Obseshes - Feminist Fatigue
Oooooh la la, you guys, it’s Nike Sky High City Pack “Tokyo” Dunks release month! I put it on my iCal. How are you? How is your heart? Can I hold your teacup face in my hands, just for a second, or a second too long? Let’s make this all about feelings, OK? Or mostly, anyway. I’m Pre-Monster-Screaming or whatever that’s called.
I mean, aaaaaahhhh. This girl! I like when she hops around in her sports bra in that movie I haven’t seen yet. Except, as my fashion-professional bestie pointed out, she was wearing an actual wedding dress to the Oscars which is, at first pass, “Whoah/gross” but one beat later is maaaaaybe who-gives-a-shit-ish and cool? I am still waiting for a Juliette Lewis/Bjork/Amanda de Cadenet-and-Courtney Love-in-1995 figure to arrive on the red carpet (now actually a more TV-appropriate, “carbohydrate, sequined-jumpsuit, young-girls-in-white-cotton-panties, waking-up-in-a-pool-of-your-own-vomit, bloated-purple-dead-on-a-toilet phase”-purple-red-carpet) with a fashion-commentary-stakes-defying dress and some baditude, but in the meantime, I’m down with this girl. OK, so this isn’t about feelings. (Also, that’s from Wayne’s World, of course.)
Turns out I was right about necks, at least according to my recent shoppings. See you soon, transition toward wide and densely fabricated necklines! This isn’t about feelings either.
GIRL NEWS: FEMINIST FATIGUE
This is, though. To square away an important through-line of current feminist discussion, which is a strawberry-sweet way of saying “internet dry-heaving”: feminist fatigue, the kind of philosophical sleepiness that sweeps through me/you/everyone when there is too much to say no to (covered by Lindy West at Jezebel andJessica Valenti at the Nation and by other women in other places that I didn’t see/can’t care about because ZzzQuil) is something I feel, have felt, for years and years, in waves. Not nice warm ocean waves like in Florida but, like, The French Lieutenant’s Woman waves.
Kate Carraway’s Obseshes
In the hierarchy of meat, chicken dekes in and out of position in this counterintuitive and culturally unresolved way. Like, everyone wants to give you chicken in everything all the time; it is the basis for every dumb meal at a restaurant; it is what you are supposed to know how to make, I guess, but chicken is also the grossest and full of gristly knobs and the skin and what I think of as pinkish diseaseyness. How is it that on the road from queasy vegetarian to blood, chicken is so close to the beginning? I feel like a rare steak is easier to make sense of than a fucking leg of something.
SELF-CARE / SELF-CRUELTY:
I wrote a thing about “self-care” for a magazine and then started doing it all the time. (My version is refusing to listen to my friends talk about their crushes unless they are in a relationship or life context that supports having crushes, and also I now refuse to come within 20 feet of boys who are hunkered down at Fort Asshole even if it’s fun there.) It felt amazing when I was doing self-care “at” people, removing myself, creating boundaries, and thinking of a less corny way to be like “I’m creating boundaries,” and stuff like that.
Unfortunately, a lot of the doing of self-care “at” yourself can bend backward like a summer-time backyard gymnastics performance and turn into the most vicious kind of self-hatred, which, in action, I’m calling “self-cruelty.” An example: My problem with self-care is feeling as though I don’t, in a macro sense, actually deserve it, because my profession and workday is already devoted to thinking about myself and my ideas and my feelings, and the closest I come to having any limitations on my workday freedom is, like, too many text messages, or planning my coffee schedule poorly, or how starfish formation feels better than sitting up, even though in a micro work sense I experience a lot of total fucking bullshit. So being all “Unnnnngh” about work and being like “Now I will ‘self-care’ and think about sunsets” becomes this straight, dirt road lined with mean witches that leads to exponential, counterproductive self-cruelty. Working at home makes you so weird.
Why do guys make plans within two texts and a couple of hours and girls make plans with 30 emails and several weeks and two cancellations? Boys are like this, and girls are like this. Boys are dogs, and girls are cats.
