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Saturday Links: Carrie Comes to Life Edition

So thaaaaat’s what telekinesis looks like. Plus: Period t-shirts, new music by noisy gals, and an interview with our hero, Malala Yousafzai.

María Fernanda

The other day on Facebook, my friend Gabriel sent me a link with a message that just said: “Seriously, watch this.” After waiting 20 minutes for whatever it was to load (because my internet connection was so bad), I saw this video of the most incredible prank, which is also a promo for the upcoming remake of Carrie. Seriously: WATCH THIS!


In this video from Tuesday’s episode of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart interviews Malala Yousafzai, a 16-year-old Pakistani activist who was targeted and shot in the head by members of the Taliban a year ago for fighting for girls’ access to education. If you didn’t already know who Malala is, prepare to cry. If you did know, you’ll probably cry, too. Let’s just all cry together while we listen to her mind-blowing answers to Stewart’s questions. Aside from discussing her views on the importance of education for women, she talks about fighting the Taliban with peace and truth, equality for all, and her new book, I Am Malala. She is so well spoken and passionate it seems like Stewart can’t help but take the back seat: It’s pretty obvious how inspired and awestruck he is. I am, too; Malala, you are my hero.


The wonderful, dreamy singer SZA (aka Solana Rowe) just released this self-directed video for her song “Teen Spirit.” Over at Vogue, she talks about its aesthetic: “I wanted to live and die by my own decisions,” she says, later explaining that her every choice—including the video’s ghostly lighting and her “dirty T-shirts and random Marni pieces”—was rooted in a DIY mindset. SZA recently signed to Top Dawg Entertainment, the label that brought rapper Kendrick Lamar to the world, so I’m sure we’ll be hearing much more from her soon.


This week The Believer did this epic lil’ interview with one of my favorite songwriters, Katy Davidson. Katy performs with her own band, Key Losers, and is a sometimes-member of Gossip and Yacht. Even if you’re not familiar with her music, it’s a fun read about being creative—and kind of the opposite of most artist interviews I read, in which people are really freaking about not being able to make a living in any tangible way off their art making. That’s something worth freaking out about, but as Katy hints at in this particular nugget, circumstances and struggle can make for interesting art: “My thoughts on the global debt crisis? It only makes sense that a system centered around the fantasy-based idea of never-ending ‘growth’ will eventually collapse, or at least be forced into rapid evolution. And money? I don’t know, man. This is an exciting time to be an artist. There’s rich fodder in this transitional moment. But there’s also a lot of distraction. I want to continue to push myself to make music that truly reflects our present reality.”


The new Frau demo is out as of this week. So much attitude and feedback. I barely know anything about this band, besides that they are noisy gals from London who are loosely affiliated with the U.K.’s underground feminist scene. Defs my new favorite.



I was sad to read that the actor Kumar Pallana passed away Thursday at the age of 94. These days he’s probably best known for the small roles he turned into comedy goldmines in Wes Anderson movies (Mr. Littlejeans in Rushmore, Pagoda in The Royal Tenenbaums, etc.), but he spent a lot of his adult life as a performer. In the ’50s and ’60s, he appeared on The Mickey Mouse Club and Captain Kangaroo as an acrobat and plate spinner and had roles in films starring Marlon Brando and Jimmy Stewart. Later in his life, he owned a yoga studio/coffee shop in Dallas, which is where he met Anderson. The Dallas Morning News posted this sweet tribute to Pallana yesterday and included a reprint of their 2004 interview with him (The Believer published another interview worth checking out the year before). They also provided a link to this excellent mini-documentary about him, narrated by his son, in which he gave advice about living a peaceful life and demonstrated his plate-spinning skills:

Anna F.


Rookie’s own Petra recently designed a shirt for American Apparel featuring an illustration by Alice Lancaster of a menstruating vulva, and this week the world went nuts. PERSONALLY, I think the shirt is brilliant, but I’m also the person who rants about how the drugstore keeps tampons in an aisle marked “feminine hygiene” because WHY CAN’T WE JUST ACKNOWLEDGE THAT SOME PEOPLE MENSTRUATE? (Maybe I’m also irritated because I recently rewatched Superbad, a movie that features graphic drawings of hairy peens played for laughs while the film’s “grossest” scene involves a woman getting her period. Or maybe I’m so irritated because I’m about to get my period.) Anyway, I don’t think Petra’s shirt—or any art—is above criticism, but most of the ire it’s caused kinda makes me roll my eyes? There are those who simply say it’s gross (maybe the shirt would be more palatable to them if instead of blood it depicted clear blue liquid à la maxipad commercials). Other people have been complaining that it couldn’t POSSIBLY be worn in public (as if art is only valid if it’s suitable in every context ever—I mean, you don’t see family restaurants serving meals on Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party plates). Ultimately, Petra doesn’t need me to speak on her behalf, especially when she’s been giving eloquent and intelligent interviews like this one with Patrick McGuire at VICE



Julie Klausner’s interview with Nicole Holofcener on Julie’s podcast, How Was Your Week?, was like mathematically designed to be my favorite: Two of the smartest, funniest women around x talking about female friendship + movies + James Gandolfini + dogs + my friend/boss Tavi = everything I love. Julie’s podcast is always wonderful, but this one really hit the jackpot. ♦


  • puffling October 12th, 2013 1:13 PM

    I love Petra’s period shirt.

