Everything else

Saturday Links: BEYONCÉ SURPRISE ATTACK Edition

Plus rad new projects about racial identity, an off-Broadway production of Heathers, and other things that brought us joy this week.

Amy Rose

Maybe you guys have heard about the brand-new and overwhelmingly fabulous “visual album” that Beyoncé released out of NOWHERE on Thursday night? The one with a music video for every single song? Many of us at Rookie collectively froke out so hard that, as of the time I’m writing this on Friday evening, we had written 343 Facebook comments back and forth to one another in under 24 hours. DAMN, right? Watch this teaser of the full-length video for her new track “Flawless,” which samples a speech from the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (an excerpt: “Why do we teach [girls] to aspire to marriage? We raise girls to view each other as competitors—not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing—but for the attention of men”) and you’ll be like, “Only 343? You guys were kind of laid-back about this amazing fucking thing, huh?”

Rookie contributor Hazel collected some of the best Twitter responses to Beyoncé’s album for Rolling Stone, if you want some idea of how much of a BRAIN MELTDOWN we and seemingly everybody else on the internet experienced en masse when the record dropped. Even as someone who hasn’t always been a BEYONCÉ SUPERFAN, it’s hard not to completely bug out when you hear it; it’s a high-concept, hyper-thoughtful display of person-ness and artistry, and it’s giving me fucking EVERYTHING I NEED at this particular moment.

Photo by Ruth Fremson.

Photo by Ruth Fremson.

Another thing I found totally staggering, albeit in an entirely different way, this week was this impeccably-reported, heart-ruining New York Times story about homeless children in New York City. It followed one girl, 11-year-old Dasani, through a year of her life, during which her family battles addiction and faces eviction from the shelter they live in. You will probably gulp back tears when it’s revealed that a winter jacket donated by a school security guard is one of Dasani’s few possessions and become utterly incensed at the indifference toward the economic underclass by millionaire-plus politicians in New York over the past decade. This story is as infuriating as it is sad, but it’s also boiling over with hope and beauty thanks to Dasani, a person who has had to be stronger in her tiny lifetime than most people five times her age, and is still exuberant and lovely in the way she goes about living.

The dedicated work of the journalist Andrea Elliott in this story is important and revelatory. As someone who lives comfortably in the same city where Dasani dwells, I’m grateful for this look into what life can be like here, and to consider what I might do to share my unbelievable good luck with neighbors who have had a string of terrible breaks. If you’re feeling like you want to share your own good fortune this winter, donate some time or resources to the New York–based anti-homelessness charity Bowery Residents’ Committee, the National Alliance to End Homelessness, or your local shelter.

Photo by Sebastian Kim.

Photo by Sebastian Kim.

Two casually rad human beings, the writer Mary Gaitskill and the musician Kim Gordon, sat down in conversation for Interview magazine, and it made my brain thrum like a radiator cranked to its highest setting. Gaitskill is a confrontational, terse interviewer in the best possible way, and Gordon meets her with thoughtfulness and grace throughout their conversation, which covers fashion, art, love, men, and ocean waves versus brain waves. I loved hanging out inside their big ideas.

Photo via Noisey.

Photo via Noisey.

After @wolfpupy, @Seinfeld2000 is my favorite thing about the popular website Twitter.com. @Seinfeld2000 a parody account of another parody account (I KNOW, BEAR WITH ME), @SeinfeldToday, which is a straightforward modern reimagining of the ’90s sitcom Seinfeld. @Seinfeld2000, on the other hand, is a self-aware, intentionally misspelled skewering of the other account—the main characters are named Jary, Garge, and Elane—and its anonymous writer wrote a column for Noisey this week about the best imagined Seinfeld-based albums of 2013 that serves as a good little introduction to his/her bizarro imaginary world.

