Dames Nation, we couldn't help but notice the just right clothes you're all wearing.
In part, this is because, when we imagine you, we correctly see you all asmaximally dapper.
But it's also because we've had "Ring of Keys" from the musical Fun Home stuck in our heads since 11-year-old (!!!!!!) Sydney Lucas performed it this Sunday at the Tony Awards. It's a stupidly great performance and you owe it to yourself to watch it over and over and over. Based on the graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel, the show (which took home 5 Tonys-- Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Direction of a Musical, and Best Leading Actor in a Musical) made history by being the first ever all-female writing team to win a Tony.
As you watch Small Alison's face light up with joy and recognition the first time she sees a woman she can describe as "handsome," it's impossible to deny (1) that this is exactly the kind of moment musical theater was designed to capture and (2) that it's a story no mainstream Broadway musical has ever tried to tell before. As Lisa Kron, the play's author, said while accepting the Tony for Best Book of a Musical: "We all live in this big house and we've all been sitting in the same one or two main rooms and thinking that this was the whole house. And this season, some lights got turned on in other rooms." Looking at Sydney playing Alison on that stage-- it makes you want to turn on every light in every house. Because how many more songs THIS necessary are just out there, waiting to be written, waiting to be sung?
Can you feel our hearts saying hi, Dames Nation?
Darling reader Sophie (not Dame Sophie!) asks,
I'm leaving my toxic job in 6 weeks, but because of professionalism and health insurance, I have to suck it up until then. What movies/tv/culture can help me get the catharsis of a big "fuck you!" without actually burning bridges?
Dear Not Dame Sophie,
This is a GREAT question, and we hope we’re in time to answer it helpfully. Having survived and left a toxic workplace, Dame Sophie empathizes deeply with you and we both congratulate you on your upcoming escape to what we hope is a way healthier and more rewarding situation.
Let’s dive right in!
If you want to put your fist in the air and bang your head, we recommend…
SO LONG, SUCKERS! -- a playlist we made just for you! We stocked it with anthems and break-up songs (since what is leaving a bad job behind but a break-up?). Happy furious listening!
If you want to talk back to your TV, hollering “Yeah, you said it!”, we suggest…
9 to 5: Dolly. Lily. Jane. Start here, no matter what.
The Office (Either version.)
And, although its connection to your situation is not as obvious, Dame Margaret heartily recommends RuPaul's Drag Race ( which can be found streaming on Amazon Prime and Hulu+). It gives you a satisfying dose of epic reality TV throwdowns, but conducted amongst a people (drag queens) who earnestly conceive of SICK BURNS as high art. Like, every season, there's a challenge where the contestants must come up with the funniest, most cutting insults they can about one another. It's a very satisfying way to get a contact high for witty aggression. All the season are great, but if you're looking for a specific recommendation, start with Season 6, as Bianca Del Rio is a queen ANY employee on their way out would do well to emulate:
HOPEFULLY this is enough to get you started!! May these last 6 weeks fly by with inhuman speed. Please feel free to email us all the amazing "reads" of your coworkers that, for reasons of professionalism, you can never share publicly. Here at the Bossy Aerie, the library is always open, and our lips are permanently sealed.
Dames Margaret and Sophie
This video of Gus the Bulldog trying to drag his beloved kiddie pool into the house: Still the best way to comfort yourself about temperatures over 85 degrees that Dame Margaret has yet discovered.
Buzzfeed continues its trend of truly admirable service journalism by collecting this list of shaved ice recipes that makes even Dame Margaret like.. okay with the fact that it's summer.
And related, if not pleasantly so: Recent, unbearable events in McKinney, TX led NPR's Gene Demby to take a thoughtful, fascinating look at who, throughout American history, has gotten to hang out at the pool?
Miscellany (WE JUST LOVE AMY!)
Amy Schumer’s charm offensive continues as she photobombs an adorable couple’s Central Park engagement shoot.
SATAN GOES VIRAL: This painstakingly researched interactive map shows how the Salem witch trials spread from one paranoid church leader’s house.
Summer construction has led to the discovery of an accidental 1917 time capsule: Oklahoma City Public School chalkboards hidden for almost a century.
The gradual, seemingly inexorable death of local typography - full of weird idiosyncrasies - gets at least a bit of a reprieve through the Vernacular Typography project. Read more about it in this Atlas Obscura piece.
Thanks largely to the final two seasons of Mad Men, Dame Sophie is enjoying a deep dive into the cultural history of the late 1960s and 1970s. Most recently, she’s been inhaling (with...her ears?) Karina Longworth’s series on Charles Manson’s Hollywood on You Must Remember This. If this approach is up your alley, be sure not to miss Longworth’s show notes posts, which include even more context & links.
Oh, we’ll show you sweet: On the deconstruction of sweetness in Piper, Kimmy & Jane.