Hey! Thanks for reading! Just a reminder that I wrote this some years ago, and may have much more complicated feelings about this topic than I did when I wrote it. Happy to elaborate, feel free to reach out to me! 😄
The song for this post is One Week, by The Barenaked Ladies.
I never did write about my Burning Man experience, did I? I had a draft or two, but I think I'd write it differently now. Maybe later this week.
One of the people in my camp (The Phage) sends a weekly list of 5 things he read, thought about, reflected on, or enjoyed, and it's one of the most lovely things I receive in my inbox. I was thinking of doing a similar thing on here, especially since I'm hoping to wean off Facebook.
Here are 3 things I loved this week:
On Killmonger in Black Panther
I saw Black Panther this weekend and loved it. I was a little sad no one in my friend group knew one of my favorite memes. A lot has been written about this movie and the phenomenon around it, but my favorite was The Tragedy of Erik Killmonger, by Adam Serwer. Marvel movies famously have a problem with their villains, and Erik Killmonger is far and away one of my favorite characters in a movie in a long time.
On Fifty Shades
I haven't read the 50 Shades novels. Based on all the pieces and passages I've read, I feel all of the following things, at the same time:
The prose is, uh… unique ("you haven't lived until you've read prose like this", according to Roxane Gay).
It's a dangerous, inaccurate view of BDSM, written by someone who's never practiced such a relationship or done basic research on it. It's akin to Fresco Jesus, or the lion that was stuffed by someone who'd never seen a lion before.
Shaming people for the work they like is a shitty thing to do. Shaming artists who put themselves out there and produce is also shitty. We want more people creating, not fewer.
There's a whole history of devaluing art that women like (see: romance novels, "chick flicks") and some of the Fifty Shades commentary is definitely a bunch of self-serious dudes gleefully hitting that bullseye.
How this book got produced (as original Twilight fanfic, which itself almost never got published) is one of my favorite "follow your dreams" stories.
Anyways, I really enjoyed Fifty Shades and the secret compromises of women by Lili Loofbourow, doing one of the best jobs I've seen explaining the allure of the books while treading into real elements of BDSM and Patriarchy.
(Previous favorite on this was The trouble with Prince Charming or He who trespassed against us by Roxane Gay, where the quote above comes from)
On SaaS, businesses
Patrick McKenzie is one of the people who most encouraged me to blog. Not personally! He's just written many amazing things, and frequently urges folks to share what they know. It's no exaggeration to say his article on salary negotiation changed my life.
He now works at Stripe, and recently published The business of SaaS, a great high-level overview of SaaS businesses. I think founding companies is has cultural and institutional gatekeeping such that I'm extremely wary of most people who found their own companies (they usually lack self-awareness, treat people as "resources," get high on their own supply, and have Blowhard Syndrome); so I appreciate anything about business-building that encourages others to start companies, especially from someone as kind as Patrick.
Share your favorites in the comments! 👇🏼
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