—Casey Gonzalez, Creative Project Manager; Associate Editor, Black Balloon
I watched the movie Losing Ground last night. It was directed by Kathleen Collins and was ecstatically abstract and specific at the same time. I’d gone with a friend, and our reactions to it varied based on our relationships to Collins’s story collection, Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?: my friend had just read it, and I have yet (am about) to read it.
—Wah-Ming Chang, Managing Editor
I’ve just read the first chapter of John L. Parker, Jr.’s Once A Runner. I was never “once a runner,” but my partner comes from the trail running and ultra scene in Ashland, Oregon. This is the book he cites if ever he is asked “why?” about long distance running. I’m intrigued by the cult-ishness of its publication history––first self published in 1978, hand-sold at running stores and bookstores, now cited as one of the best novels ever written about running. I can’t speak yet to this (or probably ever . . . I haven’t read that many novels about running), but I can speak to the winding conversations it provokes about the differences and similarities between success, failure, and persistence––somewhere there’s a great metaphor about a track: the finish line is in the exact same place as the starting line.
I also recently read this hypnotic piece in Mask by Kylee V. Luce which is somehow about all of these things: Shia LeBeouf, the free market, fame-as-disease, Alain Badiou, performance art, politics, and masculinity.
One of my favorite lines: “Masculinity, in this economy?”