unbelievably me
February 14, 2019 7:28 AM   Subscribe

She lay every morning under an avalanche of details, blissed: pictures of breakfasts in Patagonia, a girl applying foundation with a hardboiled egg, a shiba inu in Japan leaping from paw to paw to greet its owner, white women’s pictures of their bruises – the world pressing closer and closer, the spider web of human connection so thick it was almost a shimmering and solid silk. Patricia Lockwood writes about being online.
posted by theodolite (14 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
not the main point of the essay, but the cadence of this is so good.
What do you mean you’ve been spying on me?’ she thought – hot, blind, unreasoning. ‘What do you mean you’ve been spying on me, with this thing in my hand that is an eye?’
posted by spamandkimchi at 8:09 AM on February 14, 2019 [4 favorites]

this is a solid document of how twitter destroys the human mind, although fortunately it isn’t permanent. but bad luck for the author who seems like she’s made a career out of documenting it, and can therefore never log off.
posted by vogon_poet at 8:27 AM on February 14, 2019

This was really so fun to read. And also sad? I feel like I should go outside.

And if someone doesn’t, she thought, how will we preserve it for the future – how it felt, to be a man around the turn of the century posting increasing amounts of his balls online?
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 9:06 AM on February 14, 2019

@ me next time
posted by clavicle at 10:13 AM on February 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

Each little vignette is just... *chef kiss*

‘Got a foot fetish, Sam?’ she asked the windburned Midwestern man who had complimented her too lavishly on her black ankle boots.

‘Yes ma’am I do,’ he answered, holding all his happiness in his face, aware of his own luck, for bare toes in springtime and summer were everywhere, arches, ankles, soles.

‘And whose feet are you into?’

‘The feet of my wife, ma’am. Those are the feet that I love.’ This was said with a rosy nuance of admonishment. She was touched, and put her pen to her lips. There were still gentlemen in the world.

‘You might think I’m a little bit of a pervert …’ he began, not wanting to be misunderstood, but she cut him off.

‘I don’t think you’re a pervert at all, Sam. If you were a member of my generation you would cum in a special jar over a period of months and then post pictures of the jar online. A foot fetish …’ She took a deep breath. ‘A foot fetish is like a beautiful meadow in comparison. A foot fetish is Pachelbel’s Canon.’

posted by domo at 10:17 AM on February 14, 2019 [7 favorites]

Oh. This is fantastic.
posted by rewil at 10:53 AM on February 14, 2019

I have never read anything so accurate in all respects.
posted by Aubergine at 11:41 AM on February 14, 2019

I didn't make it very far through this essay, but I will say that her book Priestdaddy is frickin' hilarious and highly recommended.
posted by nnethercote at 8:09 PM on February 14, 2019

Loved this lecture. I didn't notice a post had been made and was making one myself until the link checker steered me here. So many great details and formed into something disturbingly suggestive of some larger shift in the culture that, for all the vividness of the captured views, still hides its ultimate form.
posted by gusottertrout at 8:08 AM on February 15, 2019

Astonishing, thank you. That's an amazing bit of writing, and I'm grateful you led me to it.
posted by Gamecat at 12:10 PM on February 15, 2019

what began as the most elastic and snappable verbal play soon turned into jargon, and then dogma, and then doctrine.

Yessss. There's something depressing about this rapid development of rigidity.
posted by Miko at 12:52 PM on February 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Previously these communities were imposed on us, along with their mental weather. Now we chose them – or believed we did. A person might join a site to look at pictures of her nephew and five years later believe in a flat earth.

There's some pretty arresting stuff in here. This is good. Also depressing.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:29 AM on February 16, 2019

So good. It reminded me of Don Delillo, except funny. Anyway, now I’m going to read Priestdaddy.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 9:02 AM on February 18, 2019

Oh that's so good.

It had also once been the place where you sounded like yourself. Gradually it had become the place where we sounded like each other, through some erosion of wind or water on a self not nearly as firm as stone.

I was at a reading of hers for Priestdaddy and we had a q&a / chat related to the substance of this piece: about how it was increasingly impossible to adopt the performative social media persona that she'd honed in the early years of the decade -- or just to "do a bit" any more -- because there'd be the replies from people who didn't know you were doing a bit, or the replies from people and you weren't sure if they were doing a bit, and so on. Since then, she's stepped back from social media and created a different space to hold on to her own voice[s], and that's a very good thing. You have to step out of the stream to describe the stream and all the crazy shit that washes down with it.
posted by holgate at 8:37 PM on February 18, 2019

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