I love getting recommendations about things to watch, read, listen to and look at from my friends and the people I respect. There’s just so much content in the world (aka on the internet) these days, and it can get so overwhelming that rather than consuming anything worthwhile, we just end up staring at Instagram instead. This is why a little guidance is often helpful. So, even thought you didn’t ask, I’m offering myself as your internet guide for the day. (You’re welcome.) Below are five things that I’ve seen/listened to/read in the past week that either made me smile, made me smarter, or blew mind :)
1. Gore Vidal on 60 Minutes
My spirit animal Gore Vidal–the incomparable writer, essayist, playwright and critic–was the master of being highly intelligent, entertaining, funny and provocative all at the same time. If only everyone (or at least me) had those skillz! I recently watched a profile of Vidal from a 1975 episode of the TV show “60 Minutes.” The piece follows him to parties in Italy, on an American TV circuit, and sees him talking about everything from sex to politics to celebrity to the benefits of being a slut. It’s only 16 minutes long, and you can watch it HERE. (And if that’s not enough, there’s a full length documentary about him on Netflix now that I also recommend!)
2. Bret Easton Ellis talks with Rose McGowan
If you haven’t listened to the Bret Easton Ellis podcast, then you should, because it’s incredible. It’s predominantly Bret having conversations with interesting/indie filmmakers and artists about film and culture, and practically everything that comes out of Bret’s mouth makes my brain and heart flutter. (He also has a very sexy voice.) So many of the podcasts are good that I was having trouble choosing one to recommend, but last night I listened to his chat with the actress-turned-director Rose McGowan, and it was so interesting. Admittedly, I was not a huge fan of McGowan’s before listening to the podcast, but I’ve been converted. In their chat, the two largely discuss gender politics (both in film and in real life), dynamic female characters in film (and the lack thereof), the male gaze, feminism, and my fave film of late, Nymphomaniac. Listen to the podcast below.
3. Rebecca Solnit on “mansplaining”
By now you’ve probably heard the term “mansplaining”–meaning, when a man feels the need to explain something to a woman in a patronizing and condescending way, even when it’s clear that the woman knows more about the topic under discussion than the man. (We’ve all been there!) Well, the now famous essay that subsequently spawned the term mansplaining was written by the wonderful Rebecca Solnit, and it’s as hysterically funny as it is enlightening. Read it HERE.
4. High Maintenance
Is High Maintenance everyone’s favorite show? It’s mine! If you’ve been living under a rock, High Maintenance is a comedy web show about a weed dealer, and each episode is a hysterically precise character study of a different New York person, or group of people. Below is my favorite episode. It makes me laugh and cry, and is a total cute alert! (p.s. because of the show’s atypical format, it’s OK to not watch the episodes chronologically.)
5. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on why we should all be feminists
Ya know how in the Beyonce song “Flawless” there’s that part where she samples a woman talking about feminism, which starts with “We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller…” and ends with “Feminist: the person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes”? Well, that sample is taken from a Ted talk titled titled “We should all be feminists,” given by one of the most amazing women in the world, the renowned Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Above is her speech from which the song samples in its entirety. It’s illuminating, entertaining, funny and deeply personal. I really recommend that everyone watch this, especially boys–feminism is not a girl issue, it’s an everyone issue!