Thursday, January 22, 2015


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Kim Kardashian: Trapped in Her Own Game


"More like KardashiCAN'T. You are pathetic. You try to destroy me and then lie about it to my face. Well, Kim, if you like your game so much, why don't you play it...FOREVER."

"What do you mean?" Kim said "I actually do already play it every day. If you add me on GameCenter there's a special limited edition dress coming out that I can send you. It costs like 150 K-Stars."

"Stick your K-Stars up your ass, Kim, you're going to need them. I'm sending you to live inside the world of your game. You'll just be another anonymous E-list celebrity with no money and no brand, for all of eternity. Enjoy!"

Kevin Fanning wrote a fan-fic about Paris Hilton cursing Kim Kardashian to live inside her own video game where she is a witch who casts emoji-based spells. Today he posts the final chapters. Cancel all your meetings.


Ask Baba Yaga: What Do People See In My Boredom?

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Transcript after the jump. READ MORE


The Invisible Woman

Towards the end of the record, there is a Buddhist sentiment about the obstacle being the path. You sing, "Don’t remove my pain, it’s my chance to heal." That’s how we figure things out, isn’t it? That the only way out is through, that having things be easier is not helpful in the long run.

When I say that, it might come across that I’m incredibly wise. But it’s the other way around. I’m fucked and I’m trying to talk myself into it, like, "Go, girl! You can do it!" It’s me advising myself. It’s not me knowing it all—not at all. It’s just a certain route you just have to go; I went through it.

It’s really hard for me to talk about it. It really is in the lyrics. I’ve never really done lyrics like this, because they’re so teenage, so simple. I wrote them really quickly. But I also spent a long time on them to get them just right. It’s so hard to talk about the subject matter; it’s impossible—I’m sorry. [tears up] There’s so many songs about [heartbreak] that exist this in the world, because music is somehow the perfect medium to express something like this. When I did the interviews about Biophilia, I could talk for four hours about tech and education and science and instruments and pendulums—all the things we did. This one, I couldn’t put any of that stuff on top of it, because it has to be what it is. And I can’t talk about it. It’s not that I don’t want to, I’m not trying to be difficult. It really is all in there. [chokes up]

Jessica Hopper spoke to Björk about her new album, Vulnicura, and the brief excerpt online is incredible. Björk is so open and generous and sad and smart and just kdjfaksdjf I can't the whole thing is too wonderful just go read it right now.


What Happens If You Put Placenta In Your Hair?

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"I just bought all the placenta items they had," read a text from Jaya yesterday afternoon, and it is easily a contender for text of the year. READ MORE


The Scientific Reasons Behind Fashion Don'ts

Don't wear white after Labor Day. White appears in stark contrast to fall foliage, making the wearer a prime target for bear attacks. READ MORE

How People Without Parents Do Money

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So this weekend, I willfully submerged myself in a marathon of "the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" and saw an episode in which Kyle reflects on how she’s taught her college-bound daughter a lot of things, but not how to do laundry.

My own mother taught me how to do laundry, but when she died during my second year of college, I also got a free crash course in how to be a financial disaster. Theoretically, it’s our parents who teach us about money, the technicalities of how to handle it, but also how we might feel about it as a concept and approach it through a moral lens. But what about when our parents die before they can teach us anything? What about when we don’t have parental figures to help us negotiate the world of finances (even though we still benefit from incredible privilege)?

I discussed this situation with my fellow orphan/only child/MFA candidate friend, H. Tucker Rosebrock, a Boston-based writer, speaker, and part-time superhero.

Chanel: Okay, so, let's talk about money and not having parents.

Tucker Rosebrock: Yes, my favorite things. My dad died summer after my junior year of college and both my parents had been in like pretty failing health for awhile, but not like death was imminent. My whole life my parents had been very proud of the fact that I never had to worry about money, and I respect that hugely. My mom was also in really poor health at the time so suddenly I was in charge of also managing her care and figuring out what to do with her. (She died 9 months later.)

Chanel: After they died, where did you get advice about money? READ MORE


The Best Time I Fainted While Posing Nude

Twenty-two was my worst year. I was broke, deeply depressed, and wrapped up in an emotionally destructive relationship. The one nice thing I had going was the semi-successful band we'd started when we first got together; but between that, our shared living situation, and the overwhelming sadness which had rendered me inert, I felt trapped.

