I was struck by the flu this past week, which waylaid some of my writing plans. It continues, and is brutal as hell. I imagine many of you have already been through this, so you'll know why I posted the image I did for this week’s illustration. It really does feel like someone has taken off the top of my head and is tinkering with the insides, and I'm not even dead. Luckily my little nurse Frida is taking good care of me. As always, hello and thank you to new subscribers.
What I’ve Written Or Was Mentioned In
Decolonising Sexualities: Transnational Perspectives, Critical Interventions is just out from Counterpress. Karma Chavez, Ryan Conrad and I are delighted to have a chapter in the anthology.
I’m, frankly, just plain superstitious about announcing new work till it’s actually out in the world (I allow myself one or two superstitions), but there’s more coming out that I’m really excited about. I need to crawl back into bed once done with this, but I’m also hoping to have some short-shorts out this week about recent kerfuffles about journalism on the left, my return to fiction, and more.
What I’m Reading
Remember Patient Zero and the AIDS crisis? Well, finally, the mainstream press — which played a long and steady role in demonising gay men in particular as deadly carriers of AIDS — is admitting this was a bullshit story (the fever prevents me from phrasing things more delicately). I’ll keep an eye out for better analyses and responses and post links as I find them.
Did you ever receive one of those calls from someone claiming you were wanted by the IRS for back taxes, and that there were police right outside your door waiting to take you in? Those calls may finally end, with the indictment of 300 Indian call centre scammers.
But, as Helaine Olen points out, that’s not really the end of the story for many people.
I never got into Vine, and I never quite got its charm though I could see that a lot of it was at least very clever. The Times did a feature on some of its “stars,” and none of the featured vines were particularly interesting: leave it to the Times to completely miss the point. Dudes, if your point is that these are the “stars,” at least show their best work. Anyway, Twitter is now discontinuing the video service entirely.
UPDATE: This report may not be true. I'll keep updating as I learn more. A wealthy donor has come forward to pay to release everyone arrested during the Dakota Pipeline actions last week. I think it’s great that this happened but I worry, a lot, about a world where we have to depend on anonymous wealth to make good things happen. Still, thanks to whoever did this, and congratulations to everyone concerned. Moving forward, can we all please start thinking about the larger implications of all this?
From the Archives
This older Hyperallergic piece is a satirical take on the least powerless people in the art world.
Mike Ludwig’s piece on sex trafficking hysteria is still worth reading.
And here’s Phil Collins with “In the Air Tonight.”
In case you missed it, here's last week's Roundup.
Image: "The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Deijman," by Rembrandt.