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The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Shocked *

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p.s. Hey. ** Niko, Hi, Niko, very nice to meet you. I find them on escorts sites, yes, about a dozen or so of them that I check/scour. Obviously, the ones I show are very unusual ones, as most escorts’ ads are very cut and dry. The way they resonate with me is quite complicated. On the one hand, yeah, I think their authenticity is inherently questionable based on not just the research and thinking/imagining I did for ‘The Sluts’, but also because there’s just an illogic to some of the escorts’ and commenters’ claims. But that illogic gets messy because when reading the profiles with the intention they ask, i.e. ‘Want me.’ ‘I do.’, the readers’ fantasies and desire for wish fulfilment can be very blinding re: plausibility. It interests me if/whether the escorts and comments/clients understand that gray area and are playing within it. I think some are, but I suspect most aren’t at least consciously. Not knowing, only being able to guess, trying to sort wishing from assessing, etc., gives the profiles a really meta effect, at least for me, moreso because I think the way they use language is fascinating, sometimes beautiful, sometimes comically ‘illiterate’, sometimes vulnerably and explosively emotional. I do find the profiles sometimes quite scary and/or moving. I suppose that’s what draws me to them the most, given the interests I have in my work in general. Sorry to go on and on. I hope that makes sense and has something to do with your thoughts/questions? Thanks a lot. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Ha ha. The cursed ‘this video is not available in your country’ thing kept your escorts song a mystery. ** Steve Erickson, Hi. Thus far there is no sign in Europe that I can tell that the escort sites based here are in any danger. The sites I use to make the posts are all based in Europe, the UK, or Eastern Europe. They’re flourishing and proliferating, if anything. I have noticed that over the past, I don’t know, eight months or so, there’s been a big influx of American escorts into these sites. Before, you’d be ‘lucky’ to find two or three American escorts advertising there. Now they’re almost as present as European escorts. I think the US escorts are migrating into the sites here, and the guys seeking them out appear to be using the sites here more regularly as well. Nice, the Television bootleg. I suppose you’ve heard the boot of the unreleased, unfinished version of Marquee Moon produced by Eno. Such a nice combo in theory, but the recordings themselves are really dead-sounding and wrongheaded. ** Bill, Thanks, B. Business sucks. And thanks about the Renfro interview. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, literally 15 minutes after I left him, his agent called and furiously threatened me that if I didn’t cut some of what Brad said in the interview, he would make it so ‘I never worked again’ and so on. It was intense. And the stuff Brad said that was such a problem was just some sincere, honest talk about his drug arrest and couple of other harmless things. The poor guy already seemed so troubled during the interview, and with his handlers acting so excessively controlling, it just made him seem even more of a tragic figure. Weird. ** Dóra Grőber, Hi! Yeah, it’ll happen somehow at some point, for sure. Sorry for ranting about the producer yesterday. I was having a moment. No, it’s really not possible to extricate the project from the producer now that we’ve signed contracts with her. We’ll just soldier on and do what we can. No, you didn’t tell me about those scrapbooks. That’s so cool, wow! I’m honored. So cool. My day … I saw some visiting musician friends, blabbed, had lunch, talked about a intermedia collaboration that Zac and I are working on with them, it was nice. Producer shit, no progress. More seeming good news about PGL that, yeah, I can’t talk about yet. I hate all this secrecy and having to wait. It was a mostly good day. Anything happen with you today that it would be interesting to share? ** Alex rose, Hi, Alex! I think they’re flexible in death’s regard, in the immediate term at least? Ah, the cannibals, those were the days. I think you’d have to be a simple-minded beast to take the 60 minute option and feel satisfied. Or a normal person maybe. I want to get my head off. I mean the one on my shoulders. Seriously, about their hair. That’s probably my fault since I think I sometimes pick them for their hair, and their faces are just … hints, or ‘who knows what’s behind that fantastic curtain’? Etc. You could never tap too much, maestro. Love back! ** Jamie, Hi, man! I’m happy to hear you were away for pleasurable reasons. You’re doing better then, body-wise? Yass! Colin Herd, what a lovely guy. He was a regular here on this blog for a long time. Yeah, our past due payment is a massive drag. Uh, current plan is to get the script to ARTE asap, whereupon we will be due even more payment, and if she hasn’t paid us by then, the big guns come in and the threats would get serious. Ah, yeah, keep that title for now. No worries. I’ve been finishing the TV script, doing this and that. Yes, we want to make a short film to kill time while the big film gets financed. Some cool ideas re: that, but we’ll see. Is yes or no being even a bit more Siren-ic? I’m going to try to live up to your hope for my day. May your Wednesday secretly record The Beatles playing a never released song in 1967 and auction off the recording at Sothebys in 2018, netting you a cool £10,000,000. Sharpening pencil love, Dennis ** Wolf, Whoop, whoop whoop! Zac said he suspects she’s from the South. However, no, she is very unfriendly, but in the most charming manner. I’ve always loved leftover lasagna. Sometimes when I eat new lasagna, I fantasise that it’s been sitting overnight in a fridge covered by Saran Wrap then reheated and has a much tougher, crisper surface than it has. I like Lynne’s work tons, but I don’t think I recognise any similarities with my stuff, but I can’t really see my stuff from the outside, I guess. Yeah, what’s the fucking deal with all this interest in that fucking royal wedding? And not just in the UK. I turned on CNN last night, and it was, like, 70% Harry and Meghan and, like, 30% everything else. But I don’t understand the world, Wolf. Like I don’t understand why something like 70% of my Facebook friends were having a weepy group hug yesterday because Margot Kidder died. If I played Slayer loud, due to the configuration of my building, everyone in my building would also get a non-consensual Slayer concert, and I like being on the down low around here. Dude, you’re on fire! keep burning! ** Kyler, Well, you’re a sweetie-pie, but I don’t think of your work in the same corrosive breath with Peter Sotos’s. What am I missing, ha ha? ** Misanthrope, My parents were pretty shitty and erratic and awful when I was forming, and I’m just one rhumba step less goody-goody than Kylie Minogue, so go figure. Hope you got a good sleep. ** JM, The new ‘Twin Peaks’ is an absolute must, yep. I think a lot of the escort profiles are very amusingly written and structured. Their insides not so much, but it’s a great combo. Thanks about the producer. Being rendered all but helpless is the fucking worst, you know? ** Okay. I was foraging around in my dead blog’s archive and found this old thing you see today, and I thought it deserved another go round. See you tomorrow.

