the rigorous m

bits and bobs, quotes and catching up

Archive for December, 2012

volatile-bodies on becoming the girl you always disdained

Posted by rigorousm on December 26, 2012

sometimes i just want to get a fake orange spray tan and bleach my hair blonde and wear hollister and a&f and american eagle and uggs exclusively and wear frosted lipglosses and make ducklips faces and care about jersey shore and gossip girl. because apparently “nice” dudes hate when girls do that because it’s “fake”, it’s “slutty”, it’s overdone/tasteless/”dumb” but fuck you. everything is fake. all persona is persona including what you’ve been conditioned to perceive as a “neutral”/”inoffensive” appearance.

because i don’t want your “respect”, and i certainly don’t need your advice on how to “respect” a body. i don’t need your fake concern about skin cancer and burns on my scalp when my body doesn’t even feel like mine sometimes. when breast cancer becomes selling sex to teenage boys who wouldn’t tell you about the lump in your breast they felt while they were feeling you up. your concern for my body will always be mediocre until it is mine to create/destroy/create, and even then it wouldn’t even matter because you do not inhabit this flesh, or these organs, or this mucus/snot/bile/blood/spit/fluid/fluid/fluid. so stop trying to crawl into my bed of skin, asshole. stop trying to own my ugliness. you can’t have it. too bad, so sad.

i don’t want you to wait before i leave the room to talk about how gross i am. i want my skin to be greasy and leave big orange stains on every man who touches me and who i choose to touch. i want my hair to make you puke. i want my clothes to remind you of how capitalism lives in tube tops and booty shorts just as well as it does in jeans and a t-shirt or whatever the fuck makes you feel like the girl you wanna fuck is real “authentic”, real “down-to-earth” or whatever. i want to remind you that every picture is posed. no expression can be pure when you can see the camera and the camera can see you. i want you to know that i spent three goddamn hours straightening my hair and putting on my eyeliner over and over again and removing it over and over again so there’s light grey rings under my eyes and when i reapplied my lipgloss for the 20th time tonight in the backseat of my best friend’s car it hit a pothole so it’s smudging against my lipliner and i’m still not “sexy” to your pretentious jonh lennon art school ass. my labor is MINE, and it’s ugly because god loves ugly. i wasn’t put on this earth to give you a hard on. i want to scream and drink and grind to shitty club music because i want to scare the living shit out of you. i want you to go home and post a facebook update about how “our generation is doomed” and get twenty likes from all your pretentious john lennon art school friends and all your fedora-wearing self-entitled pasty sarcastic bros and all your edgewatch xvx police officers and all your “nice guy” indie rock microbrew date rapists who all secretly wish they could make a man want to remove himself from this earth just by getting a spraytan.

i don’t want you to want to fuck me, BRO. i want you to have to look at me. i want to be the bright orange flesh you don’t want to fuck but you also can’t ignore. i want you to be very, very scared of what is going to come out of my mouth. i want you to cringe at the sound of my voice because it is both too feminine and too loud. your disgust makes me even louder, even more powerful. and it’s so funny to me, so funny to me, because you know and i know we are both just pretending we aren’t aware that deep down you so badly wish you could be a monster, too.

— tumblr user volatile-bodies


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poem: singer on biology and love

Posted by rigorousm on December 26, 2012

dear samantha
i’m sorry
we have to get a divorce
i know that seems like an odd way to start a love letter but let me explain:
it’s not you
it sure as hell isn’t me
it’s just human beings don’t love as well as insects do
i love you.. far too much to let what we have be ruined by the failings of our species

i saw the way you looked at the waiter last night
i know you would never DO anything, you never do but..
i saw the way you looked at the waiter last night

did you know that when a female fly accepts the pheromones put off by a male fly, it re-writes her brain, destroys the receptors that receive pheromones, sensing the change, the male fly does the same. when two flies love each other they do it so hard, they will never love anything else ever again. if either one of them dies before procreation can happen both sets of genetic code are lost forever. now that… is dedication.

after Elizabeth and i broke up we spent three days dividing everything we had bought together
like if i knew what pots were mine like if i knew which drapes were mine somehow the pain would go away

this is not true

after two praying mantises mate, the nervous system of the male begins to shut down
while he still has control over his motor functions
he flops onto his back, exposing his soft underbelly up to his lover like a gift
she then proceeds to lovingly dice him into tiny cubes
spooning every morsel into her mouth
she wastes nothing
even the exoskeleton goes
she does this so that once their children are born she has something to regurgitate to feed them
now that.. is selflessness

i could never do that for you

so i have a new plan
i’m gonna leave you now
i’m gonna spend the rest of my life committing petty injustices
i hope you do the same
i will jay walk at every opportunity
i will steal things i could easily afford
i will be rude to strangers
i hope you do the same
i hope reincarnation is real
i hope our petty crimes are enough to cause us to be reborn as lesser creatures
i hope we are reborn as flies

Jared Singer, An Entomologist’s Last Love Letter

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notes on tech + being

Posted by rigorousm on December 25, 2012


A cyborg created many masks to amuse themselves, and behind each mask a face came into being, for when we create spaces for things those things are always filled in the end. The masks had power, and through each the cyborg was able to tell a different truth, and all truths were equally true. The cyborg was happy. Also confused. Also contradictory. These were things that had always been so, but now they had solidity and reality; they could be framed in a mirror and seen beyond abstractions.

