The Unknowable Tilda Swinton: Links You Need to See


Tilda Swinton. The ease with which those words escape your mouth, almost as if they were beautiful, dying breaths. Few names conjure up more than just the image of the thing they represent. But with Tilda Swinton, it’s more than just her shorn locks and peaked cheek bones that appear. It’s contradictions. It’s just… spirits. Good, bad, religious or otherwise: Tilda Swinton is spirits. Unknowable spirits.

This profile over at GQ, written by Zach Baron, aims not to make us familiar with the normalcy of Tilda Swinton, as that would be an impossibility. Instead, it succeeds in showing her as a simply fucking delightful person, one who does not care, at all, about appearances — aside, of course, from her actual, physical appearance, which is… something. (It may or may not be eerily similar to David Bowie. She might look like a painting. She might say she looks like a painting.) The piece at once both familiarizes Tilda Swinton and makes her more distant. Knowing Tilda Swinton seems impossible, and that’s fine. We’re thankful for the view.

Humanity is an odd thing. Not the species — I mean, yeah, that’s odd — but also the quality of it. Because hamsters, too, often attain some sliver of humanity. This is what is posited in the debut song from Vincent D’Onofrio’s new punk spoken word musical project, Slim Bone Head Volt. The song is titled, simply, “I’m A Hamster,” and is from the first person POV of a hamster who is sick of his wheel, and sick of being asked about it. The whole thing — with its screeching cello, cacophonous drums, and spoken word — actually comes off as kind of charming, and surprisingly self-aware. (Tilda Swinton is also self-aware, I’m sure.)

Not so self-aware — probably not aware at all, actually — is Ozzy Osbourne, the once great leader of Black Sabbath who has, since MTV’s The Osbournes, cemented himself not as a heavy metal legend, but as one of the greatest, most public burnouts of all time. The whole story of his life in the ’80s is great and fascinating and kind of illuminating, if only to the fact that Ozzy used to be a total bleached-out babe.

Music. It can do so much, and it can do so little. Perhaps its most potent negative effect it can have on a listener is its ability to annoy. And, boy, is it annoying music season. Thankfully, a YouTubeDude has set out to make a pretty novel version of one of the most annoying songs of all time, singing “All I Want for Christmas is You” in the style of 20 different artists. Twenty different kinds of annoying in four minutes? What a gift.

Yes, we are now stuck in The Holiday Season (well, until it ends). Which, decades (or perhaps just years) ago, would have likewise meant you’d currently be stuck in a shopping mall. But with the popularity of internet shopping continuing to escalate, this notion may be becoming more and more nostalgic. Oh, shopping malls. How we will weep for you, like Tilda Swinton watching the sun set over the Great Wall of China. Take a look at these malls from 1989, part of a larger photo project by Michael Galinsky. The jorts, the mullets, the neon. Is this a Middle American mall circa 1989, or SoHo circa this summer, eh? Ehhhh? Fashion!