Posts Tagged ‘the Kennedys’

Currently: National Anthems and Demystifying the Retro Glamour of the Kennedys

Listening: Still into this Grimes record a lot, and the Fiona Apple record as well. Some Talk Talk, some Walkmen, the Metric record. Nick Drake. Revisiting the Lana Del Rey record, as well.

Watching: Moonrise Kingdom finally opened here! I liked it; it was such a sweet and tender movie. It’s not my favorite Wes Anderson film, but I think it’s the most open-hearted of his movies. Also saw Brave, which I liked but expected to like more than I did. I think it’s because she makes a key decision that I felt was really out of character in the film, and it sort of created a weird distance for me to overcome for the rest of the story. I think I want to explore this a little because it’s been niggling at me in a nerdy, writer’s craft kind of way. But the animation was bee-you-tee-full.

Reading: I finished John Steinbeck’s To a God Unknown, which I really liked — it’s so pagan! I’m onto Tortilla Flat now in my great Summer of Steinbeck ’12. Also wending my way through Anne of Avonlea. Man, I love that chick.

Wearing: A deep purple floaty DKNY camisole and a long black Rick Owens skirt that is about a decade old now. This is my summer equivalent of elegant goth fairy.

Eating: OYSTERS!!!! Birthday cake, sushi, lots of chips and salsa, pasta primavera. It was a better food week than last, in which I ate too many Doritos.

Wanting: Why is the weekend so short? Why can’t it be longer? Also, I need to replace a big satchel-y bag to carry all my “portable office” stuff. I was thinkin’ this bag here.

Needing: A sweater because it’s chilly in this coffeeshop! Also, to finish proofreading my manuscript. A compassionate kick in the pants.

Thinking: I actually was thinking about Kennedys a bit more, inspired a bit by that Caitlin Flanagan piece in the Atlantic I nattered about in my last Sparks post, and the new Lana Del Rey “National Anthem” video in which she and some rapper play out this revisionist, multiracial JFK-style presidential family in beautifully retro manner. I think the video’s really interesting, actually, in a way I can’t pinpoint quite yet.

The Kennedys seem like this sacred cow of a certain, uniquely American kind of upper-class glamour I’ve always felt excluded from, situated at a time of perhaps historical innocence and whole-hearted belief in the U.S. But we all know underneath it, we know there was a lot of seediness. There’s still a kind of taboo, I think, to inserting the image of an interracial couple within this fantasy. No matter how enlightened we personally are about these relationships, there are still huge swaths of the U.S. that you know are uncomfortable with it, and there’s something about both the mixture of innocence, sensuality and “bills, bills, bills” aesthetic in the video that speaks to that.

That is just one of the things I’m thinking about. Also, I love her eyeliner concept.

Dreaming: I am always dreaming of vacation! I dream of ease and serendipity and things not being such a struggle. I dream of clean hotel rooms and an ocean of time that is entirely mine to spend as I wish.

Feeling: Happy, tired, content. And sore from my hike yesterday, and a swim in the river.

Anticipating: Fireworks! Barbeque! A day off!

Loving: Sitting in a river on a hot summer day; going to the pool; the sandals I bought from Target early this season, especially since I wear them all the time.

Writing: I am proofing my manuscript. I don’t know why, but every time I work on my novel in some way, it just sucks up all my creative energy and I feel like I can’t spread it around to anything else. It is oddly all encompassing. But I’m done and wow, I can’t wait to send off this book — flawed and ragamuffin as it is — into the world. I’m also making notes for the next newsletter, thinking a lot about anxiety and families and love. It feels challenging and uncomfortable but freeing to write about; I think it will be epic-ish.

Sparks: Welcome to Female Trainwreck Week

I’ve always been oddly secretive about what I read on the Internet. (I’m one of those people that think that what you read in some way will come to define you at some point — which is scary considering how much sci-fi/fantasy, business development and fusty classical fiction I read.) I originally posted a list of “What I’m Reading on the Internets” on my monthly mailing list missive, but then thought that public sharing was a better way to spark discussion and at least pay tribute to other Internet writers out there!