Jamia

While I genuinely LOVE Queen Bey’s self-titled surprise album for its musical merits, what moves me the most is that this particular piece of artistry is a love letter to all of us who have been told we were too [fill in the blank] or not [fill in the blank] enough to achieve an unattainable ideal of perfect womanhood—or even to be a “good enough” feminist. Not so long ago, Ms. Knowles Carter faced backlash for her provocative costume at the Chime for Change concert, and she’s caught flak for expressing her own idea of female strength. Queen B owns who she is and she shares her triumphs and failures without apology. For this reason and many more, I’m sharing Professor Crunk from Crunk Feminist Collective’s 5 Reasons I’m Here for Beyoncé, the Feminist,” a piece that celebrates Beyoncé’s trajectory as a “work in progress” who is going to keep innovating, groundbreaking, and shaking up the world—haters, shamers, and policers be damned.

Anaheed

Bey isn’t the only one dropping hot new videos this week—check out “Butt Dial,” the latest episode of Andy Kindler’s web procedural, Kids’ Court!

The moment when Judge Kindler CRACKS THE CASE WIDE OPEN by hoodwinking a small child—I know it’s “wrong” or whatever on some moral/ethical level, but it is HIGH DRAMA and MAXIMUM LAFFS.

Gabby

As if Totino’s Pizza Rolls didn’t already have enough of my business, they totally won Twitter this week. Well done, Totino’s.

Image via Jezebel.

Image via Jezebel.

I am fascinated by happy-go-lucky-seeming businesses that end up being riddled with LIES AND CORRUPTION. Like, any Disney conspiracy theory, no matter how far-fetched, has my attention. So when I read this story on the rise and fall of Lisa Frank, the brand famous for its technicolor school supplies covered with adorable animals, I was enthralled. It turns out that inside those rainbow-unicorn-covered pencil holders lie tales of employee abuse and illicit love affairs.

Also, some guy tried to get internet-famous by baking a bunch of cookies that looked like iPhones and then held them while he drove in order to bait police. When I first heard about this, I thought it just sounded like a really elaborate waste of cookies. Like, what was he trying to protest? The very helpful laws that hinder people from causing accidents by using their phones while driving? His ability to joke around with the law because he’s a white dude who won’t be seen as a threat? Whatever, turns out the guy had a warrant out for unpaid parking tickets, so he got arrested. LESSON: Don’t be a jerk and, most important, DON’T WASTE COOKIES.

Dylan

Clockwise from top left: Self-portraits of Cat Harris-White, Erik Blood, Terence Nance, and Asia Catherine Clarke.

Clockwise from top left: Self-portraits of Cat Harris-White, Erik Blood, Terence Nance, and Asia Catherine Clarke.

Charles Mudede wrote a piece in the Stranger this week debunking the white myth of a “post-racial society,” and he did it with ART. He interviewed the Seattle/Brooklyn hip-hop duo THEESatisfaction about their “Black Weirdo” parties and movement, and there are some beautiful here, like this quote from the filmmaker Terence Nance: “I come from and operate within the vast and infinite Universe that is blackness, and a wise and beautiful goddess I used to date once told me that the first word in the definition of weird in the OED is magical, and art-making is nothing if not magic.”

Photo by Eleanor Hardwick via Dazed and Confused.

Photo by Eleanor Hardwick via Dazed and Confused.

Meanwhile, our own Eleanor Hardwick just launched her zine project, Twenty Thirteen. From here, it looks entirely magical, and—buddy bonus!—includes our other contributor girlfrens Olivia Bee and Dana Boulos!

Jenny

Photo by Kiyun.

Photo by Kiyun.

This gallery of racist “microaggressions,” a term defined by Columbia professor Derald Sue as “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color,” is pretty cathartic for those of who are us all too familiar with experiences like the ones portrayed here. The photographer, Kiyun, is a 19-year-old Fordham student who had the brilliant idea to take portraits of her friends holding signs displaying “an instance of microaggression” they’ve faced.

Estelle

Stills from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe via Tumblr.

Stills of Susan from the movie version of “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.”

