A while back I made up a word analogous to “philosophy/φιλοσοφία,” (love of wisdom): “philerotisi/Φιλερώτηση “(love of questions). And: sure. I stand by that word. “Live the questions!” smart spiritual people say, because Rilke said it and because it’s wise. Lately though I’ve noticed that I have so many questions, like just way more I can “live” or even get out of bed about, and that what is more helpful to me in this time is to drop one layer down from whatever question I’m desperate about and note that uncertainty is hard. And just stay there, for now.
I don’t know that this list has anything to do with all that–it is, as always, just those things I’ve run into recently that have taught me something I needed to know–but it feels fair to offer full disclosure about the nature of any current existential crises, so you can make good choices about whether you listen to my recommendations.
1. An Untamed State, by Roxane Gay. It’s a NOVEL! You’ve maybe seen me recommend her before; much of what’s famous is non-fiction, but she considers herself a fiction writer and my god this book.
2. Color of Reality, a short (~5min) film by Jon Boogz, with art by Alexa Meade and co-movement by Lil Buck.
3. Trigger Warnings and the Myth of Overly Sensitive Students, by Kimberly Dark. Kimberly is the best at simultaneously loving and brooking no bullshit.
4. The Reactionary Mind, by Corey Robin. It’s full of things he’s published elsewhere but he’s so good and it’s so handy, why not just get it so you can bathe yourself in analysis of WTF is up with conservatism? One of the best essays is “Garbage and Gravitas,” about Ayn Rand. If you went through a period of really liking that 60-page John Galt speech and are now all smdh about it (guilty!), you will love this. The opening line: “St. Petersburg in revolt gave us Vladimir Nabokov, Isaiah Berlin and Ayn Rand. The first was a novelist, the second a philosopher. The third was neither but thought she was both.” HA!
5. The Edge of Sports (podcast) with Dave Zirin. Yep, SPORTS!, and this man is woke as hell. He’s the sports editor for The Nation, and this podcast learns me so much every time.
6. A thing on Nick Cave, by Amanda Palmer. I have this weird memory that I’m maybe supposed to not like Amanda Palmer, or at least supposed think she’s ridiculous, and who knows, maybe she is, but this piece made me decide to add a doodle to last week’s post (which I’d been wanting to but all weird and stall-y about), which in turn made me go ahead and write this week’s post. Since lord knows I’m in some bad creative habits (or rather, out of good ones) these days, I appreciate it.
So, that’s it for the moment. I love you all very much.