The first author I ever loved was Francesca Lia Block. I loved books before I read hers, but I never loved an author. Loving an author is different than loving a book. Loving an author is developing an insatiable need to consume everything they have written; loving an author is infection.
I found her first book through a recommendation by a friend named Rosemary and if you’ve ever read a book by Francesca Lia Block, you know how fantastic it is that my friend’s name was Rosemary. Rosemary is such a Francesca Lia Block sort of a name. The book was I Was A Teenage Fairy; it’s still my favorite of hers.
In 7th grade, I had the reading level and vocabulary of a 9th grader with none of the perspective. I didn’t yet understand sex, didn’t fully grasp the idea of homosexuality, didn’t understand the culture of Los Angeles. When I finished reading I Was A Teenage Fairy, I felt like I understood the world. What I really understood was aesthetics. I’m pretty sure I never had a perfect, serene aesthetic experience before I read Francesca Lia Block. I love books, movies, and television shows that have a consistent and immersive world or tone (for example: Cat’s Eye, Drive, Justified). Did Francesca Lia Block make that in me or did I love her because that’s what I like? Chicken or the egg?
Before I finished junior high, I had read every single book she produced in the 1990s. I understood sex, what it meant to be gay, what it meant to live in Los Angeles. When I first read Gabriel Garcia Marquez, I thought of Francesca Lia Block. Marquez is her favorite author, she stole from him, but because I read her first, her stink, the smell of jacaranda trees, was all over One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Francesca Lia Block might lose her home, which she calls the Faerie Cottage. Her financial problem is complicated, but to sum it up quickly, despite the fact that she has made every mortgage payment on time, her house is underwater and Bank of America might foreclose. There is a blog dedicated to helping her keep her home. I read every post even though it’s white text on a black background and I usually avoid white text on a black background like it’s going to infect me with its head cold.
When I first read Francesca Lia Block’s 1990s books, I fell in love with Los Angeles, and I wanted to move to Los Angeles. I wanted to live in the white spaces between her paragraphs stuffed with sensory details. I wanted Topanga Canyon to be all around me. I wanted the trees, the house parties, the woozy sex, the heart-shaped sunglasses, the pastels.
When I first moved to Los Angeles and I felt lost and alone, when every street looked like a decrepit strip mall and the city’s thick smog of desperation had clogged my pores every day until I developed a mild case of acne rosacea, I reread the opening of I Was A Teenage Fairy:
“If Los Angeles is a woman reclining billboard model with collagen-puffed lips and silicone-inflated breasts, a woman in a magenta convertible with heart-shaped sunglasses and cotton candy hair; if Los Angeles is this woman, then the San Fernando Valley is her teeny-bopper sister. The teenybopper sister snaps big stretchy pink bubbles over her tongue and checks her lip gross in the rearview mirror, causing Sis to scream. Teeny plays the radio too loud and bites her nails, wondering if the glitter polish will poison her…The citrus fruits bouncing off the sidewalk remind her of boys; the burning oil and chlorine, the gold light smoldering on the windy leaves. Boys are shooting baskets on the tarry playground and she thinks she can smell them on the air.”
I felt better about Los Angeles in a magenta convertible with her sister than I did about Los Angeles, the place I was living. I’ve grown back into loving it. The parts that look like strip malls hide the best pupuserias. For three years, I lived in an apartment in the same neighborhood as the Faerie Cottage. I read Francesca Lia Block’s books to cheer me up just a few miles from where she lives, without knowing she was nearby, like a faerie, buzzing around my atmosphere, sending out her vibes.
If you aren’t already familiar, I’d like to introduce you to my paunchy little friend Kaspar Hauser. We met in the “Mysteries” page on Wikipedia (he also makes appearances in the “Feral Children” and “Conspiracy Theories” categories), and even though he’s been dead since 1833, I like to think that we’ve been fast friends ever since.
Kaspar is a man of few words. When he first hit the scene in 1828 in Nuremberg, he relied on just a few stock phrases to communicate: “I want to be a cavalryman, as my father was,” “horse! horse!” and “don’t know.” Why? According to a couple of letters he carried with him, Kaspar had been raised in an isolated tower, his only human contact coming from a mysterious cloaked man who hid his face and would visit occasionally to teach or groom him. Conveniently, the letters even explained why they were in Kaspar’s own handwriting (“he writes my handwriting exactly as I do”), and rumors started swirling that he was actually connected to the princely House of Baden.
