Reveries From the Necropolis

The walker-writer cannot help seeing, superimposed over the present edifice, its former incarnation, and he/she sings the necropolis, the litany of all those torn down Pennsylvania Stations and Les Halles marketplaces that goes: Lost New York, Lost Boston, Lost Tokyo, Lost Paris.” Philip Lopate

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A path within Green-Wood looking towards Valley Water

As Philip Lopate points out in his book “Waterfront”, Manhattan streets echo with the whispers of a past that is no longer visible, and in walking there, we delight in finding clues to what came before. By contrast, Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn was designed around the delight that comes from wondering what might lie around the bend. The walker is compelled to keep traveling along the curve, drawn forth by the allure of famous names and Gothic wonders, from one resplendent angel to the next. With its rolling hills and incomparable vistas, there are few lovelier settings for a rambling stroll. …


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Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine and one of their child co-stars

I loved the first season of Pen15 and I anticipated the release of the second season (all seven episodes of which came out Hulu on September 18th) with a giddy impatience that I don’t think I have experienced since the impending release of the Blink182 album Take off Your Pants and Jacket*. The show stirs within me viscerally embarrassing sense-memories of behaviors and feelings from my own adolescence that I have since grown out of, which in some cases was absolutely necessary and in others may have been a mistake.

The two existing seasons keep the main characters, Anna and Maya, in 7th grade and while the characters themselves have not matured in any significant way, the second season deepens the exploration of the unique, emotionally-haywire experience of being 12 or 13. It gets funnier and uglier and more uncomfortable. I’ll admit I had to put my fingers in my ears and hum more than once because at 32 years old I am a big baby with no shame. …


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Student in classroom raising hand. Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Opening Notes

I am somewhat of an anomaly amongst my peers in that I have worked at the same company for 7 years, and I advanced from an entry-level job into a position of expertise. The more common approach seems to be to leverage work experience to level up to a more prestigious company, to get an advanced degree in order to endow oneself with authority within a given field, or to just continue bouncing around laterally in search of superior perks. The first approaches are good if you have very specific ideas about what you want to be doing, if you need your job to be something that sounds a certain way when you talk about it, or if it’s all about money. …


How Big Box Stores Destroy Our Political Imagination

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Box stores were not created for our convenience. They were created to consolidate profit. They are not a gift bestowed upon us by benevolent Capitalist Overlords that saves us from the trouble of having to shop from multiple retailers; they are a trap meant to blur the line between necessity and indulgence. Consumerism is not the problem. The problem is that our ability to compartmentalize our needs and wants has been systemically under attack since the dawn of Industrialization. …


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Photo by Daniel Monteiro on Unsplash

When I was 11 or 12 years old and my cultural conscience was just beginning to blossom, I often indulged in a fantasy in which I was interviewed by Carson Daly on Total Request Live. The fantasy was not that I would somehow get a record deal, a hit single, and a Hot video; it was literally just that I, a pre-teen girl with no accolades under my belt beyond some victories in the Vermont junior sports scene and an appearance leading a miniature horse in the Warren 4th of July Parade, would be asked about my actual life on National television. At the time, TRL seemed like the thing my peers were most likely to see, which wasn’t even necessarily true. I myself did not have MTV in my home at that time and only watched at select friends’ houses. It just wasn’t a premium cable kind of town. It was a fantasy which, if fulfilled, would lead to nothing positive and probably WOULD have resulted in some bullying. …


originally published on my personal site: Unsaltedmag.com

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Photo by Thomas Lefebvre on Unsplash

Casey’s fingers drum with tactical precision over the keyboard of their Macbook Air and their lower lip tenses into a straight line of righteous indignation. It’s time to respond to a comment on their friend’s post left by a peripheral member of one of Casey’s online communities. The comment exposes a grotesque flaw in that person’s otherwise benign facade. The fool! They’ve left themselves wide open. But what to say? How to best convey that this other user, this malicious infiltrator, should feel humiliated? Tell them to delete it? …


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Photo by David Menidrey on Unsplash

Part of the genius of 3rd Rock from The Sun is that they keep the details vague enough that sci-fi purists would never be tempted to take them to task while using their characters’ status as non-human to break rules that might otherwise apply to a sitcom. If you’re not familiar with the show, all you need to know is that four aliens come to Earth on a mission to collect information on human society. They are aiming for average so they choose the last name Solomon and live in an Ohio town that has enough going on to create a living environment for their characters, but not so much that it doesn’t make sense why the human characters on the show tolerate them. …


The Permanent Impact of Violent Chauvinism

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It’s Permanent.

Recently, I was watching a series called “Great Greek Myths”. I am not a scholar of Ancient Greece so I cannot speak to the overall quality of the program, but I can say that they did not shy away from the word “rape”, which means it is already a lot more accurate than many accounts. I thought back to how these stories were presented to me in school, and wondered what the point is of teaching a version of something to children that skews or obscures the intended meaning. …


Reveries of an Early Person

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Photo by Ioana Cristiana on Unsplash

When I was in elementary school, we learned about the personal hula-hoop of space in the context of recognizing abuse, bullying, and learning about consent. I said FUCK your hula-hoop, and fuck your notions of “good touch”. I have a bubble, and my boundaries extend beyond contact. Don’t come in my bubble. I won’t come in your bubble. Ideally, our bubbles won’t even touch.

I consider my bubble an extension of my body, and I assume that everyone else has their own bubble that is roughly an equal size to mine. I imagine that our bubbles are made of rubber and that the polite barrier of space between two people is far enough apart that the bubbles would not bounce off one another. Unless you are standing behind me or you are standing between me and somewhere I need to be and I’m certain you can’t hear me, I am going to take the long way around you, leaving room for both of our bubbles. I don’t care who the fuck you are or what the fuck you look like. We all deserve a wide buffer. We are three-dimensional beings. We breathe and spit and sweat and shed dead skin. Why is it considered misanthropic to want a generous allotment of personal space? I can love and respect my fellow man from over here. …


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Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Part I: America Just Needs a Good Therapist

I think a lot of people are afraid to imagine what a society would look like if it was built around their own ideological beliefs. Everyone wants to believe that they’re a good person, and when some people reach down and summon their deepest wishes, they only find unilateral concern for their own comfort. I think everyone knows somewhere within themselves that it is wrong, bordering on evil, to act purely in their own interest. …

About

Sophia Sailer

On twitter: @gulduthot

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