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Saturday Links: Triple Shetland Edition

Ponies in sweaters, Army equality, the news from Sundance, and sugary kawaii.


This post on the Japanese culture blog Naver introduced me to the work of Nicole Andrijevic and Tanya Schultz, Australian artists who go by the moniker Pip & Pop. Known for building elaborate installations out out of sugar and plastic, they love everything kawaii and are inspired by Japanese culture. I love how the miniature landscapes they create are cute and dreamy and a tiny bit creepy at the same time.

This article in New York magazine, called “Why You Truly Never Leave High School,” has been HAUNTING ME. First, my friend sent me the link and I read it on my phone at the airport. Then, I got on the plane and a copy of the magazine was in the seatback pocket right in front of me, open to the article. The next day, another friend showed me a TED talk by Brené Brown. Her name sounded familiar, I realized, because her research is heavily featured in the magazine piece. Was some cosmic force trying to make sure I understand how the anxiety I’ve experienced since the age of 13 will stay with me into adulthood? That a building full of confused people the same age is possibly the worst place for a teenager to be on a daily basis? The article is a huge bummer, but also mind-blowing and very worth reading all the way through. I might even feel more compassion towards my fellow classmates/hormonal bodies now.

And in case that New York magazine article didn’t bum you out enough, a study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry showed that teen girls are more at risk for anxiety and depression than boys. Science backin’ up what feminists have known all along. I mean, yay for proof, and boo for all the things that make this true.

As the proud sister of a female army vet, I was glad to read about the Pentagon finally lifting the ban on women in combat, a decision that opens up more front-line jobs and lets women try out for elite special forces or commando roles previously only open to men. As noted by Jezebel among others, women have already been serving in combat; the difference is that now they are eligible to receive honors for their service.

I love soap operas, and always thought that One Life to Live was the best thing ever. When it went off the air a year ago, I was devastated. A company called Prospect Park bought the rights to the show and it was supposed to air online, but nothing happened…until now!!! A couple weeks ago it was announced that my beloved OLTL will get a new life on the Online Network in April. Since I’d been jerked around before, I was afraid to get my hopes up, but this week it became official: a bunch of actors, including Erika Slezak, who plays the matriarch of the show, have signed on to reprise their roles. I can’t wait to see how this is going to play out!


This week marked the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which made abortion legal in this country under the right to privacy. These handy infographics from the Guttmacher Institute show how all these decades later, access to abortion is still severely limited for many people, by geography or economics: 42% of women who have abortions live below the federal poverty line, 57% of women pay out of pocket for their procedures, 87% of counties in which 35% of girls and women in this country live lack abortion providers, and poor women have unplanned children at a rate six times that of higher-income women. These are a lot of upsetting statistics to digest, but they remind me that although our reproductive rights are legally enshrined, access to important services is far from guaranteed, even in 2013.

I don’t even know what to say about these Shetland ponies wearing custom-made Shetland cardigans on the island of Shetland, Scotland, except these pictures make me wildy happy and like I need to hop on a plane to the UK immediately. Well played, Scotland.

I got a real kick out of this article about the business cards of famous people. The personalized cards of Walt Disney, magician Harry Houdini, and artist Andy Warhol reminded me of the rad Tumblr Letterheady, which features the stationary of cool people like Lena Dunham and David Bowie. There’s also a great site run by the same guy called Letters of Note, which has incredible stuff like “To My Old Master,” a letter from an ex-slave to his former owner, and “Our Differences Unite Us,” Barack Obama’s correspondence with the daughter of a gay couple. All this stationary fetishizing and letter reading has inspired me to pick up a pen and get writing!

I’m a big music documentary geek, so I’m totally freaking out over this week’s Sundance Film Festival, which included the premiere of Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, directed by Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin, which showing everything from the Russian activists’ practice sessions to their performances to the trial that made headlines around the world. Pussy Riot member Katya Samutsevich Skyped into the doc’s Q&A session to answer audience questions. Other Sundance films I can’t wait to see: Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl’s documentary Sound City, about the studio where Nirvana’s Nevermind album was recorded; 99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film; Salma; and The Square.


