!! Books !!

!! OMG, a Q&A with Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu !!

Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu

Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu

Jamie Stewart’s debut novel Anything That Moves begins with an author’s note. It reads:

“If we are related, please, for the love of God, do not read this book.”

The book charts the more notable sexual exploits of the author’s history across 31 chapters. It’s true that familial dysfunction, self-flagellation (of the non-erotic variety), and moral chaos take as much as part of the narrative as the expanse of sexual tales do here.

Those familiar with Stewart’s band Xiu Xiu will have their sea legs in their distinct ability to confront the terror of mortality and the irony of the underwhelming thud of life with a blunt humor that reads as tongue-in-cheek as it does eviscerating in its honesty.

Jamie Stewart has made a career of inhabiting this space, and with their debut book Anything That Moves, Stewart very much takes the throne there.

Anything that Moves by Jamie StewartXiu Xiu songs are often packaged in pummelling power electronics and vocals delivered with an emotional intensity that leave you hoping they aren’t in fact autobiographical. Ranging from the earliest sexual awakenings of their youth to the depths of sexual depravity years into being on the road with their band, these personal accounts leave no question of the brutal reality of their origin in Stewart’s life.

Like some sort of a post-MTV Marquis de Sade, Stewart’s stories are at once horrifying, hilarious, tragic, and often just fucking disgusting. Anything That Moves is a visceral read that you can take to the beach. The stories are frequently quite hot, but this is not erotica—they veer bareback into extremely uncomfortable territory. That discomfort takes many forms—and although heavy, Stewart navigates the thud of life with a refreshing candidness.

It should be mentioned that the book does explore some of the more unsavoury aspects of sexual self-discovery that crosses into (and for the most part remains in) some potentially, if not likely triggering territory for its readers. The following interview may do so as well (this is your content warning)!

Earlier in the month, Xiu Xiu released their album Ignore Grief (stream the album right here):

We talked to Jamie about the parallels between their work as a musician and their newfound role as an author, how the horror of sex can make you a better person, and the origins of unforgettable pick up lines such as, “Hey, little mommy, let’s fuck.”

If there’s a seat belt in your sex sling, its most definitely time to buckle up for this negligently naughty must-read book of the summer.

Experience our very raw conversation with Stewart interspersed with spicy excerpts from the book, after the jump!


!! OMG, Barbie has haters too !!

Surely we’re all excited about Greta Gerwig‘s new Barbie movie coming out this summer, but Barbie hasn’t always been celebrated…

Some people hated Barbie! So much that they formed an entire organization about it!

The Barbie Liberation Organization (BLO) operated in the early 1990s with the mission of drawing attention to the gendered messages conveyed by toys and children’s media!!!

The BLO was most well-known for its “operation,” which involved swapping the voice boxes of Barbie and G.I. Joe dolls. The group purchased hundreds of dolls, switched their voice boxes, and returned them to stores. This meant that when children pressed the button on their Barbie dolls, they heard G.I. Joe’s voice saying things like “vengeance is mine” and “dead men tell no tales.” Conversely, when children pressed the button on their G.I. Joe dolls, they heard Barbie’s voice saying things like “let’s plan our dream wedding” and “math class is tough.”

The BLO argued that this subverted the gendered expectations that are often placed on children from a young age. By swapping the voice boxes, they were forcing children to confront the absurdity of these expectations and consider the ways in which toys and media can perpetuate harmful stereotypes.

Do you think this is good activism??? Watch the video after the jump, and let us know!


!! OMG, ‘Viscose’ issue no. 4: ‘Trans’ !!

Are you stylish AND smart? Well, may we suggest Viscose journal, which explores the theoretical, rather than the commercial side of fashion.

Issue 04, on the theme of Trans, is co-published in collaboration with Leslie Lohman Museum, New York.

According to Viscose, this special issue:

critically explores the numerous relationships between transness and fashion. The issue sets out to ask two ambivalent questions: what is a fashion theory of transness, and what might a trans theory of fashion be? Viscose 04 productively confronts fashion studies with trans aesthetics and trans studies, and attempts to excavate the largely invisible archives of trans history that form the underside of fashion itself.

The issue features a wealth of archival and contemporary moments of trans fashion production spanning 50 years. The cover celebrates histories of independent queer publishing, and doubles as a detachable poster.

See a few spreads, and find a link to purchase your copy after the jump!


!! OMG, get to know her: Nan Goldin in ‘All the Beauty and the Bloodshed’ !!

Perhaps, like Cookie, you came across Nan Goldin‘s photography as a baby queer, and were captivated, intrigued, perhaps even a bit scared, by the haunting and candid images she captured of her friends and chosen family.

Could these be drag queens, gay guys, and trans people?! Right here, in the suburban Barnes & Noble, in 1993?!

An artist and activist who used her lens to draw attention to LGBTQ+ subcultures and the impact of the HIV/AIDS crisis, Goldin didn’t stop there.

Here more recent work has focused on bringing attention to the Sackler family, famed cultural philanthropists and owners of Purdue Pharma, and holding them publicly accountable for their contributions to the ongoing opioid crisis.

Learn more about it in All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, one of this year’s Oscar nominated documentaries, directed by Laura Poitras. Check out the trailer, after the jump!


!! OMG, rest in peace: pioneering gay psychologist Dr. Charles Silverstein !!

Some of us really are crazy, it’s true—Cookie too, on a bad day—but it wasn’t so long ago that being gay was considered an actual mental illness, like, in the textbooks, including the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association (AMA).

It wasn’t until after a 1973 speech to the AMA by pioneering gay activist and clinical psychologist Dr. Charles Silverstein—may he rest in peace—that the association declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder.

Oh, and talk about a hero, he co-authored the much enjoyed/banned/reprinted/burned The Joy of Gay Sex with Edmund White.

Dr. Silverstein died on January 30 at the age of 87. Read his obituary in the Washington Post and, for more, check out this piece by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

!! OMG, DC’s trans non-binary character has arrived !!

This Valentine’s Day, meet Jules Jourdain (he/they aka Circuit Breaker), DC‘s new character that, according to its author A. L. Kaplan, is “trans, but not super into the binary.”

The Advocate gives a bit of background to the character’s development, and the general move away from “readers know, but no one says,” toward self-identified LGBTQ characters. Read the story here.


!! OMG, do you even read, sis? Valerie Solanas’ scarce play ‘Up Your Ass’ !!

Valerie Solanas Up Your Ass

If you like your important LGBTQ+ literary texts short, sharp and snappy, might Cookie suggest Up Your Assa rarely published play by vanguard NYC downtowner and Andy Warhol shooter Valerie Solanas.

According to publisher Sternberg Press, it explodes “social and sexual mores and the hypocritical, patriarchal culture that produces them” with “signature irreverence and wit, incisiveness and camp.”

Careful though, you just might see yourself imperfectly represented—as all representations are—in all your imperfectness, as “the unknowing john, the frothy career girl, the boring male narcissist, two catty drag queens, the sex-depraved housewife, and a pair of racialized pickup artists.”

!! OMG, don't miss these !!