It’s Called AltFem, Not CtrlFem: An Eccentric Report

Yesterday I went to the launch of AltFem, a new magazine from the people who brought you AltMuslimah and AltCatholicah, which explores the intersection of feminism and what I suppose we must call "traditional" faith. It was a religiously diverse event--lots of headscarves; several babies! I spoke on the first panel, about forging a more inclusive feminism. I'm going to do at least one more post inspired by the event, which will be on an underexplored aspect of Mary's role as model of motherhood, … [Read more...]

You Should Watch “The Cosmopolitans”

for real!:The Cosmopolitans, Whit Stillman’s new project about American expats in Paris, is several different kinds of experiment: It’s Stillman's first foray into television. It’s a return to the slightly more naturalistic style of earlier movies like Metropolitan, rather than the more stylized approach of 2011’s wise and winsome Damsels in Distress. And it's a commercial experiment, since Amazon is offering the pilot for free; the pilot’s ratings will decide whether Amazon picks up the whol … [Read more...]

“This Is Not My Beautiful City”: I review “Belleville”

for AmCon: A young American expatriate in Paris comes home one afternoon to find her husband, a doctor working on pediatric AIDS for Doctors Without Borders, unexpectedly home in the middle of the day and watching porn. This setup, which could lead to a farce or a realistic domestic drama, instead gets the suspense-flick treatment in Amy Herzog’s tense and thought-provoking “Belleville” (at D.C.’s Studio Theatre through October 12).I’ve seen three Herzog plays so far (and reviewed “4000 Mile … [Read more...]

The Only Political Guide You Will Ever Need

MAD Magazine's "Guide to Political Types." From the '70s. Via Jesse Walker. … [Read more...]

“United Sweets of America”: Slate

makes an important contribution to national comity:Alabama Lane cake Also known as Alabama Lane cake, Lane cake is one of those boozy, eggy, dried-fruit-filled confections we don’t eat enough of these days. Invented by Emma Rylander Lane in the 1890s, a Lane cake is a sponge cake layered with a raisin-bourbon filling and frosted with a marshmallow-y “boiled white frosting.” Lane cake is also to Harper Lee what the madeleine is to Marcel Proust: The baked good makes several appearances in th … [Read more...]

Toni Basil Sings “Mickey” in Spanish

YES THIS IS REALYou're welcome. Via Shrill Cosby. … [Read more...]

I Review Christopher Beha’s New Novel of Reality-TV Redemption

for AmCon: Christopher Beha’s Arts & Entertainments is built around a classic morality-tale structure: the devil’s bargain, the spiraling consequences, the choice between a good reputation and a good conscience.Eddie Hartley is an acting teacher of the “those who can’t do” type, whose marriage is being ground down by his wife Susan’s longing for the children they can’t conceive on their own. To pay for another round of IVF treatments, Hartley sells a sex tape from his youthful relationsh … [Read more...]


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