March is here. How about that.
February felt particularly dark, even if you did not, as I did, spend the entire month crashing on some friends’ couch. This thread from P.E. Moskowitz captured my experience pretty well, that I’m finally “overwhelmed by grief and a sense of doom, which i semi-consciously was keeping at bay.” I really loved Maya Kosoff’s piece about the frustrating discourse of “the pandemic wall,” which is both ever-shifting (“there’s a new one every week, and every week it feels worse and harder to bear than it did the week before”) and completely out of our control (“[making] the onus fall on you instead of sharing the burden with the institutions that we reasonably expect to help support us in times of abject crisis.”)
More of my friends and family members are getting vaccinated, so I’m hoping that March brings some hope and relief to us all. We deserve it, especially as we’re hitting the one-year mark.
And you deserve some recs, like such as these ones that I’ve compiled for you!
There have been so many great pieces written in response to Framing Britney Spears. To highlight a few:
- “Britney Spears Was Never in Control” by Tavi Gevinson — a thought-provoking essay on power dynamics and “the corporation-sanctioned sexualization of a 16-year-old”
- “The Lies Hollywood Tells About Little Girls” by Mara Wilson — like Tavi’s piece, this one offers perspective from someone who was in the public eye at a young age
- “I was an MTV VJ during peak Britney. Framing Britney Spears made me ashamed ... and hopeful” by Dave Holmes — perspective from the other side of the industry!
Because I’ve been processing all of these examples of how our culture destroys women, I found Jezebel’s “90s Week” series particularly well-timed. Their pieces on the popularity of the Girls Gone Wild franchise and the sensationalist coverage of Amy Fisher, “the Long Island Lolita,” offer the same kind of hindsight into the casual misogyny of the media and general public at the time. (Not really related, but the series also features Molly Osberg discussing THE FUCKING BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, a book that filled me with so much rage that my review of it was split into two parts! So many of my interests addressed in one place last week!)
Martha, Martha, Martha
Jada Yuan’s profile of Martha Stewart, “the original influencer,” for Harper’s Bazaar is such a dishy read.
My new favorite appetizer
I’ve previously discussed my love of Joe Yonan’s Cool Beans cookbook. Last time, I was recommending his incredible red bean brownies. This week I tried the garlicky Great Northern bean crostini, which were equally mind-blowing. The recipe felt like I was engaging in some sort of spell — I had to poke whole cloves into an entire onion to cook in a pot of water with some bay leaves?? — and I had to modify the instructions using this guide since I was cheating and using canned beans. I cooked the random elements in oil instead of water so all the flavor absorbed quicker and used spinach of broccoli rabe, since we had it on hand. The result was packed with flavor and earned rave reviews. I used two cans of beans, which left enough for us to have leftovers for breakfast.
Instagram Follow of the Week
A post shared by @avocado_ibuprofen
I absolutely love avocado_ibuprofen’s strange comics. The collage aesthetic makes them feel a bit like pages from someone’s zine in the 90s, but the humor is a dry distillation of our Very Online age.
I am going to lose my mind
I… don’t know. I’m just grateful it exists.
I leave you with a journey in editing and storytelling:
Have a great week and month and I love you.
This week last year:
“Friendmendations 3.2.20” — an essay about social media making the real world worse, cocaine in Silicon Valley, guidance from a clean person, my favorite early spring music, and tips on becoming a rocker chick. Plus, I use the word “corvid” without thinking of how much it sounded like “covid,” a word I would start using a lot more very soon.
“What we don’t talk about when we talk about Nickelodeon” — when will Dan Schneider be held accountable?
“The most cursèd home I have ever stayed in” — a time I attempted to relax while surrounded by so many taxidermied animals