Thinking Pink, Missing Bowie, & Other Sundry Concerns

Dames Nation! Let’s talk a little bit about Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time and why we wants to have a Very Serious Conversation with the critical establishment that’s currently undervaluing it!

And also one with the internet about where we can find makeup tutorials on not just all the Misses’ otherworldly glamour...

But also for Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s flawless no makeup makeup look

If you watched it and found yourself underwhelmed as a viewer, we has no bone to pick with you-- it’s not a perfect film and there’s certainly room for ambivalence in individual responses. But from a critical standpoint, we believe, with the same strength with which we know Dame M. to be a total Mrs. Whatsit, that to say this movie failed as art-- which a 40% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes would lead many to conclude-- shows that you either fundamentally misunderstand its goal-- communicating directly to kids between the ages of 8-14, particularly girls-- or that you do not think that goal has artistic value. The movie itself makes no bones about this goal and the weight it gives to Meg Murray’s internal life, the care with which her emotional journey is depicted, and the thematic resonance that journey has within the plot feel objectively artful. This mismatch between our sense of Ava Duvernay’s cohesive, successful artistic vision and the movie’s critical reception left us agreeing ardently with this excellent and thought-provoking Twitter thread by a librarian named Jenny Kristine on the lack of critical vocabulary for movies and television that cater to children’s developmental needs rather than adults-- on how there is no way to say that a movie is “for kids” without in some way implying that it’s also lesser art.

If you saw the movie this weekend, let us know what you think of this conceit! And, if you have not yet seen it, let it be known that it is thoroughly and officially Dames Approved™.

Dame Margaret Cares More About The Invention of Synthetic Dyes Than You Would Expect

How do we actually come to “Think Pink”?  

Everything about this sequence is Pure Goals.

Local Culture Vulture Still Misses David Bowie Something Awful: Full Report At 8 PM

Hi, friends! I’m away for the weekend, heading up to New York to hang with friends in from out of town and to go to the David Bowie is exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. Since only about half of you were subscribed to this newsletter when we first published my anguished howl of grief over David Bowie’s death in 2016, we figured now is a good time to re-run it.

For those who have read it before, I updated the links section at the end, combining my favorites from the first two weeks of coverage following his death, and a few other great things that have been published in the two years since. It took me over a year to process this loss, and honestly, it still hurts if I let myself think about it for too long. Let’s rip the band-aid off again, starting with this iconic gifset:

It’s 1984. You’re a generally people-pleasing and well-behaved child of 9. Your parents decide to give this new cable thing a go for the summer, and your favorite babysitter, Rosemary -- a very glamorous teen who French braids your hair and taught you to roller skate in the driveway -- introduces you & your sister to a channel called MTV. You are, predictably, entranced. There’s a video for a song called “Blue Jean”, sung by a...well, a really compelling, strange-looking guy. (Re-viewing this video, you notice just how well he seemed to understand contouring before the Kardashians were even a glimmer in Kris’s eye.) But there’s just something about him. And what’s this? He’s playing a dual role in the video, as both the magnetic weirdo performer and the hapless yet swoony swain in a perfect suit? You really fucking love this song. Blue Jean does indeed send you.

It’s 1990. Thanks in large part to classic rock stations routinely counting down the Top 500 Songs of All Time (As Defined by a Group of White Dudes Older Than Your Dad), you are now a full-on music nerd with many crushes on many singers: Prince, Bowie, Bono, Sting, Michael Stipe, Michael Jackson, George Michael, George Harrison. You’ve watched Labyrinth more times than is probably healthy (still with the genius contouring! Not that the king of Punim Watch needs it, but still). You also babysit several nights a week and use your responsibly-gotten gains to subscribe to Rolling Stone & SPIN, and to buy a lot of tapes & concert tickets. One of your first purchases down at Tower Records is the remastered re-release of The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders from Mars (complete with bonus tracks! You never knew they were a thing before!). You listen to it all summer, memorizing the lyrics. You buy some more Bowie tapes on sale, your favorite uncle tells you about his favorite Bowie song (“Changes”, which you also love an almost unreasonable amount), you talk your friend Jen into going with you to see him play the Spectrum on the Sound + Vision Tour & splash out on a copy of the concert program (sadly long since lost). When he plays “Heroes”, you think you may die of an unbearable mix of happiness, sexiness, and melancholy.

It’s 2000. You tag along with your best friend to meet one of her best friends from her study abroad program, an English guy who you know has great taste in music. You put “Soul Love” on a mixtape for him, knowing it’s a deep cut & he’ll either know it and be impressed or (even better) not know it and be a little intimidated. It’s the latter -- yesssss! -- and you have a conversation about how for all their love of conformity, what the English love best of all is a beautiful genius weirdo like Bowie, Mercury or Morrissey. Thanks in part to your mixtape sorcery, you later marry that guy (who now lies next to you, gently nudging you in the shoulder and saying “yes, I think we SHOULD watch the 1972 ‘Starman’ performance again! And then the 1973 ‘Jean Genie’ with the fisheye lens stuff, please.”).

It’s 2016. One week, you think, “oh, I must watch that ‘Lazarus’ video. Excellent surprise, Bowie! Please never change, you big wackadoo.” The next, you’re in mourning. You reflect on all the things David Bowie gave you: The notion that being a restless cultural magpie might be a worthwhile thing to be. A sterling example of how rewarding it is to collaborate with people you love and respect. Some solid reasons not to do hard drugs. A lifelong appreciation for beautiful genius weirdos. Lust. A day (quite a few days, really) when you had occasion to sing “Moonage Daydream” in the car with your ten year-old, as loud as you could.

A key motto over here at the Bossy Aerie.

Posthumous Link Buffet

I’ve updated this section with lots of extras! Enjoy, fellow Bowie-philes.

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