I went to get my hair cut today. It was one of those rockabilly places that seem to be gaining traction as of late. 50’s ephemera on the walls, nods to greasers and Elvis, pomade for sale at the counter. A nice mousey girl with neck tattoos offered me a free PBR while I waited for my barber.
I was about to work up the courage to ask for a second can of beer when he approached me. His name was David. He had buzzed sides and a sweet, swollen pompadour that I almost rudely stared at, a big frozen tidal wave the color of dark coffee. He shook my hand and led me to the chair, where I instructed him to do “whatever looks good - just no buzzer”. My hairdresser friend once said that buzzers were plebian.
At first, I thought maybe David had the hiccups. His fingers smelled like camel lights and as he parted and cut little swatches of my hair, his whole body would lurch intermittently. The scissors snipped away steadily though, with nary an interruption while the armature behind them seemed to bear the force of an invisible shove every few seconds. I was amazed that he managed to keep his fingers still, suspended at the same height and distance while everything behind his elbows shifted and hopped. I thought of that youtube video with the chicken keeping it’s head floating in perfect stasis while a goggled farmer moved it’s body around on all axes. No, I thought … this couldn’t be the hiccups, no one handled the hiccups this way. The guy could be defusing a bomb.
I decided that I was on David’s team. I didn’t know him well, or even his condition (tic or hiccups? ticcups?), I didn’t even know if I was going to like the haircut, but I decided then that I had his back. A little monologue started to sound off in my head, rooted in solidarity and compassion. I knew what it was like to be a freelancer, people talking shit about you, people doubting you, not being perfect but trying your best. Me and David, we were the same. We were homies.
It was when the straight razor came out that I momentarily doubted my confidence and resolve in David. He slathered my neck in warm shaving cream, which did temporarily mitigate my anxiety, but when the blade touched my skin I found my breath quickening and my butthole contracting. This could be the end. Thirty two years old, never been to India or had a proper threesome, dead at the hands of a hipster Greenpoint barber with a tic, the proud taste of solidarity quickly turning to niavete in my mouth. I squeezed my eyes shut, but the only evidence of his tic of death was the muted thump in his breathing. He scraped the last swath of soap and hair off by neck, easily, wiped it down, and patted powder on the skin.
I sincerely thank God for my friends, and my dog.
Those who say the Black Widow’s fighting style is just movie bullshit can see the above. ^ Shit is terrifyingly real.
I think I’m in love.
She’s so tiny.
But she could kill me.
In Honor of International Women’s Day. Ya’ll can have your awesome starletts and actresses. I’ll take this kick woman any day.
In Honor of International Women’s Day.
TREATISE ON ELEGANT LIVING
By Honoré de Balzac
Honoré de Balzac’s 1830 Treatise on Elegant Living was a keystone text on dandyism, preceding Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly’s Anatomy of Dandyism (1845) and Charles Baudelaire’s “The Dandy” (in The Painter of Modern Life, 1863), and marking an important shift from the early dandyism of the BritishRegency to the intellectual and artistic dandyism of nineteenth-century France. The Treatise is the first true philosophical expression of dandyism, and is full of well-crafted aphorisms: “Elegant living is, in the broad acceptance of the term, the art of animating repose,” runs one classic definition of dandyism, and “The man of taste must always know how to reduce need to a minimum” asserts the role elegant living can play in times of both opulence and strife. Further embellished with anecdotes and historical and personal illustrations, Balzac’s Treatise even features a fictitious encounter with the original dandy himself, Beau Brummell. Never before translated into English, this witty tract makes for an illuminating cornerstone to Balzac’s Human Comedy (which was originally to have included a never-completed four-part philosophical “Pathology of Social Life”). Above all, it represents a decisive moment in the history of dandyism, and an entertaining exposition on the profundities of what lies deepest within all of us: our appearance.
The first of Pierre Louÿs’s erotic works to see publication after his death, The Young Girl’s Handbook of Good Manners is also his most outrageous, and one of the few erotic classics in which humor takes precedence over arousal. By means of shockingly filthy advice and a parodic format, Louÿs turns late nineteenth-century manners roundly upon their head, with ass prominently skyward. Whether he is offering rules for etiquette in church, school, or home, or outlining a girl’s duties toward family, neighbor, or God, Louÿs manages to mock every institution, leaving no hypocrisy unexposed. The book has only grown more scandalous and subversive than when it first appeared in 1926.
In this zoological guidebook to cuckoldry and commerce, Fourier offers a caustic critique of the bankruptcy of marriage and the prostitution of the economy, and the hypocrisies of a civilization that over-regulates sexual congress while allowing the financial sector to screw over the public. Gathered together here for the first time are Fourier’s two “Hierarchies”—humorously regimented parades of civilization’s cheated and cheated-on in the domestic sphere of sex and the economic sphere of buying and selling commodities. “The Hierarchy of Cuckoldry”—translated into English for the first time—presents 72 species of the male cuckold, ranging from such “common class” cases as the Health-Conscious Cuckold to the Short-Horned Sympathetic, Optimist and Mystical Cuckolds, and the Long-Horned varieties of the Irate, Disgraced and Posthumous Cuckolds. For Fourier, these amount to 72 manifestations of women’s “secret insurrection” against the institution of marriage. “The Hierarchy of Bankruptcy” presents 36 species of the fraudulent bankrupt: a range of Light, Grandiose, and Contemptible shades of financial manipulators who force creditors, cities and even nations to bail them out of ultimately profitable bankruptcies. In these attacks on the morality of monogamy and the perils of laissez-faire capitalism, Fourier’s “Hierarchies” resonate uncannily with our contemporary world.
AN ATTEMPT AT EXHAUSTING A PLACE IN PARIS
By Georges Perec
One overcast weekend in October 1974, Georges Perec set out in quest of the “infraordinary”: the humdrum, the nonevent, the everyday—“what happens,” as he put it, “when nothing happens.” His choice of locale was Place Saint-Sulpice where, ensconced behind first one café window, then another, he spent three days recording everything to pass through his field of vision: the people walking by; the buses and driving-school cars caught in their routes; the pigeons moving suddenly en masse, as if in accordance to some mysterious command; the wedding (and then funeral) at the church in the center of the square; the signs, symbols, and slogans littering everything; and the darkness that eventually absorbs it all. In An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris, Perec compiled a melancholic, slightly eerie, and oddly touching document in which existence boils down to rhythm, writing turns into time, and the line between the empirical and the surreal grows surprisingly thin.
(Editor’s note: My picks for short (~100 pages) books that you can read or pretend to read.)
creature in field with gem.
ink pen and color dye marker on paper
i usually hate these things, but this one does it.