Install Theme

Your web-browser is very outdated, and as such, this website may not display properly. Please consider upgrading to a modern, faster and more secure browser. Click here to do so.

Blogs don't burn

Emily · In the words of Jason Mraz, "I'm all about the wordplay, and also Russian and East European Studies"
Jul 28 '14
Azealia Banks - Heavy Metal And Reflective

flavorpill:

“Heavy Metal and Reflective” feels so much more natural and raw — it’s as if, without the pressures (or shackles, as she saw them) of her label or the distractions of those petty Twitter fights, she’s finally able to return to her real self, Azealia Amanda Banks from the 212. 

The Goofy, Sexy, Real Azealia Banks of “212″ Returns on Her First Post-Interscope Single, “Heavy Metal and Reflective”

I was going to highlight a phrase or two, but the lyrics of this song are NSFTB (not suited for this blog), so just listen to it yourself. 

Jul 25 '14
nevver:

Design Crush

CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION TO THEIR ISSUES is A Thing, now and forever.

nevver:

Design Crush

CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION TO THEIR ISSUES is A Thing, now and forever.

Jul 25 '14

Written wisdom: On reading and rebelling and remembering

Whenever I am on vacation—or, rather, whenever I am not in school, since I also do the following when I am on academic break but working—I read. I read one book and then I start another, cover to cover, over and over, until the vacation is over and I don’t have the time or the space to read like that anymore.

I joke, sometimes, that I do this as an act of rebellion. Because if I am reading during the break from school it is not for school, and I do not need to remember all that I read or take notes or annotate, and I will not be tested on this material later, or ever. It is my nerdish way of sticking it to the academic man: Reading knowing that I can forget what I have read.

But the real reason, I think, that I read so hungrily when I can is so that I will remember what I have read when I cannot. Because books in general and fiction—that is, good fiction, whatever that means—in particular take you outside of your own head. They tell you stories that are not your own, and they consume you with lives that you will never lead. They wrap you up in the warmth of narratives to which you have no claim, from voices do not come out of your mouth, but which you can hear clearly, all the same. They make you better. And smarter. And stronger. And softer. And I think part of the pleasure of reading is that if you can make yourself full of all of that, it can live inside of you, and you can go about your days with all of it—strength and humor and insight and, above all, that ever-elusive empathy—there, ready for you if you need it (you will need it), if you manage (you will manage) to remember.

Jul 25 '14
I finished Zadie Smith’s Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays yesterday. I’ve already blogged about a few of the essays therein, and all I really wanted to say about it in its entirety is that the best sentence I write in this life will pale in comparison to an average one by Smith; and that to read her work, be it on movies or books or family Christmas, is to imagine what it must be like to go through life seeing and listening and hearing as deeply and acutely as she does; and that what I was most struck by in Changing My Mind was not her intelligence, but rather that one so startlingly smart could also simultaneously be so empathetic, and that it is that fullness of feeling that elevates her prose from being immaculately composed and into something else entirely.

I finished Zadie Smith’s Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays yesterday. I’ve already blogged about a few of the essays therein, and all I really wanted to say about it in its entirety is that the best sentence I write in this life will pale in comparison to an average one by Smith; and that to read her work, be it on movies or books or family Christmas, is to imagine what it must be like to go through life seeing and listening and hearing as deeply and acutely as she does; and that what I was most struck by in Changing My Mind was not her intelligence, but rather that one so startlingly smart could also simultaneously be so empathetic, and that it is that fullness of feeling that elevates her prose from being immaculately composed and into something else entirely.

Jul 24 '14

When a guy tells me he doesn’t like that I’m a feminist

myfriendsaremarried:

and I’m like…
image

This came up on my Tumblr dashboard and I “liked” it and vowed to myself that I would not blog about it. That I would just look at it and appreciate it and then move on with my life. And then it appeared on my Tumblr dashboard again, and now here we are.

I have written this on here before, but: I have my reasons for calling myself a feminist (namely, a believe in feminism, because I believe in equal opportunity regardless of sex/gender, and I believe that those who call you a feminist as an insult if/when you espouse certain values can’t effectively do so if you proudly wear the label on your own empowered initiative). I understand, however, that other people have their reasons for not calling themselves feminists. For example, some feel the label too heavy, too loaded, and would rather start fresh, or do away with labels all together. I do not agree with this sentiment, obviously, but I respect it.

A reason that I do not respect, however, is fear. That is, there are people—people whom I know and care about—who say that they do not call themselves feminists because they are afraid that guys will like them less if they do. This is a terrible reason.

Or, rather, it is an excellent reason, in that it is grounded in reality. There are absolutely guys who will like you less if you call yourself a feminist. There are guys who will be scared off by it. 

But those are exactly the guys whom you should be grateful to have scared off. Conflating feminism with man hating and bra burning is intellectually lazy. Refusing to sit down and have a conversation about what feminism is and isn’t is, too. And if someone lowers his opinion of you because you believe in something that’s about dismantling a system that hurts everyone (i.e. patriarchy) and raising up and celebrating all people (i.e. women, too), then that person’s opinion ought, I think, to mean very little.

I get that people don’t want to scare people off. I get that people want to be wanted. I do, too. But more than that I want to try to be authentic, and to stand up for that in which I believe. And the more you do that, yes, the fewer people are going to like you. But the more you do that, the more you realize that you do not care what those people think. Because what you’ve gotten in exchange is worth more—so much more—than the approbation of a guy in a bar who dismisses feminism without knowing what it is, and dismisses you without knowing who you are.