Thanks to our band's increasingly ambitious touring schedule, and my seeming inability to do anything other than cry, my retail job was in jeopardy. My boss didn't support me doing anything that involved running away with that particular boyfriend; she cared for me, and she'd watched my mental health wane over the year I'd worked for her, and was reasonably fed up with me coming in every day with eyes swollen from crying. Indignant, I put in my two weeks.

We started to book more and more shows, but it was never really enough. We’d be home for weeks at a time, trapped together in a one-bedroom apartment. He worked day and night to convince me that our relationship would be fine if I wasn't damaged goods. Anyone in his situation—stuck with me—would do the same. At the height of his abuse, when I, not wanting to set him off, would simply stay in bed for days, he gave me an ultimatum: get psychiatric drugs, or be abandoned. I would have no band, no job, and nowhere to live, and because I was crazy, I would be alone.

Drugs had frightened me ever since junior high, when I’d been bounced around between different SSRIs, bringing on a predictable onslaught of Alice In Wonderland-like side effects: one pill made me grow bigger and another, smaller. One made me sharply happy but kept me up all night, one made me fall asleep at Thanksgiving dinner. After that year, I never tried them again.

With no health insurance and knowing almost nothing about psychiatric healthcare, I was soon paying out of pocket to switch medications every two or three weeks. A healthy dose of Prozac first thing in the morning was the only constant. I didn't mind that; it felt like cheap speed and got me out of bed long before my boyfriend, which meant I could work for a few hours, buzzing quietly, undisturbed. The second medication was an ever-changing X factor: one pill brought on a few hours of unsustainable bliss followed by a sharp crash in the afternoon. The next made me lactate. The dictator who shared my bed didn't care about the toll these pills took on my body, only that I was taking them.

Between my uninsured office visits and the gas to get there, to say nothing of the prescriptions themselves, my savings were dwindling. I needed money bad, but we had tours booked. My paper-thin nerves made even temping impossible. Every day I looked on Craigslist under 'Gigs' but couldn't envision myself as a mover, voiceover actress, or sexy housecleaner.

Then a local art gallery posted, looking for models for a life-drawing benefit meant to raise money for youth arts programs in our community. I emailed them, and heard back almost immediately. I was in: a hundred bucks for two hours of work. READ MORE


Happy Big Block of Cheese Day

Here at the White House, we're dedicated to making President Obama's administration the most open and accessible in history. That's why, for the second year in a row, we thought it'd be a gouda idea to brie-unite a certain cast of characters to help us bring back a tradition that dates back to the days of President Andrew Jackson.

After pretty much mic-dropping all over the Republicans during last night's SOTU, President Obama begins today much the same way as us normals: by making a bunch of cheesy jokes. Today is Big Block of Cheese Day, a open forum for the president and other government members to chat with their constituents. Legend has it that this is inspired by that one time President Jackson ordered a 1,400 pound block of cheddar cheese and invited local people over to the White House in a noble act of transparency, but The Atlantic has the scoop that Jackson just got the cheese as a gift and didn't know what to do it— not to mention it stank to high heaven— so he just invited the people over to eat it, which the same thing I do when I have a half a keg left over from a party.

Because America is such a plentiful, cheese-friendly country, it turns out that this was not the first Big Block of Cheese— that title goes to "Mammoth Cheese," which appeared in 1801 and weighed 1,234 pounds, using the milk from every single cow in Cheshire, Massachusetts. (This cheese is also the reason why we use "mammoth" as an adjective. THE MORE YOU KNOW.) It took the creators three weeks to transport it to Thomas Jefferson at the White House, where they were greeted with this sign: "THE GREATEST CHEESE IN AMERICA—FOR THE GREATEST MAN IN AMERICA." GOD, now I'm really hungry!!! BRIE RIGHT BACK. ;)


Elizabeth Hardwick on Tone, Narrative, Popular Soap Operas circa 1978-1991

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A very smart interview on writing and fiction, plus an offhand remark about Dallas that is either a major compliment or an exceptionally sick burn: Elizabeth Hardwick was a queen.


