Posts Tagged: rebecca scherm

Unto Thee, O Erykah! The Year I Found Badu


Before I found Badu, I’d been listening to hairy weirdos twiddling their amps for a decade, and I’d had enough. I got into spangled ladies filling stadiums with dancey-pain. I’d landed at Alicia Keys via Whitney –> Mariah –> Beyoncé and then stalled out, repeating Alicia Keys’s excellent Unplugged for weeks (minus the Adam Levine intrusion, which is like a child’s piano recital). But something was missing, I knew. Religious people might say I was “searching.”

And I was. For different needs, I called upon a hundred different saints. Annie Lennox, Saint of Transformation. Linda Perhacs, Saint of Winter Melancholy and Lentil-Eating. Florence, Saint of Howling [...]


What a (Good) Girl Wants

I have been sucked into this talent show called The Voice by my young cousin. Initially I resisted it, literally leaning away from the screen. So much Carson Daly. Endless Katy Perry covers. And I really hate tragedy packaging, despite my own side hustle teaching young college applicants exactly how to package their “tragedies” to epiphanic effect. So in that first show, when all these beautiful slickies wept to the cameras that they wanted to win The Voice because they were born prematurely, or they had been in a hostage situation like a decade ago, I was not having it. You want to be famous, you mongering fakers! Next!

Now [...]


The Gaze That Stands Between You and Everything Real: An Interview with Artist Alex McQuilkin

Alex McQuilkin is the New York-based artist responsible for “Unbreak My Heart,” which uses the Toni Braxton weeper as a way to talk about magic and witches, Salomé, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, images of heartbreak, and gender performance. Her earlier work includes “Joan of Arc,” in which she films herself as a mirror image to the Falconetti film; “Romeo and Juliet (I Wanna Be Claire Danes),” in which she reenacts the death scene of the Baz Luhrmann film playing both parts; and “Fucked,” her cannonball into the art conversation in 1999.

Can you walk us through the opening of “Unbreak,” director's commentary style? We start [...]


The Best Time I Found Bits of Hair on a Shelf

When I was a freshman in college, my family decided to move. We all liked the old house, but my little brother’s neighborhood friends had all begun to behave badly — lying, stealing, and brandishing knives. These boys were eight years old. So my parents bought a house across town, where the lawns were bigger and the neighbor children had babysitters.

The actual move occurred over the summer, while I was at home, and because I was helping with the packing up and shuttling over of a few boxes at a time, I was given a set of keys to the empty new house. Sometimes I would sneak over [...]


Manly Me

When I was twenty I sought out a full-time internship at my favorite men’s magazine.

I killed the interview. I wore my first pencil skirt and sat at a conference table across from four men. I professed my love for their magazine’s ambitious features as well as its wit and bombast, and when they asked about me, I told them about a paper I’d just written on changing Cold War representations of masculinity as seen in the James Bond movies. They asked about my favorites, and I said I preferred the dirty pulp of Ian Fleming’s novels to the movies, which I found watered-down and neutered. I [...]