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Friday, January 30, 2015

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Weekend Roundup / Open Thread

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This image is not not a subtweet to the internet this week.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

In case you spent too much time re-watching the new Kanye video and forgot what happened this week (me), let's review: we mourned My So-Called Life, decided the hottest fashion looks for the year,bought some fourth-wave coffee, got serious with a man, were the only black person at a punk show, tried to raise a puppy, got bedbugs, watched The Pillow Club movie and Girlhood, formed female bonds, rewrote Mean Girls with emojis, and looked inside Kalpna Patel's bag.

What are you up to this weekend? Here's what you should read: Emily Keeler (feat. Anna Fitzpatrick) on Raziel Reid, our Rookie homies on the right way to critique offensive behavior, the L Magazine on Meredith Graves, and, no big deal, but JULIANNE ESCOBEDO SHEPARD INTERVIEWED TLC.

Did you know the Super Bowl was this weekend?! I did not. Either way, I hope you eat a lot.

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Kalpna Patel, What's Actually In Your Bag Right Now?

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Kalpna Patel is a Toronto-based craft genius and installation artist who can do more things with a sheet of construction paper than is dreamed of in your reality. She is responsible for elaborate handmade window displays, including this one and this one. Last week, she let me rifle through her stuff because I asked her nicely. "Everything is about my comfort," she explained. "I like feeling warm and clean and fed." READ MORE

All the Exposed Men's Ankles in the February "GQ," in Order

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Not The Way White Girls Do

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Girls of color don’t have films made about them. Especially not in the way white girls do. There’s no Mean Girls featuring a black co-lead, or a Ten Things I Hate About You where the Stratford sisters are Hispanic. There isn’t even a WOC in either film that has agency over her own life, anything but a buffer for the white kids and their antics. Though I’ll give a shout out to Gabrielle Union, “You can be overwhelmed, and underwhelmed—but can you ever just be whelmed?” It’s a pretty philosophically astute observation, but it's also one of the only sentences she speaks in Ten Things.

When I was young, I searched high and low for something that was applicable to me and my life. I liked Arthur because he was brown, and that made me feel normal. I liked The Craft because I identified with Rochelle, “the token brown girl” (Rachel True) and the constant barrage of insults she was inflicted by Laura Lizzie on a daily basis. Of course, sometimes, a lot of those experiences are just a part of being a teenager—teens can be unduly mean. But trust me: being a woman of color (or trans, or queer) is not a comparable experience, and sometimes having media that speaks to you—even just characters that look like you—makes it all less lonely. Through them, you are able to make sense of your existence in a world where you are constantly defined by how society others you, and therein how they treat you and your so-called differences. When someone on screen represents you, in some capacity, you can draw solace in their struggles—they somehow make your own less stark, less overwhelming; they normalize you.

Films about POC kids are generally thought to be the territory of POC writers—Spike Lee for Crooklyn, Gurinder Chadha with Bend It Like Beckham, et al. However, recently, pop culture has understood, to some degree, that having dynamic POC as their leads can be as profitable, and just as interesting, as having a cast of white leads. Sleepy Hollow does this well—Abbie Mills is played by Nicole Beharie, an African American woman; in Elementary, Dr.Watson is a female, and Asian American, played by Lucy Liu.

In this vein, white filmmaker, Céline Sciamma’s latest film Girlhood, or rather—Bande de Filles, the literal translation being ‘girl gang’—features not only a black lead, but focuses primarily on black girls throughout the whole film.

Black girls definitely don’t have films made about them. The best explanation for this that I’ve ever read or heard is in Jessica Hopper’s Village Voice piece about R.Kelly. In it, she interviews Chicago Sun-Times writer Jim DeRogatis who laments: “The saddest fact I've learned is nobody matters less to our society than young black women. Nobody." Through studied intentions we are told, black girls, and WOC at-large, are non-identifiable; that, in order to write a story about a POC kid, it inevitably needs to be within the context of race. The language is coded.

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Bosom buddy of The Hairpin Meredith Haggerty is the new host of podcast BROADcast TL;DR, and this week's episode is great: she interviews Charlotte Shane, of Prostitute Laundry, and Meaghan O'Connell, most recently of The Billfold, about their deeply personal TinyLetters. It's only ten minutes long, so listen to it while you're doing your dishes or something!

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Susan Miller's 2015 Predictions for Our Most Important Celebrities

As a Gemini, in 2015, Mars will light Kanye's house of honors, awards and achievement for the first time in two years, from Jan. 12 through Feb. 19. That will be a very critical and favorable time for Kanye to launch a new venture or album. Then, the new moon on March 20—which is also a solar eclipse (meaning it's a new moon on steroids) will fall in his house of fame and portends even more excitement for Kanye's career. New moons open a path of new opportunity and this one will be especially strong and supportive. Kanye seems to be branching out in some way, either in a new business or in terms of a new musical style. Clearly, the first quarter of 2015 will be his most important part of the year for career advancement, although there will be other developments in September too (although perhaps not quite as dramatic as the ones that are happening in January through March).

Just some airtight, scientifically proven, totally reliable predictions from everyone's favorite astrologist about everyone's favorite dad. I'm booking March 20th off work just in case.

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I mean, I often sit in my bath and think, "You know what element is missing here? Something...tangy." | January 29, 2015

The Sporting Contest As Metaphor For Life: A Consideration In Verse

What Time Is The Super Bowl?

The Super Bowl is always now.
It takes place every minute.
It doesn't happen somewhere else
Just look around—you're in it.

You start out full of faith and hope
and joy for what will be.
You end up with your brains bashed in
and fractures in your knee.

Your arms are sore, your legs are weak
Your mouth is slack and muddy.
You've wet yourself and crapped your pants
The rest of you is bloody. READ MORE

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What Is It, Jessica Williams Day?

