Did You Hear? Human Behavior

If you ever get close to a human

And human behavior

Be ready, be ready to get confused

And me and my hereafter

There’s definitely, definitely, definitely no logic

To human behavior

But yet so, yet so irresistible

1993 Bjork, introduced as “Bjerk,”  lead singer of the Sugarcubes, is as incredible then as she is today. She floats around the stage in front of several cartoon character ’90s musicians and just kills it. Also worth noting: the melody of this song is, for the most part, a whole step down from the arrangement, so if it feels like something is off, that’s probably why. And if it feels like something is awesome, that’s also probably why.

Brook Reeder

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HOT TAKES: Bob Dylan wins the Nobel Prize for Literature

When it comes to the awarding of something so prestigious as the Nobel Prize for Literature, there is no better source of commentary and reaction than Twitter. Here are the hottest takes on the hottest award of the year:

There was lots of speculation on who might win this year. Dylan was a longshot, to say the least. As one of the most comprehensive analyses of the field put it, “Bob Dylan 100 percent is not going to win. Stop saying Bob Dylan should win the Nobel Prize.”

But the answer my friend, came in from Sweden. The answer came in from Sweden:

Dylan was recognized for “new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

Some speculated on other contenders:  Continue reading

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THE FREE STUFF: Future Sex by Emily Witt


Future Sex is a collection of Emily Witt’s groundbreaking essays about the different ways young people are having sex, right now, today. And all of you broke-ass perverts are lucky, because 4 of the 8 essays are available online for free.

Internet Dating was originally published as “Diary” in the London Review of Books.

Internet Porn was originally published as “What Do You Desire?” in n+1.

Live Webcams was originally published as “Are You Internet Sexual” in Matter.

Burning Man was originally published as “Diary” in the London Review of Books.

You might also like Emily Witt’s New York magazine article about men who give up masturbation.

But if you want to read “Orgasmic Meditation,” “Polyamorists,” “Birth Control and Reproduction,” or “Future Sex,” you’ll have to get the book.

Brian Hurley is an editor at Fiction Advocate and Books Editor at The Rumpus.

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America This is Quite Serious: Humans of America

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There have been many, many offenses of this election cycle. But despite all the “locker room talk,” the most toxic and lasting harm comes from the growing hostility and dehumanization of the people we disagree with. It’s hard for things not to get this way, when coverage tends to focus on Whites Without a College Degree saying awful things about Latino Immigrants, or Millennials calling for the fall of Elites, or what Suburban Moms think of the whole thing.

I know we once all hoped that “there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America. …There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America” But I think it’s time to look hard at where we are. And hopefully, recognizing that we are in fact all those things will help us realize that we are in fact all those things.

That is what Bloomberg Businessweek* has attempted with “America Divided,” an entire issue dedicated to the election. As usual, their electronic presentation is stunning. It’s worth checking out for the design alone. Starting with numbers, “America Divided” dives headfirst into the human stories behind our microtargeted voter profiles.

It is a special issue in every sense of the word Continue reading

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Fallen In


When I first fell into the water, although I was perfectly aware that this was all really happening, it felt as though I was still stuck inside a dream. I’m walking along the road, lifting my feet with that sluggishness found in dreams, that heaviness caused by the water sloshing inside my rain boots. Neither sadness, fear, nor despair, but gravity, endless and immense, has taken hold of me. I’m wandering between the houses, their numbers painted on white signs. I must be lost. It seemed I’d experienced brutal acts but could no longer remember them. No, I was simply struck by the sense of memory’s intangibility, torn between struggling to recall certain events as something concrete, and the instinct to leave them safely in the nebulous past. But such dreams were nothing new for me, and I didn’t need to fight against the confusion; to a certain extent I actually enjoyed it. Even as the surface of the water broke my fall, I wasn’t afraid. I saw pots of limp geraniums on a windowsill, the white drapes drawn, glass dolls with scarily large pupils, and green Christmas candles. I waved. As firecrackers snapped in the middle of the road, a yellow tram went by. Benny ran barking along the water’s edge, where early bluebells bloomed between patches of unmelted snow. Nothing’s the matter, Benny. This is only a dream. But no sound emerged from my throat. Benny was barking even louder. He ran into the wood that grew by the water, gradually speeding up so that in the end he was nothing but a blurry white ball, revolving with the world’s axis as its center. What could have happened to upset him? I wanted to comfort him. My love, everything’s alright. Just wait there and I’ll come right back. There’s a good boy, my love. But Benny couldn’t hear me and streaked away, passing beyond my sight. Then the incongruous figure of a postman dressed all in yellow joined the scene. He’d parked his bicycle by the side of the road and was pressing the doorbell, holding the letters in one hand. There’s no one home, so he’ll just stick the letters in the mailbox; just as I was thinking this, I felt the first stab of the cold water, piercing the top of my head and the nape of my neck and the rim of my ears. The next moment I felt the weight of the water pull me under, cold hands seizing me and tugging me down. The cold was lethal, and my limbs were rapidly becoming numb. I’d fallen into the water, I knew this perfectly well, yet I kept on mechanically lifting my feet up and down. I imagined that I was walking down a flight of stairs—stairs of water, which were rapidly extending downward as I placed my feet on the next step. Without needing to look behind me, I knew that they were disappearing as I descended, that the section I’d passed had already dissolved into the water. The thought suddenly came to me that “returning” is merely a word, not something referring to a real possibility. I was going to mumble that something had gone wrong, but my frozen lips wouldn’t part. Icy water had seeped in between them when I first fell in, freezing them into immobility after my initial cry of distress. Water bearing the deep chill of midwinter, water that pierces and penetrates warm winter clothes, cold enough to carry off my soul. A devil was stabbing me with an ice poker. When I broke the surface I’d felt a pain as though my lips had been gashed on sharp rocks, as though a bone had broken in my left side, so extreme that I saw fireworks flash in front of my eyes.

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The Art of Waiting by Belle Boggs


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The Art of Waiting by Belle Boggs is an inquiry into fertility and motherhood. After years of trying to conceive without success, Boggs makes the difficult and expensive decision to utilize ART—assisted reproductive technology. As she takes this drastic step toward biological motherhood, she explores every option and decision.

“The life an infertile person seeks comes to her not by accident and not by fate but by hard-fought choices.” What begins as a first-person narrative shifts into a wider sociological view as Boggs struggles to make sense of her situation. “Baby fever is painful and all encompassing,” she writes. Boggs draws parallels between her fertility experience and the outside world. Her research is evident in passages from academic studies and online chat sites. Gorilla and marmoset birthing habits give way to a cultural exploration of motherhood. Boggs’s straightforward language and empathetic style create a steady voice, and she is unafraid of posing difficult questions when she considers the multitude of situations women face: Continue reading

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