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Minutiae

Minutiae

Let Us Now Praise Rats

Rats make excellent pets. They’re smarter than hamsters and friendlier than cats, lower maintenance than dogs and livelier than fish. A rat will sit on your shoulder while you finish your homework; a rat could love you. It might not, but it...

People Who Were Important In My Life Who I Will Never See Again

My vocal teacher sang jazz standards in local ensembles and wore ample, flowing gowns. I can picture her dabbing her neck with lavender, and I would not be surprised if she’d once been a groupie for Five Man Electrical Band or Chilliwack. For...

Don’t Let the Internet Keep You From Hating Yourself

Being on the internet—are you with me?—means saying what you think nearly as soon as you think it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. You can spend three days workshopping a tweet or you can just tweet it; in the end it’s probably the same...

Intimacy is the Leading Cause of Death

Yesterday a pigeon shat on me. I hope its whole pigeon family dies—but not of H7N9, because then I’d die, too. While the World Health Organization ...

Loneliness Can Kill You and Your Friendships Will Not Last

Loneliness can kill you, and loneliness is on the rise. This week, The New Republic published a report ...

On Being an Aging Hipster Who Drinks in the Park

The park near my apartment, which one TripAdvisor commenter describes as a “hipster and dog paradise,” used to be full of just friends and friends of friends. If you didn’t know someone you at least knew someone they knew, and they were probably...

Valerie Solanas’s SCUM Manifesto is Great Literature

Solanas, who died 25 years ago today, generally touted the benefits of exterminating men. But for a bile-covered window into a particularly angry mind, her SCUM Manifesto is surprisingly relatable.

Man Up, Already

To err is human, but you should try not to err. If you suck at your instrument, practice. If your underwear is dirty, launder it. If everyone you’ve dated thinks you’re an asshole, stop behaving like an asshole. Only an asshole...

On Suicide, Wendy O. Williams, and the Art of Life

Wendy O. Williams killed herself 15 years ago this Saturday. She left presents for her partner, Rod Swenson, including noodles he liked and seeds for salad greens, as well as a few notes: “My feelings about what I am doing ring loud and clear to...

||Johanna Went, Los Angeles performance artist, photographed by Anna Summa, 1982
Teen Angst: 1902 to 1996

Mary MacLane’s I Await the Devil’s Coming is a declaration of loneliness, restlessness, and narcissism—the same angst that binds teenagers from the turn of the century to the age of Dirty Girls.