Thursday, April 16, 2015


“What would America be like if we loved Black people as much as we love Black culture?”


This video was posted a couple months ago but has been making the rounds recently, so that's sort of like being timely right? Anyway, this is Amandla Stenberg (you may know her as Rue from The Hunger Games) with a really intelligent explanation of what cultural appropriation is and why it hurts. She focuses on the culture of Black hair, but you can and should extrapolate that to other things. A few days ago I had to watch a friend explain to a guy that no, Indian people wearing jeans is not the same as white girls at Coachella wearing bindis, so yes, a few months late, but still relevant!

(h/t Dazed Digital)

Read the First Chapter of Hermione Eyre's 'Viper Wine'

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Presented by Penguin Random House. Purchase Viper Wine here.

Chapter 1

Venetia stayed late abed that morning.

This was uncharacteristic, but she found she could not rise.

Perhaps she was still angry about the spoiling of the apples. Mistress Elizabeth had not directed the farmhands to it and three barrels at least had been left to mulch. She shouted at her, and then she went to her room and cried. For what? For mouldered apples?

Yesterday she was in her knot garden at the front of the house, clipping the box-hedges using her dainty silver shears—play-gardening, as Kenelm called it — when a youth in the livery of the Earl of Dorset arrived. She put down her basket and smiled her famous smile at the livery boy, the smile Ben Jonson had written a sonnet about, and Peter Oliver painted; the smile that was so much in demand that a royal writ was put out to send any unlicensed copyist to prison, and still copies came. She stood there, her hip askew, so confident, the breeze in her flowing hair, her loose country dress full and soft. “Madam,” said the boy, bowing like a silly sapling, then looking her full in the face. “Could you tell me where to find her most gracious beauty Venetia, Lady Digby?”

He was holding a tall fair lily — a gallant reference, she supposed, to the single fleur-de-lis on Kenelm’s coat of arms—and aflame with nerves and excitement, he glanced back and forth at the house, as if he thought the great dame herself might at any moment appear in a cloud of golden light.

Venetia laughed it off and said, “Why, that lady is before you.” And as the youth looked at her with disbelief, and as his face turned from disappointment to, yes, repulsion, she remembered, as she had to keep remembering, that she was no longer herself. Her teeth were going, though they were always so good, and she had not yet learned to smile without showing them. She saw, in the mirror of his face, as the young boy’s pupils shrank, how much she had changed. And still he did not present her with the lily. Did he think she was a presuming and ironical chambermaid, testing him?


Happy Birthday, Selena Quintanilla-Pérez

When I was a child, my family had a Friday night tradition: my mother would make a big pasta, my dad would crack open a can of Faxe, and my brother and I would argue with them about what music we were going to listen to that evening. It sounds so earnest, so boring, but we really did fight. I’d hide my mom’s Boney M tapes in the laundry while she got into marital spats over my dad’s weird obsession with hammy Mexican singer-songwriters. My brother once snapped my Jewel CD in two.

There were only two albums met with minimal complaints. Both were by Selena Quintanilla-Pérez: Entre a Mi Mundo and Amor Prohibido, two early-nineties releases that propelled the Texas-born Tejano singer into international Latin pop stardom and almost into the English-language market before her death in 1995. Selena made everyone happy. My mom got her cumbia-inflected dance tracks, my dad his mariachi fix, I had my emo love ballads on repeat—and my brother didn’t have to listen to any more Boney M or Jewel.

Aside from being an inexpensive form of family counselling, listening to Selena as a kid filled gaps I’d learned not to see. Singing along in Spanish helped me keep my first language alive, the language I’ve since lost. For years, she was a just-at-home luxury; in part because she wasn’t reflected anywhere in the predominantly white Toronto suburban elementary school I attended, and because even to close family, she was more understood through her brief English-language crossover.

Selena, the 1997 biopic starring Jennifer Lopez , came out the same year our family first got Internet access. I’d seek out photo stills of la reina (the queen, as she’s often called) and show them to my older cousins. “I think Jennifer Lopez is prettier," they'd say.

