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Saturday Links: Lena’s Diary Edition

Dreams on tape.

Lena Dunham read some pages from her “Millennium Book” at the Rookie Yearbook One reading last month at McNally Jackson and they were, of course, hilarious. The whole document, which is basically a long-form questionnaire about life on the cusp of the millennium, was just published on the blog for the movie Teenage. My favorite is her answer to the question “What new invention would make your life easier in the new Millennium?” Her response: “A shower where you can lie down and sleep while your hair is washed for you. Also a dream recorder so you could watch your dreams on tape.”


Full disclosure: I was part of the bunch who pulled this PSA together, but obviously it is with thanks to many submissions by many people that the end product is, AT THE VERY LEAST, a strong display of karaoke dedication.

John Francis Daley has appeared in Bones, Freaks and Geeks, and, most famously, a Rookie Q&A this past summer. He’s also now appeared in this music video he co-directed of his band, Dayplayer, and it’s delightful and strange and has babies and gold spandex (but not babies IN gold spandex).

This week Vagenda Magazine published an article, republished on The New Statesman, defending the writer Caitlin Moran (whose book, admittedly, I haven’t read, but which was included in our list of Beginnings books). The article basically argues that it’s all right to ignore “issues of race, class, religion, sexuality, politics, and privilege” when you’re trying to appeal to a “mainstream” audience. This response, by the blogger stavvers, is the best introduction to the idea of intersectional feminism—which recognizes racial, ethnic, sexual, class, and other injustices as well as those based on gender—that I’ve ever read.


I am NOT the same person after watching this. There was a seismic shift my soul, an earthquake in my heart. You think it’s just a cat getting a bath, until…just watch it. You will NOT be the same person after this minute and 14 seconds.


What, you haven’t gotten enough baby animals from us yet? Let’s fix that with this trifecta: baby kangaroo, wombat, and wallaby. Three orphaned marsupials, all best friends. Awwww.

If you haven’t passed out from cute overload, take a look at this:

It’s a baby echidna, also called a puggle, lapping milk out of a zookeeper’s hand and LIVING IN A BOX! Australia, why are you SO ADORABLE?

OK, scientists have known for a while that birds are descended from DINOSAURS. But this week the journal Science announced that they had found proof that the first dinosaurs to have feathery wings didn’t use them for flying. Instead, researchers hypothesize, plumage evolved in order to help attract mates. As the Ornithomimus sexually matured, its downy fluff transformed into long, luxurious quills. So it follows that there would be a reproductive function to all that fancy. Now we know dinosaurs liked pretty things, too.

Have you ever been so excited to bite into a piece of gooey, freshly delivered pizza only to end up burning your the roof of mouth? And then your mouth hurts for a couple of days, totally inhibiting your ability to enjoy more pizza?! Well those days are over, my eager eating friends, because apparently some guy has invented dissolvable mouth strips to soothe the pain from hot molten cheese. I don’t really keep up with medical news, but my dad recommended this to me because he knows that we Rookies take our pizza-eating pursuits seriously.


I usually feel like we (as a culture) toss the term brave around too much, and as a result it’s hard to see when things are truly brave. This speech by Lana Wachowski (co-director, with her brother, of The Matrix movies, V for Vendetta and the upcoming Cloud Atlas) about coming out as a transgender woman is fun, heartbreaking, uplifting, and BRAVE. She talks about feeling out of place at school, how her struggle led her to a suicide attempt, and the effect of having a supportive family, and it’s all intertwined with beautiful stories about her partner, her creativity, and how much she acknowledges the importance of telling her story in order to be the hope for others who may feel the same way. If your heart is made of blood and muscle you’re going to cry, but I swear you’ll also be cheering throughout.

I loved this piece in the New York Times about a painting of Picasso’s. He painted Ironing Woman on a canvas he’d already used, and the Guggenheim Museum recently cleaned and restored the work, and so now we’re able to see BOTH of Picasso’s paintings, one on top of the other. The Times gets major points from me for this interactive feature, which makes you feel like you’re erasing a 100-year-old work of art. ♦


  • Caitlin H. October 27th, 2012 12:23 PM

    pizza burn strips- genius!