Controversial Opinions Post

I have this *~*controversial*~* opinion—you probably already know what it is since I will absolutely never shut up about it—that the best fashion writing almost never comes from fashion writers, and only very rarely from traditional mainstream fashion publications. The fashion writing I'm interested in happens, I guess, on the margins of other topics: class, gender, race, labor, wealth, politics, film. That's where writers often let down their "no clothes are dumb gross why would I write about clothes" guards and share something personal, or meaningful, or even just some unusual or unexpected opinion.

This means that finding the best fashion writing often feels like a pretty fun and only occasionally frustrating treasure hunt. Here are a few jewels I found over the weekend: READ MORE


Working Girl

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Working Girl has been on my mind lately; after Mike Nichols passed away in November, I was inspired to re-watch the 1988 comedy starring Melanie Griffith, Sigourney Weaver, Harrison Ford, and a super slimy Alec Baldwin. So, let’s Lean In™ (sorry not sorry) and recast it for 2015. You’re welcome, Hollywood. READ MORE


Forget the Knicks, Here Are the Chicks

It is a truth universally acknowledged that any tween girl who goes by "Flash" is a better person than you ever will be, and, my God, if she also has friends nicknamed Koko, Beans, and Megatron, then you might as well pack your bags, because there's a new queen in town, and it sure as hell isn't you. These are some of the members of the Central Illinois Xpress basketball team, recently profiled by the New York Times as part of its "Not the Knicks" series, in which Scott Cacciola takes a sabbatical from reporting on the "woeful Knicks as he checks out some of the good basketball around the country." (Should someone call in Justice Kara Brown for a quick session of Shade Court, because DANG.) They are all girls, and they are here to kick your ass.

One of the driving forces behind the team's success—they're currently 8-1—is their coach Tariq Toran, who thinks that the girls competing against boys is just another way to challenge themselves. Before coaching the CIX team, Toran served as an assistant coach to a semi-pro men's team but grew tired of their puerility. And here comes the first contender for Best Shade in a Sentence, Print or Web, of 2015: "In search of a more mature audience, he turned to a group of 9-year-old girls."

Later, Mr. Toran gathered everyone in a semicircle and reiterated a goal for the second half of the season: improved man-to-man pressure.

“We’re in the rectangle of what?” he asked, his voice rising.

“War!” his players shouted in high-pitched unison.

“That’s right!” he said. “We’re in the rectangle of war, and we’re in it to win it!”

The idea that there are a bunch of young girls crushing gender barriers and the sexist ideals of young boys (“We’d walk in, and all the boys would be like, ‘We’re playing girls?’ ” said Anne Rupnik, a point guard. “Then we’d beat them. Some of them cried.”) fills me with joy. Meet you guys in the rectangle of war.

@SandyHonig on Growing More Confident in Her Dad Jokes

sandyhonigSandy Honig is a photographer and comedian living in New York City. She photographs and writes for Rookie Mag and performs around the city. On Twitter, Honig's account is a good one to follow for excellent, well-worded, and often impressively concise jokes. She recently took some time to talk to me about three of those jokes, how her friends describe her sense of humor and some of her favorite works where photography and comedy meet.

Honig: Everyone thinks they know the secret to getting ketchup out of a bottle, but they're just full of it. The bottle doesn't want us to have the ketchup and that's FINAL. I wrote this in a diner alone. READ MORE


A Story With A Rhyme: An Interview With Aisha Franz

Interviewing is a great way to discover how much communication happens in between words, particularly in the ‘uh, um’ moments, knowing nods, and nervous laughter. My conversation with German artist Aisha Franz included many of these moments; her, speaking her third language (German first and Spanish second) and me, realizing that my native language habits are far from flattering despite 25 years of practice.

The pages of Earthling, her first English release (out with Drawn & Quarterly), are equally distributed between three women: Mädchen, a young girl who finds and experiments with an alien friend; her older, nameless sister as she snips, fucks, and smokes what innocence remains from her not-so-distant childhood; and their unnamed mother, facing her manifest regret in the form of an alternate, more successful self.

These women are inside out, confused about it, struggling to make their stranger parts conform. Reality is no object; whatever it is is rarely shared. I kept myself from gushing too much in her presence, but Earthling’s imaginative and detailed peculiarity made it one of my favourite books this year.

Aisha Franz met me in a loud coffee shop in Toronto where we had a sprawling conversation on her practice, finding new audiences, and reading her own work. READ MORE