An excerpt from:
by Jayson Green and Zachary Lipez
The following email exchange is presented without comment.
From: Jayson Green
Date: On Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 8:10 PM
Subject: Thee Helen Burns
To: Zachary Lipez
Zack the Obscure,
So you’re saying that being a female bass player is like being in the “attic” of the band? Well then what do we say about the female keyboard player? We’re getting into some complicated territory here. Plus I’m almost convinced that this already sounds sexist.
Don’t feel uptight about your educational background. I attended a college that didn’t even have grades and then DROPPED OUT. My “focus” (we didn’t have majors) was VIDEO ART. I basically spent two years putting a TV in a shopping cart with a video loop of Yul Brynner’s face getting pulled off in Westworld. I would have killed to be forced to take some sort of remedialEnglish Lit requirement instead of talking about subversion and transgression in modern film/video. We did, however, have one of the best Ultimate Frisbee teams on the East coast, so we had that going for us.
Who the hell is Phillip Larkin? Is he one of those authors you pretend to read when you’re at a bar alone with your porkpie hat, hoping someone will notice? I say we compare Rochester to Ayn Rand, just so we can talk about how she is basically the worst.
I like the fan fiction idea. Maybe we can do some Ken Burnsian letter-writing role-playing, where I’m Jane and you’re Rochester.
“My Dearest Rochester,
Mine eyes have never spied such a glorious Xanadu as the
sight of your penis in the candlelight….”
You know, something like that. Or not. Whatever. I don’t care at all about that idea that I can’t stop thinking about wanting to do super-bad.
What about Jane Eyre cosplay?
Good luck with all that,
PS: Is this going to get us laid?
From: Zachary Lipez
Date: Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 2:12 AM
Subject: Thee Helen Burns
To: Jayson Green
Wide Sargasso Jayson,
Are you drunk? “So you’re saying that being a female bass player is like being in the ‘attic’ of the band?”?
Seriously, Jayson, are you drunk? How drunk? Is it fun? How fun? Quantify it, and then compare it to the feeling you’re going to be wallowing in if you get us kicked off this Jane Eyre gravy train. If you’re not careful, the only ‘zine we’re going to be asked to contribute to is Jim Goad’s tribute to the filmography of Michael Douglas: Seriously, Motherfucker, WE’RE the Oppressed Ones.
And I don’t wanna write for that.
But, assuming you are drunk, and therefore temporarily my friend, I’ll try to answer your questions and hopefully move us along to finding a flippin’ subject for our piece. That piece we’re writing that is definitely not a (mildly) humorous email exchange.
“Who the hell is Philip Larkin?” Philip Larkin was a librarian who occasionally peed himself. And I’m all for badmouthing Ayn Rand. We can run her down and write wistfully about the time our CPUSA grandparents sacrificed kosher goats to Stalin. Maybe the Times will hire us! As someone who is weak in mind, spirit, and body, I’m particularly vested in defending the collective that has done so much for me. Like making it OK to pay me for playing my iPod in a bar. I’m pretty sure Galt’s Gulch doesn’t need an in- house DJ and, anyway, I don’t own that much Kanye.
“Is this going to get us laid?” Well, I’m assuming you mean “laid.” not in the vulgar way of contemporary arrested-adolescent rom- coms, but in the Dorothy Parker “If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised” way. If that is the case, Jayson, then, yes, we will. We will be laid end to end at the Jane Eyre ‘Zine banquet and irritating people, may of whom attended Yale, will eat sashimi off our bare bodies and talk about wine. Maybe knowledgeably, maybe not, standards change. New York magazine will devote two pages to it. Our souls will leave our bodies but we will still be very much alive, in the “She wasn’t what you could call living, really, but she was still awake,” Johnny Hit and Run Paulene sense. Does that sound nice to you? Or at least “nice”? Laid indeed, my friend, laid indeed.
I’m fine with the cos-play or fan fiction idea. But I’d rather be St. John. My posture, as of late, has suffered, and I’m sure that ramming a stick up my ass and hectoring you to move to Mumbai, with me, where you would perform your wifely duties, NOT because either of us wanted you too, but because God is such a jerk, would only improve my situation. Or we could just go to any of the restaurants on North 6th St. and then write really self-righteous reviews on Yelp.
Just kidding. Even Mr. Brockelhurst wouldn’t be such a fucking prig as to write reviews for Yelp.
I think it’s really important that, whatever we write, it’s not filled with our usual contempt and scorn for those who have the temerity to have slightly different world views/record collections than us. Let’s show them all that there’s more to us than just mean-spirited jibes that are both Heathers-related and Heathers-esque in their bullying content, and our, admittedly hilarious, Emily Dickinson jokes. You and I, Jayson, have got motherfucking substance to BURN.
If we can do this, maybe they’ll stop calling us the Boner Brothers down at Brontë High.
Take it Ease,
(Image: Silhouette of a nude figure with long hair and prominent breasts inside the symbol for “woman” [a circle atop a vertical line, with a horizontal line crossing the vertical one about halfway down]. The woman is holding fireworks that are exploding, and there are several smaller “woman” symbols emanating from the large one.)