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Saturday Links: Clueless Revisited Edition

Plus the members of Pussy Riot’s announced release and everything else we were glad we read this week.


Image via the Village Voice.

Image via the Village Voice.

Jessica Hopper (yes, our very own music editor) has been a straight-up hero to me for more than a decade, and to girls and women in general for way longer than that. This week she reinforced her superhero status and just totally changed the music-journalism game, the music-fan game, the art vs. the artist game, the JUSTICE game, ALL OF THE GAMES, by interviewing the rock critic Jim DeRogatis about R. Kelly’s history of raping teenage girls, a story DeRogatis has been covering for 15 years in near-obscurity. It’s a difficult read for anybody (and if you’re triggered by not exactly graphic but vivid and horrifying descriptions of coercive sex, please don’t click over), but one that I, for one, needed to get with, because even though I knew in the back of my mind that Kelly had done some unsavory shit with underage girls, I avoided learning the details. I think a lot of people did. I knew that once confronted with what he’d done, I would have to stop listening to his music, which I loved—not because I can only take in art by morally perfect people, but because the combination of the enormity of his crimes and the sexually braggadocious nature of his music just makes me feel too sick. And now I’m disgusted with myself for choosing to ignore a story that has been out there for so long. I wish I could apologize to each and every one of his victims in person, one by one. I’m sorry that I willed myself into selfish ignorance for so long. I’m sorry that I did nothing to disprove what DeRogatis says to Jessica toward the end of the interview: “The saddest fact I’ve learned is nobody matters less to our society than young black women. Nobody.” Thank you, Jessica, for forcing me out of that shameful place. (See also: this interview Jessica gave The Vine a few days later.)


Images via Rolling Stone.

Images via Rolling Stone.

If there’s an adult male music critic out there whom I consider an honorary girl, it’s Rob Sheffield. He’s written two loving, empathic books about women in his life whose coolness put him under a spell—one about his three sisters and one about his wife—and he is one of the few people whose year-end best/worst music lists I anxiously await. This week, Sheffield’s top 25 singles of the year had me instantly digging in and reappraising some songs, including Sky Ferreira’s “Omanko,” of which he says, “It’s all in the paranoid ghost-rider shiver of her voice…there’s some graffiti in my neighborhood that says ‘When you dial madness, madness will pick up,’ and when I walk past it now, it reminds me of Sky.”


Image via Vulture.

Image via Vulture.

Fact: Clueless is one of the greatest movies of all time. It came out in the ’90s, when the internet wasn’t what it is now, so we don’t have a million behind-the-scenes interviews and bloopers or whatever so every time a new interview or li’l tidbit about the cast or crew or filming surfaces, it’s basically like Christmas. The fine folk at Vulture have been making “micro oral histories” of memorable scenes in movies and TV shows, and this one about the party scene in Clueless is just the best. The actors who portrayed Murray, Elton, Travis, and Cher and the writer-director Amy Heckerling recount their awesome time filming this movie, and it makes you wish you were there—and want to watch the movie again, which you should, because it’s a great movie, and any excuse to watch it is a good one. My favorite thing about it is that what we love when we watch it are the same things they loved when they made it. Like, here’s Donald Faison (Murray) on the moment when Tai (Brittany Murphy) sings “Rollin’ With My Homies”: “One, she’s so cute when she sings it. Two, you didn’t expect that voice to come out of that girl when she sang. So when she does that line, it’s like, ‘Holy cow, she can sing?’”

Anna F.

Two other miniature oral histories I enjoyed from that Vulture series: the fight scene from Anchorman and the creation of the nerd-villain trio on Buffy.


I’ve never watched Duck Dynasty, but I’m still completely pissed off that one of its stars, Phil Robertson, went on a racist, homophobic tirade during an interview for GQ magazine. He’s since been suspended from the show, but of COURSE a #SavePhil hashtag went up on Twitter immediately. Why do people always want to protect bigoted celebs, like earlier this year when we saw Paula Deen’s full-frontal racism and a similar movement to “save her” ensued? I’m scrubbing my brain with videos of actual ducks talking to each other.



