|Lauren Berlant:||What kind of tone do you associate with the word citizen? [...]|
|Claudia Rankine:||Tone is an everyday kind of maneuver. It disrupts and communicates aggression, disgust, disrespect, and humor, among a myriad of possibilities, thereby allowing language to morph into a blanket or a gun. It helps me know how to read the spaces between things. One has an ear out for it always. It’s a thing to be translated. Yours is a good question because it presupposes certain expectations for tone in public encounters, places where equality and sharing are legislated to happen, places where one has expectations for justice, for evenhandedness, and for “we are all just people here” indifference. [...]|
|Lauren Berlant:||[...] maneuver — it means, etymologically, “to work with one’s hands,” but it’s usually a way of talking about unsticking something, getting around an impasse or an obstacle course, or dealing with touchy subjects. It’s a word for the delicacy of manner that people develop while trying not to incite unwonted violence. So yes, tone maneuvers. I might have said alternatively that tone adjusts, pointing to arcs of implied communication and to the spontaneous action of shaping the event while losing and regaining our footing. Your view of it is more intentional. For sure to notice tone is to experience it as a pressure on consciousness. You are very interested in what tone does. The action of the mind’s hands as they move through the air of the encounter. (Thoreau: “My head is hands and feet.”) This must be what ballasts Citizen’s great phrase about your being “too tired even to turn on any of your devices,” which is metapoetic but also implies that the maneuver of tone is one of your citizen-actions, a weapon for resisting defeat and depletion in the face of the supremacist ordinary.|
My friend’s dissertation is going to be on digital failure, so I’m trying to convince her to dress up as the glitchiest-looking iteration of Missingno., the glitch Pokémon, for Halloween. But she’s afraid that people will mistake her for a QR code
I’ve lived in Montréal for over 2 years and experienced my first Win Butler sighting only yesterday?? He had to be pointed out to me, multiple times, until we finally gave up trying to be discreet and just flat out stopped on the street and kind of stared until I could get it together and pick him out from all the other basketball players. Just so I could claim this milestone
I just got really, really nice feedback on my thesis from my second reader, someone whom I hold in extremely high regard, and she said things like “excellent” and “clearly merits top mark” and “brilliant” and (my favourite) “you’ve smoothly and provocatively incorporated” and I don’t know if I necessarily feel the same way about it but I’ve been walkin’ around all morning with a dumb smile on my face nonetheless, like I’m in love or something, and I can’t even tell you how happy I am that this is all almost over
I’m eating a stale croissant for lunch because I think I have $20 in my chequing account (I’m too scared to check) but I also have a little bit of freelance work, enough to get me by, and if I can scrape enough together I’m going to take the bus down to New York to see my cousin for Thanksgiving. I’ve been embroidering a friend’s dissertation title across a piece of yarn work, a surprise. Watching so much TV. It’s kind of Indian summer right now, which is the best non-season. I’m going to go back out into the sun now
alain badiou, in praise of love
more lesbian poetry. i was trying to explain this the other day, but it explains itself.
If I lay on that beach with you
white, empty, pure green water warmed by the Gulf Stream
and lying on that beach we could not stay
because the wind drove fine sand against us
as if it were against us
if we tried to withstand it and we failed—
if we drove to another place
to sleep in each other’s arms
and the beds were narrow like prisoners’ cots
and we were tired and did not sleep together
and this was what we found, so this is what we did—
was the failure ours?
If I cling to circumstances I could feel
not responsible. Only she who says
she did not choose, is the loser in the end.
—from adrienne richs 21 love poems
No one’s fated or doomed to love anyone.
The accidents happen, we’re not heroines,
they happen in our lives like car crashes,
books that change us, neighborhoods
we move into and come to love.
Tristan und Isolde is scarcely the story,
women at least should know the difference
between love and death. No poison cup,
no penance. Merely a notion that the tape-recorder
should have caught some ghost of us: that tape-recorder
not merely played but should have listened to us,
and could instruct those after us:
this we were, this is how we tried to love,
and these are the forces they had ranged against us,
and theses are the forces we had ranged within us,
within us and against us, against us and within us.
—from adrienne rich’s 21 love poems
its been a few months since ive posted my favorite stanza (II, III, VII, IX, XIV, and XV are close—oh, i dont know, etc.) from my favorite poem in my favorite book, with the best, most devastating title.
this is my favorite poem, and my favorite tone, of all time.