Hiiiiiii again frieeeeendsssssssss!!
We, your Dames, are finally back, after a highly restorative and-- in Dame M’s case-- pretty live-changing two-week hiatus. We hope that you enjoyed Adam and Julia’s go-tos issue last week as much as we did-- and that all their excellent Lindsay Lohan content has you as READY to revisit MEAN GIRLS as we are!
Mean Girls Livetweet!
Contemplating the fact that I am closer in age to Amy Poehler's Cool Mom than any of the protagonists; also my own mortality. - M.
Speaking of our livetweet, here are all the details!
Time: This Sunday, September 4th, at 8 PM Eastern Standard Time
Method: Pull up Mean Girls on your Netflix (or pop it into your DVD player) and, at 8 PM, press play! Then hop to Twitter to find our...
#Hashtag: Your Dames (M. at @MrsFridayNext and S. at @TwoBossyDames) and Our Most Beloved Ilk will be discussing the movie as it plays, in real time, at the hashtag #MeanDames. Come! Join our party! Meet our friends! Talk about the film’s insane layers upon layers of lesbian subtext!!
Dame Margaret's Killer Combination of Amenities and Fluff!
Jesus I really need to watch this show, though, don't I?
Some of my close friends have just started working at start-ups here in Boston and have been sharing fascinating insights with me about the kind of amenities that are offered (high-end snacks, fancy free coffee bars in the building, wine or beer at work), the kind that aren’t (competitive healthcare packages, meaningful support for working parents), and where the amenities are located (conveniently for the engineers...and less so for everyone else). All of which is hardly shocking-- if you pay attention to how start-ups are designed, you’ll already have a sense that the tech “campus” is the new company town. The intent is to make it as easy and comfortable as possible for you to stay working at your desk until the end of time. It’s not to make sure you have a healthy work-life balance. It makes a certain kind of grim, capitalist sense, at first blush. BUT! As anyone who’s ever observed ME working late could tell you, many hours spent at work does NOT necessarily equal many hours spent well. All of which made this Fast Company article about Patagonia’s commitment to on-site child care and the financial benefits of that decision incredibly interesting to read. As is usually the case, if you have the imagination necessary to take the long view, the solutions you but in place have more meaningful benefits, both for you, and for your company.
And for another piece that meaningfully confirms my own editorial conceits/personal values, I adored this essay from the founder of Hearken, a new media start-up, about the hidden cost of media’s hard-news bias, and the value of really digging into “human interest” stories as well as hard-hitting investigative journalism. As someone who ardently believes in the nutritional of fluff, I obviously delight in this well-argued case in its favor!
SPEAKING OF FLUFF, would you like a piece from FiveThirtyEight that, instead of looking at the 2016 Garbage-Fire-I-Mean-Election takes a data-driven look at just which songs we like to hear at weddings, and why?Complete with an Ultimate Wedding Playlist on Spotify (made by #Damespal Christy)???? Of course you would! It’s not quite as great as my Bachelorette Party playlist but it’s still a worthy tool to have in your Gloomy Morning Combat Kit.
In further Nutritional Fluff, I am sooooooo glad The Hairpin is back, and I cannot yet satisfyingly answer the question of whether I am a Round or a Pointy. PLEASE GO READ ABOUT BOTH and tweet me your theories about which you think I am! It really is an astoundingly addictive game.
LASTLY BUT BY NO MEANS LEASTLY! Two new project from some of Dame’s Nations’ most beloved members have come into existence since we last spoke, and I am here to spread the gospel of them!
FIRST, #Damespal Lucas has launched a new podcast called The Math of You, where media figures like Yours Truly and Kamille Washington(eternal beloved of Yours Truly, Unfriendly Black Hottie, and member of the TBD Guest Editor Hall of Fame) sit down and talk about all the culture that meant a lot to them when they were kids. Subscribe NOW because you’re going to hear a lot more familiar voices (like that of someone whose name begins with an S and ends with an -ophie) in the coming weeks, and you don’t want to miss out!
AND! Another prior guest editor, our imaginary sibling Rosie Fletcher, just launched her own newsletter, Oh So Pleasant! Please go read her deservedly stinging critique of the Rock and also subscribe, so that she is encouraged to produce yet more gems like this!
Dame Sophie’s Rummage Sale of Links
I haven’t been able to read all the wonderful longformy links I had saved up for this issue, so I’m going to hold them for next week and instead treat you to my favorite videos of the week and some crowdfunding campaigns that deserve more attention.
Do not cross this shayna punim.
As I write this, my husband and I are just about to watch the season finale of Stranger Things. I know the whole Internet is talking about Barb (and I agree: #JusticeForBarb), but my favorite child actor on the show is huge-eyed, buzzcut Millie Bobby Brown, whose subtle face-acting is my everything. Look at her in that creepy-ass Flowers in the Attic get-up, still keeping it real with stripey tube socks! It’s my sincere hope that wee MBB will re-normalize Sinead O’Connor’s classic early 90s look. Anyway! In a stellar example of the kind of feat that would prompt James Stewart to compliment her on her unsuspected depth, Millie can perfectly rap Nicki Minaj’s verse from “Monster”, as demonstrated this week on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.
