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The aggression will not stand

Archive for April, 2008

Martha Kimes

I Want Something Else

April 30th, 2008
by Martha Kimes

PHOENIX, AZ -

I want to be from old money, raised with a sense of entitlement, married to a doctor, living in a pre-war Classic 8 Park Avenue co-op, getting my hair blonded on a regular bi-weekly basis, dressing in tailored suits each day, and calling my parents “Mummy” and “Daddy,” even though I am a full-grown adult.  I want to know what the insides of Dalton and Vassar look like and to be the kind of person who has her wedding announcement featured in the New York Times.  I want to roll my eyes when my parents expect me to come spend yet another Saturday afternoon playing tennis with them at the country club, but I want to dutifully don my tennis whites and to drink a gin and tonic on the patio afterwards because that’s what’s expected of someone in my circumstances.

(more…)


Brad Listi

In a World That is Home to So Many Wrenchingly Shitty Narratives, Here You Have a Reason to Smile and Be Happy

April 30th, 2008
by Brad Listi

LOS ANGELES, CA-

Claire Bidwell Smith. Greg Boose.

You may recognize the names.

Both are longtime contributors to TheNervousBreakdown.com.

They actually met here.

Didn’t know each other until they started writing for TNB

I believe it was Greg who initiated the correspondence.

Greg lives in Chicago.

At the time of first contact, Claire was living in Los Angeles.

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Meghan Elizabeth Hunt

It’s a Glorious Spring Day and I Can Feel the Earth Moving Beneath My Feet Once Again

April 30th, 2008
by Meghan Elizabeth Hunt

COLUMBIA, MD -

It’s spring and the Earth is green and for the first time in what seems like forever I can feel it moving beneath my feet again.

We went from barren limbs, to blossoming branches, to glorious green canopies in only a few short weeks. I know this because my allergies have finally tapered off and I can breathe without worrying that my lungs are going to collapse from the weight of the pollen in the air.

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R Kent

American Politics: Confusing in Any Language

April 30th, 2008
by R Kent

PARIS-

It was a perfect spring Saturday, and the lovely Isabelle and I were enjoying lunch at a sidewalk café in Montparnasse with our friends Jennifer, Christophe and Marianne.

The Pennsylvania primary had been contested a few days before, and my French friends all had questions.

Not so much “Who do you like: Hillary or Barack?”

More along the lines of “Why is your electoral system so messed up?”

Now, I come from Washington, DC, the uber-center of politics in the United States.

I grew up hearing about primaries and caucuses, House sub-committees and Senate filibusters.

I could not escape it. (more…)


James Simpson

A Portable Snack Because We Had Neither the Time nor Money for a Moveable Feast

April 26th, 2008
by James Simpson

PARIS, FR -

“If you are lucky enough to have visited Paris as a not-so-young person, then
wherever you go for the rest of your life, even if it’s Palatka, Florida; Shangba, China; or Flint, Michigan (okay, maybe not Flint), it stays with you, for Paris
is a portable snack — but like the best snack ever: a crepe jambon et fromage on a cold day, for instance.” - JL Stankus

Montmartre

We left the windows open at night so the room was cold in the morning and the cold was good. (more…)


Lenore Zion

Sushi And Bananas: I Eat Both And So Should You

April 22nd, 2008
by Lenore Zion

LOS ANGELES, CA-

Men and their cars.

It doesn’t matter what kind of car it is. When a man obsesses about his car, I am revolted. I have no idea why. I hate this about myself. I don’t know why I can’t just see it as one of those gender differences. One of those endearing things about the opposite sex, like bragging about barbequing skills. I wish I could see it as one of those cute “man” things. I just can’t. (more…)


Rebecca Schiffman

I Release My Official Response to George Gurley’s New York Observer Article About Me From My Loftbed Headquarters

April 16th, 2008
by Rebecca Schiffman

NEW YORK CITY-

Today’s issue of The New York Observer ran an article about me by George Gurley titled “Who’s That Girl? It’s Rebecca Schiffman!”  Maybe I’ve been out of school too long because lately I’ve had the urge to write letters to Harper’s Magazine responding to various articles. Once I begin the effort, however, I quickly become discouraged because I know Harper’s usually publishes responses from people of some related scholarly authority, and unless I have some revelatory insight on the subject, which has not yet happened in these mere self-assigned challenges, I will not be saying anything new or worthwhile. But now an article exists on which I might be a leading authority! So here is my response. 
 
