Laurence Jones

Function at the Junction: Notes on Summer of Soul

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I’m getting ready for the function at the junction And baby you’d better come on right now Because everybody’s gonna be there We got people comin’ from everywhere – “Function At The Junction,” Shorty Long, 1966 There’s a long, long legacy of Black folks gathering around food and funk, bbq sauce and song. Before we […]

Summer of Soul
On August 19, 2021

Bargain Basement Queerness

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What is gayness if it isn’t visible via purchases? What is safety if it isn’t sanctioned by the consumer state? Without Target gay gear, many celebrants would be left indistinguishable from the average heterosexual white dude.

Pride Family
On June 8, 2021

For Better or Worse

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When my uncle Claude eventually passes away, he'll leave behind an estate of remarkable wealth. He's the only one of my father's siblings that was able to retire before becoming eligible for AARP citizenship. It's remarkable for me to think that for most of my life I've known my uncle as a shady real estate investor rather than the cheerful supervisor at the Palo Alto Main Post Office.

wedding in oakland
On May 13, 2021

Is Lil Nas X The Spiritual Heir of Little Richard?

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If we stop to examine our family tree, it becomes obvious that Lil Nas X is the fulfillment of Little Richard’s dreams. In a world where neoliberal gayness has taught us that the best we can hope for is Lady Gaga belting out the national anthem while deportations mount, Lil Nas X charitably tossed us a Zyrtec.

Lil Nas X
On April 13, 2021

The Crass Commodification of Black Pain

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When Black Lives Matter was formed I imagine they weren't thinking about their hashtag becoming a marketing ploy, Unfortunately the hashtag has become synonymous with feel-good #woke consumerism and brand building on the backs of public lynchings of Black people by our police state. It has launched the sales of enamel pins, baseball hats, (unironically) hoodies, and now, food. Their tenacious appeal to celebrity-driven U.S. capitalism is truly impressive. As long as our grief is a product to sell to the bourgeois, who are we to disagree?

On March 30, 2021

How to Break Up With the Non-Profit Pyramid Scheme. For Now.

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I’ve only been out of work for 11 days at this point. Yet I awake each morning to an attached PDF, an embedded link, or a “heads up” on some new job. Through the morning haze, it’s typically the first alert I see on my phone. For some asinine reason, everyone finds grounding in their […]

smiling hip white professionals
On March 4, 2021

Fucking, and Not Fucking, in the Time of Coronavirus

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Sex in the time of coronavirus: A gay man reflects on the dangers of touch past and the dangers of touch present.

two men holding hands
On January 29, 2021

Sylvie’s Love is Pretty as a Picture

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Sylvie's Love relegates whiteness to its rightful place: This isn't Harlem gentrified by our concepts of unity twenty years into the 21st century.

Sylvies Love
On January 5, 2021