2 months ago
From the Arctic to the equator and on to the Antarctic, jellyfish plagues (or blooms, as they’re technically known) are on the increase. Even sober scientists are now talking of the jellification of the oceans. And the term is more than a mere turn of phrase. Off southern Africa, jellyfish have become so abundant that they have formed a sort of curtain of death, “a stingy-slimy killing field,” as Gershwin puts it, that covers over 30,000 square miles.-Tim Flannery's review of Lisa-ann Gershwin's new book, 'Stung!'. Things are happening in the ocean to change life as we know it. Sigh.
Commensalism or mutual benefit is a constitutive premise of housesitting, or maybe an enabling fiction. The housesitter is apt to recognize the opportunity as a private windfall, and the pleasure is tandem: first in his own dis-habituation, and then in the adoption of a new readymade home, a vacated life to try on. With the extra keys on his chain, the housesitter leaves work on a different train or by a new road, becomes a local in the café or dogpark, creates or stars in fantasies grown out of his new neighbors’ notice. In the new routines, a film has been removed from his self-understanding; he is available to experience. Initially, everything about housesitting is citational, as though in each activity in the house one carries quotation marks above his shoulder blades, like campy angel wings. Here I am “drawing the blinds”; now I think I’ll “separate” these “twist ties”; who am I exactly “taking” a “bath”?-Poet Brian Blanchfield on the queer desire aroused by housesitting