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I'm not observant enough for journalism.

evan(dot)bryson (at)gmail(dot)com

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Sep
25th
Thu
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I probably would not even recommend On Fire to my fellow Teen Wolf super fans. But it does bring up what I consider to be a very important question about extended universes and fandom. Namely, what is the purpose of the tie-in in a world where fan fiction has become the standard for extra-textual material? […]

I would like to proclaim the tie-in novel as dead, as a relic of a time before the internet allowed television viewers to piece together various texts to create canon. I think about the work of my favorite Teen Wolf fan fic writers – Kouri Arashi, draxal, the partnership of Sxymami909 and xtremeroswellian – and how, even if their plotlines cannot be canonized, their insights into characters and relationships can be. On Fire gives us a backstory for Derek Hale and Kate Argent, and a lesser backstory for Scott and Stiles. But it is only one possible backstory among thousands that have been established on the show and in multiple corners of the internet. The only difference is commercialization. Nancy Holder makes money for her work; most fan fiction writers do not. But the reverse is also true: MTV paid Holder; they do not pay a dime to the fan artists they reblog. So not only is the tie-in novel a relic of an older system of universe expansion and canonization, it is also a relic of a entirely different and outdated (though fairer) economic model. How can the tie-in be justified in such a new world?

Frankly, it can’t. Perhaps it is time to consider the tie-in an antique, a victim of its own revolution in how we consume and contextualize art.

— Beth Towle continues her descent into the Avernus of Teen Wolf fandom, this time with a poignant critique of Nancy Holder’s tie-in novel On Fire.
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Dear Pixel Union—

Last night I sent you an angry/snide customer service email describing my frustration with editing your Rainier theme. A very lovely theme, all told. The fix—if I had bothered to read any of your promotional materials—was easy and intuitive; it required one click. On an options box. Clearly located on the left-side of the screen.

I am sorry I was rash and condescending.

I’m putting a site together for a professor of neurobiology. I want it to look just right—just how she imagined her site, when she purchased the custom theme. I was feeling very insecure about her investment. I was also feeling overwhelmingly incompetent—trying to plug in a custom domain name; finding images that weren’t fuzzing; corralling links. In any event—it’s going to work out. I came into the office this morning and there was a lot of leftover cake from someone’s birthday. 

Cordially,

Evan

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Sep
23rd
Tue
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Dear Kathryn—

Have you read Brenda Coultas’ poetry collection The Marvelous Bones of Time? She has a series of ghost stories therein—ghosts, monsters, demons, angels—and all are, ostensibly, true. Some of the monsters are in Indiana, others are in California, and there’s a few in Louisiana. They multiply. In one encounter, a woman gets lost in the Winchester Mystery House and meets a spirit that pins her in a corner and spits in her hair until her friends rescue her. Another woman, walking along a suburban street at night, sees a blue devil under a tree. One of my favorite lines: “A teenager was driving home through the woods when he saw a very tall mechanical creature in the rearview mirror.” 

Haven’t we all been that teenager? When my father was just starting out as a heating and air conditioning repairman, he made long treks through the river valleys of the tri-state area, driving to any job after answering any call. One evening at about this time of year, he was making his way on 229 between Oldenburg and Peppertown (a notorious backwoods), and he drove past a witch in the dusky light: A woman dressed all in black levitated two or so feet above the ground on the side of the road. “She was a witch,” says my father, when you ask him to explain why or how; “She gave me a look like—” and he doesn’t say; “She disappeared when I drove by.” My father is a sheriff’s deputy now, and how often he needs negotiate with the paranormal would be more touching if it were less persistent. Or perhaps the persistence is touching. Union County—his employer—has a large reservoir like a rent in its south-western quarter, where cancer suicides and desperate jailbirds and distracted teenagers and scared mothers go to drown, driving recklessly off dead-end roads or jumping off causeways on winter nights. The freezing depths take them and keep them. The water magnifies everything—the wind, the sky, the stars—it calls people into its bowl, and then it kills them, and then they come back. Or whatever is there calls out, echoes. (I don’t necessarily take this view—it makes it seem like there is “Evil.” And that’s so simple and dramatic, when what I meant to emphasize is the prosaic.) 

I listened to your interview on “The Bat Segundo Show” where you talk about growing up in Philadelphia—”There could have been a sorcerer who came and messed around with the souls of the young people”—and while fantastic, an analogue presents itself: there could have been a lake that made unhappy people kill themselves. There could have been a guy that molested teens. There could have been tractor accidents that crippled infants. There could have been heavy metals in the soil in the parks. Etc. But then—there are screams coming out of the Hannah House, unoccupied for years; and the abandoned ball room of the Bell rental property, the phonograph can still be heard turning, and the revelers still dancing; and ghouls are in the mirrors of the house on Turkey Run; and an OD who died of heroin four years ago is still wandering College Corner, asking for a light.  

All best,

Evan

P.S. —— did end up falling in love with me. But so did —— and —— and ——. And also ——, of course.

P.P.S. I am glad you wrote today.

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Sep
20th
Sat
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One of my very favorite things in this world is a small clamp light. I briefly wore one attached to my jeans’ pocket today.

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I am shooting a music video today with Night Auditor

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Sep
17th
Wed
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The Bookforum interns also work at the Times.

The Bookforum interns also work at the Times.

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Sep
14th
Sun
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Sep
12th
Fri
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Probably this is more than common we let on—but you come to a hotel, you like all the mirrors, you ask yourself: how exceptional do I look in this lighting? What little project can I make for myself while waiting for Kate to meet me downtown? Might I document this lonely flattering light? Why didn’t I get a per diem for food—I’ve got the corner suite—I’m a “Starwood Preferred Guest”—breakfast is free. What else is free. “2MB” of internet is free. I should shower and fix my hair. I should put in another diamond earring. The Irish Fest is happening two blocks down. Someone just sang the most keening version of “Wicked Game”—singing “I don’t wanna fall in love/with you”—and now, sixteen stories below, in the Military Park where they seem to be having this karaoke contest, someone has utterly emphasized Tom Petty’s line “with them Indiana boys on them Indiana nights.” 

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Sep
10th
Wed
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One of the banners I made has my housemate’s face on it. Taking this photo was really difficult for Tori because I kept murmuring “bae caught me slippin” while she pressed her eyes closed. I don’t know if she sleeps with bracelets on or not—I should have brushed them out. I made 8 unique 80”-tall banners for a race this weekend in Indianapolis, and I like this one the least, not for Tori—for its dull color.

This was a tops day despite the rain—you can see my good shoe is soaked through—and I was very jazzed that my banners didn’t come out torn up or fuzzed over; that they retract and stand. I also felt incredibly smug about getting to drive through the gates at the back of campus, wending my way to the parking circle of the Main Building. I always imagined who those people are who park right at the Dome—the President? (He walks over from graduate student housing; true story.) The Dean? (I also always wondered who makes all those corporate-exec style PR banners; it’s me.)

When I ferried the banners back into my trunk and tried to start my car this evening, its battery was dead. Campus security had to come and jump it for me. I took off my dress shirt and remained pacific in the crisp, tight white undershirt beneath, while the officer hooked up cables. I had forgotten, too, that I was wearing a shirt Allison made me for my birthday—screen printed on the shirt’s back is “I AM THE FUCKING NARRATOR.” I had felt the officer was short with me, at first—brusque. Then he warmed to me when I used my Hoosier accent, as I spoke softly and inquiringly. “I won’t burn up changing the battery, touching these screws?” It was probably the shirt that threw him.

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