Lisa Carver has a bunch of fanzines and books and stuff for sale on eBay and a lot of it is still 99 cents. Go shop!
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8IwrpqTfEYAda, after reading Lisa’s chicklit article, and spending a little time laughing meanly to myself about the genre being “about and for today’s lukewarmest girls,” I felt compelled to do two things:
- Listen to Fiona Apple sing “Mistake” on repeat. (Lines include “I’m gonna make a mistake/I’m gonna do it on purpose” and “I’m gonna fuck it up again.”)
- Re-read Deborah Solomon’s interview with Cyndi Lauper from a few years ago. In it, Solomon says, “I think of ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ as the first feminist-backlash song. It came out in the 80’s and goes against the preachy and high-minded tone of 70’s feminism.” Cyndi replies, “That’s not true! It’s totally feminist. It’s a song about entitlement. Why can’t women have fun?”
I was eight when that song came out, and I totally agree. Though the point I want to make here is that the song is actually about girls—a big focus of 90s feminism, from riot grrrl and Sassy to Carol Gilligan and the novel Girl. (An issue we might want to come back to in February when Marisa’s book on 90s music and girl power comes out.)
Ada, Lisa Carver is totally one of my favorite writers, and thinkers, of all time, and your description of her as the “most cheerfully dangerous person in the world” is so right on.
I read Dancing Queen for the first time the summer after I graduated from college. Lisa’s exuberant attitude made me totally rethink–and re-feel–many things I spent most of the 90s being monumentally depressed about.
Like, for example, sex, a topic on which she sounds like a kind of 90swoman Walt Whitman—good-natured, optimistic, endlessly curious. In one essay, she says she doesn’t regret one moment of her lousy early sex life. (This is a topic you and I might want to return to….) In another, she writes with glee—not shame—about stuffing her bra, being found out, then lying about it. When she says she thinks going to the gynecologist is hot because she likes “rough and cranky men,” I am totally, thoroughly charmed.
Wow, Kara, do you think we are ready to start talking about Lisa Carver, creator of the important zine Rollerderby, author of Dancing Queen, Drugs are Nice, and The Lisa Diaries, changer of lives, and one of the best writers in America today?
I know maybe I am biased because when I was in my twenties and flailing, Rollerderby encouraged me to be a certain kind of reckless that I found very emotionally healthy. Those zines were like these secret messages (there’s the 90s-as-stealth theme again) from the coolest, most maniacal, most cheerfully dangerous person in the world. Continue reading