HAPPY IT’S NOT 2016 ANYMORE, Dames Nation!
Sing it, Miss Kubelik.
It’s early days yet, and there’s no real reason to suspect that 2017 is going to be an EASY year, but at least it can’t be quite the sucker punch that 2016 was. At least it can’t take us so entirely by surprise. And for that LIMITED VICTORY, let’s… maybe not give THANKS. But at least take a very measured degree of subdued relief.
If, by some chance, you've never seen The Apartment, from which these gifs are drawn, do yourself a favor and rent it as soon as possible. With the code "MOVIE99," you can get it for LESS THAN A DOLLAR from Amazon. Just FYI.
And THEN let’s appreciate some great writing happening that combines two of Your Dames’ favorite things: accidentally “transgressive” feminist deep dives on STAR WARS AND fury about the relationship between science and women’s bodies! By which we mean, have you read Sarah Jeong’s terrific piece on how inadequate women’s health care caused the downfall of Star Wars’ Old Republic? Because it’s really funny, really trenchant, and REALLY TIMELY all at once, and you should read it immediately. And then come yell with us on Twitter (or our inbox) about other representations of ***mysterious uteruses*** you have known & loathed, and ones that have gotten childbirth right.
Poor Amidala. Thanks to the Impenetrable Dark Magic of Your Womb, we barely knew ye.
And, on a equally delightful but altogether distinct note...
Please listen to DJ Khaled extolling the spiritual virtue of surrounding yourself with pillows today on Morning Edition, a quick interview which brought both of Your Dames a keen dose of pure joy this morning. We WILL be buying his book, especially if it becomes available on audio.
Dame Margaret's Links Pertaining to Her Inevitable Bankruptcy and Other Calamities
Notional reason for sharing this gif: She Loves Me is set in a perfume shop, and I am writing about perfumes.
Actual reason for sharing this gif: THAT SPLIT THO!!
A thing to know about me is that it’s dangerously easy to convince me that very beautiful, very expensive things are necessary to my existence. Like, I have never in my life tried on a pair of Premium Denim Jeans, or taken cocaine, because I know in my bones that if either is even HALF as good as they’re supposed to be, I WOULD bankrupt myself acquiring them, and there’s no two ways about it. So honestly, I should have known better than to subscribe to Helena Fitzgerald and Rachel Syme’s new artisanal perfume newsletter The Drydown when #damespal Rachel shared it. “I hate perfume, it always gives me a headache, I’m sure this won’t lead to any fiscally irresponsible longings,” I said to myself, approximately 2 hours before purchasing a custom perfume samples pack from a New York boutiqueand starting a new Pinterest board dedicated to scents I long to try out. Because it TURNS OUT that Helena and Rachel write about perfume so persuasively that even if you AREN’T struggling with sense memories from your past life as an eccentric heiress (like Yrs Trly), you will want to try nearly EVERY perfume they write about, and learn about sillage, and become someone every bit as knowledgeable about the arcane witchcraft of scent as they are. So, subscribe, because their writing is genuinely transporting. But know that it will leave you longing for $258 bottles of perfume, even if perfumes usually give you headaches.
But, on the plus side, once you’ve requested that a boutique deliver to you a sample of “a perfume that smells like cold woods on a wet day IF THAT’S NOT A CRAZY THING TO ASK FOR?,” you can imagine Jens Lekman singing about how a whiff of that particular perfume would make him think of you, and pine in a manner so keen that he knew he really loved you, as he does in the new song he released this week. One which, incidentally, #damespal Rachel recommended as a pairing to the above newsletter, a suggestion I found SO APT that my only possible course of action was stealing it. But seriously this song is so good, and so JENS, and very perfect for January because the tune’s jaunty upbeatness will keep your step springing even while the gently melancholy lyrics peacefully accord with your bleak surroundings.
As a supplement to our wonderful guest issue from late December, longtime reader and cherished #damespal Anna brought this Angela Davis piece on women, housework, and Marxism to our attention. It’s a fascinating essay and, despite its academic origin, highly readable. You will be grateful to have spent some time with it.
PLUS, it will give you an excellent context in which to enjoy one of my favorite weird long reads, a piece from Collector’s Weekly on how Angela Davis’s image became the height of radical chic in the 70s, creating a collectibles market that still exists today. If you can leave these piece without developing a profound respect for Cuban graphic designers well, frankly, I’m not sure I even want to know you.
