HELLO DAMES NATION! Welcome to the Best Little Newsletter in All of Texas!!
We are starting this issue with Dolly Parton, as what better way is there to start any endeavor? Dolly's semi-cosmic musings on working to see the good in everyone (which is great) led us to this old interview/listicle “3 Lies About Dolly Parton That Dolly Parton Thinks Are Hilarious,” which contains #flawless quips like this one, on how her waist is so small: "Nothing grows in the shade." Is Dame Margaret going to be rocking her "It costs a lot to look this cheap" t-shirt tomorrow in Dolly's honor? You bet your bottom dollar.
Some Quasi-Irascible Children’s Literature Thoughts: When Do Remakes Work?
Or,Hipster Eloise in Williamsburg, WHYYYYY? : A Dialogue Between Two Dames
Sophie: Sigh. So many thoughts, all of which boil down to: “hahahaUGH, once you’ve come down from your giddy sugar high over the thought of an Eloise reboot, just read the original Eloise. And please get off my lawn."
Margaret: I feel like those thoughts are sound. If you come at the queen, you best have better illustrations than this book has. It is nice to see how diverse the story is though, I guess?
Sophie: Yes, please, aspiring picture book authors & illustrators, don’t step to Kay Thompson & Hilary Knight unless you have the verbal & visual elan to back it up. By all means, write a book inspired by Eloise, or one that highlights your love of Eloise while showcasing NYC in all its diversity, but this is just...not great.
Margaret: Having seen only these pages, it looks like something for adults to buy themselves at Urban Outfitters for the next 27 minutes, not something for adults to read with kids for years to come.
Sophie: Ding ding ding! And based only on the few pages reproduced here, I can’t tell if this version captures any of the sadness laced through the original Eloise, who is, after all, a child abandoned by her feckless mother. Thank GOD for Nanny!
Margaret: Well-said, Dame Sophie!
Sophie: Thank you, darling Dame Margaret! By contrast, Welcome to Businesstown, in which Richard Scarry Meets Insufferable 21st Century Biz Cliches, works really well, because Scarry’s books are about snapshots, not narrative, so all the creators of this Tumblr had to do is capture Scarry’s signature illustration style and use the vocabulary-building labeling trope to poke fun at startup culture cliches. For example, the fake TEDx talk, “How Nanorobots Will Disrupt Poverty”, which is such a specific, mark-hitting zinger that I will be chuckling over it for days. (h/t Friend of the Dames Ann for this one!)
Margaret: Plus, LION SHINGY.
Sophie: Ahahahahahahahahaaaaa, I am dead. Dear #brands, learn from AOL’s mistake, and just hire Margaret to do your future-envisiony Shinging for you, ok? She offers a higher quality product, charges less than that charlatan, and is WAY MORE FUN.
Margaret: I will also look significantly more adorable.
Sophie: And are smarter. Smarter & prettier. BETTER.
Margaret: Margaret H. Willison: Smarter & Prettier & Better Than Most People But Especially Shingy. Not a bad tag line.
Sophie: Put that on your business card, for sure.
Speaking of business cards...
If Dame Margaret were a sensible adult, she'd actually have some, and they might plausibly include the label "Radio Personality," because she appeared (AGAIN!) onNPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour. She had the good fortune to join them fora round-table discussion of (1)Broad Cityand (2) high school required reading. AND she got to talk about HOW EXCITED she was about the upcomingALA Youth Media Awards. The whole thing left her feeling as fly as Ilana Wexler in her old catering tuxedo. If you're not yet familiar withBroad City, you can treat yourself tothe entire first season on Hulu-- it's highly Dames Approved. If you've already gorged yourself on Abbi and Ilana's hijinks, you could dip intoSpaced, the British watch-a-like Margaret mentioned on PCHH,which is available in its entirety on Hulu.
Things are quiet this week on the Twee Front, but-- thanks to the Miss Universe Pageant's National Costume Show-- the Twinkly Fields of Camp arefertile as heck.And there is no better way to experience this "joyful, glittering, headpiece-wearing Olympics Of Gaudy Excess" than by readingLinda Holmes's pitch-perfect slideshow commentary over at NPR Monkey See. This is the third or fourth time that Linda has covered the event and IT NEVER STOPS BEING one of Dame Margaret's VERY FAVORITE THINGS. Please, peruse. Giggle. Enjoy. And start crossing off days untilthe Eurovision Song Contest, the best combination of bombastically baroque bad taste and Nationalism this fine world of ours has to offer. Let us know which costume wasyourfavorite!
Crucial TV Alerts!
Attention, fans of Code Name Verity and Agent Carter! We recently learned of The Time In Between, a Spanish costume drama about a gifted seamstress who works with the Resistance, sewing communiques into garments for spies during World War II. It's based on a well-loved novel from a couple of years ago and your Dames are DYING to dip into it.
The Delightfully Weird History of Lifetime Movies (The headline really says it all, no?)
An Oral History of Justified. This may be the first thing Uproxx has ever done that didn’t inspire an instant eyeroll.
Frank Ocean Sings Aaliyah Cover on Her Birthday, Shatters Hearts Everywhere.
Here's an interview with Dame Sophie's Toothsome literary boyfriend Michael Chabon-bon and soul & funk revivalist Mark Ronson on the recording of their love letter to Morris Day & The Time, Uptown Special. (Sent in by Dame Sophie’s adorable Dad, who is also a talented printmaker!)
The Notorious R.B.G. and her best wardrobe staple: Bad-ass fishnet gloves!!!!
Kilian Schönberger's enchanting Brother's Grimm-inspired landscape photography.
Oh, hey, it turns out that secular family values are actually pretty great!
On the Fetishization of Gay Men by Women in the Slash Community.
Dame Margaret stayed up until 12:30 AM last night playing One Night: Ultimate Werewolf with her friends last night. It's a super-easy to learn game of bluff and bluster that'll be immediately familiar to anyone who's ever played Mafia. She recommends you all buy yourselves a copy immediately and also that you ask her over to play.