WELCOME, Dames Nation!
Has the world been leaving you a bit ANGRY lately?
If yes, maybe it’s worth taking a minute to revisit our Bossy Take on “Lady Rage” a.k.a. the way women are socialized to suppress their anger, a piece of writing that (1) celebrated its first birthday last Saturday and (2) of which we’re both still quite justly proud. Depressingly, it’s even more pertinent to our lives now than it was when we wrote it last June. There is just so much to be so mad about every godforsaken day. One thing we’re furious about this week? The Senate attempting to force through their repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with the truly dreadful (and largely still mysterious!) American Health Care Act without any public hearings about the bill in the Senate. If that makes you furious, too? Please, please, please: call your senators. Take an extra minute and reach out to their health legislation assistant. Let them know how this bill will effect you. Three Links to Restore Your ZenWe here at Two Bossy Dames are established Chance the Rapper fanatics and (thanks in part to the generosity of one of our readers!) I, Dame M., got to attend his “Be Encouraged” Tour-- a name I include because the show he put on (as part of the Boston Calling music festival) had exactly that effect on me. It left me deeply encouraged, even in the midst of these very bleak times. His music is nakedly earnest and espouses the kind of informed optimism that is irrepressibly infectious. He is, in the parlance of the internet, so PURE. So to stand in an adoring crowd and watch him and know that this loving father, who peppers his raps with Harry Potter references and can write a song that engages with the effects of gang violence and still remains warm and wistful, is one of the most popular musicians in America? That he’s so popular that he can build an empire without even charging for his music? It is INTENSELY encouraging. And while the BEST way to experience this encouragement is to catch the tour yourself, I have found the video he made with Francis & the Lights for his remix of “May I Have This Dance?” to be incredibly effective Chance methadone (in addition to being a TOTAL BOP in its own right). Especially when I think of how he self-effacingly popped out to perform the dance from the video along with Francis & the Lights (who was one of the best surprises of the festival) at the end of his MUCH earlier set. Seriously: he is just SO. PURE.If you don’t follow Samantha Powell on Twitter, you’re missing out on fashion slideshows so beautiful that flicking through them brings a sense of lasting calm-- like this incredible collection from Mary Katrantzou’s pre-fall line, of which Your Dames would like two of everything.And finally, while we are normally loathe to report on the doings of old white men, we are going to make an exception for this excellent long read on Mackinac Island’s Stone Skipping Competition, because reading it was one of the most relaxing things Dame M. did all week. We hope its effect on your blood pressure is as beneficial for you as it was for us.Still one of Dame Margaret's favorite shots from any movie ever. Dame Sophie’s Ongoing Quest for Cultural Catharsis
(And Occasional Sophomoric Penchant for Alliteration) yessss, let the feels flow through you “You seem to cry a lot lately. Are you ok?” My youngest sister worries about me, and from a distance, reading my self-reports on Twitter and here and by text, I can see why. I do cry a fair amount, and often, I mention it when I do. There just always seems to be something out there dredging up FEELINGS of all sorts: Hamilton (both the musical and the Ron Chernow biography, which details the many traumas A. Ham and his contemporaries experienced on the way to founding a nation), the deaths of David Bowie and Prince, the closure of the Toast, the death of one of my most vintage Internet ladyfriends, the 2016 election and its aftermath, the list goes on & on. My own specific life is very lovely, but life on this planet is hard! Being a person is hard.And, you know, I’m a cryer. (And a laugher, and a giddy hand-clasper, and a placer of palms to bosoms, and an enthusiastic yeller. These are, for me, all very nearly the same thing.) I cry when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m angry, when I’m overwhelmed, and sometimes when I’m just a regular, everyday degree of whelmed. Big emotions are a big part of my processing methodology. In both her parenting advice work and her blog PostTrump.help, Magda Pecsenye talks about two common approaches to crying, tension-reducing and tension-increasing. I’m definitely a tension-reducing cryer: emotions build up, I have a bit of a weep, and then I can move on just fine.I noticed last summer, when I was still deep in my David Bowie grief, how frequently I was seeking out books that I started describing as a feels bomb to the solar plexus. Looking over my Goodreads from the last year, it’s littered with books like this: Exit, Pursued by a Bear, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, Laurinda, Bone Gap, Bellwether Rhapsody, Moonglow, a reread of Persuasion. Every review I wrote, and nearly every time I texted my friends or tweeted about these books, I made some reference to how deeply I was feeeeeeeeeling them. Alternating reading new-to-me titles with rereading favorite Good Cry books-- the ones that make me feel like the emotional journey is earned and substantial-- started as a general 2016 grief coping strategy and is now my normal.Flash forward to a couple of weeks ago, when Carly Rae Jepsen released a new single. It’s called “Cut to the Feeling”, and is, as so many of her songs are, is both an unmistakeable jam and an emotional call to arms. Remember how, in “Run Away With Me”, she implored her love interest to take her to the feeling, and how it inspired Jia Tolentino to liken CRJ to a modern mystic a la Margaret Porete, burned at the stake for her heretical belief in having direct access to the divine?Her willingness to be directly possessed by emotion — to regress, away from narrative, away from audience, back to that original point — reminds me of Porete’s idea of the soul stripped naked by divine presence. A soul:to whom one can teach nothingfrom whom one can take nothing awayto whom one can give nothingand who has no will at all.I don’t feel like I lack will. If I review my listening, reading, and viewing habits of the last two years, I can see that my will is pretty strong, and one of the strongest manifestations of that will is my pursuit and enjoyment of stories - across all media - that take me to the feeling. I prefer rock-solid stability in all my personal, familial, and collegial relationships and relish something approaching an emotional frenzy in my cultural consumption. I genuinely love to have a good cry, to ship characters so deeply that I have earnest conversations about their well-being, and to lose myself in a kitchen dance party. Nearly every day, I want my culture to take me! to the! feeling! And then I want to yell about it with my friends, because that combination -- that communion -- of erudition and feelings really does feel divine.And, surprise!, it turns out that that’s been something I’ve wanted out of culture pretty much my whole life. Reading Rob Sheffield’s new book Dreaming The Beatles (which is just about perfect, by the way, bear it in mind as a gift for the Beatles lover in your life), he talks about how weird and unexpected it is that the Beatles became anything at all in the moment that they did, given that they admonished each other in 3-part harmony about treating their girlfriends better, covered and were rabid fanboys of girl groups, and wrote a vast catalog of songs about the complexities of their relationships with women. The Beatles are constantly calling out, crying out to girls and women, both the many anonymous Babys and Shes and Yous, and quite a few by name: Rita, Julia, Eleanor, Prudence, Her Majesty. They’re not perfect, but is it any wonder that listening to boys singing about being deep in their feelings made such an impression on my young & developing ears?
