Sometimes when freedom is yours for the taking, you still want permission to take it.
October 7, 2015
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?
May 20, 2015
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.
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.
Playing white is like when animals play dead. The performance is meant to trick your predators into thinking you’re not prey.
November 26, 2014
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.
February 7, 2014
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.
February 6, 2014
Most of the films involve a certain triangulation of gender, justice, and moral catastrophe, so there’s a unity of theme.
December 9, 2013
Today the fifth n+1 small book, No Regrets: Three Discussions, ships from our printer in Hanover, PA, to a bookstore near you. Support n+1 by ordering the book from our store.
Sometimes she sold things. Sometimes she didn’t.
May 8, 2013
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.
September 26, 2012
Women, Firestone knew, had to take risks to find liberation, even if it meant faltering in their first attempts.