I have a psychic zero-point for all the Seurat drawings I’ve ever seen, and at the center of this point is the small Giovanni di Paulo in Chicago that I saw when I was 10 years old, which set me on the course of my life – the genesis moment when I understood that paintings weren’t only things to be looked at but are objects that do things.
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2015.01.30 17:05. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
(UPDATED) I re-read Matthew Debord’s piece in the L.A. Times about the Aspergerian male compulsion to efficiently load the autoclave, or, as non-male non-Aspergerians call it, the dishwasher.
In response to inquiries… General Electric sent me an owner’s manual for its current Profile line of dishwashers. There on Page 14 are instructions for getting 12 place settings into the upper and lower racks.
In my own response, I did the obvious thing. I downloaded one or more instruction manuals from essentially every dishwasher manufacturer in existence (even Haier), extracted just the pages or parts thereof that illustrate how to load the dishwasher, and assembled them on Flickr: How to load the dishwasher.
(Several marques use the same manuals, presumably because all that distinguishes them is marque. The best manuals have actual pictures instead of undifferentiable line drawings. And note the emphasis on the upper-middle-class frippery of ten‑ or even twelve-piece place settings. But never any instructions on where to put the dog’s bowls.)
Gruesome typography of the week
From that same article:
Movie titles don’t go in quotation marks. They also don’t go in neutral quotation marks. Neutral quotation marks are not to be gruesomely featured in a drop cap, a print-typography cœlacanth that needs to be killed off.
Update: 3 million views later
Deconstructing Rebecca Mead’s New Yorker article “You’ve Got Blog” 14 years ago:
Jason Kottke… is widely admired among bloggers as a thoughtful critic of Web culture…. Getting blogged by Kottke, or by Meg Hourihan or one of her colleagues at Pyra, is the blog equivalent of having your book featured on Oprah.
Finally, independent confirmation of an obvious fact that is self-servingly denied by the Weblog aristocracy itself: Despite no appreciable difference in the “thoughtfulness” of their respective Web criticism, some Webloggers are superstars.
As it was then, yea it is today: A single link from Kottke led to 3 million views of my dishwasher-manual extracts. (Extracted PDF pages, not “screenshots.”) Nothing in my 23 years onliné has been viewed so many times.
And it’s already over.
(Talking point: Is Tom Coates still as upset now by my article as he was in the year 2000? You do realize the galactic timescales we’re dealing with here, do you not?)
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2015.01.04 13:05. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
Updated from time to time.
Love & Radio, which is quite good:
“Violent”: Joyce Carol Oates–compliant “MMA” fighter with actual self-awareness Nick Salvatore:
I was with my friend Alex, and one thing led to another, and we took to grappling. I realized it was one of the most intense experiences I’d had. Um, kind of like being in a crash, but, uh, not as necessarily life-threatening. And, I dunno, it drove me nuts. I started doing it as often as possible. I mean, it’s not necessarily what human beings are built to do, but it’s something that human beings seem very adept at, and I guess it just struck some sort of atavistic core with me – and drove me nuts.
It’s – it’s almost like dancing, and it’s almost like fucking…. And sort of trying to find a way to arrange your body the way one might arrange words or paint or beats or whatever to achieve this sort of optimal æsthetic effect, which just happens to be, you know, the other person lying unconscious on the floor or whatever. It’s creative, but you get created, you get re-created….
But, you know, I, and we – me and my friend Alex, we fought naked, uh, and, I mean, that was really weird…. Really weird. I did. I don’t know if we would do it again necessarily. Also, the tile floors really ripped up our knees and ankles.
Daryl K. Davis, an African-American who befriends Klansmen
Grant mentions me on a Way with Words episode and gets Canadian spelling kind of wrong.
The Nerdist talks to Clive Barker for almost two hours about every aspect of health and sexuality while never bothering to talk about his having AIDS or allegedly shooting up his husband with needles (case dismissed).
(Previously: Why do we write?)
KCRW Design & Architecture podcast: Gay males want Modernist houses, lesbians Craftsman (sic)
Favourite interview podcast: Sunday Night Safran (also a radio show).
Tie: The obscure KERA Think podcast from Dallas, which often interviews authors so thoroughly you don’t need to buy the book. That was certainly true for a smashing interview with Steve Almond on football. But after the interview with Laurel Braitman on animal emotions and madness, I read her book and learned even more
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.12.09 13:01. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
Since my first meeting with the TTC in nearly seven years back in August, every month somebody has found cause to call me a faggot on the transit system. (They never expect a comeback like “Yeah, I am a faggot, but at least I graduated from high school.”)
