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Feb 12 2008

More Stanley

stanley3.jpg

I’d like to thank everyone who wrote in alerting me to I Blame the Patriarchy’s having been namechecked in the New York Review of Books. I got the word while on some grim business up in North Dallas. Naturally I was interested to see upon which of my blogular morsels the reigning English-language guardians of complex sentence structure and long-winded librophiliac smartyness could possibly have fixated, so I set out on the quest. However it was a struggle, in that cultural morass, finding a copy of the publication in question.

“You mean the New York Times Book Review?” they asked me at Barnes & Noble.

“No, I mean the New York Review of —”

“Because we can get you the New York Times Book Review.”

“Thank you, but that wouldn’t be quite the same th—”

“Let me ask Pete.”

By this time there were two Barnes & Noblians working on my case. One of them got on the blower with the mysterious Pete, who after a short exchange, passed the pronouncement. Nugatory. No New York Review of Books. The Barnes & Noblians eyed me narrowly. Obviously I was just making shit up.

“It’s a fairly well-known publication,” I said defensively, “among people who read books.”

I shuffled off into the horizon with a haughty sniff. These strip mall philistines couldn’t know what rarefied aether that I, a writer featured in the exalted New York Review of Books, was currently breathing.

I never did dig up a print copy of the magazine. When I got home I looked it up online. It turns out that the fraction of my genius upon which the New York Review of Books had seen fit to seize was limited to my views on — what else? — fellatio (remember the Great Blow Job Wars of ’06?). I am quoted as referring to the practice as “gross,” ha ha. In a longer quotation ascribed to “the feminist in Texas who writes I Blame the Patriarchy,” the author actually inserts an ellipsis. Lard help me, it’s a four-pointer! Jesus Huckleberry Christ.

The New York Review of Books piece, concisely entitled “Blogs,” is by Sarah Boxer, an editor with whom I exchanged several emails during the pre-publication phase of her book Ultimate Blogs: Masterworks from the Wild Web (Vintage, 2008). The piece begins with this line: “Two years ago, I was given a dreadful idea for a book: create an anthology of blogs.”

That she would eventually choose, presumably because of their wild-webbiness, to anthologize several of my most asinine posts concerned me not a bit, since I was certain that far fewer people would ever actually read this lame-sounding book than had already read the actual essays. But I had not grasped the degree of condescension with which Ms Boxer viewed her task as editor of this work. It saddens me that ‘real’ writers, by which I mean the academic henchmen of the status quo, view their clunky, musty old literary culture as more legitimate than the contemporaneous, convention-flouting exhilaration exhibited by the outlaw blogger.

Because, you know, lately practically all books fucking suck.

50 comments

  1. Pinko Punko

    Yeah, that “Masterworks” title makes it sound like the author is super sincere. Maybe I can pick it up as a twofer with Lee Siegel’s masterwork on blogfascism.

    BUT I HAVE TO KNOW, did they quote 3B?????? Enquiring minds!

  2. Pinko Punko

    OK, I just read the piece. It wasn’t too bad. I’m not into the hemming and hawing how she keeps herself from bloggos at arm’s length as if they were a species of subhuman. Maybe that does make it too bad.

    Just sad.

  3. Ginger Mayerson

    Your cayuse is so cool I’m getting frostbite just looking at him. I can even deal with the fact he has my ex-thankyoujaysis-husband’s first name.

    Re: NYRB and thou. I’m putting together, or trying to put together a print mag called the Journal of Bloglandia, but I’m starting to twig to the fact that I’m going to have to beg. Seems somehow appropriate I start with you, Twisty. How about sending your blowjobs are gross (because they are) essays my way and this will embarrass the hell out of my rival publication, the NY Rev Bks, for their context-challenged reporting. Or something. I won’t even make you use the template to send it in. Actually, you could send anything you’ve posted here and I’d be happy to run it. The whole J Bloglandia story is here: http://wapshottpress.com/j-bloglandia/ Everyone who’d want their blog post to be in such a thing is, upon editorial review, welcome!

    So glad you’re back, Stanley et al. Horses are much more fun than being inside at the computer, but it’s just not an internet without you. Or something.

    Yours as ever,

    Ginger

  4. Kat

    I can’t even express how happy I am to see a new post by you — and to know that you’re okay. I was getting very concerned. I’m so happy that you’re alive and well and as hilariously articulate as ever.

