Lindsey Wixson is primarily known in the fashion industry for her unique look: her dramatic lips, playful pout and her trademark gap between her two front teeth. The public narrative Wixson and her representatives have crafted for her is a rather detailed one, even providing information about the dreams and aspirations of the young woman had she followed a different path. During her childhood Wixson wanted to follow a culinary or legal career.
Her professional goals became exclusively fashion-oriented in the brief outpour of success that occurred after Steven Meisel chose her for the cover of Italian Vogue. After the cover, Wixson was booked for two luxury brands, Prada and Miu-Miu, both as exclusives. Ever since, she is a widely recognized face and prominent model.
In an interview with WWD, Wixson discussed how she understands her path and her ascend to success. She single-handedly cites reading a Reader’s Digest (RIP!) in a bathroom when she was 12 as the catalyst for her pursuit to become a model: “It was about how Bill Gates — the millionaires — got big. It was talking about how they took the chance and they took their opportunities and they took it to a whole other level.”
Do you ever look around at the world, noticing the people surrounding you? Wondering how they understand their existence, how their brain functions and to what degree their understanding of things is similar to yours?
I do. That is why this video-mosaic of the famous model Lindsey Wixson is possibly the most fascinating thing I have seen in the recent past. It bewilders me to see her and her responses to reporters asking her questions about her experience and opinions as she is preparing for fashion shows. Within about a minute, Wixson manages to fit these gems:
The colors today are gonna wake up. They’re going to be, like, ‘WAKE UP, GUYS!’
BEAAAAUUUTIFULLLL! Oh my god, look at this dress! It’s Roberto Cavalli, it’s crazy!
It’s over the top, glamour, period-retro
I would like to become a pilot.
I feel like a woman from Mars… Obviously, I am, like, taking over the world. Pedal to the medal!
This will come around to David Gilmour if you give it a minute, I promise.
When Paula Deen was revealed as a terrible racist it was sort of funny at first. This rich older lady with her crazy over-styled silver hair and her pancake makeup and her cartoonish fantasy life wherein the height of class and luxury was paying black men to dress like dolls and dance for her gathered friends and family. She was such a perfect grotesque. But then the story wouldn’t die, and on the one hand I don’t like to judge anyone for a prurient interest in anything, but on the other hand I got pretty sick of seeing her face. And more to the point, I got sick of how much other people seemed to enjoy seeing her face. They loved to look at her and hate her.
I’m not saying she didn’t make it easy. She did.
But I think the root of the pleasure we took in Paula Deen’s fall was the pleasure of feeling superior to her. And I will grant you this: the odds are decent that you are not as bad a racist as she is. Probably your racism, like mine, is pervasive and ugly and embarrassing, but probably it is not garish. You have a little class about it. (So do I.) When you have a racist thought, you don’t immediately recognize it as such, but when you do recognize it, you have the good sense to feel really bad. (Me too.) So maybe, in this sense, you and I are better than Paula Deen — perhaps narrowly better, perhaps a lot. It’s hard to say. But what we probably aren’t is uncommonly good people.
I guess the thing is this: why was it so much fun to find out that this particular human being was a bit of a scumbag? Did you have a lot riding on Paula Deen before you found out she was a racist? I am willing to bet you did not. She only became valuable to you, if you are one of the majority who took such pleasure in her collapse, as I will freely admit I initially did, when she became a resource — when she became a fuel. We burned her and felt better for the smell her burning made.
But it’s not as if you didn’t know there were cartoonish, tacky racists out there, right? Please tell me that you knew. If Paula Deen was cause for joy, then you will have cause for joy until the day you are dead: there will be people like her so long as there are people like you and me.
The larger problem, though, is really you and me. Because we keep it quiet. Because no one has caught us yet. Because we’ll get away with it for the rest of our lives.
I have been working up to a question. The question is this: why is my Twitter feed, and why is the Internet in general, so excited to discover they are better people than David Gilmour? Furthermore, by what definition can they reasonably argue this is true? READ MORE >
[ No, this post isn't about the current state of Politics in the “greatest nation that’s ever existed”, or The Vatican. But it is me being, as usual, angry and amused, reductive, pessimistic, excited, juiced up, judgmental, and making sweeping generalizations about humanity, our plight, our collective cultural soul, blah, blah --- note: I am a big fan of the Tour de France, absolutely care and absolute also do not care about the cheating. And I will be following as much of this year's Tour as I can.