  • a-anti-anticapitalista October 27th, 2012 12:36 PM

    I don’t think anyone wins when voting. In the words of Emma Goldman: “Woman’s demand for equal suffrage is based largely on the contention that woman must have the equal right in all affairs of society. No one could, possibly, refute that, if suffrage were a right. Alas, for the ignorance of the human mind, which can see a right in an imposition. Or is it not the most brutal imposition for one set of people to make laws that another set is coerced by force to obey? Yet woman clamors for that “golden opportunity” that has wrought so much misery in the world, and robbed man of his integrity and self-reliance; an imposition which has thoroughly corrupted the people, and made them absolute prey in the hands of unscrupulous politicians.”

    • ZZ October 27th, 2012 4:31 PM

      Sadly, voting also decides some basic human rights issues like gay marriage and abortion- things that aren’t “imposed” on people, but that others are prevented from having. And if people who aren’t white dudes had never gotten the vote, those issues would be out of the hands of the people affected by them. Ms. Goldman is perhaps a bit far-sighted in her summation.

      • Lascelles October 27th, 2012 6:47 PM

        From the same essay;

        “Needless to say, I am not opposed to woman suffrage on the conventional ground that she is not equal to it. I see neither physical, psychological, nor mental reasons why woman should not have the equal right to vote with man. ”

        Emma is an anarchist. She just does not like voting. For men or women. That’s anarchy. She is only against women voting because she is against voting. Not women. From the end of the essay;

        “Her development, her freedom, her independence, must come from and through herself. First, by asserting herself as a personality, and not as a sex commodity. Second, by refusing the right to anyone over her body; by refusing to bear children, unless she wants them; by refusing to be a servant to God, the State, society, the husband, the family, etc.;”

        I would agree it’s misguided in that women’s right to vote is put to a vote. So in the end, she is really supporting voting even while opposing its expansion. And the people most likely to vote for continuation of the state. If we were ever to dissolve our laws, by a vote and not violence, the inclusion of people in the vote that were oppressed by vote is probably a good idea IMHO :D Tactically, I would have put feminism before the anarchy but I am peacenik at heart and probably would not have tried to assassinate someone like Emma did. So… there is that :D


        • a-anti-anticapitalista October 28th, 2012 12:28 AM

          IMO the idea of feminist-anarchism is quite redundant, anarchism has over the years absorbed feminist/queer-theorist ideas because they form part of the logical conclusions of the anarchist philosophy, anarchism is ever-changing and ever-evolving and is always very subjective and personal. On the other hand, by putting anarchist before feminist you are saying that feminism should be anarchist and can only be anarchist. You are giving feminism the anarchist bottom line that you cannot end oppression with more oppression which differentiates it from Marxism. And of course if you follow the writings of people like Bell Hooks to their logical conclusion then you end up with that as well.

          But voting by its very nature is exclusive. The whole idea of a majority is ridiculous, it’s completely arbitrary, or at least is within a state, and is therefore oppressive. You could live in a community were, say, everyone thinks women being able to get abortions to be common sense, and within the confines of your community that is the majority opinion, but then when you go out to vote you find that you are forced to give up that basic right you deem common sense because a bunch of people who possibly only have the commonality with you of living within the confines of an arbitrary line marked by people hundreds or more years ago voted that it is not a right. And then, this decision could have been changed by moving the line around and only collecting votes from one random area or another, and you have NO SAY in what counts and who gets to decide for your life and who doesn’t.