To review: just by stumbling into a town square with a few incoherent sound bites, Kaspar convinced much of the public that he was descended from royalty. Yes, it was much easier to pull off this kind of thing in an era when cross-checking even the most basic facts was close to impossible, but this is still impressive work. Unfortunately, Kaspar still had enemies (and skeptics), and over the course of a few years was mysteriously stabbed in the face, mysteriously wounded in a scuffle involving a poorly explained gunshot, and later mysteriously stabbed in the chest, a wound that led to his death. Some say he was a con man and experts believe all these injuries were actually self-inflicted. I say he was a fraudulent flame that burned out too quickly.
His memory lives on in granite, thanks to a Kaspar monument in Ansbach, and in film — Werner Herzog, a fellow friend of Kaspar, made a biopic of his life:
In honor of his legacy, may we all find equally creative ways to force others to financially support us.
One of the buzziest films to debut at the Berlin International Film Festival was Iron Sky, a schlocky Finnish film about Nazis who hide on the moon after losing the Second World War, where they wait for their chance to exact revenge on the Allied victors. According to the BBC, “Added to the farce is a US President with more than a passing resemblance to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, and a navy cruiser called the USS George W Bush.”
Sounds funny, right? Does the fact that it’s the most expensive film in Finnish history add to the hilarity? Is it funny that members of the international press claim that the film might be evidence of Germans finally putting their Nazi past to bed? The director of the movie, Timo Vuorensola, said, “I’ve never said that National Socialism, Nazi history and Nazis are a joke, they are the most horrendous part of European history ever. But what I believe is that one of the important weapons to fight Fascism, reign of fear, is to fight it with the one thing that diminishes fear — that’s to laugh.”
There’s something pretty absurd about all of this. I don’t mean that in the most obvious way: “Oh, Nazis on the moon, that’s silly.” But the notion that this film can in any way heal wounds, or act as a sign of wounds healed, is no less absurd than believing that you see the visage of Christ in a burned piece of toast. Melodrama without subtlety, humor without irony — these are less signs of having achieved some kind of reconciliation and understanding, and more of frantically waving a white flag before sinking into an oceanic forgetfulness.
The film debuts in Finland and Germany next month. Negotiations are underway for an American release. Here’s a preview of your Christ-toast:
This weekend Occupy Wall Street celebrated its six-month anniversary, and as with any properly festive celebration, several dozen people ended up getting arrested by the NYPD. As the weather begins to warm in New York City, and as graduating college seniors begin to confront the painful reality of student loan repayment, we can expect more scenes like those of the past weekend.
Paolo Mossetti of Through Europe has assembled a helpful primer for understanding the upcoming months. After the seizure of “The People’s Library” at Zuccotti Park last November, Mosetti asked leading writers, activists, and academics how they would repopulate the empty shelves. Part I can be found here, and in Part II we have a contribution from Simon Critchley and a recommendation of Aijaz Ahmad’sIn Theory — both of whom are upcoming interview subjects for our Thinking the Present series.
If I had to underscore any of the recommendations it would be Mark Fisher’s Capitalist Realism. Read our insightful interview with Fisher and you’ll see why.
Venerated (and endless), New York’s The Strand is a nationally renowned independent bookstore known for its miles upon miles of books and ever-toiling and extremely knowledgeable employees. It is also one of the few large retail stores in New York City to have its employees represented by a union. For over 35 years, most employees have been members of the United Auto Workers (UAW represents a lot of service workers, in addition to those in the automobile industry).
However, as John Farley writes in Metrofocus, management appears to be engaging in certain policies that aim to disrupt and eventually dissolve unionized workers at The Strand. After the bankruptcy of Borders, the owners of The Strand have begun to instill a more corporate atmosphere in the running of the independent bookstore.
While it might not be surprising that an influx of corporate management would rub an independent bookstore employee the wrong way, McCallion says the problem is that in the past year or so, The Strand has hired more non-unionized managers than they’ve ever had (“about 33 or 35″). The contract of the 150 or so unionized employees expired last September. McCallion said that in December, after they’d hired the outside managers, the Strand’s owners offered the unionized rank and file employees who stock the shelves and man the registers a new contract that would reduce their paid personal days and sick days by nearly half, and nearly double the amount each employee would have to pay for their health insurance premiums.
