"I think we should have a day when all women don't go to work. If a handful of people in this country are going to decide whether or not we will receive healthcare, whether or not we have control over our bodies as to when we wish to have a child, then what would happen if 52% of the work force one day just withdrew and reminded those people in Washington how important we are?" Kathleen Turner, whose voice is my new favourite thing to listen to, on Here's The Thing.
Saturday, February 14, 2015
In honour of February 14th, this Weekend List is dedicated to love stuff. And before you roll your eyes, please know that this edition doesn't stray far from my usual interests in the mass of varying types of love; from solo-love and friend-love, to domestic-love and lovesick-love. This list isn't here to make anybody feel bad, and I hate that Valentine's Days is always offered up as this day that you either opt in or out of. We're all alone, and we all love other people in varying capacities; Valentine's Day should be the most universal day of them all, and celebrated with that sentiment as a starting point. Settle back into it. Here's an accompanying mix I made, featuring lines like "When I trust you we can do it with the lights on" and "I want to call you but I don't. I want to be smarter." There's Jarvis Cocker, and Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor, who are in my mind among the best popstars to sing about love and sex. Plus there's Joni Mitchell's song For Free, which was my January soundtrack when I was thinking and writing about my Granny a lot, and this ode to a stranger playing clarinet on a street-corner is one of the most quietly romantic songs I've ever heard.
Closeness with others
This time last year I listened to Dory Previn back to back, and wrote about the romance with others, and with one's own self.
Sigmund Freud's Porcupine Dilemma.
A conception and a Bed and Breakfast in Vermont. I've included it in a list before, but I love to come back to this short piece from Meghan O'Connell.
Your Fave Fantasy is Problematic by Kitty Stryker.
A list of sexy films compiled by the British Film Institute.
And sexy illustrations.
A poem I return to each time I lose somebody, my feelings for them, or when I'm trying to blanche myself of the sad, unplanned heat of either of the two. W.H Auden's The More Loving One knows the peace of looking up at the sky and becoming re-grounded. (Listen. Or Read.)
"You are supposed to know opaquely and elusively and abstractly that everything is not over and that your purpose in life is so much huger than you can every imagine and is still saturated with value and that you will eat pesto and read Stephen Dunn and live in Manhattan." Break-up advice from one friend to another. (I didn't think seeing a tattooed bottom below this page would be part of the bargain, but I suppose you can't always plan these things..)
Dinner For One: an episode of BBC Radio 4's The Food Chain, dedicated to the melancholy of eating alone.
"I hated coming home from buying lingerie, obviously carrying a bag full of bras and panties.. In order to put it on, I would hide in the bathroom. During the reveal, he'd be reading a book about genocide and the cat would be taking up my space in the bed." Against Domesticity by Randa Jarrar.
Frances Ha's Sophie, but then again Frances goes off and has that shit trip to Paris and finally puts on a production of her own. So who knows, it's all supposed to happen. In honour of it all, are text messages shared with my best friend this week, shortly after midnight:
Posted by discotheque confusion at 9:32 am
Saturday, January 31, 2015
As somebody who spends a large portion of their time grazing on podcasts (and passing recommendations on to friends; both those who ask, and those that do not) it seemed right to compile my go-to listens into one succinct list. The nature of the world of podcasting means that word-of-mouth is still the best way of knowing what to listen to. I don't know why, but the programmers don't seem to have found a functional way of helping us to find podcasts unless we actually know what we're looking for. In a way, it's refreshing that there isn't a clever algorithm for just pigeonholing the wealth of podcasts into categories. Categories are rubbish, and rarely do the content justice, especially when they're titled 'Humour', 'Women's Interests', 'Current Affairs'. What are these things, and how do I get them all into one podcast? I just want tick boxes with options like 'Stress Relief' 'Good with Wine' 'No Annoying Voices' 'Life-Affirmingly Funny' and the ability to click as many as I want.
If you're somebody who doesn't listen to podcasts but wants to start, and you have a smartphone, you're best to begin by downloading Apple's handy purple-badged Podcasts app. That way you can download all of your podcasts straight to your phone, and happily bypass iTunes, which to me feels increasingly outdated.
This year I'm trying to branch out, and listen to more non-US podcasts. I'm also trolling my favourite internet people until they start their own. Of course, this list isn't exhaustive, but it's a good place to start, and I like that many of these podcasts sit in my subscriptions list thanks to the recommendations from you lot. Without further ado;
Cool women talking together
Nerdette A downside to some of the North American podcasts I listen to is the presence of those overly American inflections. The 'oh my gods' and the 'ughs'. I have a high threshold for this vocabulary after spending a term studying in Massaschusetts with the yoga-panted choruses of oh my god, wait what? reverberating across the dining halls on a daily basis. It does mean, however, that lots of my English friends won't tolerate the podcasts I recommend them. Nerdette is a good antidote; less hyperbole, more straight-talking. The premise is simple: we have all something we nerd out about. I especially like that recommended books, TV shows and apps are prescribed to listeners as homework.
Politini Covering the intersection of politics, current affairs and pop culture, presented by Washington-based power couple Daniele and Aisha.
Call Your Girlfriend If Politini's Daniele and Aisha are a power couple in the romantic sense, then Animatou Sow and Ann Friedman of CYG claim the platonic power couple badge of honour. Airtime is dedicated to Kanye West, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Menstruation News, internet news and their feminist motivational concept 'Shine Theory.' If TED Talks were less white, and more female, with knowing eyerolls and real talk, they would be like Call Your Girlfriend. In moments of strife I often find myself wondering What Would Aminatou Do?
