Weirdly, Yes

February 20, 2019

From a media-related listserv:

Do you wish you could express the joy and mystery of science through the medium of Peeps? Enter The Open Notebook’s Science-Themed Peeps Diorama Contest.

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New Fashion Inspo

February 18, 2019

The Amish have been fashion fodder before, but I’m going to do one better and declare that my new look this summer is MEXICAN MENNONITE.

Yes, there are Mennonites in Mexico, approximately 100,000 of them, mostly in Chihuahua and Durango.  They’re from Russia via Canada, the former of which might explain the cool headscarves these little girls wear.  Their clothes seem to differ from their Midwestern American counterparts in that the dresses are brighter and more often patterned, the hats are big, and the sleeves can sometimes be short.    The dresses look like Batsheva creations, jo?  Which, in truth, I’m not really that into.  I think I just like these hats!

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By the way, this obsession was brought on by watching Silent Light, a rather amazing film about Chihuahuan Mennonites in Mexico, starring a number of locals there.  Don’t you think there should be a name for movies featuring non-professional actors playing basically/borderline-themselves?  Like, autofiction, but for film?  Examples include: Menashe, Krisha, this film, and many others I don’t have the time to compile here.  If there is a term for this, please do let me know.

Envy

February 15, 2019

I watched this documentary on Netflix the other day about this story––I liked the documentary, but I was so into this story I’d like anything about it, no matter how poorly done.  Anyway, they briefly interview a detective from the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office who was in charge (I think) of the investigation into the deaths (I tried and failed to take a screenshot of him).  He says, AND I QUOTE, “I’d never even heard of the self-help movement.  I didn’t know there was a self-help movement.”  Never in my life have I envied and pitied someone so much in equal measure!  Ross Diskin might be the most accidentally enlightened man in the universe.

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(This post is categorized as “It Could Be Worse…” because of course it could be worse: you could be James Arthur Ray.)

Anonymous Advice

February 6, 2019
My husband and I are on a huge local parenting listserv––thousands of subscribers, thousands of pages and multiple groups and sub-groups, etc.––and we both get a daily dispatch from the Advice section.  Mostly it’s people asking for pediatrician referrals or the name of a good roofing guy, but occasionally someone writes in anonymously because what they need advice on is sensitive.

Early on in the days of this most recent maternity leave, I was super bored, so I read through all the old anonymous posts, and boy was it entertaining.  There were a lot of repeat issues (fertility problems, requests for therapist recs, nannies being assholes) but some really out there ones.  This is probably my favorite:

Hi – I have a situation with my nanny that I can’t wrap my head around.  She is claiming a spell was put on her a long time ago and it is causing her to not sleep, get sick & be all around miserable feeling.  However, she still comes to work and is doing a good job, always has & my daughters adore her.  She is in the midst of trying to get help through spiritual guidance.  To date I have not worried a second about my children.  My perspective is there is some mind over matter going on and maybe some mental issues?  However, this is a perspective that doesn’t believe in spirits & black magic.  Has anyone been through this? How understanding as a employer should I be?  I wouldn’t get fired for seeing a therapist, but after what happened on the UWS I am a bit nervous.  Any advice would be much appreciated.  My nanny is from Trinidad. Thank you! 

Honestly, though, the best part might have been how half the responses were like “These beliefs are part of indigenous Caribbean cultures!” and the other half were like, “I think it’s offensive to assume Caribbean people are unsophisticated and still believe in witchcraft!”

 

Peak Brooklyn

January 24, 2019

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Chapter Titles From The Favourite

January 10, 2019

 

  1.  This Mud Stinks
  2. I Do Fear Confusion and Accidents
  3. What an Outfit
  4. A Minor Hitch
  5. What if I Should Fall asleep and Slip Under
  6. Stop Infection
  7. Leave That I Like It
  8. I Dreamt I Stabbed You in the Eye

Being Woke Never Solved Shit

January 7, 2019

Remember when you were a child and you just read funny books about animals and you didn’t really think much of it?  But now it’s 2019 and you’re an adult and aware of things like colonialism, and then you read Babar and Curious George to your kid and you think, “Hm, the white man captures the animal from his happy jungle home and forces him to conform to societal norms he doesn’t understand, and fetishizes him or locks him up when he fails to follow the rules?  Is this just a veiled commentary on the history of white oppression in foreign territories?  Is Babar just a stand-in for Pocahontas, who was paraded throughout 17th century England as the ‘civilized savage’?  If George––human name, btw––were a person would he end up in a human zoo?  Oh, for fuck’s sake.  Liberalism is why we can’t have nice things!”

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ICYMI, it says “In the evening, after dinner, [Babar] tells the Old Lady’s friends all about his life in the great forest.”

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Curious George’s curiosity gets him fucking POACHED.

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Sure, it LOOKS innocent and fun, but the white man runs the zoo.

 

Snail Glasses

December 27, 2018

This is a cool picture by a photographer named Iringo Demeter.

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Warby Parker’s latest.

My New Favorite Website

December 23, 2018

Two reasons why I have a new favorite website.

1. In 2012, the high school football team in Gypsum, Colorado, rallied around a young fan suffering from leukemia, who lived nearby in the mountains.  A family friend of the boy, a woman in her twenties named Briana, was the intermediary: telling the football team about him, giving interviews to the press, moderating a Facebook page for him, etc.  When he died, the whole town mourned.  But then––surprise!––it turned out the whole thing was a scam.

This is just one example of “Munchausen by Internet,” but it’s one that’s always stuck with me, for reasons I can’t explain.  If someone gave me a few thousand bucks with the stipulation that I had to use it to satiate some longstanding useless desire, I would hire a private investigator to find Briana and Treva Throneberry and just show up at their homes and be like, “Yo ladies, WTF?”

2. When I’m bored, sometimes I will scroll through GoFundMe and try to do a little hypothetical empathy math.  Who deserves my imaginary extra thousand dollars?  The woman with colon cancer, or the man with the brain tumor?  The family who lost their home in a flood (aha, but did they have insurance), or the couple desperate to raise funds for IVF?  The website’s mere existence basically begs a million ethical questions, and I have considered writing about it at length before, but then someone else got there first, which would have pissed me off if the article wasn’t so damn good.

Anyway!  A few weeks back, a friend of mine and I were talking about illness on the Internet, and she gave me the greatest gift of all, which was a link to website called GoFraudMe: a snarky news site that tells you whenever someone commits fraud via crowdfunding!  It’s hilarious, galling, informative, and thought-provoking all at once!  Wanna hear about the nurse accused of killing his patients who took to GoFundMe to raise money for his legal fees?  Sure!  Did you know that Whitney Houston’s sister tried to raise funds to get people to investigate the “foul play” in Whitney and Bobbi Kristina’s deaths?  I did NOT know that!  What about the woman who not only faked cancer for money but said she was a veteran despite never having served? Sign. me. up!

Point being: this website is a trove of great stories (and as an aside, was a great distraction when I was recently in the hospital).  Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have been updated since September.  All I want for Christmas is MORE GOFUNDME FRAUD STORIES!

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This is why we can’t have nice things.

The Only Email You Want To Receive When You’re in the Hospital

November 21, 2018

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