The proposed contract could lead to a strike by Strand workers if it is not amended to offer what they view as fair wages and benefits.
According to that employee, the commonalities that unite the vast majority of The Strand’s unionized employees — they work 40 hours per week, aren’t originally from New York and are often pursuing artistic work on the side — also makes them vulnerable to intimidation.
“We’re naturally insecure, we don’t have family here, so they make you feel like this is the only thing you’ve got to hold onto. The managers are not in the union and that’s for a reason,” he said, adding that he sensed many of the managers are scared about losing their jobs, but are being pressured to intimidate employees by their bosses.
Recently, Strand employees have been meeting with labor activists from OWS, and on Thursday, issued a press release detailing their discontent with the proposed contract and efforts by ownership to undermine the union.
‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
So begins Lewis Carroll’s poem Jabberwocky, ostensibly a “nonsense” poem contained within Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, describing the hunting and slaying of an infamous and monstrous beast. It is a fantastic piece of writing, filled with strange and evocative imagery, and yet it contains many words which don’t exist in the English language. Despite this (or perhaps because of it), the reader is still able to understand perfectly the meaning of the poem. Carroll’s “nonsense” is not just random letters thrown together to make strange words. Instead, his unique talent for using logic in a non-logical setting comes to the fore in the poem, as he makes excellent use of onomatopoeia and association in order to convey meaning. Thus, many of the words are very similar to conventional descriptive words — for example, brillig has the sound of a chill about it, slithy reflects “slimy”, “slither” and “lithe” and wabe evokes associations with “wave” and “ebb”.
The effect of this is to make the key to the meaning of the poem actually in the imagination of the reader. This perhaps reflects the status of Through the Looking-Glass as a children’s book, since sounds are always an important factor in children’s language learning. Most importantly, the association between the sounds of the nonsense words and their “real world” counterparts helps to solidify meaning without limiting it to a fixed interpretation. It is expressing rather than defining, yet without being too vague, and it expands the richness of the language and fuels the imagination. In a sense it is linguistic brain-training at its best.
Contrast Carroll’s approach with Orwell’s description of the language of Newspeak in the appendix of 1984. Here, language is controlled and proscribed in order to restrict meaning (and by extension thought) to a certain model or interpretation. Far from creating new words, the number of words is actually being reduced. Removal of “superfluous” words which are derivatives or close associations of other words (thus words which Carroll relied on for his meaning in Jabberwocky) narrows the field of interpretation to a fixed, unmoving point. Thus words such as “awful”, “terrible” or “monstrous” are constricted to “ungood”, simply the opposite of “good”. Of course, this process leaves behind a much less descriptive word which conveys almost no emotion and requires no imagination to interpret. It becomes a vague idea of something that is simply “not good”.
Interestingly, a similar technique to that described by Orwell is often used in political speeches. Of course, words are not actually deleted from the language, but certain words are not said, or only said in certain contexts and others are used repetitively. The constant use and re-use of certain words and stock phrases is a defining characteristic of the average political speech of any hue. They are repeated, mantra-like until they become devoid of almost all meaning, or become associated with only one narrow and vague meaning, much like Orwell’s “ungood”. This acts as a barrier to imaginative thought as well as a disincentive to debate. This phenomenon has been noted by several commentators over the years (including Orwell himself in his essay Politics and the English Language), but the following clip from the excellent British satirist Armando Iannucci sums up the point most succinctly:
(Starts at 1:10)
So embrace the nonsense, because on this scale of language and thought, the words of Carroll’s whimsical poetry are actually more truthful than the words of many of our politicians. But then, you probably knew that anyway…
I know many of us are still recovering from the shock of Greg Smith’s public resignation in yesterday’s New York Times. Many of you were hurt by his allegations of a drastic change in Goldman’s culture. The firm had become something vulgar and morally decrepit, and the subtext was that many of us were directly to blame.
But you know what, guys? He’s right. Which is why I’m publicly announcing that I, too, am leaving Goldman Sachs, effective immediately.
