T Lo’s Weekend Pop Culture Reading List

Posted on September 21, 2018

Darlings, before we head out to a Friday night of dinner and cocktails, we simply had to recommend the following bits and pieces of the cultural landscape to tide you over until Monday. Here are all the articles, posts and essays that piqued our interest and tickled our fancy. Enjoy!



But the woman, who asked not to be named for fear that she could lose her livelihood, receives just €1 from the factory that employs her for each meter of fabric she completes.

“It takes me about one hour to sew one meter, so about four to five hours to complete an entire coat,” said the woman, who works without a contract, or insurance, and is paid in cash on a monthly basis. “I try to do two coats per day.”

Inside Italy’s Shadow EconomyBy Elizabeth Paton and Milena Lazazzera at The New York Times



It wasn’t long before social media lit up with heated responses to Yandy’s “Brave Red Maiden” costume, noting the company’s insensitivity to the serious topics addressed in Hulu’s Emmy-winning series. “Nothing like a sexy rape victim for Hallwoween fun,” one Twitter user wrote, while another tweeted: “Wow how much more insensitive can you get @Yandy? This is disgusting. No one asked for this.”

Sexy ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Halloween Costume Sparks Outrage OnlineBy Evan Real at The Hollywood Reporter



Not so serious, right? It’s a surprisingly more traditional take on the character’s facepaint, one that moves away from the smeared and distressed look of Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight version and Jared Leto’s punk rock take in Suicide Squad.

Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker revealed in full makeup for first time By James Hibberd at Entertainment Weekly



Rogers knew that children don’t live in happy bubbles, separate from the drama of the real world. His show took on bullying, fear, divorce and death. He believed, as Neville points to again and again, that children have rich emotional lives and deep feelings, and that they deserve respect. You can look at footage of him mesmerizing classrooms full of kids with a fuzzy puppet and see the gentleness there, but you’d be blind to miss the focused dignity he affords to every child.

Mister Rogers was actually a badass: New film “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” shows his tough sideBy Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon



A Canadian staging of Godspell brought together Radner, Martin Short, Andrea Martin, and future Letterman band leader Paul Shaffer under one artistic banner; after an interlude doing improv at Second City’s Toronto branch alongside Dan Aykroyd, it was on to New York—though not before Second City taught Radner some important lessons about the firm barriers within comedy’s ostensible freedom. “The guys would wanna work together, and the girls would say, ‘OK, let’s do this idea this way,’” she recalls. “Then the guys would realize they needed somebody to serve the coffee in the scene.”

The Many Legacies of Gilda Radner By Alison Herman at The Ringer



In an era of constant political strife, often at the expense of some of the country’s most marginalized populations, young people nationwide are answering the call to stand up for their beliefs and advocate for their communities.

This year, we’ve teamed up with five major social justice groups—Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Point Foundation, The Trevor Project, and the Transgender Law Center—to spotlight six young LGBTQ activists working to make their local or campus communities safer, more equitable places for all.

Young Leaders 2018: 6 Fearless LGBTQ Activists Who Refuse to Settle for the Status QuoBy Editors at NewNowNext



In response, women across Twitter are sharing their own stories of assault with the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport to explain why it can be nearly impossible for victims of assault or harassment to come forward. Their stories are difficult, raw, and upsetting, but most of all, they are real. Below, just a few:

How #WhyIDidntReport Helps Victims of Assault Come Forward on TwitterBy Madison Feller at ELLE



Instead of recognizing female fury as the righteous spark that alters what we see, what we know, we are typically encouraged to focus on feminine “peaceability”: Mamie Till’s grief, or Rosa Parks’s stoicism and exhaustion in refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus, the same year that Emmett Till was murdered. In fact, Parks was a fiery lifelong organizer challenging sexual and racial violence, a defender of black men wrongly accused of sexual misconduct by white women, and an elected NAACP secretary who investigated the rape claims of black women against white men, including the brutal 1944 gang rape of the sharecropper Recy Taylor in Abbeville, Alabama.

And You Thought Trump Voters Were Mad American women are furious — and our politics and culture will never be the same.
By Rebecca Traister at The Cut



For devotees of Beyoncé, this might not matter (though it should). But for devotees of celebrity journalism — the kind of work that aims to add context and depth to the fame economy, and which is predicated on the productive frisson between an interviewer and interviewee — this portends catastrophe. And it’s not an isolated event. In pop music especially, plenty of the most famous performers essentially eschew the press: Taylor Swift hasn’t given a substantive interview and access to a print publication for at least two years. For Drake, it’s been about a year (and a tumultuous one at that). Frank Ocean has all but disappeared (again).

What’s replaced it isn’t satisfying: either outright silence, or more often, unidirectional narratives offered through social media. Monologue, not dialogue. It threatens to upend the role of the celebrity press.

R.I.P, The Celebrity Profile, By Jon Caramanica at The New York Times



Most of all, there was her unforgettable catchphrase: Dickson, brushing the magnificent mass of her hair at her vanity table, then turns to the camera to incant, “Well, hello.” She offers the greeting three times in the video, including one time where it’s shouted across the cavernous expanse of her living room.

Throw in an earnest explanation of how to make a salad (“These are the different fruits that you can eat”), cameos by Dickson’s impassive pets, a gigantic and sensual oil portrait of Dickson’s face, and one instructional cutaway shot of sliced-banana-topped Raisin Bran Crunch, and it’s no wonder that Dickson’s glitzy Kabuki—so clearly an act of self-worship gussied up as self-help—became a mid-aughts Internet sensation.

Well, Hello: Thirty-One Years of Welcome to My Home by Darryn King at Vanity Fair



Making my way through Pride and Prejudice on Fire Island felt especially apt at the time: there are few places where the economic divides within the gay community are so plainly seen. Six-figured executive daddies and Ivy-League, startup proto-bros rubbing elbows and other body parts in hot tubs directly next door to my house, where 16 20-something gay freelancers, without salaries or inheritances, shared four bedrooms. I felt lucky to be there, but it wasn’t hard to put myself in the shoes of Elizabeth Bennet, sharing a modest estate with her parents and four sisters—the farce of being “poor” in 19th-century England. Though we weren’t the only queer boys straddling the (incredibly skewed) Brooklyn poverty line, trying to live out a lavish vacation-fantasy on the cheap, I think part of me loved the oddity of our setup and the misplaced sense of moral superiority it brought me.

Pride and Prejudice on Fire Island by Joel Kim Booster at Read It Forward

[Illustration Credit: Brian Taylor/The Ringer]

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