Podcast Launch: Bureau of Complaint

As many of you know, I used to cohost and produce the fabulous podcast Livin’ and Lovin’ in NYC with the glorious Victoria Davis (“The Victator”). During its short run, we were lucky enough to be featured in the Village VoiceSavage LoveWNYCThrillist and FILTHY.

Then I left New York, and with it, my position as cohost.

MAN OH MAN DO I MISS COHOSTING A PODCAST.

Enter the Bureau of Complaint.

The Bureau is the brainchild of Tye Pemberton and myself. A podcast for the times, if you will. No complaint is too petty, no rant too long. We’re here to sound off on what gripes us, and most importantly (POSSIBLY), what gripes you. Co-catharsis anyone?

Have a listen to Episode One: Baby Boomers and then send us your feedback (or a complaint of your own) on our website. If you’re feeling extra generous, leave us a review on SoundCloud. (iTunes streaming forthcoming.)

We look forward to hearing from you.

WILD GEESE IN THE AGE OF LATE CAPITALISM

By: Laura Jean Moore and Tye Pemberton

You do not have to be call-your-wife-mom good.
You do not have to walk on your knees in Guantanamo or
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting (as Weezer’s Africa cover
plays on repeat.)
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what Madison Avenue tells it to love.
Tell me about political despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on in a climate-denying march towards human extinction.
Meanwhile the sun and the acid pebbles of the rain
are moving across the dying landscapes,
over the fracked up prairies and the lost deep trees,
the mined mountains and the polluted rivers.
Meanwhile the last wild geese, high in the unclean, blue-ish air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how very lonely,
the ad world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like those last wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your temporary place
in the family of things.

Paintings

Cityscape, acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 17.5″, 2018.

Beneath, acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 17.5″, 2017.
Sea-foam, acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 17.5″, 2017.
Love, acrylic on canvas, 2.5″ x 2.5″, 2017.
80s daydream, acrylic on canvas, 2.5″ x 2.5″, 2017.

CV

LAURA JEAN MOORE
b. 1982, Atlanta, Georgia
l. 2001, Portland, Oregon
l. 2008, New York, New York
l. 2016, Savannah, Georgia
l. 2017, Los Angeles, California

EDUCATION
2010 M.F.A., Writing, Columbia University School of the Arts, New York, New York
2005 B.A., Linguistics, Religion, Reed College, Portland, Oregon

FOUNDER
2013 StoryWoolf, Inc.
2009 Porchlight: A Literary Magazine (as L.J. Moore)

PODCASTS

2019-Present Co-host and Executive Producer, Bureau of Complaint
2015-2016 Co-host and Executive Producer, Livin’ and Lovin’ in NYC

SELECT PUBLICATIONS

FICTION
2019 Husbandry, Los Angeles Review, Winner, 2018 Short Fiction Contest
2015 Family History, the Electric Encyclopedia of Experimental Literature
2014 The Crossroads, Cobalt Review, Winner, Zora Neale Hurston Fiction Prize
2014 Notes from the Year of Eros, Corium Magazine

POETRY
2017 Spring, JuxtaProse Magazine
2017 Four Poems, Hobart
2016 Communion, JF Review
2015 Manifesto, V.3, ENTROPY Magazine
2015 Five Poems, Change Seven Magazine
2014 Three Poems, [PANK] Magazine
2007 In Attendance, KBOO Portland (90.7 FM)

ESSAY
2018 We’ve Only Just Begun: On work, Late Capitalism, and the last thing you have to sell (with Tye Pemberton), MEDIUM
2017 Sarah Perry’s After the Eclipse, Brooklyn Rail
2017 Betsy Devos doesn’t really believe in democracy, Scalawag Magazine
2016 A Few Thoughts About Beyoncé’s video FORMATION, MEDIUM
2016 The Failure of the Digital Revolution, MEDIUM
2015–2017 Regular column, Change Seven Magazine