It would be excessive to say that has never happened to me before, but never so often, and I have no memory of the last such incident before this summer.
What surprises me is I am much more bothered and offended by the way the TTC treated and treats me.
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.12.09 10:23. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
What happened in Queer Nation in Toronto circa 1991? (Not 1985, as stated here.) We could ask Scott Thompson – or I could, if ever would invite me onto his podcast, whose ostensible final episode included this monologue of his (interjections elided, ≈40:00):
I always hated activism. Eeevery time I tried to get involved in an activist group, I was – sometimes literally – thrown out…. Thrown out of Queer Nation. Yeah. For being a man. Because they were discussing something— It was so bizarre. At that time, people were so polarized. And also sexual politics were feverish. So they’d have these meetings where they were afraid to have leadership because leadership was seen as patriarchal. Because men were more physical, they were in your face, and they had louder voices and all, women were like, “That’s an unfair advantage!” So they refused to have leaders. So there’d be a male and a female as co-leaders. So it was chaos. […]
There was a discussion about – oh, this is so stupid! There was a gay hotline, and the female leader went up and she was going on about the sexism of the hotline. How can a hotline be sexist? Because they were getting like eight times more calls were coming from gay men getting attacked than women, and therefore that proves sexism. So I put my hand up, and, even though I wasn’t supposed to a woman had to speak before me and then someone in a wheelchair, when I finally had my chance to speak, I said: “Well, maybe that’s because women aren’t gaybashed the way men are.” The next thing you know it was like: Sexist! Sexist!
And I said: “Everybody in this room knows that gay men are the target.” Men don’t go out to beat up lesbians. It might happen, but it’s a one-off. You know? It’s rare. And that’s more under the umrella of misogyny. But the truth is gaybashing is primarily about gay men. And I was thrown out. But thrown out for stating the obvious….
Oh, this would be 1985? Thrown out. I remember me and my boyfriend walked out at the time. I went, “I can’t stay in this stupid—” It was nonsense. I felt like I was in Soviet Russia back in the day…. It was like thoughtcrime. But look where we are today: There’s a lot of that going on. It never ended…. That’s my point. Whenever anyone is serious, all I hear is: Sexism! Hate crime! White male!
I remember being called “white male.” Like: “White male!” OK, whatever…. And most of the room was white males.
I actually have an anecdote of my own about Scott’s sitting a few rows behind me during and after my presentation on zapping Public Enemy.
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.12.04 12:30. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
(UPDATED) Dr. I. Alex Abramovich is a researcher specializing in homelessness faced by gay, lesbian, and transgender youth. Abramovich is an FTM transgendered person, hence is female. She is the figurehead behind a proposal to the City of Toronto with two primary aims – increase the number of existing shelter beds in Toronto for gay, lesbian, and transgender youth and build a separate shelter for such persons.
Abramovich refuses to acknowledge that her project has 100% support within the gay and lesbian community. Nobody is opposed to her project, least of all me. We all support her project even though its basis of statistical research is practically useless. A city report (PDF) detailing survey results from 2013 simply asked respondents “whether they identify as part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Transsexual, Two-spirited, Queer (LGBTQ) community” (all capitalization sic). The highest affirmative response came from the youth-shelter system.
Quite simply this does not tell us enough. How many of these respondents fall into the category that transgender researcher Abramovich would surely insist is first among equals, namely “Transgendered, Transsexual”? (That’s two different things, isn’t it?) How many are gay males? How many of those males are actual real males and not FTMs like Abramovich? Earlier research I read, dating back to 2010, makes the same category errors.
Why are these disparate groups with disparate needs lumped together? Ask a lesbian what she has in common, if anything, with a two-spirited male aboriginal. Is it just that they’re both in need? Well, is that sufficient to justify “LGBTQ” shelter beds and an entire “LGBTQ” shelter operation? Should MTF transgenders, i.e., males, be housed with lesbians in the proposed shelter environment?
It is intrinsically credible that gay, lesbian, and transgender youth are treated worse in the shelter system. You barely need to back that up with documentation. But if you do, your research has to be bulletproof. It isn’t. Everyone in the actual gay and lesbian community supports the project anyway. [continue with “Nobody likes a sore winner, Alex Abramovich” →]
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.11.30 12:28. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
(Pro tip: chickenhawk is one word in either of its senses. Also, Brendan Lemon paid me a kill fee for a “Talk of the Town” piece I wrote for the New Yorker about John du Pont back dans la journée.)
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.11.28 15:54. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.