Yet another reason to adore Seth Bogart of Hunx and His Punx fame: Hunx himself collaborated with Saint Laurent on a line of T-shirts and accessories. I’m excited to watch him join the world of HI FASHUNS!
I want to thank Alan Hanson at The Hairpin for this highly informative glossary of decoded dude texts. “But what does he REALLY mean?!” NOW WE KNOW!
I loved Molly Lambert’s piece on Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” video, which correctly celebrates the way that Nicki is “asserting her power, not as a sexual object but a sexual subject.” (This is also the reason why I can’t link to the video here! But you can find it pretty easily, should you want to.)
Some pieces this week surprised me a lot, one of them being this essay about the medical science of talking to strangers. It builds beautifully, turning from personal essay to social critique to health journalism, then back through that thread again. I adored hanging out with it as it unfolded.
“Blacktail” by Lucia Perillo, a poem about watching deer from a window, is another wild card. At first, I was like, “Ugh, remove this twee garbage from my vicinity NOW,” but by the third line, I was completely taken in by the gorgeous and bizarro imagery, like here: “They enter the yard with the footwork of cartoon thieves—the stags wear preposterous inverse chandeliers, the does bearing fetuses visibly kicking inside of their cage.” Yo! That is very beautiful! SORRY I WAS MEAN, POEM, I LOVE YOU.
More new music! Charlie XCX’s “Break the Rules” is super fun, and perfect for the last weeks of August when going back to school is the laaaast thing you wanna think about.
The Prettiots released “Boys (I Dated in High School),” a song about guys that seemed cool at the time, which, hi, STORY OF MY LIFE.
And here’s “Guided by Vices,” by one of my current favorite Canadian bands, the Dirty Nil. It’s fast and loud and exactly what I’ve been in the mood for lately.
The continued stories out of Ferguson, Missouri, have led to many discussions about police, power, and privilege. Here is a compilation of discussions between parents and young black sons about interacting with police. It’s heart-wrenching. I also really liked this essay acknowledging the vast difference between black and white Americans’ relationships with law enforcement.
A trio of high schoolers developed an app that allows people to track their interactions with police. Five-O has fields for recording the officer and the citizen’s identifying information, plus a rating system for how courteous and helpful the cop was in the moment.
This video shows the legendary artist (and all-around badass) Cindy Sherman’s wigs. All 156 of them. You will definitely want to watch more than once, and if you’re a real nerd, you might want to try to match the wigs to her photos!
When I was a teenager, I thought there were circumstances where the death penalty was an appropriate punishment. As I got older, I became aware of how faulty and prejudiced the justice system is and realized it’s a very murky issue. In light of some of the headline-making executions that took place over the last few months, I’ve been reading more about it recently. Few things have hit me as intensely as Pamela Colloff’s incredible profile of Michelle Lyons for Texas Monthly. Lyons witnessed 278 executions in the state of Texas over the course of a decade. Parts of her journals are included alongside scenes of the inmates’ families watching the last moments of their loved ones’ lives. It illustrates all sides of the issue, and considers the humanity of prisoners.
Taylor Swift’s new video for “Shake It Off” made me angry—and sad that it seems I will never stop having reasons to be angry about the lack of care our favorite musicians put into the way they represent people from nonwhite cultures. That’s why I loved reading this Wondering Sound roundtable about “Shake It Off”—involving our own music editor, Jessica Hopper. It says everything I’ve been thinking.
Did you grow up reading or listening to fairy tales like Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White? I did, and I love those stories! I also love hearing about fairy tales and folktales from other cultures. Here’s a great list of folktales from China, Hawaii, Costa Rica, and other parts of the world. I particularly love the sound of “Li Chi Slays the Serpent,” which is about a tween girl who is sacrificed to a serpent, but escapes and becomes the queen. BADASS.
GAHHHHH SUMMER IS ALMOST OVER SCHOOL IS STARTING WHYYYYY. Are you FREAKING OUT??? Dumb question—of course you are. But if your anxiety gets out of hand—if “interferes with your dreams and goals, or causes you to stay home feeling tense or shaky or having panic attacks,” in the words of Anne Marie Albano, the clinical director at New York Presbyterian Hospital’s Youth Anxiety Center—read the piece that quote came from: “The Anxiety Files: A Look Inside Girls’ Real-Life Struggles—and How They Deal” on Teen Vogue. ♦