Monday, September 24, 2012

Lindy West is a Badass & a Genius.

So, remember a few weeks ago when I was all, "Hey guys, I'm not posting anything ever again, deuces!"?

Well, oops, turns out I'm posting two days in a row now—but only because I feel strongly enough about the following subject to forgo the bazillions of other things I really, honestly should be doing, because you all need to read this article.

Seriously, guys. You NEED to read this article.

Once, about a year ago, I tried to tackle a similar subject for the Eye ("Health Over Weight: Reordering America's Dietary Priorities"), but I think I was simply too intimidated by word count & "journalistic import," too focused on making my argument palatable—or, you know, let's be real, just not quite talented enough—to speak the raw fucking truth the way that West does here. 

Below are some of my favorite excerpts, the wit & righteous indignation of which I could only hope to ape on my best of days, the content of which I want beamed into the brainstem of every living being on this planet. Enjoy:
Growing up, I was always fat. Not as fat as I am now, but never, ever skinny. Never small. ... I was the girl the mean kids would target with the old, "See that guy over there? He likes you" gag. Good one, bros! In case you don't get it, the punchline is that I'm fat. So obviously he didn't like me—it would be against all the laws of the universe. At the same time, though, I played three sports, I was active and healthy, I was good at school, I was funny, and I was popular. I was a happy kid. And I was still miserable. Because that's what fat does.

I cannot even
imagine being that same fat kid in 2012—having to put up with all the misery and the shame and the tunics (SO MANY TUNICS), along with the added pain of knowing that the government officially considers you an epidemic. You're a "problem" that needs to be "fixed." Newscasters with knitted brows talk about you in the abstract like your butt is a crime wave or a natural disaster; they show bodies that look like yours with their heads chopped off; they tell you that this body you have—the one that grew around you out of nowhere, that you're just getting used to—is bankrupting the nation and mowing down future generations like fucking tuberculosis. Tu-pork-ulosis. Whatever.
Then, later:

Here is the thing.

I know no one will ever believe me when I say this, so fine. Whatever. But since, apparently, this isn't evident even among health professionals churning out ad campaigns, I do not fucking eat chocolate cereal and buckets of ice cream. Here is what I actually do: Pretty much every morning before work I walk 1.1 miles uphill to a coffee shop, which is across the street from the organic co-op where I do all my grocery shopping. I eat normal, human amounts of unprocessed, fresh, largely local foods. I have no mobility problems. I have flawless cholesterol and blood pressure. I never get colds, I have never been hospitalized. I have a great job, I make a good living, I'm in an incredibly happy relationship. Sometimes I eat dessert, sometimes I don't. I pay taxes. I take care of my family. I do not commit crimes. I'm nice to strangers. In general, I think you could say that I contribute more to the world than I take out of it.

And I'm a fucking epidemic?
I'm a problem?

You have the gall to make generalizations about my life because, in your eyes, I superficially resemble a massive, diverse swath of the population whose lives you've also deigned to generalize? Whose complex, painful, messy, joyous lives you've boiled down to, "Har har too many Cheetos"? Please.
In short: You go, Lindy West. You fucking go.

Today's Headphone Fodder:

Yep. It's happening. Don't fight it. This song is amazing.

In Which I Prove Myself Both a Curmudgeon & a Cumberbitch.

When I took over Managing Editorship of my beloved Eye, one of my major initiatives was the creation of a new section: 20/20, a clever lil' vision pun that was to headline a page devoted to what I called "pop-culture op-eds"—punchy, funny, incisive nuggets of commentary, no more than 450 words, on a topic of the author's choosing. The idea was to increase the readability of the magazine by adding shorter, lighter pieces directly after our customary 3,000-word lead story. Sounds like a decent plan, right? I thought so, too.

Little did I realize that, as willing writers are few & far between, this would essentially entail turning myself into a raging snarkmonster on at least a bi-weekly basis. At this point, I've wigged out unnecessarily over Justin Bieber's burgeoning sexuality, Daniel Radcliffe's alcoholism, Scarlett Johansson's barfy tattoo, Madonna's whiskey-scented perfume that never was (just to name a few)—& now, it seems, I'm back again (o wretched column inches, will you never just fill yourselves?) with another wee tirade. 

