In good news: it’s finally sweater weather where I live. In bad news: literally everything else that’s happening everywhere else, at all times, for everyone.
I don’t have any RBG-specific links because the noise level on that subject is very high right now. But I’m sharing the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition’s fund again, because about 775,000 former felons in that SWING STATE were left unable to vote without paying off outstanding fees. I’m motivated as hell to get as many people out to vote as possible, and this feels like making a more direct impact that just donating to Senate race campaigns. (Those donations are also important! But it feels like they’re covered there.)
The Fall Out Boy Music Club will continue apace, if you want a very specific distraction. But you’re not allowed to read it if you’re eligible to vote but not registered. Them’s the rules.
Here’s the recs!
Points and counterpoints
If you missed Emily Ratajkowski’s harrowing personal essay for the Cut, “Buying Myself Back,” you should absolutely take the time to read it. (Trigger warning for sexual assault and revenge porn.) It’s one of those essays that will change the way you think about some things and stick with you forever.
I also appreciated Haley Nahman’s analysis of the essay and of her brand in general. While I don’t agree with all of her points, it does articulate some of the discomfort I’ve felt with what Ratajkowski has touted as feminism in the past. I’m always interested in writing that tries to disentangle genuine liberation from merely working within the confines of the male gaze to your benefit.
Ratajkowski is an excellent writer, and I’m interested to see what else she does with that skill in the future. Her essay made me think, as did Nahman’s. The best culture writing invites in-depth, difficult discussion.
More criticism! Love it!
After Xiran Jay Zhao’s Twitter thread about this year’s live-action Mulan went viral, she made a YouTube video expanding on her points. It’s so helpful in elucidating just how fucking Western the approach was — plus Zhao is very funny!
What’s the story?
I had no particular attachment to the show Wishbone as a child, but I certainly remember it and must recommend Abby Fenbert’s 2015 piece, “The Pitch Meeting for Wishbone.” It’s a hilarious gentle ribbing of its premise (“Joe and his friends’ day-to-day scrapes resemble the plotlines of great novels, and Wishbone like, picks up on it”) and you should read it and laugh.
I bring this up, as you may have guessed, because of this oral history of Wishbone, which you may have seen making the internet rounds already, but it’s simply too lovely not to share. Everyone worked so hard on this show, and it sounded like an environment of good-hearted, hard-working people trying their best to make something that would really inspire children and make them happy. And every detail about Soccer the dog is adorable. You should read the entire thing and feel your heart be warmed. (I will note that it does not clarify that the Betty Buckley who produced the show was not Broadway legend Betty Buckley, and I had to do my own research to determine that. I was impatiently scanning the article wondering when someone would make a joke about the star of Cats producing a show about a dog.)
PSL season made easier
On the scale of coffee snobbery, I would say I’m about a 5. I don’t like super-syrupy, artificial-tasting coffee drinks, but I do like well-made lattes. I don’t love drip coffee, but I don’t want to deal with a big production like using a French press. Basically, I want my coffee to taste good but also be convenient, which is why I never make it at home. I stick to tea most of the time and buy a latte at a good coffee shop if I’m out and about or have a craving.
I was very intrigued when the Strategist recommended Jot Coffee for making lattes easily at home. It’s super-concentrated, so you just need one tablespoon to make the coffee drink of your choosing! What a best-of-both-worlds situation for me! I ordered my first bottle and I love it. In the past, I’ve tried making lattes with either a Moka pot or an espresso machine, but most of the time it would turn out either too bitter or not flavorful enough. I personally think that Jot is delicious (every time! because I can’t screw it up!) and one bottle makes 14 cups of coffee. Since temperatures have dropped, I’ve been really enjoying making my own lattes at home and playing with recipes for homemade syrups for them.
And time for a song
This B-side from AM is one of my favorite Arctic Monkeys songs. “With the exception of you, I dislike everyone in the room” is a real mood.
Okay, that’s it this week. I leave you with this extremely important Venn diagram.
This week last year…
“Friendmendations 9.23.19” — real strippers share their thoughts on Hustlers, the significance of boxed cake mixes in Alaska, the best novelty account on Instagram, a soothing video, and another good song
“All up on me screaming ‘Yeah!’: in praise of Usher’s ode to enthusiastic consent” — now, I thought this piece was pretty funny when I wrote it, and I thought it made some good points. And then my friend Jerrika pointed out that Usher is certainly cheating on his actual girlfriend in the song. The girl with whom he is saying “Yeah!” is NOT his partner, and that’s why he’s so trepidatious about where this is going to lead. It was the lead single off of Confessions, an entire album about cheating!!