I’ve been filling the tanks with a lot of stunning pieces of writing since I’ve been across the pond, and I’ve decided to start doing a weekly round-up. Here are a few of the most eye-opening/heartstring-yanking/conversation-starting works that, while not all new, have been on my mind this week.
“Feminists sometimes talk about “yes” and “no” like they’re uncomplicated. That’s a messaging thing, and it works: We want everyone who hooks up with anyone ever to do so only with an affirmative, active yes. Teaching that consent is always clear is a tool in making it so, by mandating explicit and affirmative articulation.
But ethical sex is hard. And it won’t stop being hard until we make cultures that enable meaningful choice, cultures wherein we minimize, as much as possible, power imbalances related to sex.”
Mumford and Sons released this new video last week, which is shot in a moving car in streets all around London. It reminds me of driving around with Ankit and Rachel and Matt while we were in high school (also Lorde’s 400 Lux). There’s something about it that perfectly captures those sweet, stolen,” world of our own” sort of moments we have when we’re alone in the city at night/walking around the suburbs/staying up until 3 am talking in halls.
I read this Ask Polly response every couple months and have sent it to most of my friends. This week was one of those weeks for me, and reading the familiar advice was like a double-shot sermon of flawlessness.
“Fuck wondering if you’re lovable. Fuck asking someone else, “Am I there yet?” Fuck listening for the answer. Fuck waiting, alone, for a verdict that never comes. Don’t grow up to be one of those women with a perpetual question mark etched into her brow: Am I good? Am I lovable? Am I enough?”
It pains me that I was just introduced to Carr’s work after his recent death, when writers like Ta-Nehisi Coates paid tribute to his life’s work. “Me and My Girls” is a forceful introduction to Carr’s work that raises questions about personal narratives I’ve come back to again and again.
“If I said I was a fat thug who beat up women and sold bad coke, would you like my story? What if instead I wrote that I was a recovered addict who obtained sole custody of my twin girls, got us off welfare and raised them by myself, even though I had a little touch of cancer? Now we’re talking. Both are equally true, but as a member of a self-interpreting species, one that fights to keep disharmony at a remove, I’m inclined to mention my tenderhearted attentions as a single parent before I get around to the fact that I hit their mother when we were together. We tell ourselves that we lie to protect others, but the self usually comes out looking damn good in the process.”
This baby arrived at our local McDonalds this week. It is a veggie wrap. As in, vegetarian. It tastes like falafel mixed with “IDK what this is… but YUM.” A local headline calls it “yummy but high in calories and fat,” which is exactly the point of McDonalds. This is a game changer for those who have only eaten french fries at 2 am Mackers runs for years.