Here what’s been on my computer screen lately:
1.) Culturegrrl gets all annoyed by the treatment afforded by the NYT‘s Arts & Leisure page to a story on the demise of the Las Vegas showgirl. Her critique is really what’s distasteful, though, as she bemoans the resources devoted to “the lowbrow” and says the story “is just too much of a bad thing.” She even lashes out at one of the showgirls shown in a photo, calling her “pudgy” and “unattractive.” Yikes. It’s hard to take seriously any cultural critic who’s still policing that old, artificial distinction between high culture and popular culture—especially when it’s done so inartfully. (By the way, the article on the showgirls is really quite good. And I may be a gay man, but I’m pretty sure the woman in the photograph isn’t at all “unattractive.”)
2.) PeaceBang has me thinking about how one reacts to the sudden return of “a First Love, a wild love, a love that tore your heart to shreds and taught you a whole lot of what you needed to know about how hard you can fall and how intensely you can need someone.” I’ve got one of those Soulmates-Who-Got-Away, and—like PeaceBang—I still feel it anytime I see (or even hear about) him. PB seems to view the acceptance of this loss as a sort of spiritual practice. I’m not there, but maybe that’s something I should be working on.
3.) At her side project, Beauty Tips for Ministers, PeaceBang has many of her readers in a frenzy with her post criticizing a minister who looked sloppy at a funeral. Be sure to check out the comments; there were 40 when I last looked, and some of them are toxic. I also enjoyed PB’s later post on whether male ministers should wear earrings. I commented on that one, perhaps unwisely.
5.) Kelly Vaughan is spending a year in Turkey as a part of a teacher exchange. As someone who has long wanted to visit Turkey, I’m seriously jealous. And I’m seriously enjoying her colorful, well-written, well-photographed posts at Öğretmen. If you’re interested, start reading, oh, about here, and then just keep going. Tasty stuff.
6.) It’s been over a year since Justin Ouellette posted this picture, “Racoon Lodge,” at Chromogenic, but I just keep coming back to look at it. For some reason, it makes me think of the old TV show Northern Exposure.