Greg’s right, folks. This place used to have character and humility. We held things sacred — things other than profit. I remember when we opened the first Goldman Sachs soup kitchen during the 1980s — I was skeptical, but the old guard around here showed me that an investment bank is more than its balance sheet. Now, you may remember the soup kitchen primarily for its unfortunate shutdown at the hands of municipal health inspectors — but not me. I remember it as an inspiration.
And inspired I was — within a decade, we’d set up dozens of Goldman Sachs orphanages around the city. Sure, many of the orphans came from families that couldn’t afford their care after we foreclosed on them — but we provided those kids with a future. And, thanks to our Goldman Tots program, we even got to teach the tykes some good old-fashioned work ethic.
No more. The Goldman Sachs I loved has turned into a heartless profit-seeking monster. The abrasive, insufferable egos. The inflated sense of self-worth. The scheme to turn the orphans into complex tranched financial instruments. It’s all been too much. I haven’t been this shocked since I discovered that Humphrey Bogart was harboring a gambling den in Casablanca, a revelation from which I’ve honestly never fully recovered. What happened to Goldman’s charitable soul? I’m not sure when the word ‘profit’ became sacrosanct to this investment house, but now that it has, there’s no going back. This used to be an investment bank, by God, not some money-worshipping Xanadu. Have you no shame?
So that’s it for me. For you, this is a wake-up call. Consider Goldman’s precipitous moral fall, and try to pick yourselves up. As for me, I’m off to Citigroup. Those guys still believe in something.
Nolan Fellow (left) Julie Wernersbach (center) and Mike Flippo (right, with the tattoos)
We are basically at the midway point of South by Southwest 2012, when the music portion rightfully displaces the exuberance of Interactive Weeks’ tech-startup panels. Whatever one’s take on the benefits and drawbacks of how SXSW is growing, it’s always fun to take an afternoon to wander a little west and visit Book People, Austin’s landmark independent book store. I spoke with bookseller Nolan Fellows and publicist Julie Wernersbach about SXSW and the reading habits of Austinites.
How does Book People fit into SXSW?
Nolan: In a way we stay out of it because Waterloo Records is across the street from us and we feel like if we put our hands in the music thing we are kind of taking away from what they are trying to do.
Last year we had the Merge Records people come in because they had a book out. So if there is an event that fits with what SXSW is then we’ll make an exception.
Is there a distinct literary community that shows itself at South by Southwest?
Nolan: It’s hard to say if there is a literary community that finds a way into the festival. A lot of the people that come down here during the week are here to use our wi-fi and bathrooms, but while they are here, they seem to be interested in Austin in general and look for Texas-related books like Keep Austin Weird.
Do you get musicians coming in?
Nolan: Yeah, definitely. The guys from Sonic Youth came in during Austin City Limits one year. They were pretty low key and wandered around the store like anyone else. Robert Plant has been coming in a bit lately. He lives here and he’s just a total cargo shorts-wearing, normal looking guy. He’ll buy our random discount B movies, or maps, or will order books that are memoirs of roadies or something. But I hear that he’s a totally nice guy and jokes around with everyone he meets.
We have a little code for employees to say on the intercom. When they say they need “towels” [Ed. — word changed to protect the employees] somewhere it means there is a famous person at that station. But Robert Plant has been making lots of people say “oh my god” recently.
Everyone is interested in how independent bookstores are doing these days.
Nolan: We are doing great. We take a lot of pride in being a community bookstore and are definitely a locale that people have come to know about. With Borders going out of business, the book-selling world is kind of up in the air, but it seems like we’ve been taking a lot of their clientele. And there’s just something about coming into a store and sort of browsing and seeing recommendations. There is no pressure to sell any particular book. It’s more like “we like this book, so we’ll try and sell it.”
Is Austin particularly supportive of this kind of approach?
Nolan: Absolutely. There is that indie mentality here. People want to discover cool things, and they want to be a part of something that isn’t quite known yet. And we’re a good source for that because we are actively looking for interesting books and new authors.
What is selling at Book People at the moment?
Nolan: Michael Ian Black was here last week so we sold a lot of his books. He also shot a sketch with some people here, which we hope is up on the blog soon. Stephen Harrigan is a local Texas author and his books always do well.
Julie: The Tiger’s Wife is also really selling. We can’t keep that book down. It’s the #1 seller in paperback fiction.
Nolan: Not to say we broke her, but she was in here last year.
Do you have any recommendations?
