Posts Tagged ‘the fact that it’s funny doesn’t make it a joke’

The Fact That It’s Funny Doesn’t Make It A Joke #6

March 25, 2011

Well, I suppose I did just write almost eight thousand words of the next issue of my popular zine, The Fact That It’s Funny Doesn’t Make It A Joke.


Nan Goldin

March 20, 2011

So I went to New York last weekend. I went to see Godspeed You Black Emperor last Monday (M wrote about it here) but I hung out in New York Saturday night, Sunday and then early Tuesday, too.

On the bus ride in I mostly read Everything Matters by Ron Currie Jr, a book we’ll be discussing at the Total Bummer Book Club at my bookstore in April, which was pretty great actually. I like him although I think that despite the obvious “being an alcoholic is bad” current in that novel there’s also kind of a current of like strong tough don’t think about it I don’t need to work on my shit, which might just be a Maine thing. I haven’t been here that long. I mean, I don’t think it wrecks the book or makes the author a jerk or anything, it just like… actually it’s such a minor thing I don’t know why I’m talking about it instead of all the things that he did well in this book, like how effectively he crammed in so many ups and downs without making them drag on or blow by, and how the second-person sections didn’t get explained and didn’t need to but also didn’t get cloying, and how, y’know, unrelentingly bleak it was, which is something I’m always happy to endorse.

So anyway yeah I went to the Strand, where I used to work, as soon as I’d gotten into the city, eaten a slice of pizza, dropped some zines off at Bluestockings, picked up a 22 oz Corona and drunk it at that Indian Restaurant on the top left at 1st and 6th in Manhattan, with all the chili lights and mirrors, where it’s somebody’s birthday every twenty minutes so you always hear the Bollywood birthday song. I don’t think I bought anything the first time I went to the Strand, I just looked around for Kathy Acker books (someone clearly had beaten me to them, or else she is even further out of fashion than I’d grown used to; she is either very cool or not at all cool right now, which reinforces the fact that I am a hipster dickbag) and left ’cause my backpack was really heavy. I woke up the next morning, gorged myself at Kate’s on Avenue B, then walked back to the Strand and got the Dennis Cooper book I talked about in my last post and a tiny square book of Nan Goldin’s photographs by Guido Costa, boringly titled Nan Goldin.

It was great though! I mean, kind of great. Actually I read the whole thing on the bus ride home and was into it but now that I’m thinking about it it wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I mean, what I like about Nan Goldin is mostly that her pictures preserve a history of trans women that never really sees much light- that’s occluded by history, if you want to be a herb about it- and because she was a cis woman with access to a means of production trans women generally haven’t (which is a simplification; it’s a point but it’s not the whole story) there are so many of her pictures (example) she’s taken that show, y ‘know, a history of my people that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else. So I guess what I wanted from this book was for Guido Costa to be like “this person in this picture’s name is this, and she lived here, and her life was like this, and she dated this person, ate this, hung out here, wrote this, read this, performed or didn’t perform,” y’know. So it couldn’t have been what I wanted it to be. It was still nice to learn more about Nan Goldin though.

Also there were first US editions of Barthes’ second book of mythologies and the Fashion System just sitting there in the philosophy section but I managed not to buy them because the thirty-five dollars or whatever they would have cost had to go toward a taco truck, vegan Asian fusion food on Bedford Avenue, vegan Dim Sum at the bottom of Mott Street, more pizza, some noodles in Chinatown while I waited for the bus, and food to eat on the bus. I WISH I HAD THEM THOUGH. Even though your possessions end up owning you maaaaaaan anyway then I went to vegan dim sum in Chinatown with Tom and Julie.