January 10, 2020

"Tweaking out in Florida, she becomes fixated on abolishing the death penalty; she tweezes out all her leg hairs individually; she spends days online tracking the status of Mir, the Russian space station."

"In the clarity of recovery, she announces, 'I think I am ten times prettier than I actually am.' She wonders if maybe all the mess she’s made will be worth it—maybe she’ll have produced a work of genius. 'Trouble is, you never know,' she writes. 'You never know until it’s all done.'.... I was always terrified of the way she spoke about death, as if it were a joke she’d been telling to the devil for years.... 'I have always made choices without considering the consequences, because I know all I get is now,' she wrote, at the close of her essay for New York, seven years ago. 'Maybe I get later, too, but I will deal with that later. I choose pleasure over what is practical. I may be the only person who ever went to law school on a lark. And I wonder what I was thinking about with all those other larks, my beautiful larks, larks flying away.'"

From "The Chaotic, Beautiful Larks of Elizabeth Wurtzel" by Jia Tolentino (in The New Yorker).

27 comments:

rhhardin said...

Wearing shorts would have been good.

mccullough said...

Turns out she was right.

Nonapod said...

I imagine being an attractive women (or an attractive man) gives you a somewhat distorted view of reality. You get a lot more attention, both positive and negative. Certain things come easier for you than they would for other people, but on the flip side you'll also have to deal with resentment and suspicions that any status you have wasn't earned but gifted to you due to your appearence.

Tom T. said...

I initially read this as referring to Elizabeth Warren.

tim maguire said...

That quote makes me like her. And she is pretty, even if not 10 times prettier.

Mattman26 said...

I enjoyed law school, but I think it's a bad "lark" candidate.

William said...

I never read any of her books, but it certainly seem that she had an impact on her readers. As a writer, she was not a failure. Her early death had nothing to do with depression. One can argue that she led a brave and successful life.

BADuBois said...

Considering Mir came down March 2001, I wonder how much time she spent obsessing over it...

MayBee said...

Blogger BADuBois said...
Considering Mir came down March 2001, I wonder how much time she spent obsessing over it...


Very weird, right?

Ann Althouse said...

"Considering Mir came down March 2001, I wonder how much time she spent obsessing over it..."

The quote is from an essay in “More, Now, Again,” published in 2001.

Ann Althouse said...

She was probably watching the news when there were a lot of reports of Mir coming down.

I don't remember that, but I remember when Skylab falling was an obsessive news event.

"Skylab's demise in 1979 was an international media event, with T-shirts and hats with bullseyes[7] and "Skylab Repellent" with a money-back guarantee,[152] wagering on the time and place of re-entry, and nightly news reports. The San Francisco Examiner offered a $10,000 prize for the first piece of Skylab delivered to its offices; the competing San Francisco Chronicle offered $200,000 if a subscriber suffered personal or property damage.[6] A Nebraska neighborhood painted a target so that the station would have "something to aim for", a resident said." (Wikipedia)

Ann Althouse said...

"Stan Thornton found 24 pieces of Skylab at his home in Esperance, and a Philadelphia businessman flew him, his parents, and his girlfriend to San Francisco where he collected the Examiner prize.[5][7] The Miss Universe 1979 pageant was scheduled for July 20, 1979 in Perth, and a large piece of Skylab debris was displayed on the stage."

Ann Althouse said...

BONUS: Belushi prepares for the fall of Skylab.

Ralph L said...

For a minute, I thought the post title was about Meghan Markle.

Kevin said...

The whole reason she ever had a high level career was essentially r/upvotedbecausegirl.

I mean, she was hot enough, I guess. It's just sad that that's all it takes, really. Yet women complain about it! At least they have that as an option.

MadisonMan said...

On the subject of death, celebrity, I just read that Buck Henry died a couple days ago. (sad)

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I have always made choices without considering the consequences, because I know all I get is now,' she wrote, at the close of her essay for New York, seven years ago. 'Maybe I get later, too, but I will deal with that later. I choose pleasure over what is practical.

Talk about female privilege!
The joke is that women have rights and men have responsibilities. Well...I mean plug a moderately-talented man into Wurtzel's role and tell me he'd be celebrated, encouraged, lionized as she was/is--different story, no?

Empowerment and self-fulfillment are for women (and, notably, women of a certain class); the rest of us are supposed to keep the lights on and clean up after their messes. That's fine, I guess, but asking us to THANK them for the opportunity to serve is maybe a bit much.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...She was probably watching the news when there were a lot of reports of Mir coming down.

I don't remember that, but I remember when Skylab falling was an obsessive news event.


Can't find the full scene right now, but that's a pivotal plot point in the movie Wet Hot American Summer.

Unrelated scene:
WHAS - Chain of Love

Kevin said...

HoodlumDoodlum, well put.

Howard said...

Yes, Mad Man. Buck Henry was a force of nature. Just re-watched Catch-22. Holds up well.

Phidippus said...

HoodlumDoodlum: "... the rest of us are supposed to keep the lights on and clean up after their messes. That's fine, I guess, but asking us to THANK them for the opportunity to serve is maybe a bit much."

Any surprise that women like cats so much?

Phidippus said...

Question: Does anybody go to engineering school for a lark?

"Hey, I signed up for a vector calculus course on a lark. You only live once!"

I mean, vector calculus is elegant and beautiful in its way but the above scenario seems far-fetched.

Sebastian said...

"In the clarity of recovery, she announces, 'I think I am ten times prettier than I actually am.'"

So what did she think in the obscurity of illness? That she was 20 times prettier?

"'I have always made choices without considering the consequences, because I know all I get is now,'"

Obviously, girl didn't check her privilege.

"I choose pleasure over what is practical."

Which is how she ended up with the pleasure of no family, no assets, and no nearby friends.

Could have used more Prozac.

Bob Smith said...

Ain’t it great. You live in a country where you can be nutty as a fruitcake and not starve.

anti-de Sitter space said...

Ha!

I made a mistake in an earlier thread. I claimed that I'd read three books by Wurtzel. It's actually four.

I knew I'd read her book that was said to be for gals. And, I'd read the two most popular ones. But I wasn't clearly recalling that the one for gals wasn't “More, Now, Again.” Cause I read that. In my memory I was conflating that with "Radical Sanity," which I've read.

Seeing Althouse name "M,N,A" instantly made me get sorted.

Anywho, it's odd that Althouse keeps going with these posts re a gal that was (according to Athouse herself) not worthy of her. Presumably now that this gal is dead it's good to use her corpse as another way that her regulars can shit on folks not in the in. IOW, Wurtzel is worthy of being shit on in death. Nice place ya got 'round here.



P.S. OK Boomer.

DavidUW said...

Not my type but whatever floats your boat.

Amadeus 48 said...

a-dss—lay off the sauce.