(more…)


R Kent

Just in Case You Were Looking for That Perfect Little Parisian Apartment…

April 16th, 2008
by R Kent

PARIS-

The ad usually states something like “Apartment offered in exchange for services,” a banal phrase that for students and young professionals here in Paris might seem attractive.

After all, lodging anywhere in this city is expensive.

Why not do a little cleaning or errand-running, and receive a free place to stay?

But it turns out that a lot of unscrupulous landlords aren’t looking for someone to mop the floors.

According to recent news reports, young women are being asked to prostitute themselves for a place to stay.

Sadly, women have answered these ads in droves. (more…)


Dawn Corrigan

What Happened to Roy and Joy*

April 16th, 2008
by Dawn Corrigan

GULF BREEZE, FL-

Over the weekend I took Feldman to the dog park.

I like the dog park here in Gulf Breeze.

It has a statue of a Great Dane.

(more…)


Brad Listi

A Whole God-Damned Nation of Assholes Doing Everything in the Worst Way Possible

April 14th, 2008
by Brad Listi

LOS ANGELES, CA-

The heat in Los Angeles this past weekend was atrocious. Dastardly hot and dry. We don’t have air conditioning. Just a bunch of fans. And the fans were blowing hot air. That’s how hot it was.

Then, last night, the heat broke. Happened right at sundown. The heat broke. Almost instantly, the air temperature cooled by ten or fifteen degrees. It’s weird how that happens. The heat breaks.

I worked all weekend in the heat, slogging through the next book, hopefully wrapping up a readable draft. Sitting here in the heat. Chugging water. Staring at my computer. A fan blowing hot air on me. My dog at my feet. I kept feeding him ice cubes. (more…)


N.L. Belardes

The Seat Of My Soul Sometimes Bounces Around The Inside Of A Hanna Montana Alarm Clock

April 13th, 2008
by N.L. Belardes

BAKERSFIELD, CA-

How many people do you know go to bed at night and wake up to an alarm clock? Of these people, how many, including yourself, have woken to the equivalent of roller coasters zooming through ears? Is this something you like? Is it a routine? Are you hung over everyday? Tell me, why are people turning these alarms up so loud? Are you innocent in the matter? Are people’s alarm clocks troubling you? Are they, or you, difficult risers, heavy sleepers, sedated drug users, loud-noise addicts, alcoholics, insomniacs or closet water-boarders who have to torture everyone even while sleeping?

(more…)


Zoe Brock

Around And Around And Around And Around And…. Upchuck

April 13th, 2008
by Zoe Brock

LOS ANGELES, CA-

Circles make me happy.

My life is full of them.

Around and around and around I go.

Journeys in ever decreasing or widening arcs and loops and 360 degree migrations.

Some good. Some bad. Some painful.

Always educational.

In the last few months I’ve gone in so many circles that my head is spinning and I’ve taken to carrying an air-sickness bag in my pocket.

(more…)


Doug Mulliken

The Other “Jay-Z”, or Am I a Racist? PART I

April 13th, 2008
by Doug Mulliken

Los Angeles, CA-

I’m nervous about this post.  I’m worried that because of its subject matter and the nasty habit we all have of interpreting things differently than they were meant, I will come across as being a racist.  I would say I am not, but that seems pretty much pointless, so I will just write what I am going to write and we’ll see where we end up. (more…)


Maureen Quinlan Jouhet

Hoof-flavored Jell-O and Other Tasty Treats.