13 Comments

  1. Thank you, Dennis. I really appreciate your reply and the way you replied to my question from yesterday. Continuing from that, I’d like to share something and hopefully gain some new wisdom. Because what I understood from how you experience these escort ads is a sort of gray area itself, where profiles and their language are both scary and moving. I’ve gotten the same experience from your books like Try and Closer and The Sluts – and also from your poetry, but for some reason poetry doesn’t take over me in a way that a novel does, because when a novel presents me with something deeply disturbing I feel trapped in a space with it for an unshakable duration. In my own writing I more often than not get the similar feeling, when I spend time within myself in this internal empty space where new thoughts come into being. The experience of writing is often scary for me, because I’m constantly surprised and, to fit today’s theme, shocked by what comes out of mind. It’s not even that I write about subjects that are culturally disturbing, taboo or provoking. When I come up with something that moves me, I feel very trippy, like I’m on psychedelics, though the analogy is bad, I’ve avoided drugs all my life, because I’m too scared to look within and let the creative mind speak so uninhibitedly. What moves me internally, scares me. Even though this anxiety is a resistance damaging my writing process, I still continue to write and I feel I keep coming closer to some fruitful creative area where things that scare and move me come from. So I’m interested in your personal mechanics of coping with writing about things that scare you. Maybe you don’t even experience writing in a similar way I described now. I just read the interview conversation between you and Eileen Myles and especially in her comments there was a strong perception that writing has kept her sane. And I feel like the more I write, the crazier I feel about myself, but it might be worth it, to go through those personal barriers and see if there’s something to love on the other side. I guess I’m asking in a nutshell, have you ever felt crazy while writing and how have you coped with that? Sorry for the lengthy comment.

