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Saturday Links: Lorde Reigns Supreme Edition

Plus a lost interview with Kurt Cobain, a new Angel Haze remix, and the history of “dude.”


Lorde gave an interview about her success to Richard Wilkins, a veteran of pre-internet music and celebrity TV news in Australia. Lorde was her typical sincere, intelligent, and confident self as she discussed how careful she is with her money, the realities of being a young person in the public eye, and how she compares short stories to songwriting, but all Wilkins cared about was creating competition between his guest and other pop artists, dropping in all the facts he’d learned about her from Wikipedia, and grilling her about her “success” (by which he means money). She was not having a bit of it, as you can see above. Lorde reigns supreme, and we continue to bow at her feet.

Photo by Mathieu Young.

Photo by Mathieu Young.

Angel Haze’s new remix of “Same Love” is the most affecting song I’ve heard in a long time. In the song’s opening strains, it’s clear how difficult it is for Angel, a pansexual person who grew up in a Pentecostal Christian denomination which forbids homosexuality, to come out to her mother. “Hi, Mom, I’m really scared right now,” she says, then she starts a freestyle verse with “At age 13, my mom knew I wasn’t straight / She didn’t understand, but she had so much to say.”

While it’s cool that the song’s original artists, Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and Mary Lambert, have used it to spread a message of acceptance and tolerance to the masses, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, who are straight, have been criticized for speaking on behalf of a marginalized group that they aren’t a part of. In her version, Angel kept the original chorus sung by Mary, who is a lesbian, while replacing Macklemore’s verses with her own lyrics. She expresses determined support for the LGBTQ community and questions why other people want to attach labels to her, as in one of the verses where she quotes the Andrea Gibson poem “Andrew”: “No, I’m not gay / No, I’m not straight / And I sure as hell am not bisexual / Damn it, I am whoever the hell I am when I am it.”

Amy Rose

Illustration by Justine Zwiebel.

Illustration by Justine Zwiebel.

This piece by Saeed Jones about the last summer he spent with his Evangelical grandmother in Memphis is breathtakingly moving. It tells so many stories in one—you hear about Jones’s emerging sexuality as a gay person, how his grandmother seems him as a human symbol of her disappointment with his Buddhist mom, and, most important, his poetic analysis of how hard but essential it is to love and stand up for yourself when everyone around you is telling you that what’s inside you is wrong.


GIF courtesy of Blank on Blank.

GIF courtesy of Blank on Blank.

Nirvana has been in the news a lot lately because of the rerelease of In Utero and their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nod, but I was particularly excited to see this lost interview with Kurt from 1993 combined with a pen-and-ink animation on the PBS series Blank on Blank. In the interview, which took place a little less than a year before his suicide, Kurt talks about identity and how hard it was for him to fit in when he was in high school: “I always felt that they would vote me ‘Most Likely to Kill Everyone at a High School Dance,’” he jokes at one point. He also says he’s feeling optimistic. I only wish that feeling had lasted for him.


TOO X-TREME FOR INSTAGRAM: Petra's "offensive" photo.

TOO X-TREME FOR INSTAGRAM: Petra’s “offensive” photo.

On Wednesday, Vogue weighed in on the continuing saga of Petra Collins vs. Dumbfucks with a sharp, thoughtful essay by Katherine Bernard about selfies and their fraught relationship with the male gaze (played and enforced in this drama by Instagram, which deleted Petra’s account last week after she posted the photo above). “It’s shocking when a company’s policies interfere with an image one woman wants to share—specifically an image as innocuous as Collins’s,” Bernard writes. But “the truth is, our reactions to young women with sexual confidence reveal more about us than it does about them. Our selfie culture is a mirror of our values.”

Meanwhile, someone started a petition urging Instagram to reinstate Petra’s account.


Illustration by Nishant Choksi.

Illustration by Nishant Choksi.

It’s really fascinating to see how words are created and how they change through the ages. Case in point: This awesome article about the etymology of the word dude. If you’re like me, you call everyone dude: girls, guys, pets, maybe even clothes! It’s funny to know that in the beginning, dude was used to refer to a really fancy guy, since now it means basically the opposite. Now I’m wondering where all the words that I use every day come from, so let me know when you come across the history of malarky or shenanigans, OK? ♦


  • Miarele October 26th, 2013 12:36 PM

    that Kurt Cobain interview… UGH. I just can’t. I was verging on tears. I love how he calls out sexism and homophobia too. It’s weird, but sometimes I feel like he can convey those raw feelings like no one else can.

  • Lillypod October 26th, 2013 1:06 PM

    “heroine – with an e”


    • Brodie October 26th, 2013 6:45 PM

      haha, right!? “Don’t worry guys! It’s with an E!”

  • thefilmrookie October 26th, 2013 1:58 PM

    ahhhh yay! THANK YOU ROOKIE FOR POSTING MY PETITION! We are more than halfway to our signature goal so please please please keep signing!!! We need all the support we can get against instagram for wrongfully taking away Petra’s instagram!

    @sarahisenburger (instagram)

  • LilyB October 26th, 2013 2:28 PM

    Praise the Lorde!!!

  • Laura Zwerling October 26th, 2013 5:21 PM

    ~sorry to be off topic but~
    if i submitted something in early september, when should i expect to hear back by?

    • Anaheed October 26th, 2013 6:17 PM

      I can’t give you a hard date — we get literally hundreds of submissions per day and are very behind right now! I’m sorry!

      • Laura Zwerling October 26th, 2013 7:10 PM

        no problem! thanks for answering!

  • AngstyTheBrave October 26th, 2013 5:50 PM

    Wow, that “Same Love” remix… wow.

