Does Representation Ruin the Experience of the Original?

So, I was laying by the pool when my phone rang and my afternoon suddenly emptied.  I decided to head on over to Melrose to see this Necromance place and to look for a birthday present for the Butcher.

I love to drive, as you know, and so it’s as if this city is made just for me, with the having to drive everywhere and all of the stuff there is to look at as you drive.

So, Necromance.  It was cool, but it was not what I thought it would be.  However, they have freeze-dried mice for $40, so if you have some mice to freeze dry, perhaps you could sell them on the internet and make some money.  Just saying.

Oh my god.  I’m sorry.  Can we take a moment just to imagine the look on Mrs. Sarcastro’s face when Sarcastro announces that he’s going to support their family by making an army of freeze-dried mice in various poses to sell to freaks and goths over the internet?





Whew, good times.

Anyway, where was I?  Yes, so I bought some coyote finger bones, which look to be a better size for tossing and reading and two tiny glass skulls.  I will give one to the Butcher if he wants it and keep the other one because it’s cute and weird as hell.

I got the Butcher a nice present at a shop a couple of doors down from Necromance, which shall remain nameless and undescribed, but I’m sure you libertarians and hippies can give it a good guess.  Anyway, I got him a very useful glass turtle.  I was so delighted by the turtle that, when turned over, can be repurposed, that I’m sure the proprietor thought I was very at home in his shop, because I laughed and laughed at that.

Then I turned on to Gower and there was the Hollywood sign.

Just up there on the hill looking right how it looks.

And at that minute, I realized that Freud was wrong.  Something can be both heimlich and unheimlich at the same time.  It was both weird as hell and perfectly ordinary.  Does that make sense?  I mean, I was both seeing it for the first time and seeing it for the billionth time at the same time.  And so I felt both ways.

And so I turned on Sunset and headed west.  I saw the Whiskey a Go-Go and the Rainbow Room and all these places I used to imagine I’d someday be bad-ass enough to hang out in when I was 13 and listening to Motley Crue and Guns and Roses.  And there they were, both just like I knew they looked and not at all like I expected.

I drove Sunset clear to… I don’t know.  Some place.  I could see the entrance to Topenga something or other on my right and Highway 1 on my left.  I went to the ocean and then turned up on 10 and came back here.

I still don’t know what to think.

Driving around these unfamiliar places that are so familiar is almost like being in a dream.  Have I been here before?  

Of course I have (not). 

A Sonnet

Oh, Santa Monica Freeway you shine

Like a silvery river a-glitter

With busy folks with so little free time.

But my only task is not to litter.

And to think of things that rhyme with Bridgett

or Jebbo. That’s a name best left at the

beginning of sentences. I’ll fidget

with word order so the end’s Jebbo-free.

A sonnet that celebrates the I-10

And brings Bridgett and Jebbo fame again!

Now that I look at it, that’s not a sonnet is it? Ha, well, tough shit.  That’s what I’ve got for you.

What Does It Mean to Be a Reader?

So, last night I had dinner with KF from Planned Obsolescence and since she is a big media guru we spent a lot of time talking about blogging and other online dohickies.  

I think she and I are both struck by how, if done well, how we do what we do online has the ability to draw together groups of people who share common interests and who can benefit from all of the mutual intellectual energy, but who otherwise wouldn’t ever be on each other’s radars. 

We were talking specifically about Television Without Pity, which is an enormous well of people who love television (or hate it, in some way) and who can speak articulately and critically about what they’re seeing and how media scholars, who also love television and can speak articulately and critically about it, have readerships in the low 1000s, if that. 

Plus, Television Without Pity is current.  The shows under discussion are on the air.  The big Buffy conference they had down at MTSU, though, for instance, even thought it got a lot of attention, happened long after the show was off the air.

Scholarship, as is usually done, has a certain model that doesn’t necessarily map well onto the ways people experience the things under study* and feels out of date to a large portion of the population who otherwise has a vested interest in what scholars are doing.

And so we talked with optimism about the internet’s potential for increasing the speed and shape of scholarship and for bridging the gaps between the academy and the real world (in the sense that any world is real).

And KP is considering writing a book about blogging, because she has all these exciting questions about what it means to be an author, what it means to be a reader, etc.  Are the people that lurk readers in the same way as people who comment?  I’d say that both are extremely valuable, but to me they feel like two different groups that share a population.  Lurkers can become commenters.  Commenters can go back to lurking.  But each activity, to me, seems very different.

Anyway, I’m excited about her enthusiasm.

My day was filled with talking to really energetic and interesting people.  I was exhausted when I came home, but I felt like I didn’t have enough time with any of them.

Which, I think is a good sign. 




*This had been a topic all day in various ways, about the tension between traditional scholarship as a useful framework for disseminating knowledge and traditional scholarship as a way of keeping really radical (in the pleasurable sense of the word) work from having any real power.  I really cherish my ability to be the place where a lot of usually disparate trains of thought must come together.  There’s a lot about my job that drives me nuts, but I am constantly shook (in a good way) by the privilege I have of seeing how things connect behind the scenes.  Sometimes, I’m in the high seat, just like the volva, seeing what is normally invisible.  My work is, in the grand scheme of things, not that important, but I’m honored to do it, nonetheless. 

The Santa Monica Freeway Sometimes Makes a Country Girl Blue ooo ooo

I have had fucking "You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma" stuck in my head now for two days.  At this point, I will pay money to forget I ever heard that song. 

I have a confession to make.  I kind of love the Santa Monica Freeway.  I might feel differently by the end of the week, but driving in tonight from Claremont* I was stunned by how the interstates do look like rivers of light, some currents faster than others.

I must say that the traffic is not any worse than driving I-80 between Morris and Michigan City, it’s just that the highways seem to go on forever.  Tonight, just when I thought I must have missed my turn and must be about to plunge into the ocean, I was just at the Los Angeles city limits.

I’m totally digging this whole valet parking thing, too.

But god, the interstates are just beautiful.  I can’t get over it.

Anyway, I had a good day.  To say more would probably be inappropriate, except to say that I met a reader and she kicked so much ass and gave me so much to think about.  I feel lucky to have y’all.  I know you know that, but I just thought I’d say it anyway.

 I want to go to this store–Necromance.  Have any of y’all ever heard of it?  Cool or not?

I never did write Bridgett and Jebbo their award poem.

I need to get on that soon.

But for now, sleep is calling.

Can you hear it?

"B.  Oh, B.  Come rest your head on this pillow right here.  B.  Oh, B.  Sleep woman, sleep."

Who am I to fight with Morpheus? 



*I got there early, which was good, because I somehow got off the 10 and took highway 60 out to Pomona, which, you’ll be shocked to learn, is not the same city as Claremont, though, luckily, they are close by each other.  It was beautiful.  This whole place is beautiful.  I should have brought the camera.