  2. I was really excited about hearing the Eno-produced Television demos till I actually got a chance to acquire them. Weird how that particular combo of talents didn’t work out, unlike Eno and the Talking Heads or even Devo or the NO NEW YORK bands.

    I’m glad that the European escort sites still seem to be thriving. The sex worker I read complaining about how her job had been affected by SESTA lives in Australia.

    I am starting to gather links and write commentary for a Lean Day, although this is taking a back seat to paying work, obviously, and I am not sure when I will be able to send it to you. But I think I can finish it within a week or so.

  3. Shocking. Dennis, I wonder If you’d mind talking to me abit about Kathy Acker. I really enjoyed Blood and guts, and I’m reading The portrait of an eye. The child-like life of the black tarantula was super, Im halfway through I dreamed I was a nympho, and I cant really say I know what its about although its very loquacious. I guess Im curious if you have any favourites by Kathy?
    I was happy to find some of those little penguin modern books and they had Life in N.Y in 79 which i guess appeared in Top stories. The other question I have is how important, if at all, do you think it is to be familiar with some of the texts she references. For instance her books ‘don quixote’ or ‘great expectations’ – does one even have to have read them? It was pretty cool to hear her call you a peer in one of her interviews I saw online. Something about Kathy’s personality that is so likeable. Are you planning on reading her recent bio After Kathy Acker? I also wanted to know about the Essential Acker which you edited. Are there harder to find work from her in it or is it solely excerpts from her novels?

  4. Love these shockers, Dennis. Yeah, I realized after making that comment, that the contrast of my sweetie-pie status with my work is not quite the polarity of yours or Sarah’s, for instance. But it does make perfect sense. A sweet sensibility would be sensitive to this cruel and violent world. I lost my cool yesterday in the park when approached by yet another Jesus person, convinced that what I do will be judged harshly by the…ah, forget what he even said. Next time this happens, I’d like to try actually talking to the person, asking them questions, instead of my usual “leave me the fuck alone!” Who knows, maybe the sweetie-pie persona will work, even with them (but I doubt it).

  5. Hi!

    Don’t worry about it! If I were in your situation, I’d have my moments too, for sure! It sounds depressing – that it’s impossible to get rid of her. Depressing and unfair. Shit. I keep my fingers so tightly crossed for some positive progress!

    Your yesterday definitely sounds a lot more exciting and enjoyable than mine, hah! It bothers me so much that I have like… zero shareable stuff on these routine-like workdays. I came up with the idea that instead of writing every day, I’ll drop by say at the beginning and end of each week. Would that be okay for you?

    I hope you had a lovely day, Dennis!

