Everything else

Saturday Links: Punk Goddess Edition

Her closet: all black everything.


I can hardly express how stoked I was to see Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! in the latest episode of MTV’s House of Style. In a simple black house dress and flats, Grace carefully sifts through her closet full of studded leather finery and tattered relics from her teen years as she tells the story of her transition from scuzzy punk boy to supreme punk goddess. In case her journey into womanhood doesn’t move you enough, there are also awesome clips of her daughter bopping around the house and shots of the fantastic shoe collection she gets to share with her wife.


I’m too cold to go outside or do anything beyond hibernating with internet videos. In this one from website StyleLikeU, Rookie’s own supernatural Arabelle Sicardi lets us all look inside her technicolor closet.

Cracked’s retelling of A Christmas Carol starring Katie Willert as a kleptomaniac Scrooge is just bizarre and hilarious.

In the wake of what happened in Newtown last week, and with the news that on Friday, a man shot and killed at least four people and injured five more in Pennsylvania (and this was happening WHILE the National Rifle Association was holding a conference about how more guns is the answer to protecting Americans), I’ve been thinking a lot about how to talk about violence in America, and in particular, how to talk about why, in the past few decades, mass murders culminating in suicide have been overwhelmingly committed by white men. I’m still not sure how to talk about it, but in a Salon article called Time to Profile White Men,” David Sirota tackles this thorny topic, discussing how white males who commit these heinous acts are rarely subjected to racial profiling or race-based identity politics, and how this lets us talk about violence in a much saner, more nuanced, and ultimately more helpful way.

On a happier note, a Pizza Hut in Singapore is offering an incepted pizza. That’s a PIZZA WITHIN A PIZZA WITHIN A PIZZA TIMES INFINITY. INFINITE RECURSIVE PIZZA, Y’ALL. Well, not quite, but this thing is impressive. It even has cheese that oozes out of random holes. This is either every pizza lover’s worst nightmare or our best dream. Or both.

In this story, Anelise Chen describes what she went through to keep a slimy little frog happy and healthy in the midst of her own busy Christmas Eve. It reminds me how important it is to show some kindness and compassion to the most vulnerable among us this holiday season. In this case, the creature in need just happens to be a defenseless baby frog plopped into the middle of an East Coast winter.

Reading the blog Brain Pickings makes me feel like a more knowledgeable, creative, and inspired person. Here is a compilation of all the best-book-of-the-year lists BP’s author Maria Popova put together. Beatles comics! Beautifully designed Beck sheet music! I want to read them all!

This week two beautiful essays by novelist Zadie Smith hit the newsstands. In Some Notes on Attunement” from The New Yorker (it’s sadly sequestered behind a paywall at this time, so you need a subscription–or access to a library–to read it), Zadie describes a visit to Tintern Abbey during which she suddenly, almost miraculously, gets the (previously-hated) music of Joni Mitchell. The piece then becomes a meditation on why we connect with some works of art at certain times and not at others, and how what we love helps us define who we are (and are not) at any particular moment.

The second essay, from The New York Review of Books, is about the difference between JOY and PLEASURE and includes a catalogue of Zadie’s eternal delights: food, other people’s faces, the things the dog does, her daughter, the sound of Q-Tip’s voice on “Can I Kick it” heard in the middle of a sweaty rave, the moment in which you realize you are falling in love. The great thing about this essay is how Zadie is just describing the mundane material of everyday life, and pointing out hidden beauties: “Even the great anxiety of writing can be stilled for the eight minutes it takes to eat a pineapple popsicle.”

In other news, scientists have discovered that squeezing your boobs may help prevent cancer. Yes, really! So grab ’em tight. It’s for a good cause. ♦


  • jenaimarley December 22nd, 2012 12:16 PM

    I love love loved Zadie Smith’s White Teeth when I read it but then I read her book On Beauty and kind of hated it.
    Those essays seem interesting and I guess she’s right about self-definition and connection (or not) to different works of art!

    Thanks for the excellent links, everyone!

  • pobody December 22nd, 2012 12:19 PM

    aw dang, that laura jane video sounds great… too bad i’m in canada and can’t watch it…

  • kirigamirose December 22nd, 2012 12:29 PM

    uuuggh that pizza sooooooo niiiiiiiice (havent had pizza n aaaages )

  • kirigamirose December 22nd, 2012 12:33 PM

    and also tintern abbey – beauteousness

  • decemberbaby December 22nd, 2012 1:52 PM

    All these links look great, and I’m excited to watch/read/explore all of them, but first off can I just say that I had never heard of Laura Jane Grace before this, and she is awesome. Awesome.

    I’m biologically female and identify as a girl, but I dream of living and expressing a much wider range of what it means to look and sound like a girl. For me, Laura Jane Grace smiling and proud in that video is like the freakin’ face of freedom. So thanks, Rookie, again and as always. <3

  • Morris December 22nd, 2012 3:26 PM

    Thank you so much for the trans coverage rookie

    This might sound pervy but please think about this afue times over a week.

