Today’s Featured Pet is…well, I love ALL my featured pets equally, but today? Today is very special. Meet Frankie:
Frankie’s human companion has the following to share about this remarkably patient cat:
Frankie is 4 years old. She's super sweet, but this also means she gets sucked into my ridiculous ideas. I was in Japan and I saw these hats in a vending machine so obviously I just had to have them. I made her model them. This all started when I dressed her up for Halloween. Then my mom included Frankie on our 'matching PJ' holiday tradition. It's just snow balled from there. She gets plenty of chicken afterward but usually hides for about 6 hours to just voice her displeasure before re-appearing like nothing happened to her. Other Frankie fun fact: she's ridiculously smart. She plays fetch. In fact, all the cupboards in my house are child-locked because she kept opening the cabinets and breaking glass wear and stealing my food.
God bless us for living in a world with that Ghostbusters pic, I mean it. God bless us, every one.
Today’s horror novel is Hell House, a true classic of the form by the great Richard Matheson. The characters are really fun, I personally LOVE old-school Spiritualism, the house is, obviously, deeply fucked, and also the plot is like that fantastic Scooby-Doo episode where they have to spend the night in the haunted house. What’s not to love?
Via the publisher:
Rolf Rudolph Deutsch is going die. But when Deutsch, a wealthy magazine and newpaper publisher, starts thinking seriously about his impending death, he offers to pay a physicist and two mediums, one physical and one mental, $100,000 each to establish the facts of life after death.
Dr. Lionel Barrett, the physicist, accompanied by the mediums, travel to the Belasco House in Maine, which has been abandoned and sealed since 1949 after a decade of drug addiction, alcoholism, and debauchery. For one night, Barrett and his colleagues investigate the Belasco House and learn exactly why the townfolks refer to it as the Hell House.
Some cool pieces out there right now!!!
Our (my) beloved Jeanna Kadlec wrote this fascinating thing on the history of queer language, I read every word avidly:
Language is plastic, and the organization of sexuality—of specific actions and orientations—into labeled buckets, as it were, comes to us post-Enlightenment. Prior to the Enlightenment, the emphasis was on labeling people according to their actions, or sins. Sodomite, for example: a man who engaged in sex with another man. Lesbian and tribad and invert and sapphist were all still being used relatively interchangeably at the turn of the twentieth century; in some literature, lesbian was the female equivalent of sodomite, itself a negatively charged legal term.
The word homosexual comes to us around 1869 from Germany, and is often credited by Michel Foucault to Karl Westphal’s paper “Contrary Sexual Feeling.” Westphal, also the person who coined the phrase agoraphobia, among others, categorized the homosexual as a sexually disordered person.
Categories for LGBTQ+ people were principally used as medical categories (to label what was wrong with them) and legal categories (to punish them for their “wrongness”). When a modern audience scoffs at Modernist writer Djuna Barnes—who lived a notoriously open queer life in Greenwich Village in the 1920s—saying “I’m not a lesbian, I just love Thelma,” there is a failure to take into account the world in which she lived.
There is also the category of romantic friendship, particularly called such among women; queer theorist Eve Sedgwick might call it homosociality. This category is so foreign to modern readers that there is difficulty intellectually understanding it: the rigid way of associating and preferring the company of one’s own gender, with physical affection and deep intimacy and love, but without eroticism. How can there be no hint of eroticism? How can homophobia be a foundation of this, particularly among men?
Queer recovery and queer theory—like feminist theory and feminist recovery—applied to historical texts have been vital to finding and unearthing writers whose work has been lost or hidden. But when it comes to queerness, we have to be mindful of language as shifting tectonic plates beneath our feet. Language was a code; language was a shield. We’ve taken advantage of same-sex categories and codes that, in more regimented and traditional societies, were more prevalent—chivalrous codes, romantic friendship that encouraged love letters among women to pass completely normally.
Rebecca Carroll on racial identity and the reaction to Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor:
Don’t get me wrong. The myth of mixed-race and racially ambiguous children as representative of hope and harmony is real. Mixed-race people are notoriously fetishized, and colorism is rampant in mainstream media and Hollywood and, well, across many industries. Dark-skinned black folks are without question discriminated against in far greater numbers than lighter-skinned and mixed-race black folks.
But the question of “how black will the Royal baby be” does not evoke this mythology. Rather it dares this child to be black in Jim Crow terms, which conveys all sorts of “Good luck with that, buddy” sentiments. It is, at best, a relegation to being less than human, and at worst, a deathwish. It is why “passing” became a chosen, but extremely perilous survival mechanism for hundreds of thousands of light-skinned black people who kept their true racial identities secret throughout their entire lives.
Danny finished his book, did you hear?
I finished writing it.
I thought I was finished writing it two times already this year but both times I found out that my publishers did not think it was finished so I had to write 10,000 more words both times, which was a lot more words than I originally thought the book was going to be.
That’s a lot of words and I resented it.
Worse, they were right, and the extra stuff is now the best part of the books.
I resent that too.
The book is finished, though.
Sorry for saying fuck you but sometimes my joy at finishing things I’ve been dragging out becomes wildly hostile. This is part of my process and you have to respect it.
This was a very hard book to write! The hardest of the three! I don’t mean to suggest that writing is not a lovely and mostly-enjoyable career (it is), but it feels so good to be done with this project I would like to come over and scream in all of your ears.
Sorry for obviously phoning it in with the Shatner Chatner this last week. IT’S BECAUSE I THOUGHT MY BOOK WAS DONE TWICE AND I WAS WRONG BOTH TIMES AND THAT DRAINS ONE OF MOMENTUM.
Fuck you again!!!!
(Ah sorry you’re all WONDERFUL)
Don’t you fucking dare ask me what it’s about, I JUST THIS SECOND FINISHED WRITING IT
Just a FEW music videos:
Some early Janelle:
Deeply foundational moment in human history:
My darlings, my dear friends Jaya Saxena, Matt Lubchansky, and Brandy Jensen are visiting right now, so this is shorter than usual.
I still love you so much.