My friend Lindsay posted a link this week to this profile of Jackie Ormes, the first black woman in America to become a syndicated cartoonist. Although she was working in the ’40s and ’50s, a time in which people of color were treated as second-class citizens, her strips regularly addressed social and political issues. I definitely want to read more about Ormes and her most popular character, Torchy Brown.


Of all the Paris couture fashion shows this month, hands down THEE most breathtaking was Dutch designer Iris van Herpen’s take on tortoise skin, silvery feathers, and spiky fur–ALL MADE USING A 3D PRINTER. Who doesn’t want to look like a crazy animal hybrid from prehistory–or the distant future? The Dutch designer’s got Grimes in her latest ad campaign, but this collection seems more like it’s for Bjork, whose aesthetic union of the earthly and the computerly reflects van Herpen’s desire to fuse human stuff with science fiction. Van Herpen is really a visionary, so I got super psyched when I saw that Popular Science had profiled the collection, focusing on her “tech-couture,” and how she collaborated with architects like MIT’s Neri Oxman on the dresses. The piece explains how they took inspiration from Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges’s Book of Imaginary Beings. Their goal was to create “myths that one could wear.” DYING. Also this week, Dazed and Confused profiled van Herpen and she talked about the future of 3D printing, joking that at some point people will be able to hack into her dresses. This woman is the perfect combination of artist, tech nerd, and cyborg feminist.

This week I had a studio visit with an artist whose work I really admire. When he asked me about my work, I mentioned how when I lived in France I had to walk with my head down every time I went outside for fear that if I accidentally made eye contact with a man on the street I would be followed, harassed, touched, or propositioned for sex. The artist asked me two questions: “You know that females also sexually harass men, right?” and “Not that this is completely to blame, but were you dressed–you know–were you wearing something short?” I really didn’t want to go on explaining my current project, a series of poems about male entitlement and the violence it breeds, because I realized I was talking to someone who perhaps does not see violence against women as a systematic problem. News reports about rape make it seem like it’s something that happens elsewhere–in bad neighborhoods, in third-world countries, to women who made themselves vulnerable to a “bad situation”–and there is rarely consideration of WHY men assault women so frequently. Rebecca Solnit’s beautiful essay for Guernica investigates all of this, and cites chilling statistics like that in the piece’s title: in the U.S., there is “A Rape a Minute, a Thousand Corpses a Year.” In the wake of the New Delhi rape and murder of Jyoti Singh Pandey, Solnit suggests that it’s time to change the way we talk about rape: “We have far more than 87,000 rapes in this country every year, but each of them is invariably portrayed as an isolated incident. We have dots so close they’re splatters melting into a stain, but hardly anyone connects them, or names that stain. In India they did. They said that this is a civil rights issue, it’s a human rights issue, it’s everyone’s problem, it’s not isolated, and it’s never going to be acceptable again.” ♦


  • saramarit January 26th, 2013 12:31 PM

    I am suddenly really proud to be Scottish, nice one Shetland!

  • Kathryn January 26th, 2013 12:31 PM

    It was super weird, because I just turned in an argumentative paper for school about the combat exclusion policy last week, and then on Wednesday I found out about the ban being lifted!

  • llamalina January 26th, 2013 1:02 PM

    these essays about high school and adolescence are both amazing and a huge bummer. BUT ARE WE GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE FACT THAT SOMEONE OUT THERE IS ADAPTING HEATHERS INTO A MUSICAL?!


    • Kathryn January 26th, 2013 2:11 PM


    • cin January 26th, 2013 4:50 PM


    • Aurora January 27th, 2013 5:53 PM


  • HollinsCollins January 26th, 2013 1:17 PM

    YES! I just read the business card article the other day, and I was like “…I wonder if Rookie likes Flavorwire…”

  • Milala January 26th, 2013 1:17 PM

    Rebecca Solnit’s piece is so eye-opening and frightening and amazingly written, I wish every person on earth could read it.

