Did you know I used to write about music, like, a lot? This is still my favorite sustained piece, some stylistic issues aside. (Was still trying too hard to be vernacular in places, too much of the old-guard Village Voice still hanging around in the bloodstream. My natural style is stuffy. I wear neckties when I don’t have to.) Mainly because it’s the best shot I ever made at getting across why I think pre-rock music is important; it’s for the same reasons that I think rock music is important, and the music of the post-rock era too.
Wash every dish and empty out the rack. Fold or hang each garment with the care that it prefers. Tell yourself the air is sweet to your skin. Exercise the knack which you attempted to abandon. Crack an egg and eat what it becomes. Wear a pendant. Clean the bathtub. Wash your hair. Drink water. Leave your bed. Do not go back.
Remember all the soggy, blurred-out days. Remember what you know: this is such stuff as life is made on, which could pass you by again, which has devised so many ways to leave you. Make that memory be enough. It won’t be. It may never be. Try.
As an insufferable know-it-all, I think my favorite conversation I’ve had where I tried to correct someone’s mistaken impression was with the woman in a training session at one of my many data entry jobs who refused to shop at Target because they were a French company (and that Targé was the “correct” pronunciation of the name instead of a dad joke). This would have been in early 2005; for my younger readers, there was a strong anti-French sentiment at large in certain parts of the US following that country’s refusal to rubber-stamp George W. Bush’s illegal, barbaric, and disastrous invasion of Iraq.
everyone should post their ten most CRUCIAL CRUCIAL CRUCIAL-ASS movies, like the movies that explain everything about yourselves in your current incarnations (not necessarily your ten favorite movies but the ten movies that you, as a person existing currently, feel would help people get to know you) (they can change later on obviously).
There they would go again, the pack of old hens, he thought, clustering in the lunchroom, clucking over magazines and gossip articles, calling celebrities by their first names as though they knew them, as though any human being could ever truly know another. It seemed to him a peculiarly female failing, this habit of assuming one knows all about another person just by reading a few lines of publicity, or staring at a supposedly-candid snapshot. Or from a few words’ conversation in line at the deli or the laundry; from a second- or third-hand report from a fellow gossip; from an arrival or departure at an unaccustomed hour. Women were always assuming they knew the entire story. Men never did that; they never assumed nor yet pried. Each man free to live his life and to hell with what anybody else said or thought; wasn’t that democracy? Men were natural democrats, frankly and even-handedly not giving a damn about one another. You might take a swing at a fellow for jostling you, but you’d never do him the discourtesy of asking him why he did it. Whereas women — women were forever asking why men did this or that, forever looking for hidden meanings in chance observations, forever hard at work piecing together an eternally incomplete puzzle.
He’d said something like this, in an offhand way, once, to the woman he had been seeing at the time. She had looked at him queerly, and then said,
"No cat cares what another cat is doing. But it’s of vital importance to the mouse."
"Not one but several ‘peculiar institutions’ have successively operated to define, confine, and control African-Americans in the history of the United States. The first is chattel slavery as the pivot of the plantation economy and inceptive matrix of racial division from the colonial era to the Civil War. The second is the Jim Crow system of legally enforced discrimination and segregation from cradle to grave that anchored the predominantly agrarian society of the South from the close of Reconstruction to the Civil Rights revolution which toppled it a full century after abolition. America’s third special device for containing the descendants of slaves in the Northern industrial metropolis is the ghetto, corresponding to the conjoint urbanization and proletarianization of African-Americans from the Great Migration of 1914–30 to the 1960s, when it was rendered partially obsolete by the concurrent transformation of economy and state and by the mounting protest of blacks against continued caste exclusion, climaxing with the explosive urban riots chronicled in the Kerner Commission Report. 
The fourth, I contend here, is the novel institutional complex formed by the remnants of the dark ghetto and the carceral apparatus with which it has become joined by a linked relationship of structural symbiosis and functional surrogacy. This suggests that slavery and mass imprisonment are genealogically linked and that one cannot understand the latter—its timing, composition, and smooth onset as well as the quiet ignorance or acceptance of its deleterious effects on those it affects—without returning to the former as historic starting point and functional analogue.
Viewed against the backdrop of the full historical trajectory of racial domination in the United States (summed up in Table 1), the glaring and growing ‘disproportionality’ in incarceration that has afflicted African-Americans over the past three decades can be understood as the result of the ‘extra-penological’ functions that the prison system has come to shoulder in the wake of the crisis of the ghetto and of the continuing stigma that afflicts the descendants of slaves by virtue of their membership in a group constitutively deprived of ethnic honour (Max Weber’sMassehre)…