And so the great task continues: clear away the accumulated drifts of fascinating - nay, EXCELLENT - links I have to share with you, in a frenzy of enthusiasm. Here you are, a mix of new and classic:
- Do you read Dear Sugar? I think Sugar's officially taken over from Carolyn Hax and Dan Savage as my favorite "agony aunt," although there's room enough in my heart for all three. Truth be told, I did enjoy this recent exchange from Judith Martin. It's a whole new (glorious) world, people.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Can my 15-year-old granddaughter wear a short cocktail dress to a black-tie wedding?
GENTLE READER: Can you stop her?
- I covet this modernist bird feeder, sleek and lovely. Also: Elevenfiftyfour's a Canadian company, which means I don't have to grapple with customs brokers. Rare online shopping win for the True North Strong and Free (Shipping)!
- Ralph Fiennes reads Voldemort erotic fanfic in the plummiest possible tones.
- On an entirely unrelated note, I swear, if you are in Scotland (or perhaps elsewhere in the UK?) you can listen to Alan Cummings - may his brilliance know no bounds - read Robert Burns's "Cock Up Your Beaver." Alas, I can't, being in national exile from the BBC.
- I'm giving this to all my first-year students: How to Email a Professor. Because I'll never forget the time (years ago) a student greeted me in a semester's worth of emails as "Hey Mr. Ariel!". (Nothing about that is correct, but in her defense, she'd been attending the wrong class all term.)
- Baltimore feminists devise a Victoria's Secret line that is focused on consent. Victoria's Secret is not amused.
- An alpha female from Yellowstone's wolf population called 832F was killed by hunters. She was tremendous popular among visitors to Yellowstone, and researchers were tracking her movements when she was shot outside the confines of the park. I know my feeling of sadness about this is colored by a slightly suspect anthropomorphizing of wolves, but I'm not sure how to reel that narrative back in, mentally.
- On the visual dimension of the (type)written word: the pictorial typewriter.
- If you have an interest in gender, questions about trans and cis terminology, or a deep and growing discomfort with the rhetoric of binarism, check out Not Your Mom's Trans 101. Among the many fascinating insights: "The fallacies of binding identity to bodies, which are fragile, changeable things, subject to injury, mutilation, maiming, decay and ultimate destruction, should by now be clear."
- A clock that rolls meditatively around your desk and refuses to give you exact times. I need it. Ok, need might be too strong a word.
- New York theatre is youthful, and it is vibrant. I've ordered quite a few new plays based on this list.
- Investigators are considering exhuming In Cold Blood's Perry and Dick to see if there is DNA evidence that links them to the midcentury murder of a Florida family. A murder that Truman Capote has them discussing contemplatively in his true-crime masterpiece.
- The CW has just bought its second attempt at a Hunger Games-style reality series. It's almost like they haven't actually read the books.
- Comics auteur Chris Ware had a reading epiphany this year, and it was Laura Ingalls Wilder.
- Last, but not least, Archivedbook: because as every year comes to a close, I wish I could print the capsule of my compiled Facebook interactions and preserve it for posterity. Because I'm a theatrical solipsist. Because I wish I had encapsulated lives like this for each of my unknown ancestors. Because we're no longer an epistolary society, but that doesn't mean we don't leave traces.