An interview with the blogger behind Hyperbole and a Half (and a new book of the same name) on narcissism, the Internet, and coping with depression:
I haven’t always had depression. I talked to a few of my friends who knew me when I was in high school, and it was sort of this tragic/hilarious thing to explain to them. They were like, “But you were so happy,” and I’d be like, “That person’s dead, I’m sorry.”
PUBLISHED: Nov. 14, 2013
LENGTH: 10 minutes (2590 words)
On jogging, recovery and cemeteries:
"The body is determined to let the mind know when enough is enough. And it doesn’t give up easily. The blister was followed by neck and back pain. Eczema began to stain my legs and a mysterious cold moved through my body, from head to chest to lungs and back. To assuage my disconcerted body, my doctors urged me to perform daily “low impact aerobics.” They tried to fool it with Xanax and Valium. This would make me relax and shrink the blister, they thought. Meds are okay, but aerobics? My ass. My daily trip to the cemetery would have to fulfill three things at once: Walking and jogging would strengthen my body and lower cortisol levels, and the army of tombstones would help me reconcile the heimlich with the unheimlich."
PUBLISHED: Oct. 8, 2013
LENGTH: 8 minutes (2173 words)
After reading the New York Times Magazine story on women who "opted out,"
Gay asks her mom about her own experience:
"Sometimes when people talk about women and the workforce, they say a woman cannot truly be equal to a man unless she has her own income. What do you think?
"Well. Equality. What a word. When we choose go outside in the world, when we come home, we’re still mommy. The second shift starts. Equality doesn’t exist, period, even when you share the chores. Some days it can be 70/30 and other days it is 30/70. I don’t think that’s what we should be fighting for.
"What should we be fighting for?
"Men participating more in the home, but it’s petty to say 50/50, because life doesn’t allow that."
PUBLISHED: Aug. 13, 2013
LENGTH: 10 minutes (2650 words)
This week's picks include the Washingtonian, Newsweek, Los Angeles Magazine, The Morning News, The Hairpin, fiction from Electric Literature and a guest pick by Elise Foley.
A look back the actor's career—and his shirtless ping-pong photos:
"Redford comes into the shop where homely Streisand works, and she’s all, 'Look who’s here, America the Beautiful,' and you’re all, YES, TRUER WORDS HAVE NEVER BEEN SAID. But then you get suckerpunched by how effectively this movie convinces you that Redford would fall for Streisand, with all her spunk and unruliness and radicalism. The essential message of this movie is that Hot Guys Like Brains and Sass. The secondary message is that Your Romance Will Then Be Plundered By Asshole Red Mongerers."
PUBLISHED: May 22, 2013
LENGTH: 15 minutes (3971 words)
A mother hires a call girl for her son:
My brother Danny lost his virginity at age 25. To a call girl named Monique. Hired by our mother.
My mother didn’t bother asking Danny for his permission before engaging Monique’s services. She didn’t ask my father to condone the transaction. Nor was she troubled by social mores or laws against solicitation. She deserves a Mother of the Year Award.
PUBLISHED: May 8, 2013
LENGTH: 7 minutes (1928 words)
The origins of one of Hollywood's earliest femme fatales:
"Theodosia Goodman grew up in Cincinnati, the child of middle-class Jewish immigrants. Her father was a tailor; her mother kept house. She went to high school, she went to two years of college. She was a middling actress with middling looks, age 30, stuck in the Yiddish theater circuit, with a bit role in the occasional film. She was wholly unremarkable — one of hundreds of women working toward the same end.
"And then, in 1915, totally out of nowhere, she became THE BIGGEST SEX SYMBOL IN THE WORLD. As the star of A Fool There Was, she embodied the cinematic 'vamp' — the evil, predatory woman who seduces men with her dark ways, sucks him dry, and leaves him for ruin. Her name was no longer Theodosia Goodman, but Theda Bara — an anagram, naturally, for 'ARAB DEATH.'"
PUBLISHED: Jan. 9, 2013
LENGTH: 13 minutes (3322 words)
A writer interviews her uncle, who worked as Cyndi Lauper's makeup artist:
"It was for a new singer and it was for an Italian TV show called Popcorn, which was a music show. So they rented a flat and I walk in the next morning, and there's this huge king-sized bed. And there's Lou Albano and these other wrestlers and Cyndi and her mom. And I'm like, 'Ugh, Jesus, what am I doing here? Who are these people?' And then they start playing the song, 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,' and I'm like, 'Ohhh, that's... it.' I just knew it was gonna be a hit. So I made myself indispensable. I mean, doting, putting her shoes on, everything. I really laid it on thick because I really wanted it. Two months before that, while I was still in school, I was watching MTV one night — which was just a few years old — and I thought that's what I really want to do. I was telling people — trying to get the word out, put out some feelers — and they were like 'That's impossible, it takes years.' And I wouldn't hear it. People that I knew knew other artists who were just getting labels or trying to get labels, so I just thought I'd start there. But then I got the call from Cyndi."
PUBLISHED: Nov. 5, 2012
LENGTH: 15 minutes (3935 words)