Nolan: There is a book that I really like by Marc Spitz called How Soon is Never. With the South by Southwest crowd it kind of works. It’s about this guy who associates the downfall of his life with the breakup of The Smiths. So he basically goes on this mission to try and reform the Smiths and to save himself and seek redemption.
There is a new book called Steal like an Artist, which is by an Austin local named Austin Kleon. The book talks about what you need to hear if you are an artist. It’s not so much how to become an artist, but it’s words of wisdom in the spirit of “Keep up the good fight. It’s gonna suck a lot, but it’s worth it.”
We’ve also been hearing lots of good press about Gods Without Menby Hari Kunzru. Someone here called him the Dale Earnhardt of literary fiction, though I’m not sure what that means.
There is the traditional press that drives book sales, but do you see your store having this role in the Austin community?
Nolan: Every year there are 3 or 4 books that we, as a collective whole, really like and that we tend to push. The Tiger’s Wife was one of them. Ready Player Onewas one of the more recent ones. Year Zero is a book coming out soon which we really like. It’s fun, intelligent sci-fi.
Julie: But with a Napster bent.
Nolan: The guy who created Rhapsody wrote it.
Julie: There is also a book called Threats by Amelia Gray, who is a former Austinite that lives in L.A. now. She does a lot of experimental short fiction and this is her first novel. It’s awesome and we’ll be recommending that for sure to people.
Pulphead by John Jeremiah Sullivan has been a good one as well. We weren’t terribly familiar with him when we booked the event, but we actually all ended up really getting into the book. We drew a pretty huge crowd for that one.
Anyone who has been downtown can see that South by Southwest has a very corporate feel. As an independent local business, how do you react to this trend?
Julie: We are the local independent booksellers, and in being this we have maintained our character and personality. We are big, big, proponents of shopping local. Whether it’s us, whether it’s Waterloo across the street, or whatever it is, shopping local makes such a big difference. That’s where our message has always been and where it still is. Come and support the people who live in your community, and are working in your community, and keep your money in your community.
It’s not a sales pitch, but it’s what we believe in. We live here, and we want to have this great city, and we want to have all these wonderful opportunities for creative live events that happen here and other places. To keep that happening you have to keep supporting your local businesses. You don’t keep Austin weird by shopping at Amazon. You keep it weird by supporting local businesses that have this unique personality.
Two novel Russian musical sensations have been making waves in international media recently. Readers of this blog should already know one: Pussy Riot have been staging protest performances all over Moscow in recent months, as discontent with Vladimir Putin and Russia’s “managed democracy” has continued to foment. As Max Rivlin-Nadler posted last week, two members of the anarchist feminist punk band are still in jail, after being arrested for a guerrilla performance in the largest cathedral in the city. (Pussy Riot are anonymous and neither of the women arrested has admitted to being a member of the group. Both have small children, and both face up to seven years in prison for “hooliganism”.)
But as the heavy hammer of the Russian justice system continues to attempt to pound out dissent, another musical sensation is sweeping the nation — one with much more affection for the Orthodox Church. The Buranovskiye Babushki are a group of ladies between the ages of 50 and 76 from the village of Buranova in the Ural Mountain republic of Udmurtia. The group recently won the privilege of representing Russia in the 2012 Eurovision Song Competition in Baku, Azerbaijan and, according to Agence France Presse, they are saving their money to build a new church in their village.
The Babushki made a name for themselves through YouTube, singing covers of the Beatles and the Eagles in the Udmurt language native to their region.
Here is their rendition of “Yesterday”:
The Buranovskiye Babushki are a slightly tweaked iteration of the centuries old tradition of women’s folk choirs in Slavic villages, and according to Russian television, the group has existed in some form for over forty years.
Here is a group of women from the Omsk National Choir performing in the traditional style:
While Pussy Riot embody an emphatic rejection of all the entrenched systems of power so long in place, the Buranovskiye Babushki, a group of singing grandmothers, might be the most comforting possible pop sensation. Dressed in traditional costumes and handmade shoes, the Babushki are as classically Russian as beet soup and birch bark, with just enough of a hint of contemporaneity to pass as pop singers.
