Dayna Tortorici

All articles by this author

You're the Real Job Creator

You're the Real Job Creator

An interview with Stephanie Kelton

It is absolutely true that states, municipalities, and local governments depend on tax revenue in order to fund themselves. It is absolutely untrue that the federal government of the United States depends on tax revenue to fund itself. The United States government is the issuer of our currency—the US dollar. It has to spend dollars before the rest of us can get any. Households, local governments, private businesses, state governments—they are all users of the dollar. They have to get dollars in order to spend them. That’s the big difference.

While the Iron Is Hot

While the Iron Is Hot

The case for the Women’s Strike.

This is what is meant by the phrase “the feminization of labor”: not simply that men are handed more jobs that seem effeminate in nature (menial, slogging work like data-entry or cleaning), but that men are treated poorly as workers—that is, like women. The more people find themselves indirectly employed, for instance by tech companies and temp agencies, the more they can learn from the women’s labor movements of the past, in sectors once believed to be “unorganizable” such as domestic work. In degrading women’s labor, we degrade all labor.

A Wedding From Hell

A Wedding From Hell

His promises? To end crime. To tell no lies. To provide fast relief, like a pack of Rolaids.

He emerged to the sound of swelling strings: two thumbs up. A closed-mouth smile, an open-mouthed smile, eyebrows wagging, voicelessly mouthing the words thank you—so much worse when not spoken aloud, somehow, less of a thank you than an I know.

Good TV

Good TV

“Can I binge watch it later?” I joked last fall, knowing the answer was no.

Election TV, like a dream, is the product of condensation and substitution, a stylistic mishmash that the RNC produces in miniature: it’s The O’Reilly Factor and Shark Tank and The Apprentice and a televangelist show and The Hills (with Ivanka as Whitney Port) rolled into one conservative revue.

Theater Diary

Theater Diary

On John, Judy, and Empire Travel Agency

Will the actor driving this car, talking to another actor via Bluetooth, turn too fast and hit a jogger? Is that man on the street corner in the play? Are these people exercising under FDR drive in the play? Is that horrible smell in the play? Am I in the play?

Los Angeles Plays Itself

Los Angeles Plays Itself

Psychologically, there are two L.A.’s. One is where Naomi Watts gets to be the sunny aspiring actress Betty and have beautiful teeth and a gorgeous lesbian relationship with an amnesiac Laura Harring. The other is where Naomi Watts is Diane, with fucked-up teeth, an unrequited romantic obsession, and a bullet in her head. They’re both the same movie, and none of it makes any sense. But it says something about how the city sees itself: things are one way, or suddenly another.

Those Like Us

Those Like Us

On Elena Ferrante

I confess that this anecdote and its contents — the theory of the “symbolic mother,” the concept of a “female symbolic,” the school of difference feminism (unfashionable in egalitarian America), and écriture féminine in the French tradition — made no sense to me until I read Ferrante. Not that it’s so crystalline now: a convenient difficulty of difference feminism, for anyone asked to explain it, is its insistence on being inexplicable in legible (“male”) terms. But Ferrante’s novels animate these ideas with a generous clarity.

Hands Up

Hands Up

A roundtable on police brutality

The events of the past few days weighed heavily on our minds as we assembled the final transcript below. The relative calm and humor of our conversation feels slightly dissonant with the anger and sadness we feel now. We chose to present it precisely because of this dissonance. Across the country, regular people have taken to the streets to say that we’ve had enough. We say the same. The following roundtable is the first of several we plan to publish, with the hope of continuing a dialogue we believe is vital to social accountability.

In the Habit

In the Habit

Living itself is vengeance. But the fantasy of the gun is one of finality. No more explaining: Bang. One sees the appeal.

Where her friend’s backtalk nips unwanted advances in the bud, Thana’s silence reads to the men around her as an invitation. Eventually, she starts carrying the gun. She hacks Rapist 2, still stashed in her bathtub, into pieces, dumping trash bags full of his remains around the city two at a time. When one sleazy guy chases after her—Hey lady! You forgot your bag!—she panics and shoots him. Her muteness offers a good enough explanation for why she’s a perfect shot: she’s a cowboy.

Fedora

Fedora

The single woman wears a fedora to say, I want a man who is like a woman in a hat.

The fedora is not Monica Lewinsky’s sex-guerrilla beret made sweet with a bow, taking no prisoners with an infantile feminine twist. Nor is it Mary Tyler Moore throwing her beret to the sky—You’re gonna make it after all. We are not sure whether we’re going to make it, in a fedora.

You're the Real Job Creator

You're the Real Job Creator

An interview with Stephanie Kelton

It is absolutely true that states, municipalities, and local governments depend on tax revenue in order to fund themselves. It is absolutely untrue that the federal government of the United States depends on tax revenue to fund itself. The United States government is the issuer of our currency—the US dollar. It has to spend dollars before the rest of us can get any. Households, local governments, private businesses, state governments—they are all users of the dollar. They have to get dollars in order to spend them. That’s the big difference.

While the Iron Is Hot

While the Iron Is Hot

The case for the Women’s Strike.

This is what is meant by the phrase “the feminization of labor”: not simply that men are handed more jobs that seem effeminate in nature (menial, slogging work like data-entry or cleaning), but that men are treated poorly as workers—that is, like women. The more people find themselves indirectly employed, for instance by tech companies and temp agencies, the more they can learn from the women’s labor movements of the past, in sectors once believed to be “unorganizable” such as domestic work. In degrading women’s labor, we degrade all labor.

A Wedding From Hell

A Wedding From Hell

His promises? To end crime. To tell no lies. To provide fast relief, like a pack of Rolaids.

He emerged to the sound of swelling strings: two thumbs up. A closed-mouth smile, an open-mouthed smile, eyebrows wagging, voicelessly mouthing the words thank you—so much worse when not spoken aloud, somehow, less of a thank you than an I know.

Good TV

Good TV

“Can I binge watch it later?” I joked last fall, knowing the answer was no.

Election TV, like a dream, is the product of condensation and substitution, a stylistic mishmash that the RNC produces in miniature: it’s The O’Reilly Factor and Shark Tank and The Apprentice and a televangelist show and The Hills (with Ivanka as Whitney Port) rolled into one conservative revue.

Theater Diary

Theater Diary

On John, Judy, and Empire Travel Agency

Will the actor driving this car, talking to another actor via Bluetooth, turn too fast and hit a jogger? Is that man on the street corner in the play? Are these people exercising under FDR drive in the play? Is that horrible smell in the play? Am I in the play?

Los Angeles Plays Itself

Los Angeles Plays Itself

Psychologically, there are two L.A.’s. One is where Naomi Watts gets to be the sunny aspiring actress Betty and have beautiful teeth and a gorgeous lesbian relationship with an amnesiac Laura Harring. The other is where Naomi Watts is Diane, with fucked-up teeth, an unrequited romantic obsession, and a bullet in her head. They’re both the same movie, and none of it makes any sense. But it says something about how the city sees itself: things are one way, or suddenly another.

Those Like Us

Those Like Us

On Elena Ferrante

I confess that this anecdote and its contents — the theory of the “symbolic mother,” the concept of a “female symbolic,” the school of difference feminism (unfashionable in egalitarian America), and écriture féminine in the French tradition — made no sense to me until I read Ferrante. Not that it’s so crystalline now: a convenient difficulty of difference feminism, for anyone asked to explain it, is its insistence on being inexplicable in legible (“male”) terms. But Ferrante’s novels animate these ideas with a generous clarity.