like a pair of bottle rockets

My name is Sophie. I'm a writer.

sophcw at gmail dot com



I’m sitting in my backyard on a beautiful day. Earlier I had brunch with my father who happens to be visiting from California and his college friends. Afterwards, my boyfriend and I walked through Central Park. We lay on the grass and I thought about us and all the people in the city and in the world and how small we all were, how small my little life is in comparison to the vastness of space, time, the universe. Then I got a text from my mom telling me my grandma had two more mini-strokes and might never remember who I am again. 

Now I’m sitting here with this stray cat as my neighbor plays pop punk and Katy Perry out her window. I should be working on an essay, and I just found out I’m writing another piece for a big deal publication. 

The neighbor started playing The Dodos. I remember when I drove down to San Francisco to see them at Amoeba. The cat is stalking something in the grass.

How strange it is, etc. 

“Online, however, intersectionality is overwhelmingly about chastisement and rooting out individual sin. Partly, says Cooper, this comes from academic feminism, steeped as it is in a postmodern culture of critique that emphasizes the power relations embedded in language. “We actually have come to believe that how we talk about things is the best indicator of our politics,” she notes. An elaborate series of norms and rules has evolved out of that belief, generally unknown to the uninitiated, who are nevertheless hammered if they unwittingly violate them. Often, these rules began as useful insights into the way rhetorical power works but, says Cross, “have metamorphosed into something much more rigid and inflexible.” One such rule is a prohibition on what’s called “tone policing.” An insight into the way marginalized people are punished for their anger has turned into an imperative “that you can never question the efficacy of anger, especially when voiced by a person from a marginalized background.””

This article makes me want to cry, I’m not sure from despair or from relief that someone wrote it. 



The thing about all this WRITING FOR / ABOUT MONEY stuff we’ve all been discussing for the last couple years (and now here at Scratch) is that there’s been so much Younger Single People Career Anxiety. Which is fine and normal but you can always go live in a house with five other people and not own a car and eat ramen and do whatever you have to do to “make it” if you want it badly enough, and maybe there is no “making it,” but there is certainly “get a few months of savings in the bank, do good work, make the right connections and feel pretty decent about paychecks generally working out for the next week/month/year while you keep doing this crazy thing forever.”

I skipped the ramen years because I don’t have college debt (sorry) and I got a full-time journalism job right out of college (not sorry) and generally broke even on freelancing after I got laid off because I drive a Toyota and don’t have cable and go to concerts for free (because it’s my job). I never worried about money until I got married and stopped caring about my career more than my family. Now worrying about money is an ocean with no horizon. So take it easy out there, folks. You’re doing great. 

I find this post incredibly condescending. I don’t have college debt, although I do have several thousand dollars’ worth of medical debt. I live in an apartment with other people who mostly hate me, but I can’t afford to move out because it would cost several thousand dollars after factoring in security deposits and mover expenses. I don’t own a car. I don’t have cable. I don’t go to concerts anymore because I can’t afford to. I’ve done the ramen thing. The prospect of having several months of savings in the bank is about on par, in terms of likeliness, with the prospect of being Britney Spears and getting several million dollars for an endorsement, So is the prospect of “[keeping] doing this crazy thing forever,” or for another year or month or even a week. 

Given all of this, it is very difficult, even impossible, to “take it easy.” Nor am I doing great. So I don’t particularly understand what I am expected to do here.

Yeah I’m pretty much on Katherine’s level with this. If you think that “having a few months rent” in your savings is “toughing it out” or something I pretty much can’t relate to you. Having to continually worry about when I’ll next have to borrow money from someone who doesn’t really have much to lend while trying to constantly brainstorm how to make enough to pay rent in two weeks while still eating doesn’t especially lend itself to feeling ok enough to “do this forever,” or even like, another year. Everything isn’t terrible: I also don’t have college debt (nor a degree), I have incredibly generous people in my life and I get to do some things because I live in New York and there is more cool stuff to do for free/cheap than other places. But yeah, I wake up early or can’t fall asleep and think about how I can keep this whole thing going. And I’m not even trying to “make it,” I’m just trying to live. 

Deriding or making fun of the actually useful parts of “hipster” (aka young intellectual) culture (such as an interest in activism, making things they use themselves, challenging whatever norms even if it’s via criticism of popular culture or fashioning themselves in a way that doesn’t fit with the status quo) is going to end up biting us all in the ass. We get it, the shit they make fun of on Portlandia is ridiculous. So we should all just stop buying stuff locally and go back to relying on long supply chains that originate with slave labor. So we should all blindly accept what authority tells us to do. So we should all adhere to whatever the status quo is in case we look too silly or someone makes fun of us. So we should confine our efforts to anonymous angry Tumblr rants so no one can point at us and say we look just like those other people who should just grow up and realize they can’t change anything. What a sensible move. I’m sure things will continue to go as well as they have been so far. 

“You likely remember the hysterias caused by GTA—the crimes it got blamed for, the won’t-somebody-think-of-the-children rhetoric. (You may also remember that some of the more important works of narrative art of the 20th century were the subject of outright bans, a la Ulysses and Lolita, but that’s another story.)”

In the least surprising turn of events ever, Vice lets some bro wax nostalgic about rebelling against his parents by getting some older dude to buy him GTA as a teenager. Good 4 u dude. 

Newsflash: a game that reinforces consumerism, capitalism, sexism, classism, patriarchy, the drug war, the military industrial complex and lack of gun control is essentially the least radical or subversive thing that could ever happen. 

Apparently last night the apartment above ours on the 5th floor of our building flooded, somehow. The water went through the 4th floor, through our floor, and apparently hit the apartment below us as well. It was A LOT of water, and now the walls are stained with what I hope is dirt and all our books are scattered around the kitchen and the musical instruments had to be moved. The floor is still wet. I am moving out of this apartment in less than two months. 

didn’t apply to any jobs today because i couldn’t tell which were just kind of terrible sounding and which were TOO terrible sounding, but at least i got an interview for one that seems kind of ok