On Friday, Tulsa cop Betty Shelby shot and killedTerence Crutcher, an unarmed black man. His hands were up. Cops came to the scene because his car broke down. Literally the only thing he did was be a black man.
Shelby is on paid leave right now. She should go to jail. Will she? Probably not.
Currently reading Between the World and Me, and it’s so so good. I’m tired of living in a society bent on destroying black bodies.
The only way things will change is if we put pressure on the people with power and privilege. MAKE A FUSS. Be the squeaky wheel. Don’t accept this.
Yesterday, Dr. Carla Hayden became the 14th librarian of Congress. W00t!
So who is she?
After 13 white guys, Dr. Hayden is the first woman and the first African American to be the librarian of Congress. She’s the former prez of the American Library Association and has a Ph.D. in library science from U Chicago. As ALA prez in the early ’00s, she butted heads with noted dick John Ashcroft over the Patriot Act, because it gave the FBI access to people’s library records. She (and likeminded groups) eventually got that part of the Patriot Act thrown out. When Ms. Magazine named her their 2003 Woman of the Year, she told the mag this:
When libraries fight against the PATRIOT Act, or against [mandatory Internet filters], we’re fighting for the public. Most of the people who use public libraries don’t have the opportunity to buy books at a bookstore or on Amazon.com. What the library does is protect the rights of all people to fully and freely access information and to pursue knowledge, without fear of repercussion.
Hell to the yeah.
Dr. Hayden was also in charge of Baltimore libraries for over 20 years. The NYT notes, “In Baltimore, she overhauled what was widely considered a failing urban library system.” She pushed for technology like e-readers and internet access in Baltimore libraries because people lacked them at home. And when schools and churches closed in April 2015 due to protests and violence after police killed Freddie Gray, she kept the Baltimore libraries open so they’d be safe community spaces. She said in a White House video:
Old music videos are amazing; the more terrible, the better. Don’t ask why, but I recently watched the vid for Amy Grant’s 1991 bop “Every Heartbeat” AND IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT. In fact, despite being 25 years old, it was chock-full of love lessons for our modern times. Say sayonara to your singleness, my friends (and hello to alliteration? um anyway). Ready to find love in the early ’90s? Like hell you are!
1. Dress like you mean it.
A polka dot dress is good. Coordinating with a polka dot background, umby, AND dalmatian puppy is even better. Worrying about “being too matchy-matchy” is so 2016.
Can we talk about the blue tent Amy also wears? How many people are hiding inside? Like Puppy Surprise, a favorite childhood toy also from 1991 (COINCIDENCE?!), you never know: there could be three, or four, or fiiiiiive!
2. Go to work.
Having a female mechanic seems pretty progressive for 1991. Nicely done, Amy. I’ll let you think of your own terrible car/love metaphors while you enjoy this Harlequin romance novel cover video still:
Looks like SOMEBODY’s heart needs a tune-up! (Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.)
3. Just kidding, go to the laundromat.
Together with the late-’90s editions of the American Eagle catalog, this video perpetuates the harmful myth that the laundromat is a magical place where you could have a meet-cute with a hunky intellectual:
Recently I found myself in a predicament. I thought I had been sexxing a grown-ass man, wizened with age, delivering me regular gifts of phlegm and discounted pancakes on Tuesdays. WRONG. I did a double-take and whadday know, he was actually a small child of 20-some odd years. “A fuckboi,” in common parlance. Don’t make my MIZTAKE! <-especially great if this site were called Miz Takes, or Ms. Takes? Anyway, I’ve compiled a useful list to help you determine whether your Male Person can HANDLE YOU. (As Qween Nicki Minaj raps, “I’m just lookin’ for a man; fuck a B-O-Y.”) And GO:
MEN say I love you.
BOYS say I want you.
MEN wear button-down shirts.
BOYS wear graphic tees.
MEN have a mortgage and pay child support.
BOYS receive child support from other men who are hopefully their fathers but if not, you know, no judgment.
MEN accidentally crunch entire almonds underfoot.
BOYS get washed away at sea.
MEN can open a jar of pickles using only their giant lobster-claws.
BOYS never call you back just because they’re trapped in the sewer with their leg pinned under a large piece of metal.
Do you worship at the temple of kitsch? (Me too–sorry I never introduced myself.) Then you know one of the best and most magical places ever is ~*THA PARTY SUPPLY STORE*~. Bright, glitzy, garish colors! Celebration! Unlimited tacky factor! It’s nonstop sensory overload with a heavy helping of anticipation and excitement, ‘cause you’re (probably) planning something BIG. Unless you’re me, and you just wanna decorate on the cheap with maximum glitter and bad taste. (Insert cheesy lyrics about partying every day.)
My goal is basically to have someone come over, look around in surprise, and ask, “Oh, did you just have a party?” and then I’ll be like, naw, it’s always like this. (I would toss glitter on my floor and leave it year-round if my cat wouldn’t try to eat it.) Granted, some party doo-daws are only designed to last a couple hours, but that’s about how often I change my mind and decide to redecorate anyway.
