I had the privilege today of attending a talk by Jessica Hopper, music editor for Rookie and a longtime Chicago critic. She shared a lot of valuable thoughts, including the importance of sticking to your convictions and of finding an editor or superior who will thoroughly criticize your work. But she also talked about an interview she did with Jim DeRogatis, the music journalist who broke the story of R. Kelly’s sexually predatory criminal behavior.
She said that after R. Kelly’s performance at the 2013 Pitchfork festival, she got in a Twitter fight with DeRogatis, and that he contacted her afterward to tell her that he’d heard from one of R. Kelly’s victims. The woman had thanked him for being the only person who has consistently stood up for her and the other women abused and exploited by R. Kelly.
I was at R. Kelly’s Pitchfork show, and it was one of the most joyful concert-going experiences I’ve ever had. I (mostly sober) danced without inhibition in a field with my friends, and it was wonderful. And then Hopper’s interview with DeRogatis walloped me with the reminder that I can’t sing and dance to R. Kelly without inhibition. I may never be able to fully reckon with my love for music and movies and books by people who have done horrible things, but Hopper’s account of the woman who thanked Jim DeRogatis for caring about her story made me realize — we have to stand up for women who have been abused and exploited. We have to believe them. We have to support them. We have to fight for them. We have to make sure they know they’re not alone.
Zack Handlen in What TV trope aggravates you the most? — The A.V. Club (via nickdouglas)
MATILDA IS THE IDEAL MOVIE AND HERE IS WHY
- female protag
- no love story cause shes a six yr old
- bff is a small girl of color
- bechdel test passed in like the first ten minutes
- anti-bullying message
- anti-abuse message
- pro-learning message
- this girl is so smart she can move things with her MIND
- teaches kids that if ppl are toxic, even if they are family, then you don’t have to stay with them
- so cute!!!!
- great soundtrack
- happiest ending
- infinitely relatable
these are the facts people
- danny devito
"Life is long," a guy I dated used to say. That seemed strange to me at first because it’s the opposite of what most people say: Life is short. Life is short, hug your loved ones. Life is short, follow your dreams. Life’s length sort of reveals itself over time: That argument or that crush or that night in a new city that seemed so big and important to me then is three or five or ten years ago now. That person I thought I’d never see again showed up in a bar and we had an unexpectedly honest conversation. But then five years later I saw her again and we said only the most polite of hellos.
For someone who tries to impose a narrative on everything as soon as it’s happened (or while it’s happening), “life is long” can be a little alarming. I’m always tempted to point to one moment or conversation as the neat and meaningful ending of a story in my life, to associate certain people and places and pop culture items with specific stories, and to assume they’re buttoned safely in the past. That was the finale; now it’s over. Here’s what that finale meant. And then when something does come back, post-finale, it changes the meaning of everything that came before it. It messes with the sense of closure. Life is long and you never know exactly when or where a story will end. Maybe it’s foolish to even try to assign meaning to it.
Anyway, that’s how I feel about Twin Peaks coming back.
Marilynne Robinson, Gilead
Growing up Catholic, one of the scariest words I knew was “vocation.” One day, I was told from a young age, God might call me to be a nun, just as He might call the bleached-blonde kid who joked around with me in religious ed to the priesthood. I wondered anxiously what that call would sound or feel like, and the idea haunted me from an early age: When a young priest-in-training spoke to our religious ed class, I submitted the anonymous question “How do you get the call to become a priest or a nun?” (He didn’t really answer.)
A few years later, my high school youth group took a trip to a national conference for Catholic teens, and at one point the speaker called anyone considering a religious vocation to come to the stage. Dozens of kids hurried forward while the rest of the audience clapped and cheered respectfully. I worried that the uncertainty I was feeling was secretly “the Call” I’d been told to listen for. The problem was that I didn’t want to be a nun. I wanted to have sex — not before marriage, but definitely eventually. But if the Call came, there could be no resisting.
(I wasn’t the only youth group member feeling that conflict. The cutest boy in our diocese had already announced his intentions to enter the seminary, and when one girl tried to start whispering about him after lights-out at an overnight retreat, another girl raised her head from her sleeping bag to shush her: “He’s going to be a priest.”)
I confided my worry in my youth group leader — not the sex part, just the uncertainty — and she gave me a Sorting Hat-ish reassurance: What you want is important too; if you truly don’t feel it’s right for you, it’s probably not your calling.
The fact that this was a genuine consideration for me might seem far-fetched to someone who grew up without a looming potential Call. What girl of my generation would become a nun, anyway? But then a funny thing happened: My friend did. During college, a girl I’d known since first grade, who had been a champion runner and valedictorian of our high school class, decided that she had received a clear calling, and it was to be a Catholic sister. I interviewed her about it for a journalism school assignment, and she described her Call as “a very deep feeling of peace,” saying, “It was definitely a call from God because I would not have decided to do this by myself.” Her Call wasn’t something she embraced right away — she told me when we spoke that she’d tried to ignore it for a while and had applied to grad school instead — but ultimately, she decided it was real and that she wanted to follow it.
By that time, I had stopped attending church myself. Almost five years later, my friend’s conviction still surprises me, the idea of the Call as weighty as it was in high school, but scarier now for its rarity than for its likelihood. It’s still startling to know someone who has the kind of certainty I was afraid of when I was fifteen.