I think, really, that I care more about the Tour de France than I do about humanity ]
In less than 48 hours the 100th edition of the Tour de France will begin with huge fanfare. Does it matter that Lance Armstrong finally came clean (in his way), admitting he’d cheated his way, coldly and methodically (Armstrong headed up, according to USADA, “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen”), to his record 7 consecutive tour titles? READ MORE >
“She comes to a rest in shadow. Above her is an overhang of chickenwire and tins. She freezes. Above her is a terrible shape, a jagged many-limbed thing, a tree tangled from the composites of aerials and tv innards, plastic extrusions like growths in its multipart trunk, thorns of glass and shattered plates. Its branches splay – finger after finger of tubing, and intricate wicked ribbing. Dangling from them like dirty dank foliage, like the skins of victims, are dish clothes, and umbrellas’ countless ripped canopies. Nylon in dinged colours.”
“I used to compare everything in poems to metallic sheets of mica, the transparent fragments that flake off so easily. I never say I’m a poet; I just say “writer” and no one ever asks “a writer of what?” Once a man told me he was in the business of prosthetic limbs and I was speechless.”
— Stephanie Balzer, The Destroyer Vol 1.2
“We had a president living here once,
After he was president.
A famous animator lived here too.
We’d see him feeding the ducks.
This used to be a big duck town.
Ducks had a real voice.
Then one night they left for New Haven.”
— from “A Little Background” by James Haug, Connotation Press
It made me very happy to read the various responses to Part 1, posted last Monday. Today I want to continue this brief digression into asking what, if anything, the New Sincerity was, as well as what, if anything, it currently is. (Next Monday I’ll return to reading Viktor Shklovsky’s Theory of Prose and applying it to contemporary writing.)
Last time I talked about 2005–8, but what was the New Sincerity before Massey/Robinson/Mister? (And does that matter?) Others have pointed out that something much like the movement can be traced back to David Foster Wallace’s 1993 Review of Contemporary Fiction essay “E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction” (here’s a PDF copy). I can recall conversations, 2000–3, with classmates at ISU (where DFW taught and a number of us worked for RCF/Dalkey) about “the death of irony” and “the death of Postmodernism” and a possible “return to sincerity.” Today, even the Wikipedia article on the NS also makes that connection:
I wasn’t surprised that my Monday post, which was ultimately about reading & applying some ideas from Viktor Shklovsky’s Theory of Prose, mostly generated conversation about Tao Lin and the New Sincerity. I knew that would happen even as I wrote it. So I thought I should take a post to clarify my thoughts on “the whole NS thing.” What follows will be a mix of fact and personal reflection.
I’m in the early stages of developing an online CW class. I’m thinking an intro class. Anyone taken one? Advantages? Entanglements? I wouldn’t mind hearing some anecdotes. Was it synchronous or asynchronous? Did it matter to you? Face-time versus online time—what IS the difference, to you? What can ‘physical’ time offer online could never? What can online offer over physical?
I’m asking big picture questions here, sure. As I said, I’m in the early stages. One key aspect of early stages: Do I want to do this? I feel it could be innovative and high quality, but I could be wrong. I haven’t taken or taught an online CW class. You?
—or at least those who responded a while back when I asked folks to name “the hottest litmag in the room.” As of that moment. And now, after the jump, I’ve compiled the responses.
By far the clear number one was …
Yesterday I was walking around Brooklyn on my cell phone and I walked so far I ended up in Big Sur. Who knew Big Sur is so close to Brooklyn? I was like, This has to be the shittiest Big Sur it is so shitty.
I was on the phone with my Aunt Shira and she felt deprived of information as to why I don’t have a baby. I was like, Do you want to know why? There is an Ann Lauterbach poem that might help you understand. It helps me understand maybe a little. She was like, Is Ann Lauterbach Jewish?
The poem I’m talking about is called “Indictment Without Subject” and it doesn’t really help me understand why I don’t have a baby, but it’s a neat poem.
In it Ann Lauterbach uses repetition to convey reproduction in machinelike, rather than biological terms. She writes:
The bourgeoisie tribe makes babies.
The babies cry I want.
The babies cry more.
This is how it learns to count.
