What Keeps You Up at Night
Betsy Morais writes about the “bedtime procrastination” phenomenon: http://nyr.kr/1i2k4xY
“Sleeplessness has become a public-health concern, according to the Centers for Disease Control: around fifty to seventy million American adults have some kind of sleep disorder;…
Somebody finally coined a word for MY LIFE.
(If I could take a pill to never sleep and suffer no side effects from doing so, I’d do it in a heartbeat (whereas I’d never do the same w/r/t food). But I know the most basic reason I put off going to bed: lying there *waiting* to go to sleep really is a Nabokovian indignity, even if you don’t have insomnia and it’s only 10 or 15 minutes. So I stay up until I fall down, and then I don’t have to suffer the 15 minutes of boredom.
When I go for good, that’s how I want to go as well — so tuckered out that I just let go; no time or brain cycles for boredom or regret.)
I have been telling people for years that I would skip sleep if I could, and most people look at me funny when I do so. Also, this may be part of why I was Morning Owl today.
Agree with all of the above. I don’t sleep well, so it tends to not matter how much or how little sleep I get; I never feel rested. But with a big enough sleep deficit I still see declines in cognitive tasks, so I know I still need sleep. As a result I have come to deeply resent the act of sleeping. Big downsides to not getting it, but no reward for doing so.
Anonymous said: does being male make relating to literature easier? a lot of the time i end up feeling sort of alienated by near-universal use of male pronouns...
Short answer: being male makes most things easier. That said, literature works both ways, because sometimes I find dude perspectives alienating and resent the implication that I should see myself in them. I appreciate you bringing this up, it’ll make me more cognizant of the speaker in my own work, and whether or not I’m being inclusive. But in defense of Dunn and a thousand other dudes, for a lot of people poetry is a pretty intensely personal thing, and their perspective is the only one they have. Thinking more about it, maybe I don’t have any real right to aim for a more universal perspective. This is tricky stuff!
I’ve actually been trying to formulate a post about reading women authors and beyond that, seeking out women authors operating in women-controlled spaces. It’s not ready yet, but suffice it to say fellas if you are a regular reader and you cannot name lady authors you like, you should fix that!
Anyhow, I’m assuming this came in response to the last bit of poetry I posted, so with that in mind here are some female poets whose work I have liked:
(I would spend the week tumblasting snippets of poetry by ladies but it happens to be Lil’ Kim week next week (though she is, of course, a lady poet) so maybe come back in a week?)
this is my trophy. someone gave it to me in 2004. it says “I’m #1” at the base.
From an LA Times piece about the 89 year old man Germany is attempting to extradite because he was an SS member at Auschwitz:
Breyer’s version of events, revealed in court records, is that he was drafted and that the mayor of his village told him he had to go. Even though he was assigned to the Death’s Head guard battalion at Auschwitz, he said, he refused to kill anyone, so he served as a perimeter guard, far from the killing. He says he never shepherded prisoners from the trains to the gas chambers. [….] “That’s one of the oldest defenses,” said Aaron Breitbart, a senior researcher at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. “The perimeter-guard defense, and the baker defense: ‘Yes, I was there, but I was a baker.’ … It seems as though everybody is a perimeter guard when they’re finally caught. Well, not everybody who is caught could have been a perimeter guard.”
Expressed as a percentage, how much less culpable is the perimeter guard than the train -> gas chamber shepherd? If this cannot be expressed as a percentage, why is that, and what does this tell us about perimeter guards? About ourselves?
"He didn’t seem like what history says a Nazi should be like," [neighbor] Ken Perkins said. "He just seemed like an ordinary person who wasn’t hiding anything."
are…are you calling him an ordinary german, ken
Bill & I spend some time considering the afterlife in the back half of this week’s podcast, and I wanted to return to something that is mentioned briefly but not really explored: Hell, and specifically the idea that hell is not biblically justified. For this I draw heavily on the work of Fred Clark, who blogs as Slacktivist and whose work I have always loved. His post on Hell goes through the three places in the bible most closely supporting the popular conception of hell, and why those passages don’t actually support it. But more than that:
These three passages aren’t the only basis for the belief in Hell as eternal fiery torment, but they provide the strongest evidence to support the idea. And as you can see, this evidence is not really that strong. These passages certainly don’t provide any sort of basis for the idea that Hell ought to be a central or essential core belief that shapes our faith, or our concept of God, or our concept of one another or of the meaning of our lives. That’s not what these stories are about.
That’s not what our story is about.
This, to me, is an even more fascinating notion. Not just that hell isn’t supported by the bible, but that if the bible’s description of a just, loving god is accurate then hell (as conceived of full of pitchforks and fire and the like) not just doesn’t exist, but it can’t. Another evangelical blogger put together a long list of arguments (ethical, theological and biblical) against hell but the core of the idea is that because human sin is finite, infinite punishment cannot be ethically justified, eternal damnation leaves no room for salvation or redemption or love (all of which are kinda the point), and lastly any person good enough to get into heaven would possess enough empathy for others (even sinners) that they would be violently ill at the thought of other people being tortured for eternity.
All of that makes a whole bunch of sense to me, and it’s a fun idea in and of its own sake, but the more I think about it the more I wonder how hell got to be such a big idea in the first place. I mean, sweet mercy, why didn’t anyone say anything?
Lindsay Zoladz details the campy and vulnerable “Tumblr teen-girl aesthetic” in her latest Ordinary Machines column: “For girls who are aware that our culture expects them to be benignly happy, shiny objects—smile for me, baby—there can be a defiance in not only embracing sadness online, but cultivating a kind of ambiguity as to where the performed feeling ends and the ‘genuine’ feeling begins. Enter Lana Del Rey’s Ultraviolence—a record which seemed to emerge fully formed from this aesthetic.”
“cultivating a kind of ambiguity as to where the performed feeling ends and the ‘genuine’ feeling begins”
an earlier pitchfork post about LDR’s latest called it “a concept album from a concept human,” and while I’m not sure what I have to say about Ultraviolence yet I would like to note that I remain fascinated/thrilled with how central Authenticity (and lack thereof) is central to so much discussion of Our Motorlodge Queen.
I freely admit that I probably read too much into LDR-as-actor but in my estimation that lack of authenticity is at least 60% of the point of what she’s doing, and I find this endlessly delightful.