Today’s Gender of the day is: boops boops in a bucket
I DON’T KNOW
In the winter of 2010, I spent several days in Providence, R.I. with my then-partner, B —a gifted artist and esoteric scholar— exploring the Brown University Library’s enormous archive of the collected letters of H.P. Lovecraft for a book project I was going to help her with.*
I remember that it was bitterly cold, that week I spent with Lovecraft’s letters. That I couldn’t ever seem to get, or stay, warm.
It was, appropriately, a weirdly humanizing, occasionally horrifying, often outright enraging exploration into the inner workings of Grandpa Howard’s twisted mind. At one point well into the week, I remember blurting out “motherFUCKER!” in the hushed sanctity of the John Hay Reading Room, after stumbling across a crude racist sketch (with accompanying limerick) of African Americans, which Lovecraft had included in one of his letters to a friend inquiring about his time in Brooklyn.
A day later we found a business card for Lovecraft’s most oft-visited restaurant, some cheap Italian place where he would often go to eat and sit alone and write. He had jotted down, in his oddly convivial handwriting: “my favorite dish: spaghetti and meatballs”. He loved to eat them “utterly engulfed in a snowbank of grated Parmesan cheese.”
A few minutes after that I found a doodle he’d drawn of a kitten playing with a ball of yarn. “The Racist Grandpa of Popular Culture” really, *really* loved kitties.
We found so much damning AND humanizing stuff in those archives. Including: recalcitrant letters from his badass Jewish ex-wife, notes from concerned colleagues imploring him to embrace compassion for all forms of life, feverish drawings of Cthulhu and “non-Euclidian geometry”, beautiful sketches of Southern mausoleums in Georgia cemeteries that he’d gone and visited…
Now, nearly five years later, when I think about all of the time I spent poring over all of that stuff, I feel melancholy more than anything else. It was mostly very sad, reading all of Lovecraft’s correspondences. Fucked up and infuriating, too, yes. He seemed so lonely. He was so scared. He was so, so angry.
And human. All too human. An entire anxious little life, all laid out in letters scrawled or typed. His brilliant, dysfunctional brain— so vast and so electively fucking tiny at the same time. I remember looking at the kitten doodle side by side with the horrible racist sketch. Picturing him alone, tall and slender, a loose-limbed, baleful child, eating his plate of spaghetti drowned in cheese. Thinking… that silly, xenophobic, spaghetti-and-meatballs-eating motherfucker wrote some of the most frightening/captivating things I’ve ever read.
Or maybe it’d be more accurate to say that he was one of the first to write about the *concepts* that I’ve consistently found most frightening and captivating. Ideas and imagery later elaborated upon by writers like W.S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard, Angela Carter, Thomas Ligotti, and filmmakers like John Carpenter and Werner Herzog and David Lynch…
Anyway. It’s Lovecraft’s birthday today. Pondering him, what he wrought, what that represents, and what’s yet to emerge from the cold, unknowable darkness that he wrote about with so much timorous humanity.
*B never completed the book project. I hope she still does, someday.
anyways, anaconda is a subversive send up of male gaze, patriarchal beliefs about women and heteronormativity and nicki minaj is a powerful goddess on earth
10 year old Antonio Jones from Ferguson explains his fears for his older brother.
Even at the age of 10 this boy recognizes that wearing a hoodie and being black is enough to make his brother an extremely likely target. These are the concerns of black children in the U.S, these are their fears and this is the reality they face.
THE REAL QUEEN OF HIP-HOP
WITH HER BIG FAT ASS (THAT ICKY WISH SHE HAD)