    ! Being Trans having the idea of a growing teenage girl caring about you is the most pleasure i have ever felt..

    I love you girls you are beyond wise

  • georgie fruit December 22nd, 2012 4:29 PM

    oh my god Arabelle is SUCH A FUCKING GODDESS. every time I read her stuff I just think about how I aspire to have her attitude because she seems so fearless and unapologetic in who she is. I’m a few years older than she is but I definitely look up to her.

  • Maya Chimera December 22nd, 2012 5:06 PM

    I keep re-watching the bit in the end, where Arabelle’s hand does some funky dance moves. Argh it’s so cute!

    Happy holidays everyone x

    Maya Chimera

  • rivahgirl December 22nd, 2012 5:36 PM

    Rookie, just when I think you can’t be any more perfect. I love Laura Jane Grace!

  • FiveDimesForNineLives December 22nd, 2012 6:56 PM

    The pizza withing a pizza thing. Hilarious. I couldn’t even imagine eating that.


  • LittleMoon December 22nd, 2012 7:53 PM

    How have I not heard of LJG before!?

  • Janelle December 22nd, 2012 9:21 PM

    Yes! Arabelle! Yes! Eternally worshiping her for being the most fantastic goddess/queen of the internet. Also, that first video was fantastic. High five, Rookie! <3

  • FlaG December 23rd, 2012 12:08 AM


    • FlaG December 23rd, 2012 12:35 AM

      Also, that Patrick Nagel print in LJG’s wife’s side of the wardrobe…soooooooo jelly.

  • zhajean December 23rd, 2012 12:17 AM

    i love Arabelle’s video from StyleLikeU :)

  • dessertdesert December 23rd, 2012 4:15 AM

    :( wish there was a canadian mirror for the LJG video! I love it when rookie has articles with gender variant ppl. seriously wish this coverage was existing 12 years ago when I was starting highschool

  • farawayfaerie December 23rd, 2012 5:07 AM

    Woah that Laura Jane Grace video is so beautiful, she’s the coolest, and I envy all her black clothes that have so much history!

    Also Arabelle is so cute/beautiful/major hairspiration (??that sounds like perspiration o.O)

  • Lorf96 December 23rd, 2012 5:10 AM

    I love Arabelle sooo much! Her article on coming out really helped me be brave and come out to my close friends and siblings:) much lovex

  • Bumblecake December 23rd, 2012 5:30 AM

    That Pizza Looks AMAZING! And I really loved the video of Arabelle I LOVE her blog! I also loved the The Best Art Books of 2012!


  • StellaBerlin December 23rd, 2012 1:30 PM

    Everyone here is SO INCREDIBLY AWESOME!!!! You are all officially added to my list of role models!

  • ivoire December 24th, 2012 12:44 AM

    Arabelle <3 Such a queen

  • a-anti-anticapitalista December 24th, 2012 8:50 AM

    *sigh* I can’t believe the person in the first video is the same person who wrote “when you sleep” and all those beautiful anarchist songs from old Against Me! I just find it impossible to write such beautiful things and then say it was all a phase, and become THIS super liberal after writing “Baby I’m an anarchist” (and although this is very obvious I know someone is going to accuse me of this so I shall clarify: no, it has nothing to do with his new gender identity)

    • a-anti-anticapitalista December 24th, 2012 8:50 AM


      • a-anti-anticapitalista December 24th, 2012 9:18 AM

        And yes, I admire the bravery involved in coming out like that, it must be scary especially considering how her wife would react. But I find everything else about this person definitely not admirable or role model material.

        • KittyBatGirl December 27th, 2012 1:10 AM

          What is not “admirable” or “role model material” about her? I don’t understand why you think an anarchist isn’t supposed to change gender?

    • cdayh December 29th, 2012 8:10 PM

      Laura has addressed this many, many times over. Check out this interview from June 2010. Everyone changes- what’s important is staying true to yourself, not the scene. She did just that, and I admire the hell out of her for it :)

  • a-anti-anticapitalista January 9th, 2013 10:13 AM

    But anarchism is not “a scene” (and yes I just read this). There is a scene of “lifestyle anarchists” which bands like Propagandhi have addressed as being full of people who aren’t really anarchists and are in fact quite oppressive, sometimes misogynist and homophobic. I would expect that someone like Laura, who wrote such passionate lyrics and sung with such feeling about the topic would understand anarchism beyond some scene of teenage kids playing in bands.

    To put it into perspective, imagine that after the release of the upcoming album, Laura decided that the whole transgender thing was just a phase, and then started doing things and supporting things that are really gender oppressive and oppressive toward trans/queer/etc people. That is essentially what this person did. This person reduced something that is serious, that people have DIED for, that affects the lives of workers and the dispossessed and even capitalists themselves, of people who are oppressed by socially constructed boundaries, etc, to some lifestyle teenage phase.