Sparks: Welcome to Female Trainwreck Week

I’ve always been oddly secretive about what I read on the Internet. (I’m one of those people that think that what you read in some way will come to define you at some point — which is scary considering how much sci-fi/fantasy, business development and fusty classical fiction I read.) I originally posted a list of “What I’m Reading on the Internets” on my monthly mailing list missive, but then thought that public sharing was a better way to spark discussion and at least pay tribute to other Internet writers out there!

So here you go…this week I was fascinated by maybe-crazy ladies, inside guff on how people dealt with social media, a bunch of movie geekiness and had a love/hate relationship with an article written by a writer I generally loathe. So, if I were to concoct a new personality out of this week’s Internet reading I’d be…a lady driven to craziness by Twitter and anti-feminism who drowns her sorrows in a major drug habit while watching “JFK”? I don’t know!

+ Evolution of a Feisty Pixar Princess – Did you see Brave? I thought the animation was stunning but the story a bit underdeveloped — but I will always enjoy learning about the collective creative process at Pixar.

+ Cat Marnell on Jane Pratt, Her Book, and Splitting From xoJane.com – Duuuuuuude, Cat Marnell is legit smart, and legit bananas. I’ve always admired people who are brutally honest and incisive, but frankly my respect is lessened by the self-destructiveness. I think it’s maybe a mark of getting older, but my fascination with people trainwrecks is lot less starry-eyed and romantic. Once drugs have used up her beauty and youth, will there be much fascination left? What do you think?

+ ‘I Just Want to Feel Everything’: Hiding Out With Fiona Apple, Musical Hermit – In many ways this interview kind of upends all the conventions of typical celebrity interviews, and yet upholds them utterly as well. And her new record = so good.

+ Cheap, Chic, And Made For All: How Uniqlo Plans To Take Over Casual Fashion – I enjoyed reading this mostly because I love Uniqlo. I really do love their cheerful, democratic approach to fashion, I wear their jeans and underwear religiously, and never regret my purchases from there.

+ are you feeling social media-obliged? – I loved reading how Sarah Wilson lays out all her social media outlets and how she uses them. It’s a valuable practice in this age when everyone’s doing everything and it’s so easy to fritter away your time and energy on social media, thinking you are doing “work” when you’re really not.

+ Why the 21st Century Author is an Internet Entrepreneur – Reading this left me with mixed feelings and a slight sense of indignation, like, “Did Marguerite Duras or Joan Didion ever have to worry about ‘building a platform’ and getting Twitter followers? Whatever happened to having superlative craft and intensely beautiful imagination and humanity?” But you know, this is just the truth these days, at least if you aim to publish and you’re not Duras or Didion!

+ Spin’s “Girl Issue” from 1997 – Reading the Fiona Apple article above made me remember she was on the cover of the “Girl Issue” that Spin published way back in the day, which was one of my most favorite issues of a magazine ever. I remember keeping my copy of it forevs, though I don’t remember where it is. Oh, my sorrows!

+ Jackie and the Girls – Truth: I really hate Caitlin Flanagan. Okay, not her, but her ideas. But she’s such a good writer that she almost seduces you to her point of view, till you remember how utterly and deeply you are at odds with her ideologically. But in this article she captures in some way both the repulsion and the allure of the whole Kennedy mystique in a way that helps me to get it, having never really been captivated by it in the first place.

+ Rounding Up Iceland’s Horses – Just lovely pictures of nature in Iceland and Icelandic ponies! I have always loved them for their sweet faces.

+ What’s the story with your budget? – The lovely Eleanor over at killerfemme.com is writing about money management, planning and artists, a topic I’m much interested in. If you are a creative who has ever been flummoxed by the financial side of your work, Eleanor’s column is for you!

+ Why Women Still Can’t Have It All – I have soooooo much to say about this article that I find it hard to sum up here, but I’ll try just a little: No, women can’t have it all without something suffering (usually their health and sanity). I don’t think anyone can have it all, actually, though the “not having it” is different for each gender. I think we need to talk about the constant expectation of women being primary caretakers of the house and hearth. I also think what we really need to talk about here is a system that fails to support both men and women in helping to care and educate their children. I also think we need to unpack the entitledness and classist dimensions on “having it all” in the first place, too. I told you, so much to think about!

5 thoughts on “Sparks: Welcome to Female Trainwreck Week

  1. (in no particular order)

    1. I just heard about Cat Marnell & Marie Calloway (are they really associated or did I just read about them the same day?), like, last week. I’m way intrigued by this potential branch of feminism (??) that I wasn’t even peripherally aware of.

    2. Also so into examining my feelings about F. Apple. Realized in interviews she said a lot of things that are very similar to things Bradford Cox has said, but somehow they are INTERNALLY TO ME (not speaking for anyone else) distasteful coming from her but wonderful coming from him. It’s weird weird weird.

    3. I hate Caitlin Flanagan too. It took me several years to put together that all my least favorite articles in the stupid Atlantic were by her.

    4. I read a few critiques of the “Having it All” article that were good, but I don’t remember where they were from at all, which makes this a really useless comment!
    & who wants to have IT ALL anyway!? sounds like a pain in the butt.

  2. a lot of what fiona apple says is actually kinda punk rock, but it is weird sometimes…it is like the delivery or context is off. but it’s interesting, for sure!

    ooh, marie calloway…yes, that’s on the cat marnell page. they both have this weird internet notoriety founded on a kind of unvarnished frankness.

    and, meh, having it all! it’s a useless concept unless you’ve really thought about what “it” is. my mom always said, “you can have it all, but probably not all at once…you probably won’t enjoy any of it.” i kind of believe her.

    xo k.

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