Let me be clear: there is nothing wrong with making your own food from scratch and designing your own clothes. But it’s an individual solution to a greater systemic problem, nothing more or less. When we opt-out of the greater society, whatever our reasons, we lose the power to challenge it effectively, which is something any splinter group from the Amish to the Shakers can testify to.
Always good to remember when you are thinking of opting out of any flawed cultural system, whether it’s the workforce or public schools or the electoral system, that carefree and chosen independence is a privilege, and as with all forms of privilege, there’s no point applauding people who choose to revel in it.
Besides the comments on proms and crushes and parents and school and #yolo, the most common theme on #followateen is people pointing out that #followateen is creepy. It’s a good point. Of course it’s creepy. It’s really creepy. If you haven’t yet noticed, Twitter is, itself, creepy. The language is creepy and the concept is creepy. The form is creepy and the content is creepy and the fact of all our relative habituation to it is very, very creepy.
The confusion of meanness with oppression is the root cause of why bigots feel that calling someone a “bigot” is as bad as calling someone a “tranny” or taking away their rights…Oppression is not about hurt feelings. It is about the rights and opportunities that are not afforded to you because you belong to a certain group of people. When you use a racist slur you imply that non-whiteness is a bad thing, and thus publicly reinforce a system that denies POC the rights and opportunities of white people.
Comments like Byers’ (“How did it become so difficult to call a woman good looking in public?”) belie a strange belief: that commenting on the appearance of a woman in public should be both easy and deserving of a positive response.
When I think about the “correspondence” I’ve generated over my life, I can sift it into a few embarrassing categories: adoring, inarticulate drivel to my boyfriend; unforgivably cruel jokes made in confidence to friends; whiney pleas unanswered by my parents; incensed threats to managing editors who owe me $300. Looking back, the number of non-humiliating e-mails I’ve sent over the course of my entire life could not exceed 30.
It makes no sense that you celebrate singledom after you’ve been coupled for years and are about to tie the knot. You should be having a last single hurrah right before you have the Talk with your partner about dating exclusively. Rituals would include the deletion of your OkCupid/Grindr profile and a slideshow of blurry cellphone photos of your wildest nights out. Friends could weepily bid farewell to the fun and relevant you, and prepare themselves for long brunches at which you drink too many mimosas and sigh and say, “I don’t know, like, I love him but we’re barely having sex anymore.
Ann Friedman winning the internet again in NY Mag.
Wholesome weekend activities in the sunshine, in lieu of reading: cleaning and fixing my bike; riding my bike; gardening; making scones; drinking beer in the sunshine; buying flowers; eating pie.
INTERVIEWER: What would you consider the best intellectual training for the would-be writer?
HEMINGWAY: Let’s say that he should go out and hang himself because he finds that writing well is impossibly difficult. Then he should be cut down without mercy and forced by his own self to write as well as he can for the rest of his life. At least he will have the story of the hanging to commence with.