I LOVED C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series when I was a kid. I read and reread the books about the Pevensie kids’ adventures after they found a passage to Narnia in the back of a wardrobe. In the first book, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I loved wise Aslan and the wicked White Witch, and the later books had their own lovable characters and sense of adventure

I devoured them all, but the final installment, The Last Battle, made me feel real weird. After an epic battle involving Earth, Narnia, and time itself, the Pevensies are invited to “real Narnia”—all of them, that is, except Susan, the eldest girl, who we’re told is “interested in nothing nowadays except nylons and lipstick and invitations.” As J.K. Rowling says in this here Tumblr post, Susan has “become irreligious basically because she found sex. I have a big problem with that.” Then follows a glorious rant by the Tumblrer that imagines what the real, queenly life of Susan Pevensie might have been like after Narnia: She wears men’s shirts, gets an education, maybe has children, and protests wars—i.e., she is a LADY BOSS. Totally awesome in a week that’s all about queens (LUV U, BEY)!

Stephanie

A still from the cinema version of Heathers.

A still from the cinema version of Heathers.

Heathers is one of those movies that shaped my personality in a big way. It’s not just one of my faves—it’s part of me, you know? Generally, when there’s talk of remaking something I love like that, I’m completely freaked out by it, so I was relieved when I learned back in August that Heathers was NOT going to be made into a TV show, as had been previously planned. But when I heard that Heathers IS going to be made into an off-Broadway musical next year, I totally squeed. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I love musicals that’s making this work for me—I mean, just IMAGINE the song they could write about corn nuts—or that it’s a different format than movie/TV, or that being an off-Broadway production just seems to suit a dark comedy/cult classic like Heathers. Even though I’m excited, I still can’t imagine anyone but Winona as Veronica or Christian Slater as JD, and since I don’t live in New York, I probably won’t get to see it, but I really hope I can get my hands on the soundtrack. ♦

37 Comments

  • Abby December 14th, 2013 12:24 PM

    I always feel somewhat accomplished when I’ve already read some of the things you guys put on these Saturday links lol. Also, that thing about Susan Pevensie was AMAZING. So good.

  • soviet_kitsch December 14th, 2013 12:37 PM

    “Krame get line in contreversiel new Lars Van Trier movie ‘Nymphemaniac’ KRAME: These pretzel are making me horny ”

    jesus h christ this is gold

  • Bex_cygnet December 14th, 2013 12:56 PM

    I know this was a marketing stunt but I still think it’s lovely!

    http://youtu.be/zIEIvi2MuEk

  • umi December 14th, 2013 1:01 PM

    aw man,this saturaday links was really good.beyonce beyonce beYONCE

    when i was younger,i used to sing irreplacable bc i knew what the song was about and was 100% for it.you best believe i knew every word to surviver and sang it under my breath when kids would make fun of me for being smart and mixed and blah blah.she has been so important to the way i think of myself and treat myself and my image and when i had nothing to identify with(people who are not mixed like to make fun of the “never really belong anywhere” complex but it’s a very real thing?),beyonce was everything.
    when i started reading about feminsim when i was 12(about three years ago), i got into it through baby riot grrls and just could not even identify or relate to riot grrl at all,so i just listened to tlc and missy elliot and queen latifah and beyonce and that’s my feminism.
    beyonce is everthing and i’ve stanned her forever and i can feel her postive energy in everything and i feel so enlighted after i listen or watch beyonce.we’re all feelin’ that right?
    i also think it’s mad important when she sings a song like jealousy…i sometimes feel bad for having bad feelings bc im so priveliged and i’ve come a long way in surviving.i’ll just supress everything bc,y’know, i’m powerful and stuff.but that’s not good and even though she’s a GODDESS, she still gets weird feelings bc she’s a human being(wow).we should cry if we need to,basically.
    wow wow wow she’s so important,SHE’S SO IMPORTANT

  • Ladymia69 December 14th, 2013 1:37 PM

    Ughhh…I hate to be a complainer, but man, I am tired of hearing about Beyonce. Especially from feminist sites. To me, she is so far from feminist it is absurd to call her one. Not to mention she is completely hypocritical in so many other ways…an example? When she and her awful husband decided to go”vegan” earlier this month, one of the first days out she wore fur to a vegan restaurant. FUR TO A VEGAN RESTAURANT. Days later, she wore a top-to-toe leather outfit. Dumb or just completely clueless?

