There’s no hard and fast rule that says that bad things can’t happen on a weekend. But in the same way we don’t dispute that most babies are born at night, or that most people named Alan are a bit odd, or that your luggage will never, ever be the first off the carousel after a long flight, we all know that most good things happen on Fridays, Saturdays and glorious Sunday afternoons.
The weekend is here people, here are a few things to help you get into it.
1. This insanely good, mega-massive summer track by the Weeknd “Can’t Feel My Face”. It’s got all the good bits of a classic Michael Jackson hit, with all the modern musical extras we’ve come to expect. There’s a huge trend for new-music-sounding-like-old-music which I am absolutely here for. This one is a great example and a surprising (but not unwelcome) departure from the Weeknd’s usual 200 minute long sexy-time odysseys.
2. This opportunity for endless belly-laughs, by way of (arguably) the best news story to ever have come out of Spokane, Washington. President of local NAACP chapter, Rachel Dolezal has been outed today as being whiter than snow by her own mother.
But speaking to a local paper, the Couer d’Alene Press, on Thursday, Dolezal’s mother Ruthanne said the family’s ancestry was Czech, Swedish, German with “faint traces” of Native American. “It is very disturbing that she has become so dishonest,” she said of her daughter.
Local officials have reportedly opened an inquiry to determine if any policies have been violated.
The Spokesman-Review, another local paper, said Dolezal would not answer questions about her race and ethnicity Thursday, but instead told the paper, “We’re all from the African continent.”
If you have ever wondered why Twitter even exists, the answer is for moments like this. Please go check out the #RachelDolezal hashtag on Twitter. It will make you wet your pants. Oh and doing what Dolezal did is very different from being a transsexual, guys no matter what the New York Times tries to tell you.
3. This magical piece on adventure, rootlessness and hiking that left me full of awe and longing.
Some people tell me I’m brave for doing what I do, for living a transient life. For having no savings, for working seasonal jobs and walking through the wilderness for months at a time. But maybe it isn’t bravery, but a sort of cowardice that keeps us out here. Because if you could find happiness in a more regular sort of life — in committed relationships, in sleeping in the same bed each night, in having children — why would you give that up? If you could be growing a garden, or picking the perfect paint colors, or learning carpentry. If you could find joy in investing in the place where you were planted.
But I can’t and so I’m here, living out of my backpack. Because this is what feels like life, and all those other things feel like death, or at the very best a sort of suspended place between life and death.
4. This outstanding conversation between literary giants Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro on stories, genres, literary snobbery, and the renewed interest in nurturing imagination. Excellent stuff all the way through but this is a great excerpt (here, it’s Ishiguro talking) to toss in the face of any literary snobs you may know:
There’s always been that aspect to books. I’ve been very aware that is part of why some people want to read my work: they think it’s prestigious to be seen to be holding a book by a literary author in their hand. If they are trying to make their way up the class ladder, it’s not enough just to make a lot of money: you’ve also got to be able to converse well about culture, read certain kinds of authors and go to certain kinds of plays. I’m always very uneasy about that.
5. This glorious essay on sexism and the dreary, tedious resilience of the nonsense idea that a woman’s worth is all tied up in how many men want to do her, or as this writer puts it, her ability to Catch A Dick. I think it’s a particularly good read for people who still (HOW HOW HOW) don’t really get what feminism is about and/or who think the more radical aspects of feminism i.e. the total rejection of patriarchy are baffling and unnecessary. (Note: I myself, proud feminist, often find rad-fem positions uncomfortable to adopt or relate to.)
Knowing that this game is unwinnable makes me want feminism the way we’re supposed to want sex: Bad and hard and urgently. It makes me long for a world in which my work and my worth and my personhood can’t be reduced to a region of flesh and who wants to touch it.
6. Finally, this photo of Serena Williams (who is also our featured image this week). Why? Because she is better than you. She is better than me. She is better than all of us put together and multiplied, and that is entirely okay.