To be busted is to be broken, ugly, or arrested. To be busted is to be bankrupt or useless, ruined morally or financially. To be busted means that you’re done, finished, kaput; that you’re beyond repair.
To be busted is to be shit out of luck.
Everyone comes to the end of the line sooner or later; the trick is in figuring out whether you can draw a new one, whether or not you you get stuck steps away from the finish or find a new race to run. In this wintery economic climate, money can be the deciding factor, money might buy you all the luck you need. But of course, everyone has their debts to be paid, and money might not be enough. Chance is a slippery thing. You’ll just as likely fall flat on your face.
Hunter Thompson once described luck as “a very thin wire between survival and disaster.” And on July 23, The Disagreement will present Busted, an evening of readings and a film featuring characters trying to manage this delicate tightrope walk.
At Culturefix. We’ll start at 7.
Miles Klee is a reporter for the Daily Dot and author of the novel Ivyland, a finalist in the 2013 Tournament of Books. He contributes to Vanity Fair and Lapham’s Quarterly, while his short fiction has appeared in 3:AM, Unstuck, The White Review, Birkensnake, The Collagist, and Pinball.
Susannah Kemple works at The New Yorker magazine where, in the words of a friend, “It’s not like you actually write stuff. Oh, that came out harsh. Let’s talk about something else. Are you going to finish all your nachos?” Prior to coming to writing, Susannah worked as a German translator and a restorative justice study coordinator , and trained as a puppeteer with an avant-garde company, a job at which she did not excel.
Adam Dalva is a graduate of NYU’s MFA Program, where he was a Veterans Writing Workshop Fellow. He has written a novel, The Zero Date, and was an Associate Fellow at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. His work has been published in The Millions, Bodega, Connu, and elsewhere. Adam is also an 18th century French antiques dealer.
Jesse Wakeman is a New York based actor and artist, who recently completed his MFA at Columbia University. As an actor, Jesse has appeared in numerous shorts and feature films, and is currently collaborating with Kris on the feature version of Donald Cried. More info can be found at: www.jessewakeman.com.
Kris Avedisian is an award winning filmmaker who lives and works in Rhode Island. He has won awards at Slamdance, The Boston Film Festival, and various festivals. He is currently working with Jesse on the feature version ofDonald Cried, to be shot in winter 2015. www.donaldcried.com
When I started reading David Shapiro, I had no idea who he was. Maybe I still don’t.
Back then, the anonymity was by design: He was writing a Tumblr called Pitchfork Reviews Reviews, which used Pitchfork’s make-or-break music criticism to slingshot into lengthy disquisitions on the ways in which art invades or influences what we like to call “real life.” It quickly attracted more than 100,000 followers and landed its author in the New York Times.
Shapiro closely guarded his identity at this time, hoping to keep a clerical day job where he composed his essays via BlackBerry. With plans to attend law school, he also feared for his digital footprint. This privacy makes You’re Not Much Use to Anyone, a memoiristic novel that traces the rise and fall of his big-hearted blog, that much more confounding, though it manages to subvert more than one expectation. Welcome to Internet microfame, where status and satisfaction never quite align.
"A Manic Pixie Dream Girl is, like, a woman more interesting than oneself, yeah?”
"Exactly. An interesting woman with terrible taste in men."
Bill Buford /// Among the Thugs
Did I read this just because I heard about the biting-out-a-policeman’s-eye thing? Maybe. But also: a good reminder that I’m too pretty to fight.
Seamus Heaney /// District and Circle
Favorite part of poetry is that “getting it” constitutes the least of your concerns.
Rivka Galchen /// American Innovations
I liked her novel and probably like this even better and if I so much as saw her walking around uptown I would actually blush to death.
Elaine Dundy /// The Dud Avocado
"Is it OK to have the hots for someone who doesn’t exist?" and other surprisingly futuristic questions it seems like I shouldn’t be asking.
I mean, ethical consumerism, activism, whatever. It’s Bastille Day. Just cut off an aristocrat’s head.
The NF, I said finally. What do you think about holding a party for the National Front?
It’s an honor, she said, now clearly understanding. It’s an honor and a privilege.
This surprised me.
So she explained. The Green Man, she said, prided itself on being the most racialist pub in England. That was her word: racialist. There were other racialist pubs, she said. In fact, there were two more in Bury. But none was as consistently racialist as the Green Man. The Green Man, she continued, had never served a colored person. No black or Paki had ever had a drink at the Green Man. And everyone who worked at the Green Man was proud of its record. It was also why everyone regarded it as a privilege to hold a party here for the National Front. They felt they had earned it.
No wogs, her partner behind the bar added, perhaps for clarification.
That’s right, she said. No colored people of any description.
I was surprised. I had not expected to hear racism expressed so explicitly by people working behind the bar of a pub—one owned by a brewery that was itself a public company. The fact was I hadn’t expected to hear racism expressed so explicitly by people I had only just met, regardless of where they worked.
Bill Buford, Among the Thugs
At the back of a garden, in earshot of river water,
In a corner walled off like the baths or bake-house
Of an unroofed abbey or broken-floored Roman villa,
They have planted their birch grove. Planted it recently only,
But already each morning it puts forth the sun
Like their own long grown-up selves, the white of the bark
As suffused and cool as the white of the satin nightdress
She bends and straightens up, pouring tea,
Sitting across from where he dandles a sandal
On his big time-keeping foot, as bare as an abbot’s.
Red brick and slate, plum tree and apple retain
Their credibility, a CD of Bach is making the rounds
Of the common or garden air. Above them a jet trail
Tapers and waves like a willow wand or taper.
"If art teaches us anything," he says, trumping life
With a quote, “it’s that the human condition is private.”
Seamus Heaney, “The Birch Grove”