Obseshes: Let’s All Stop Complaining About High School
“Peaked in high school” is a sound concept: a lot of people do. (A lot, a lot, a lot.) The adult lives of many high school mob bosses are just sad as all fuck, not sad like “I’m judging you for your social affiliations and entertainment choices” sad, because that’s mean, but sad like “You seem sad.” I mean, by now “high school” is more of a myth-factory (in fact, the most successful and productive myth-factory ever) than a singular institution, so maybe this is beside the point, but I’ve been hearing this party line for WEEKS which I blame on various articles about how school is jail for children and how you can never escape your high school self and how people who “peaked in high school” are not allowed to be cool as adults and let’s just HOLD THE PHONE A MINUTE. I loved high school. I was good at everything about it except for acting normal (and I plugged all my anxieties into stupid tattoo ideas and the kind of happenstansical afternoon drug use, the sticky-gross time-wastedness of which would give me three consecutive coronaries now, so……….) but STILL I understood how it worked and had a lot of friends and was “successful” at it and consider it to be an important foundation for learning how to be around people and have relationships and manage emotions and egos. Being too/very good at the “life” of high school indicates post-college loserishness, I guess, but it doesn’t necessitate post-college loserishnes—correlation is not causation—and this is an objective fact that seems to have been lost on whatever version of hive-mind is currently populating my internet, one that wants so badly to, what, find a direct and appealing narrative line from one era of their life to another? Let’s get a new thing to be weirdly identity-proud of (OR NOT AT ALL?) because “nerd” and “outcast” are bbbbnnnnnnooorrrzzzzzzz.
Kate Carraway’s Obseshes - Obseshes ≠ Endorsements
My actual obsesh this week was rolling out of bed and onto the hard floor before the clock striked (Stroked? Struck? Struck!) six, because I was bizzzeeeee and sick and am doing this thing where I am trying to conceive of hateful snow-times as somehow insular and cozymaking and early bedtimes and work work work but instead I’m just kind of bored and sad and my roots are at Threat Level Infinity? Anyway here are some competing obsessions of the week.
The tidy neckline, buttoned up and arranged just-so-ishly with a necklace of Chiclet-gemstones or ironic pearls, has been a definitively nice/solid neck-look for a little while. I’m not mad. But, now it has all my style-attention on the neck (well, actually, my style attention for the month of January has been about whether or not it’s OK to clash pajama separates if it’s just you and a cup of coffee all day long) (it’s not OK). So, what can we expect next, neck-wise (Haaaa, EXPECT YOUR NECK! My matching pajama separates liked that one a lot) in the approaching months? I’m guesstimating a wide-but-not-so-wide-it-compromises-your-bra-strap kind of neckline, not as limited as a boat neck or as 90210-slutty as a tight scoop, but open and flowing and without an underlayer, in a serious fabric like thick cashmere or a rough linen, all the better for the mysteries of the post-winter clavicle to be reveaaaled. Wait for it, this is happeninginginging.
I have this new Philips-brand “Wake-Up Light,” which is a Max Headroom-shaped clock radio-cum-quasiorb that you can set to chirp bird sounds at you. So, instead of waking up by sleep-chasing after a slippery iPhone and its tinny melodics you wake up to a butter-warm glow and pre-dawn summertime sounds that you will think, at first, only existed in an ancient fever dream that you had once. It’s rilly, rilly cool.
My Obseshes - by Kate Carraway
OK you guys this is going to be a tough read because I did it while I was bent over at the waist—or like between being bent over, but not for long because sitting up is real, real hard—because I ate some chocolate really quickly before a meeting (it’s like having lunch AND a coffee!), and it’s just all been very heave-ish and whatever adult moves I like to think I’ve made lately have shrunk in the face of midday self-imposed chocolate poisoning.
SAINT LAURENT PARIS LOGO
Is there anything more erotic than the original Yves Saint Laurent logo? The tilted “Y” and “L,” the all-caps, the threatening haunted-house-y-ness of the font, the getting-skins touchy-touch of the letters, all up on each other. And then, and then! The secondary logo where the “Y” “S” and “L” are threesomeing around like gross snakes? Just, magnifico.
So what do we think of the new logo? I feel no less rhapsodic about SAINT LAURENT PARIS, black-on-white, all-caps-y and brilliantly spaced, a held breath instead of sexual deliverance, but without the “Y” does it achieve that same level of immediate textual gratification? I dunno. I do like how un-t-shirt-able it is, that’s for sure.
I don’t know if this is directly Cat Marnell-related or indirectly Cat Marnell-related (in no world is it unrelated to Cat Marnell), but I read some random shits this week about the potential and relative value of writing from inside an experience, rather than, I guess, from around it or past it. And every person on my Twitter feed was very “What’s yr deal, Elizabeth Wurtzel?” even though she had just explained her deal, in detail! And then sometimes also parsing, in quick bits, the ego and intentions of Lena Dunham, there less “What’s yr deal” and more “Let me tell you about yr deal” which is the diff between 26 or whatever and 40 or whatever.
I like this in a HAHAHAHAHAHA kind of way because what it presumes, that anyone with some distance from the particular horrors or whatever is being publicly metabolized by these women (I don’t do it, but I know it’s hard) is somehow and necessarily in a better position to reflect on the meaning of transgression (than the currently transgressing! HOW?!), is both incorrect (which is no big deal) and ungenerous and self-important (bigger deals).
