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Not that I’m not largely a fan of The Electric Typewriter… but their “War” reading list was written entirely by men.


In the interest of making sure that folks know that not only have women written longform journalism about war, but they’ve done it well — here are some possible additions to the list in an attempt to add some gender balance. (Here is TETW’s original list, which indeed includes long-form articles highly worth reading…)

Looks worthwhile.

Seconds before she went onstage, she received a text message from a friend. It read, “Good luck, Hon, try not to fuck it up with the whole world watching.” There were eighty thousand people in the stadium, and hundreds of millions watched on television. “That was what I was thinking as I started speaking: Don’t fuck it up with the whole world watching.” In a dark blazer, with her hair blown around by the wind, Rowling read her lines, in a slightly sad voice. When she finished, a hundred-foot-tall puppet of Voldemort rose from the stage floor.

I am usually loath to quote the very last lines of a piece, especially a longer piece that’s worth reading in its entirety. But the ending of Ian Parker’s profile of JK Rowling made me literally laugh out loud, which is rather rare in long profiles of people you think you already know all about.

Self Help: Navigating Between Two Kinds Of Oblivion [Grimes and Bethesda Softworks]

This morning after I got up and got the dogs ready (“got the dogs ready” = how I think about feeding them and taking them out), I washed the dishes and made coffee, which is my usual routine. And then I made an inspirational message on a piece of paper, which is not a part of my routine. The paper, pictured above, has five numbers on it that are supposed to remind me about different things, and the goal is to “be inspired”.

It’s a bright, hopeful morning, and the feeling felt right.

Related to all this, I think, is that at the end of last week, I totally got Grimes, and it made listening to her music really pleasant. That all started when I watched the video for “Oblivion”, which I just really despised at the time. It was on a Thursday I think. The oft-cited “someone on Twitter”, I think, said the video was like “hipsters discover sports are cool” or something, and that seems apt to me. Sort of.

The thing about the video that drives me batty is that all the things Grimes does — listen to her discman, wear stupid clothes, have dyed hair, dance around, cause a ruckus — are all things me and my friends did in very similar circumstances when we were young. And it wasn’t cool or anything at all, and Grimes seems like she’s really cool. So the whole enterprise smells to high heaven with the stench of cultural tourism, which I’m usually OK with as long as god damnit it’s not my culture because we don’t usually issue visas what with who would want to pretend to be poor and bored and socially inept? (This is where I mention my utter contempt for every piece ever on The Gathering of the Juggalos.)

So this Grimes thing that I tried to get into three weeks ago came to a head at the end of last week, but then I got it!

It sort of occurred to me that Grimes is not being a cultural tourist, and also that Grimes is not “being” anything at all. It’s really a facile thing, I think, to think someone is “being” any way at all unless you’re willing to spend a lot of time thinking about how they’re being. So I’m not denying the existence or explanatory capabilities of ontology, but I’m saying its results get question begged in a lot of cultural hit pieces (and, to be fair, encomia), and that’s a pretty lazy way to be! It sort of occurred to me that I should just listen to Grimes and not be a jerk about it, and try to draw my own conclusions.

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