Oh, you guys, I am so happy. I’ve been looking for a fairytale that might be unfamiliar to us, but that would be known to Sue Allen, something with a refrain that Inanna could use as she knocked on her sister’s doors. And I found tell of a rumor that Joel Chandler Harris had a version of The Three Little Pigs where the wolf, instead of saying, “Little Pig, little pig, let me in. Or I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house in,” says, “If you’ll open the door and let me in, I’ll warm my hands and go home again.” So, I gave that to Inanaa to say, but I really wanted to read the whole story.
This very evening, I found a version of it that says it’s from Harris’s version in Google Books. It’s awesome. It could be a little more awesome, so I had William tell it to Moll, but in his version, there are ghost pigs.
It’s strange. I feel better about the Sue Allen project than I have in ages, but I also feel like I’ve set myself this task where I’m trying to show both the importance of stories–to give you a framework for understanding your life and a link to the past and stuff–and the danger of deciding you’d rather live in some bullshit made-up stuff.
But what the fuck? Can you balance Inanna and the three/four little pigs? I mean, can I? Why is William just running around telling stories all the damn time? It’s my book, why can’t I answer that question? Ha ha ha.
Folks, I don’t know. This story is weird as fuck and just getting weirder.
But anyway, back to the blunt pig. I’m assuming blunt and runt must have similar meanings or did at some point? Otherwise, I have no idea what a blunt pig is.
This isn’t even remotely my favorite Muddy Waters song. But it’s weirdly beautiful. It sounds like a thunderstorm on a hot afternoon. The guitar is like rain. Morganfield’s voice is like low-off rumbling thunder. There’s a kind of emptiness to it.
In unrelated news, I think you’ll get a kick out of Sarah Monette’s story in this month’s Apex—old French Southern family, werewolfism, and all around goodness.
In all this, the most important technology may have been the typewriter. Today we equate a keyboard with speed, the fastest way to get words down, but as Sullivan points out this wasn’t always the case. In fact, a typescript offered a chance to slow down. Most Modernist writers, like Hemingway with “The Sun Also Rises,” wrote by hand and then painstakingly typed up the results. That took time, but seeing their writing in such dramatically different forms—handwritten in a notebook, typed on a page, printed as a proof—encouraged them to revise it aggressively. “Much as I loathe the typewriter,” W.H. Auden wrote, “I must admit that it is a help in self-criticism. Typescript is so impersonal and hideous to look at that, if I type out a poem, I immediately see defects which I missed when I looked through it in manuscript.”–“Revising your writing again? Blame the Modernists” by Craig Fehrman
As you recall, The Redheaded Kid spent a great deal of time thinking he was dying, and so he’s not our most concerned with details friend. When you think thirty is the end of the line, you don’t sit around worrying about a lot of shit that doesn’t pertain to you. So, it’s been interesting to watch him, so late in the game, suss out what kinds of things apart from the immediate concerns of life he’s going to be troubled by.
But, last night, we saw a commercial for The Lone Ranger and the Redheaded Kid got this weird look on his face and he said, “I just don’t think I can see that movie. I mean, it just seems like it’s making fun of Indians.” Then he kind of paused and he was like “Okay, I mean, that just seems old-school straight-up racist–a white guy pretending to be a ‘kookie’ Indian.”
And this made me kind of marvel. Because the Redheaded Kid finds racial humor funny. But he also said something which I’m not going to get right, so I’m just going to paraphrase, about needing to feel like the person or group whose the butt of a joke would also find it funny and not wrong or insulting. I think this is a kind of interesting way of thinking about it. Because you can immediately see how this would still lead to problems. A white person might be really wrong about what other people would find funny and not insulting. But I like that it centers empathy–that it’s an aesthetic standard that tries to take into account what it must be like to be the person the joke is about.
But I feel like the Redheaded Kid is about as close to Joe Average White Guy as you can come. He’s not very political. He’s not very concerned about being PC. And hearing his obvious discomfort with The Lone Ranger made me wonder just who is going to see that movie. If the Redheaded Kid is too squicked out to go, who’s left?