Select columns: 
On Love
Whiteness, A Study
Faith
On Greatness
Sister

2015 Why We Need Awareness Weeks, FLUX Weekly
2015 Kim Kardashian West is the Outsider Artist America Deserves, VICE Media
2015 Each New Heartache is as Old as the First, Change Seven Magazine, Nominee, Best of the Net
2014 BEYOND THAT: An interview with Wendy C. Ortiz, Brooklyn Rail
2014 The New Poor: Gentrification, Student Loans, Millenials, and the Myth of Economic Expansion, Medium
2012 At the End the Baby Disappears, Brooklyn Rail
2011–2013 Various reviews, Publisher’s Weekly
2011 Wren’s Revenge, Porchlight: A Literary Magazine (as L.J. Moore)

HONORS AND AWARDS
2018 Winner, Short Fiction Contest, Los Angeles Review
2015 Nominee, Best of the Net, Change Seven Magazine
2014 Winner, Zora Neale Hurston Fiction Prize, Cobalt Review
2004 President’s Commendation for Excellence, Reed College, Portland, Oregon
2003 President’s Commendation for Excellence, Reed College, Portland, Oregon

READINGS
2017 Columbia Selects, KGB Bar, New York, New York
2014 La Perruque VII, Berl’s Poetry Shop, Brooklyn, New York
2011 Summer Reading Series, Blue Angel Wines, Brooklyn, New York
2009 Ding Dong Reading Series, Ding Dong Bar, New York, New York
2009 Fiction Reading Series, Columbia University, New York, New York
2003 The Undergraduate Linguistics Education, Harvard Linguistic Colloquium, Cambridge, Massachusetts

FELLOWSHIPS
2010 Jacob P. Waletzky Writing Fellowship, Columbia University

FEATURED, PHOTOGRAPHY
2018 Bus Ride, Metro Los Angeles
2018 California River, Dream Air Travel
2018 Bus Meeting, Metro Los Angeles

PRESS
2017 Still Lives, Real Life Mag
2016 Kahlo vs. Kardashian, The Subversive Potential of the Female Self-Portrait, The Rumpus
2016 A Magnificent List of 111 Female-Hosted Podcasts, WNYC
2016 11 Podcasts That Real Talk About Sex, Thrillist
2016 DIY Made the Radio Star: How a Brooklyn Station is Changing the Game, Village Voice
2016 Entertaining Sex Podcasts, FILTHY
2015 These ‘Feminist Shock Jocks’ Don’t Care If You’re Offended By Their Podcast, Village Voice (Cover)
2015 Falling In Love With Her, Mental Dexterity
2012 Tania Raymonde Plays a Lesbian Activist in Blue Like Jazz, After Ellen
2012 Blue Like Jazz: How a Movie Based on a Book Became a Story, Paste Magazine
2011 What the 99 Percent Are Fighting For: Three Reasons There Are Two Americas, Center for American Progress
2009 A Spiritual Odyssey, Reed College Magazine
2003 Blue Like Jazz

PRODUCTION EXPERIENCE
2012-2013 Production Manager, Annie Oakley, The Only Genuine Wild West Show (short film)
2015-2016 Executive Producer, Livin and Lovin in NYC (podcast)
2019-Present Executive Producer, Bureau of Complaint (podcast)

TEACHING EXPERIENCE
INTRO to Creative Writing, Voice in Fiction, Columbia College and Barnard College, New York, New York
Literature and Grammar, Fourth Grade, Harlem Academy, New York, New York
Advanced and Remedial Grammar, High School, Double Discovery Center, Columbia University, New York, New York

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
[secret], [secret], Los Angeles, California
Editor, World Bank, Washington, D.C. (remote)
Senior Writer/Editor, Creative Direction, SCAD, Savannah, Georgia
Assistant Editor, NOON Literary Annual, New York, New York
Freelance Writer, Editor, Researcher, New York, New York
Knowledge Manager & Tech Recruiter, James & Co., New York, New York
Non-Fiction Book Reviewer, Publisher’s Weekly, New York, New York
Editorial Intern, Foundry Literary + Media, New York, New York
Editor in Chief, Porchlight: A Literary Magazine, New York, New York
Instructor & Coordinator, Columbia Artists/Teachers, Columbia University, New York, New York
Lead Writer and Marketing Strategist, Masterplans, Portland, Oregon

Hang in There

This is a repost of a facebook status I shared with my friends and peers. Sharing here for the rest of my online community. —LJ

Little known fact: after I had applied to grad school, I found a little art deco theater for sale in Blackwell, Oklahoma for just $10K and I was considering purchasing it, renovating it, and running it. Dave was in on the idea. It would have been a small town, big art dream kind of thing. Then I found out I had been admitted to two of my top choice graduate schools for writing. I chose Columbia and my life took a very different turn.

