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.

The Truth is Out There

Monday mornings are like the moment the hot water runs out in a long shower: real, expected, and nonetheless unwelcome. Because it takes a monumental effort for me to enter the week dressed in a simulacrum of normal personhood, I like to spend the first part of the day distracting myself with ideas that make me feel new and engaged and alive. Now that I am doing these posts / emails, it is my pleasure to share some of today’s with you.  —LJ

ASS OUT OF ME AND U
The class politics of decluttering
Problems we don’t really want to solve

PLACES
North Korea looks like a Wes Anderson movie, or Wes Anderson movies look like North Korea
A curated journey through Atlanta’s history
Explore the Cincinnati panorama of 1848
Turkmenistan: where the cities are beautiful and empty and the neighborhoods are crowded and cluttered

LITERATURE MAKES IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO WAKE UP IN THE MORNING
Essays by poet Kenneth Rexroth
The teeny-tiny writing of Charlotte Brontë

HI-LOW
Make fancy cocktails using Hi-C EctoCooler
When Henry Cotton of Moze (in Essex) was reported in 1592 for not attending church, he came before the local churchwardens, and ‘very unreverently and contemptuously farted unto them and said, “Present that to the court”’.
Taylor Swift swallows the world (and it ain’t a good thing)

GNOTHI SEAUTON
Grief Magic
Hallucinatory voices shaped by local culture
Paris Review interview with Adam Phillips:

“There are a number of people whom you might think of as casualties of the myth of the artist. They really should have done something else. Of course some people get lucky and find that art works for them, but for so many people it doesn’t. I think that needs to be included in the picture. Often one hears or reads accounts in which people will say, Well, he may have treated his children, wives, friends terribly, but look at the novels, the poems, the paintings. I think it’s a terrible equation. Obviously one can’t choose to be, as it were, a good parent or a good artist, but if the art legitimates cruelty, I think the art is not worth having. People should be doing everything they can to be as kind as possible and to enjoy each other’s company. Any art, any anything, that helps us do that is worth having. But if it doesn’t, it isn’t.” 

Image credit: Mark Rothko, Four Darks in Red, 1958.

LJ Algorithm

What is the LJ Algorithm? 
Hard to define, more difficult to hold onto, the LJ Algorithm is the engine behind this newsletter / blogroll / whatever of links and anecdotes from around the web.

ART BECAUSE LIFE
Women of the Iowa Railroad: April 1943
The Work of Annu Palakunnathu Matthew: Indian American artist and photographer
Detroit 1982, by Robert Monaghan

LITERATURE MAKES IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO WAKE UP IN THE MORNING
W.H. Auden’s Syllabus
Fuck the Straight Line: How Story Rebels Against Expectation
The Creative Process, by James Baldwin

NEWS AND SHIT
Stephen Colbert Hijacked the RNC Stage
More Than 1,000 Attend Black Lives Matter Police Cook-Out in Wichita, Kansas
Women Were Included in the Civil Rights Act as a Joke

THE CUTE SET
Puppies Livestream
Kitten Gets So Excited He Jumps Up and Down

BONUS MISC.
101 Ways to Say Died

Image credit: Laura Jean Moore, New Jersey Beach, digital photograph, 2048 × 1152, 2015.