philthecow: (hitchcock)
[personal profile] philthecow
Remember this?

(An edited version was just rejected by the Swarthmore literary magazine. I'm trying to stave off the crisis of self-confidence.)

At least people liked The Queer History of Swarthmore, except for the guy who didn't appreciate having to scroll past it to get to the sports section. If I had more time to write, it would definitely be more polished. But for what it is I'm proud of it.

I read a lot of old papers to write the article, and I love reading primary documents so much. There's a sense of immersion you get from being able to read an old newspaper, because it's this entire world laid out in front of you, but also a delightful sense of disjunction, because you never were the intended audience and there are things you never will understand.

For example, the best part of my article goes as follows:

"On November 1, 1985, The Phoenix published a story titled 'AIDS Series Continues' which contained the following paragraph: 'Perhaps the most bizarre thought to emerge from the lecture came in the question-answer session, when a student asked whether beating up gay people might be a way to catch AIDS. Supposedly, if one to were assault a gay person who happened to be infected, blood from the person could infect the attacker. Uitert concurred that this could indeed happen, especially if the attacking fists were scraped up, though repeated exposure is probably required for infection.'"

WHAT THE FUCK? What the hell kind of Swarthmore were people living in for that exchange to be possible? Who asked the question? Was some dumb jock thinking "Oh shit, I beat up a homo last week, I need to find out if I have AIDS"? Did the doctor's response make him stop beating up gay people? Or did he just use a baseball bat instead of his fists from then on? What did the rest of the audience think? Were the gay students happy about the doctor's response?

I'm never going to know the answers to any of these questions, but my life has been so enriched by being able to ask them, and in being able to share these crazy parts of the past with other people so that they can ask them too. This is the kind of stuff I thrive on, right?

(On that note, if Small Craft Warnings won't accept my story, I will read an even better version at the Clothesline Project rally. And I will make sure that we are handing out copies of everything read at the rally, so that people will be forced to confront something scary and dark and terrible, and Small Craft Warnings can keep printing one or two interesting pieces a semester, drowned out by a flood of pretentious poetry, and the texts that actually matter can be disseminated by superior means. I will stave this crisis off.)

Date: 2007-03-25 11:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pimmers.livejournal.com
I love reading primary documents so much. There's a sense of immersion you get from being able to read an old newspaper, because it's this entire world laid out in front of you, but also a delightful sense of disjunction, because you never were the intended audience and there are things you never will understand.

Mee tooo- which is part of why I really like working at the Friend's Historical Library. And I also love reading newspaper articles or whatnot, and seeing things that its intended audience could never have understood. I had to sift through old copies of The Phoenix for an archiving project, and I read editorials written by now-Sen. Carl Levin or Mike Dukakis and there's sort of a thrill in knowing what significance they would rise to.

regarding the parenthetical parapgraph

Date: 2007-03-25 11:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zimzil.livejournal.com
you're beautiful. 'superior means,' indeed.

Date: 2007-03-26 12:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] midge7227.livejournal.com
i cant believe they rejected that...what idiots. well, I would't have rejected it, friend.

also i know what you mean about gender fuck - i've never gone but whenever i hear stories about it im like, "really? why would you want to go to that?" but everyone does every year...and it always ends up being weird and sketchy...and everyone comes back saying things like, "oh man!! this naked guy kept groping my ass!!" or "someone i didnt know with a whip kept hitting me" and really awkward things like that, and i just feel like i'd personally probably end up panicking in a situation like that.

Date: 2007-03-26 01:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arctangent.livejournal.com
WHAT THE FUCK? What the hell kind of Swarthmore were people living in for that exchange to be possible?

The kind where people think it's funny to be a disruptive asshole? (Whether or not the guy actually did beat up gay people, the only reason he asked that question was almost certainly to be an asshole.)

Also, Small Craft Warnings has never once published a single piece I've written. What that says about me or Small Craft Warnings is up to the individual to decide.

Date: 2007-03-26 04:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] philthecow.livejournal.com
But also apparently the kind where people don't get socially ostracized and raked across the coals for being a disruptive asshole in the homophobic manner.

Date: 2007-03-26 12:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] noachoc.livejournal.com
It's your fault for getting me thinking on this train of thought...

I don't think a baseball bat would be entirely safe either, since it would probably cause splatter.

Date: 2007-03-27 11:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] philthecow.livejournal.com
Yeah, but the assailant would need to have an open wound which the splatter could fly into. He's more likely to get that open wound if he uses his fists than if he uses a large blunt object.

Date: 2007-03-27 09:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_swallow/
The approbation or rejection of Small Craft Warnings is meaningless-- especially for someone as competent and hardworking as you.

Date: 2007-03-27 11:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] philthecow.livejournal.com
They've rejected you several times as well, yes? This makes me feel better, since I like your poetry in spite of it being poetry (this is a compliment!) and think it should be accepted since it is POETRY that I LIKE!

But also it makes me think "How did the campus end up with such a terrible literary magazine! Something must be done to rectify this."

Date: 2007-03-28 01:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_swallow/
Well, yeah, but in the spirit of full disclosure I should also tell you I am (as of this year) on the board, so when I say that their regard is meaningless I REALLY mean it.

Heyyy, let's talk about this over lunch instead of in public--!
Page generated Sep. 25th, 2017 01:33 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios