1. I Survived R. Kelly, Again and Again by Lisa VanAllen (NY Times)
“I was a ‘me’ before #MeToo,” writes VanAllen, who has been telling the truth about R. Kelly for more than a decade. Finally, the world is starting to listen. Her courage in the face of sexual violence, threats, intimidation, decades-long psychological trauma and societal diminishment of black female pain is miraculous. Or it looks that way from my privilege. From another viewpoint, it’s just survival.
2. The New Labor Movement Fighting for Domestic Workers’ Rights by Lauren Hilgers (NY Times)
A look at the women behind the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the fight to secure safety, dignity, and rights for some of the most vulnerable workers in the country. Ai-jen Poo’s face should be on currency.
3. National Enquirer’s biggest investors include California taxpayers and state workers by Matt Pearce (LA Times)
California’s pension fund, the largest in the nation, runs on contributions from taxpayer-funded state agencies and their employees. It has long drawn scrutiny over whether its mandate of seeking strong returns meshes with liberal Californians’ expectations of ethical investment. Some of its investments drawing recent scrutiny have included oil pipelines, retailers that sell semiautomatic rifles, Russian sovereign debt and coal-producing companies.
Yeah it’s pretty fucked!! Money is power. Californians have a right to demand intellectual and moral consistency from their investments.
4. The Hard Lessons of Dianne Feinstein’s Encounter with the Young Green New Deal Activists by Bill McKibben (New Yorker)
Feinstein met with young climate activists and it was awkward to say the least.
The irony is that, when Feinstein said she’s been “doing this for thirty years,” she described the precise time period during which we could have acted.
5. I Think About This a Lot: Dina Lohan Getting Her Carvel Card Revoked by Brian Moylan (The Cut)
Roses are red
Sherlock wore tweed
“How many Fudgie the Whale cakes could Dina Lohan possibly need?”
Plus: Cardi B makes Lactaid sexy. The Googie glory of a Koreatown KFC. Kara Brown interviews Christine Baranski. Robert Kraft and the abuse of power. An actual useful movie about the Green Book. An intergenerational friendshipwith excellent crumb structure. How a continent becomes Instagrammable. And Dame Emma Thompson takes a production company to task for a very shitty hire because that is what mf dames do.
I am well aware that centuries of entitlement to women’s bodies whether they like it or not is not going to change overnight. Or in a year. But I am also aware that if people who have spoken out — like me — do not take this sort of a stand then things are very unlikely to change at anything like the pace required to protect my daughter’s generation.
Also: Charles Dickens tried to have his wife committed for insanity like a true Victorian fuckboi (a muckboi? those times feel particularly mucky). I’m making light, but the story is actually pretty heartbreaking and sickening and made me grateful to live in a time that is not 1858 when a man could have his wife stripped of all her rights and imprisoned in horribly inhuman conditions because he found her annoying or unfuckable.
Finally: In honor of Ruth E. Carter’s win last night, let’s all reread this wonderful interview with the Black Panther costume designer on the aesthetics of Afrofuturism.
My family got a puppy. For the past two weeks I’ve been over at my parents’ house every other day to play and cuddle with him and have the flesh on my fingers grated like nubby wet ginger by his baby vampire needle teeth. His name is Louie and he’s a de facto therapy dog. We think he’s probably a beagle/Jack Russell terrier mix (*~ 100% adorable ~*). Most importantly, he’s a Scorpio.
We adopted him from A Purposeful Rescue, an incredible organization in LA that specializes in senior dogs and dogs with special needs. I miss Charlie every day, but wow has Lou brought so much joy into my world. Look at this mug!
This month, my 20th Century Women Book Club read the classic thriller Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier from 1938. Without giving too much away, let me just say that I found the titular character a total inspiration and a bad bitch of the highest order. This doesn’t feel like the intention of the author—though who really knows what du Maurier was up to (plagiarism?)—but c’mon. A vicious bon vivant who throws mad parties, can’t be tamed, sleeps around, and disrupts stodgy, patriarchal British chum culture from the inside out like a slippery apostate, a viper in black satin??? Ok!!
“No one got the better of her, never, never,” she said. “She did what she liked. She had the strength of a little lion too. I remember her at sixteen getting up on one of her father’s horses, a big brute of an animal too, that the groom said was too hot for her to ride. She stuck to him, all right. I can see her now, with her hair flying out behind her, slashing at him, drawing blood, digging the spurs into his side, and when she got off his back he was trembling all over, full of froth and blood. ‘That will teach him, won’t it, Danny?’ she said, and walked off to wash her hands as cool as you please. And that’s how she went at life, when she grew up. I saw her, I was with her. She cared for nothing and for no one. And then she was beaten in the end. But it wasn’t a man, it wasn’t a woman. The sea got her...”
THE SEA GOT HER*!!
(*Ultimately inaccurate but still a cool vibe)
The Oscars were. They were!
I can’t stop watching Olivia Colman’s acceptance speech. (Read my full review of The Favourite in vol. 79). I’ve said all I’m going to say about Green Book. This Trevor Noah joke was pretty brilliant.
Looks I loved: Laura Harrier in sustainable Louis Vuitton (made of eco-friendly blue crepe silk), Rachel Weisz in Scarlett Letter LARP fetishwear, Rowan Blanchard in custom Rodarte, Frances McDormand in Valentino birks, Tessa Thompson in Chanel, everything Elaine Welteroth and Gemma Chan wore, Olivia Colman in Prada, Amatus-Sami Karim in 69, and Billy mf Porter in a snatched tuxedo gown.
[Thanks for coming to my *clears throat* THREAD Talk.]
Stop what you’re doing and go read Billy Porter’s interview with Vogue about his outfit. There’s so much poetry and grace and subversion and exploration in Porter’s specific varietal of queer, black representation, in his decision to smash convention and challenge the gender binary at the annual carousel of exclusionary glamour. I feel lucky just to share his universe and his time period. But also sad. Because every time I get excited about the future of art and fashion and gender—honestly anything—I remember, rather tediously, that the planet is dying. That we broke our home. How wild to think we are all just now learning how to live at the moment we are about to go extinct.
Ok have a great week.