Hello! Happy Monday! Here is a good comic.
As you may know by now, the newsletter doesn’t usually have themes, but sometimes one emerges and I roll with it. That happened this week! The theme is “real and not quite real.”
Mannequins and their friends
This wacky article was fun right from the jump:
For a brief moment in the 1930s, one of the most famous celebrities of the day was a 100-pound mannequin named Cynthia. She had box seats at the Metropolitan Opera, received freebies from Tiffany and Cartier, graced the cover of Life magazine and was even invited to the wedding of Edward V111 and Wallis Simpson.
Holograms and showbiz
I don’t know even one thing about Star Trek, but I really liked this piece on the ethics of holograms by Anthony Oliveira for all of the other ground it covers. I’m especially glad that he mentions the wildly distasteful Justin Timberlake “duet” with “Prince,” and I learned something new about the origins of zombie stories! I had no idea that they came from Haitian folklore!
Fake legs and being a cyborg
I loved this funny, insightful essay by Sophie Helf, entitled “How I Lost My Legs and Gained… You Want Me To Say Something Inspiring Here.”
If I didn’t know how to relate to my body before I lost my legs — then, I used to half-jokingly refer to myself as a “flesh sack” — I certainly don’t know how to relate to my body now. I take parts of myself off every evening before I go to sleep, line them up next to my bed so that I can reach them easily in the morning. Do cyborgs detach parts of themselves? Am I still bionic if my legs aren’t on? Attaching, detaching — a daily thing for me now. Who the hell else has to physically take themselves apart every day?
Oh, I’m that person now
Can I have a minute of your time to talk about fake meat? I had a Beyond Burger recently (well, two, because they come two in a pack and I didn’t want to be wasteful) and ended up craving it so badly a week later that I sought out a restaurant to serve me one. I’ve had an Impossible Burger too, which was savory and DELICIOUS and cravings-inducing - the Beyond one was more realistically “meaty” but the Impossible Burger has its own distinctive, really good taste.
I don’t often feel like I’m living in The Future. I know that our phones are little supercomputers we can carry in our pockets but I must admit I just don’t feel the awe that I should about that - perhaps I was too young when the first iPhone came out to fully appreciate the advancement. But these new fake meats really make me feel like I’m living the Jetsons’ life! I remember reading initial reports of their development around 2013 and hoping fervently for their arrival so I could search for them in specialty grocery stores. I didn’t even imagine that they’d serve Impossible Burgers at Burger King and Applebee’s and White Castle! They serve the Beyond Burger at TGI Friday’s and Beyond Sausage at Dunkin’ Donuts! Vegetarians can get fast food now! ROAD TRIPS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!
If you get the chance to order a Beyond or Impossible Burger, do it! It’s so, so good for your carbon footprint, and I hope that the price goes down as demand goes up. These are not the dry old weird veggie patties of the past, so I think even meat eaters will find them to be a good substitute. (And as someone who hasn’t had a real burger in about a decade, eating the Beyond Burger was an actual mindfuck. I felt guilty after my first bite!! What more endorsement do you need?)
I will say that I AGGRESSIVELY did not care for the Beyond Meat frozen crumbles, which I used in a chili to VERY bad results. Beyond’s fresh “ground beef” was way better when I tried it in a chili, and I’ll stick to stocking my freezer with the way better Morningstar crumbles when I want something to keep longer. Man, it feels good to have options!
Better than the real thing
I leave you now to enjoy the rest of your day, but first: a reminder that the month is half over, so you better be brainstorming your Halloween costume ideas. Let Tracy Clayton, one of the all-time greats, show you how it’s done.