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Saturday Links: Patti Remembers Lou Edition

Plus some Arcade Fire gorgeousness, mind-blowing portraits of cosplayers, and MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN ILLINOIS!

Tavi

Patti Smith and her friend Lou Reed, c. 1975. Photo by Richard E. Aaron.

Patti Smith and her friend Lou Reed, c. 1975. Photo by Richard E. Aaron.

Of course Patti Smith wrote something absolutely beautiful in honor of Lou Reed. “Lou brought the sensibilities of art and literature into his music,” she says. “He was our generation’s New York poet.” So lovely.

Emma D.

Here’s a live music video for Arcade Fire’s performance at the YouTube Music Awards ceremony. It was directed by Spike Jonze and includes a dancing Greta Gerwig, which gives you two good reasons to watch it RIGHT NOW.

Lena

cosplay_links

Wired posted some of the portraits photographer Klaus Pichler has been taking of Austrian cosplay enthusiasts at home and dressed up in the costumes of their choice. The photos are beautifully composed, and the contrast between the costumes and the ordinariness of the houses is cool, but the thing I love most about these is that there is almost no way of reading how these people feel. A lot of them look lonely—sitting in the bathtub by themselves, or at the kitchen table—but it could actually be the best day of their lives! We’ll never know, but what I do know is that the resulting pictures are totally gorgeous.

Julianne

Last Saturday, a 19-year-old African-American woman named Renisha McBride had a car accident in the mostly-white Detroit suburb of Dearborn Heights, Michigan. Her cell phone had died, so she went to a house nearby and knocked on the door; the man who lived there apparently thought she was trying to break in and shot her in the face. Renisha died on his porch, yet the person who shot her has not been arrested or identified. This week, activists and community leaders in the area staged a protest at the Dearborn Heights police station seeking justice for McBride. The writer/director dream hampton was there to document it, and you can watch her footage above.

Lorde turned 17 this week and spent it as wonderfully as I would hope for anyone on her 17th birthday: spreading and receiving magic and fulfilling her dreams. She wrote a lovely Tumblr post about how she was going to walk around listening to Stevie Nicks and think: “I don’t even know what I’m trying to say, just attempting to reflect on what’s going on right now. I’m already thinking about the next project, about reinvention, and personae, and theatricality and subtlety, and simplicity and complexity. And strength.” Related: While Lorde was in New York City this week, New York’s new Mayor-Elect, Bill deBlasio, walked out to make his acceptance speech to “Royals.” Such a good choice.

Stephanie

Ellen Tejle, the director of a Swedish art-house theater, putting movies to the (Bechdel) test. Photo via the Associated Press.

Ellen Tejle, the director of a Swedish art-house theater, putting movies to the (Bechdel) test. Photo via the Associated Press.

Swedish cinemas are launching a feminist movie-rating system based on the “Bechdel test,” which originally came from an idea cartoonist Alison Bechdel had in 1985: To get an “A” rating, a movie must feature at least two named female characters who talk to each other about something other than guys. Seems like that should be pretty easy, right? Um, yeah, but a LOT of major Hollywood blockbusters, including all of the Lord of the Rings movies and all but one of the Harry Potter movies, fail. The system has its critics, of course, but I’m interested in seeing how movies rate—and seeing the A-rated ones!

Way back in February on Saturday Links, I was thrilled to report that the State Senate in my home state of Illinois had voted to approve a marriage equality bill. Like many Illinoisans, I’d really hoped the bill would sail through the state House of Representatives and be signed into law IMMEDIATELY. Well, when I left Illinois for Washington (which, happily, approved marriage equality this time last year) in July, it STILL hadn’t passed and I was feeling pretty frustrated with the Illinois government. But on Tuesday, lawmakers FINALLY approved the bill, which the governor plans to sign and will go into effect next June. It’s about time, Illinois! I’m beaming with pride and celebrating for you in Seattle!

A huge marker of writing success is the New York Times bestseller list. I write young adult novels—a category that is largely thought to be dominated by women, especially since some of the most successful authors, like Stephenie Meyer and Suzanne Collins, are female. But this week, Stacked Books took a closer look at the NYT list and discovered that women are not dominating it in the way they are perceived to be. So, my Rookie scribes, keep writing those future bestsellers!

Anaheed

Some unnamed writer at something called ViralNova was told by a friend to look up a specific longitude and latitude on Google Maps. This is what they saw:

googlemaps

What’s that? A symbol that probably means there’s an airport or something there, right? Weird that it would be there in the middle of the desert, with no visible roads leading to or from, but if you’re like me you’re like, “I’m sure there’s some boring explanation for it” and you move on. Luckily, the afore-not-mentioned writer decided to investigate, and I don’t want to tell you ANYTHING about what they discovered; I want you to read it for yourself, here.

Montgomery Jones and some of the other ladies at SPARK have started a petition to ask H&M to use plus-size mannequins in their stores.

Emma S.

Patti LaBelle and Oprah Winfrey are friends, and they are powerful women. I wish there was a television channel devoted to this! OH WAIT THERE IS. This is a clip from Oprah’s OWN Network where she interviewed LaBelle on the stage of the Apollo Theatre for no reason and it’s amazing. There are two serious highlights: The first is when Patti talks about how she likes to walk back and forth in her pool, and the second is when Patti talks about all the amazing things that Oprah has done for her, just because she likes her. Friendship and admiration are real, even for the very rich and very famous. This clip makes me feel great about my life choices thus far, and my enthusiasm for my genius friends, like all the Rookies. ♦

22 Comments

  • cloudinthesky November 9th, 2013 1:42 PM

    Interesting stuff as always <3
    Ohh and you included something from my home country Austria!!! That doesn't happen a lot haha!