This time, I bring you even more proof of my eternal curmudgeonitude & general fashion cretinhood: "F no, FNO," or, "Why Fashion's Night Out Is Pretty Effing Terrible." (Also, look out for another contribution from yours truly this upcoming Thursday—about what, I have no ungodly idea yet, but I'm sure I'll be inordinately upset about it.)

Meanwhile, I've been trucking away, nose pressed firmly to that infernal & omnipresent grindstone—by which, of course, I mean, "reading about 10 pages, getting up, making a snack, reading another 3 pages, painting my nails, listlessly thumbing through the remaining 100-some pages, sighing, & ultimately succumbing to Netflix." 

These days, that tends to mean Sherlock, Season 2 of which is now finally available thereupon. (Adios, sketchy Russian streaming sites!) If you haven't seen the show, do, not only because it's whip-smart & expertly put together (the way they handle text messaging is honestly, filmically fascinating), or because it's created/written by Doctor Who's Steven Moffat, or even because it stars Benedict Cumberbatch (AKA, Bandersnatch Cummerbund), whose austere, Victorian cheekbones have chiseled out a place in my heart of hearts—& whose devoted fans, I've just discovered, are called "Cumberbitches," so there's that—but mostly because this show can honestly claim to feature the single sexiest scene I've ever seen on television, like, ever. Behold:

Chills, I tell you. Chills. 

Until next time, team. Happy Monday.

Today's Headphone Fodder:

So, guys, there's this great band I just discovered—they're called MGMT? Like, the abbreviation for "Management"? Yeah, they're pretty sweet. You should probably check them out. (In all seriousness, though: for whatever reason, this particular song has been worming its way onto my playlists as of late, burrowing between my ears & refusing to leave. The heart wants what it wants, I suppose—& it is honestly a better song than I think it's gotten credit for, crowded out by the hyper-success of "Kids," "Time to Pretend," "Electric Feel," etc.)

That, & this:

The simple answer: I recently re-watched Magnolia in service of a class-sanctioned review of PTA's newest cinematic stab, The Master, text of which will be posted here post haste (once, you know, I actually write the damn thing). The honest answer: upbeat melancholy is my favoritest of tones, & no one plucks my particular mania's heartstrings quite like Ms. Mann. Jaunt & brass clash against bald-faced despair, raucously condemning the future to death—perfect for scrambling to find a second sock among dirty dishes in yesterday's make-up, already 10 minutes late to a meeting no one would mind if you missed.

& this:

Radiohead gone reggae-fied, & successfully so. Need I say more?

Friday, September 7, 2012

New Year's Realizations.

There comes a time in every girl's life when she realizes that she is, by definition, older than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

This is often closely followed by the realization that she will likely never learn to skateboard, that slating "concert tickets" & "gum" as primary expenses is no longer financially feasible—& that, despite her best efforts, she probably won't be developing superpowers anytime soon.

While this last revelation is, of course, most devastating on an "I'll never get to study at the X-Men school"-level, it also brings crashing down to earth, say, her perceived ability to take six college classes, manage a newspaper, have anything resembling a social life, & also continue writing for pleasure.

All of this is to say: Though I know I've been the slouchiest of slouches (read: nonexistent) when it comes to any sort of online writing as of late, it's likely that I'll sink even further into the depths of non-post-itude between now & December. All apologies, as the song goes, & on, & on. (What else could I write? I don't have a right...)

Meanwhile, as I prepare for my leap off this self-constructed plank into nonverbal oblivion, here's a slice to sate you: a piece I wrote for my beloved Eye on the recent resurgence of lady buddy comedies—AKA, "Girls Getting Gross."

Also, take this video, which is kind of beyond fabulous:

Catch you on the flipside, kids.

Today's Headphone Fodder:

Here's two for you—three, if you include the sick stylings of PSY, above. I'm all over the place these days.

That Time—Regina Spektor.
(Quick-thrumming, asymmetrical, easy to get lost in.)

Biggest Monkey—Chef'Special.
(Syncopated synth brass, brash braggart cockney.)