I’m not so sure Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was a “Mexican Madonna”, as English-language news outlets referred to her in obituaries after her fan club president Yolanda Saldivar shot her in the back in March 1995. The handy nickname misses that as a Spanish0language artist with bourgeoning crossover appeal, she might have stepped into a pop culture status quite different from the one Madonna occupies. In some ways, she already has. READ MORE


Thinkin' 'Bout Consent And Alzheimer's

Can an Alzheimer’s patient with dementia so severe she can’t remember her daughters’ names or how to eat a hamburger consent to have sex with her husband?

Earlier this week, the New York Times reported on the case of Henry Rayhons, who has been charged with third-degree felony sexual abuse for having sex with his wife, who suffered from Alzheimer's so severe that her clinicians claim she was incapable of consenting to sex. Science of Us picked up the conversation too, and oh boy, I can't tell if this is complicated or not? On one hand, if Mrs. Rayhons was giving repeated verbal and non-verbal cues that this is what she wanted, we should be trusting her. On the other, we have lots of parameters for who has the capacity to consent, and understand that even if, say, a minor is giving lots of positive verbal cues, it'd still be rape. On a third hand, we tend to infantilize the elderly and infirm. On a fourth, there's a lot we still don't understand about Alzheimer's. I am not the person to solve this but maybe you are.


Ask Baba Yaga: How Can I Get Over A Terrible Boss?

Baba terrible boss
Transcript after the jump. READ MORE


Diana, "New House"

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One of those days.


All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

DINOFUN1. Share everything
2. Play Fair
3. Girls rule, boys drool.
4. A donut made out of Play Doh isn't going to taste like a real donut, even if it has really realistic looking teeny tiny Play Doh sprinkles on it.
5. Play Doh tastes pretty good, though.
6. If you cry, other people will get uncomfortable and compensate by being really nice to you.
7. You can get out of almost anything you don't want to do by claiming you have diarrhea.
8. I promise you, nobody will question you if you say you have diarrhea. READ MORE


Black Honey and Me

clq_635906_402x464As Haley has pointed out eloquently and beautifully and Canadian-ly, there are some beauty products that we are told are The Best but are definitely not The Best, just because we’re all different and great in our own ways and there’s no way one blush will look great on literally everyone.

Clinique Black Honey is one of those products. Black Honey “Almost Lipstick” was introduced in 1989, though the color was introduced by Clinique back in 1971. It was touted as a “black turtleneck” of lipsticks, which apparently meant that it could look good on every skin tone, but which now seems ridiculous because almost NOBODY looks good in turtlenecks so why would you even make that comparison.

Black Honey doesn’t look good on everyone. But it looks great on me.

'Veep' Isn't About the First Female President (Thank God)

veepseason4Imagine an original comedy about The First Woman President. Between media pressure (“Is she powerful enough?”) and network notes (“Is she relatable enough?”) and focus group testing (“She should be hotter, but not like, too hot?”) it would likely endure as much tweaking, flattening and deadening as the Clinton campaign put into Hillary’s announcement video (Clinton 2016!). Every scene would be plagued by questions like, “Do we really want to imply that this is how The First Female President would behave in the War Room?” or “But can we really let The First Woman President refuse to pardon both turkeys just because she’s on her period?” Every plot point would seem like an accusation or prediction, every casting choice would Say Something, every line would be ringed with stupid boring significance. For all this well-considered work, it could only hope to be as funny as the failed Geena Davis drama Commander-in-Chief, which is to say, sliding up and down a scale of “kind of funny by accident” to “maybe it was a bad idea to have women be a gender; we could all quit and become vestal virgins.”

