My 15 favorite books I read in 2016

Ordered by author:
Joan Didion – The White Album
F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Crack-Up
Tom Gauld – Mooncop
Steven Hyden – Your Favorite Band Is Killing Me
Joe Klein – Woody Guthrie: A Life
Cormac McCarthy – The Road
Bob Mehr – Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements
Marilyn Monroe – Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters
Thomas Pynchon – V.
Simon Rich – Ant Farm
Alex Ross – The Rest Is Noise
George Saunders – CivilWarLand In Bad Decline
Rob Sheffield – Love Is a Mix Tape
Mary Shelley – Frankenstein
Ian F Svenonius – Censorship Now!!


(via Hank Ballard – “The Twist”)

Year: 1959

“Ballard’s ‘The Twist’ (1959) was indeed the first completely alienated dance form. Instead of being part of a pair, line, couple, or group, twisters were dancers who were liberated from stifling community; they were individuals. The twist was a revolutionary force in breaking apart social units and enforcing individualist ideology. Though rock ‘n’ roll music had existed long before this dance, the introduction of the twist was a shift which punctuated a profound new beginning for rock ‘n’ roll: rock as a culturally enforced paradigm, which cut across race and class lines.

“…The pill is widely credited for launching the so-called sexual revolution and for sparking a new era of promiscuity and rebellion against the nuclear family unit and its oppressive gender roles. But the pill and the twist, along with other postindustrial dances, didn’t just encourage more sex without regard for pregnancy; they also parented a new relationship to sex. People engaged in intercourse with lots of different people not because they were newly carefree – there had been sex before this – but because dancing, the ancient ritualistic pantomime of intercourse and intimacy, was now an alienated action; an individualistic task where the participant was required to be alone, in a frenzied, masturbatory state, both highly stimulating and deeply depressing. The void was to be filled with actual fornication. The two phenomenon are therefore related: ‘The Twist’ (1959) made the pill absolutely necessary, while “the pill” (1960) made the world engendered by the twist manageable.”

–Censorship Now!! (2015)

Love him or hate him, Svenonius is always entertaining to read.