Following the grand tradition of The Hairpin, Autostraddle, and The Toast, I bring you the Rad Cat Lady weekly link roundup, volume one. Every weekend I’ll be posting links to and (this time, extremely limited) thoughts about what I’m reading, watching, and texting to my best friend.
Ahead: xenophobia in famously international south St. Louis, a gay video game (gayme?) that might make me hate the format a little less, manspreading at the theatre, and more.
Content warning: the last link on this list includes non-graphic descriptions of a young girl receiving unwanted sexual pictures and messages from a classmate.
Trip to Puerto Rico! by Karalyn Grimes, Envirofemme.
This is the most recent post on an also-recently-revived blog by my fellow former precocious Unitarian Universalist teen/current cool young adult getting it together, Karalyn. They are consistently very thoughtful and smart, and write compellingly about environmental justice, a topic I can easily understand on an intellectual but have trouble getting fired up about wholeheartedly. This post takes a look at their recent vacation in Puerto Rico both on a personal and political level.
Sign at South Grand eatery suggests bigotry from city inspector, but dispute is resolved by Joe Holleman, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
For an incredibly busy and hot week, I drove by this sign in the window of Sheesh, a Turkish restaurant on South Grand Blvd in St. Louis city, without ever catching the stoplight at the right time to slow down and read it, so by the time it was taken down I had still only caught “go back to our country” and “we need help.” From the Dispatch’s reporting, it sounds like all parties involved are hesitant to say much more than the sign did, but I’m seriously curious to see how this plays out. This part of the city is actively gentrifying and also lauded for its dense and diverse international presence.
‘Look at this gay boat’: Creationist’s use of ‘God’s rainbow’ colors for Ark park lighting gets hilariously mocked by David Ferguson, Raw Story.
Really, just look at this gay boat.
Police use pepper spray to disperse protest outside St. Louis jail by Celeste Bott and Valerie Schremp Hahn, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
It is supposed to be 107° in St. Louis today. The workhouse, a city jail that primarily houses people who are not able to afford their bail (and many of whom are incarcerated awaiting trial for minor crimes that do not even carry jail time as a possible sentence – like jumping the turnstiles to get on a train, or speeding), has no air conditioning. The people there are literally screaming for help. The workhouse is full of vermin, mold, and rampant physical and sexual abuse, demonstrating exactly why we have got to rethink the American justice system. The people there are screaming for help, and the police are pepper spraying the people who show up to help them.
Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator by Game Grumps, Steam.
I have never had any interest in video games, but suddenly half the lesbians I follow are posting their Dadsonas on Twitter and Facebook and I want this game. But $14.99 is about $12 than I’m willing to pay for anything in a format I’ve been actively put off by since childhood. My best friend, an avid video game person, is keeping an eye on the price for me, so my fingers are crossed that it goes on sale sometime before I lose interest. I’m not sure I even really want to play it, but I am 100% certain I want to create a gay dad version of myself.
When Women Won’t Accept Theatrical Manspreading by Laura Collins-Hughes, New York Times.
I have many, many thoughts, probably an entire essay’s worth, about body size and theatre seats and what it is like to be in tiny, tiny theatres as a fat woman. This post, which explores manspreading not on the train but in the theatre, uses the annoyingly literal space-taking by dudes of all stripes as an entry point to the gender disparity in the professional theatre world. Lots of praise is heaped upon Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman’s Indecent, currently running at the Cort, which is one of the best shows I have seen in months and which packs the hardest, most visceral gut punch in its last 30 minutes that I’ve ever experienced in the theatre. While you’re angry about old white dudes taking up too much space in your theatre and your train and your brain, go see this show. I went twice in three days. You have until August 6th. Go twice.
Our Nails Will Shine Forever: the History of Acrylics and Appropriation by Brooklyn White, Bitch Media.
Usually when I think or read about nail salons and race, the focus is on the often on the nose power dynamic between white women who are customers of nail salons and Asian women, often new immigrants, who work in them. This piece explores the historical and stereotypical associations between black women and acrylic nails, and the way that these associations have been appropriated by white artists and pop stars. I’m going to have this article on my mind next time I go into my nail salon.
Indoor Boys episode “See What I’m Up To” by Wesley Taylor and Alex Wyse, Huffington Post Queer Voices.
Somehow I missed the fact that my long time theatre and web show fave Wesley Taylor had a new series coming out until only days before the first episode dropped. I have re-watched his first series, the incredible It Could Be Worse, at least 5 times since it came out in 2013. Now Wesley has teamed up with fellow theatre actor Alex Wyse to write, direct and star in a new series, Indoor Boys, based on his earlier work Proud of Us and Other Short Plays. The first episode is already hilarious and at a little over five minutes long it doesn’t give me time to get distracted by another tab I have open (which is a common problem of mine), and even if it were the writing is so #relatable and paced so well I would be happy to binge watch a full length season uninterrupted.
#998: “My Very First Dick Pic:” A horrible coming-of-age story by Jennifer, Captain Awkward.
Captain Awkward is, I think, the best advice column I’ve ever read. I starting reading CA casually when I was a senior in high school and though the situation-specific advice in each letter almost never applies directly to my life, her overall approach of clear and direct communication and boundary setting has deeply affected my transition from teen to adult. Captain Awkward’s response to this letter, from an 8th grader receiving unwanted dick pics from a classmate, is exemplary of her nuanced and thoughtful approach to the letters she receives. I intensely hope this girl is safe and ok and away from gross baby-predator boys.
Leave me any cool links you came across this week in the comments – I plan on spending this weekend in the air conditioning with the internet and maybe some gin absolutely as much as possible.
If you want to keep in touch, sign up for the Rad Cat Lady newsletter, which will launch in late August with bi-weekly tidbits and mini-reviews that haven’t worked their way into a longer post. And, huge thanks and a shout out to Syeda Jabeen Qadri who designed the blog’s snazzy new logo.