roland barthes, s/z
“seriously, i think endless celebration is required to commemorate not being in those situations anymore. celebrating is the opposite of processing,” says the friend with whom i’ve been discussing this for two years. fun forever.
because i am methodologically committed to lingering and reconsideration, because lingering and reconsideration are just how i work so i took it on as a method, i felt almost ecstatic tonight when this song came on half-by-mistake and i felt it in a way i had never felt it before, even though i definitely have owned this cd since it came out in 1996. over the last few days i have been listening to “32 flavors” a lot, and sort of reveling in smug ani feelings, and i also watched this video a little bit because i thought this song was really sexy in 1995 but even more because i saw the commentary “thanks for raising me, ani” and thought it was so touching and exactly right. that’s how i feel, too.
valerie solanas, SCUM
i was hungover the morning we were supposed to meet with charles aaron, who worked at sassy and spin in the 90s, but marisa and i did all of our interviews together, and so i dragged myself to his office on park avenue. thank god. it was by far one of the best interviews we did. charles just talked at us for, like, two hours, and dudes talking at me is normally the kind of thing that makes me batty, but he was totally weird, and weird is my weakness in almost all situations.
he was just riffing and at one point he told us, basically, that life sucks, and that at some point you realize that maybe you’ll get to do something cool every few years. i would have said wow, bummer, if there had been a pause. it wasn’t until a year or two later that i thought, wow, optimistic. because, like, what more can you ask for? if you get to do something really cool, or sorta cool, every few years—i mean, that’s pretty great. that’s something to look forward to. oh, i don’t know, i’m not that patient.
charles, however, must be, and this is my favorite part of the story. we were doing this interview in what, to me, and my post-conde-nast sensibility, was a noticeably tiny office. and there was some sort of magazine insurrection soon after and the new boss moved two more people into the office with him. and if you have a tiny office and your new boss moves two more people into it, he wants you to quit. instead, charles just shared his office. i think maybe it took a few years, but there was another insurrection, and now he is in charge.
maybe this story is urban media legend or maybe i made it up and it probably has more to say about me than about him. but the idea of just waiting people out? maybe for years? like, just waiting and waiting and having your very presence be the ultimate fuck you? just doing your thing and laughing on the inside? refusing to disappear—or, even better, refusing to care—is the best and most hilarious kind of, um, vengeance.