Dirt: Streaming Now
A new title from writer and critic Laurie Stone.
Excerpted from “Streaming Now: Postcards from the Thing That Is Happening” by Laurie Stone (Dottir Press, May 2022)
We watched a Danish show on HBO called The Investigation. The chief of police is telling the parents of a journalist their daughter may be dead, and everyone looks like a monument on Mount Rushmore–no expressions you can read, and no voices raised. I said to the man I live with, “Imagine this scene with Italians.” Then I said, “I should become more Danish.” He said, “It would help.”
An orange has been engineered so it’s easy to peel. It’s the ones that are hard to peel that hold our attention. I once answered an ad on Craigslist to visit the home of a stranger who was giving away tea. Not only tea, but the accoutrements of tea making, including kettles and pottery. He was in the business and had too much in his house, owing to circumstances I don’t need to tell you. He inhabited an entire brownstone in the West Village, and I was excited by the proximity of my abjection to luxury. He opened the door and led me to the parlor floor, where cartons were waiting. I couldn’t carry all the things I wanted and would have given to people I knew would use them. He was slight and looked weary. He said he had a cold and curled up on the couch. I was on the floor with the boxes. He said, “Are you dangerous?” I needed to give him something. I said, “Yes.”
A week ago I posted an image on Facebook of two baby owls. Two puffballs, their twig toes wrapped around a branch, with tiny triangular beaks and pinpoint eyes behind which it was easy to imagine wit and joy. Within seconds, the image prompted excited reactions–forty or fifty shares and shares of shares. Nothing I had posted before drew such a response, and I quickly resented the owls. On closer inspection, their beaks are mysterious. You don’t know if the small triangle is supposed to represent a nose or a mouth. They look as though they don’t have mouths, and I was reminded of the body artists David Wojnarowicz and Petr Pavlensky, who sewed together their lips as a form of protest. There is no telling where a chain of associations is going to wind up. — Laurie Stone