    Can we PLEASE give the Beyonce praise a rest??? Thank you. :)

    • Maryse89 December 14th, 2013 2:55 PM

      just a question, because I genuinely don’t know: how did people know that those furs and leather outfits weren’t synthetic? I mean, nowadays, they make fake furs and leathers that are really realistic looking. Did someone go up and feel what Bey was wearing or something???

      • Ladymia69 December 14th, 2013 3:45 PM

        Because they were identified as specific high-ticket genuine fur and leather items by Givenchy and other designers, and in the article they were linked back to sites which sold the items and specified the materials.

        • Ladymia69 December 14th, 2013 3:55 PM

          I just really wish we could give the women that are truly working for other women their due. And Beyonce just isn’t doing much but saying what people want to hear so she can make more money when they buy her stuff. Clearly, the business she is truly in is the making-money-for-Beyonce business.

    • umi December 14th, 2013 4:46 PM

      i’m not going to comment on the whole vegan thing,seeing as i know nothing about it and im not going to try and convince you that beyonce is the greatest ever,either.but.
      i genuinely would like to know why you think she’s not a feminist.i really cant understand that bit bc,like,is there a set of rules to being a feminist that me and bey somehow missed?
      and something to your comment below about praising women who actually do things for women.she is doing things for women.today i saw a post about somebody listening to beyonce to fight depression and insomnia and pain.that is 100% amazing in everyway.People ar healing bc of her.do you know how many black girls grew up listening to her and actually have self-worth bc of her? like, a lot.she’s very very very very important to mixed girls and queer girls and black girls and she’s basically cultivating a group of girls who love themselves and each other and to deny that.i mean.
      she’s doing things,for sure,but maybe for a specific group of people? just thoughts,though

    • AngstyTheBrave December 14th, 2013 4:49 PM

      I agree with you about the fur and leather thing, but I don’t think she’s far from being a feminist. I can’t remember her doing anything problematic/anti-feminist. Can you think of anything? (I’m not trying to be an ass I just can’t think of anything, and if she’s done something actually bad then I’ll lessen my opinion of her).

      • Ladymia69 December 14th, 2013 6:38 PM

        It isn’t a question of her doing anything “bad”. The road to hell is paved with good intentions,, etc. She monopolizes the conversation about feminism, when there are so many other feminists worth looking into who have truly changed things for women. All I see in Beyonce is a person who supersexualizes herself in order to finance her lifestyle.

        Please watch the film Miss Respresentation (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1784538/) if you can, I think it will explain things further.

        Also, you can read this open letter written by an activist to Michelle Obama when she said Beyonce was the best role model for her girls, and maybe understand why she’s not that great a role model after all.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/rakhi-kumar/michelle-obama-beyonce_b_3120434.html

        • Hazel December 15th, 2013 3:25 AM

          I take a lot of issue with Kumar’s letter to Michelle Obama. She jumps to an absolutely huge conclusion: that the clothes Beyonce wore on stage, that the way she acted on stage, could directly contribute to young women going into sexual slavery. That is an insane comment to make. Beyonce’s Super Bowl performance does not make her a prostitute or an object, YOU as the VIEWER perceive her to be an object because of your prescribed notions of objectification. I have not suddenly forgotten her status as a singer, mother, wife, etc. because I’ve seen her body. I see a liberated sexual woman, Kumar sees “a doll.” Apparently Kumar has trouble seeing women as more than just their bodies? I think Kumar’s brand of feminism is seriously off base here and, frankly, this letter is actually dangerous and rooted in extremely conservative ideas. As well, one simply can not say Beyonce is not a role model. Kumar can not speak for all women.

        • umi December 15th, 2013 12:40 PM

          basically hazel is way more articulate than me,everything hazel said

    • dreamygirl December 14th, 2013 6:06 PM

      I think she is VERY VERY feminist. Honestly, there is nothing more feminist (to me) than a black woman promoting female sexuality while saying how painful beauty standards are and encouraging other colored women to BELIEVE they’re beautiful, sexy, should ignore beauty standards and don’t have to belong to another man (also saying they should be v ambitious). The vegan thing I can’t speak for either, I don’t think she’s stupid, but I don’t think that’s excusable behavior. Everyone has their flaws and that’s why I believe in killing your idols. That being said, I’m still adamant about my love for Beyoncé.

