I Can Give You Anything But Love

indiana-garyGary Indiana had an unusual career, as a writer, filmmaker, visual artist, actor and playwright. He briefly studied at UC Berkeley but dropped out to help a friend make pornographic films. After soaking up the sunshine noir and punk scene of 1970s Los Angeles, he moved to New York City and settled into a cheap East Village apartment — the same one he lives in today. Since 1987, Indiana has published novels, nonfiction, plays, short stories — all with an unmistakable, sardonic voice embedded in the text, and all experimenting with the traditions of form.

The title of his latest memoir, I Can Give You Anything but Love is “really about disconnection between sexual desire and love, in my life,” Indiana says. A graphic and funny memoir, it finds the author reinventing yet another genre — this time using his own personal narrative. He becomes the connective tissue that binds together a diaspora of subcultures: the beatnik-era experimental writing and happenings of downtown New York, the 1960s co-opted counterculture gone awry, the punk movement that followed, and the art and intellectual circles of the Reagan ’80s, when the AIDs crisis was wiping out a generation of young gay men like him.

(revised from the introduction to an interview with Indiana by J.C. Gabel in the L. A. Times.)

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Is Twitter the Death of Reading?

images.jpgJanuary was pretty much out of control so I should probably be thankful that I got to read a few books (some of them actually good) and at least try to keep the ACOR website up to date and maintain some semblance of a reading record in a constantly aborting database. Add to that the iPhone battery going south and I spent little time in my favorite coffee haunts reading and sipping Goat Bombs.

One thing that has taken up far to much of my time is Twitter. I still refuse to use most of the social platforms on the internet but for some reason I started getting my up-to-date news, or at least relevant gossip, from Twitter. But I am rapidly reaching the understanding that although Twitter may have some value, it will never compensate for the inordinate amount of time following tweets consume on any given day, newsworthy or not.

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This Month, Less Drama

mediumJanuary was a phantom month. I missed doctor’s appointments, stumbled along with an out-of-date database program (now brought up-to-date), found myself with a little too much shiver to ascribe to Florida weather, waited for my 2018 allotment to buy a new espresso machine, became fascinated with the technical details of jazz, read a dozen books (mostly novels), enjoyed a local Bluegrass concert with excellent Barbecue on the side, saw my van loose an argument with a rough deer (now fixed up as good-as-new .. on one side), triangulated three Amazon Echos so I have music (or left-wing political talk) wherever I go learned my iPhone battery was kaput (still waiting for a new one) so I must take my iPad with me if I intend to sit in the Lucy Goat for longer than twenty minutes, didn’t realize I had to update my website until the last day and now am in a rush, still can’t decide if I want a new iPad Pro since the old one is still working great, and the IRS informs me that they have my check for the 2015 tax year but they do not have my actual tax return.

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Lady Macbeth Cocks an Eyebrow

This comment by Marianne Schaefer Trench posted at The Daily Beast caught my eye and forced me to arch a curious eyebrow of my own. 🤨

The Raised Eyebrow Is the Lazy Writer’s Favorite Cliché

You rarely see a raised eyebrow in real life, but in fiction they are rising, knitting, and furrowing everywhere, or at least if you’re looking at truly crappy novels and stories.

images.jpgI have developed a severe allergy to hyperactive eyebrows in fiction. They have become writers’ go-to lazy shorthand for pretty much any emotion. In novels, eyebrows do all kinds of things. Most commonly they “rise.” Sometimes a single eyebrow rises all by itself, but often both eyebrows rise in unison. Slightly more creative writers make the eyebrows “knit” or “furrow” or “hike” or “tighten” or “pinch” or “wiggle”—or any other verb that might describe a mobile eyebrow (or two).

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