187. READ.LOOK.THINK.

Futility of the perfect jeans search, grey vampires, on not selling a novel, Sally R's fave books, the Gillard doco, a podcast stalk engine, I didn't realise I was going on HOT GIRL WALKS

Artist Gladys Rockmore Davis painting a woman at her studio, New York, 1943. Image via Eric Schaal/The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock, via Jerry Saltz.

Hey guys. (Hey guys!!!)

READ.

“Virginia Woolf recommended a room of one’s own, but a time may come, in a woman’s life, when she prefers a house, one that she can have all to herself…” Coming of middle-age stories.

“If you’re still here, I want you to act like it. I want to see that.” Dancing through New York in a summer of joy and grief.

“The problem is that I have already set up my life so that I am effectively microdosing pleasure and comfort at all times. So when a mandated period of true leisure like this comes up, I have either built up too high a tolerance for enjoyment, or else I simply don’t feel as in need of it as I should.” Loved this from Ana Kinsella/love blogs that are just ‘say what you did for a few days,’ like a Top Shelf or Grub Street of… what? Thoughts?

I thought I didn’t hugely care about Colm Tóibín. Suddenly, because of this profile, I do.

The ambiguous loss of probably not selling a novel.

“I forgot another rule, which is that we’re never knowingly relevant.” (Melvyn Bragg about In Our Time.)

Sally Rooney’s recommended reads.

LOOK.

Do you always search for the perfect jeans? (Etc?) The case against perfect jawns. The optimisation mindset will kill you!!

Birthday dress.

“For the last 18 months, we’ve all been in a strange BDSM relationship with the government…” Why fetish fashion has returned.

Did you accidentally neglect to order Carter’s Cookbook 1? And see it on other people’s IGs and feel envious? You can order 1 and pre-order 2. Stunning food: @werebros.

I wish I could cook like @adamliaw. Ellie’s Notebook cooking substack. Sweet and sour.

Rich people’s kitchens.

Hot girl walks. A morning stretch routine (tw: Kayla Itsines, but the gifs are very helpful). New email newsletter about fitness from the writer of of Ask A Swole woman: She’s a Beast.

“Every three weeks or so we will have a dinner for thirty or forty people….” Via Charlie at TAT, Graydon Carter’s NYC apartment. Here’s the triple bunk:

(I recently did my own reporting for TAT!!!)

“Seeing her paintbrushes in an empty Maxwell House coffee can, her lesser-known sculptural pieces positioned on her mantel, her piano in a corner — all attest to a creative energy that endured years without much attention or validation…” Alice Neel’s apartment.

Did you know when you are obsessed with someone (just for an eg, Zadie Smith) you can put their name in Podchaser and find all their interviews/episodes?

THINK.

Here’s the trailer for a film easily available for Australians to watch on SBS (although I had to use some jiggery pokery to gain access from the UK — it was massively worth it). Strong Female Lead is a documentary about Julia Gillard’s three years as Australia’s first female Prime Minister from 2011 to 2013. It’s all made of footage from the time, no narration. The sexism is shocking. Read Gillard’s characteristically mature response. I am literally, just at this exact moment, remembering for the first time in over a decade that I actually met Julia (“Julia”) once at a function. I’d had a few drinks. “Me and my friends admire the…” (I said, and paused for ages, I couldn’t think of a Deputy Prime Minister-appropriate synonym for “fuck”…) Finally I just concluded, idiotically, “hell out of you!” She shook my hand with a chilled lol.

Meanwhile Leigh Sales, the Emily Maitlis of AUS, points out that it’s mainly left-wingers who make her life (on Twitter, but I suppose generally) hell.

Can we live without Twitter? (I have changed my password again and put it out of my own reach. For now.)

“I also trained my girlfriend to use a Taser…” The case against becoming famous (by that four hour workweek guy).

What people are really doing when they play hard to get.

Too much free time makes you feel bad???

“The person who has dared to make a claim is treated as being guilty of grotesque stupidity.  Only a complete idiot, only someone who is profoundly ignorant, the grey vampire says, would make such a claim.  Of course here there grey vampire can always triumph, for the finitude of language guarantees that no one can ever say it all and certainly no one can say it all at once.  The moment anyone begins to speak they are guilty a priori, for everything that is said necessarily leaves something unsaid and everything that is spoken or written always leaves something out.  Make a generalization about the history of philosophy?  Well you left something else out about that history!  You are guilty of ignorance, of stupidity.  Grey vampires can always win at this game, because it is structurally impossible to say everything.”

About a quarter of teens who reported feeling “not good enough” said the feeling started on Instagram.

Being at a “high-achieving school” ranks alongside poverty, trauma, being in foster care or having incarcerated parents as a mental heath risk for children. (Obviously being in a high-achieving school is largely a choice, not like the other risk factors.)

Predatory marriage.

Sorry once again in advance for any typos or broken links. And by the way, every time I send one of these out, I get emails back saying “I don’t know if you’ll get this reply…” The answer is I do! And I love getting replies! Reply away! Thanks for joining me on the #journey!

Jess xx