      • dreamygirl December 14th, 2013 6:11 PM

        maybe that’s not the best argument, everyone having flaws. what I mean is that her doing something wrong is not a reason to discredit her good actions.

        • AngstyTheBrave December 14th, 2013 8:00 PM

          I agree. And you can’t really win. We want the rights to wear whatever we want without being called “sluts”, etc. but we can’t because we’ll be judged. And women are so sexualized. So we want to be sexy without being sexualized, which isn’t that hard, but since society/straight men/the media wants us to dress slutty without being sluts. It’s confusing, and hard to articulate. It happens with women in the media too, at least with the ones that wear revealing clothing. Because we want women to wear whatever they want, but we know that these characters are dressed like that for the straight men (and bi men too I suppose). I’m not really making sense, but I agree with you, dreamygirl.

          (There’s also a huge thing with how sexualized black women and women of color are in the media, even more so than white women, but some of the points still stand and I can’t really talk about it as a white woman, so)

        • taste test December 14th, 2013 10:53 PM

          I don’t know a ton about Beyoncé, but this is something I’ve been thinking about lately and something that seems to be coming up a lot in the media. a lot of people seem to realize something isn’t right about how sexualized female pop stars are, but it’s damn hard to talk about without coming off as slut-shamey and “if you act/dress sexy, you’re obviously not A Real Artist worthy of any respect from anyone.” which is very problematic as well. and there’s also the question of how much of this is of their own free will and how much is their management thinking the only way to sell them is to sex them up. I believe Beyoncé is in charge of her own management now, so it’s probably her own decision, but I’m far from an expert on her. does anyone who knows more about her/about this issue in general want to add anything?

    • soretudaaa December 15th, 2013 10:21 AM

      I, for one, agree with you 100%. I don’t really get why people say she’s like the poster girl of feminism or something. To me, she represents the watered-down, marketable version of feminism, like with that “Who Run the World” song, it just reminds me of that Hollywood trick of introducing “strong” female characters (a.k.a token female characters who are bossy and loud and divas), and to me strong is much more than being “A Queen” and “taking shit from no one” and that kind of thing, and I think that’s why Beyonce never struck me as a feminist. It doesn’t seem to me like she’s revolutionary in any way. Her songs are insanely popular (not only to women) and still things haven’t changed, and of course it’s not Beyonce’s fault that sexism hasn’t been exterminated but I think it’s a stretch to call her revolutionary or put her in a pedestal like people love to do nowadays.

      I’m not really articulate so I’m not sure I’m using the right words, but that’s how I feel.

      • Ladymia69 December 16th, 2013 5:07 PM

        Thanks for being the one lone voice who has an unpopular opinion, besides me. It takes courage to think critically and voice it.

  • littlediamonds December 14th, 2013 2:12 PM

    Oh, that post about Susan is perfect! I had already seen it and was so happy that you guys featured it here. I loved the series and still do, but i have so many problems with that last book and how they treated Susan is def one of them.

    I’m not really a Beyonce fan tbh, even tho i love some of her songs, but i’m really excited about this new album! At first i couldn’t even believe, ’cause it was so out of nowhere haha.

  • honorarygilmoregal December 14th, 2013 3:30 PM

    The Lisa Frank article was a fascinating read. Who knew such drama happened behind the scenes of such a glittery, shiny company?

    Also loved the NYT article on homeless children and the post about Susan.

  • anna eve December 14th, 2013 3:36 PM

    I love the post about Susan so much! I was also really annoyed when reading the last book because it sounded like she became so shallow, when she had been so smart and determined, and just a generally badass girl. Also, aaaaaahhhhh a Heathers musical!!! That’s like the two best things ever rolled into one! Can’t wait until we get to say greetings and salutations to the soundtrack, how very!

    http://lilliputianlilac.blogspot.com

  • AngstyTheBrave December 14th, 2013 4:37 PM

    I’m sort of glad that guy got in trouble. Keeping a hand off the wheel to make a point is still dangerous AND most places have laws against eating while driving too. I don’t know, it just never made sense as to why he was doing that.

