Friedan's Village

A look back at Parkway Village, the birthplace of The Feminine Mystique
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Horse Racing: How Much Whipping Is Too Much?#

Here's the Email Everyone Got about Fusion CEO Isaac Lee and All His Buddies at Work


Below is the email that was sent to basically everyone with a blog this weekend about Isaac Lee, the CEO of Fusion, by what seems to be a former employee. (It was sent from what looked to be a throwaway Gmail address.)

The email is about a layer of men in upper management at Fusion called the “Friends of Isaac Lee.” This phrase was included in this weekend’s rather critical New York Times article about Fusion—but seems to then have been removed from the story. (I did see the phrase’s inclusion myself; I read the story immediately after it was posted and remember laughing about it.)

Every media reporter in New York (of the very few that remain!) will be assessing these claims, so why shouldn’t we all know what’s being said? So here’s the whole email—with one redaction.

Links in the email include this story about Lee’s magazine Loft, this bad review of This is Not a Ball, this Kickstarter page for Gabriel Leigh film, and this al-Jazeera story about Didziulis’ “right-wing” “war propaganda” documentary on Iran.

Arca, "Washed Clean"

Nightmare soundtrack composer Arca has released a sparse and fitting accompaniment for your reentry into the week. It will inspire you! (To curl up into a ball and roll until Friday.)

New York City, May 21, 2015

weather review sky 052115★★ The gray had yellow undertones. A few drops of rain flicked down. Downtown there were more but smaller drops, then more and fatter ones. A moment of brightness passed quickly. The roof was cold. A few small blue patches opened in the north, where they couldn’t do much good. They grew and briefly almost reached the westering sun, and a pulse of warmth came on. A gust of chilly breeze chased right after it, sending an empty beer can scraping a few inches along the glass of a tabletop.

A Guide to Defending Your Industry

askjghaskgIn Fortune, Dan Primack wrote a defense of Silicon Valley:

[W]hat about the countless networking and software companies that are, at their core, trying to improve the efficacy of communications? You know, that little human endeavor that in past generations has resulted in everything from the printing press to the carrier pigeon to the telephone to the Amber Alert? Are those efforts disposable, just because some may be quixotic or callous?

This, it turns out, is a helpful template for defending practically any industry.

Do You Still Feel Dissatisfied?

Baptism by Song

There are many ways to take a bath, and just as many ways to perform a baptism. Some Christian traditions sprinkle a little water on the foreheads of infants or adults, drop by holy drop, and call it a day. Immersion is something else, and plenty of denominations have full-body fonts in their sanctuaries—or know where there’s a river or creek nearby deep enough for wading. Lots of hymns are available to mark the occasion, but country music also has its fair share of songs about baptism.

Carrie Underwood had a big hit last year with “Something in the Water,” a song she co-wrote about following a “preacher man down to the river,” experiencing a conversion where you get “washed in the water, washed in the blood.” In his 2008 song, “Muddy Water,” Trace Atkins sang, “There’s a man in me I need to drown,” while almost a decade earlier, Kenney Chesney recorded a beautiful duet with Randy Travis called “Baptism” where “it was down with the old man, up with the new: raised to walk in the ways of light and truth.” That imagery is borrowed from the liturgy itself, which usually begins by evoking the protection of Noah and his family from the flood and the parting of the Red Sea so that the Israelites could pass safely; it’s not only a time to consider the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan, but more perilously all the times that people were drowned, right along with their sins.

'Let Me Down Easy' in Order of Easiness

40. Sheppard

39. Saving Jane

The Startling Humanism of 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

maaaadThe story of Mad Max: Fury Road centers on the escape of a harem of young women in a “war rig” driven by the unstoppable Imperator Furiosa, a splendid Amazon played by Charlize Theron, with the aid and counsel of Mad Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy, glorious as usual). The women’s captors, a terrifying patri-army of punk-rock hot rodders and their leader, Immortan Joe, spend almost the whole movie in furious pursuit of the fugitives in the most explosively rip-roaring gasoline-spitting rocket-fueled action flick in about forever. But much of the critical conversation surrounding the film, which saw a respectable box office opening of forty-five million dollars, has centered on its gender politics.

Women are portrayed as warriors and survivors in this movie; on the other hand, the harem girls are so young, shapely and lovely and so scantily clad that they resemble nothing so much as a herd of supermodels waiting around for Steven Meisel. The women need Max’s help in order to escape their pursuers; on the other hand, he needs theirs. So there’s as much fodder for the Men’s Rights Activists at Reddit and elsewhere to complain about the weakening and “feminization” of Max (“Nobody barks orders to Mad Max”) as there is for Jezebel’s “Hysterical Man” to claim, “The New Mad Max Film Is So Feminist My Scrotum Killed Itself”.

New York City, May 20, 2015

★★★★ The air conditioner had drowned out the soft buzzing of the phone alarm for an hour or more. Ivory-colored clouds drifted from west to east, separating till bright white light slapped the surfaces on Broadway. Downtown, the clouds were knitting back together. Once more it had been a mistake to go out without a jacket; it would have been superb jacket conditions—the month speeding by but the temperature refusing to hasten into summer. Brightness returned. The breeze filled the unfastened purple graduation gown of a young man slowly crossing Houston Street. Green maple samaras traced the foot of the churchyard wall on Prince Street. The sunset clouds were a rich magenta, flaring suddenly to shining pink, as a thin and ghostly crescent moon edged away from the glass apartment tower.