“We’re making history, we’re the first woman president! Well, I am, Michael, you’re not!” Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) giddily tells a well-wisher at the joint chief’s assembly, but blessedly Veep hasn’t become a show about The First Woman President. It’s still about the Selina Meyer we already know and kind of love, or at least laugh at and properly fear as a political idea. She’s narcissistic and crazy foul-mouthed; competitive and short-sighted and mean. She’s still completely unrelatable (poor, poor First Daughter Catherine), but now terrifyingly powerful. She also remains really, really hot, but that can be written off as a by-product of being played by perfect human specimen Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Selina came by the White House much the same way Francis Underwood did (and Geena Davis’s President Mackenzie Allen, just for the record) — unelected, ascending after a president’s resignation. There are valid fears about transitioning a comedic character from having minimal, laughable authority to being leader of the free world. Is it still hysterical that Mike McLintock (Matt Walsh) is always out of the loop, when the loop means the fate of our nation? Are Kent’s (Gary Cole) tautological aphorisms just as joyously meaningless when they’re said in the Oval Office? Is it entertaining that Gary (Tony Hale) lets his obsession with Selina override all other considerations when he has the White House purse strings in his hot little hands? Well, yeah. It’s great. READ MORE


Holy Mountain Of Nachos

Once I got stoned alone and made the mistake of putting on Alejandro Jodorowsky’s surrealist acid trip of a film, Holy Mountain. I had watched it a million times before and didn’t think it would be a big deal. If I had some sort of spiritual experience watching it while on the influence of cannabis, that sounded fine! Sadly, that was not the case. When I saw the scene where a perverted old man pops out his fake eyeball and gives it to a young girl, I began to have a full-on freak out. I texted my friend, told him about my dire situation, and he replied, “What if this is how you die?”

My mind camera zoomed in on those words and I heard James Earl Jones’ voice echo, “WHAT IF THIS IS HOW YOU DIE.” “FUCK YOU!!!!” I texted back.

Spoiler alert: me and that dude are about to celebrate our two-year anniversary. I decided to try and save myself from spiraling into a dark marijuana-enhanced paranoia the only way I knew how: by putting on Troop Beverly Hills and making myself a bowl of homemade nachos. Soon I was laughing at the hijinks of one Phyllis Nefler, chomping on some cheesy chips and promising myself to never get high during an Alejandro Jodorowsky movie again. Your girl is just a delicate flower. :( :(

Today on Bloodfeast, we’re going to make ourselves a batch of these soul-rescuing nachos. Have these when you too are suffering from a weed-induced meltdown, let them be the antidote to just a shit-ass day or better yet, simply enjoy as a treat that celebrates YOU.*

*Oprah voice



Haley don't worry, I know Raccoon Nation is hard, but soon you'll be in Coyote City. | April 15, 2015



“People recognize her work, but not necessarily the breadth of her practice,” says the curator Juliet Bingham, who hopes the spectrum of the show will secure Delaunay’s place as a pioneering female artist, independent of the legacy of her husband Robert, whose work she championed until her death in 1979. “Sonia was completely free in the way she applied her vision, easily switching from one technique to another. Her aim was to bring art into everyday life.”


Image: Sonia Delaunay, Yellow Nude. 1908. Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, Nantes


L7, "Bad Things"

I had some things I had to do yesterday night, and then instead I went out and pretended they didn't exist, so the sentiment of this song felt particularly on point.


I Hereby Convene The Beach Witch Coven

28slid6The other week I was in a fancy library researching things like archives and manuscripts for a book I’m working on, and I came across a few pages ripped out of a 1970 Mademoiselle magazine. It was mainly a photo shoot that featured a young Susan Sarandon, but on the back of the last page was the beginning of an article about, basically, DIY witchcraft. It was only the introduction and the first part of the first charm, “to catch a man,” that involves taking the dirt from his footstep. This was “more easily done by country and beach witches.”


Beach Witch is everything I want in a personal style, a #brand, an ethos. It is everything Health Goth is trying to be, before people got confused and thought it was about goths getting into juice cleanses and Crossfit. I am putting it out there that I am starting Beach Witch as a thing, and I want you to join me.

Here is a list of things Beach Witch is:


I'm A Blogger Trapped In Raccoon Nation Get Me Out Of Here. | April 14, 2015