        • a-anti-anticapitalista October 28th, 2012 1:22 AM

          You should read this book about Mujeres Libres btw :3 http://www.amazon.com/Free-Women-Spain-Anarchism-Emancipation/dp/1902593960/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351399535&sr=8-1&keywords=free+women+of+spain

      • a-anti-anticapitalista October 27th, 2012 11:56 PM

        My response to that in illustration form: https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/269446_546496832034176_1816030111_n.jpg

        Also: basic human rights (apart from the one crudely demonstrated in the illustration) are violated thanks to your vote every day inside the US too.
        Issues are out of the hands of those affected by them, even to people who can vote. Heck, even to people who are the “majority” (even though that whole concept is quite ridiculous). So imagine what it’s like for people inside these arbitrary boundaries you call your nation who are the minority (which IMO is everyone) or those who are undocumented, or those who simply cannot get themselves to vote for someone who doesn’t represent them or who are disgusted by the idea of being represented in the first place. And not to mention those, like the woman in the drawing, who are thousands of miles away and have even less of a say than you yet are affected so violently.

        And I won’t even tackle why the very concept of voting is what creates non-issues out of basic human rights and gets people who should be allies and otherwise have similar struggles mindlessly pissed at each other for no logical reason.

      • a-anti-anticapitalista October 28th, 2012 12:13 AM

        Also, by the very act of voting you are giving those basic human rights away. Even if you vote for those rights to be granted, you are giving someone the ability to grant those rights and therefore the ability to take them away.

  • Juliane October 27th, 2012 12:46 PM

    I really started to cry when I watched the “You Don’t Own Me”PSA-video because it was so inspiring and touching. It is really important for me to appreciate the freedom I have in this society I live in and I’m so glad that I can wear what I want to wear and that I can really be the woman I want to be.

  • eliselbv October 27th, 2012 12:49 PM

    I want a millennium book too :) and this cat video is just awesomely awesome!!! Thanks Dylan


  • KatGirl October 27th, 2012 1:13 PM

    I always wanted a dream recorder…

  • KatGirl October 27th, 2012 1:24 PM

    Oh, and the Picasso thing is is awesome!

  • Tambourelle October 27th, 2012 1:39 PM

    ‘You don’t own me’ PSA, was so beautiful almost brought a tear to my eye. The lyrics are so TRUE!

  • Emilie October 27th, 2012 3:14 PM

    That PSA.

    and that kitten getting a bath.

  • kittenmix October 27th, 2012 5:22 PM

    Haha it’s so funny to see people say good things about Australia because it is actually DISGUSTNG it’s so dusty down here guys and there are so many spiders. Sooooo manyyyyy spiderrrrs.

    • unicornconnect October 27th, 2012 6:40 PM

      Yeah, there are lots of spiders and mozzies:(

  • EnglishEllie October 27th, 2012 6:06 PM

    1. Pizza strips – awesome! I always burn the gum right behind my two front teeth.
    2. I had to bath my cat a couple weeks ago due to him rolling in the manure my Dad had put on the garden. It did not go as well as that! I love animal videos though, I have to watch myself for spending too long on you-tube.
    3 (non-related to post) I love Rookie! I guess I’m older (23?) than the average person reading this, but I’m so glad I found it.

  • unicornconnect October 27th, 2012 6:39 PM

    “You don’t own me” nearly made me cry. It was so awesomely awesome and inspiring!!!! I was going to send my video in but it was really out of time. But I was singing that sing for like two days, even in the toilet.

    And reginald= hcmjrgvmajhb!!!! Arrrrrgghghhghghghgh he is sooooooo cute!!!!!
    Words cannot describe his cuteness.

  • Sorcha M October 27th, 2012 6:50 PM

    That PSA made me cry. And I got so excited at how many women I admire I spotted in it. Then angry at misogynists in the comments.

  • raggedyanarchy October 27th, 2012 8:54 PM

    Easy. Breezy. Beautiful. REGINALD.
    This is legitimately the first thing I thought of when the blow dryer turned on.
    Ant the PSA: brilliant! Tavi sets impossibly high standards for awesomeness once again!

  • Narnie October 27th, 2012 9:48 PM

    Wow. Lana Wachowski is truly incredible. What a thoughtful, selfless woman, and a funny, charismatic voice for human rights.