  5. slythwolf

    Because, you know, lately practically all books fucking suck.

    You know what? They do.

  6. Gender Blank

    Most books of late do fucking suck, especially the ones that are chosen by book clubs made up entirely of college freshwomen. Maude, grant me the strength to slog through The Devil Wears Prada. The Notebook nearly killed me!

  7. Kim

    I just love Stanley.
    Congrats, Twisty.
    And, oh: LUCKY!

  8. Jeni

    Man, he is gorgeous. And big: a 16.3 hand QH? Nice.

    Can I come over and ride him? And, uh, talk about smart feminist things?

  9. C

    Lard help ME, I’ve missed you! Please keep writing!

  10. Mary Tracy9

    But we, your faithful readers, would LURVE to have a book by you! There’s so much patriarchy blaming to learn! And you have such a gift for writing.

    I wish I was more like you.

  11. Feminist Avatar

    I think that Sarah Boxer actually failed to ‘get’ what the blogosphere was about and how sophisticatedly it is often used, which is kind of sad. She was very naive to assume that the ‘ephemeral’ nature of the blogosphere was a weakness and then to imply that literature was better as it didn’t rely on a series of links. What does she think literary aphorisms are in ‘high’ literature. And her suprise at the obsessions with masked superheroes- come on! In a medium, which is fundamentally about creating voice and playing with identity, what figure better signifies the blogger than the masked superhero.

    I come to the blogosphere for my feminism, because it one of the only places where there is a reflexive, natural and on-going discussion about women in society. In many ways, this is sad. We need some good feminist prose for the 21st century. Like what you get in the blogosphere but longer. (Was that enough rhetoric for a blog comment?)

  12. Bird

    Only lately?

    I work in publishing, and I propose that practically all books fucking suck, even many of the ones I’ve worked on myself. That’s why there’s the big old discount remainder bin at your local bookseller.

    Well, and the bestseller list, the other repository of published dreck.

  13. B. Dagger Lee

    MOAR nekkid horsey pics, kthnx.

  14. Sylvanite

    I’m a little confused about why she seemed irked that bloggers don’t explain every reference they make. Presumably, that’s because if you look through the previous posts, it’ll make sense. Blogging could be viewed as serialized writing, I guess. Of course most blogs are boring and poorly written, but the ones that are well written and have something real to say (or are simply hilarious) should be worth the effort. At least, that’s my two cents on the matter.

  15. acm

    Naturally I was interested to see upon which of my blogular morsels the reigning English-language guardians of complex sentence structure and long-winded librophiliac smartyness could possibly have fixated, so I set out on the quest

    swooooon.
    we’ve missed you and your wordulousness!

    (I also have a case of horse-envy, but that will have to wait)

  16. Satsuma

    Valentine’s Day — (compulsory heterosexual women’s degredation day) was hysterical!

    Then there was the added bonus of Barnes and Noble trying to find a publication! Also equally hysterical.

    Twisty, you have the perfect mix of mock snobbery and huffy bookishness! Keep up the snootiness!

  17. jiyin

    That’s a fine looking horse. I’m so glad you’re back, Twisty.

  18. Sara

    Q: Were you in North Dallas or Plano? If in ND you need to use Borders Books as opposed to Barnes and Noble. Literary geeks work at Borders in North Dallas. I have never found any brain trust to be in evidence at Barnes and Noble – even less so than Plano B&N’s.

    Oh, and way glad you are back.

  19. invisible

    I know you’re right Twisty, dammit, but today I used this internet to send an early valentine message to my daughter—yes, my angel—and her family. (I try to use “evil” things for good, if you will; not always, but sometimes.):

    From your loving mother and Dah,
    I love you! (I know I’m a day early. I just couldn’t help it!)

    xoxoxo

    {I don’t know shit from shinola about how to transfer the graphics part of it but, trust—it’s good and not at all pedophiliactic. Mostly they were from bestsmilies, and yes, ibtp.)

    xoxoxo

  20. invisible

    Oops, sorry. Wrong thread.

    (No ellipsis, though. Right?)

  21. invisible

    Still—TOTAL nonsequiter—I think of Jose Padilla. I will never forget him. Do you hear me?

    There are many that I will never forget. (Please forgive me Eudora.)

  22. invisible

    Okay. So, HUH?

