When women are unlikable, it becomes a point of obsession in critical conversations by professional and amateur critics alike. Why are these women daring to flaunt convention? Why aren’t they making themselves likable (and therefore acceptable) to polite society? In a Publishers Weekly interview with Claire Messud about her novel The Woman Upstairs, which features a rather ‘unlikable’ protagonist, Nora, who is better, bereft, and downright angry about what her life has become, the interviewer said, ‘I wouldn’t want to be friends with Nora, would you? Her outlook is almost unbearably grim.’ And there we have it. A reader was here to make friends with the characters in a book and she didn’t like what she found.
Messud, for her part, had a sharp response to her interviewer.
For heaven’s sake, what kind of question is that? Would you want to be friends with Humbert Humbert? Would you want to be friends with Mickey Sabbath? Saleem Sinai? Hamlet? Krapp? Oedipus? Oscao Wao? Antigone? Raskolnikov? Any of the characters in The Corrections? Any of the characters in Infinite Jest? Any of the characters in anything Pynchon has ever written? Or Martin Amis? Or Orhan Pamuk? Or Alice Munro, for that matter? If you’re reading to find friends, you’re in deep trouble. We read to find life, in all its possibilities. The relevant question isn’t ‘Is this a potential friend for me?’ but ‘Is this character alive?’
Perhaps, then, unlikable characters, the ones who are the most human, are also the ones who are the most alive. Perhaps this intimacy makes us uncomfortable because we don’t dare be so alive."
— Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist (via brutereason)
We All Wait
27 September 2014
The interval between the start and the end of “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” is 3 minutes and 30 seconds, and the International Space Station is moving is 7.66 km/s.
This means that if an astronaut on the ISS listens to “I’m Gonna Be”, in the time between the first beat of the song and the final lines …
… they will have traveled just about exactly 1,000 miles.
To be alive, now, in this age.
Where we have both XKCD and this.
Why do I — an accomplished and attractive adult — become so paralyzed at the fear of being awkward that I physically cannot get out of my chair at work to open a cabinet because I’m afraid I won’t be able to open it and my co-workers will laugh at me? If anything, it was worse when my boss looked at me like I was an idiot because I hadn’t opened it at all rather than trying ineptly. Below is a list of things that have happened to me that were gruesomely more awkward than the possibility of not being able to open a cabinet in front of my co-workers, all of which I lived through:
breaking a cup in front of everybody on my first unsupervised day at work.
trying to give a blowjob in the bathroom of my sophomore year dorm and not being able to find his dick.
farting in the middle of Carmina Burana.
trying to push my ex-girlfriend out of a moving taxi in front of her childhood friend.
forgetting half the piece at my first piano recital so they had to stop the concert and bring me sheet music.
falling on my face when I walked out on stage during a play my freshman year of college.
drunk texting T, “STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM NOW WE HERE <— about your butthole” after we had broken up.
cis men are like wasps
stinging because they’re afraid
women, trans people and bees rule the world