the pathos of jackie kennedy dolls on etsy, vol. 4, no. 1

this is a thing we historically have done so i’mma just dive right on in.

if you’re like DOCTOR ONLINE WUT EVEN IS THIS, i refer you to my rich seam of informal, doctoral-level scholarship on emotions and dolls: HERE.

ya’ll.

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my life with jackie, redux; or, on melancholy

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it is like a nesting doll, all of it. my life with jackie, my writing about jackie. so that when i read the pages i have written about jackie, the whole book i have written on her life, it unpacks a whole series of memories of my own.

where i was when i wrote that sentence.

who i was sitting next to at the british library when i found that quote. (invariably, always, obviously, nanette.)

what i didn’t know was about to happen when i was in that archive.

the feeling of the wind in my hair and the blue blue sky above as i walked home after wandering round the yacht.

it is her life and it is mine.

they are, by this point, so braided up. Continue reading

11/22

typical, i’ve a strong sense of occasion and nothing really to say. 

today is 22nd november. 

58 years ago, the woman i’ve spent the last 18 years writing about was sitting beside her husband when he was shot by a man using a mail order rifle (retail = $19.95).

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i am here to talk about kim kardashian again

[CW: assault, gun violence, rape]

for someone who’s all about cultivating A Sense of Occasion IRL, i always struggle to write when the occasion calls for it.

but i am aware that on this day, five years ago, a group of french criminals assaulted and robbed kim kardashian.

a circumstance which seems to demand some words.

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i am here to talk about kim kardashian

i’ve been writing this essay about kim kardashian for so long that it feels like i have never not been writing this essay about kim kardashian.

and that’s saying a lot coming from someone who’s been writing a book about jackie onassis for the last 20 years.

i’ve such a vivid memory of being at the HOTCUS conference in june 2015 and talking to someone about how amazingly wild it would be to write biographically about kim kardashian. in large part, because i couldn’t imagine how it might be done.

i couldn’t imagine how you could bring in the game and the bacardi adverts and the show and all of the paratexts and all of the transmedia.

it seemed impossible.

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men have raped me.

(CW: rape)

always use the active voice. that is what mrs. reynolds taught us in AP english. that is what so many of my english teachers have told me since. what they did not tell us was the cost. (<- engaging opening anecdote)

they made it sound so easy. dear people, it is not. (<- connecting with the audience through a direct address)

the thing is, the whole language works against us. the sentence structures work against us. the institutions do not love us and neither do our words.

because it is far, far easier, in english at least, for me to have been raped than for a man to have raped me, for men to have raped me. Continue reading

a brief word on this portrayal of duchess kate’s white fragility

whew, PEOPLE. if ever there was a day built for rage?! and it is not yet noon US EST!

between the horrifying story of a police officer murdering an unnamed Black man in minneapolis, the video of amy cooper calling the police on a birder who asked her to leash her dog, the president of notre dame’s op-ed in the times about the risks we must all sustain for the education of students (ie. the continuation of american football), AND the president of purdue’s op-ed in the post about moral responsibility of reopening in the fall (ie. capitalism and the continuation of american football), i would like to go back to bed and spend the day reading my trashy novel about a kept woman falling madly in love a rake with waterloo PTSD while teaching him how to cheat at vingt-et-un in regency england.

ALAS, NO. i cannot do that, because today is also the day that the daily mail posted this nonsense.

which, if we’re in some sort of white supremacy/white fragility/white tears carnival time– and that does increasingly seem to be what was meant by “reopening”– hardly ranks supreme. but it is nonetheless, stupidly consistent with this broader alignment of the racist stars and worth a gander, especially due to the subtlety of the pandering and the broader agenda of thumbs up-ing white femininity. (please, lawd, this is not the gemini season i wanted.) Continue reading

the pathos of jackie kennedy dolls on etsy, vol. 3, no. 2

yup. ’tis time. saddle up.

as you know, this ain’t our first rodeo. we’ve peered deep into the hell hole of jackie kennedy doll photographs on etsy multiple times before.

somehow, amid 15 moves and 14 jobs and myriad other responsibilities, over the last five years, i have produced a rich seam of informal, doctoral-level scholarship on dolls. you are welcome.

#thingsforwhichtherearenonationalappreciationdays

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this is what it feels like to be teaching college right now

it was very overcast. the clouds hung very low.

i think it was probably a thursday. one of the thursdays where i did three shows and then i took my #adjunctfashion and my sore knee home and i collapsed, ate a giant bowl of pasta and watched vanderpump rules for three hours to decompress before falling into bed.

the thing i remember is experiencing such a sense of relief, as i walked up the hill out of campus, past the national basilica, past the nuns and the priests, towards the metro, for what may have been the last time.

i remember so little.

but i do remember the relief. though i do not specifically remember why, on that particular day. beyond maybe the fact that i felt like they were finally all on board, or at least a plurality. we’d reached the tipping point in the semester where, by the sheer force of my personality, i had won them over.

they wanted to write for me. they were ready, i had primed them, i had put in the work and i had earned their trust and they were ready to write for me. it was going to be a good year.

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