Lauterbach’s language suggests that the tribe’s baby-making is a capitalist action: a product of and for conspicuous consumption, rather than a biological urge. They “make” babies like a factory makes a widget. The babies’ first words in the poem are not Mommy or Daddy, but “want” and “more.” Rather than establishing a dynamic of a parent teaching a child, the tribe instead consumes its children by “learning to count” them.
When I think about Lauterbach as a female poet, I wonder how her consumerist portrayal of reproduction reflects upon women as childbearers and mothers? Nowhere in the stanza do we see any natural imagery, conveying childbirth as a biological action. The act of birthing and child-rearing are not described as women’s work, nor is there any joy in the process. Rather, it’s the collective “it” that churns out babies. Any reproductive ineluctability in this poem arrives out of an industrial, rather than a biological basis. The act of making babies—and the paradigm that encourages this as indispensable—is rendered a manufactured social signifier.
Can making art be as satisfying as making babies?
Is it selfish to deny your Aunt a niece?
Is there pressure on female artists to have it all?
Is there pressure on male artists to have it all?
Would you rather feel the pressure to have it all than the pressure to have only one thing?
Do you talk to your family?
Howz your biological clock doing?
I don’t know what’s worse: the racism in Black Boy, the paradoxical ingrown logic of Catch-22, or the unnamed impenetrable authority in The Trial. For a bro into dystopia, you ain’t seen a fucked up situation until our poor couple in Revolutionary Road shows us the bloody way. Looking at my browser’s recent history feels like my “resent history,” all the facebook albums of parties I never went, people in tighter-looser clothes and sexier-grainier lighting. And if low res camera phones are our muse, may she render the contemporary “indie” authors implicated to the right of the shelf — each spine thinner and thinner as the thinning of subject, or thinning of Roth’s hair; or, the opposite of Sartre’s thickening lenses — with red plastic cups optimistically half-full of beer, the ghost of guacamole or coke on a nose, and tattoos adorning signs so counter-culturally ingratiating, they should be affixed with “like” buttons below them. They are all a bit happier and I am, which isn’t saying much, my 9th hour in this office chair. Existentialism in Humanism seems redundant; what, you want an existential armadillo? Armor dude’s too busy being fucked to know he’s fucked. The enterprise of human sympathy began with words. Before that, we just ate one another. Let us not ignore the timely placed rectangular lake of a million bears reflecting the Columns of Influence, back when dour men capitalized things, instead of capitalizing on things. Madsen may have asked for matte, but the printers, perhaps consumed by his oily complexion, thought gloss might do the trick — and do not gloss over this tomb or tome or airy epitaph. The cover yields stereoscopic red and cyan, as if 3D glasses where needed to stumble into Apt. 3D, somewhere in New York City in which this writer resides, to finally grasp, then touch, the irl glossy flesh that is him. That Madsen is a walking Purell commercial is less of a commentary, than mere impulse.
COMPILED BY M KITCHELL, CASEY HANNAN & TIM JONES-YELVINGTON (WITH SUPPORT FROM xTx)
So I’m sure everybody saw Jordon Castro’s dick. Here’re some dicks we three indie-lit homosexuals would prefer to see. It’s a group effort, so some of us like some of these dudes more than others. We’re probably all DTF.
Do you know what I’m tired of? Really bad cover art. I understand that when you run a small press you have limited funds and can’t pay some brilliant designer, but IDK, if you can’t create something new at least copy something good. I’m an aesthete and have no problem admitting that if a book has an awesome cover & i’ve never heard of it, I will be more likely to pick it up. Hell, if a book has an awesome cover and is some weird mathematical exploration of space I will pick it up and read it even though I formerly had no interest in mathematical explorations of space, etc. Here are 35 book/magazine/pamphlet covers that (I think) are better than most things in the world:
Check out James Joyce’s raunchy love letters [thanks to LL].
e.g. “I am happy now, because my little whore tells me she wants me to roger her arseways and wants me to fuck her mouth and wants to unbutton me and pull out my mickey and suck it off like a teat. More and dirtier than this she wants to do, my little naked fucker, my naughty wriggling little frigger, my sweet dirty little farter.”
I’m the pain in the ass who makes deciding on a movie en masse impossible. But is it violent? How violent is it, if it is? Do animals get murdered? Do children get murdered? Eventually we’ll decide on a bonehead comedy or a beautifully shot Icelandic film about rafts in the gloaming.