  • jeans kinda girl October 27th, 2012 10:16 PM


  • zhajean October 27th, 2012 11:43 PM

    the cat video is awesome :)


  • Ozma October 28th, 2012 5:15 AM

    HOORAY FOR THE PSA!!! Loved it :)

  • noquierodecir October 28th, 2012 9:24 AM

    This PSA is really clever!
    Creative and fun, but also gets across the (very serious and important) point.

    That having been said, sorry to ask about something so trivial, but Tavi; is your shirt in the PSA video from Urban Outfitters by any chance? If yes, I also have it. Hoorah!

    • Tavi October 28th, 2012 5:12 PM

      I thrifted it! I think the tag says Gap though? Whatev, still twins.

  • Paulatte October 28th, 2012 10:09 AM

    The PSA video is on repeat, I have been screaming the lyrics at my computer for 10 minutes now.
    Anyway, I have to admit that I don’t like animals, except dinosaurs. Actually, I thought dinosaurs could not fly?
    great links!

  • Terra October 28th, 2012 1:34 PM

    Anaheed, I absolutely loved stavvers’ article- thanks so much for the recommendation. I’d never heard the term “intersectionality” before but the phenomenon was very familiar.

    So here’s the problem: I’m 20 years old, most of my friends are 20-30 and most of them are, as she put it, “feminist-lite.” They like to consider themselves it, but they don’t reeeaaally get all the ramifications their stupid jokes and assumptions have on people who are being actively oppressed (not only within the realm of sexism, but racism, gender and sexuality discrimination, etc.).
    I’ve TRIED to gently correct them, but they always, every time, immediately peg me as “too sensitive” or “unreasonable” or “unrealistic.” Which I’m straight-up NOT, it just happens to be one of the biggest issues on my mind.

    My question is this: how do we help to transform those who are “feminist-lite” to a more considerate thought pattern without driving them away from the cause altogether? What are small, casual, non-offensive gestures we as feminists can make to force people to evaluate what they’re saying and thinking a little more deeply? I feel like I’m always either coming off as pushy, which is totally counterproductive or not saying anything at all, which makes ME feel guilty. Thoughts?

    • Anaheed October 28th, 2012 3:35 PM

      That is always a tricky balancing act! I try to have a sense of humor about it when I tell people that they’re being sexist/racist/classist, whatever, but everyone has their own technique. This article that we published last year has been helpful to me! http://rookiemag.com/2011/10/the-perks-of-being-a-killjoy/

  • boyfights October 29th, 2012 4:00 AM

    Heads up: you tagged this as Lena “Dumham” (I loled).

  • cancercowboy October 29th, 2012 11:13 AM



    just came to mind. sorry, i guess i’m the spirit that denies.

  • barbroxursox October 29th, 2012 5:57 PM

    omg that PSA almost made me cry! It was perfect!

  • ladylaurenia October 29th, 2012 9:57 PM

    I’m so disappointed Rookie is featuring Lena Dunham…again! How can we praise her for showing new representations of women when it does not include women of color? Aren’t women of color who you’re fighting for, too?

  • sa93 October 30th, 2012 11:01 PM

    something about the PSA video kind of upset me because I didn’t really find anything empowering about it..I am pro-choice and do not believe that there should be policies or laws about making a woman give birth- you need to look at the individual- each person makes her own decisions based on external factors, situations, beliefs, etc.
    BUT I think this movement (while pertains to political decisions and the campaign) as females- we should move beyond the men and politics and see who you are as a person
    Being a woman should be more than bodily control- it should be about life and yes you have freedom to do what you want- but the video just seemed too privileged and just one sided- abortion affects women and psychologically hurts some women (not to mention adoption does too)..
    If only girls could also raise this much awareness and excitement about social justice and solidarity for those women in which abortion is the only feasible option…

  • lishbish February 17th, 2013 4:17 AM

    The kittykat video made me cry.