These are the things I’m reading and thinking about this week. Without further preamble, let’s get to it!
A User’s Guide to Judy Blume (Penguin Random House)
Judy Blume has a new book out this summer, and I’m on the waiting list for it at the library (there are like 200 holds ahead of me). In the meantime, this open letter to Scaachi Koul’s five-year-old niece is a great distraction, and totally cute:
I’ll send you her books as you grow up, first Freckle Juice and Superfudge, then Iggy’s House and Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself. I’ll send you Tiger Eyes only if I think you can take such sadness. If your mom says it’s okay, I’ll slip you a copy of Then Again, Maybe I Won’t because being a boy isn’t easy either. And when you hit your early 20s and the world really starts to ache, I’ll give you Summer Sisters. Because, while I’d like to protect you from all the things that are going to go wrong in your life—girls or boys who make you feel “that way” and friends who betray you and family dynamics that were built long before you were even a thought—I can’t, and maybe I shouldn’t.
It’s just this heartbreaking sweet thing of a letter:
Anyway, let me know when you read this, probably in a few more years, when you learn how to turn on a computer without spilling apple juice on it. We’ll get you a library card and I’ll introduce you to Judy. You have no idea how many people consider her a best friend.
Casting Emma Stone as Allison Ng in Aloha Should Have Been a Great White NOPE (Vulture)
I hadn’t even heard of this movie until a bunch of think pieces about it were published over the internet this week. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have heard of it at all if it hadn’t fumbled so completely terribly (and this includes director Cameron Crowe trying to address criticism, which, dude, NO).
The movie sounds fucking terrible:
In Aloha, Hawaii is the locus of mysticism. It’s mana, and the wind that rustles through the trees and bangs on shutter windows, and the grace of hula, and mist-shrouded warriors….It’s important to point out that this inherent Pocahontas element of the movie would not have changed had Allison Ng been played by an actual woman of Asian and Hawaiian descent: Hawaii is a backdrop that allows a white guy to self-realize.
There’s some interesting stuff here about the reductive qualities of Hollywood and how it deals with (or doesn’t deal with) race. It’s worth a read. The movie should be skipped, obviously.
The Tampon: a History (The Atlantic)
A really interesting, really in-depth look at tampons and their mystifying history.
The lowly, mighty, mysterious, depended-upon, despised tampon: common enough to be sold in drugstores and public restrooms all over America, integral enough to the female experience to merit its own memorable jeremiad in The Vagina Monologues (“a wad of dry fucking cotton”), and yet still taboo enough to be the central prop in one of the only Fifty Shades of Grey sex scenes deemed too risqué for the movie adaptation.
What got you reading and thinking this week?