Among many things, this is also the story of another young person whose life is forever changed after discovering the Beale sisters.
Everything is Stories: The Marble Faun “A story of a runaway, sexual identity, and survival in the wake of loss.”
I love Monster Children because its images of surfing and skateboarding remind me of what it's like to be young; I love Monster Children because its writing reminds me it's okay to put into writing how annoying things can be; I love the Australia Issue of Monster Children because it reminds me that I'm not the only one annoyed by U.S. news.
The Australia Issue. A concept that started as one thing and ended up completely contrary to what I intended at the close, for better or worse. The initial idea came about in light of over a year of being completely assaulted on all fronts with nothing but news of the United States. Sick of nothing but the frumpy clown in the White House, we thought shining a light on our own country, warts and all, would offer brief respite if nothing else.
Alistair Klinkenberg: The Australia Issue, an Introduction
Serena Joy, what a stupid name. It’s like something you’d put on your hair, in the other time, the time before, to straighten it. Serena Joy, it would say on the bottle, with a woman’s head in cut-paper silhouette on a pink oval background with scalloped gold edges. With everything to choose from in the way of names, why did she pick that one? Serena Joy was never her real name, not even then. Her real name was Pam. I read that in a profile on her, in a news magazine, long after I’d first watched her singing while my mother slept in on Sunday mornings. By that time she was worthy of a profile: Time or Newsweek it was, it must have been. She wasn’t singing any more by then, she was making speeches. She was good at it. Her speeches were about the sanctity of the home, about how women should stay home. Serena Joy didn’t do this herself, she made speeches instead, but she presented this failure of hers as a sacrifice she was making for the good of all.
Around that time, someone tried to shoot her and missed; her secretary, who was standing right behind her, was killed instead. Someone else planted a bomb in her car but it went off too early. Though some people said she’d put the bomb in her own car, for sympathy. That’s how hot things were getting.
Luke and I would watch her sometimes on the late-night news. Bathrobes, nightcaps. We’d watch her sprayed hair and her hysteria, and the tears she could still produce at will, and the mascara blackening her cheeks. By that time she was wearing more makeup. We thought she was funny. Or Luke thought she was funny. I only pretended to think so. Really she was a little frightening. She was in earnest.
She doesn’t make speeches any more. She has become speechless. She stays in her home, but it doesn’t seem to agree with her. How furious she must be, now that she’s been taken at her word.
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale
Mister Lonely. Dir. Harmony Korine. 2007
You are not alone. Actually though, you are. If you believe you can fly, you can. Actually though, you can't.
The thing you’ve got to understand is that I grew up being marketed to, so there aren’t many advertising tricks that work on me. Seriously. Ever since I was a child, companies have been telling me to buy, buy, buy—making me think, on some subconscious level, that my needs are the only ones that matter. And I believed it all. It wasn’t until years later that I realized how lonely this had made me, and that mere accumulation doesn’t lead to happiness. I finally understood that no company or product or advertising slogan could provide the companionship I needed. But it was too late. Decades of being told what to buy—and what to feel, and how to think—had left me numb. I carry that numbness everywhere now; I fear that it will never leave me. So, anyway. Maybe write a funny jingle about that?
River Clegg: How to Market to Me
How effortlessly we forget the Spanish word for sprouts.