So where to start? Party stores are usually organized by theme. I alternate between dreaming of a sunny SoCal paradise and burrowing into a glittery pile of unicorn barf, so I gravitate toward the “luau” and “glam” sections (my name on a Hollywood walk of fame star? Um yes please), but other common ones are Wild West, dinosaurs, Mardi Gras, and most commercialized major holidays (sorry, Arbor Day). Whatever your fave holiday is, start from there and see what sparks your fancy. The biggest secret in the world is–SHH–you don’t need a party to decorate like you’re having one. Who says only certain days deserve unicorn-colored fringe?
My religion is basically Tavi Gevinson, so I forget that not everyone in the universe is as obsessed as I am. Hence this tasty explainer as to her awesomeness in a nutshell!
Tavi started her fashion blog, The Style Rookie, in 2008 at AGE ELEVEN (see her very first post here, short but sweet) and got famous a couple years later. She caught the attention of Forbes, TIME, The New Yorker, the NYT, and other big names before even graduating from high school. Her trademark is her writing: self-deprecating and funny while insightful, honest, and (yes) wise beyond her years. Oh yeah, and looking like a petite, stylish yet eccentric elf (she’s like 4’11” and hugely cool, dyeing her hair grey eons before anyone else).
In September 2011–age 15–she launched Rookie, a website that’s sort of the anti-Seventeen for teenage girls. Sure, there are makeup tutorials, playlists, and style advice, but they’re alongside honest essays by high schoolers about coming out, being trans, racism, and other Big Issues. Less Kardashian worship, more riot grrrl. HEART.
At age 16, she gave a TED talk. Age 17: costarred in Enough Said with Julia Louis-Dreyfus (after that, small roles in Parenthood and Scream Queens). Age 18: debuted on Broadway in This Is Our Youth (later, The Crucible and, coming up, The Cherry Orchard). She writes, acts, AND sings (!), with guest vocals on Seth Bogart of Hunx and His Punx fame’s most recent album. But it’s obvious she’s not some fame-hungry, undiscriminating opportunist; by age 14, she’d turned down a chance to be on Oprah.
I started to write “My favorite thing about Tavi is–” and realized there’s SO MUCH I love about her. She didn’t come from money; she’s the daughter of an English teacher and grew up in suburban Chicago. She’s hella smart with an encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture, literature, and fashion, bespeaking a natural curiosity. She’s immensely creative. Maybe most of all, she seems almost unwaveringly true to herself. She doesn’t seem to serve anything like wealth or fame, just creativity, self-expression, knowledge, and beauty. She’s an unofficial mascot for all of us weird girls without being snobby or Cooler-Than-Thou. Somehow she manages to be vulnerable and accessible despite being A Huge Deal. I MEAN!
(BE your own husband, not bring your own husband, although you can do that too, obvs.)
My memory is terrible, so the other night, I wrote my sleepy future self a reminder:
Then I groaned inwardly at the Cheesy Domestic Bliss vibe, like I was June Cleavering some nonexistent spouse. It felt good, though–in that tiny act, I was doing something nice for myself (saving myself from annoyance and a $13 salad, in this case).
When my overworked friend said her husband suggested she treat herself to a pedicure, I had a similar thought. Hmm, interesting…I don’t need a dude, though. I can do that for myself! Admittedly, I don’t have a kid or family, so self-care is easier*–I’ve gotten two pedicures already this summer just for the hell of it. A theme was starting to congeal like the gummy brown fat oozing off a sizzlin’ chicken leg. (WHO’S HUNGRY?!)
The last straw (slash blobby chicken fat globule, EWW) was when my sister told me she’d taken a few weeks to “date” herself. Former me would’ve rolled my eyes, but now it makes sense: Why sit at home binge-watching Netflix for the tenth night in a row, soaked in self-pity, when you can take yourself to a play/movie/concert/dinner? (Or even do something free like a little picnic for the park, or a long walk.) I don’t need a partner to treat myself well, and I shouldn’t wait for someone else to encourage my own self-care. Take a second to think about what you wish a husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/whatever would do for you, and then do it yer dang self!
At least a decade before it was cool, Gwen Stefani was rocking bubblegum pink hair in the 2000 music video for “Simple Kind of Life.” I grew up Sans MTV (always a favorite excuse for my maladjustment) and only recently watched the vid. And, um, it’s awesome! (Mostly. Why the fuck is that baby wearing so much eyeliner?!) Marie Antoinette vibez, ’90s alt-princess vibez, and killer hair, PLUS the perfect angsty heartbreak of the song itself. Something about the way she sings “You seem like/you’d be a good dad” is coy and flirty yet desperate and almost, gasp, TRAGIC. Just the feeling of grasping, of something slipping through your fingers: happiness? what you imagined adulthood and love would be? It makes me want to curl up in a ball and time-travel back to the ’90s. ALL THE FEELS!
(p.s. the image quality isn’t great because the video is so old. be thankful for high-def, kids.)