Posts Tagged: correspondence

John Wayne to Barbara Walters: "Don't Let the Bastards Get You Down"

There is plenty to read about Jill Abramson's departure at the New York Times (Amanda Hess's report on her influence on young female staffers at the paper is especially important, and Natalie Nougayrede's resignation piles on to an already dreadful week for women in management roles), and I'll add, tangentially, to the mix, this NPR interview with Barbara Walters, who's set to retire from ABC News this week. Here she is discussing her early days working in a predominantly male environment:

It was lonely and it was painful. At one point I was on the air with a male partner [...]


Gmail Chains

Talia: Hey guys!  Looked out the window and noticed there’s a baby hanging off a branch in the big oak tree.  Can someone take care of this?  Thanks!

Sean: fyi i can’t do this but best of luck.

Will: I have to do this weird bowling thing but it should be done by 11.

Talia: Hmm OK.  Baby looks pretty upset…

Will: ohhhh ok.  But anyway I should be able to come by 11!

Rose: Hey!  So my sister is visiting with my little nephew so I’m already dealing with a baby, so if someone else could deal with this I would prefer not to.  But if not, [...]


It's Still Complicated

Like others before her, Dr. Kathryn Heyman explained in a letter to the London Review of Book's publisher that she was through subscribing until their male-female byline gap changed. Dr. Heyman's approach might read as a bit heavy-handed, but it was also necessary, and at least initially effective: she heard back from senior editor Paul Myerscough, and they're now engaged in a back-and-forth on the matter. From her original letter:

I would dearly love to renew my subscription, however, based on the tedious regularity with which you ignore female writers and female reviewers, I have to assume that my lady-money is quite simply not welcome in [...]


Family Archaeology

"Reading my father's love letters to my mother was so confusing, because they felt like they were written by a different man. Now I know that they were. They were written by a man I could never know, a man who was possibly murdered. It probably sounds insane, but that's something that I'm really only beginning to think about now, because for so long I was relieved that he was gone, and didn't let myself care about the how or why." —We're a little late to this, but in case you missed Anya Yurchyshyn's essay on learning about her dead parents through their old letters, it's a lovely and [...]


Dear Shailene Woodley

TO: Shailene Woodley

FROM: Feminism

SUBJ: An apology

Dear Shailene Woodley,

Okay, we give up. You have sniffed us out, you brilliant little Divergent, you. You too, country singer Sara Evans. You too, Marissa Mayer, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Bjork, early-career Lady Gaga and every other female celebrity who has declared, when prompted, “I’m not a feminist. I love men.” (Or in Gaga's case, "I hail men.")

We’re sorry.

Yes, we have have protested vocally every time one of you powerful celebrity ladies utters this phrase. Sometimes we’ve even protested the protesting! But the reality is, we were so upset because you nailed us, [...]


My Correspondence with Spam Gary Sinise

Dear Spam Gary Sinise,

I am so glad to hear that you are a fan of mine (though I have to admit I find it a little strange). When I checked my Facebook inbox this morning, I didn't expect to see your name there next to Jana Wrewelwski asking "2 pls friend." I haven't thought about you since 2008, which was the last time I idly watched Forrest Gump. I like your work, too! You were particularly strong in that other movie. Saving Private Ryan, I think.

Stay healthy. I hope you don't get a "sinise" infection. 😉

Best, Dayna


Dear Spam Gary Sinise,

I regret to [...]


Reading Between the Texts: Is THIS Flirting?

The Text

Him: Nice job today. My teeth feel very clean.

The Analysis

K: Uhhhhhhhh gross? C: He was my practice patient in lab earlier. For, like, a cleaning. K: What? Did you FLOSS him?? C: Um, yesss … K: I don’t know how you can think about kissing him anymore. Or even talk to him. After your hands were in his mouth. As a dentist I would be too embarrassed to see any patient more than once I think. C: Well anyway, in between the various cleaning tools or whatever he was teasing me, SORT of? By like, making fun of Chicago. He was like, “Your hometown is the [...]


Susan Sontag: "Whassup?"

For many others, however, email is a light-hearted form. Benjamin Moser highlights his delight at realizing “that Sontag sent e-mails with the subject heading ‘Whassup?’”

-UCLA's Sontag archive includes 17,198 emails written by the late writer, a number of which had the subject "Whassup?" More at The Millions.


Reading Between The Texts: Sexting, Sort Of. (?)

The Texts

B: Dinner this week? Him: I didnt think i would hear from you again.. haha, Im availble early next week B: You need to have more self-confidence boy! Him: haha

The Analysis

K: Haha. You called him ‘boy.’ B: Guys love that. I think. K: The few times I’ve been called ‘lady’ I liked it so much it was almost a problem, so I can see that. Although maybe the reverse is ‘sir’ and in this case it’s more like you are like his stern but ultimately kindhearted grandmother. Or maybe it is really cool and he was like “whoa.” Anywayyy, what happened after? B: Nothing. [...]


Death by Respond All

"It isn’t email that is making us crazy. It’s how we’re doing email that is making us crazy": email apnea. [via]