    • grinsekatze November 9th, 2013 3:52 PM

      oh hey, fellow austrian Rookie reader :) I always thought I was the only one! it’s nice to see that there are others :)

      • cloudinthesky November 9th, 2013 4:50 PM

        oh my gosh I thought that too (that I’m the only one)! that’s so cool! :) do you have a blog or something like that?

        • grinsekatze November 10th, 2013 4:08 AM

          no I don’t have a blog but I’m on Pinterest, listography or Twitter. Do you have an account on any of those maybe?

        • cloudinthesky November 10th, 2013 11:36 AM

          noooo haha I only have tumblr (also cloudinthesky) and facebook! that sucks…

        • grinsekatze November 10th, 2013 2:16 PM

          oh yeah I have Facebook as well! (completely forgot that, haha) but I just saw on your blog that you’re also on last.fm, so I could add you there :)

        • cloudinthesky November 11th, 2013 11:50 AM

          Yes, sure! You can add me there :)!

  • honorarygilmoregal November 9th, 2013 2:47 PM

    Lorde’s tumblr post was beautifully written. Loved it!

    perkstobeinginfinite.tumblr.com

  • christinachristina November 9th, 2013 2:58 PM

    WHAT IN THE FUCK. Poor Renisha McBride and her family… I can’t even……

  • Amal November 9th, 2013 3:19 PM

    Lena’s topic was my favorite this week. The pictures really were beautiful and I never had stopped to think about how those feel until I read this <3

    http://www.tutusaresweeter.com

  • navyblueguava November 9th, 2013 4:08 PM

    Rookie: I think you are the best magazine that a girl could ever wish for! Loved this post in particular- I think it’s quirky but interesting and fun, all at the same time.

  • LilyB November 9th, 2013 4:21 PM

    Lorde is so smart and cool. FINALLY I CAN LIKE SOMEONE POPULAR!

  • LuxOrBust November 9th, 2013 6:39 PM

    http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/laurie-andersons-farewell-to-lou-reed-a-rolling-stone-exclusive-20131106 thia essay by Lou Reed’s wife Laurie Anderson about how he passed and the nature of their relationship is beautiful for anyone who’s interested

  • monalisa November 9th, 2013 7:26 PM

    i really liked this saturday links but the bechedel test is annoying me. lord of the rings i can understand why they don’t get an a, but like it’s based on j r r tolkein’s books which are fab and sadly don’t have really any female characters, but considering the time it was written, and that all tolkein’s friends were males and stuff, i don’t see how that’s a big problem, just as long as there were also movies which had hardly any male characters in them.
    but harry potter????? how did that fail? Harry Potter has far stronger female characters in it than movies like Bridesmaids where all they talk about is men and marriages. Hermione? Ginny? McGonnagal? Luna? Mrs Weasley? The female Quidditch players? Bellatrix? so many more i just, they are all so strong and of course they talk about love interests but so does Harry and Ron and all the male characters. So yeah that really riles me.

    apapillon.blogspot.com.au

    • GlitterKitty November 9th, 2013 8:41 PM

      I agree with you. While I think that examining the female presence in films is important, I don’t think the the Bechedel test is really effective. I think that Harry Potter has a lot of very strong female characters and I don’t think “conversation between named female characters that isn’t about a man” is a fair indicator of the strength of those characters or characters in any movie. I don’t think anyone would use this strategy in real life so why would it make sense in movies?

      Mainly I think this system is ineffective because it measures the female presence in terms of the male presence. It doesn’t praise the strength of female characters in their own right, it rates them in relation to how much they mention male characters. And in the case of Lord of the Rings, yes, most of the characters are male. But it’s not like they’re going around making demoralizing statements about women.

      I like that people are thinking about this because it is important but I don’t think this system is really effective.

  • JadeTayla November 9th, 2013 11:17 PM

    Greta Gerwig dances to Arcade Fire EXACTLY the same way I dance to Arcade Fire. Who doesn’t love a good crazy dance to your favourite song? So much fun!

    The feminist movie rating test seems like an interesting idea in theory, however I don’t know whether a film’s equality can be accurately tested by their techniques. I mean, they say the Harry Potter films don’t pass their test, yet (as others have said) they exhibit many strong, empowering and inspiration female characters – both good and bad. But a film like ‘Savages’ (probably one of the most sexist films I saw last year) passes their test?? WTF? I too want to see more films with female characters that young girls can look up to, but it would be just as great to see more women behind the camera too.

  • Helena K. November 10th, 2013 1:26 AM

    The background today! That rug was my childhood. My dad still has it in his office.

  • greenie November 10th, 2013 3:49 AM

    i really enjoyed everything today and thoroughly read through it all, the lou reed article made me cry a little and arcade fire was just fabulous and the costumes at home was very cool, THANKS

    http://tugboatcaptain.tumblr.com/

  • lilagrace November 10th, 2013 8:48 AM

    That Arcade Fire video makes me so happy (+ a little teary eyed) every time I watch it. It’s so adorable! The song is one of my favourites from the new album.

  • RockHatesMiriam November 10th, 2013 5:59 PM

    Followed every link and wasn’t disappointed, thanks rookie! That plane story was really interesting and really sad :(

    boredcouture.bigcartel.com

  • lyssagrltx November 10th, 2013 7:34 PM

    OMG!! LORDE’S POST!! She said last year on her birthday she talked about pokemon with her friends. That just makes me so happy.

    http://sundayschoolshoes.blogspot.com/

  • Joyce November 11th, 2013 2:55 AM

    damn that Arcade Fire live video was amazing.