Author Archive

Black box

How’s that fugue state coming along? *

Last week Swells mentioned a tune she’s currently digging so much that she claimed, “I might need to ease up on the rotation soon so I don’t forget all the other songs I know.” That got me thinking a lot about repetition, particularly as it concerns art and our experience of it. How and why […]

An uncomfortably sincere confession, but what the hell.

Years ago, one of my students took me completely aback when she claimed, “People don’t change until it’s too painful not to.” I thought about that for a long time. Is it true? Are we really so reluctant to disturb the status quo, even if it’s unhappy? Are we ever capable of something more? Without […]


Based on my accumulated search history, Google thinks I am an 18-24 year-old male. How about you?

I want my BBC

Oh, TGWers, it’s that time again, time to leave the frosty midwest and come to the coast for the annual New Year’s Eve gathering. This time around, it was glorious (the censored photographic evidence just goes to prove it!). The downside: lots and lots of time in transit. Fortunately, it’s easy to stay amused, especially […]

OK, I’m crying a little bit right now

Hillary Clinton’s historic address on GLBT people and international human rights.

End-of-year playlist: what year is it, again?

Today I really loved my job. In the morning I taught Colson Whitehead’s Sag Harbor, which takes place in the summer of 1985, when the narrator is 15. (The book’s climax, if it can be called that, is the day that Lisa Lisa—and Cult Jam!—come into the ice cream shop where the narrator works and […]

Meanwhile, one of my former classmates won a MacArthur Grant.

Lately I find myself watching way too much TV. Maybe it’s escapism; maybe it’s exhaustion. Maybe having a DVR is just really freakin’ cool. Without a doubt, the greatest show on the air right now is Breaking Bad. What Battlestar Galactica was to the post-9/11, Iraq War zeitgeist–namely, a wildly imagined alternate reality that turns […]

No crying inside baseball

The conference date was approaching, and my paper wasn’t finished. To be honest, it wasn’t exactly started. Months before, I had drafted an irresistible abstract. I reread the two major texts I promised to discuss. As the weeks ticked by, some critical articles arrived via interlibrary loan. Some online research got done in the wee […]

Current enthusiasms

1. Wild Flag, “Romance” video Wild Flag is Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss (formerly 2/3 of Sleater-Kinney), Mary Timony (Helium) and Rebecca Cole (The Minders). Besides being indie-rock royalty, these four women can crack you up and and kick your ass at the exact same time. The new album came out yesterday. Catch them on […]