Some beautiful genius removed the music from Mick Jagger & David Bowie’s video for their (execrable, but boy, were those nerds having fun) cover of Martha & The Vandellas “Dancin’ In The Streets” and replaced it with normal roomtone, outside-in-the-evening sounds, and dancing & singing/breathing noises. It is mirth-tear-inducingly hilarious. You’re welcome.
PSA PS: Labyrinth is back in theaters in the US on September 11 & 14 for a special 30th anniversary set of screenings. I already have tickets, OBVIOUSLY.
PSA PPS: If you like Bowie, Michael Chabon’s novel Wonder Boys, and/or me, you can enjoy an intoxicating mix of all three by listening to the current episode of the Bowie Book Club. Hosts Greg & Kristianne, who are working their way through Bowie’s Favorite 100 Books List, were super-welcoming fellow discussers!
Please watch this 4-minute promo for Donald Glover’s new FX series, Atlanta, and then set your DVRs or buy a subscription through your streaming service of choice. I assume the show was shot before Beyonce’s Lemonade was released in April, but the visual similarities are strong and hugely appealing to this Dame’s eye. If I weren’t already in based on the premise (two cousins attempting to make it big in the Atlanta rap scene) the look of it alone would have me hooked.
This week marks, in the Northern Hemisphere, at least, the first time it is appropriate in a given year to listen to Don Henley’s perfect sonic lament, “Boys of Summer”. (I’ll be enjoying my first 2016 spin today.) It stays pretty warm in the Philly area well into October, so my ideal time to listen is now through the week of Halloween, but your mileage & listening ritual may vary! At any rate, don’t wait too long. Like all delicate seasonal produce, this song has a clear consumption window and I would be sad for you to miss it. (If you just can’t stomach Don Henley -- and no one could fault you for that, he is a deeply problematic figure -- a solid alternate is King of The Dad Rock Producers Jeff Lynne’s cover of “September Song”.) Special question for Dames Nationals of the Southern Hemisphere: what’s your end of summer song? What do you like to play in late March & early April?
And finally! A small smorgasbord of cultural crowdfunding campaigns well worth your boosting and/or discretionary monies:
Ok, I love a pun. I am also aghast that currently, there is not one single restaurant in the US of A run by Native Americans. The Sioux Chef is already fully funded, but COME ON: this is a chance to signal-boost the first fully Indigenous restaurant experience in the country and give a big thumbs-up to delightful wordplay simultaneously! Deadline: 9/6.
Beloved DamesPals Kamille & Christina brought Stacia L. Brown’s podcast Baltimore: The Rise of Charm City to our attention this winter. The show is all about people & places in the beautiful, complicated city of Baltimore that you won’t have seen on The Wire (and, incidentally, it's highly-praised in the essay Dame M. shared this week about the value of "soft" news). Season 1 was grant-funded and now there’s a campaign to raise funds for Season 2. If you care about ameliorating the dangers of a single story, this campaign’s for you! Deadline: 9/13.
As a bookwormy teen, I cut my literary teeth on South American writers like Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, and as an adult, I love the Love & Rockets anthologies by the Hernandez Brothers, so you’d better believe I jumped at the chance to support La Raza Anthology: Unidos y Fuertes, which will bring into print 120 pages of gorgeous comics by Latinx creators. Deadline: 9/28.
Seriously, she’ll eat your brains, soooo don’t be a mouth-breather, ok? Ok.
Scratching That Toast Itch
It’s been two months since The Toast ceased publication, and while we’re still real sad about it, life does go on. We have some suggestions for you to tide you over til the next idiosyncratic, erudite as hell ladycentric Internet place comes along. (Don’t stop believing, friends.)
Girl Gang: We have loved them since they first started. We have had them edit our newsletter. Where the fuck else would we start a list such as this, but with Ally and Amy?
The Rec Center & Overinvested: A newsletter & podcast, respectively, each of which is a partnership between The Daily Dot’s Gavia Baker-Whitelaw and her friends Elizabeth Minkel (Rec Center) and Morgan Leigh Davies(Overinvested) The focus here is on fandom, and while your Dames mostly nibble around the edges of our favorite fandoms, both are useful, interesting and fun for both casual and super-invested fans alike. Read the newsletter archives or dip a toe in with the Point Break and US Presidential Electionepisodes of the podcast.
Here’s a podcast round-up of (mostly) shows hosted by smart besties whose charm, wit, insights & real talk will upgrade your life in so many ways. We’ve talked about all of them in these pixel pages before, but perhaps one will be new to you, anyway! Some key through-lines across disparate shows: pop culture, our bodies, our selves, UGH patriarchy, friendship, and self-determination. Also, only two token men. Enjoy! In alphabetical order, please welcome into your earbuds: Another Round, The Broad Experience, Call Your Girlfriend, The Day of Fun Show, Note to Self, Sooo Many White Guys, Stuff Your Mother Never Told You, Speed Dial, The Unfriendly Black Hotties, and Witch, Please.
#BadassBygoneBroads is a weekly tweetstorm by author/#Damespal Mackenzi Lee about-- YOU GUESSED IT-- incredibly badass women from throughout history. It has filled the whole left, not only by The Toast, but also by eternal #Damespiration Bim Adewunmi's #BimsTenThings. Mackenzi's eye for a telling detail is FLAWLESS, and she's a truly great follow. PLUS, you're going to want to brag "I knew her when" next summer, when her truly phenomenal book The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue comes out.