  • Username October 26th, 2013 5:55 PM

    Damn, Kurt’s interview was such a beautiful thing to hear. But so, so upsetting, hearing him be that happy and jokey and knowing what’s coming. Thank you for that, Stephanie!

  • Abby October 26th, 2013 8:23 PM

    Can I ask everyone’s opinions on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis being “criticized for speaking on behalf of a marginalized group that they aren’t a part of”? I’m really surprised that anyone is criticizing them, when they’re just trying to spread acceptance. I understand that they can never truly “get” how it feels to be anything but hetero, but isn’t it good enough that they’re trying? It seems a little self-defeating to criticize someone who is trying to make the world better in such a public way. What do you guys think?

    • Brodie October 26th, 2013 11:55 PM

      Hey Abby,

      I think it’s a super complex issue. On one hand, it’s awesome that Macklemore et al are using their fame to spread a message of tolerance and acceptance. But I think the criticisms are totally valid, in the same ways it’s valid to think critically about, for example, men who speak for women’s rights or white people who speak for the rights of people of colour. It’s one thing to lend your support and be an ally, but I think it becomes really tricky when artists start speaking for a group of people who have experienced more than they ever have or will. I have plenty of friends who identify as queer and gay, but I’d never consider speaking on behalf of them, pretending to know at all what they’ve experienced or profiting from them.

      Macklemore and Ryan Lewis live in a position of straight, while male privilege, and them telling their massive audience, “it’s wrong to treat people this way” is excellent, but it does not come from a place of lived (and survived) experiences like Angel’s does, which is what makes her cover so powerful.

      They are trying to do good, like you say. And they’ve been praised for that really consistently. It’d be awesome if some queer artists – like Angel or rapper Le1f, for example – received some of that same praise too!

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment.
      x Brodie

      • Abby October 27th, 2013 10:28 AM

        Thanks for replying, Brodie. I think I understand it better now. Coming from a position of straight white privilege makes me want to vehemently defend them just because I’m coming from the same position, but I know I need to check my privilege. Thanks again!

  • Ally_O October 26th, 2013 9:15 PM

    I am a huge fan of Rookie but one thing that bothers me is the occasional perpetuation of hero-worship of celebrities like Lorde and Beyonce. :/ I just think it’s a terrible thing to think of a person as more than a person.

  • Clementine Rose October 26th, 2013 10:28 PM

    Lorde is the coolest! Her music is amazing, and for that she should be recognised, Ally- I agree that some celebs have been turned into heroes that they’re not, but I don’t think that Lorde is like that. Also- Lorde is from New Zealand! Woo! Go Kiwis (like me)!

    Petra’s photo didn’t seem that bad to me. She seems like a lovely, creative girl. I’m not sure if Instagram should have deleted her account or not. They probably only did it because the majority of people just don’t feel comfortable seeing that sort of stuff. I don’t personally have much of a problem with it, but I expect that Instagram were just trying to keep the majority of their members happy.

  • africa October 27th, 2013 2:59 AM

    ugh richard wilkins is such a weird, creepy dude. thank god lorde can keep it real and call him out on his ridiculous questions.

  • unicornconnect October 27th, 2013 5:33 AM

    Lorde ohmygodd I love u

  • GlitterKitty October 27th, 2013 11:25 AM

    Oh I love Lorde so much. I love that she’s a very smart person and isn’t getting caught up in all the crap the music industry unfortunately has. I also find her really relatable because she writes her songs about normal things from her life, not some melodramatic interpretation of it. It seems like she’s just one of your friends who suddenly got famous and is just like “wtf guys this is nuts”. And I was sooooo distracted by the weather updates going on the the little bar thing on the bottom in the interview.

    • Katzemuse October 27th, 2013 6:35 PM

      100% agree. Love Lorde, love her music, hate the crap she’s getting about the incredibly valid points she’s been making about our music industry.

  • ColoredSoft October 27th, 2013 3:11 PM


  • Ariella95 October 27th, 2013 7:35 PM

    OMG I did not realize that Lorde is only sixteen! Incredible.

  • ThatVictoriaGirl October 27th, 2013 9:51 PM

    It’s like every time I think I can’t love Rookie more, you post something like this and my heart explodes. SO, SO GOOD. Ugh.

  • rockwrenroll October 27th, 2013 10:22 PM

    Yay, Lorde! She is my actual favorite person right now, I love her so much.

    Unrelated to the above, something rubs me really wrong about ‘And I’m sure as hell not bisexual’ line in the Angel Haze remix, but other than that, she’s really great as well.

  • whyamidreamingwhenimstillawake October 28th, 2013 12:09 AM

    Lorde is the shit omfg. I freaked out so much when I saw her on the thumbnail thingy.

  • jesuscametomybirthdayparty October 28th, 2013 12:13 AM

    richard wilkins sounded so dumb compared to lorde!!! she’s very intelligent :–)

  • ivoire October 28th, 2013 12:50 AM


    • lubs October 28th, 2013 7:51 PM

      i know, i spent my day listening to Stephanie Says and crying

      he died on a Sunday morning :(

  • poelar October 28th, 2013 11:01 AM

    I love angel haze, but that quote is from an Andrea Gibson poem!

    • Amy Rose October 28th, 2013 3:53 PM

      Oops, my bad! Thanks for the catch.

    • Brodie October 29th, 2013 3:26 AM

      I’d never heard of Andrea Gibson before now, thank you!!

  • Savidi October 28th, 2013 4:27 PM

    petra is so incredible! honestly, such an inspiration. instagram should never have deleted a her account. i mean, how stupider(is that a word?) can they get?