  • taste test December 14th, 2013 5:03 PM

    wow, that lisa frank article is crazy. and kind of sad, too, because if their management wasn’t so fucked they could be making a huge comeback right now. I’ve seen her stuff floating around on tumblr and some cool&hip people at my school put her stickers on their laptops and shoes. there was even a lisa frank themed party here this semester.

    I’ve personally always loved her things. I could never find much of it but I’ve kept everything. I always assumed they went out of business in the early 2000s…

  • spudzine December 14th, 2013 5:59 PM

    I’ve been wondering for a while what happened to Lisa Frank, but now I know! :O Wow all that stuff that happened…I mean, I knew they were doing badly, but the behind the scenes drama just blew me away, because I didn’t see it coming! Just like how I didn’t see Beyonce’s new album, and WOOP here it is! I’m so thrilled about B and her music, guys. And yeah, the racist microaggressions…I’m so used to them that it’s quite sad. Like, I don’t understand why people think it’s OKAY to ask people such questions, and then NOT BELIEVE THEM WHEN THEY GIVE ANSWERS. Like OMG.

    http://spudzine.tumblr.com/
    http://emotwins.tumblr.com/
    http://rockogirl.tumblr.com/

  • dreamygirl December 14th, 2013 6:09 PM

    On the topic of homeless kids in NYC, there’s a way to really be influential if you’re a NYC kid too. I’m an ambassador for the 20K project run by the Coalition for the Homeless. I really recommend becoming one too; you basically collect signatures from classmates in support of giving shelter to homeless kids in NYC.

    ALSO AH I HAVE 2 SEE HEATHERS WOW

  • TessAnnesley December 14th, 2013 7:07 PM

    The photo/graphic of Susan is amazing but just so you know, the little grey subtitle under it says “photos of Lucy” not Susan <3

  • jenaimarley December 14th, 2013 7:46 PM

    I’m originally from Tucson, Arizona and have been to the Lisa Frank Factory. My friends and I went there one night to make a photo diary and it was one of the most absurd, creepiest and dreamiest places I’ve ever been.

  • cin December 15th, 2013 6:33 AM

    YAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSS

  • cin December 15th, 2013 6:34 AM

    SO excited for heathers, i learned so much about Lisa, and what a lengthy read about the homeless kids in NYC but I made it to part 2 and hope to read on. thanks rook.

  • RatioRae December 15th, 2013 10:04 AM

    Love and totally agree with the Susan Pevensie article. Even if she became “shallow” in the last book, she lost her family and I can’t imagine how she must have felt at the time.

  • Etima December 15th, 2013 4:29 PM

    chimamanda ngozi adichie! as a nigerian i’m quite pleased when i see other nigerians in public spots. i’m quite excited for beyonce’s album. she’s so coooool!

  • Julianne December 15th, 2013 9:31 PM

    I too love Heathers and consider it part of my identity. I have been SO EXCITED for the musical version because I actually went to an event where one of the composers was talking about making it, and I got to see him give a sneak preview of one of JD’s songs!!

  • Jes December 15th, 2013 9:33 PM

    Gabby- There is a Catholic school near me named after Totinos! Apparently the brand donated a ton of money to the school and now it’s called Totino-Grace. YEP. From what I’ve heard they are a force to be reckoned with in the show choir world. My friend and I often wonder if their mascot is a frozen pizza roll.

  • mangointhesky December 16th, 2013 7:22 AM

    The ugly job of being cute. LOVE it!

    http://thebluepapaya.blogspot.com

  • MabelEnchanted December 16th, 2013 11:51 AM

    While everyone else argues about whether Beyonce is a feminist or not, I’d just like to scream over the fact that Heathers is becoming a musical. Is that not the best news you’ve heard today?! Maybe I lead a rather boring life but I was extremely happy.

    http://mabelsmind.blogspot.co.uk/

  • iamrachii December 16th, 2013 1:58 PM

    HEATHERS MUSICAL! I heard there was one a while back that never really god off the ground so I’m overjoyed that this is going to happen. Sadly like Stephanie I don’t live in New York so I might never see it either but I can dream!