As the cyborg’s faces grew in number, some found this unsettling. No, they said. No, you should have only one. We should only be able to see one. Cast off your other masks and give the one that remains a name and wear  it always for us so that we will always know where to look.

Of course the cyborg refused. It couldn’t do anything else.

This is not a surprise ending. You already know this story.


I am still telling myself stories about myself, about who I was and about who I will be. I can’t separate any of this from itself and still make any sense of it at all. I am not internally consistent. I am not sure why I am supposed to be. My body is disciplined but I want to fight this; can words on a screen help me fight this? Where are the master’s tools? Did I seize the words or was I given them? How do I move freely within the code when I know the code is not neutral? The code is never neutral. The code has never been neutral. Someone else sets the rules. We can only do so much to break them.

 — “Thirteen ways of looking at Livejournal,”  Sarah Wanenchak, TSP (link)

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barthes on educational toys

Posted by rigorousm on December 25, 2012

The fact that French toys literally prefigure the world of adult functions obviously cannot but prepare the child to accept them all, by constituting for him, even before he can think about it, the alibi of a Nature which has at all times created soldiers, postmen, and Vespas. Toys here reveal the list of all the things the adult  does not find unusual: war, bureaucracy, ugliness, Martiaans, etc. It is not so much, in fact, the initiation which is the sign of an abdication, as its literalness…. faced with this world of faithful and complicated objects, the child can only identify himself as owner, as user, never as creator; he does not invent the world, he uses it: there are, prepared for him, actions without adventure, without wonder, without joy. He is turned into a little stay-at-home householder who does not even have to invent the mainsprings of adult causality; they are supplied to him ready-made: he has only to help himself, he is never allowed discover anything from start to finish. The merest set of blocks, provided it is not too refined, implies a very different learning of the world: then, the child does not in any way created meaningful objects, it matters little to him whether they have an adult name; the actions he perfroms as not those of a user but those of a demiurge. He creates forms which walk, which roll, he creates life, not property: objects now act by themselves, they are no longer an inert and complicated material in the palm of his hand. But such toys are rather rare: French toys are usually based on imitation, they are meant to produce children who are users, not creators.

Roland Barthes, “Toys,” Mythologies

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notes on living without irony

Posted by rigorousm on December 17, 2012

“Here is a start: Look around your living space. Do you surround yourself with things you really like or things you like only because they are absurd? Listen to your own speech. Ask yourself: Do I communicate primarily through inside jokes and pop culture references? What percentage of my speech is meaningful? How much hyperbolic language do I use? Do I feign indifference? Look at your clothes. What parts of your wardrobe could be described as costume-like, derivative or reminiscent of some specific style archetype (the secretary, the hobo, the flapper, yourself as a child)? In other words, do your clothes refer to something else or only to themselves? Do you attempt to look intentionally nerdy, awkward or ugly? In other words, is your style an anti-style? The most important question: How would it feel to change yourself quietly, offline, without public display, from within?”

Christy Wampole, “How to Live Without Irony

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zembrano’s further notes on bulimic and anorexic modes of writing

Posted by rigorousm on December 10, 2012

Perhaps when I speak of the “bulimic” I am really speaking of the confessional, of telling, of explicitness, often when dealing with taboo—the disordered body, abjection, boundaries. Perhaps when I’m speaking of an anorectic mode of writing I’m thinking of that that hides, that doesn’t reveal. Explictness versus implictness. Something to do too with an ecstatic mode.

from “gross and gooshy” at Frances Farmer is My Sister (Kate Zembrano’s blog)

see also

When I wrote this blog post about bulimic versus anorexic, three years ago, …I was also positing two radical modes dealing with silence. I was speaking mostly of poetics. When I wrote that anorexic writing was published more, I was not writing of market forms. …  I was writing more of works that are abbreviated, full of punctuations and silences. Jenny Boully, Danielle Dutton. The lyric. When I was writing of bulimia or messiness, I was writing of an aesthetic. I was not encouraging the unedited, although was trying to muse on the unrepressed. … I mean, my blogs are unedited. My books are not. Not in the least. (link)


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Posted by rigorousm on December 6, 2012

4. We make lists of things we want to remember, and then we lose the lists. My life is a tattered assemblage of abandoned calendars, misplaced agendas, water-damaged address books with names blurred, family trees I’ve never managed to hold coherently in mind, third cousins unrecalled named for third uncles unmet, files of papers I’ve misplaced or never look into…. Our memories may be tomb-worlds, after all, a place to spare others having to dwell. … We list things in order to cross them off, to relegate them with relief to the kingdom of amnesia. So leave me off your lists.

— “Things to Remember,” J Lethem 2008

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kristeva and abjection

Posted by rigorousm on December 5, 2012

It is thus not lack of cleanliness or health that causes abjection but what disturbs identity, system, order.  What does not respect borders, positions, rules.  The in-between, the ambiguous, the composite.  Any crime, because it draws attention to the fragility of the law, is abject, but premeditated crime, cunning murder, hypocritical revenge are even more so because they heighten the display of such fragility.  he who denies morality is not abject; there can be grandeur in amorality and even in crime that flaunts its disrespect for the law—rebellious, liberating, and suicidal crime.  Abjection, on the other hand, is immoral, sinister, scheming, and shady:  a terror that dissembles, a hatred that smiles, a passion that uses the body or barter instead of inflaming it, a debtor who sells you up, a friend who stabs you.

Julie Kristeva, Powers of Horror

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