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Fake art movements usually involve one really famous person and then a
bunch of hangers-on. Like Josie and the Pussycats. Or Jackson Pollock
and a bunch of people who drank with Jackson Pollock. Imagine how much
better off Josie would have been minus those Pussycats hogging all her
fame. Poetry movements usually include a bunch of interchangeable
poets with little fame trying to create something famous (or
fame-worthy) by pooling their efforts, like all the little lion robots
that slam into each other to form Voltron. What ends up happening is
that Voltron gets a bum leg and back problems, because some of those
lions are lame poets. And then Voltron is defeated and the fake art
movement turns into just a bunch of bitter old poets. Not so glorious.
I mean, sure, your movement can get a special issue of Poetry
magazine, but wouldn’t you rather have an entire issue of Poetry
magazine dedicated to you? With you smiling out from the cover? Never
take your eyes off the prize, and when you have a chance to do so,
beat down all competition with the mallet made famous by Whack-a-Mole.
–“24/7 Relentless Careerism: How you can become the most important
poet in America overnight,” Jim Behrle, Poetry
Tall skinny guys with lots of body hair are “otters”; average-size men
who are relatively hairy and, often, exceptionally horny consider
themselves “wolves.” In the old days, before we got all politically
correct about everything, guys who were attracted to bigger men were
called “chubby chasers,” but no more. Nowadays, men who don’t fit into
any of the above categories who enjoy ursine company are called,
simply, “admirers.” And that’s just the Anglos. Many Asian bears like
to be called “pandas,” regardless of where their ancestors were born,
though just as many find the term offensive. Smooth-skinned Latinos
with short, compact physiques are often referred to as “toros” (or
bulls), which also suggests a testicular prowess. –“Confessions of a
Call Bear,” Rusty McMann,
I think about how Manny Pacquiao’s life is a cyclone of madness and
dysfunction and karaoke and tango dancing and fucked-to-death lions
and grown men vying to fluff his rice and cut his meat and massage his
thighs and sing harmony parts on Beatles songs.
How can he live this way?
Because he is the serene centering Eye. The storm, his life, envelops
but does not touch him. The Tysonesque psychopathologies that drive
other boxers to the dark side are flung centrifugally from his body
and soul, outsourced to his disciples, who carry this burden and lay
down their lives for him. –“The Biggest Little Man in the World,”
Many comedians consider stand-up the purest form of comedy; Doug Stanhope considers it the freest. “Once you do stand-up, it spoils you for everything else,” he says. “You’re the director, performer, and producer.” Unlike most of his peers, however, Stanhope has designed his career around exploring that freedom, which means choosing a life on the road. Perhaps this is why, although he is extremely ambitious, prolific, and one of the best stand-ups performing, so many Americans haven’t heard of him. Many comedians approach the road as a means to an end: a way to develop their skills, start booking bigger venues, and, if they’re lucky, get themselves airlifted to Hollywood. But life isn’t happening on a sit-com set or a sketch show — at least not the life that has interested Stanhope. He isn’t waiting to be invited to the party; indeed, he’s been hosting his own party for years.
Because of the present comedy boom, civilians are starting to hear about Doug Stanhope from other comedians like Ricky Gervais, Sarah Silverman, and Louis CK. But Stanhope has been building a devoted fan base for the past two decades, largely by word of mouth. On tour, he prefers the unencumbered arrival and the quick exit: cheap motels where you can pull the van up to the door of the room and park. He’s especially pleased if there’s an on-site bar, which increases the odds of hearing a good story from the sort of person who tends to drink away the afternoon in the depressed cities where he performs. Stanhope’s America isn’t the one still yammering on about its potential or struggling with losing hope. For the most part, hope is gone. On Word of Mouth, his 2002 album, he says, “America may be the best country, but that’s like being the prettiest Denny’s waitress. Just because you’re the best doesn’t make you good.”
Ratio of husbands who say they fell in love with their spouse at first sight to wives who say this:
Mathematicians announced the discovery of the perfect method of cutting a cake.
Indian prime-ministerial contender Narendra Modi, who advertises his bachelorhood as a mark of his incorruptibility, confessed to having a wife.
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Science’s crisis of faith