half empty-david rakoff

“Funny thing about words. Regarded individually or encountered in newspapers or books (written by other people), they are as lovely and blameless as talcum-sweet babies. String them together in a sentence of your own, however, and these cooing infants become a savage gang straight out of Lord of the Flies, a sullen coven with neither conscience or allegiance.” (57-8)

fitting that i’m choosing this one on the night that i’m watching say my name, a documentary that i’ve already seen, but it cannot hurt to watch again. i thought i had tributized all the rakoffs all at once, but i don’t have it marked in my notes. notes are not always reliable, but tonight, i’m trusting.

“Nothing assails the writer’s credibility more than the pleasant childhood.” (29)

as lindsay and i were trading stories about dogs and dads yesterday after spending our hard-earned money at the “we don’t give a shit farmer’s market”, this point couldn’t have been clearer.

“Like all omniscient machines possessed of benevolent intent but lacking decision-making power, it is a she.” (120)

there’s a video of a female cypher that’s circulating right now and the flows are pretty great, but the lyrics aren’t that great-and maybe that doesn’t matter anymore, but i can’t help but feel feelings when folks that have been all about lyrics are co-signing. this movie is great because unlike the old man rap movies (ice-t, i see ya) that have been happening as of late, it’s not self-righteous and exclusionary, but cross-generational and real. the experience is really different as a woman, and this is reflected in the charm of roxanne shante reminiscing about recording “roxanne’s revenge” in between loads of laundry, and seeing her rock the mic as a youngun in a turtleneck and a sweatshirt. perhaps it’s the british pov, the non-american look at this musics that we love so much. even the diversity in the answer of “do women have it harder in hip hop?” is worth the look. it’s nice to see estelle rapping, in the context of her career as an r&b singer, and that brings us back to badu or angie stone, and the reason i borrowed the movie again (it came up under a search for badu)

“Del’s supper was a Tupperware container of unhulled grains and some dark, leafy greens. If a Joan Baez song could be food this was it; a sad and earnest cloacal scouring pad of a meal.” (187)

“I get it that representation is reality’s more photogenic flip side.” (50)

“But it’s like the Internet date who didn’t lie, exactly; he is an underwear model, but for a prosthetics catalog.” (156)

oh, the internets. it’s fun for a temporary dalliance, but let’s not get it twisted. it’s not reality-i maintain. and i was wary of my therapist’s recommendation of why men love bitches, but there is actually a lot of truth in it and it’s also really sad when the “nice girl” behaviour is seen across genders-yikes.


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