If so, I'm ok with that. Here she is in Cosmo:

How has your feminism affected your dating life?
A lot. I can be pretty harsh and judgmental. I'm a very harsh and judgmental person. I like morals, right and wrong, I like to see things in black-and-white when I can, so I will hold a lot of guys to an impossible standard. So that really effects my dating, but it also cuts out a lot of bozos. I got no time for bozos. As soon as I meet a guy who's like, "Hey, what's up, my sista?" I'm like, "Come on, dude." Then I'm like, "Cool, I'm not going to date this person." I'm not going to take this guy to the bone zone, as I eloquently call it.

I look for a man who respects my womanhood and doesn't make me feel like I have to be a stereotype. Like a housewife. I don't think I'll ever be a housewife. I don't know how to cook. I work a lot. So, for me then, it's important to find a man who can cook. Who will make the house a home more than I can. You need someone who is fluid, gender-wise. Sometimes it makes me so anxious, and I get so much anxiety, because I'm like, Well, maybe I should be this; maybe I should be this housewife and be kind of like my mother and take care of the home. But that's not what I want. So I feel like, as a woman of this time, we're often now fighting and coming to terms with what our mothers want us to be or what we feel like we're supposed to be and who we really are and what we really want to do.

and Uproxx:

Most everything I’ve read about you is positive. You seem very popular on the Internet.
You know what it is? People get very possessive about their shows. You’re probably a little possessive about SNL because you’ve been watching it for a really long time.

That’s possible.
So with me being on The Daily Show, people are critical because it’s been on for a long time. People love Colbert, so everybody is always comparing me to Colbert or Corddry or Riggle or something like that. So it starts off, people can be very mean and critique the show and talk to you about how you can improve, which is crazy because you’re doing a really hard thing – a very vulnerable thing. I am in no way an athlete, but it’s how I feel about people who are fans of sports and how people can look at it and be like, “Fuck Kobe, I can’t believe Kobe didn’t land that shit.” So, at first, that was really hard because I really care and it’s very distressing. I want to make sure that you like it and you think I’m good for the show. But that was driving me crazy, so now the more that I do the show, the more I care less a little bit.

I do think people get used to their favorites.
They do.

Then when someone new shows up, it’s hard to get used to it. Like, Taran Killam shows up on SNL and it’s like, “Who is this guy?” Now he’s brilliant.
Right! Yep. And I got a lot of when I first started on the show, “Oh, a black woman is just on the show because Jon needed a black woman.”

People said that?
Yeah, like, “Who’s this fucking black lady doing the show now? Jon only hired her because of this.” I got a lot of that.

In addition to being inspiring as all hell, she's also the Senior Beyoncé Correspondent, and don't you forget it.

Inspiring New Film Explores What It Takes 'To Be a Dad'

Brought to you by The Bold New Camry | Toyota.

Before you watch this you might want to grab some tissues, because some of the stories from these incredible dads and the obstacles they’ve overcome will make you cry. In this short film, Toyota teamed up with director Lauren Greenfield to ask the question, “Is being a good dad something you learn from your parents or a choice you make on your own?” What we learned was as emotional as it was inspirational.

Even as we filmed this piece, we couldn’t help but reexamine what kind of fathers we are vs. the kind of dads we could be. What are we doing right? What could we do better? And what does the role of father mean in the modern world? When other dads out there watch this film, perhaps they’ll ask themselves the same questions. Because as one of the dads, Jasen Govine, so eloquently stated, “As dads, we’re all works in progress and all we can do is try to get better every day.”

Check out the video above honoring dads everywhere. Honor your dad. Tweet us photos of him using #OneBoldChoice to join our big game celebration.

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Mean Emojis: Coming Soon to a Phone Near You

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Kanye West, "Only One"

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What huh no I don't know these aren't tears there are absolutely no fluids exiting my eyeballs at this moment I mean how do I know that you're not crying oh God I gotta go.

UPDATE: ajsdhfjasdhfjsdnf

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Ask Baba Yaga: How Do I Form Female Bonds?

Baba female friends
Transcript after the jump. READ MORE

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Unofficial Official Hairpin 3.0 Book Club: Watch The Movie

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I don’t watch very many movies. I like sitcoms, and books, and not much in between. I find I have a terrible attention span when it comes to movies; I blame the Internet. The only movies I remember from 2014 are Tammy and the last Hunger Games one. Have you seen Tammy? Vastly underrated. Melissa McCarthy is a national treasure. But I loved The Pillow Book, the book, (great book club pick, me!) and was curious to see how they would adapt it into a movie. I took notes while watching it last night in my actual copy of The Pillow Book:

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How’s that for metatextual? *holds up hand for high five* *realizes nobody is going to return said high five* *pretends to have been swatting at an errant fly all along*

Should we watch the movie real quick? READ MORE

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The Best Time I Had Bed Bugs While Housesitting For Someone Else

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I was very sure it was not bed bugs.

I was so, so sure.

In fact, I knew it was not bed bugs because I had done some extensive googling and cream buying and had gone to the doctor and decided what it really was was an obscure skin condition called Polymorphic Light Eruption.

Polymorphic Light Eruption is a skin rash caused by exposure to the sun affecting approximately 1 in 10 European women. Damn you, England, I thought to myself, damn you straight to hell. But secretly I was relieved.

My doctor was less convinced. “To be honest, it looks more like scabies or bed bugs or something,” she said. I snorted. To be fair, she had literally just googled “scabies rash” in front of me, so my smug doubt was, I felt, somewhat justified. The itchy, red bumps decorating my arms, back and chest were clearly PMLE (the abbreviation used by My Community), and all I needed to do was never go outside in the sun again, fine.

I went home from the doctor and tore the sheets off the bed. Eggs. READ MORE