Thursday, June 16, 2011

Going down?

  • Where my girls at? Lately it seems like most of my regular commenters are men (or, at least, they have adopted male pseudonyms). I love and value each and every comment and commenter here regardless of gender, so please do not think I want you, my man readers, to comment less. I'm just wondering: Where my girls at? My Jens, my Farrahs, my Heathers, my Darcies, my Danielles, my Beccas, my Kirstens, my Shannas ...
  • Remember that whole Wikipedia thing? Gregory Kohs just published a followup article to the news that Wikipedia's editors were largely male. Apparently, since Wikimedia Foundation executive director Sue Gardner announced her goal to increase the percentage of women contributing to the site, the ratio has shifted even more toward men. The unfortunate title is "Number of women going down on Wikipedia." As Shamus McGillicuddy (the most Irish person I know) commented when I shared the story in Google Reader, "If you Google this headline, the first 4 results are the actual article, reposted on several blogs. The fifth result is the 'oral sex' entry on Wikipedia."
  • There's this fantastic smell always wafting out of the Hugo Boss store in the Copley Mall. It smells like a fancy luggage store or the inside of a really expensive car that is rarely driven, like sweet leather. I finally went in there to ask what it is. It is not any of the scents that they sell (which makes sense, because the Hugo Boss line of fragrance rather sucks), but a secret, proprietary scent they pump into the air of all their stores. Damn! I wanted to buy it. I guess I'll have to open up a Hugo Boss franchise.
  • There's a review of The French Exit in the new issue of Redivider, which I didn't know until I flipped through the issue at my reading last night. Says Emily Thomas, "Elisa Gabbert makes dream poems sexy again." Thank you Emily Thomas!
  • OK, back to The Voice. (Have you noticed that Carson Daly is turning into Dick Clark?)

UPDATE: Just realized I forgot to include the link to the Wikipedia article. Duh. It's there now.

41 comments:

  1. That's so funny about the scent in the Hugo Boss store. If anyone was actually paying attention, they would notify headquarters that they may be on to something in terms of a fragrance that will actually sell.

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  2. I've always assumed there was something going on with Dick Clark and Carson Daly that involves clones and/or time travel.

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  3. Carrie, I know! I tried to tell the guy about the Bulgari green tea scent and how it was originally just to scent the stores but became a huge bestseller, but obviously this guy doesn't have decision making power.

    No doubt, Matt. No doubt.

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  4. Ah shit, I have been called out! Must respond! :)

    You know what I think it is? I think it's Facebook. I know, I know, it's easy to ask a question and then point to Facebook for the answer, but I think it's true. If I post something on my blog or on the Switchback blog, no responses (except you, maybe!). If I link to the same post on Facebook, plenty of responses. I think people are relying on their feeds more and more to tell them what they need to know (resisted scare quotes in that last phrase).

    The problem with that, if you don't click through, is that you don't get the length & depth of even a blog post (funny how blog posts used to be synonymous with 'condensed content,' but no longer!).

    Your blog gets lots of comments and traffic -- you're especially good at talking to the internet as if you're actually talking to real people, and you ARE actually talking to real people, or can imagine you are, since you know you have regular readers/commenters. But, because you're an exception, and because you're not on Facebook (or are you? perhaps you have a nom de guerre?), maybe this Facebook thing doesn't seem as strong of a shift to you.

    I don't think Carson Daly can smile as wide as Dick Clark yet (or really at all), but he's getting there.

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  5. Becca, do you think there's a reason why women would be more inclined to keep their comments on Facebook whereas men are still happy to comment on blogs? Do you feel "safer" on FB? (You're right, I'm not on there.)

    Thank you for checking in my dear :)

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  6. Yeah, I think it's a safe-space thing, partially, since you can personalize the privacy of everything you do (although my settings are usually "friends only" or "friends of friends," which still equals just about anyone who would have read my blog, anyway!).

    It's also ease of response -- typing in a comment box and hitting ENTER isn't *so* many fewer steps than commenting on a blog, but it feels faster and less formal. More conversational. So maybe that's part of it -- FB allows for rapid-fire, chat-style interchange rather than the 'holding forth' that I think of as a guy-tendency on blogs.

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  7. Dream poems were never not sexy, were they? Nice review, though, and can't wait to see the issue.

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  8. I have a bit of a bias against dream poems myself -- too easy.

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  9. They're essentially like any other move or form--some are done poorly (too easy, etc.) and some are done really well. I don't have a problem with "dream poem" as a genre, per se. It seems strange and short-sighted to just say "I don't like X kind of poem, ever, no matter how it's done."

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  10. Good thing that's not what I said!

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  11. Good thing I didn't say that it was!

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  12. To whom were you implicitly referring?

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  13. The reviewer and the implication that there was something lacking in dream poems intrinsically.

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  14. heh heh, you guys are funny.

    I love dream poems. Especially ones that do more than just transcribe the memory of a dream.

    Here's a sooper one like that by Kate Greenstreet:
    http://www.kickingwind.com/bridge.html

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  15. Ooh, I've heard her read that one. "How you think you can see."