    Sylvanite Feb 13th, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    I’m a little confused about why she seemed irked that bloggers don’t explain every reference they make. Presumably, that’s because if you look through the previous posts, it’ll make sense. Blogging could be viewed as serialized writing, I guess. Of course most blogs are boring and poorly written, but the ones that are well written and have something real to say (or are simply hilarious) should be worth the effort. At least, that’s my two cents on the matter.

  23. Sylvanite

    invisible,

    I was referring to the publication that cited Twisty’s work. Twisty’s blogging is of the highest caliber, of course; not the least bit boring. Even when she blogs about her lunch, she makes it awesome to read. I’m sorry I stopped coming here for so long! Stupid work, preventing me from surfing the internet and making me sign a form stating that I wouldn’t access anything “offensive” under pain of firing.

    At least, I assume that’s where your confusion in what I wrote lies. As I said, it’s been a while since I’ve been here!

  24. Gertrude Strine

    Blogging is a conversation; you have to listen to it longer than a couple of minutes if you want to participate. Otherwise, it makes no more sense than those overheard snatches of dialogue you get out on the street, and the NYRB reviewer is obviously walking down the street all on her own.

    Same analogy goes for literary culture, and a quick rip through the NYRB offerings online would confirm Twisty’s accusation of “clunky, musty old literary culture”. Gee, this quote from a book, from a reviewed memorial service about some old literary hack named Elizabeth Hardwick, is just some twittering gossipy nervy blaa, isn’t it:
    “I hate the glossary, the concordance of truth that some have about my real life—have like an extra pair of spectacles. I mean that such fact is to me a hindrance to composition. Otherwise I love to be known by those I care for and consequently am always on the phone, always writing letters, always waking up to address myself to B. and D. and E.—those whom I dare not ring up until the morning and yet must talk to throughout the night.” What dreck. And printed in a book no less.

    Unfair of the NYRB writer to lay out those contextless Twisty quotes in an argument from ignorance? Does an introductory unwillingness to do the reading for the assignment excuse all following conclusions?
    Natch it doesn’t. So Twisty’s refusal to do the reading in reply is probably the only rational response.

    What a lazy intellect that NYRB writer must have. And I refuse to use her name; can’t see why she deserves being more visible to search engines.

  25. Suz78

    Twisty – what about Hillary? Please share your views – the Patriarchal BS is in full swing over her campaign. Your eloquence and/or poetic waxing would be greatly appreciated.

  26. Kali

    Is this standard practice at Barnes & Noble to not find what one wants and then try to sell one something else? I ask because I had a very similar experience with them. Inspired by Twisty, I went looking for “Dialectic of Sex”. As I was checking out the store computer, one guy came offering to help. Instead of saying “No, thank you”, I made the mistake of telling him what I was looking for. After making several mistakes with the spelling of the word “dialectic”, and after I helped him out with that, he found that the store didn’t have a copy. So, instead of backing off, what does he do? He offers to take me to the erotica section. Moron.

  27. aJenniferOriginal

    “instead of backing off, what does he do? He offers to take me to the erotica section.”

    *snort* Don’t they always?!?!

  28. Feminist Avatar

    Kali: Hahahahahaha!

    Sorry, probably too much wine, but that struck me as very funny.

  29. Ron Sullivan

    Damn, he’s pretty.

    And it’s a given that The New York review of Each Others’ Books isn’t fit to wipe the horseshit off Twisty’s boots. Hell, it’s barely good enough to wipe the horseshit off my boots, if I had boots with horseshit on ‘em.

  30. Rufus Jr

    Oh! Three whole posts! Swoon.

  31. Mary Ann

    Ohmigodi’msohappyyerback! You are my all time favorite author and opinionator. I wish I were you. I love you so much. Happy Valiumtimes day!!

  32. delagar

    Oh, Twisty is back! Yay!

  33. Yatima

    Nothing better than sixteen hands between your legs.

  34. Mickle

    In defense of the minimum wage slaves who likely read lots of books, but not necessarily the magazines that review them, the stupid search engine they have to use to find out if their store carries a particular periodical seriously bites. I once spent nearly a half hour – and enlisted no less than three fellow employees for help – in order to find a single magazine that I had in my hand at the time (customer brought it in) and that we did carry (but hadn’t gotten the most recent issue in yet).

    And no, it wasn’t me. Stupid BN doesn’t bother to make their periodical database workable – much less user friendly – because one cannot order periodicals into the store nor shipped to home, and they don’t care enough to keep inventory records on them either.

