The Accidents of Appearance

If you want to quit worrying about your looks, there are worse places to be than the Catholic Church. That’s a broad statement — probably overbroad, and probably over-positive. Naomi Wolf once saluted Islamic dress as a liberator of women from the “intrusive, commodifying, basely sexualising Western gaze,” and from the tyranny of mass-media beauty [Read More...]

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Aging and Single, Self-Reproachful and Relieved

You know you’re in extremis as far as marriageability goes when you find yourself composing sonnets to the memories of women you met and knew — against your own wishes, exclusively — through social media: The first “Like” after each posting is mine; A blogger self-promotion makes or breaks. Far more than talent, moxie’s what [Read More...]

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The Sound of Sweet Idiocy

Kvetched Emily Dickinson: There’s a certain slant of light, On winter afternoons, That oppresses, like the weight Of cathedral tunes. Well, duh. Afternoon winter light is supposed to be depressing, reminiscent of death and — so to speak — all that sort of rot. It’s only when the sound of “The Sound of Music” can [Read More...]

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