I got divorced. I built a life in the Big Apple.

I keep thinking about how the last few years in New York gave me so much space to settle into my skin and get to know myself in a way I hadn’t previously been able. I chased another dream–starting StoryWoolf–and while that dream hasn’t died (if you could only see how far we’ve come!), it has attenuated to the point of my not being able to count on it launching on a specific timeline. I wrote a book that wasn’t very good. I’m working on another one that may or may not be very good. Victoria Davis and I started a podcast about love and sex and dating in the city and a bunch of people thought it was awesome. I fell in love with a lot of amazing people. I lived intensely and with great verve.

And then I left the city, because I no longer felt like I was using the city to achieve my goals. I felt like the city was using me. The end result of those years was not a culmination to great achievement, but the accumulation of a great deal of debt. I am living in a place now where I am working to pay down my financial obligations, while daily feeling like I have to navigate giving up everything I learned about myself, just so the wheels will grind a little easier.

It is hard. It is hard to stand on the other side of a decade and know, personally, that you have so much to show for it, but also know, superficially, it looks like you made all the wrong decisions. None of the things I began are what you could call “done.” I am still in media res. Whether those seeds I planted in StoryWoolf, in my writing, in the people I adore/adored, come to any fruition, won’t be evident for another ten years. I think some people in my life feel like I am back on track because I have a steady day job again, because I look more “settled” than I have in a while. But I feel very much like I am living a lie. Those things I do that look settled are an ill-fitting costume I wear so I can keep doing everything else I’ve already been doing.

It’s a long, slow grind. I have committed to my work and ambitions the way that I suspect other people commit to a person. I’m in this writing life, this wanting-to-create-something-that-never-existed life for the long haul. I have fellow travelers. Kevin is seeing StoryWoolf through. Tye is similarly oriented towards the long-game when it comes to art, writing, the creative life. The numerous women in my life (THERE ARE SO MANY OF YOU I CAN’T NAME YOU ALL — if you suspect you are one of these, know that you are) who are also grinding it out, building something new and great without recognition or thanks, are constant inspirations to me.

The point of this whole thing is that I wake up some mornings and I want to scream because I hate the costume I have to wear to get by SO MUCH. I feel disgusting. I feel demoralized. I feel like a drowning bird. I know there are a lot of people who feel similarly.

Facebook is a lot about milestones and excitement around happy news, but the reality is closer to this daily up and down. Everyone I know in comedy, in film, in writing, in acting, in any of the creative arts, has to endure years and decades of other people thinking they are a fuck-up, just so someday someone will finally acknowledge what they’ve been all along. It is weird. It’s like the longest hazing ritual of all time. Our culture only loves non-conformists after they’ve been brutalized and endured constant rejection and have the scars to show for it. Granted: years of constant brutalization and rejection will do something to you. Sometimes it makes you better, but sometimes it makes you worse. I am of the belief that going off and thinking hard, taking time outs and working on your craft with only select input from your mentors, is much more productive to getting “better” than going through all this hard-knock hurting. I dislike the way our cultural romanticizes abuse in the service of [name X goal]. That’s just a shill to keep the kids who aren’t rich or privileged from giving up. And so we don’t give up. But it doesn’t mean we like abuse.

Anyway, shout-out to everyone else who is first, and foremost, in love with their dreams. I see you. I see you succeeding and I am so happy for you. And I see you reaching for more. I am preaching to myself as much as anyone. This is not the end. This is probably not even the middle. I have a feeling most of us are still at the beginning, and I am telling myself as much as you: that’s okay.

Image credit = Yvonne Woon (cropped out for privacy!) took this picture of me/us.
Pro-tip: email subscribers click headline for pic of me winking and generally trying to convey a sentiment of “you got this.”