  6. Dennis… scoobidoobidoooo!
    Hahaha, oh man, shock horror faces, very good, very good.
    The royal wedding… right? What IS the deal?? Why are Americans so into it? What about that whole fucking temper y’all threw a while back in Boston with wasting all that nice tea and stuff… is it all in the past now? The ‘on with the times’ angle on it is making it all worse, honestly. Fuck that. I want the monarchy to remain as dusty and smelly as the old fart of eras past that it is, not put on a vague millennial glamour only to delay its necessary demise by another 30 fucking years. It built its hoards of gold on colonialism and now we’re supposed to think it’s not a racist institution? Fuck right off with this bullshit. Joan, our corespondent in Buckingham, reports: ‘Well, Jim, it looks like the UK is hoping to hit it out of the ballpark this year in the World’s Best Oxymoron contest. After taking Silver in 2016 with ‘Brexit: taking back control’ (it lost to the US’s ‘A Millionaire Just Like You’ – a hard one to beat frankly), and Bronze in 2017 with ‘Compassionate Conservatism’, it looks like its 2018 entry ‘A Modern Monarchy’ might fetch the yellow metal! Enthusiasm is high here, with revelers from every country gathered to get pissed on cheap booze on the big day and conveniently forget that the very fact monarchy even exists is a statement that negates every ideal all of the globe’s republics have been striving for for centuries! Wonderful! Well, good luck to them. Back to you Jim for the weather.
    Meanwhile, back on The Internet…. who is Margot Kidder? Was. Ah, ok, Lois Lane. Right. Well, RIP I guess. But, I mean… ?? Yeah.
    Hey, I have an idea for your Italians friends: they’re across the courtyard from you, right? Now is the time to practice those cool-ass basketball moves you’ve forgotten for 2 decades, my friend: see if you can get a projectile through their windows. I suggest something of medium density, like, I dunno, an old sock filled with yoghurt? The crusty end of a baguette? Some nice flat pebble with a dog’s head on it saying ‘less boning, more bones’? If you know their flat number, you can also troll their mailbox. The possibilities are endless!

  7. I love this post, Dennis! I tried to do a similar thing recently for a Writing Gang exercise, with a big stack of gifs all showing people giving the finger, but it just didn’t have the tempo, urgency or shrillness of this. I’ve been going over it trying to work out what I was missing. Maybe just the fact that you’re a gif master, I guess, maybe shock is just so much more entrancing than ‘the finger’. But yeah, it’s super interesting the different effect of the two things.
    How are you? I’m still in ok health, ta for asking. It’s nice.
    Your payment issue does sound like an absolute drag. No worries if you don’t feel like talking about it, but how is it possible for this person to withhold the cash from you? Is it not money from the TV company? You want some long distance voodoo ass-kicking done?
    I actually can’t make a decision about the cartoon, so I’m waiting for Jonathan to make contact & we’ll see what he offers. Actually, as I typed that I found myself mentally veering toward the negative. Hmm. I have a lot of stuff on with my other job – my boss has quit and I’m currently co-running the place, so that’s taking up a lot of my thinking, I guess.
    Oh yeah, your reply in today’s comments to Niko, about the Sluts and the slave & escort post was completely amazing reading – sublime, illuminating and kind of stuff that I’ve always idly puzzled over explained. I really loved it, so thanks.
    Hope your Thursday’s as good as the fireworks I saw in Brussels a couple of weeks ago. There were new ones that I hadn’t seen before that did these mazy gold and silver trails that hung in the air for a beautifully long time. You’d have loved them, I think.
    Heady smell of petrol love,
    Jamie

  8. I know you hate Lars von Trier and I am not exactly defending his new film, which I haven’t seen yet since I’m not at Cannes. But the response to it seems so emblematic of our times: tons of people on social media taking a negative Cannes reaction, which has happened to so many worthwhile films that BAM did a 2-week series called “Booed At Cannes,” as definitive proof of the worthlessness of a film they haven’t seen and acting as though as condemning a film which depicts violence against women is making a statement which will have an impact on violence against real women. Seriously, critics I respect have taken to Facebook to declare that male filmmakers should never depict violence against women from now on. If people react to a serial killer torturing and mutilating women and children (and adult men too, but no one cares) with repulsion and don’t find it entertaining instead of eating it up the way they did with THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS or a TV show like DEXTER, perhaps that’s the film’s point? Progressives and feminists are now basically in the position right-wing Christians were in with THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST. There’s a meme going around Twitter comparing the white critics who gave the new Spike Lee film a 10-minute standing ovation at Cannes to Bradley Whitford’s character in GET OUT; while I’m sure Lee’s film has merit (it opens in the US in August), it’s incredibly safe to praise a film that attacks the KKK and, although set in the 1970s, takes overt potshots at Trump. Again, I haven’t seen the film, and I am aware there’s a large chance I’ll think it’s self-indulgent misogynist crap when I do so, but I can’t wait to see it and write a review myself when it gets US release this fall. At least avant-garde filmmaker/critic Blake Williams and CinemaScope editor Mark Peranson have offered contrarian POVs and think it’s a masterpiece.

