Salvatore Pane

Month: April, 2011

PGH Lit Events or If You Wanna Ball With The Kid/Watch Your Step You Might Fall Trying To Do What I Did/Mama Ugh Mama Ugh

There are two big lit readings in Pittsburgh this Easter weekend I want to highlight. The first is from the always reliable New Yinzer reading series.

The New Yinzer Reading Series has really stepped up to fill the massive void left behind by the dearly departed Gist Street, and Jen Michalski (editor of JMWW) and Adam Robinson (editor of Publishing Genius) are more than worth the price of admission alone.

The second event’s this Saturday at one of my favorite bars in town, Remedy over on Butler Street.

Weave! Caper! Pear Noir!! Scott McClanahan! The awesome Rae Bryant! The friendly Jordan Castro! Noah Cicero of The Human War and Tao Lin of Tao Lin. This one sounds great, and the admission price gets you a copy of the latest issue of Weave. Hope to see you there.

Worst. Spoilers. Ever.

4. Age 12. Location: Comics on the Green. I had been reading the Clone Saga storyline in the Spider-Man books for 3 years. Everything had been building to a final revelation of just who exactly was behind replacing Spider-Man with a clone. In those days, I didn’t go to the comic store every Wednesday, I went about once a month and bought all the books I was behind on. So I missed the final issue by about three weeks. I went to the store like normal and picked out the issues, but at the cash register some teenage nerd looked at my picks and said, “Man, I couldn’t believe it was Norman Osborn behind it the whole time.” 3 years of my life! 3 years of my life! I didn’t read comics seriously for 10 years after this incident (combined with the oft maligned Onslaught crossover).

3. Age 21. Location: Parents’ House. During winter break from college, I came down with the flu. So I read. I read a lot. I had just finished a very lackluster novel by Nick Hornby that mentioned another novel called Revolutionary Road by some guy named Richard Yates, and I bought that next on a total whim, mostly because Richard Russo did the introduction. I was stunned. And to this day, RR is still my favorite book. But halfway through I dropped it and lost my place, and when I picked it up it was open to somewhere close to the end and I read the words “April Wheeler was dead.” I was only maybe 60 pages in. O youth! O lost!

2. Age 22. Location: Parents’ House. I’d just graduated from college and was spending my days subtitling DVDs in Scranton while waiting to move to Pittsburgh for grad school at the end of the summer. I was watching Attack of the Show on G4, because sometimes I like to be pandered to, and they did a segment about spoilers in which a man dressed like Doc Brown revealed how various season finales would wrap up. I didn’t believe him, didn’t believe that the frat boys at G4 knew anything. But then Doc Brown stared out from the television and told me that tonight, on LOST, Jack’s flashback wouldn’t be a flashback at all, that it would be a flashforward, that season four would be about the cast’s attempts to get back to the Island. A part of my soul died that day.

1. Age 14. Location: Steamtown Mall – Electronics Boutique. I skipped school to go see The Phantom Menace with my mother. We arrived downtown where the movie theater was but tickets were sold out for the first morning showing, so we bought some for the afternoon. The mall was next door, so we went over there for awhile where I killed time in the video game store salivating over posters of Chrono Cross which would be released later that summer. And then, while minding my own business, some asshole in a dragon button up shirt (remember those?) started talking to the clerk and said, “Man, I can’t believe Lucas killed off Qui Gon AND Darth Maul! I thought they were going to be in all three.” It was up until that time the worst moment of my life. Little did I know that my life would soon be ruined by sitting through The Phantom Menace, the greatest tragedy in all of human history.

Foucault on Bill and Ted

“I don’t feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.”

“The strategic adversary is fascism… the fascism in us all, in our heads and in our everyday behavior, the fascism that causes us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us.”

“…if you are not like everybody else, then you are abnormal, if you are abnormal , then you are sick. These three categories, not being like everybody else, not being normal and being sick are in fact very different but have been reduced to the same thing”

“The real political task in a society such as ours is to criticize the workings of institutions that appear to be both neutral and independent, to criticize and attack them in such a manner that the political violence that has always exercised itself obscurely through them will be unmasked, so that one can fight against them.”

“Psychoanalysis can unravel some of the forms of madness; it remains a stranger to the sovereign enterprise of unreason. It can neither limit nor transcribe, nor most certainly explain, what is essential in this enterprise.”

“The lyricism of marginality may find inspiration in the image of the ‘outlaw,’ the great social nomad, who prowls on the confines of a docile, frightened order.”

“Calling sex by its name thereafter [the 17th c.] became more difficult and more costly. As if in order to gain mastery of it in reality, it had first been necessary to subjugate it at the level of language, control its free circulation in speech, expunge it from the things that were said, and extinguish the words that rendered it too visibly present. “

“Death left its old tragic heaven and became the lyrical core of man: his invisible truth, his visible secret.”

“The appearance in nineteenth-century psychiatry, jurisprudence, and literature of a whole series of discourses on the species and subspecies of homosexuality, inversion, pederasty, and ‘psychic hermaphroditism’ made possible a strong advance of social controls into this area of ‘perversity’; but it also made possible the formation of a ‘reverse’ discourse: homosexuality began to speak in its own behalf, to demand that its legitimacy or ‘naturality’ be acknowledged, often in the same vocabulary, using the same categories by which it was medically disqualified.”