Their latest hit, which they will perform in Baku, is called “Party for Everybody,” and shows the ladies making some linguistic concessions for the sake of pop-stardom:
But this isn’t their first step into mainstream fame. The grandmothers almost won the Russian Eurovision competition in 2010 with their song “Long Long Birch Bark and How to Make a Hat out of It”:
Eurovision is not an event I understand very well. It seems like the musical equivalent to the Olympics, with all kinds of expressions of national pride and international conflict playing out within the competition (for example, this year Armenia is boycotting the competition because it is taking place in Azerbaijan). I am not sure how actual pop-stardom translates into Eurovision success or vice versa, but past Eurovision competitors from Russia have been more along the expected lines. Pop icon Dima Bilan won the whole competition in 2008, and the legendary singer Alla Pugacheva represented Russia in 1997.
So maybe it is strange that these old ladies have become such a phenomenon, but on the other hand, it is impossible to watch them sing and dance and not smile. The Buranovskiye Babushki bring a bit of joy to my heart, and I hope they will to yours as well.
I try not to read things in the New York Times that are about people my age, New York City, or basically anything that doesn’t have to do with international politics. It’s just not where one should go for that kind of content. Most lifestyle coverage, when it’s not about what wealthy people should be buying, reads like the editors are trying to figure out what’s going on in the world by misinterpreting something their child said or did. The youngs are a huge mystery, only to be broached during a car ride through Greenwich: the NYT editor/parent asks, “And just who is this Skrillex? “
Over the weekend, the Times published a particularly mind-boggling piece about children moving back home after college. It suggested that a contract should be drawn up that outlines exactly what the expectations are of the parent for this feckless prodigal. Here are some suggestions of what the contract should cover:
“¶ What is your role in the house? Nonpaying guest or member of the family? What chores are you going to do? Grocery shopping? Cooking?
¶ What are you going to do to earn money in the short term if you can’t get a job in your desired career? Flip hamburgers? Walk dogs?
¶ What are you doing to pursue your desired career goals? Vocational training? Internships? Career counseling?”
Look at these irresponsible youngs, taking advantage of Mom and Dad’s generosity, chilling on their insurmountable student debt and thinking about what a sweet deal home is. It has On Demand and the family dog! Win-win. The level of condescension towards and complete lack of comprehension about recent graduates (and their outlook) is startling, even for the Times.
Now (FULL DISCLOSURE), I am a child who lives at home after graduating college. I lived at home for six months after college, moved out when I got a job, and then moved back in when I lost that job. I live at home not only because it is my economic reality, but also because the door is open to me. I know that option is not available for everyone, and I feel extremely lucky to be able to hang out with Zelda (the family dog) and watch Eastbound & Down (On Demand!). But I do these things while looking for work and trying to figure things out in a bleak (especially for young graduates) economy.
A contract between child and parent diminishes the relationship to simple tenancy. If that is how late-capitalism dictates we continue our familial bonds, then so be it, and all of our relationships to our parents (siblings, grandparents, etc.) should be inscribed on an MOA. The Times is not beating around the bush with this one. It’s a horrible, cold convention that completely misinterprets why children move home and who is at fault (if there really is one).
That’s not to say that a child living at home should simply be a strain on the affairs of the household, in some odd retribution for the failings of the previous generation (although, what a protest that would be, right? Everyone under 25 moves home until we pass some sort of student debt relief bill). You should be generous and understanding of the situation (walk the family dog, fix the cable when it breaks). If a parent needs a contract to have the child understand the situation, then they’ve raised an asshole (and whose fault is that?).
As a society we need to seriously begin reconsidering our family unit in light of the cost of tuition, the lack of jobs for young people, and the concentration of desirable jobs in two or three urban areas. When I lived on my own, I enjoyed some simple pleasures (I picture the veritable PARADE of sexual partners entering and leaving my bedroom, without the threat of an offer of breakfast or review of my baby pictures). But mostly I worried about making ends meet, unanticipated costs, a non-functioning bathroom, loneliness, and my shitty relationship with my landlord. I envied my friends who were still living at home. It’s the smart thing to do for people with limited means.
This scorn comes from a generation (and its mouthpiece) whose own economic misdeeds laid the groundwork for a crop of graduates with high debt and severely limited employment opportunities. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so absurd. Acknowledgment among recent graduates that moving home is a mark of economic prudence and not some sort of sad failure is what will set this generation apart from the follies and coldness of the previous one.
Deadbeats of the world, unite! Occupy your childhood home.