Recently, the increasing number of vacant prisons in America has gotten a lot of press. There are a few reasons why some of these gigantic structures are empty, including but not limited to: decaying building, decline in crime over the past five years, and, like in Littlefield, Texas, inhumane conditions leading to closure. Different states do different things to try to keep the space profitable, including rent them out for film projects (like the Wapato Jail in Portland, Oregon) or, maybe, house illegal immigrants in them. And that’s all well and good, but I have the real money-maker idea: prison fantasy camp. Who would want to be incarcerated? you might ask. Answer: judging by the number of people who watch Orange is the New Black and Locked Up Abroad, pretty much everyone wants to know what it’s like. There will be special all-women’s weeks, maximum and minimum security packages, and old timey Shawshank Prison camp, hosted at the former Oneida Correctional Facility in Rome, New York (which is actually for sale.) Actors will be hired to play real prisoners, a la townspeople at Plymouth Village, and souvenir shops will sell faux mugshots and t-shirts that read, “Escaped convict!” Sign up now!
Archive for November, 2014
I mean, I actually did find Rebecca Mead’s book One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding fascinating and not at all damaging to my enthusiasm, but still, I wouldn’t exactly RECOMMEND that a person read it while engaged.
“What are the forces that are contributing to this increase in wedding pressure, not just among so-called Bridezillas, but among all American brides and grooms? And what is the significance––beyond the impact on the purses and personalities of marrying couples, their friends, and their families––of the escalation of the American wedding? What, in other words, does the American wedding tell us about the rest of American life? It was questions such as these that propelled the writing of this book, as well as a hunch that some answers might be found not by looking at the grotesque behavior of a handful of individuals, from whose excesses an amusing but ultimately trivial tale might be wrought, but by looking at the larger context––at the wedding culture in which those individuals are immersed.”
I saw this little video of an artisanal globe maker on another site recently and was totally enchanted by the art. I swear I’m not just saying this because of the man’s reference to Hugo, but wouldn’t a globe maker be a wonderful protagonist for a children’s novel? Or perhaps a short story, in which the lonely globe maker living alone on a tiny island somewhere (perhaps Norfolk Island) draws his dot in the ocean closer to the mainland because he wants to make new friends?
I think I’ve mentioned here before that I’ve put myself on essay-hiatus (except for a few choice projects) in order to focus on two new book projects, but yesterday I was slightly tempted to write something about the possible change in narrative surrounding Robin Williams’s suicide. In case you weren’t paying attention, a few days ago, the information that Williams had Lewy body dementia went public. LBD “usually leads to significant cognitive impairment that interferes with everyday life.” Back when he died, most people connected his despair to his longtime struggle with addictions, but now it seems he had what many would considerable a more “justifiable” reason for ending his life. Taken aside the recent high-profile gentle suicide of Brittany Maynard, and the interesting argument journalist Lisa Miller made in a New York Magazine article a few weeks ago. The piece ends: ” The dignity thing is a red herring, in my opinion, which privileges our voyeurism and consoles the control freaks among us, allowing us to fantasize that in death we can still be young and strong and in charge of outcomes and to look past the bare fact that life and death are unfair, disgusting, and heartbreaking sometimes, and there’s nothing at all to be done about that.” Not exactly sure where I’m going with all this, but something is a-brewing…
In other news, yesterday I made red velvet CAKIES!
My Gmail tells me that the word of the day is “crapehanger: someone who sees the gloomy side of things.” WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY GMAIL.
Ooo-wee, does it feel good to cross this one off the to-do list! No, seriously.
I have promised myself that I would focus entirely on my two (TWO!) new book projects, so I can’t take on any short pieces right now, but someone please write about the disturbing new trend of mothers killing (or trying to kill) their autistic children. Gigi Jordan, Kelli Stapleton, and now Jillian McCabe. Also, at least the latter two blogged about their children. I don’t know what to make of all this, but something is clearly not right here.
In an act of revenge that will seem meaningless to everyone but me, I stuck my galley copy of Diane Von Furstenberg’s new memoir The Woman I Wanted to Be (cringe) into Jonathan Safran Foer’s mini-lending library outside his $8 million brownstone. Enjoy, suckers!