Thursday, December 5, 2013
Despite their varied uses and singularly acidic flavor, lemons weren’t widely enjoyed as a fruit for well into their storied past. One of its first recorded uses was as a pelting agent, hurled at a wayward high priest during a festival in the 90s BC. If no high priest was available, anyone who had crossed you would also suffice. When not being used as a weapon, these tough suckers were employed to cure scurvy-riddled sailors with vitamin C. Drink up that sour juice, y’all; rub it all up in your wounds while screaming in a vain attempt to prove yourself a titan. Lemons ain’t got time for your frailty.
Get The Look:
2. Limes READ MORE
Lana Del Rey released a 30-minute soft-focus short film called Tropico today. Here it is. I got to the part where she recites "Howl"; if you make it through the entire thing, please report back with highlights. (NSFW.) [Vevo]
1. Arrive at your parents' house in the Berkshires from Brooklyn. Your parents are not home. Your parents are at the ballet.
2. So, better make sure it’s nighttime.
3. And make sure it’s rainy.
4. Be alone (because you have no boyfriend, as you are “too picky, especially for someone your age.” –Mom)
5. Be a generally skittish person to begin with.
6. Enter the house.
7. Go back outside to get your stuff.
8. Notice that the garage door is open and you're pretty sure it wasn't before.
9. Stop and think about this for a second.
10. Go back inside.
11. Become convinced you are entering an episode of Dateline or Law & Order: SVU.
12. Realize you don’t mind that actually, then remember that neither Olivia Benson nor Elliot Stabler will come find you because you are out of their jurisdiction.
13. And because they are fictional.
14. Wonder if you’re having a psychotic break.
15. Google “psychotic break + symptoms + 36-year-old woman.” READ MORE
I don't seem to want anything all that badly. Well, I do and I don't... You talk about having a compelling vision for your life. Well, I can't seem to come up with much of one. At best everything is fuzzy. I've always wanted one of those careers where you're paid to be yourself—one where you can be funny and show off on a stage and make people laugh and be entertained. To be someone's muse and inspiration rather than the service lackey I am now. Except I took acting classes and auditioned for plays and never got in. I'm not stereotypically good looking and female, plus in the end, I can't really pull off portraying anyone but me. I suck at musical instruments, my voice is flat, and I have no flexibility so I can't dance. The closest thing I can come up with to be a stage showoff is being one of those storytelling folks, like on The Moth or NPR. This sounds very nice to me and I am entertaining at it, though I used to be more excited at the idea than I'm feeling these days. On the very few occasions when I've gotten to talk at people or show off, I've felt like THIS IS MY THING. But I have maybe one opportunity a year to do that (teaching a class or having to do a speech at work), and this year's opportunities to do that have come and gone and somehow I didn't get as much buzz from it as I remember having in the past. READ MORE
Caridad is a 33-year-old teacher who lives in Los Angeles.
Were you raised in a religious tradition?
Not really. If anything, Buddhist. My grandma was a white Jewish lady who converted to Buddhism when she married my grandpa, a Japanese guy. She actually became a Zen priest herself later in life. In the Kalama Sutta, the Buddha discouraged blind dogma to any tradition—including Buddhism—so my family is very supportive of my religious choice.
When and how did you get interested in Santeria?
My late teens. I learned about it because of a project I did in community college in Oakland, a class called “Art and Thought in African American Culture.” I had a ridiculously open-ended term project, and my young ass was like, “I’ll do it on this Afro-Cuban divinatory system.”
I ended up feeling that there was a rightness to it, this non-linear, both/and worldview to replace all the either/or. I valued its emphasis on respect for your ancestors. Here, you don’t give up your history—if you were raised Muslim or Jewish or Catholic, you still honor those practices as a way of honoring the people who came before you.
But this is not a tradition that can be practiced without community, which is one of the most crucial things to understand in the age of Tumblr shamans and indigenous practices appropriated with no context. I needed a spiritual mentor to move forward with my practice, and I didn't meet my godmother until I was 21. In those intervening years I read a lot, and I’d go talk to orishas in nature and have my moments with them, but I didn’t learn the true traditional practices until later.
Let me ask you about exactly what you believe?
So, Lucumi is a better term for my practice than Santeria, and it is actually, at the core, a monotheistic tradition. We believe that there is a supreme creator, an energy force, who’s called Olodumare, Olorun or Olofi. But we also believe that we're at a level where we might not be able to understand or hold the immensity of what it means to be the creator of the universe. I personally feel like I couldn't understand God at the rawest levels of creative or destructive force. I don't think God can fit in my little peanut head!
The energies we interact with more are orishas, personified forces of nature. I am personally initiated to the river deity, who shows up in our lives as the energy of community and love, self-love, self-respect, survival and empowered femininity. She’s also the deity of blood, she’s in animals like the peacock and vulture—she's both a symbol of beauty and the thing that comes for dead bodies. And our orishas have a lot of this multiplicity.
How are you initiated to an orisha?
We don't get to choose. READ MORE
Forgive me, this is turning out to be sort of a music-heavy day, but this remix is incredible and Giorgio Moroder is goddamn 73 and he's gone from "Love to Love You Baby" with Donna Summer in 1975 all the way to a better HAIM remix than anyone's managed to turn out this year? Salute. Don't stop before 1:20, where it starts to sound like a chorus of robots going MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW.
Today: SWANTS (pants made from a sweater)
Previously: Turkey Cakes
Katie is a producer in Texas. Katy is a copywriter in California. They are best friends who met at piano lessons in the early 18th century. In “Just The Tips,” Katy and Katie heed the siren song of “best life” advice in the realms of fashion, makeup, DIY, crafts, and home decor. Their efforts are met with only varying degrees of success; their spirits remain suspiciously undefeated. Follow them on Twitter and Tumblr.
Transcript after the jump. READ MORE
DJ Earworm has dropped these year-end mashups every December since 2007, compiling the top 25 pop songs of the year into a woozy Megazord, and it's the only holiday musical tradition that makes it through my violent anti-Christmas-tune filter (the evergreen exception is Mariah: I am not a monster!). Anyway, this year's song highlights the coy faux-lamentation, battleship production and all-eyes-on-us thematics that have linked our chart-toppers; it's decent, but I have really only posted this so that we can all listen to 2009's "Blame It on the Pop" after the jump, which is a true masterpiece, and always makes me want to cry weird, exultant tears. READ MORE
The government spent a Patricia on me,
“a huge waste,” it lamented, “when we could
have been spending it on another Nixon,”
the government spent all its beauty
on the great light leap on the deer-
crossing sign — there was hardly any
beauty left for anything else in America,
and looking around them the government
“Is there none left? Print more,”
you are born, you barely contain yourself,
you grow, inside you, someone spends
a billion to make prison more luxurious;
inside you, someone spends a billion
to keep libraries open one hour later;
then oh god, you feel wonderful,
you must be on welfare,
The rest of the poem, published in Poetry's December issue, is up at the Poetry Foundation. Lockwood's (subscriber-only, why?!) "What is the Zoo for What" at the New Yorker is also terrific, and of course, there's the devastating "Rape Joke."
Marika Hackman, the British artist that Edith featured back in May, is about to release her Sugar Blind EP, where this Joanna Newsom cover appears. "I feel like my music is rooted more in folk in that medieval sense," she once said in an interview, and it feels true: her sound is melancholy, spooked and structured, with slight nods back to Joanna Newsom's own freak-folk steez and none at all to the banjo-handclaps keeping folk on the radio today. (And she plays all her own instruments on the EP!) Below the jump, another of her covers from a year ago, of "Marble House" by the Knife. READ MORE