i’ve been writing this essay about kim kardashian for so long that it feels like i have never not been writing this essay about kim kardashian.
and that’s saying a lot coming from someone who’s been writing a book about jackie onassis for the last 20 years.
i’ve such a vivid memory of being at the HOTCUS conference in june 2015 and talking to someone about how amazingly wild it would be to write biographically about kim kardashian. in large part, because i couldn’t imagine how it might be done.
i couldn’t imagine how you could bring in the game and the bacardi adverts and the show and all of the paratexts and all of the transmedia.
always use the active voice. that is what mrs. reynolds taught us in AP english. that is what so many of my english teachers have told me since. what they did not tell us was the cost. (<- engaging opening anecdote)
they made it sound so easy. dear people, it is not. (<- connecting with the audience through a direct address)
the thing is, the whole language works against us. the sentence structures work against us. the institutions do not love us and neither do our words.
because it is far, far easier, in english at least, for me to have been raped than for a man to have raped me, for men to have raped me. Continue reading →
which, if we’re in some sort of white supremacy/white fragility/white tears carnival time– and that does increasingly seem to be what was meant by “reopening”– hardly ranks supreme. but it is nonetheless, stupidly consistent with this broader alignment of the racist stars and worth a gander, especially due to the subtlety of the pandering and the broader agenda of thumbs up-ing white femininity. (please, lawd, this is not the gemini season i wanted.) Continue reading →
i think it was probably a thursday. one of the thursdays where i did three shows and then i took my #adjunctfashion and my sore knee home and i collapsed, ate a giant bowl of pasta and watched vanderpump rules for three hours to decompress before falling into bed.
the thing i remember is experiencing such a sense of relief, as i walked up the hill out of campus, past the national basilica, past the nuns and the priests, towards the metro, for what may have been the last time.
i remember so little.
but i do remember the relief. though i do not specifically remember why, on that particular day. beyond maybe the fact that i felt like they were finally all on board, or at least a plurality. we’d reached the tipping point in the semester where, by the sheer force of my personality, i had won them over.
they wanted to write for me. they were ready, i had primed them, i had put in the work and i had earned their trust and they were ready to write for me. it was going to be a good year.
i am giving myself exactly one hour and thirty-eight minutes in which to write about this. because there are 19 papers that need to be graded and i’m leaving for an estate sale with a friend at 9:45, but there are things i gots to say.
dear people, yesterday, mister thomas stearns eliot spoke to us from the beyond and revealed himself to be the petty jackass we always thought he was.
this may seem a digression but then that just means you never knew me in my alternate life as someone who twice attended and twice taught at the t.s. eliot international summer school. which was A Time, let me tell you.
to the degree that when tom hiddleston wore that i ❤ t.s. shirt, much of my enthusiasm about it lay in the fact that the eliot school started the following week and we could use it as the opening slide of a powerpoint presentation.
that said, in all honesty, i do not think i’ve thought about this man AT ALL in the last two years. things were going on, time passed, i taught rhetoric and tried to reshape my students’ perceptions of who can be a writer by engineering syllabi almost entirely devoid of white dudes. which means i’ve no longer spent summers thinking about the emily hale letters.