April 11th, 2008
by Maureen Quinlan Jouhet

AUVERGNE, FR.—

I am not from a Jell-O family.

We just didn’t develop the custom.

Never once have I uttered any of the following phrases, “I would have made Jell-O, but I didn’t have any mini-marshmallows,” “Can you please pass me the turkey- shaped Jell-O” or “It’s not a party without Jell-O.” (more…)


Paul A. Toth

Atheists Are the Niggers of the World

April 10th, 2008
by Paul A. Toth

GRAND BLANC, MI-

Given the hyper-capitalistic drive to sodomize every American, it’s a wonder gay marriage and anal sex aren’t condoned. In fact, I suggest that we all bend over in front of the nearest flag and wait for the creditors to bang us in the ass three times, once for the interest and twice for the mysterious penalty charges. Freed from criminal liability, the banks have managed to legalize ass rape. “Oh,” they cry, “but the plaintiffs’ attorneys, the plaintiffs’ attorneys!” (more…)


Litsa Dremousis

Bleacher Friction, Lefty Thuggery, a Hobbit: Notes from the 36th District Democratic Convention

April 9th, 2008
by Litsa Dremousis

SEATTLE, WA-

Two months ago at the Washington State Democratic Caucus, I was elected an Obama delegate to the 36th District Democratic Convention. As my cousin, Ellie, said recently, “Litz, I’d be more surprised if you weren’t totally supporting Obama.” As is often true with those who love you most, she meant it as both a compliment and a dig. Which is fine, as she treated me to a very nice steak last night.

(more…)


Lenore Zion

When You Study Psychology, It’s Not Uncommon For Toilets To Carry Great Emotional Significance (In My Opinion)

April 9th, 2008
by Lenore Zion

LOS ANGELES, CA-

Last night, I had a dream that urine was seeping out of my toilet from the base where the porcelain meets the tile.

I kept mopping it up, but as soon as I cleaned the puddle, there’d be more leaking out. (more…)


R Kent

The Olympic Flame: a Dying Flicker of What it Was Meant to Be

April 8th, 2008
by R Kent

PARIS-

The Olympic Flame passed me by, and I didn’t even see it.

I was waiting outside Stade Charléty, not far from Paris’ Chinatown section in the 13th.

As the Olympic torch makes its second-ever global tour of the world before the Beijing Games this August, it swooped into Paris on a cold April day.

Already plagued by protests, starting with its lighting ceremony on Mount Olympus a few weeks ago, the Olympic Torch Relay (OTR) ran into continual hassles along its Parisian stretch, which caused organizers to stash the torch in a bus and keep it rolling through the city, the flame sadly reduced to a few licks of fire in specially-designed lanterns.

At Stade Charléty it seemed like the cop to spectator ratio was about 1:1. (more…)


Meghan Elizabeth Hunt

Just Another Night on the Strip - Postcards From An Imaginary Vegas

April 8th, 2008
by Meghan Elizabeth Hunt

COLUMBIA, MD -

The following isn’t a true story, mind you, but an approximation of things that could happen.

It’s a postcard sent from an imaginary Vegas, a few lines written on the back of a colorful photo that tell the bare bones of a story you’ve convinced yourself you won’t truly share with others.

They make you take the oath at the airport, make you promise that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas….imaginary or not.

(more…)


Megan Power

A Brief Biography of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan Because References To Him Keep Following Me And I’m Thinking If I Write This They’ll Stop

April 2nd, 2008
by Megan Power

SAN ANTONIO, TX-

1930lynching
1930 lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith in Marion, Indiana

Louis Eugene Walcott was born on May 11, 1933, in the Depression-era Bronx.

Around the same time, a preacher in Detroit named Wallace Fard Muhammad disappeared.

This is significant.

A white man by some accounts and Arab by others, Wallace Fard Muhammad was a salesman. Peddling raincoats door-to-door afforded him just the right opportunity to evangelize.

(more…)