  • KatGirl January 26th, 2013 1:21 PM


  • merciaj January 26th, 2013 1:24 PM

    omg stephanie i totally feel your excitement about one life to live!!!! my friends are always making fun of me for my obsession with soap operas but i’m like, soaps are the best!!! no really, they’re the BEST!!! days of our lives is my favorite soap but i’m definitely soo excited for oltl starting up online!

    • Stephanie January 26th, 2013 3:32 PM

      :) Soaps are the best! They are the perfect little escape! I don’t know why other people don’t get this, but they are just missing out! I can’t wait to see how OLTL works out online. It’s just an interesting new format!

  • Lascelles January 26th, 2013 1:46 PM

    There is a rumor Herpen is designing Katness’ wedding dress. Can’t wait now for her ready to wear line March. Should be interesting!

  • PaolaB January 26th, 2013 1:56 PM

    1:08 of the shetland pony video. My life is complete.

  • babyybat January 26th, 2013 2:06 PM

    Why you Never Really Leave High School, was a really great article! It has been haunting me too..

    • Resh January 31st, 2013 5:27 PM

      Totally agree! Its ghost will haunt me until forever! The photographer is from my country BTW :)

  • babyybat January 26th, 2013 2:09 PM

    Also, Jackie Ormes is awesome!

  • Maddy January 26th, 2013 2:16 PM

    Those ponies are so attractive!

  • hannamade January 26th, 2013 2:17 PM

    I read this really interesting essay this morning on The Atlantic called The Feminist Objection to Women in Combat. Definitely worth reading.


  • wallflower152 January 26th, 2013 2:58 PM

    Tavi (and anyone else who’s worried about it), don’t worry, high school doesn’t last forever. I’ve only been out of high school for about five years and it already feels like it was a world away. And I still live in the same place as I did during high school. I can only imagine how further away it is gonna feel when I move. Tip: don’t use Facebook and only keep in contact with the people you truly care about.

  • Glittermoon January 26th, 2013 2:59 PM

    I’m from the Uk and I’ve never seen a pony wearing a cardigan before xD. I think it should be a British law that all ponies be provided with knitwear during the colder months. Love this!

  • PearlFog January 26th, 2013 3:01 PM

    My folks stay up in Shetland! The nights are long, and there isn’t much to do…

    Seriously though, they are a crafty bunch up there. It’s a very creative and enterpreneurial place, really vibrant and plugged in despite being in the arse-end of nowhere!


    • Rose January 26th, 2013 5:04 PM

      I wasn’t kidding about wanting to visit Scotland! I’ve never been but I think I would love it, even if I didn’t end up seeing any ponies in sweaters.

  • missblack January 26th, 2013 3:09 PM

    hahahahaa I love the New York magazine article, because I am a proud homeschooler and I’ve been basically been using those ideas as an argument against public schooling for, like, forever. FINALLY SOMEONE ELSE UNDERSTANDS.


    • maramason January 29th, 2013 10:09 PM

      I agree! I mean, I’ve only been homeschooled for 6 months now, but I feel like high school is so far behind me. I think the article is wrong, high school is not a part of me anymore.

  • Moxx January 26th, 2013 3:18 PM


  • Jen L. January 26th, 2013 4:39 PM

    I was beyond appalled to learn that rapists can demand child visitation rights from their rape victims in 31 states. I have been looking for an issue to use for a letter writing campaign sponsored by the Gender Equality Club at my school and it looks like I’ve just found it! If it makes anyone feel better, please picture a flood of letters making their way to DC demanding change on this issue. They will be in a matter of weeks.

    • Anaheed January 26th, 2013 4:45 PM

      If there’s any way we can help with that, will you let us know?

      • EmilyJn January 27th, 2013 4:48 AM

        Yeah, a lot of us would be interested in getting involved!

