Nicki Minaj is an icon of female empowerment

How Nicki Minaj Calls the Cultural Bluff

If I’m being honest, it is not often that I end up in a Nicki Minaj concert. I feel a certain self-consciousness about my surroundings. First, I am not dressed for the occasion, which is possibly the most understated thing I’ve ever written. Looking around, I get the sense that Mlle Minaj may well have created an entire economic niche for clothing designers who are good at combining Blade Runner Neon with Leopard Print. I don’t think I even own any clothes that I could possibly have worn, or that such clothes exist — I am male and in my…


Notes on the 2015 ISU DFW literary conference, plus stuff about the complexity of fandom and language.

“Everyone Has Flags Out”: Bloomington-Normal and its Geometric Forwardness

The American Midwest is flat and chequered. From an airplane it looks like a colourful chess board — it’s as if someone took a giant ruler, drew equidistant lines lengthwise as far as the ruler would take you, and perpendicular lines along the immense width of the land as far as the eye can see. It turned out these lines were roads. I have pictures.

In the flat of this flat is Illinois, and…


Certain Stuff about Public and Private Personae in Pop Culture

by Joseph Alexander

I never knew David Foster Wallace personally. But I do know an old friend of his. Through him, I have heard countless stories, even had tears in my eyes at one of them. I have seen Wallace’s handwriting on old workshop manuscripts from his early twenties. I have read some of his own manuscripts from his early twenties. But I only know him as a reader. And this turns out to be significant.

Wallace is the kind of author that readers either never get comfortable with or go absolutely apeshit for. Reading his work…

Joseph H. Alexander

Writer. On twitter @JosephHAlexande.

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