I don’t think we take enough time to appreciate the periods in our life when our noses aren’t runny. Is your nose runny right now? No? Think about that. Honestly reflect on it. Enjoy this era of peace. There are dark times on the horizon
“The depth of isolation in the ghetto is also evident in black speech patterns, which have evolved steadily away from Standard American English. Because of their intense social isolation, many ghetto residents have come to speak a language that is increasingly remote from that spoken by American whites. Black street speech, or more formally, Black English Vernacular, has its roots in the West Indian creole and Scots-Irish dialects of the eighteenth century. As linguists have shown, it is by no means a “degenerate,” or “illogical” version of Standard American English; rather, it constitutes a complex, rich, and expressive language in its own right, with a consistent grammar, pronunciation, and lexicon all its own.”—
Douglas Massey and Nancy A. Denton, Chapter 6: “The Perpetuation of the Underclass,” p. 162 (American apartheid: segregation and the making of the underclass)
As linguists have shown, it is by no means a “degenerate,” or “illogical” version of Standard American English; rather, it constitutes a complex, rich, and expressive language in its own right, with a consistent grammar, pronunciation, and lexicon all its own.
I feel very protective of Danny, Donny, Johnny and Jordan, because they, like me, are from Dorchester. I am very protective about everything from Dorchester, because people are really condescending and shitty (and racist) about it.
Joey, however, was from Jamaica Plain, so he is on his own.
Rules: In a text post, list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you. Tag ten friends, including me, so I’ll see your list. Make sure you let your friends know you’ve tagged them.
This list isn’t in order, but if it were this would still be number one.
2. Shadows In The Water
This book basically defined my aesthetic as a young pre-tween. Shadows in the Water is the sequel to Double Trouble Squared, in which a set of twins have telepathic powers and use them to solve mysteries.
HOWEVER, the sequel is where things really kick off. Their family moves to a houseboat in Florida. Not just Florida, but the Florida Keys. The twins start swimming at night and discover their telepathy gives them the ability to COMMUNICATE WITH DOLPHINS. They help the dolphins solve the mystery of who is dumping toxic waste into the ocean and also just bond and frolic.
I read this book over and over again while listening to Funky Big Band by Janet Jackson, then I spent basically all of my teen years obsessed with the Florida Keys, dolphins, houseboats and the visceral desire to have a twin and it was all thanks to Kathryn Lasky!
3. The Barefoot Contessa
This is a weird choice, but this book changed the way I entertained forever. Like, how you should always have music on the lighting set to go before people arrive so they don’t feel weird being the first to arrive? Or the fact that you should have fun at your own dinner parties. Ina took me to school. Also, her writing is a near perfect parody of itself.
4. The Sun Also Rises
Yikes, but I have read this book a whole bunch of times. I keep reading it at different points in my life and experiencing it differently. It’s sort of why I’ve delayed reading it in my 30s. I’m afraid my next experience will be, “This is dumb.” Even if I hate it at least this time around I’ll understand what’s going on with Jake Barnes’ dick.
5. The Celestine Prophecy
ahahahahahaha, when I was like 24 and living with a bunch of frat bros, my bff and I were OBSESSED with this book. We talked about it all the time like it was a deep and spiritual text we would live our lives by. We stayed up late at night talking about its TRUTH. We took it with us on vacations. We lived and breathed this book in that way that makes a lot of sense when you remember my brain wasn’t fully developed.
This is a very funny book that helped me come to the realization that corporations are terrible to work for. I probably would have figured it out eventually, but I appreciated the nudge.
7. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landeau-Banks
This book is dope and I refuse to hear a word against it.
8. Queen & Country
This is probably my favorite comic ever. There’s a couple of novels that are mixed in with the timeline as well, because Greg Rucka doesn’t give a fuck. You’ll read what he tells you.
The thing I remember most about Lolita was how many ideas I had about it and how many of those my English teacher told me were wrong.
10. Mystic River
Dennis Lehane and I are both from Dorchester, so obviously I feel a huge amount of ownership over his books. (I’m the same way about 4/5 of New Kids on the Block.) This book is set in a fake neighborhood that feels more like an amalgamation of Southie and Charlestown, but I’ll take it.
What’s the best painting? What’s the best tv show? What’s the best game? Let’s rate them all in a listicle. Let’s put them in numerical order. Let’s get the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo and put them side by side and go HMM, which one is the ACTUAL best? GAMERS NEED TO KNOW. GAMERS MUST KNOW WHICH ONE IS NUMBER ONE. OBJECTIVELY.
I could have a cold one day and it would affect how I viewed a fucking reload system on an FPS. But it’s my job to explain how I relate to these things. People do not come to me for my omniscience. They come to me for my foibles, feelings and biases. I am a critic not a metre stick and I don’t care if you don’t share my opinions. I can explain why I have them well and you can take it or fucking leave it.
Why do gamers demand this thing that actually does not exist? Because capitalism demands it. As capitalism’s shitty little puppets, everything must be rated ‘objectively’ so they can manipulate you into saying it’s the best so they can market it back to you, even though no opinion in the world is objective. We live in a great wide world where everything is infinite and appeals to different people. Ever notice when you find someone else whose favourite film is the same as your favourite film? It’s rare right? Do they like it for the EXACT same reasons as you? Probably not. Yeah. Maybe you don’t even have a ‘top’ film because that’s stupid fucking question. That’s how fucking opinions work. Art is not a number, commercial bullshit just wants you to think that it is so that you can be manipulated into buying more of its shit.
All the Games Media Awards, the Games Journalism Awards, Metacritic, Greenlight, the App Store, ratings systems, metrics, pageviews: all of this stuff is just a way of figuring out what is The Best so a list can be made, even though the reality is nothing is the best to everyone at any time. It’s trying to lead you to think there is anything but a huge variety of beautiful, weird and interesting things out there that are appreciated by different people at different times.
You cannot make a work of art that will destroy other art things. You can only stop that person from making art which in my opinion is a MASSIVE FUCKING VIOLENT ACT. Do you know what is a selfless, beautiful thing? Someone who gave you art for free. Because it’s there if you want it. And it’s not taken anything away from you if you don’t.
Capitalism’s insidious ploy to get you to buy only the stuff they have ploughed insidious fucking stacks of cash into en masse is the one thing killing the games industry. Surprise, you think it’s ‘the best’ because they spent a huge PR budget on it and made fancy commercials. Well done. Keep literally buying into that ploy and attempting to suffocate anything that deviates from it. You will have the same boring things to play over and over whilst huge companies make you into their slimy little zombie slave. You don’t want to play what I like? I don’t care. There’s room for us to exist on this earth, and you trying to exterminate everything that isn’t what you want is something entirely sinister and fascist.
If you succeed, there will just be you in your shitty underpants in a wasteland trying to jerk off to some free-to-play shit that hates you. Because you wanted The Best. Well The Best survived. It is only one kind of thing for one kind of person. Enjoy.