The Feeling, on any given day, might be a man singing with a sob in his throat, or mirth tears, or a cute child's squeaky sneakers jollying her out of a bad mood. It could be this devastating profile of Nick Cave (CW: child death, drug use), the preview of Star Wars: Rogue One (which I still sometimes call up when I need a cry), or a particularly emotionally resonant gif set. Do you like to Cut To The Feeling, too? If so, please do come yell with me on Twitter about it, or hit the old reply button down yonder. Addenda for Your Journey to The Feeling, in Case That’s a Place You Want To Go To, Too:Last year, without quite knowing why, I put together a playlist of my Favorite Swoony Beatles Songs. Now I know why!Zan Romanoff’s piece on how falling in love with One Direction - specifically their shouting about loss of control and their open invitation to their fans to do the same - was a step towards a better life (CW: depression, suicidal ideation)Finally, in case the release of “Cut To The Feeling” made you long for Carly Rae to just release a new album already, here’s a frankly fiery-hot playlist I made to tide you over. Take as needed, side effects will almost certainly include feeeeeeelings, but I have to assume if you've read this far, that's something you're sort of into. It's a masterpiece of contemporary & classic feels bombs, if I say so myself. The Harold Herald: Being a Semi-Regular Roundup of News & Information
Pertaining to the Alien-Human Hybrid/Improvised Explosive Device of Charm
Known to Earth Creatures as Harry Styles Remember a couple of weeks ago when I said I thought it would be the last installment of “What’s Harry Styles Been Up To?” for a while, because it seemed like he was taking a break from his album promotional work? Oh, what a sweet, deluded fool Dame Sophie of a few weeks ago was. Here follows a brief precis of Harry’s most recent antics. In the last week he has:Attended a wedding in Hawaii clad in a perfect creamy yellow suit, prompting Cassie of Adult Fans of One Direction to write the start of the Harry Styles/Jeeves & Wooster AU fanfic we all so desperately needFollowed up that wonderful time by playing with a very adorable toddler, including laying waste to uteruses worldwide (he booped this child on her sweet nose, how are we to come back from that?)Wore both prescription eyeglasses (wow, hey, me, too!) and a Women Are Smarter t-shirt (obviously) en route home to London from Hawaii. The only real evidence of this ensemble is a couple of rather blurry fan photos, but the best photoshop ever gives you a strong idea of what happened:Brilliant Photoshop work by hazstylestrash,
superlative glitter word art giffing by Ally Gross,
whose 1D newsletter you should subscribe to if you are reading this segment. Became the inaugural member of the Branston Pickle VIP Club Branston Pickle is a crunchy-tangy condiment from the UK, essential to cheese-and-pickle sandwiches, and a delicious accompaniment to all manner of dishes. It can be difficult to source when he’s traveling and he loves it so much that the nice folks at Branston Pickle will make sure he has at least a full jar with him at all times while on tour. This is a brilliant maneuver and a win-win-win for the brand, Harry’s homesick palate, and potential consumers of Branston Pickle everywhere.Announced that LGBTQ synthpop geniuses MUNA (who are all about Going To The Feeling) will open for his US & Europe dates on the small venue tour this fall, then announced a major arena tour for spring & summer 2018, with opening acts Warpaint (!), Leon Bridges (!!), and Kasey Musgraves (!!!!!!!). The answer to “Can I just LIVE?” is plainly, firmly, and forever: NO.Oh, and promoted said tour by performing Two Ghosts on James Corden’s Late Late London residency, on the roof of Central Hall Westminster in London with views of Westminster Abbey & the London Eye, in a blue velvet suit, holding his guitar in a manner oddly & compellingly reminiscent of George Harrison’s cradling of his guitar during “And I Love Her” in A Hard Day’s Night. I mean honestly. I see no difference.