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  16. To stick up for Emily: I don't think she was saying dream poems can't be good either because she liked mine :)

    I just checked the PoFo site to see if they have a dream poem category in their database. No luck.

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  17. Dude, I'm not saying Emily shouldn't have said that :)

    Having written a whole dang book of dream poems, I'm just invested in discussing them, that's all.

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  18. Not to turn this into a therapy session, but did someone say to you once that they don't like dream poems ever no matter how they're done?

    My bias against them is quite slight and I'm easily won over. My bias against sestinas is far more pronounced.

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  19. A lot of bad reviews I've read (of all kinds of books) seem to betray that the reviewer has a beef with the genre they happen to be reviewing no matter what (not just dream poems, but memoirs (like Lorrie Moore in the NYBR a few weeks back to name one example), short shorts, you name it), so I'm sensitive to that for sure. But to be totally clear, I'm not saying Emily's sentence does that, or that her review (which I've not yet read but am excited to read) is "bad." Her sentence has clearly provoked a lot of thought, which is excellent.

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  20. K I totally dislike that kind of review too, and since I took Emily's statement out of context, I just wanted to make it clear she wasn't going down that kind of road. It was just a catchy opener.

    Hate when reviewers want a book to be something it was never trying to be.

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  21. It's a very catchy opener.

    Also, look at how many more lady-comments you have now as a result of said opener. Woo!

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  22. Yeah this was pretty much all a ruse to fix my numbers trouble.

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  23. Are you really surprised that the majority of your blog's commenters and, I would wager, readers are men? You are clearly articulate and erudite and, based on the wee profile photo, presumably vulpine. In real life (i.e., physical, non-electronic), your vast audience of immature poetry blog trolls, myself included, would be thrilled to get the time of day from a smart pretty girl who probably smells nice and is not afraid of using phrases like "going down" in mixed company. Here, we can actually communicate with one of your kind.

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  24. Elisa Gabbert is a fox in my dreams.

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  25. Vulpine!

    I actually would guess that my readers are close to halvsies -- I know a lot of women that read my blog and rarely comment. But I have no way of knowing for sure. Google Analytics doesn't break that down YET

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  26. Foxiest. Always pumping her proprietary scent over the Interwaves.

    I hereby implore Elisa to join the Facebook so's she can post status updates 1. about her blog posts and also, 2. so that I don't miss it when she has fab reviews of her book or poems up somewhere awesome like The Awl, eh? http://www.theawl.com/2011/03/from-the-self-unstable-by-elisa-gabbert and 3. so when I type this sign <3 at her it actually changes into an adorable tiny heart like the heart of an undersea ponyfairy!

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  27. D! So how did you find this post? Don't tell me you have a Google Alert set up for your first name ;)

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  28. (I whistled out your foxy-lady-call over on the 'Book, couldn't resist!)

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  29. I suspected I might have been 'Booked on the sly!

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  30. I used to have fun with Facebook. Then my parents joined. Long story short, I only cuss on Twitter now.

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  31. Ha! a Google alert for my first name would bring in all sorts of dreck! I should totes set one up and it would write its own book.

    But it's true, I imagine if anything good or interesting in the world happens, that awesome conduit Becca will tell me on Facebook! ;)

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  32. Statistics of small numbers, perhaps? It isn't like there are very many different men. Though I would also buy the theory that your posts provoke a certain kind of holding-forth comment -- a temptation I try to resist, not always successfully.

    Why do so many authentically Irish things have the prefix "Sham-"?

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  33. Maybe men are just behind the times, if there's truth to someone telling me recently that blogs are out and other e-modes are more in.

    I too am not usually a dream-poem fan; I think this is a bias due to the fact that I rarely believe the dream is being recorded remotely "faithfully" and that it's not actually a very artful frame trying to pass as "natural." This could totally be because the dreams of mine which I sorta remember are typically so far from linear that they're really not even in the realm of what can be written in any communicable syntax. That said: E Bishop's The Weed is MAGNIFICENT (tho I am willing to bet it's a "fake" dream!).

    I hope all's well!

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  34. My dream poems are definitely fake dreams, though they usually started with a real one -- they're not supposed to seem real though!

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  35. I never assume that dream poems are journalism either(nor do I really want them to be, since real dreams are often boring and unartful); it seems pretty clear that they're a form of artifice most of the time.

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  36. Hmm, I tend towards thinking that often the dream poem denies explcitly recognizing its artifice; yes, the trope is intrinsically one of artifice; but the rhetoric seems, via popularity, to have become unduly naturalized so I vote for dream poems which bare their artifice explicitly. This is something I like about Keats and Shelley etc: there tends to be at-least one moment in their vision-quest poems where it's made explicit that this is a linguistic vision, that there are hands pulling the strings. One gets the pleasure of an ostensibly organic phantasmagoria, and the flowers which may emerge feel deliciously like ones one could meet in "real" life, but there's still a degree of self-disclosure about method which I find heartening/engaging.

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  37. this comment thread is off the proverbial heezy. i love it. it's nuts.

    and, while this is probably too redundant to merit noting, my comment counts towards the women. twice.

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