Rupaul, Leslie Jones and the Alt-Right, Teenage Björk: This Week’s Recommended Reading


Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the Internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘net are doing, too. This week, we recommend an interview with Rupaul surrounding Drag Race All Stars 2, a goliath list of the best songs of the 1970s, commentary on the latest (yes, because there have been a couple now) deluge of hideous racist cyber-bullying Leslie Jones has been subjected to, a resurfaced video of a teenage Björk performing in her punk band (okay, not reading, but still very worthwhile), and more.

In the Hollywood Reporter, Seth Abramovitch explores the lives of little people trying to make it in Hollywood, following the death of cabaret performer Kimberly Tripp, whose known act was as ‘Mini Kim Kardashian’:

For as long as show business has existed, little people have been delighting audiences — usually for the wrong reasons. In the early 1800s, they were billed as ‘midgets’ and put on display alongside oddities like the “Feejee mermaid” in dime museums, precursors to freak shows that served as entertainment for the unwashed masses.

Abramovitch talks to many known little people in the industry, including Verne Troyer, who played Mini-Me in Austin Powers. They elaborated on some of the more unbelievably asinine plot ideas involving little people in Hollywood, and on some of the most unfortunate roles they’ve been offered. Troyer said:

I was once offered a superhero role — it’s almost too stupid to talk about — where when I came out to save lives, it was from under Abraham Lincoln’s hat. It was like, ‘I don’t care how desperate I am. I’m not doing that.

Pitchfork released a fantastic list of the 200 best songs of the 1970s this week, each with its own write-up elaborating on its excellence. If you’re bored this weekend, the combined reading and listening herein should give you plenty of work to do. Here’s former Flavorwire music editor Jillian Mapes on Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You”:

Out the gate, Mitchell shows an ability to call bullshit on her lover’s empty promises—with a nod to Shakespeare, no less—before spending the rest of the song explaining how she’d built up a tolerance for his ways. Perhaps it would be easy to mistake “A Case of You” as a “stand by your man” kind of song, but Mitchell tempers expectations with her initial scene-setting of a time “just before our love got lost.” As far as eulogies to former loves go, “A Case of You” is so generous and wistful, it becomes something bigger.

Vice has a brief but great interview with Rupaul, in which the drag queen/reality TV show host discussed everything from being part of the Club Kids to the value of drag in 2016. Of the latter, he said:

“It’s to remind people not to take life too seriously and that this body you’re in is temporary. You are an extension of the power that created the universe, and the mission statement is to experience life. It’s nothing more than that. Experience it. Use all the colors, touch all the toys and lick all the candy! Do it all. There’s no judgement, right or wrong.”

The New Yorker published a piece about the Leslie Jones hacking, the nature of the alt right’s use of cyber-attacks, and their false justification of their harmful rhetoric as a defense of the First Amendment:

Earlier this week, someone hacked Jones’s Web site, posting what seemed to be nude photos of her, an image of her passport, and a picture of Harambe the gorilla. This is the sleaziest chapter in an ongoing saga that might be called Jones v. the Worst People on the Internet. Who are these people, and what could they possibly want? The most insidious possible justification for their actions is “free speech.” Last month, the notorious troll Milo Yiannopoulos was banned from Twitter after insulting Jones. Yiannopoulos and his supporters immediately declared themselves free-speech martyrs.

Jeff Sharlet writes for Esquire in a fascinating piece on Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr., the subject of the reality TV series Rich in Faith and officiator of the Kimye wedding:

Pastor Rich was wearing beige ankle-high suede boots, black skinny jeans, and an untucked soft-cotton blue tee beneath a short black jacket. A thin gold chain looped down over his pecs. No pulpit, no cross; just Rich working the stage. He hunched over like he was rapping, bobbing up and down, and then he straightened and spread his long arms, sampling the fundamentalist vernacular from which Vous was born. It was a tonal change—from “yo bro” curling out of a crooked grin to a glottal, shouted utterance of “God” comprising at least two syllables, maybe three: “Gaw-w-d!” Then he dialed it back around to the Rich who keeps it real on television. Other preachers dress up their faith in pop culture; Rich’s trick, his talent, his gift, is that for him faith is pop culture.

BONUS: Exclaim noted that some footage of Björk’s pre-Sugarcubes teenage punk band, Tappi Tíkarrass, or, translated, “Cork the Bitch’s Ass,” had resurfaced this week. And though it seems like this footage has actually been online for quite a while (the YouTube video was posted in 2012), I personally feel that with around 100,000 views, it hasn’t been seen nearly enough: