Favourites from May
For a busy gay about town, who often finds he’s lost his centre, this hit me like a truck. Note: when you do indulge in the 3 s’s after a period of prolonged living life at 1.5x speed, expect some Big Feelings to rise to the surface!
I had been in a bit of a rut with reading, as I mentioned last month, but after finishing Radical Intimacy (I still think about it every day) I absolutely devoured Monica Heisey’s novel Really Good, Actually. It tells the story of a woman who married young and then, unexpectedly, divorces young too. I thought t was sharp, smart, self aware, full of feeling and deeply enjoyable. The characters were lovable and their mistakes, shortcomings, arguments and neuroses felt so alive - not contrived or overly constructed as I sometimes find them in fiction. Bolu Babalola describes it as “Incisively funny, sneakily disarming and heartbreakingly tender…a story of love, loss, friendship and rediscovering yourself” - I couldn’t say it better than her and praise from Bolu is some of the highest one can aim for (I trust her cultural recommendations with my life).
I listened to this amazing podcast interview with Jenny Odell - writer and artist, who wrote the book How to do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, which I adored and think about all the time. In this interview she talks about her new book Saving Time: Discovering a Life Beyond the Clock. A concept and book I’m excited by! A brilliant, engaging and thought provoking conversation.
From the archive of The Creative Independent, I loved this conversation with Jenny Zhang. I was particularly struck by her answer to moving through being embarrassed:
I think the main thing is to let go of the idea of greatness. Wanting to be great is really limiting. Wanting to be great, wanting to be perfect, wanting to wow and to stun and to dazzle—letting go of that is the most important thing.
You have to both be incredibly willing to be humbled and also, at the same time, hold an incredible high level of delusion. The high level of delusion is what allows you to keep writing and to want to share it with the world. But you also have to accept that it might not mean anything to other people, or that you might be writing so esoterically or so privately that other people have no way of entering into your ideas. Everyone is constantly trying to articulate the secret languages in their head to the outside world. If your language is too secret, then no one can understand; if your language is completely public, then there’s no mystery. There’s no longer the pleasure of decoding.
SAY THAT!!! thequeermarxist is one of my favourite instagram accounts.
My actual flirting is more….complicated. And by that I mean it becomes more and more apparent that when I am in close proximity to, or in conversation with, someone I fancy a lot, a lot of my charm disappears and what comes out of my mouth cannot be reasonably expected to make sense! I’m going to stop there because I fear I’m giving close friends instagram energy and saying too much.! Cut the cameras.
Swiftly moving on, here’s a TikTok roundup:
I’m screaming, are you? This is probably the best self tape of all time. I am in awe of the art, but let’s be honest, I’m also respectfully gazing at the artist. Videos like this make me so happy. I have great respect for men with taste! Speaking of men with taste: my faves never miss. The boys that get it, GET IT! Jacquemus’ energy in this video is how I’m trying to be all Summer long. This is so stupid but I can’t stop laughing, I love being gay. This series of videos is genius - too many will never be enough. The best genre of video is wholesome but with a surprise hysterical ending. Sometimes you can hate the internet and then watch a video like this and smile so hard you remember it’s not all bad by any means.
I’m hoping your life is starting to ease into Summer - which means I am also saying I am hoping mine is too. May it be full of adventure, laughter, moments so rich with pleasure they’ll sustain you all year. And for when it’s not, you can always cope by remembering it’s a new week in the work room.