Mr. Simon Cocktail Bar – Udine, Italy
Kittens, are you feeling like today’s a good day to hide in a basement somewhere? Is sunlight and fresh air feeling over-rated to you – or perhaps more accurately, like weird, fantastical concepts that don’t have anything to do with your life at the moment? Us too. Pick a seat.
Today is THURSDAY. Hip, hip, hooray.
Once again, it feels like the world outside is on fire and your two humble hosts have run out of dance steps to keep you distracted. We haven’t; not really. There’s a full roster of posts in the pipeline and if we’re being honest, we’ll admit that we’re actually quite proud of what we’ve accomplished this year in terms of creating content under some of the worst circumstances of our blogging careers. Fourteen years into this gig and we still scroll through our front page every Friday evening and note with satisfaction, “We did that.” We think that’s the trick to getting through times like these. Focus on the work when you can and pat yourself on the back as much as possible for what you’ve accomplished – even if the things you accomplished feel minor or might seem silly to others. You’ve got this. We’ve all got this as long as we keep looking for ways to support each other.
Sorry! Got all kumbaya on your asses there for a second! We promise we’ll say something bitchy to make up for it soon. In the mean time, please enjoy the farm-to-table selections on our Menu of Daily Distractions:
This Indigenous Artist Designs Traditional Clothes for a Virtual World
This year, the Santa Fe Indian Market went virtual. The annual event typically sees Indigenous artists from across North America gather in New Mexico to sell their authentic works across hundreds of booths. While this summer’s lineup looked different, it was still a real place for discovery. The schedule, spread out across the month of August, included everything from a shoppable online marketplace, where consumers could find authentic Indigenous-made goods, to a virtual fashion show that showcased the works of seven Indigenous designers, including veteran Diné designer Orlando Dugi.
RuPaul’s Longtime Collaborator, Zaldy, Talks His Emmy-Nominated Creations
Every time RuPaul sashays down the runway on his hit show RuPaul’s Drag Race, you simply can’t take your eyes off the iconic drag queen. Twelve seasons in, RuPaul’s catwalk fashions are still as fabulous and thrilling to watch as ever—there’s a reason Ru is known as the fairy drag mother. The dazzling creations Ru has worn have been made by his longtime collaborator, Zaldy—a three-time Emmy-winning designer who has been working with him for nearly three decades. “We met through New York nightlife,” says Zaldy. “I was also a drag queen.” One of the first projects he worked on with Ru was dressing him for the cover of his album, Supermodel of the World, in 1993.
Central Park’s First Statues of Real-Life Women Honors Suffragettes
But the subjects chosen aren’t without controversy.
Up until recently, Central Park had 22 statues of historical figures, none of which were women. Sure, there was a statue of Mother Goose, and the famous Alice in Wonderland bronze, but no real-life women are commemorated within the park.
But that all about changed on August 26.
The Movement Against Psychiatry
The contentious debate of whether to fix—or completely overthrow—the way we treat mental illness.
One difficulty in talking about anti-psychiatry is the vagueness of the term. Many don’t like to be described as anti-psychiatrists, saying that it’s a pejorative, a dismissive insult. The phrase “critical psychiatry” has emerged as an alternative—and sometimes a euphemism—but the terms denote real differences in overall philosophy. Anti-psychiatry can be considered abolitionist: It is a movement of people who feel that psychiatry is harmful and needs to be eradicated, and are against psychiatric diagnoses and medication as well as involuntary treatment. Critical psychiatry is more of a reformist movement, attempting to address psychiatry’s issues while maintaining some semblance of its infrastructure.
How Wagner Shaped Hollywood
A colorful—and often shady—array of Wagner enthusiasts have appeared onscreen, from the woebegone lovers of Robert Siodmak’s noir “Christmas Holiday” to the diabolical android of Ridley Scott’s “Alien: Covenant.” The composer himself is portrayed in more than a dozen movies, including Tony Palmer’s extravagant, eight-hour 1983 bio-pic, starring Richard Burton. But the Wagnerization of film goes deeper than that. Cinema’s integration of image, word, and music promised a fulfillment of the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk, or “total work of art,” which Wagner propagated at one stage of his career. His informal system of assigning leitmotifs to characters and themes became a defining trait of film scores. And Hollywood has drawn repeatedly from Wagner’s gallery of mythic archetypes: his gods, heroes, sorcerers, and questers. This contradictory swirl of associations mirrors the composer’s fractured legacy: on the one hand, as a theatrical visionary who created works of Shakespearean breadth and depth; on the other, as a vicious anti-Semite who became a cultural totem for Hitler. Like operagoers across the generations, filmmakers have had trouble deciding whether Wagner is an inexhaustible store of wonder or a bottomless well of hate. But that uncertainty also mirrors the film industry’s own ambiguous role as an incubator of heroic fantasies, which can serve a wide range of political ends.
“Oh F***, I’ve Forgotten How to Act”: Kate Winslet, Back in the Awards Race With Same-Sex Romance ‘Ammonite,’ on Getting Back to Work
The perennial contender on the pleasures of a quarantined awards season, the pride that came from choreographing her own sex scenes with Saoirse Ronan, and why a virtual Toronto Film Festival isn’t the end of the world: “I can be barefoot and I don’t have to put a dress on. It’s awesome.”
“Saoirse and I choreographed the scene ourselves,” Winslet explains of the most explicit one. “It’s definitely not like eating a sandwich. I just think Saoirse and I, we just felt really safe. Francis was naturally very nervous. And I just said to him, ‘Listen, let us work it out.’ And we did. ‘We’ll start here. We’ll do this with the kissing, boobs, you go down there, then you do this, then you climb up here.’ I mean, we marked out the beats of the scene so that we were anchored in something that just supported the narrative. I felt the proudest I’ve ever felt doing a love scene on Ammonite. And I felt by far the least self-conscious.”
Elizabeth Olsen on How the Produce in Her Garden Reflected Her Varying Emotions During the Pandemic
The actress reveals the ups and downs of tending to her first vegetable garden, designed by Heather Trilling: “Harvesting my own produce was a lifelong dream.”
Even though I never grew up with a garden, growing and harvesting my own produce was a lifelong dream of mine. When I was younger, I remember a story someone told me after visiting their grandparents in Louisiana for summer break. They spoke about eating the sweetest tomato like you would an apple, and that it was the greatest tomato they had ever had. Since hearing about that tomato, I think I have always wanted to create a similar experience for myself and the people I love.
‘Schitt’s Creek’: Catherine O’Hara Explains Moira Roses’s Best Looks
O’Hara and her brilliant “Schitt’s Creek” creative team remember the inspiration behind Moira’s most outrageously committed looks.
Catherine O’Hara’s Schitt’s Creek character Moira Rose may not have given much of herself as a matriarch at the start of the series, but as a self-invented style icon, she gave and gave and gave—canonizing herself, one wig at a time, as the Mother Teresa of TV Looks. O’Hara has said that Moira’s sartorial confidence, exacting style, and omnipresent sense of occasion was inspired by Daphne Guinness, the theatrically costumed heiress and McQueen muse.
[Photo Credit: theurbanrealist.com]