A cartoon by Carolita Johnson. See more cartoons from the magazine this week.
4 track album
hi friends. i make music with my pals. we just put out a little four song ep for free download. you can download it here.
so for like the past nine months i don’t think i’ve really listened to music properly and i think for a while i thought screw it i just don’t connect the same way with music as i used to and that was sad but i was like whatever i’m bitter and angry and everything is horrible but then tonight i had the perfect mixture of fizzy water and tobacco and that song, ‘nude’ on headphones and i had to stop and i felt okay again. and now i feel nineteen and lonely but in the okay way.
LM: But at least in the case of “American Psycho” I felt there was something more than just this desire to inflict pain—or that Ellis was being cruel the way you said serious artists need to be willing to be.
DFW: You’re just displaying the sort of cynicism that lets readers be manipulated by bad writing. I think it’s a kind of black cynicism about today’s world that Ellis and certain others depend on for their readership. Look, if the contemporary condition is hopelessly shitty, insipid, materialistic, emotionally retarded, sadomasochistic, and stupid, then I (or any writer) can get away with slapping together stories with characters who are stupid, vapid, emotionally retarded, which is easy, because these sorts of characters require no development. With descriptions that are simply lists of brand-name consumer products. Where stupid people say insipid stuff to each other. If what’s always distinguished bad writing—flat characters, a narrative world that’s cliched and not recognizably human, etc.—is also a description of today’s world, then bad writing becomes an ingenious mimesis of a bad world. If readers simply believe the world is stupid and shallow and mean, then Ellis can write a mean shallow stupid novel that becomes a mordant deadpan commentary on the badness of everything. Look man, we’d probably most of us agree that these are dark times, and stupid ones, but do we need fiction that does nothing but dramatize how dark and stupid everything is? In dark times, the definition of good art would seem to be art that locates and applies CPR to those elements of what’s human and magical that still live and glow despite the times’ darkness. Really good fiction could have as dark a worldview as it wished, but it’d find a way both to depict this world and to illuminate the possibilities for being alive and human in it. You can defend “Psycho” as being a sort of performative digest of late-eighties social problems, but it’s no more than that.
before the thing you say yes well sure, whatever, that sounds okay because it’s later and it seems okay just now. then you get closer to the thing and well it murks up a little but you stay on because well sure, whatever, it’s easier to drive straight in and then way later you think oh shit fuck all those movies and books about bad fits oh fuck how did this happen to me i watched and read them all.
sunday night frozen fish dinner thirty six hours of work this week to day since closing on friday the boy he said nothing ever really happens but people get drunk in the park and i said well see you soon