Vulture has a list of Taylor Swift’s best comebacks from her testimony in a sexual assault trial (for those who missed it, she is accusing a man of reaching under her skirt and groping her butt during a photo shoot). I think my favorite is when someone asked her why the front of the skirt doesn’t look mussed: “Because my ass is located in the back of my body,” she answered.
Here’s an interesting article in the Washington Post about the culture of songwriting, competition, and collaboration in real-life Nashville. Makes you wonder what might happen if Scarlett and Gunnar’s best early songs had been put on hold by Rayna or Juliette in the first season and never released!
The New York Times has a long, in-depth profile of one of my very favorite living authors, Claire Messud, who writes about angry and disappointed women in a beautiful and precise prose style. I learned that like me, she’s never learned to cook, which just makes me more sure that she is my hero.
The new season of Rick and Morty is shaping up to be truly incredible, and Film Crit Hulk has a wonderful meditation on/appreciation of the devastating third episode.
Angie Thomas’s devastating new novel, The Hate U Give, opens with a scene all too familiar to anyone who’s been paying attention in this country: a young, unarmed black teenager is shot by a police officer during a traffic stop.
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We link to Roxane Gay a lot… but that’s because she says such interesting stuff! This week, read her editorial on why she’s not going to bother watching a show about an alternate universe where slavery still exists. (Not that it’s the same thing AT ALL but her sentiments seem to be very similar to how I feel about movies with female sex robots.) (via New York Times)
Rebecca West was a brilliant modernist novelist, but she also apparently wrote a travel book about Yugoslavia that has fallen out of the fame it once held. I personally had never heard of it; it’s going on my to-read list after reading this passionate essay by James Thomas Snyder. (via LA Review of Books)
Sigourney Weaver said at Comic-Con that she based her villainous Defenders character on rich Trump supporters she knew in New York. She described these men in great detail, including the delightful quote: “Your objections to what they’re doing because of the planet makes them giggle secretly inside. They’re just like, ‘Oh yes, pish posh.’”
Lilith’s Brood, a science fiction trilogy by Octavia Butler, tells a post- and pre-apocalyptic story, where a few humans survive a nuclear apocalypse only to face the end of their species in a very different way.
(Some spoilers after the cut, which I figure is probably OK since these books have been out in the world almost as long as I have.)
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What do you get when you turn a children’s novel originally published in early-twentieth-century Sunday School newspapers into a modern “prestige drama” on Netflix? Now that the first season of Anne With an E is out, we all get to find out.
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This woman has been slowly eating Infinite Jest for a year. We don’t really know why, but we support it.
If you, like us, are always just a few days behind on The Handmaid’s Tale, you may have missed Variety‘s fun, engaging interview with Elizabeth Moss about the finale.
Or, you might want to check out a pair of what I can only describe as cerebral fanwanks about hair and music in The Handmaid’s Tale at LA Review of Books.
Damon Lindelof might be doing a Watchmen series on HBO! And before you get upset, Zack Snyder he is not. He did wonders with The Leftovers by departing from the source material in meaningful ways.
This is the best tweet about the news, which came out right around the time Lord and Miller dropped out of the Han Solo prequel:
At Book Riot via The Millions, five writers inspired by Octavia Butler, whose birthday was Thursday, write about her influence on them. I happen to be in the middle of Fledgling and I’m loving it, so it’s a timely topic for me!
Do you know about the creepy surrealist Youtube star Poppy? This article about her is fascinating, but what really fascinated me was just watching her “I’m Poppy” video. (via Wired)
After some anxious sponsors backed away from the notorious Trumpian production of Julius Caesar, Alexandra Petri for the Washington Post cheekily identified reasons why pretty much no plays should be acceptable to sponsors. For example, in As You Like It, “Woman wandering in the woods to get away from the current regime is portrayed as some sort of hero.” VERY inappropriate.
Rebecca Solnit argues in Harper’s that the mythical Cassandra is the feminine inverse of The Boy Who Cried Wolf: from Anita Hill to Cosby’s victims to Trump’s accusers and in countless other examples, men can lie over and over again and be believed, while women can tell the truth time and time again and be dismissed.
A poet who wasn’t getting any traction on Instagram conducted a social experiment in which he posted the most banal, non-sensical lines he could think of–and he immediately got thousands and likes and followers, many of whom were not in on the joke.
The New Yorker‘s Doreen St. Felix walks us through Bill Maher’s awkward, graceless apology–and why we probably shouldn’t accept it.