Two from Dennis Cooper: Yesterday was “Neon Angel Day”, celebrating Cherie Currie of The Runaways and her new book Neon Angel: The Story of a Runaway, which is co-authored by one of our main men, Mr. Tony “O” O’Neill. the day before that, one of Dennis’s regular readers/community-members presented a list of 10 Graphic Novels “chosen…as recommendations to Mr. Cooper and his brilliant flock.” The list includes Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie’s Lost Girls, Derf’s My Friend Dahmer, and eight other fine titles besides, all with descriptions and excerpts. Also, Dennis, if you’re reading this, you were right about Return of the Grievous Angel–duh.
They’re talking about the James Franco Esquire story on Gawker, but here’s the interesting part- instead of burning the story themselves, they make light fun of it and then leave the real burning to us!
The litblog HMTLGIANT says of the story: “If it weren’t by James Franco, this 100% would not be in Esquire… Seems like a pretty typical ‘MFA story,’ if that’s even a type of story.” Burn? We are not literary critics, so let us just say this: James Franco is such a good actor!
Adrian Chen, if you are reading this, thanks for the link! I don’t know whether this is the first time we’ve been Gawker-linked, but it’s the first one I know of, and it made me feel great, even though that wasn’t even my post. According to the Tao Lin/Marty McFly reality-index, my hands are not see-through anymore, and I am allowed to make one facial expression of my own choosing–though obviously I’ll choose not to make one. But seriously, Adrian, I miss Foster Kamer. Also, from all of us to Nick Denton–feel free to start picking us off whenever. Imagine if instead of Ann Coulter, Peaches (naked) Geldof and Steve Jobs, the top stories on Gawker were about Harold Bloom, Natalie Lyalin, and probably Harold Bloom again. WHAT IF?
Lastly, the guy whose doppelganger I am, the other Justin Taylor (or JTO as I like to call him) has a short post called “On Scary Stories and the Moral Imagination.” It’s kind of the same argument Stephen King makes in Danse Macabre about horror as a fundamentally conservative genre, because it is founded on a fear of the other, except made by a believing Christian with a much narrower and more specific definition of “moral,” plus also it’s really short, and just quotes some other things, and so is not really very much like that at all. JTO, if you are reading this, sorry to have put words in your mouth kind of. It’s a big bridge between us, but I’m really committed to building it. What slowed me down, see, is that I can’t get my pdf copy of The Axioms of Religion by EY Mullins to print out properly–I’m trying to do it two-book-pages-to-the-printed-page–and so I haven’t been able to read it yet. But I WILL get there, and then we’ll have that to talk about. Anyway, my favorite part of your post was the Chesterton-opener, the note on which I will end-
Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist.
Children already know that dragons exist.
Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.
We are perhaps permitted tragedy as a sort of merciful comedy: because the frantic energy of divine things would knock us down like a drunken farce. We can take our own tears more lightly than we could take the tremendous levities of the angels. So we sit perhaps in a starry chamber of silence, while the laughter of the heavens is too loud for us to hear.
November 9th, 2009 / 10:03 pm
The following propositions have been urged: First, that some faith in our life is required even to improve it; second, that some dissatisfaction with things as they are is necessary even in order to be satisfied; third, that to have this necessary discontent it is not sufficient to have the obvious equilibrium of the Stoic. For mere resignation has neither the gigantic levity of pleasure nor the superb intolerance of pain. There is a vital objection to the advice merely to grin and bear it. The objection is that if you merely bear it, you do not grin.
–Orthodoxy, “The Eternal Revolution”
November 6th, 2009 / 1:52 pm
We have all read in scientific books, and, indeed, in all romances, the story of the man who has forgotten his name. This man walks about the streets and can see and appreciate everything; only he cannot remember who he is. Well, every man is that man in the story. Every man has forgotten who he is. One may understand the cosmos, but never the ego; the self is more distant than any star. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God; but thou shalt not know thyself. We are all under the same mental calamity; we have all forgotten our names. We have all forgotten what we really are. All that we call common sense and rationality and practicality and positivism only means that for certain dead levels of our life we forget that we have forgotten. All that we call spirit and art and ecstasy only means that for one awful instant we remember that we forget.
– Orthodoxy, Chapter Four, “The Ethics of Elfland”
Mysticism keeps men sane. As long as you have mystery you have health; when you destroy mystery you create morbidity. The ordinary man has always been sane because the ordinary man has always been a mystic. He has permitted the twilight. He has always had one foot in earth and the other in fairyland. He has always left himself free to doubt his gods; but (unlike the agnostic of to-day) free also to believe in them. He has always cared more for truth than for consistency. If he saw two truths that seemed to contradict each other, he would take the two truths and the contradiction along with them. […] The whole secret of mysticism is this: that man can understand everything by the help of what he does not understand.