Nothing Stays Lost on the Internet Forever

We used to sing this song at the top of our lungs at slumber parties when I was a kid. I literally hadn’t heard this in almost three decades. I remembered the drugs and the beer. I did not remember the whole incident at the end. Though I guess we certainly sang along with it, too. I keep thinking that I’m not going to actually publish this post because it says something ugly and strange to think of a basement full of young girls singing this song, me included.

But then, I wonder if the Christians who’ve become so much more outspoken against gay people have become so in part because a song like this isn’t funny anymore, isn’t forgettable. I mean, I know, when you hear it, you will be appalled. And you will remember the song, at least the general outline of it, because of its casual homophobia.

That was not the case when I was a kid. If there was a problem then with the song, it’s the joyous repetition of “motherfucker.”

And yet, this is another one of those songs that I almost wondered if I made up, because I heard it so much at one point in my life and then never again. But here it is. And when I was young–before the Beastie Boys, before Guns & Roses, before all the bad boys who would sing anthems that sounded to me like freedom, there was this song, and I, even at ten or twelve, was thrilled by its filth and its protest. It, too, maybe first, sounded like freedom.

And yet, here we are, so much later, relistening to “I did it like this, I did it like that, I did it with a wiffle ball bat” or “I used to love her, but I had to kill her” or even this and knowing, that promise of freedom never was for me, was never actually available to me. I was never the audience for these songs. But I listened and was shaped by them anyway.

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I’m Just Going to Put This Here for Folks to Read

This is from Yahoo.

Overweight teens actually eat fewer calories daily on average than their trimmer counterparts, a new study finds.

Among 12- to 14-year-old girls in the study, girls who were very obese ate about 300 fewer calories on average daily than obese girls, and obese girls consumed 110 fewer calories daily than healthy-weight girls.

When the researchers looked at calories consumed by 15- to 17-year old boys, they found that obese boys ate about 220 fewer calories a day than boys who were overweight (but not obese). And overweight boys consumed about 375 fewer calories than healthy-weight boys, the study showed.

Two Cool Things from Twitter

1. Someone DMd me a link to this story about Bobby Dunbar who was kidnapped, in some form, a hundred years ago. It’s just a riveting hour of programming. And it really hits your heart about Mississippi right at the end.

2. I said, in regard to this story, that I wanted to figure out how to work “millionaire stunt-dick” into conversation and I got a DM from someone who is not political at all saying “I’d like to think that Romney’s the republican/tea party’s millionaire stunt dick.” I laughed so hard and this person gave me permission to share it, so I hope you find it funny, too.

3. This isn’t from Twitter, but I’ve been listening to the Anchor Thieves’ new album and I believe this song “Rode Sines,” which I was hoping was going to be about a person who perambulates via math, somehow, is about a box car. Like a train car. Not about a box car. From the perspective of a box car. I want to cheer and to grab their lapels and ask “What the fuck, people?” This is what happens when you listen to too much My Morning Jacket, I am convinced.

(Disclaimer: The Butcher is dear friends with one of the guys in the Anchor Thieves and he may have tried to convince me already that the song was from the perspective of a box car and I just didn’t believe him, because you know what I don’t want to think about? Box car consciousness. And yet, it appears the Butcher speaks the truth.)

The Second Reader

I gave Flock to a lot of people to read, both because I wanted the input and I wanted a bunch of people to tell me “It’s great except for these things, which you can totally fix.” because that steeled me for the selling of it. Or so I thought. And then that still went poorly.

This time, though I totally obviously believe someone might want to buy the Sue Allen thing, I know the process of selling it is going to suck, no matter how much people like it, so I’ve taken a different approach with beta readers. In this round, I’ve just asked a handful of people to read it–less than a handful. I asked people who have really varied reading lives and really different thoughts on what makes a book work. I’ve also got a couple of aces up my sleeve of people I can ask if I get another draft done and I still feel like something I can’t quite finger isn’t working and I need help. Plus, I’ve got K. to read a final draft.

So, it’s funny. On the one hand, writing is very solitary. On the other hand, you need a lot of help.

Anyway, I heard some preliminary thoughts from my second reader today and we’re going to have coffee on Saturday to talk some more about it. Both readers think something more and bigger needs to happen with John. I think they’re right and I’m trying to figure out how to address that. I have some ideas for what kind of story might need to be told about him and who in the book needs to interact with him. But both readers wanted to hear from him all along the book–not just at the beginning and the end–so that’s going to also take some thinking about the structure.

I’m making notes and mulling. I won’t tackle another draft until I hear from everyone else, but the mulling time is important.

I woke up with a hangover headache. It cleared right up with drugs, but there it was.