» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum

May 6, 2001

We do not gloat over our ape cousins. My co-columnists Penelope Memoli and Todd Dills and I know that humankind's dubious status as evolution's chief beneficiary is a matter of circumstance. It is not through God that we possess this cerebral capacity to marvel over everything and nothing and come to no conclusions; we pick stocks instead of head lice as a result of a mutation here or there over a few million years--no karmic surplus, and if we are made in God's image, divinity is a sorry state indeed.

It is with equal resignation that we survey the field, or playground, of Literature. We three are Writers--writers, really, but Writers when asked in dive bars "What do you do?" We know the question is to be answered with "I'm a (whatever title designates one's primary money-earning capacity)." Refusing to be judged on such ground--and personally because there exists no title for "one who lives off financial aid"--we have answered, in all earnestness: eater, shitter, pisser, layabout, drinker, Drunk, lover, billiardist, etc. This has resulted in many aborted conversations and potential trysts lost. We're told we're "cute" and "clever" and know we are neither. But to call ourselves Writers is unbearable. It's akin to boasting about how many "dope MCs" we know. We know no "dope MCs," but this is not due to a desire to be disassociated from "dope MCs." Neither are we opposed to making the acquaintances of fly DJs and fresh freestylers. Some things just don't work out.

We are not journalists. Journalism has something to do with transmission of information. For instance, where would we Chicagoans and transplants be without the guidance of Richard Roeper and Bob Greene? Those fine Sun-Times and Tribune sages illuminate the gray areas of our lives by pointing out that: hurting each other is bad; helping each other is good; and people with tattoos are kooky little buggers, unless of course the tattoo is a depiction of a mermaid scrawled in pale green ink on the wearer's forearm, in which case the wearer deserves our thanks every day of the year, not just on one government holiday, much the same way we should carry the Christmas spirit in our hearts even when it isn't Little Baby Jebus' birthday. We will not instruct. We are every bit as lost as you. We are columnists, in love with the columnar, and that alone. We may, however, attempt to approximate Greene's talent for manipulative headlines, the apparent cornerstone of effective journalism. I contemplated entitling this column: "'No, Mommy, Stop,' the Little Boy Screamed," or "A Star-Struck Easter in August."

We will never attempt to reclaim space. It was never ours to begin with.

We will not protest, as protests consist of white kids of middle class origins feeling guilty about being white and of middle class origins. We are white and of lower to upper middle-class origins. We are neither proud nor ashamed.

We will never poo-poo you for admitting your love of or interest in: professional wrestling, Seventh Heaven, or any other soap opera; Elvis; Black Elvis; TRL; in short, anything having to do with pop culture. Neither will we dissuade you from applying what you learned or learned to talk about as an undergraduate in relation to said love and interest. Lacanian interpretations of WB programs are good, and one can't go wrong with double-charlatanism, such as stealing from Joseph Campbell to critique the intricacies of professional wrestling. Hell, it helped some of us get into grad school.

We will never urge you to give back to your communities.

We will never defend ourselves with: "You don't know me. You're just jealous."

We will never feel the need to defend ourselves, though we just might anyway.

We will-in short-have nothing to do with anything except words, more specifically, words about words.

We're all yours...

Joe Jarvis
No biographical information available.

See other articles by Joe Jarvis.



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