Jul 24 '14

Written wisdom: On Zadie Smith on Anna Magnani

Yesterday, I read Zadie Smith’s essay, “Notes on Visconti’s Bellissima.” I have never seen Visconti’s Bellissima (though I now very much intend to), which I mention because it’s possible that I will see it and have a very different interpretation of the film, and of its star, Anna Magnani. But Anna Magnani as depicted in Bellissima as depicted by Zadie Smith is a powerful articulation of the possibility of womanhood. Consider:

Read More

Jul 23 '14
Jul 23 '14
Forever and ever, amen.

Forever and ever, amen.

(Source: bitchyblackbarbie)

Jul 23 '14
nprmusic:

On her new album, Jenny Lewis explores the weight of full adulthood, and its paradoxical precariousness.
Stream The Voyager from NPR Music’s First Listen. 

I don’t have the words to describe how moved I am by this album. By its lyrical honesty, by the simultaneity of its strength and vulnerability, and by its fun, funky melodies and harmonies. 
But I don’t need to have the words. That’s the whole point. To listen to this album is to realize that Jenny Lewis has been keeping the words safe for you. And the music behind them, too.

nprmusic:

On her new album, Jenny Lewis explores the weight of full adulthood, and its paradoxical precariousness.

Stream The Voyager from NPR Music’s First Listen

I don’t have the words to describe how moved I am by this album. By its lyrical honesty, by the simultaneity of its strength and vulnerability, and by its fun, funky melodies and harmonies. 

But I don’t need to have the words. That’s the whole point. To listen to this album is to realize that Jenny Lewis has been keeping the words safe for you. And the music behind them, too.

Jul 22 '14

I know. I know! I swore off blog-ranting about music videos because it is a waste of this precious life of mine. But that was before I saw the music video for Jason Derulo’s “Wiggle.”

First of all, re: the above image. You cannot hashtag your own lyric. Like, what, you think that you’re going to get “#wigglewigglewiggle” trending? That is so presumptuous.

Second of all, why are there so many women and pillows in that bed with you? Iget the implication, but, it just looks like you guys had a very non-sexual sleepover party in your parents’ bedroom.

Third of all, who made the ice sculpture of a headless woman? Why is your ice sculpture all bosom and bottom? To include a head was to dignify her too much? Are you just here for the wiggle? If so, do you realize that ice does not move? (I am not even going to begin to address the man who sticks his face in the ice butt later in the video, except to say that I hope that that is all the butt he gets.)

Fourth of all, I think it’s sort of funny that Snoop Dogg, whom is featured in this track, starts off staring at the party from binoculars. Poor Snoop. Not even invited to the wiggle party, he must stare at the wiggle from afar.

Fifth of all, “I got one question. How’d you fit all that in them jeans?” That’s it? That’s your one question? Your one and only question? (And if you have to ask, JD, you will never, ever know.)

Sixth of all, “You know what to do with that big fat butt: wiggle wiggle wiggle.” Okay, listen. I am all for celebration of curves/plump posteriors in song. You should see how I lost it when Sir Mix-a-Lot came on at the last party of this past academic year (YOU NEVER WILL). But the difference between “Baby Got Back” and “Wiggle” is that the former is a celebration of all that a big butt is. It’s described as “healthy,” at one point. And, yes, Sir Mix-a-Lot encourages the girl to shake it, but that comes in the midst of what is essentially a modern day ode. “Wiggle” is just a 3:43 imperative.

Seventh of all, the wiggle dance done throughout this video is a shoulder shimmy. That has nothing to do with big fat butts, guys.

Eighth of all, “Your booty like two planets. Go ‘head and go ham sandwich.” Alright then.

Ninth of all, at one point Jason Derulo pulls out his phone and it reads, “I’m talkin’ dirty and feel like goin’ ham sandwich with Snoop Dogg to Wiggle.” Few things. Stop referencing “Talk Dirty” in songs that are not “Talk Dirty.” I gave you a pass when you were watching the music video therefore even though your girlfriend was dancing in front of you in the music video to “Trumpets.” Not here. No more. Also, you want to do what, exactly, with Snoop Dogg?

Tenth of all, I approve of Snoop Dogg’s call to “shake what your mama gave you,” because I appreciate appreciation of lineage. Actually Snoop Dogg’s whole rap is fair (if very crude). Well played, Snoop. Well played.

Eleventh of all, “Make it clap, no hands,” said Jason Derulo, while he and all his friends clapped with their hands. Hypocrites.

Twelfth of all, “Damn baby, you got a bright future behind you.” Snoop Dogg, you know FULL WELL that you are not the first to utter those lines in song. In Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love” Kanye West remix, ‘Ye says, “Let me remind you/You got a, you got a great future behind you.” This is not an original sign off line. It was, once, when Kanye West rapped it in a Beyoncé song. But now it’s not.

This song—to which, to be perfectly clear, I will probably dance, at some point, because what are we even doing here if not shaking what our mamas gave us in songs explicitly encouraging us to do so?—is so tired. Music videos completely dehumanizing women (see: the ice sculpture) have been done already, and better. Even this particular theme has been done already, and better. (Better in no small part because some of these songs add agency and empowerment to the woman to whom the butt is attached.) Sir Mix-a-Lot did it already, and better. Destiny’s Child (Bootylicious) did it already, and better. The Black Eyed Peas (My Humps) did it already, and better. Bubba Sparxxx (Miss New Booty) did it already, and better. Queen (Fat Bottomed Girls) did it already, and better. (Aside: I do not have ass anthems in my head at all times. Or, I do, but also these are all cited here. End aside.) Beyoncé ft. Kanye West did it already, and better.

Beyoncé got there first, guys. Beyoncé will always get there first. And she, like so many women, knows what to do with her big fat butt, and it’s not—and has never been, and will never be—just #wigglewigglewiggle.