In Praise of Complicated Friendships, Isabel Ling, δημοσίευση στο Hyperallergic [25/1/2023]
As a teenager residing in a sleepy suburb near San Jose, California, in the 1990s, Hua Hsu first begins creating zines as a way to unlock access to a broader cultural landscape he imagines is waiting for him on the other side of high school graduation. Initially made as an easy way to get free CDs from bands and record labels, the zine quickly coalesces into a manifesto for “cool,” with breathless essays lauding bands like Pavement pasted between takedowns of phenomena that range from braided leather belts to the US police state. In Stay True, the New Yorker staff writer’s recent memoir, Hsu identifies his zine as a testing ground for a future, more authentic self; he writes, “I was convinced that I could rearrange these piles of photocopied images, short essays, and bits of cut-up paper into a version of myself that felt real and true.”
College is a period of transformation during which young people often try out rituals, personalities, and magnanimity in an attempt to see what sticks. It is in the midst of this reinvention during his freshman year at UC Berkeley that Hsu meets Ken Ishida, a charming Japanese-American frat bro with a penchant for the Dave Matthews Band. As a self-styled outsider looking for a sense of belonging in the dusty record bins and bookstores that make up Berkeley’s counterculture scenes, Hsu is dismissive of Ishida, whom he sees as an embodiment of all things mainstream. Friendship, however, is a force impervious to the rigid parameters of coolness, as Hsu soon discovers through the cigarettes, late-night drives, and winding debates the two come to share. As Hsu writes, “some friends complete us, while others complicate us.” The friendship comes to a sudden end when Ishida is murdered in a car jacking off campus during their senior year.
Η συνέχεια εδώ.