A Tumblr user has compiled a playlist of all the songs Harry Styles has tweeted lyrics to in the past four years. Anyone who follows him (hi, 18.3 milli people) will know that his feed is 90% quotes from conversations you weren’t a part of and 10% snippets of songs he’s into. It’s kind of the perfect playlist, with everything from James Taylor and Tupac, to Joni Mitchell and the 1975 on it. Good one, Styles. (You can listen to it here.)

Amy Rose

The #NotYourNarrative hashtag that emerged on Twitter this week after journalists Rania Khalek and Roqayah Chamesddine created it to challenge stereotypes about Arab and Muslim representation in the media brought readers far-ranging insights—the hashtag was used over 6,000 times in a single day.

In other news, it was reported this week that PUSSY RIOT IS GONNA BE FREED, as Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in a press conference this week. Thank goodness and also FINALLY.


Twentieth Century Fox gave filmmaker Casey Neistat $25,000 to make a promotional video for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and told him he could do anything he wanted as long as it illustrated the theme “live your dreams.” Instead of making a normal commercial, he took that corporate cash to the Philippines, where he used it to buy food and supplies to hand out to survivors of Typhoon Haiyan. The resulting short (above), which documents the terrible destruction wrought by the storm and the filmmakers’ efforts to help, is beautiful and humbling.

Caitlin D.

Photographs by Lindsay Brown for a href="http://www.vogue.com/culture/article/when-the-life-you-choose-is-a-life-less-ordinary-breathless-karley-sciortino-slutever/#1">Vogue.

Photographs by Lindsay Brown for Vogue.

As if the fact that my favorite sex blogger, Karley Sciortino, now has a column at Vogue wasn’t enough of a sparkle-wrapped holiday gift basket (though why the feature’s called “Breathless” when her nom de plume, Slutever, was available is beyond me), her offering this week was perfectly timed to soothe my pre-Christmas-with-the-fam psychic trauma. In it, Sciortino talks about acknowledging one’s own milestones in life, especially when you’re living in it in a way that’s really different from the husband-house-kids track your familials followed. Read it when the aunt you see but once a year asks you about that photo you posted on your Insta three months ago. ♦


  • umi December 21st, 2013 12:46 PM

    harry styles is so cool ugh.that bit about brittany murphy made me want to cry.i remember watching the movie for the first time and rewinding it over 50 times to hear her sing.

  • Chloe22 December 21st, 2013 1:29 PM

    IS HARRY NOT THE COOLEST!? I love how One Direction is completely changing that stupid music purist view that boy bands are just massively produced bands that never write their own songs (um they actually do)… I am soooo happy I got where we are tour tickets!!!!

  • honorarygilmoregal December 21st, 2013 3:12 PM

    The micro oral history of the party scene from Clueless was a great read. It was a cool behind the scene look at one of my favorite scenes from the movie.

    Hooray for Pussy Riot going to be free!

  • 3011892 December 21st, 2013 3:48 PM

    I remember anxiously following the news of Pussy Riot’s imprisonment. The day the verdict was given, I was sitting on Anastasia’s couch in Moscow, thinking what was the point. Anastasia could not understand why I was upset.
    This amnesty is, of course, not truly an act of good will on Putin’s part, merely a demonstration of power – which seems to motivate everything he does. Having grown up with practically one president for my entire life, it took me a while, even if both of my parents are journalists, to see the full scope of the disfunction in Russia’s politics.
    Perhaps the Putin administration got tired of hearing criticism on their part for Pussy Riot and Khodorkovskiy (who has been in prison for two sentences, a total of 10 years for a crime he did not commit; he was also freed and is now in Berlin. The funny thing is, Peskov, Putin’s primary press agent, has stated that «Khodorkovskiy is absolutely free to come back»). But it seems to me that it’s mostly a show – as in, «I put you in prison, I freed you, I can do whatever I want».
    It saddens me immensely to love a country so deeply flawed.

  • mangointhesky December 21st, 2013 4:57 PM

    oooh love this!’


  • Etima December 21st, 2013 5:12 PM

    the r.kelly news is sickening. what is wrong with him? why do people do such things?? and why does it fly under the radar if you’re a celebrity? why is chris brown still selling millions? why is r.kelly a legend?