Coming from a place, in memoir or whatever else, of I-don’t-know!-ness, of vulnerability and conflict and nuance, is so much more interesting and important and legitimate, and should be important to people who front as arbiters of authenticity. Right?! Like, Not Knowing. I Don’t Know. “How could I know?” You can’t. I like that line, or I guess “those lines” in that W.S. Merwin poem like “I asked how can you ever be sure / that what you write is really / any good at all and he said you can’t / you can’t you can never be sure / you die without knowing / whether anything you wrote was any good / if you have to be sure don’t write” and the truly mean and judgey mania demonstrated by people who have to be sure, not just about the writing itself but by the experience, what it was and what it should have been – if you have to be sure! – is TOO WEIRD for me to even synthesize, is TOO MEAN to agree to. See?
Welcomes to My Obseshes by Kate Carraway
Some things that I like/love/am emotionally huggled by are forever: gelatin-based candy products, touching my hair, Charlie Rose, maps (but not for art; don’t do that), texture of any kind, freedom. Some things are, in keeping with my generation’s tendencies toward fleeting preoccupations and quicksilver affections, only if wildly interesting for a half-minute. And there will be among these “things” some themes and constants that emerge, but, here in “Obseshes” (RIP Girl News) let’s talk about some stuff to like, to love, and to be obsessed with, for real but just for right now. Well, maybe for longer, but that doesn’t matter. OK? OK.
Obviously Christmas and the following day-et-ceteras of Boxing Week are rilly, rilly unappealing and the bitterest mall-culture molasses. I am an extraordinary apologist for a lot of gnarly mainstream concepts/habits, because it/they makes me feel cozy and at home in an after-school-innocence kind of way, but I will not abide the thing of going on purpose to a parking-jail and then a room-jail and then a lineups-jail and then you use your crispy fresh Xmas cash for crumpled cardboard products because they are “off”? And then probs get some gum or whatever with the change? Like, no. But, but: I still feel the serotonin valley of entering icy daylight after a week or more of a present-oriented vacation (and, look, I barely even get presents because I’m an adult-person and maybe the deservedly least popular person in my family) and am also weak so am instituting a new thing where January 1st is for – it is for – silent, contemplative online shopping where you are to consider and purchase what you want for you, without the horrible tremors of other people’s ideas of you, and without the instant paper-gnashing gratification, and without the beautifully lit retail influence of what you might want even though you don’t. (Shopping websites are still ugly in that they are still “websites” (all websites are ugly; don’t forget) so it’s easier to know what’s what.) OK so that’s what I liked doing this year and what I will do next year is buy a something-something for my own self with whatever non-amount of money I have left and then three days later it shows up and I can convince myself that real life does not exist for one, two, three seconds longer.
The little ghosty Snapchat guy with his little tongue! I mean: ??? If he had his own brand of cereal I would totally buy it. Can you just look at him for a second and then come back? Also: yellow. What? What is yellow? Let’s look at him again. Is he why kids like Snapchat so much?
SWEATSHIRTS WITH STUFF ON THEM
Totally, recently dubious about those Balenciaga jobbies with the galaxy-spaceship-outer-space-sci-fi-metal-band-logo vibers, because every time I’ve seen a girl wearing one she looks sad and pissed and like she is in on a joke all by herself. (Is anything sadder?) However, I feel differently about those Kenzo tiger ones (they’ve been out for a while, or were out and were quickly revived, I dunno, but let’s make amends with each other about judging novelty fashion for being three minutes—but just three minutes—past ubiquity or expiry, OK?) (especially because novelty fashion via the Opening Ceremony BFFers who did them for Kenzo is more likely than most collabos/takeovers to be pretty good; consider Vision Streetwear/Chloe Sevigny).
But so anyway. They are so cute! And the notion of a printed, embroidered, whatevered sweatshirt proper—not a Bedazzled hoodie or screen-printed t-shirt or a ripped-up tank, which at this point has in its stylistic devolution become the clothes equiv of just vomiting and leaving it there, maybe rubbing it in a little—is so wise and nice. What is more transformative after so much torn-up punk simulacra than a sixth grade puffy-armed sweatshirt with a thing on the front? Can you just feel your bike seat under your butt, all warm from the sun it got while you were in math? Those tight cuffs and those crew necks and, oh, that formlessness (!) is like biting into a strawberry marshmallow over and over and over again. Into it. Into it so much! Since I live in Canada I might take it another step and wear it over a heart-patterned turtleneck, what do you think?