So here you go…this week I was fascinated by maybe-crazy ladies, inside guff on how people dealt with social media, a bunch of movie geekiness and had a love/hate relationship with an article written by a writer I generally loathe. So, if I were to concoct a new personality out of this week’s Internet reading I’d be…a lady driven to craziness by Twitter and anti-feminism who drowns her sorrows in a major drug habit while watching “JFK”? I don’t know!

+ Evolution of a Feisty Pixar Princess – Did you see Brave? I thought the animation was stunning but the story a bit underdeveloped — but I will always enjoy learning about the collective creative process at Pixar.

+ Cat Marnell on Jane Pratt, Her Book, and Splitting From xoJane.com – Duuuuuuude, Cat Marnell is legit smart, and legit bananas. I’ve always admired people who are brutally honest and incisive, but frankly my respect is lessened by the self-destructiveness. I think it’s maybe a mark of getting older, but my fascination with people trainwrecks is lot less starry-eyed and romantic. Once drugs have used up her beauty and youth, will there be much fascination left? What do you think?

+ ‘I Just Want to Feel Everything’: Hiding Out With Fiona Apple, Musical Hermit – In many ways this interview kind of upends all the conventions of typical celebrity interviews, and yet upholds them utterly as well. And her new record = so good.

+ Cheap, Chic, And Made For All: How Uniqlo Plans To Take Over Casual Fashion – I enjoyed reading this mostly because I love Uniqlo. I really do love their cheerful, democratic approach to fashion, I wear their jeans and underwear religiously, and never regret my purchases from there.

+ are you feeling social media-obliged? – I loved reading how Sarah Wilson lays out all her social media outlets and how she uses them. It’s a valuable practice in this age when everyone’s doing everything and it’s so easy to fritter away your time and energy on social media, thinking you are doing “work” when you’re really not.

+ Why the 21st Century Author is an Internet Entrepreneur – Reading this left me with mixed feelings and a slight sense of indignation, like, “Did Marguerite Duras or Joan Didion ever have to worry about ‘building a platform’ and getting Twitter followers? Whatever happened to having superlative craft and intensely beautiful imagination and humanity?” But you know, this is just the truth these days, at least if you aim to publish and you’re not Duras or Didion!

+ Spin’s “Girl Issue” from 1997 – Reading the Fiona Apple article above made me remember she was on the cover of the “Girl Issue” that Spin published way back in the day, which was one of my most favorite issues of a magazine ever. I remember keeping my copy of it forevs, though I don’t remember where it is. Oh, my sorrows!

+ Jackie and the Girls – Truth: I really hate Caitlin Flanagan. Okay, not her, but her ideas. But she’s such a good writer that she almost seduces you to her point of view, till you remember how utterly and deeply you are at odds with her ideologically. But in this article she captures in some way both the repulsion and the allure of the whole Kennedy mystique in a way that helps me to get it, having never really been captivated by it in the first place.

+ Rounding Up Iceland’s Horses – Just lovely pictures of nature in Iceland and Icelandic ponies! I have always loved them for their sweet faces.

+ What’s the story with your budget? – The lovely Eleanor over at killerfemme.com is writing about money management, planning and artists, a topic I’m much interested in. If you are a creative who has ever been flummoxed by the financial side of your work, Eleanor’s column is for you!

+ Why Women Still Can’t Have It All – I have soooooo much to say about this article that I find it hard to sum up here, but I’ll try just a little: No, women can’t have it all without something suffering (usually their health and sanity). I don’t think anyone can have it all, actually, though the “not having it” is different for each gender. I think we need to talk about the constant expectation of women being primary caretakers of the house and hearth. I also think what we really need to talk about here is a system that fails to support both men and women in helping to care and educate their children. I also think we need to unpack the entitledness and classist dimensions on “having it all” in the first place, too. I told you, so much to think about!