Amanda Palmer ’98, of Dresden Dolls fame, writes beautiful anecdotes and thoughtful reflections about her life as a musical artist and as a person. She occasionally references her years at Wesleyan in her recounting of her experience:
when i was 18 or 19, i remember living in the basement of eclectic, the society i belonged to at wesleyan university. i had somehow gotten ahold of a 3-disc collection (stolen from the college radio station, i’m pretty sure) called “the beat generation”. it was a compilation of wicked hip 50s ephemera, music, spoken word, it truly set the scene. allen ginsberg, lenny bruce, recordings of kerouac reading aloud, bop and more bop, burroughs….they were all there. i was unhip. i’d had no idea. it was like all of a sudden someone had walked me in the backdoor of a place i’d been craving to visit since birth. i remember freaking my shit out night after night thinking “what are we DOING???? we’re doing NOTHING!!! fuck. we could be DOING everything!!!!” i felt like i had found what i came to college for, but instead on it being on campus, it was on compact disc. eclectic was an old house with lots of character and there was a large room across from mine, in the basement, with a padlock on the door. i found the key from someone and came upon an empty, dingy space the size of a large living room and my mind went wild: “yes, YES ! here ! this is where we’ll put the tables and chairs. this is where we’ll put the stage. i’ll make coffee. we’ll drink whiskey. we’ll chain-smoke. fuck this is going to be AMAZING.” i even (and this part i’m embarrassed to admit) started donning my hip russian sailor shirt and hep fifties beret when cleaning out the space (oh yes, with awl and broom and vacuum, it took days, and my papers and grades suffered most likely). i was so convinced i would create bohemia for my campus. the only problem was, i had no friends and no idea what to do next, after i’d cleaned it. so i got distracted by the likelihood that it would be an abortion-like, unromantic cesspool of unsuccessful beer-drinking and uninspired chain-smoking, much like the parties we were having weekly on the top floor, where even things as hip and hep and shooting heroin didn’t have any substance, everyone was just so blase, bored and over it all. i moved on to other things.
The blog can be found at http://www.dresdendollsdiary.blogspot.com