And, last but not least, this isn’t a link, just a desperate plea: PLEASE, please go see Moonlight before it leaves theaters. I was lucky enough to see it last week with #damespal Kamille (of The Unfriendly Black Hotties podcast, to which you SHOULD be listening), and it’s quite simply one of the best movies I’ve seen in my life. If you enjoyed Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, you should have seen this movie YESTERDAY. If you liked the idea of Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, and the execution, but ultimately found yourself left a bit cold by being told yet another highly specific, highly male-coming-of-age story was “universal,” you should have seen Moonlight six weeks ago. It is everything I wanted Boyhood to be, a movie that I think will be universally affecting despite being deliberately narrow and specific in the focus of its storytelling. None of the details of Chiron’s life align with mine, but they were observed so perfectly and communicated with such artistry that I’m nearly in tears just thinking about them now. I can’t guarantee you’ll come away with exactly the rapturous response I have, but I struggle to imagine anyone being unhappy they’d seen this movie. It left me entirely undone. (This endorsement gets a super-strong Both Bossy Dames co-sign from me. Oscars or bust! -- Dame S.)
Dame Sophie’s Surprise Vampire Films Advisory Corner
We really don’t. They’re super-mysterious.
I have no real reason to use the above GIF as my opener other than I watched Only Lovers Left Alive recently & had to pause the film to finish my laughing fit when Tom Hiddleston took an abrupt break from his “ohhhhhh boohooooooo I am a sad sack hot undead musical genius pleeeeeease come rescue me from my ennuiiiiiiii, Tilda Swinton” schtick (which, in the interest of full disclosure, I am 100% into, that is a look he wears well) to deliver the above hilariously deadpan & perfect line reading. BRAVO, sir. Please enjoy these fungi & floral sculptures created from recycled paper. And! if you want to watch a truly great modern vampire movie, I suggest you go for my beloved A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (for a ravishing feminist revenge fantasy western in Farsi). If you require vampire fix that will also meet your needs for high silliness, I suggest What We Do In The Shadows. This has been
Whooooo, it’s been a while, huh? Happy New Year! In the spirit of spitefully insisting on enjoying every last enjoyable thing this year has to offer, I want to talk with you today about Young Pope. Young Pope (we are on such intimate terms now that we are dropping the “The” from the title) is a show set to debut on HBO on January 15, and it is utterly bonkers. When I first saw the preview in November, I thought, “wait, is HBO trolling me right now? Jude Law & his demonic dentition as a lavishly bronzed & brylcreemed AMERICAN pope? In a casually luxurious papal HOODIE? Frequently wearing a white version of Beyonce’s wide-brimmed black sun hat from the Formation video? With Farmer Hoggett & Diane Keaton in supporting roles?!” And then I forgot all about it for a couple of weeks. It was November, after all. But THEN I found that there are clips from the show available on YouTube, because the entire world has seen this show before the North American market has, and friends. Chums. BUDS. I’m calling it now, this show is going to be the most bizarre, wonderfully self-serious & unintentionally funny gift 2017 could give us. The weirdly all-over-the-place accent work alone is going to fuel a zillion thinkpieces (my initial take is that Law nails those final & mid-word Ts, but his vowels are a mess), making it seem like Christopher Walken’s consciousness hopped into Dickie Greenleaf’s body & decided to stay for good. We deserve this, in both the fun & not-so-fun meanings of that phrase. If you lack access to this show, please know that the great Nicole Cliffe will be recapping it for Vulture. Strap in & start rewriting all your favorite songs to incorporate the hijinks of His Fictional Holiness, the former Lenny Belardo.
The BBC has this children’s programming channel, CBeebies, and one of their programs includes bringing in famous actors to read bedtime stories to their child viewers. It’s delightful, but had entirely escaped my notice until Tom Hardy was on recently, reading aloud a corker of a picture book called You Must Wear A Hat. This performance - the sacked-out dog! The stellar animal voices! The forearms! - has sent me down a bit of a rabbit hole of fine British thespians reading bedtime stories aloud on national television, and I am hard-pressed to think of a cultural product that is more urgently necessary in these troubled times.
As those of you who are longtime readers know, David Bowie’s death nearly a year ago very nearly broke my spirit. I’m still not over it, as evidenced by the fact that as I sit here typing these very words, my eyes are swimming with tears. Ugh, grief is so terrible and weird. All of which is to say that I think I’m ok about George Michael, but my vast link collection of bits & bobs about him suggests otherwise.
The always reliable Chris Molanphy breaks down GM’s success in Billboard’s Black Charts of Yore, partly through the lens of his music’s sweet & funny subplot in Keanu
Wesley Morris’s measure of the man & the cultural impact of his work is, per usj, *chef’s kiss*
I just love this 2004 interview with MTV’s John Norris so much. May we all strive to care as deeply as George Michael did, while also giving as few fucks as he gave.
And of course, Rembert Browne is always, always right.