1: WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE.
2: WHY ARE YOU AWESOME.
3: HOW CAN I GET KIDNAPPED.
If I have omitted question marks from this series of questions, it is only to demonstrate that I AM SERIOUS ABOUT THIS YOU GUYS.
Anyway! I think it is nice to point out when people are awesome, because in my experience such people tend to go through life making things more rocking for everyone whilst sometimes secretly thinking, “is this awesome enough? Have I reached my true awesome potential? I doubt it. Perhaps I am not awesome! Not at all!”
You’re wrong, awesome people. You are dead wrong. Here, I shall demonstrate, by posting several things about people of whom I am a fan. A fan… ON THE INTERNET!
Jacob A. Clifton writes about TV on the Internet. That is a very simple description of his career that in no way reflects the actual complexity and strangeness of his work. He might be of the most consistently surprising, audacious pop-culture critics working right now, and his work is worth tracking down even if you have no intention of watching the things he covers, which is a good thing for me in particular since our tastes (Gossip Girl, Battlestar Galactica, yes and yes; Farscape, really?) tend to be either perfectly on-point or wildly divergent: his work has less to do with recommending things than it does with subjecting them to rigorous, demanding analysis, which flies in the face of the received wisdom about what can or cannot be taken seriously, and which enumerates the many facets of a very specifically Cliftonian worldview. He has a different voice for every show he covers, but for accessible Clifton with lots of jokes you will maybe want to read his Gossip Girl stuff, although even that can go into weird (“Sent you a letter unto my home? To my wife, at the DUMBO loft where we make our primary residence? Where my children do even now bend and tremble with the extent of their mother’s whoredom?“) or mind-blowing (“we devalue, as a culture, those artifacts which are gendered specifically feminine“) places. Advanced students should look into his Battlestar Galactica recaps, which are, to be blunt, some of the weirdest things being published today. Weird in a totally rewarding way, mind you! He will, for example, introduce each segment of an admittedly sub-par episode with a quote from a Stephen Crane poem, or conclude a piece with a lengthy meditation concerning redemption, forgiveness, perfection, Jungian psychology and God, which is notable both for being true and beautiful (“I think you have to look in the grossest, sweatiest, scariest angriest places to tease out any piece of God at all… I believe that only in fearless self-examination can we find understanding of others, much less the capability of loving them… Our hate, and what enrages it, tell us where we’re small”) and for being included in a review of a show about killer robots from space. Not bad, considering that all anyone else on that site does is to recount the plots of the TV shows in question while adding a few jokes.
Jacob A. Clifton writes about TV on the Internet, but Mindy Kaling is actually on both the TV and the Internet, seeing as how she plays Kelly Kapoor on The Office and also maintains this totally awesome blog about shopping entitled Things That I’ve Bought That I Love. It was recently redesigned, and I do not like it! I fear change, you guys. However, you have got to respect and love the blog that introduced the Sunday Morning Fantasy to the world, like so:
These underwear play an important role in my Sunday Morning Fantasy #27 (most women I know ages 21-31 have several dozen Sunday Morning Fantasies. I have discovered an extremely vulnerable and weirdly creative side of most women I know, that plan, cast, and set design how our Sunday mornings look in our futures. Like, somehow if a photographer where to surprise me at my house Sunday morning, I am doing something completely cool and photographable).
Sunday Morning Fantasy #27 looks like this: Park Slope, Brooklyn. I am reading the Times Book Review and eating granola and fruit in these underwear and a tank top at my kitchen table with Pharell, my boyfriend.
These have all been really lengthy, so let’s just say: This Recording would not be even half of what it is without the tireless awesomeness of Molly Lambert. She is always original, never obvious, yet never obnoxious or contrarian just for the sake of it, either. That is a hard, hard line to walk, especially if you plan to be funny at all, and yet she does it. Go read what she writes now.
Then, there is Amanda Hess of The Sexist. If you have been reading this blog long enough, you know my deal with Amanda Hess of The Sexist, namely how she is who I want to be when I grow up and all, but I feel I would be remiss if I did not point out the fact that this piece is exquisite. Is it too much to ask that everything ever published (a) adhere to list format and (c) conclude with the phrase “vagina, baby?” I do not think it is! I think we all just have to TRY HARDER.** Let Amanda Hess of The Sexist lead the way!
**It could be a term of approval, or a cunning nom de plume (has vaginababy.blogspot.com been registered? If not, be aware that THIS DESCRIPTION FITS BASICALLY EVERYBODY, as in Macbeth) or even a c’est-la-vie-esque expression of life’s eternal mystery, as in “this list of links is pretty disorganized and weird. What criteria did you use to select it?” “I dunno. Vagina, baby.”