Cats have developed the magical ability to spoon as equals.
Buzzcocks - Orgasm Addict - 1977
you can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness
“I wondered why Bowman, like her fellow proprietors, was disavowing economic theory and not trying to maximize her profits. Then I remembered one fascinating statistic about our economy. There are more than 27 million businesses in the United States. About a thousand are huge conglomerates seeking to increase profits. Another several thousand are small or medium-size companies seeking their big score. A vast majority, however, are what economists call lifestyle businesses. They are owned by people whose goal is to do what they like and to cover their nut. These surviving proprietors hadn’t merely been lucky. They loved their businesses so much that they found a way to hold on to them, even if it meant making bad business decisions. It’s a remarkable accomplishment in its own right.”
This is everything that’s stupid and disgusting about “economics” in one paragraph. If your economic theory doesn’t apply to the “vast majority” of businesses, then she isnt disavowing the theory, the theory is wrong, and if the goal is to do what they like and cover their nut (TWSS) then they aren’t making “bad business decisions.” YOU ARE WRONGITY WRONG MAYOR OF WRONGTOWN.
How it Feels to Be Forcibly Fed, New York World Magazine, September 6, 1914, Djuna Barnes Papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries. At the Elizabeth Sackler Center in the Brooklyn Museum through August 19, 2012.
There is a Djuna Barnes exhibit happening at the Brooklyn Museum, only through August and it’s amazing, and it’s called “Newspaper Fiction: The New York Journalism of Djuna Barnes, 1913-1919.”
The show is fiction and deeply weird, sometimes flippant investigative reporting, which moves in and out of fiction. The piece that I want to mention here is ”How It Feels to Be Forcibly Fed,” in which Barnes submits herself to an artificial feeding. Doctors inserted rubber tubing down her throat and into her stomach, dripping liquid nutrients into her body, and she wrote about it. At a moment (1914) when imprisoned British suffragists on hunger strike were fed against their will, Barnes says:
I saw in my hysteria a vision of a hundred women in grim prison hospitals, bound and shrouded on tables just like this, held in the rough grip of callous warders while white-robed doctors thrust rubber tubing into the delicate interstices of their nostrils and forced into their helpless bodies the crude fuel to sustain the life they longed to sacrifice.
Science had, then, deprived us of the right to die.
Still the liquid trickled irresistibly down the tubing into my throat.
The writing charts the procedure—with the state of the suffrage movement leaning in and out of the backdrop—and Barnes’ emotional experience of it: anguished, horrified, and ironic/disassociative. The article’s intensity, I think, is owed to Barnes’ use of horror. By evoking fear, alienation, and disgust Barnes indexes the violence of the state pitting the political will against the body. In one passage, organs “lapse,” inanimate objects move, and the only parts of her body Barnes has awareness of are her extremities, and that locus of force where a doctor holds her prostrate by the hips.
The doctors, whom Barnes observes earlier walking “with that little confiding gait that horses must have returning from funerals,” approach her on the table, pre-tube:
All life’s problems had now been reduced to one simple act — to swallow or to choke. As I lay in passive revolt, a quizzical thought wandered across my beleaguered mind: This, at least, is one picture that will never go into the family album.
Because of the violent, gruesome intensity of the piece as a whole, I get really interested in these moments of ironic reflection. Barnes wades into these scenes which are completely harrowing from the inside, and then leaves for a second, measuring their inherent humor—not to mention seeing herself represented— from somewhere else. The doctors like horses; the largeness of the life in the mind brought down to the gag reflex; Barnes’ image of herself violated, strapped, and supine as a family photo, quickly rejected. These moments might function as comic relief but there’s also a surprising way the knowing, cutting wit, in its sudden absence from the scene, deepens the horror.
Jenny Hendrix, covering the exhibit for the Paris Review blog, says of the article: “A bit too cool for activism, Barnes focuses narrowly on subjective sensation.” This criticism seems like it’s missing something important (read: I think it’s obtuse and patriarchal). But it is useful to note because it sets up a key mechanism of the logic Barnes was either boring a hole through, or perhaps just bored by: the quarantining of subjective knowledge from their political implications.
In “How It Feels to Be Forcibly-Fed” I see Barnes as altering the scope of exposition to provoke an under-heard perspective of political life. She steps over pointless debates on militancy and efficacy by attending to the body. This work is weird journalism and maybe that’s because how often is performance art run in newspapers? Hers is a performance of bodily vulnerability, it is the details of power on the body’s level, and the article is the document.
IM ALL OVER THIS EXHIBEET
rgr-pop: I will probably always follow back if your first page has two or more pictures of yourself…
- I will probably always follow back if your first page has two or more pictures of yourself on it
- I understand a million reasons why a person might not post a lot of pictures of themselves online, but it’s still usually pretty disorienting to me
- The reasoning I understand the least is “putting pictures of myself online is not interesting to me”
- I am newly discovering that this is particularly a baffling issue in the community that is DUDES
- Where are your faces???
- Oh god, please don’t answer that.
Trust me, people who post a lot of pictures of themselves are just as disorienting to those of use who don’t/won’t/can’t do so. All of us are here and lots of us are not dudes.
her: I'm sure that's totally wrong. Why do you think that?
me: Whenever I suggest getting together, they each say no.
her: Well they are probably busy. What about when they suggest getting together with you?
me: They never do.