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.
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. ♦