  • parm December 21st, 2013 8:02 PM

    Are we not going to talk about the other best hashtag of the week #NotYourAsianSidekick ?

  • bibliovore December 21st, 2013 8:27 PM

    Whenever I read anything by Rob Sheffield, I always imagine that he is Rob from High Fidelity.

  • LikeWinterRain December 21st, 2013 9:52 PM

    about the Phil Robertson thing, I read the article and he seems to come from a fundamentalist Christian point of view of homosexuality. (which even though I don’t agree with, I think people are entitled to their opinions as long as it doesn’t hurt someone else) Is it right to suspend him from the show because he said what he believed during an interview? I also found the the writer of that article to be biased and pretty rude when describing the family. I haven’t watched the show and I might not know what all he actually said that was offensive, so I’m really curious to know why what he said was big enough to get him knocked off the show and to get his merchandise taken off the shelves.

    • Tangerine December 22nd, 2013 4:46 PM

      He’s allowed to say whatever he wants, but his employers are also allowed to fire him for it. He’s not a special case. Many actors lose jobs or sponsors after saying or doing something offensive.

  • spudzine December 22nd, 2013 12:04 AM

    Thank God for a hashtag for us Muslim homies and our representation. It’s frutruating the amount of prejudice we go through on a daily basis, and the fact that people who don’t go through the same kind of discrimination say we just have to live with it. Also, Harry Styles has good taste in music and I want to marry him.


  • Holly December 22nd, 2013 12:33 AM

    I’m glad to see someone mention how rude Phil Robertson’s comments were, because being that I live in Northern Louisiana, everyone I know is defending him and basically losing their shit because “freedom of speech”. Which don’t get me wrong I’m all for freedom of speech, but I don’t think it should be used as an excuse to put down other people. I could go on, but i’ll just stop here. lol

  • elliecp December 22nd, 2013 8:21 AM

    oh god clueless is actually my life


  • Laia December 22nd, 2013 8:49 AM

    rob sheffield literally best dude ever. <3 him.

  • lexilikes December 22nd, 2013 11:19 AM

    Clueless is the best and you are so right about how finding a behind the scenes thing is like a piece of treasure. <3


  • AidaA December 22nd, 2013 2:13 PM

    I just listened to Sky Ferreira’s Omanko for the first time. I L O V E !!


  • Violet December 22nd, 2013 8:11 PM

    The R.Kelly thing is disgusting. Thank you Rookie for helping that story get out in the world.

    I related so much to the Karley Sciortino’s article – these old sentences at family reunions when you feel judged or ‘abnormal’ because you don’t care for the same things as what your family will call ‘normal’. It’s so hard, and yet you just have to force yourself not to hear these insidious questions (most of them are just chit-chat really), and make yourself the sole judge of your progress. Reading this made me want to be stronger in affirming what I really want.

  • AnaRuiz December 22nd, 2013 8:30 PM


    PS. These weekly links are quickly becoming my favorite thing about Rookie <3 They're fantastically picked and reviewed.


  • Rushmore December 23rd, 2013 12:31 AM

    I also loved Sheffield’s hilarious article on Blurred lines being “The Worst Song of This or Any Other Year” though I don’t agree with him on Wild World (I love that song).
    Also sad to see that one of the repeated comments in the Sheffield best song article is people calling him a “13 year old girl” which I’ve always thought was a bizarre insult since everyone knows 13 year old girls are the biggest taste makers in the world(Beatlemania?)and was the year I personally discovered my favorite bands.

  • iamrachii December 23rd, 2013 8:46 AM

    I totally get how you feel on the R Kelly story Anaheed, also this week one of my old favourites Ian Watkins (of Lostprophets) was jailed for 35 years for child sex offences which is truly sickening…
    On a happier note I’m loving the micro oral histories too, the one about Donna Martin’s first time was really interesting to me since I finally finished Beverly Hills 90210 yesterday (and I miss all the characters so much already)!

  • ArmyOfRabbits December 23rd, 2013 7:43 PM

    Karley helped me save my life (in a figurative way)– thanks!