    But I’m disappointed and confused to see a feminist working with American Apparel. Their CEO has been accused of sexually assault by multiple women. It’s a vile company run by an awful abuser… what gives? Working for him and buying this tshirt is putting money directly into this man’s pocket.

    • Taylor October 12th, 2013 7:42 PM

      I feel like there are two ways to change the system: dismantling from the outside or infiltrating and subverting. Most companies who distribute clothing are shitty, whether for sexism or poor labor practices, but at least now, the mainstream market has access to this shirt. IDK.

      • callie October 13th, 2013 9:25 AM

        also my friend worked in their factories and aparrently they really really look after the workers there, the clothes are more ethically produced for sure than a lot of companies. i dnt think their ads are any more sexist than pretty much everything else. just the ceo. he sux. swings and shitty roundabouts really, its a kl shirt

    • goodgodlemon October 13th, 2013 10:20 PM

      Yes, I agree. I was also disappointed Petra chose to do an interview with Vice about the shirt. Vice is infamous for misogynistic, sexist content, including lame shit like rape jokes. I appreciate that there is a system already in place that needs to be subverted and most news outlets are probably going to be terrible, but the fact that she interviewed with Vice disappointed me. One of my favorite cartoonists (http://bemyghoulfriend.tumblr.com/) got approached to do cartoons for Vice and declined because of their rampant sexism, which I thought was pretty cool.

      • giov October 14th, 2013 8:03 AM

        I totes agree and I also totes love bemyghoulfriend!

  • catpower44 October 12th, 2013 1:17 PM

    I watched an interview with Malala and by the end of it both my mom and I were crying. I think she is so amazing.

  • vvk97 October 12th, 2013 1:40 PM

    MALALA <3 She is so unbelievably wise for someone who is only my age! The whole time I was just like "HOW ARE YOU SO AMAZING?"
    Her courage and passion is more inspiring than any celebrity's. She is the kind of person who reminds you that courage isn't about holding a gun, but refusing to pick one up. And her laugh is beautiful :)

  • Ladymia69 October 12th, 2013 1:57 PM

    Wow, saw an article about Petra’s shirt on BUST.com, and the ladies sure are commenting heavily below the article!

    I think it’s great, except for the fact that American Apparel is a decidedly un-feminist company that objectifies women in its ads and shows no consideration for women above a size 3 in its clothing line.

    • Ladymia69 October 12th, 2013 1:58 PM

      Oh yeah, for those who want to read, the BUST article is at http://www.bust.com/american-apparel-menstruating-vagina-shirt-compels-and-repels.html

      • Anaheed October 12th, 2013 3:47 PM

        OMG the comments on that article are so crazy — I would NOT have expected BUST’s audience to be so easily outraged/offended by a cartoon image of a vulva! Who are these people and why are they reading BUST?

        • mariasnow October 16th, 2013 3:00 PM

          They’re people who would not be reading a magazine called ‘Vulva’ obviously… :P

          Oh man, I’ve never been able to find a convenient youtube clip of it but there’s a scene in “Women Art Revolution” that is nothing but congressman losing their damn minds because of Judy Chicago’s ‘the Dinner Party.’ And you know what? If somebody served me I don’t know, a cupcake or something on a vulva plate while wearing a vulva tshirt, they’d be in serious danger of being high-fived to death by me.

          Ladies- you should just watch Women Art Revolution, it’s one of the best things ever. http://womenartrevolution.com/ Ironically I watched that movie while sitting next to my friend who is a gay man who was drawing dicks all over my art history notes…

  • oharnoldlayne October 12th, 2013 3:17 PM

    The interview with Petra was interesting because I’m trying to see how photos of nude women can be feminist. It’s easier to see why with that shirt, because society is so scared of pubic hair and periods and female masturbation, but sometimes I have trouble seeing how pictures of vaginas and such are feminist, because men are taking photos of naked women and women are taking photos of naked women but I never see photos of naked men, probably because naked men are often just seen to be seen as comedic (they always are in movies, anyway). It’s just kind of annoying that women are always the ones who need to get naked for the camera. Maybe an article about why it is feminist would be nice? I guess it has to do with being comfortable seeing vaginas and breasts, but not in the way society wants everyone to see them, and women being able to do whatever they want with their bodies, but I want to understand better!

    • mariasnow October 16th, 2013 3:05 PM

      You should check out an artist named Carolee Schneemann. She’s a performance artist who frequently performed nude and it is all about being in charge of her own sexuality and sexual power. Most art made by women since the seventies is very bodycentric probably because women grow up hearing that they are only valued for their bodies which of course only have value if some man decides that it’s a beautiful, sexually attractive body.

      I do a lot of self portraits and I kind of joke to myself about when I’m going to start stripping down. I can see how it would be liberating…It’s definitely interesting when ladies are in charge of themselves as art.

