My newest dystopian obsession is The Digital Web Series: H+. You guys. This shit is for real. Here’s episode one, but be prepared, because you might not even finish reading this post if you watch it.
Are you still here? I’m impressed. The first time I watched it I immediately engaged in a video binge session that ended way too late at night and only ended when the insides of my eyelids started sticking to my contact lenses.
I remember the first time I finished George Orwell’s 1984. I was curled up in my childhood bed (which had pink blankets - a fact that astounds me today) and I was breathless. My emotions were at level 99 out of 100. I was sad and angry and confused and frustrated and exhilarated and impressed and overwhelmed. I wasn’t used to a single book eliciting so many emotions.
I fell asleep and years passed and the emotions faded, but the fiction stuck. Why did the fiction stick? Because it wasn’t fiction at all. George Orwell wasn’t an author - he was a futurist. A time teller. A psychic.
I love dystopian fiction, because it’s like a warning song about the future that the vast majority of the public is ignoring and I feel like a special mage who can hear the tune above the newest Selena Gomez song.
If I hadn’t gone to journalism school and become obsessed with video cameras, I would have been a librarian. The library was a magical place for me as a child. Not only did I discover all my favorite books there, but I also discovered the internet for the first time there. Yeah, that was a big, big deal. So imagine my delight when Emma came up with the idea to do an outfit post for a chic librarian.
There’s nothing I don’t love about this look. But let’s explore the intricacies further. Yes, the flower is a bit twee, but it was so fun in the moment. We really couldn’t resist.
Links to products after the jump!
I’m not a nice person. It’s a bizarre thing to just proclaim like this, I know. But this is going somewhere.
I just finished reading Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In and one of the central premises of her book is women are raised with certain stereotypical ideas about character and behavior that become deeply ingrained in their view of self and therefore, hold them back in their careers. Messages like: Don’t be bossy. Don’t be demanding. Don’t be assertive.
The thing we as women are always allowed to be: nice. Nice is safe. Nice answers phone calls - even ones she doesn’t want to take. Nice doesn’t challenge leadership. Nice works late and doesn’t mention it.
I haven’t figured out my final stance on Sandberg’s theory. I don’t think I’m necessarily her target audience. As I once told a mentor: I don’t lean in, I break down. I’m a smashing Hulk in most work settings, because stagnancy and the status quo just don’t work - for organizations that want to move forward or for me. And instead of allowing myself to be punished for this behavior, I have strategically chosen to work in organizations that embrace this quality.
Not everyone has deep-seated anger issues that can be harnessed into productive work habits, so let’s go back. “Nice.” Sandberg’s right to bring it up and start the discussion. I know that was her intention with the chapter and the book. However, I wish she would have done one thing: I wish she shouldn’t have made so many damn excuses for nice. “Being liked is a key to growth opportunities… BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.”
Nice is boring. Nice is vanilla without any toppings. Nice means: “I don’t know what else to say about you.”
I don’t want to be that. And I feel badly for people who do.
If one other things comes out of Sandberg’s book, I wish we as women didn’t put so much pressure on saying the right thing. This goes for work and relationships and being at the damn grocery store. The quest to be nice leads down all kinds of dangerous roads that end with complacency, passive aggressiveness, justification and boredom.
Facebook’s walls (as in physical walls, not digital ones) are apparently adorned with inspirational quotes like: “Fail Harder” and “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”
I’d like to add to that list: What would you SAY if you weren’t afraid?
Maybe you would mention that you deserve a raise. Or you would take credit for your hard work. Or maybe you would finally tell your partner that you hate his stupid Troll collection. I’m all for being cordial, considerate and professional, but I say: Death to Nice.
And here’s the upside: when you do say something that is truly, genuinely, deeply kind - it will mean something to the person you say it to.
P.S. That lovely ice cream cone print is the work of Heather Future and if you like it, you can buy it here.
Every May I start loading up my bookshelf, or rather my Kindle these days, with my summer reads. I always start out really ambitious and then somewhere along the way some books get read and others don’t. However, I’ve tried to keep my list tight this summer so I can get it all done. Here’s what I’m reading:
Attempting Normal by Marc Maron
Confession: I already started reading this one this weekend. I’m a religious listener of Marc’s WTF Podcast and I’m one of the few that apparently doesn’t fast forward through his intro. Don’t judge me, but I’m really not a fan of cats. Love Marc anyway. I even love hearing about his cats. Yeah, he’s that funny.
Asymmetry by Thoraiya Dyer
The folks at Twelfth Planet Press sent me this book and I’m eager to read it. They’re an independent publishing house specializing in speculative fiction. I’m happy to report that independent publisher’s seem to be alive and well.
The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye
My fellow Baker Street Babe wrote this book last year and I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m just getting to it now. If you love Sherlock Holmes stories, you need to check out her books.
Positron: Episodes 1-3 by Margaret Atwood
Do I even need to say anything? Atwood is a goddess. With all three Positron episodes now available as a set, I’m jazzed to check these out.
The Savant by Jack El-Hai
Jack is one hell of a writer and a great friend of mine. If you love real science stories that SEEM like they could be science fiction, then you need to check out his books.
What are you going to be reading this summer? Have you read any of the books I’ve listed here?
P.S. Tidal Wave Girls was featured on Jezebel yesterday. Yes, I did a big of a jig.
Welp, we have reached May 1 and and my endless squeeing about Gatsby and Tony Stark and Scotty will likely be rather annoying around here in the next couple weeks. But let’s be annoying together! I always know Emmas up for it, so she came up with this versatile look:
Isn’t she freaking gorgeous?
Best part? She’s adapted it for cubicle dwelling hours and bar stool dwelling hours in two distinctly fun ways.
It’s nearly May. You know what that means. Daisy and Tom and Gatsby and flappers and hip hip, who isn’t excited?
If you want to feel like Zelda, who by the way isn’t a loon, like much of history has painted her to be. In fact, some historians now believe she was not an insane person, but rather, just a woman who loved her love and her drink and her glitter and lived a little more loudly than the average folks. That’s not a crime. Anyway, if you want to channel Z, then perhaps one of these looks is bound to hit a hanger near your closet. I hope so. I got my flapper dress this weekend and I’m already scheming on how I can wear it to work.
There’s something about pairing a long dress with a blazer that makes a woman look wicked powerful. It harkens to eighties lengths, no doubt, but it keeps the legs under wraps and minds PG.
Another look and links to the goods after the jump.