  • kaylafay January 26th, 2013 4:40 PM

    I think this is one of my favorite Saturday Links!! That article about never leaving high school is really depressing and kind of freaking me out, but I’m glad I took the time to read it. I also love all the other links, too! Not that every Saturday isn’t great, but this one was particularly awesome.

  • Ella W January 26th, 2013 5:19 PM

    Thanks Leeay, for really brightening up my day with that Pip and Pop artwork!
    And Tavi, I read through the whole of that article, I didn’t really find it depressing, more interesting. But then, I live in England, and we don’t seem to have these groups like Jocks and Branies and all the rest of it, so maybe I’m not worried as I don’t think it really applies to me, yet.
    Saturday links great as ususal :)


  • StrawberryTwist January 26th, 2013 5:25 PM

    One of the most interesting saturday links! :)

    “Well played scotland” hahahaha :)


  • Yazmine January 26th, 2013 5:45 PM

    This is one of my favourite Saturday Links ever! Those ponies wearing jumpers may just be one of the greatest things ever (can I get a job making knitwear for equine?) and those sugar sculptures were AMAZING (again, is this a career route I can consider?)


  • Tambourelle January 26th, 2013 5:46 PM

    I LOVE! All the pip&pop creations! They’re so spectacular, cute (obv), magical and like you said Leeay, dreamy and a tiny bit creepy. I’ve now got great inspiration for my fantasy landscape art project for school hooray! :D

  • burn-your-flesh January 26th, 2013 5:53 PM

    It looks like they photoshopped Grimes’ nose in half.

  • shutitoff January 26th, 2013 7:16 PM

    3D printers freak me out.

  • takebackyourpower January 26th, 2013 9:42 PM

    Everyone worried about high school, I think that article is REALLY alarmist and discounts 1. free will (even with more ‘heightened’ emotional states like fear) and 2. our ability to live most of our life not in a state of fear. You can change your ability to cope with anxiety through meditation, exercise, breathing, yoga, etc. I wish these techniques were being taught in schools!

  • Dove January 26th, 2013 11:37 PM

    Visit Scotland!!! Born in beautiful Glasgow <3

    • PearlFog January 27th, 2013 6:45 AM

      Wey, mon the Glasgow Rookie fans! :D

      Do visit Scotland everybody, it’s really great here :)

  • katharine January 27th, 2013 12:11 AM

    Ponies + Sweaters = Love

    I now have an even stronger desire to go to Scotland…


  • blackrabbit January 27th, 2013 1:40 AM

    Pip & Pop! I first discovered their artwork on Hi-Fructose’ site, amongst many other fantastic contemporary artists.

  • paige.xo January 27th, 2013 6:47 AM

    I live in the wrong timezone, so I get this on a Sunday… but Saturday Links make my weekend.
    The piece on high school was particularly interesting- though depressing.
    The ponies were adorable. Over here in New Zealand, the closest we get is the occasional lamb in coats?

  • catpower44 January 27th, 2013 10:48 AM

    My art teacher showed us those ponies! Awesome!


  • mayaautumn January 27th, 2013 3:28 PM

    yaaay. everything.


  • poison ivy January 27th, 2013 11:12 PM

    those poor ponies…there is no way in hell they would actually want to wear that sweater. ugh stupid people, putting human emotions on things that only have horse emotions. people really need to look beyond the obvious “thats so cute i am literally going to die”

  • GlitterKitty January 29th, 2013 3:38 PM

    That’s it. I’m going to Scotland.

  • lipstik February 22nd, 2013 5:11 PM

    Those ponies were just like, “What the hell is going on?”

  • Cutesycreator aka Monica June 3rd, 2013 8:12 AM

    1. Pip & Pop is breathtaking. I want to live in it.
    2. I can’t deal with those Shetland ponies.
    3. The Iris van Herpen Grimes collection is a m a z i n g.

    Saturday Links never disappoints!