Bulletpoints of the Woman as a Young Artist

chicken 2



This is where I am:

  • Excited by: David Foster Wallace, Jefferey Eugenides, Gene Wilder, Sloane Crosley, Harold Brodkey, Susan Orlean, Tim and Eric, smart television writing and the art of sitcom, Bea Arthur, all things Cleese (Python, Fawlty Towers), Joan Didion, mentor Blanche Boyd and the host of brilliant professors and teachers I will always sing about, Jonathan Swift, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Tyler Moore, Sam Mendes, pop anthropology, good apologies, workings of the body, performance, Jonathan Ames, Dorothy Parker, Woody Allen, Hunter Thompson, Ephron, Fitzgerald, Nabokov, Hitchcock, hat, shoe, FOOD, HOME, SLKFlSS;dfk
  • I get impossibly mean when I play board games.
  • I used to do an okay Jimmy Stewart when I dreamt of working as an impressionist but well, I discovered the trickiness of a, a, a little girl taking that on the road, and also lassoing the moon is much harder than it would seem.
  • My family raises up storytellers like state fair competition chicken.
  • I once heard about a friend’s brother who joined the army, went off to war somewhere, and was sidelined to a desk job after sustaining a pretty rough injury. As it turns out, he tore his ACL while dancing to a Sheryl Crowe song on a table on his off night. I went nuts for that.
  • “Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, your story will get pneumonia.” – Vonnegut
  • I have the incongruous combination of a head like a pan of Jiffypop and a mouth like a cement mixer. Everything fires off faster than I can scrape it out.
  • I wrote a column for McSweeney’s in high school and am college-ing in Connecticut.
  • I got a bloody nose while writing this and then sneezed and now my computer is a crime scene.



I Am Going to Stomp Your Face and You Are Going to Like It

Unflattering BeyonceHehe. After a series of unfortunate clicks, I came to the unflattering Beyonce pics saga–Yes, I know, late late. First thing that comes to mind is HELL YES. I mean, excuse me, but the girl has passed by the reclining in nude repose stage and stomped into get her freak on and watch yourself, motherfucker, or I will stomp your face in. Get it. Get it good stage. If I were Beyonce’s publicist, I’d start a fake “take down the unflattering photos” campaign while starting a Beyonce will stomp your face campaign. Wow. I’m going to now go practice my Beyonce-Hulk in the mirror. These are my new favorite photographs of Beyonce.

It brings to question what is acceptable portraiture of female in today’s media. And in studying the multiple Superbowl 2013 photographs of Beyonce’s kick your ass/sexy dance it appears that “acceptable” means acquiescent. The photographs that have been deemed unflattering seem to have two things in common. Too much jaw. Too much muscle. Hmm.

Now I will agree that the quizzical disgust look is less than appealing for a man who wants to fantasize. They want their sexual fantasies to lie back and take it good.  Yes, the hulk look does not speak womansexgoddess in a traditional male fantasy sense. But it does speak whatthehelldudebackthefuckoff sense. And herein lies the conundrum. Beyonce and her publicity team must pander to the football crowd. Demographic? He-men of the universe who either played football at one time or fantasized about playing football at one time and no where in this equation is a woman on the field except on the sideline with short skirts, breasts out, jumping and jiggling with sweet, come hither smiles. Hmm. 

Beyonce is giving them something they do not expect. Bad ass Lucy Lawless with a side show of disgust that would be at home on say, Saturday Night Live. Imagine Beyonce with her friends, hanging out, Beyonce standing up and entertaining them with an “ugly moment.” Or some idiot just said something truly repugnant toward women and instead of responding with the “grace” the public so desires of its females, she puts on her sarcasm. And so on. Oh yeah. Get it good.

The media is inundated with traditional fuckmeboysbecauseIamyoursextoyandIpromisetolikeit photographs of Beyonce and so many female celebrities. Beyonce may not have planned for this photo shoot, yes, but it is balls out the best shoot I’ve seen in a long time. If she asked me, I’d say embrace it. Keep it coming.


Rae Bryant is the author of The Indefinite State of Imaginary Morals (Patasola Press). Her work has appeared or is soon forthcoming in The Paris Review (Online), McSweeney’s, StoryQuarterlyBLIP Magazine, Gargoyle Magazine, and Redivider, among other publications.


The Nervous Breakdown | Adrien Brody, Adrien Brody, and Adrien Brody’s Nose: Critical Essay on Pop Culture, Technology and Lacanian Conceit in Literature

Rae Bryant Website Coverpage


Before attempting to delve into the annals of critical theory, first I must comment on the title, “Adrien Brody,” because I adore Adrien Brody, the actor. I find him and his nose intriguing. I like the shadow-facets of his characters, and how he can bring a full body of darkness to his “good” characters. For this reason, Marie Calloway’s story, “Adrien Brody” (MuuMuu House), spoke to me from the title alone. I also like the aesthetics of modern technology within the landscapes of fictional narratives. I like when writers experiment with this and find new ways to creatively tell a story. I applaud writers who divulge themselves and others in a “real” sense. They are called journalists, memoirists, creative nonfiction writers, and they are to be celebrated when their crafts are true and their intentions are bigger than themselves. Likewise for a fiction writer, the intentions must be equally rigorous, true, and focused on the story. Always the story. To write any other way is masturbatory and easy and pedestrian and sloppy. And when a writer finds herself between the categories of the real and the imaginative, the possibilities are exciting, such as when a writer represents herself as a character within her own narrative—but here there is a backdoor danger. She opens herself for reader responses, not only to her story and craft, but also to her personally, as an entity aside from her art, and this is the place where academic objectivism becomes gray, where critical responses, perhaps more so than in other venues, lose the “gentleman’s code.” Apparently, the code has been lifted in response to “Adrien Brody,” as the code has been lifted for many online debates over form and style and story and writer “legitimacy.” Is it a case of digital diarrhea? Have we lost our good manners when responding to works because it is simply too easy to write whatever pops into our minds and then quickly click ‘send’? Is this an excuse? Read the full essay at The Nervous Breakdown.