Combs thinks his initial discomfort went largely unnoticed. “Frankly, I’m a tall, white male,” Combs said. “Coming here, I don’t think people had any correct preconceptions about where I was really from.”
Here’s a nice if unsurprising read about how students navigate class differences on the Yale campus—mostly by not talking about them, it turns out. The quote above doesn’t really have much to do with the story at large, but it stood out to me because I find it interesting that this blue-collar kid included his height as being something that helps him fit in with the richies in New Haven. It’s as important to him in that sentence as his white skin and his gender. Hm.
The third issue of SPOOK comes out a week from today. SPOOK is a black “literary arts mash-up” founded by Jason Parham, and the theme for this run is “home.” I’ve got a piece in there about a day I traveled to Saudi Arabia in 2008. Elsewhere in the issue there’s work from great writers like Josie Duffy, Mat Johnson, Victor LaValle, and Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts.
If you’re interested, you can pick up a copy in New York at places like PowerHouse, BookCourt, McNally Jackson, and others. You’ll also be able to order it online here.
My friend Sarah invented this magazine and very kindly asked me to be a contributor. For the debut issue I wrote about Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler and the complexities of being a black person trying to tell a black person’s story to white audiences, who occasionally reject characters of color as being “unrelatable.” If that doesn’t interest you, there are other pieces by Durga Chew-Bose and Sheila Heti, and some n00dz (not of me).
You can pick up a copy of Adulthere. I haven’t yet received my copy, but I’ve heard it’s very beautiful and good. You can also read more about the magazine here and here.
Someone put up an altar for Bob Guccione at Dia de los Muertos in Hollywood last night. The whole thing was incredible. I think Dia de los Muertos is my second-favorite holiday, after Thanksgiving and before the Fourth of July.
"I sent two small Learjets, one to Corsica to pick up Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and the other to Rome to pick up Jane Fonda and Roger Vadim. The next night, we had a much bigger party. I got 10 male friends of mine who were great dancers to come by themselves, because sometimes women like to dance and then men don’t, or don’t know how." She pauses. "Then, of course, in 1968 with the revolution, there were certain things in Europe that you couldn’t do anymore. You couldn’t have a big party without hurting people’s feelings, you couldn’t go around with a Rolls-Royce without being thrown eggs at."