Hey Upper East Siders. Here are my obseshes for this week.
In the hierarchy of meat, chicken dekes in and out of position in this counterintuitive and culturally unresolved way. Like, everyone wants to give you chicken in everything all the time; it is the basis for every dumb meal at a restaurant; it is what you are supposed to know how to make, I guess, but chicken is also the grossest and full of gristly knobs and the skin and what I think of as pinkish diseaseyness. How is it that on the road from queasy vegetarian to blood, chicken is so close to the beginning? I feel like a rare steak is easier to make sense of than a fucking leg of something.
SELF-CARE / SELF-CRUELTY
I wrote a thing about “self-care” for a magazine and then started doing it all the time. (My version is refusing to listen to my friends talk about their crushes unless they are in a relationship or life context that supports having crushes, and also I now refuse to come within 20 feet of boys who are hunkered down at Fort Asshole even if it’s fun there.) It felt amazing when I was doing self-care “at” people, removing myself, creating boundaries, and thinking of a less corny way to be like “I’m creating boundaries,” and stuff like that.
Unfortunately, a lot of the doing of self-care “at” yourself can bend backward like a summer-time backyard gymnastics performance and turn into the most vicious kind of self-hatred, which, in action, I’m calling “self-cruelty.” An example: My problem with self-care is feeling as though I don’t, in a macro sense, actually deserve it, because my profession and workday is already devoted to thinking about myself and my ideas and my feelings, and the closest I come to having any limitations on my workday freedom is, like, too many text messages, or planning my coffee schedule poorly, or how starfish formation feels better than sitting up, even though in a micro work sense I experience a lot of total fucking bullshit. So being all “Unnnnngh” about work and being like “Now I will ‘self-care’ and think about sunsets” becomes this straight, dirt road lined with mean witches that leads to exponential, counterproductive self-cruelty. Working at home makes you so weird.
Why do guys make plans within two texts and a couple of hours and girls make plans with 30 emails and several weeks and two cancellations? Boys are like this, and girls are like this. Boys are dogs, and girls are cats.
This week in Obseshes’s Girls corner: Last week’s episode was like six percent Hannah—in the center, but as an axis more than anything... very Jerry—and the rest percent divided between Marnie and Big Hair having an aborted rooftop makeout. Which, by the way, is hotter than a regular makeout would have been, even if Hair’s girlfriend Real Life Audrey was still downstairs, because that riled-up, stomach-acid-tasting “I can’t I can’t! I have a mostly imaginary boyfriend!” emotional frottage stuff with someone complicated is by far the most exciting sexual aspect of being 25. Anyway, so, I couldn’t shake this feeling that gets in me like a virus when I watch anything that fucks up an easy detail of verisimilitude: Why would Jessa ask for $30,000? Would she really understand that as enough? Would she not get Marnie to find her a lawyer? Would she ever agree to “$11,500” or W/E, ever? I don’t think that Jessa is as cynical and calculating as Hannah (Not shade! It’s fine!) and that her bohemian extremism is her whole deal, but would she be that genuinely life-dumb? Email me.
“SKY HIGH” DUNKS
No Dunks will be as satisfying as the Tiffany & Co.-themed Dunks of yesteryear, but the current yield of Nike’s Sky High Dunks—so much deep beige!—is making up for all those times lately that I spotted the Isabel Marant Velcro sneakers and had to ritualistically spit and yell “ETOILE!” so as not to be cursed. (I hate those fucking shoes. I hate them so much. I hate how much they want to achieve all at once.) Today, the Nike news cycle revealed that the Sky High Dunks “City Pack” will include a shoe with not only that just-right deep beige (picture me calling the Pantone people on a black rotary phone, screaming “DEEP BEIGE!” then slamming the phone down, taking a five-second drag off a loose, hand-rolled cigarette, and then squashing it out in one of the finger holes), but also a fucking hologram on the side. Sorry to make you messily orgasm in your desk chair, friend.
Sad Hookers and Saintly Moms: The Supportening: Return to Support Mountain is a new action movie that's out always/forever, every weekend at your local independent theater/torrent site.
Action movies are a wide-open (hahahhhahahaha) forum for girl characters that do something other than birth, fuck, and blink at dudes; there are incredible opportunities for dangerous-angel dishabille hotness, for spread-on leathers, which is a look and character profile that almost every stripe of sexuality and sexual politics can get into or at least interpret for their own ends, and then sneakily, maybe those characters can also do stuff. Looper is my favorite example of how movies made by really inventive filmmakers persist with the Sad-Hookers-and-Saintly-Moms paradigm, because Looper takes place in the future, and in the future—both futures, since Looper is about two of them—women are drying cry-eyes and rotating around on protagonist-dick.
And, while I’m currently on a winter tear of plotless action movies (anything with ‘splosions is juuuuust fine), this obviously applies to movies generally, except for those explicitly “for” girls (barfbarfbarf times infinity, though). I’m definitely interested in the “Bechdel Test
,” created by cartoonist Alison Bechdel in her rad strip Dykes To Watch Out For
(she also did the memoir-via-comics, Fun Home
, duh!) to determine if a given film (or book or whatever) has undue gender bias, by asking if it (1) has two or more women in it (2) who talk to each other (3) about something other than a man. (It often breaks down like “usually; rarely; neverrrrrrr.”) It’s genuinely fun and useful, but, I’m more interested in those two or more theoretical women, and what they get up to: Are they doing something other than sad-hooker-ing or saintly-mom-ing? Are they girlfriends who react and respond, or are they girlfriends who have their own stakes and agencies? This, to me, is way more important than whether they talk to each other.
Let’s just be clear about something: The purpose of friendship is unregulation, to be unregulated with another person. This might alternately be called “your worst self” or “relaxing,” and it will take on different behavioral forms, but let it be known that if friendship is closer to performance than melting, it isn’t friendship at all.