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Keeping Up Appearances

Abercrombie & Fitch went public in 1996. It had about 125 stores, sales of $335 million, and profits of almost $25 million. Jeffries wrote a 29-page “Look Book” for the sales staff. Women weren’t allowed to wear makeup or colored nail polish. Most jewelry was forbidden. So were tattoos. Hair had to be natural and preferably long. Men couldn’t have beards or mustaches. The only greeting allowed was: “Hey, what’s going on?” Store managers spent one day a week at their local college campus recruiting kids with the right look. They started with the fraternities, sororities, and sports teams. Managers forwarded photos of potential employees to headquarters for approval... READ MORE

True Patriot Love

*a single tear falls from my eye as I solemnly start singing the Canadian national anthem.

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. READ MORE

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

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. READ MORE

Majid Jordan, "Forever"

The latest music video from Majid Jordan is a list of all the best places in Toronto; for example, the mall with my favorite post office (the staff are consistently fast and mean, the best kind of people) is at 0:31, Allan Gardens at 1:11, the library where I've written my least-garbage articles is at 2:54, etc. etc. Watching it makes me homesick, and I haven't even left this dumb country yet! READ MORE

"Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?"

Why yes, I would like to read a long piece about the origins and evolutions of Lifetime's famously cheesy, campy, violent, unintentionally hilarious, low-budget, women-in-danger, don't-let-your-teen-leave-the-house-but-also-don't-let-your-teen-on-the-Internet, made-for-TV movies, thank you for asking!

Damage

I worried that my mother would hang up. Over the previous year, I’d been distant with her, but I knew she was the only one who would understand the fears that had been bubbling inside me, for years. I worried she would ignore my questions, or even pretend that her outrage about my premarital sex was more important than what I was asking. READ MORE

A River Runs Through It

And I think this is what makes Jimi Hendrix such a popular figure for canonization, besides his sheer genius: we also admire just how many qualities he was able to let coexist in his playing, his style, and his way of being. He seemed to realize early on that you can take it all with you: the blues; his love of Bob Dylan, Arthur Lee, the Aleem twins of Harlem, and Curtis Mayfield; his enduring respect for the armed forces as a former paratrooper; the help of Linda Keith, the British Jewish model who got Hendrix his first record deal; his proud but difficult father; his adoring but absent mother; his own heady mix of drugs; and his spirituality. Like Whitman had before him, Hendrix sang a strange song of himself, a self that was not raceless or without flaws, but whose greatest muse was the country of his birth. Who else but Jimi Hendrix could make “The Star-Spangled Banner” sound so true, so blended, so inventive, so broken, so borrowed?

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah is, I think, one of the greatest writers working today, and every piece she's written proves that, but this essay in The Believer about Jimi Hendrix's Electric Lady Studios is a strong contender for best. Read the whole thing slowly; the last three paragraphs will be even better if you feel like you've earned them.

2 Chainz Meets Nancy Grace, Explains Marijuana To Us All

Nancy Grace knows 2 Chainz got a scholarship to college! And that once he was there he got a 4.0!! Nancy Grace hears you, 2 Chainz!!! Nancy Grace just wants to know why he won't think of the children. She just wants to know where you got the name "2 Chainz." She just wants to understand, 2 Chainz. Help her understand.