? can't help but think of that.

8. shame is a revolutionary sentiment.

9. but only if recognized and seized upon in a moment of danger.

10. writers should write.
posted by mammalidia