  35. Satchel Pooch

    Man, that NYRB article was a steaming pile.

    Wonderful to see you back, Twisty.

  36. P.Kirby

    Stanley’s gorgeous, just gorgeous. And I love the four white socks and his big, splashy blaze.

  37. tinfoil hattie

    At my BN, if they’re out of a book, they boringly ask if you’d like them to order it. No hanky-panky in the erotica section for them!

  38. B. Dagger Lee

    Hey, how hard is it to rustle up a posse of stylists and Stingray and take a damn picture of a damn cowgirl sitting on her damn horse with a damn big smile or damn scowl and post it, damn it?

  39. buttercup

    Stanley is spectacular.

  40. invisible

    I really hate that you have made me love Stanley, too. Leave me alone, you scoundrel-ess.

  41. Elaine Vigneault

    Don’t be too hard on B&N workers. They earn barely more than minimum wage and they’re book SELLERS, after all, not necessarily book lovers or book readers. In fact, it’s in their name: Barnes & Noble Booksellers.

  42. Hattie

    Does anyone know anything any more?

  43. Hattie

    I actually thought this was a good piece on blogging. And as we all know Lee Siegel is God.
    And so are you, Twisty. And your horse is a God horse.
    I read the other articles in the NYRB, too. I subscribe to it, believe it or not. Yes. It is known of and read, at least by me.

  44. yankeetransferred

    WHOAH, STANLEY!!!! Twisty’s back in town! You’ve been missed, and your re-entry posts are brilliant. The Valentine’s day post is suitable for framing.

  45. the baboon

    She had horses who danced in their mothers’ arms.
    She had horses who thought they were the sun and their bodies shone and burned like stars.
    She had horses who waltzed nightly on the moon.
    She had horses who were much too shy, and kept quiet in stalls of their own making.

    She had some horses.

    She had horses who liked Creek Stomp Dance songs.
    She had horses who cried in their beer.
    She had horses who spit at male queens who made them afraid of themselves.
    She had horses who said they weren’t afraid.
    She had horses who lied.
    She had horses who told the truth, who were stripped bare of their tongues.

    She had some horses.

    She had horses who called themselves, “horse.”
    She had horses who called themselves, “spirit.” and kept their voices secret and to themselves.
    She had horses who had no names.
    She had horses who had books of names.

    She had some horses.

    Yay for Joy Harjo! Yay for Twisty posts!

  46. Paris

    Holy crap! Not only is my favorite blogger back, but you have deigned to add the only topic whose presense I miss as a chaser to the erudition I seek in the blogsphere: pony blogging.

    Fantastic.

    (I know Stanley’s too tall to be a pony. Y’all can shut up now.)

  47. deja pseu

    Stanley is quite the handsome fellow. Congratulations and Happy Trails!

  48. Lauren

    Too bad about Sarah Boxer. Many of us academic henchmen are thrilled to write about the blogosphere. I’m writing a master’s thesis on feminist blogs and could not be more enthusiastic and gung-ho to champion their work — not in spite of their blogging medium, but often because of it. The recent Twisty post on bacon, where blog comments lead to increased awareness/activism in social issues, is a perfect example. If it’s any consolation, the “mustiness” of old-school lit culture is certainly passing; new media studies and digital rhetoric are where it’s at.

  49. PhoenixRising

    B Dagger, I would be most pleased to produce such photos.

    My family will vacate in rural (pronounced, natch, ‘rule’) Travis County within weeks for our annual spring fling with my best bud and my kid’s not-quite-cousins.

    My wife bakes horse treats for which anything on four hooves will behave exactly to spec. Well, not strictly ‘anything’, as there was the Shetland to whom we referred as ‘BBQ’ in honor of my most common impulse toward it, but that’s another story. Stanley could not be that obstreperous.

    Need I suggest more specifically?

    Oh, and as to the NYRB: I once sold a sidebar to the NYT Mag. After the appropriate editorial condescension had been glazed atop, I barely recognized the damn thing.

    You’re just lucky she didn’t pull the Lawn Jockey post while simultaneously outing Tidy to the riding community as a Person Whose Sister Blogs That They’re Racist.

    (It has been my experience that telling them they are racist straight to their pasty white sunburned faces does not produce results either, so whatever they say, you may as well blog about them.)

  50. PhysioProf

    What a pretty horse! Glad you’re back to regular blaming.

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