Tag Archives: George Saunders

A Few of My Favorite Things from 2013 (Part 1)

The time-honored tradition of end of year lists must be… er… honored (must it?), so here we go. These are a few of my favorite things to read/watch/listen to/cry at/laugh at/bemoan/enjoy from 2013. 

  • Radio: The two-part series on Harper High School from This American Life. Who knew radio could do that to a person?
  • Editorials: Tim Krieder’s NYT editorial about the power of “I don’t know” in a world full of people who claim to know for certain all kinds of things one can not really know for certain. “I’m always ill at ease when I find myself conscripted by the media into the role of Expert on some subject about which I have rashly written. I felt like the explanatory caption beneath my name on-screen ought to be: PERSON IN WORLD.”

ADTWO6

Related Post: A few of my favorite things from 2012.

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Filed under Really Good Writing by Other People

The Problems with “Strong is the New Skinny”

The line from that George Saunders piece I posted on Monday that’s really sticking with me is “Err on the side of kindness.” It seems so obvious, as far as life philosophies go, but the simplicity of it is blowing my mind. What a world that would be, eh, if we all agreed to live by that code?

Though he didn’t articulate it as such, I’m confident that Saunders would agree that kindness towards oneself is a key facet of this MO. My new piece for Role/Reboot this week is about body image and wellness, but I hope that the backdrop of self-love and self-kindness is apparent.

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Related Post: Critiquing the Dove Real Beauty Campaign

Related Post: 1 in 4 women think they’re too fat to exercise

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Filed under Body Image, Republished!, Sports

S(Monday) Scraps 108

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1. AUTHORS: 50 places every literary fan should visit, according to Flavorwire. I’ve been to one…

2. OITNB: If you are not watching Orange is the New Black I don’t even really know what to say to you anymore. Anyway, Autostraddle has an in-depth look at the differences between the memoir and the show.

3. RACE: After Don Lemon’s awful advice to black people (pull up your pants!) Jay Smooth takes him to task on the Ill Doctrine and explains how pulling up one’s pants does diddly squat to solve institutionalized inequality.

4. PRIVILEGE: Doug Muder’s The Weekly Sift very articulately picks apart the “distress of the privilege” with examples from Pleasantville to Chick-fil-A.

5. BRAZIL: Suketu Meta (author of Maximum City) writes for the New York Review of Books about his experience traveling in the favelas of Brazil.

6. ADVICE: George Saunders, who I love, gave a stellar commencement address to Syracuse about kindness.

Related Post: Sunday 107: Millennial worry, mermaids, Amanda Palmer, etc.

Related Post: Sunday 106: Dustin Hoffman, sex education, Rob Delaney and more

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Filed under Books, Education, Gender, Hollywood, Media, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People

Sunday Scraps 98

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1. CHINA: Excellent long-form piece for the NYT Magazine about the marriage market in China. A huge gender imbalance has created a strange and stressful dynamic at every economic strata of society.

2. LENA: In this Playboy interview, Lena Dunham explains, among other things, why she’s pleased she doesn’t look like a supermodel.

3. JOURNALISM: Super fascinating look at the work of Bob Woodward. In researching his own Belushi biography, journalist Tanner Colby unravels the shoddy work of one of the most famous journalists of all time.

4. WRITERS: The relationship between writer (George Saunders) and editor (Andy Ward) is pulled apart in insane detail in this Slate interview. Jesus, these people are smaaaart.

5. BULLY: In the XX Factor‘s ongoing series about bullying, a current rabbi confronts her past as a member of a menacing tween gang.

6. GENDERMother Jones measures the voting records of members of Congress on women’s issues. Unsurprisingly, there’s a correlation with having daughters and a pro-woman voting record. Sigh.

Related Post: Sunday 97: Anita Sarkeesian, DNA exploring, Cindy Gallop and Ta-Nehisi Coates

Related Post: Sunday 96: Philip Roth, duct tape art, Playboy mansion visits

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Filed under Body Image, Books, Gender, Hollywood, Media, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People

That Girls Episode with Adam and Natalia

Oof. This week for Role/Reboot I wrote about Sunday’s Girls episode (Spoiler Alert) in which Adam and Natalia had sex twice. The first time was a little stilted and a little awkward, but ultimately sweet and tender and rooted in consent. It included conversations about what she liked and didn’t like, and an explicit acknowledgment of her pleasure.

The second time was not that. I describe the scene in detail in the essay (which was not fun), and I was pretty rattled by it. It unfortunately also clicked with a wide range of other content that deals with violence against women lately (VAWA, Battlestar Galactica, some George Saunders stories), and the whole thing snowballed in my brain into one big ugly, teary, mess of frustration at the ongoing injustice in the world. It was not a super productive place to be, and writing this helped me climb out of it.

I know the internet is awash with opinions on this episode (I like Amanda Hess’ at Slate), but I’d love to hear yours too.

Screenshot_3_12_13_9_50_AMRelated Post: My favorite two minutes of Louie.

Related Post: Is Parks and Rec the most feminist show on TV?

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Filed under Gender, Hollywood, Republished!, Sex