Saturday XXI • 5 August 2007

It’s the middle of a long coffee-shop shift on the east side—Silverlake—where everything is more chill and much more hot. Same screenwriter-density as coffee shops on the west side, only over here they’re talking about porn scripts and graphic novels, and on the west side they’re pitching big film ideas. Over here is where you end up if you’re a “working class” screenwriter: you stay on the west if you have a trust fund to soak up your months of non-productivity while you try to land something big.

The most brilliant sociologist alive (IMVHO) sneaks out of his Bel-Aire house on Saturday nights and sits at Starbucks, pretending to be a screenwriter. I wonder if he knows that he had to put his document in courier, zoom to 150% and switch to an iBook to look the part.

Anyway, working today. Conference next week and, although I’ve already decided to buck the powerpoint trend, the research I submitted in April looks nothing like what’s in hand now. So I need to figure out something to say.

A few links accumulated over the week.

? As mentioned, the Jack White thing works for me. The best track on the new record is “You Don’t Know What Love Is.” The video was out this week and doesn’t really make sense, but I love the marine tundra background and his little performer’s smirk.

? Tova mentioned that the memory of labor and delivery pain isn’t quite real, as if it happened to someone else. Been thinking about this today, wondering if it’s the same with the memory of non-pain for someone with a “cronic” ailment. In any case, isn’t there some hormone that makes you disconnect from how much it really hurt, so you’ll do it again? Turns out progesterone has all kinds of good brain-uses.

? Are economists really the “rock stars of academia”? Some day, we’ll tire of their just-so stories, which is why Tyler Cowan is already grasping for pithiness. It’s interesting, this NYMAG profile. It clarifies crisply that the economistic disposition is to see life in terms of scarcity; and Cowan beautifully illustrates the dilettantish jumpiness this creates when you put it in to practice in all areas of your life. I know someone who began life as a survivor, and even in the midst of plenty (love, money, happiness, creativity, space, friends) lives as if all resources are scarce. This means there’s always a question of “What can I get out of this?” operating in relationships, that satisfaction is never possible, that there’s no point in action that doesn’t better her position. Seriously, too much economics will ruin your life.

? Finally, the beautiful blogger Theresa L. Duncan, the Wit of the Staircase, ended it on July 10. This floored me. Her boyfriend, artist Jeremy Blake, walked into the Atlantic the following week, and washed ashore days later. I’ve been hoping for some kind of story on this, but it seems that nobody really knew these people intimately, and that while they were widely admired, they were not loved. All the LAWeekly has to say, a month after the fact, is that she was something of a fraud. A rememberance in the LATimes is slightly more interesting.