The Broad Experience 10/10 for the title alone, Ashley Milne-Tyte covers the experiences of women in the workplace. From the issue of working for free, to the hell of networking, and getting what you want, balancing expectations, and emotions in the office. Incredibly useful whether you're in the first years of your career (like me), or later down the line and navigating issues of authority, progession, motherhood/non-motherhood.
Pilots Oh internet, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. There's being able to order carbon monoxide alarms at 2am when you're sitting in your knickers, eating toast, convinced that you're being slowly poisoning. There are the Twitter parody accounts that make the world go round. And best of all, there's the blossoming of internet friendships. Think Miranda July and Sheila Heti or the wonderfully unlikely Twitter best friends Sarah Millican and Kim Cattrell, who are always gushy with each other. Even better when new online friendships end up producing an Actual Thing, like the Pilots podcast from transatlantic panpals Elizabeth Sankles and Anne T. Donahue. The pair chat shit over Skype and dissect the pilot episodes of their favourite television programmes, starting with Friends and Sex and The City.
Talking it out
Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin A new addition to my podcast subscriptions, I'm holding out to see if I have the patience for Alec Baldwin. I started with the Julianne Moore episode and found myself thinking let her talk! everytime he spoke over her. (Who speaks over Julianne Moore? Nobody. Only idiotic on-screen husbands.) I'm yet to find out whether Baldwin will tip into interruptive mansplaining territory, but with guests like Thom Yorke and Kristen Wiig, I'm happy to keep listening.
Savage Lovecast On-point, inclusive sex and relationship advice from Dan Savage that makes me want to re-train as a Sex Education teacher. Dan Savage is everything that Alec Baldwin is not, and thank god.
Design Matters Debbie Millman talks with designers and creatives about making things, modern matters and daily routines.
Death, Sex and Money. Anna Sale's podcast loosely covers everybody's (apparently) three favourite subjects. Start with the Ellen Burstyn episode for fascinating insights into her life, and an important reminder of the fact that married women comparably had no fucking rights in the 1970s.
New Yorker Fiction. Writers reading short stories by their favourite authors. I like to slip my headphones on and listen to NYF while I take a walk around the city in the evening after a stressful day at work. An especially good podcast for nighttime walking when there's a chill in the air and your senses are heightened.
The Moth Radio Hour Named with a view to recreating the feeling of balmy summer nights in Georgia, and the tradition of storytelling on moth-covered porches, this is a constant reliable audio companion. I've guffawed publicly on trains to hilarious childhood anecdotes, and been hit over the head and forced to take a seat by arresting personal tales.
Jarvis Cocker's Wireless Nights. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I like Jarvis Cocker's overly sultry radio voice, and always enjoy BBC Radio 4's Wireless Nights, which takes a cue from the sort of radio we've come to expect from the likes of This American Life.
Posted by discotheque confusion at 2:30 pm
Saturday, January 24, 2015
"A lot of people knew my grandmother to be as nice as pie, just as a lot of people knew my mother as an incredibly talented theatre arts administrator and overall fun person to be around. Neither of these observations was objectively wrong, they just weren't the whole story. But there again, what can you say to that? In the history of the world, a whole story has never been told." It's amazing what the living expect of the dying by Meghan Baum.
"There are the soldiers and sailors pulling a night shift for no good reason other than orders, photographing themselves and their comrades on the verge of sleep or already under. Cops in noirish black and white, their pictures framed to show a bit of badge. And nurses. A lot of nurses." Instagram's Graveyard Shift by Jeff Sharlet.
"When you do that thing where you disappear and don't answer your phone for an entire evening- that really upsets me. Maybe not everyone would be upset by that, and maybe you don't think it's a big deal, but that's a sore spot for me." Karley Sciortino goes to couples therapy.
Gosh, this is good. Jon Ronson and film-maker Adam Curtis exchanging emails about power, the "mutual grooming" of social media, and why we ignore modern crimes. Adam Curtis amazes me as somebody who seems to see the things we don't, the warning signs that we miss (when we become too wrapped up in ourselves, or entertainment) with such effortless clarify. I found this email exchange fascinating, and can't wait for his 2 1/2 epic Bitter Lake. Jon Ronson in conversation with Adam Curtis.
Pitchfork's Bjork interview, which I'm saving for a quiet moment this weekend.
A compilation of early footage of Joni Mitchell on Canadian television show "Let's Sing Out"
Ruf Dug's LN-CC mix.
Tabu by Michel Legrand, aka the soundtrack to your early 1960s roadtrip.
Nowness x Apartamento Magazine apartment tours. Somewhat disappointingly the subjects seem to be exclusively rich, with a remarkable amount of contemporary art and modernist furniture. But how can you resist Christiaan Houtenbos and his dressing gown.
Odd Pears patterned socks that come in 'pairs' of three, so you can dress mis-matched or straight-laced, depending on your mood.
If you listen to just one thing, make it this. My new hero Ellen Burstyn on Anna Sale's Death, Sex and Money podcast.
Debbie Millman's Design Matters podcast, with guest Maria Popova, of Brain Pickings.
Posted by discotheque confusion at 11:35 am
Thursday, January 08, 2015
All well here. Life is full of good things. Yesterday I had lunch in the garden! The bulbs are coming up. Spring will be here soon.
She signed off take care my lovely girl and carry on living life to the full!! then there was an asterisk, and tucked into a tiny gap was written *it's a knack we both seem to have...
Posted by discotheque confusion at 12:02 am