Thursday, February 14, 2008

Literary Passages, Notes on Academia

sontag.jpg  vader.jpg
To compensate for the preceding three days of Lovecraft, some highbrow-type literary notes:

•I saw Janice Erlbaum read last night, and she was good, as always.  She also preceded the actual reading from her new book, Have You Found Her, with a few “hai-poo,” short poems in a quasi-haiku form invented by a friend of hers that need follow only one rule besides (vaguely) resembling haiku: the final line of each poem must be “Shat myself.”  I believe one of hers went:

Anal sex
Not as good as advertised
Shat myself

Another started: “High colonic…”  But you get the idea.  Don’t let this stop you from reading Have You Found Her.

•I was interested in fiction writing myself once, apparently, or at least Naomi Camilleri recalls a fiction-writing class we took together in college better than I do and has written a long, funny comment about it on one of my old Retro-Journal entries, so it’d be a shame if you didn’t read it.

•The writing I remember most vividly from college is the comedic Film Bulletin (a weekly comedy flier doubling as a guide to the Brown Film Society’s upcoming screenings), in which we often made jokes (depending on the mix of staffers at the time) about things like Susan Sontag, lesbianism, Luis Bunuel, documentaries about the Holocaust, and George Lucas, so I was greatly amused to read this almost self-parodic passage from Camille Paglia’s latest Salon essay, which sounds like something we might have written.

(In other film news, Woody Allen’s next movie will reportedly feature two steamy lesbian scenes between Scarlett Johannson and Penelope Cruz, making me think Woody has become more comfortable with the whole dirty-old-man thing — and inspiring one of my old Film Bulletin colleagues to say he now plans to make this the first Woody Allen movie he’s seen in eight years.)

•On another collegiate note, one Brown official was arrested for “lewd and lascivious behavior” a la Larry Craig back when we were studying there, but I think that story in the New York Post yesterday about a Montreal professor may be even more embarrassing.

•Last night, instead of hearing Janice read, I could have attended a Brown alumni event explicitly marketed (for the first time, as far as I can recall) as a singles mixer and offering, in typical Brown fashion, the chance to meet the “male, female, or transgendered individual” of your dreams.  Hardly surprising from a school that devotes a whole webpage of its official health information to detailed instructions on how to clean your sex toys.  Brown students will never know from their school’s site’s section about tobacco that they’re fifty times less likely to die if they switch from cigarettes to smokeless tobacco — but they’ll know how to clean and store their vibrating butt plugs.  Ever true.

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