Last night was Mad Men‘s season finale. Celebrate by reading a slideshow I wrote for Refinery29 about everyone’s favorite modern lady, Megan Draper.
Only five days into June and I’m already compiling my summer play list. So far, it’s Azealia Banks’ “1991” EP played 20 times a day.
Here’s what I’ve been up to lately:
– My Q&A with L.A. punk icon Alice Bag will hit newsstands soon in the Fame + Fortune issue of Bitch Magazine. The table of contents for the issue is already online. Alice Bag opens up about the process of writing her memoir Violence Girl, her identity as a woman of color punk rocker, and her experiences with domestic violence.
– Recently, members of the collective Permanent Wave discussed their favorite films starring women of color through their LISTSERV. I compiled the list and posted it on Permanent Wave’s blog. Get busy Netflixing!
– Next month, my writing will be featured in Essence Magazine! More details will be released once the issue is out.
– Last night I had a great time at Akashic Book’s Noir Night. Many of the talented editors and writers of the noir series were in attendance. So were yummy snacks.
Above is a cell from Daniel Clowes’ strip Art School Confidential . A very funny strip from a very funny and talented cartoonist. Daniel Clowes’ work inspired me to write this, a slideshow of rising cartoonists who share some qualities that have made him so successful. Hope you enjoy the read and pick up some of these cartoonists’ books.
Last week I went to the Whitney and I saw Sepulcher. It was the most moving piece for me in the museum. It summed up how I presently feel about my artistic expression—I’m bored with it.
In this work, Matthew Day Jackson recognizes that he has outgrown the artistic inspirations of his youth. The sail of the viking ship is constructed from ’80s and ’90s punk rock t-shirts. Inside of the boat are symbols of cliché rebel youth culture: studded accessories, Birkenstocks, etc. Instead of mourning his youth, he creates a sea burial to honor it. He understands that growing older as an artist does not mean defeat. It means to take risks, expand one’s palette with new inspirations, and create something which speaks to the present. Jackson did this in his real life as an artist by abandoning painting and focusing on wood work.
Like Jackson, I have realized that I’ve outgrown the culture that I once was so eager to immerse myself in. I love punk rock but I’m curious about what else I could love. Could it be symphony music? I feel like that’s the direction I’m heading in. I want to learn other ways I can make art too, instead of relying on words to express all of my emotions. Maybe I could improve my drawing skills or become a sculptor? It’s a very exciting time to be alive.
Recently, I’ve been busy with a lot of amazing projects. Here’s a list of things I’ve done lately and work I’ll be starting soon.
– Copy edited and proofread a Jamaican baker’s memoir. After the job, I ate savory patties, coconut cake, and other yummy treats at the baker’s various franchises.
– Interviewed L.A. punk rock icon Alice Bag about her new memoir Violence Girl. A great read that covers much more than her stint with The Bags.
– Attended The Athena Film Festival, a festival which featured films about women and leadership. A highlight from the festival was the documentary Gloria: In Her Own Words. The film documented the life of the legendary journalist and activist Gloria Steinem and was followed by an insightful Q&A between Steinem and writer Amy Richards. Afterwards, I had the pleasure of speaking with Steinem which is something I’ll never forget.
– On March 14, I will be speaking in a panel at Nassau Community College about feminism and how it relates to the lives of young women today. Joining me on the panel will be fellow members of the collective Permanent Wave, including its founder Amy Klein.
– In my spare time, I’ve been building up the reference section of my personal library. I’ve been reading several books on writing and editing including The Copyeditor’s Handbook, The Well-Fed Writer, and an array of style guides. Just for fun, I’ve started reading the graphic novel Big Questions.
Recently, my friend gave me a signed copy of John Waters Interviews, a new collection of interviews showcasing the man’s wit, humor, and surprising sense of morality. So far it’s a fantastic, fun read.
I’ve been a John Waters fan since the first time I saw Hairspray. I can’t pinpoint the exact age I saw it but I was in elementary school. I was absolutely enamored by it. Something about its style — the vivid colors, the hairstyles, dancing, and humor — resonated with me in a way that I couldn’t identify and express as a young child. As I got older, I “got it”. What I loved about that film, and eventually his entire catalog, was its infatuation with trash culture and “throwaway people.” Waters puts the hometown rebels, the true eccentrics, on a pedestal. He shows you that you can be a fucking weirdo and an inspiring human being at the same time. The prerequisites, of course, are a good sense of personal style and a loud mouth. I’d like to think I’ve acquired both thanks to the teachings of John Waters.
Here’s the trailer to my favorite John Waters’ movie Female Trouble:
June is LGBTQ Pride Month and to celebrate I’m sharing music videos featuring some of my favorite LGBTQ musicians. Enjoy!
Christopher Owens (lead singer of Girls)