  • greenie October 12th, 2013 4:18 PM

    i love petras tshirt!! Anyway american apparel have always been well known for being a bit more ‘riskay’ than topshop or jcrew and their clothing is always seen as too sexual but i don’t think it should be, it is an artistic decision just like Petra’s t shirt.


  • Ting October 12th, 2013 4:36 PM

    My brother and I really enjoyed the Carrie inspired video. Even though they showed the technical stuff, I was still like HOW DO THEY DO THAT?!?!

  • augustina e October 12th, 2013 4:50 PM

    Since I was introduced to Alice Munro’s writing in this very website, in a piece by Sonja, I expected that a brief mention could be awarded to her for winning a Nobel Literature prize. Nevertheless, it was very inspiring to embed the interview of Malala, which is absoleutly great.

    • KatGirl October 12th, 2013 6:42 PM


  • Clementine Rose October 12th, 2013 6:34 PM

    I think that Petra’s shirt is fine. People have reacted to it badly because they’re not comfortable with that sort of theme, but they shouldn’t have tagged it as vile.

    (Also- Malala is an amazing girl.)

  • soretudaaa October 12th, 2013 8:03 PM

    I consider myself a feminist but I’d never wear that shirt… It has nothing to do with shaming the female body or anything, given the fact that I also wouldn’t wear a shirt with an ejaculating penis on it. So I think it’s a bit cartoonish-feminist. I don’t know.

    • snowbird October 13th, 2013 12:35 AM


    • FlaG October 13th, 2013 3:55 AM

      Seconded. I just find this incredibly vulgar.

    • soretudaaa October 13th, 2013 7:49 AM

      Plus, I did read the interview and in the comments the people in favour of the shirt were somehow making it about being “offended” by periods and the female body, as if wearing a shirt with a menstruating vagina in it makes your feminism somehow superior to the rest, which is pretty silly to me :P

  • Sarah October 12th, 2013 8:24 PM

    Malala is an inspiration <3
    She's the type of person we need in government!

  • Isobelley October 13th, 2013 1:44 AM

    I’ve been doing an assignment on how power is distributed in the world, on the the ‘Forbes 71 most powerful people’ there are only 6 women, most of the people are white middle-aged men. Anyway I mentioned Malala in my assignment, and that’s what reminded me of that statistic.

  • elliecp October 13th, 2013 5:37 AM

    So people are more than happy with people wearing tshirts with topless women and weed logos, but something as innocent as mentstruation is unacceptable ?! Where is the logic?!


  • tove October 13th, 2013 1:17 PM

    Am I the only one who finds the Carrie prank fucked up? I would sue the shit out of these people. I do not need another reason for anxiety.

  • meels October 13th, 2013 2:21 PM

    RIP Pagoda. Loved that video on Pallana’s rituals

  • Ozma October 13th, 2013 2:46 PM

    I love Petra’s t-shirt! I mean, everyday I see boys wearing extremely offensive t-shirts. The worst t-shirt I’ve ever seen said, “Hang out with your wang out!” and had a cartoon of an Asian man with his dick out. This was at school! And the boy didn’t even get dress coded for his obviously racist and vulgar shirt. It’s great to see an shirt that’s just as in your face, but with a great feminist message.

  • die_mad October 13th, 2013 3:19 PM

    But what I don’t understand about Petra’s shirt’s criticism is why pubic hair is such a horrible thing…? Do those people not have any? Are they Barbies? I have never really thought pubic hair or periods were so taboo… this comes as a surprise to me for sure.

    • Ozma October 13th, 2013 10:13 PM

      Same here! I was like, wait, are some people really surprised by a vagina that has hair? Is my pubic hair subversive or something?

  • Haleyhaley2w October 13th, 2013 8:37 PM

    Malala is my hero! words cannot describe how much I admire her.

  • Hannnah October 14th, 2013 5:38 PM

    Jessica, the UK underground feminist scene? What is it? Where is it?! I want it! Have you got a website or something you can signpost me to?

  • dessertstealer October 14th, 2013 6:34 PM

    Malala Yousafzai is such an inspiration! She is my hero!


  • gialouisa October 21st, 2013 9:34 PM

    How did Petra design a standard style T-shirt when the only creative aspect of the shirt itself is an illustration created by ALICE LANCASTER?

    I do not understand why Petra’s name is associated with this endeavor at all or why she is being credited as a designer.

    Unless I am missing some major design detail that cannot be seen by a front view of Petra wearing the T-Shirt. I feel bad for the original designer of the illustration because she is obviously being overshadowed.

    • Anaheed October 21st, 2013 9:58 PM

      Petra designed the illustration and Alice drew a few variations, which Petra combined, then Petra painted it. So it is actually correct to say that Petra designed it. But in any case the shirt is credited to The Ardorous, not to Petra or Alice individually, and Petra has name-checked Alice in every interview on the subject that I’ve read.

      • gialouisa October 22nd, 2013 7:56 AM

        Thank you Anaheed for the clarification. It is much appreciated.