Adam Reger | Freelance Writer

Pittsburgh-based fiction writer

Tag: Enormous diaper

Literary slap fight & Juggalo rampage

I wanted to direct your attention to this enjoyable AV Club rumination on the alarming news that a bunch of overzealous Insane Clown Posse fans attacked inexplicably famous person Tila Tequila at the Gathering of the Juggaloes. The rampant uncouthness of these fans was eerily predicted by this Scharpling & Wurster bit (about an hour to 90 minutes in).

And I’m also using this opportunity to sneak in a few links that I couldn’t quite turn into the considered, thoughtful post I wanted to post.

I wrote about a thousand words trying to make some kind of meaningful response to this list of 15 overrated contemporary writers, written by Anis Shivani, an all-but-unknown writer, in The Huffington Post. And I also wanted to approvingly link to Anna North, at Jezebel, who responded elegantly here.

The problem I had was in taking this guy’s idiosyncratic opinions, which he’d like to elevate above the state of mere opinion by using lots of jargon and trashing these writers (mostly women, as Anna North points out (although the baffling thing, to me, was the high number of poets singled out for punishment; how many readers are these poets reaching, and thus how much damage could they be causing? Maybe lay off a bit, playboy.)), and discussing something more than the article, the specific whining, and the specific writers.

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New things that are already things (or, Using algebra to explain things)

I can remember, during my first year of college, standing in line for a movie with a friend. It was at a big multiplex in Yonkers, New York and the place had an air-conditioned, mass-appeal feeling to it that made me feel vaguely uneasy. Because I was eighteen and considered myself a writer in the slightly haughty way an eighteen-year-old can, I thought that an awesome way to “freak out” all the “mainstream” people standing in line with me would be to show an adult movie instead of whatever they had paid to see. (This was a year or two before Fight Club used a similar idea. Also, in case I’m not conveying the silliness of my college-freshman attitude, the movie we were lined up to see was either The Matrix or 10 Things I Hate about You. The new Harmony Korine flick it was not.)

I liked this idea so much I verbalized it to my friend, and as he looked at me and considered how to respond, I went further. I suggested that it would actually be a really awesome avant-garde thing to do, to bring people together at a theater and show an adult film and have people just, like, respond to it. They could laugh, or be uncomfortable about their arousal, perhaps they’d find their political convictions challenged by their response at the bodily level.

I was picking up steam with this, trying to think through the subversive aspects of rendering a private and taboo genre public, re-contextualizing what was considered a shameful and—when my friend asked, “You mean like at a porn theater?”

I briefly struggled against this simple summary—No, because the films would be shown at an art house, and people would get it, man—but then gave it up. We were able, still standing in line, to see the brief sad trajectory of my avant-garde movie theater, the shift of its clientele from beret-wearing intellectuals to raincoat-wearing sad sacks who’d prefer to sit in a row by themselves. “Oh,” I said by way of concession, “I guess that already exists. And it’s terrible.”

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On Burying Fiction

My friend, colleague, and, tantalizingly soon, roommate Robert Yune hosts a few thoughts I had in response to this crotchety Lee Siegel article (which I think came out last month). His earlier, scientifically rigorous thoughts on the question here (seriously, that one has a reference list at the end) and here. Another takedown of Siegel’s piece from another former classmate here. This guy can’t catch a break!

Also, someday I’ll have a blogroll. And on that day, I’ll surely include a link to Robert’s blog, which is what my blog would be if I had more patience, focus, and seriousness of purpose, and less propensity to making ball jokes and writing about cheeseburgers.