  9. Dennis, Thanks, I did get some good sleep. Didn’t fall asleep today at all. I’m gonna try and get some more tonight.

    Yeah, parents. Can’t live with ’em…can’t live with ’em.

    In the end, you gotta do for yourself. Ain’t nobody else gonna do for you.

    My niece is in Mississippi to see her youngest sister graduate from high school. She’s also going to a music festival in New Orleans. She’ll be back in 2 weeks. She’s finished with her spring semester of college and will probably just be working a lot more all summer, with the exception of going to NYC with me in June. LPS seems like he’s going to pass all his classes this year. That’ll be good. He was showing them to me tonight. I hope he’s right. Less than 4 weeks of school left for him.

    I have a feeling it’s going to be a crazy summer. And yes, I’ll get to an amusement park sometime too.

  10. Hey Dennis, how are you? I hope all is well. I wanted to pass on some info. about a residency in Sydney for you, in case your interested. But the email I have for you (from 2011!) is dead. If you have time and are keen, write me at my gmail address! I tried to find a contact through your DennisCooper website but it sent me here. Sorry for a boring ass comment. Sending lots of love from Australia. Dr. Wilfred Brandt

  11. All-but-helpless when it comes to work is the worst. Sometimes personally it can be beneficial? Like, uh, when it comes to: an inability to make the wrong choice; or obsessive tendencies, or sex, or, sometimes, like, art that isn’t tied to contracts and dollars and stuff. I’m reading a chapter of War & Peace about “Prince Andrew, who liked to help young men” which is very very specifically coded… interesting stuff. I watched Thor: Ragnarok the other day which is surely one of the most uninteresting texts everrrrrr to talk about, theoretically, but I thought it was kind of interesting to see a Marvel product directed by someone with genuine auteuristic tendencies. In many ways it’s “a worse movie” than the rest of their stuff, but that’s why I like it more – the rest are so aggressively average and this one had some personality. They should make more expendable movies, less long-story-arc ones…. or something. Or just stop making movies. That’d be cool, too. You seen Soderbergh’s Unsane? I’m interested in the iPhone-ness of it. I’m gonna be stuck in a theatre with the new Wes Anderson in a couple of nights and am… not looking forward to it. Wes is insufferable, whiny new-age aesthetic elitism. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I’m all here for aesthetic elitism but it better be elite in a way that is open and accepting and not prescriptive – Gass is a winner, Benning is a winner, etc. etc. You ever read any Jay Wright? One of his collections popped up in my letterboxd this week and it looks pretty awful. I have another arriving soon…. in terms of STUFF YOU SHOULD READ, here’s a skinny like 50-page poetry book. It’ll cost you a bit, but it’s written by a dude I know personally and I feel like I owe the link being out there to the readers of this blog because I bought it but accidentally ended up getting it through a third-party site – he’s an independent writer so that money won’t even get close to him!! so, yeah, here’s some ben fagan, some interesting NZ poetry – his best stuff is the besssst, his weak stuff can be pretty weak. so what? its overall one of the more interesting collections i’ve read recently: https://benfagan.bigcartel.com/

    lots and lots and lots of words today. none of them particularly revealing. just because i have very few other people to actually talk about this to, we got a new boss in at work and he’s a guy i hooked up with a few months ago for a one-off thing that was pretty gross and not at all enjoyable. yikes. we haven’t – and i imagine won’t – acknowledge it… but, yeah, that’s this week’s big news??

    j

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