• "She holds out her right arm to show me her tattoo of Marilyn Monroe. All that remains of Marilyn is a few drops of black against skin that is the color the moon possesses in the thin air of northern winters."—Stephen Marche on Megan Fox, Esquire, February 2013.
• "Her skin is lined and slightly worn and depends on light from other sources—from her eyes, from her smile, even from the hounding incandescence of television."—Tom Junod on Hillary Clinton, Esquire, February 2008.
• "I can't help but notice her skin. It's the smoothest skin I've seen outside of a Clinique ad."—A.J. Jaocbs on Rosario Dawson, Esquire, [...]
Americans watch presidential debates to serve many different goals. Older people need shameless pandering, because they are lonely. Corporate ladder-climbers need "water cooler talk." And the nation's much-maligned "undecided voters" want to put a face to a name, so they can vote for the white person.
For a certain small but social-media-savvy demographic of needy political fanatics, debates are an opportunity to quickly identify memes and catch phrases and then recycle these memorable bits into short-lived Internet destinations. Time is of the essence, because this stuff is utterly forgotten within 48 hours—by the time Saturday Night Live gets to it on the weekend, it's all over.
I hate to be the 8-millionth person to jump on the bandwagon, but we need to talk about that show about young women on TV! In it, a group of young women have awful, degrading sexual relations due to their economic circumstances, and try to convince themselves that it’s anything but degrading. The characters are desperately struggling to make ends meet, but nearly every problem can be solved with a man ejaculating to an incongruous indie music soundtrack. And our heroine, with her back against the wall and not a dollar to her name, does what any woman in her situation would: get a job at a sensual massage parlor [...]
Since we gathered a truly huge pile of data from our online dating survey, we've published advice about how to improve online dating for everyone, for folks who date men and folks who date women. Now, in our final installment of this very special dating survey roundup, we bring you: The Most Horrific Things Encountered While Online Dating. A word of warning here? Most of these are really funny. And then, in a small section towards the end, some of them are absolutely not funny. We're including some extremely frank stuff, including about sexual assault. If you're not up for reading about that today, you should take a [...]
If you fly a lot, you'll either be caught up on your fine literature reading or more likely on the comedies that are available in the iTunes store, home of DRM and overpriced rentals. (Also home to movies that are difficult to watch on planes, because suddenly there's boobies on your bright portable device and you're like "Oh my God, there's an eight-year-old about 20 inches behind me.") After the comedies that launched a thousand post-"Are Women Funny" magazine pieces, then in the iterated form of "Are Women Box Office" magazine pieces—those would be about Bridesmaids and then about Anna Faris, because of course we're all so very concerned about [...]
Ooh, smoke billowing at 14th and I, NW, in D.C.! Maybe it's all the hot air being burned right now on Cabalist in the wake of that story on up-and-coming journalist-and-blogger Beltway Insiders, the one that had an all-male cast. Cabalist, should you not be a manly Beltway Insider yourself, is the email listserv Journolist replacement, where the in-the-know politicos discuss amongst themselves the weighty wonky workings of the world. (I'm jealous! I want in!) Here's a brief note to our wonky Cabalistic boyfriends in D.C.: whenever a reporter calls, you always ask with whom else he is speaking. And who his editor is. And what [...]
"In 1845… the cost of mailing a letter was reduced to three cents, making the mail accessible to working women, middle-class housewives, and schoolgirls with pocket money. Suddenly, wide swaths of women had access to two dangerous things—the mail and the post office."
"All my adult life, I’ve been pretty sure I’m a sentient, even semi-competent human being. I have a job and an apartment; I know how to read and vote; I make regular, mostly autonomous decisions about what to eat for lunch and which cat videos I will watch whilst eating my lunch. But in the past couple of months, certain powerful figures in media and politics have cracked open that certitude. You see, like most women, I was born with the chromosome abnormality known as 'XX,' a deviation of the normative 'XY' pattern."
I have three or four things I want to put together. First is The Social Network which I resisted seeing for a very long time (“You’ll love it. It’s great!” It wasn’t.) And second is The Rite which I’ve wanted to see ever since those previews months back. I finally had my paws on The Rite thanks to Netflix but then I couldn’t find anyone to watch it with me at this artist colony I’ve been at all month and I’m leaving tomorrow. So alone and in the deep of the night I watched The Rite in bed. Third and fourth I think is the current economic crisis in America [...]
Sure, there are funny gays in various entertainment fields, such as shoe design and Condé Nast magazines, but let us think of gays in actual comedy. Okay, so there's Ellen. That guy ANT. Neil Patrick Harris. And… hmm.
Oh right. Scott Thompson. And Graham Chapman, of Monty Python. These two might prove a comedy "rule" that gays are often funny when in groups of straight people. Or when they are English: Stephen K. Amos, Simon Amstell, Matt Lucas, Julian Clary, Paul O'Grady. And Kenny Everett and Frankie Howerd and Kenneth Williams, RIP! Or when they are of an English province: Trey Anthony, say, from Canada. And Tommy Sexton. And [...]
"The researchers determined that cats and their owners strongly influenced each other, such that they were each often controlling the other's behaviors. Extroverted women with young, active cats enjoyed the greatest synchronicity, with cats in these relationships only having to use subtle cues, such as a single upright tail move, to signal desire for friendly contact."
"In early 2013, the LRRL proposed a simple solution: a curfew for men. Every male person over the age of thirteen would be legally required to be accompanied by at least one female person over the age of eighteen when leaving his home between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m." —Is this how humanity will stop rape?
Last week, the American Society of Magazine Editors released its list of nominees for the 2012 National Magazine Award. In the so-called "brass ring" long-form categories—reporting, feature writing, profile writing, essays and criticism and columns and commentary—all 25 of the writers nominated were men.
For an organization that usually gets talked about exactly twice a year—once when it announces the nominations, and again when it declares the winners—suddenly people had a lot to say about ASME.
"Women can’t write, says ASME," went the Daily News headline. David Carr called it a "sausage-fest." Disdain for the organization manifested in the Twitter hashtag #ASSME.
If perhaps you were intrigued by the idea of podcasts by comedians but you aren't interested in living in a male-only world, as Paul Brownfield, the author of this past weekend's Times mag piece on podcasts by comedians does, here are a few things for you to explore!
• In the print version of the magazine, but not online, How Was Your Week?, by Awl pal Julie Klausner, got tied for his final pick. That's… nice that it got a mention! It's very good. Perhaps you will enjoy, if you can stand the fact that Julie doesn't have a penis.
"Not long after working at Allure, I had perfectly straight hair with the most expensive caramel highlights, skin that glowed and perfectly white teeth. And every other day, I had on a pair of Stuart Weitzman or Dolce&Gabbana heels that I tried my hardest not to topple over in while walking on the too-slippery floor of the infamous Frank Gehry-designed cafeteria…. It took me about two years to realize that the whole thing was bullshit." —Lady escapes lady mag.
How many movies passed the Bechdel Test this year so far? Yes, sure, it's a black/white, pass/fail set of criteria, which means that plenty of unconcerned products pass. So this year: From Prada to Nada and Bridesmaids both pass, which… might be sort of besides the point, or might be a related but more capitalist point? Jane Eyre squeaks under the wire. Briefly, Red Riding Hood too, which, uh. On a technicality, Paul. And Sucker Punch—though it's also castigated as the most misogynist film in ages. Also The Last Lions, I think, if you count lady lions talking to other lady lions, I think, but maybe they are [...]