Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary passed away from leukemia yesterday at the age of 72 and I teared up several times last night and this morning just thinking about her.
When I was 14 years old, my Girl Scout leader, who also happened to be the editor of our dinky local newspaper, asked if I wanted to become an intern. One of the very first stories she asked me to write was covering a talk at our town’s university by the folk singer and activist Mary Travers. I knew vaguely about Travers’ folk trio—everyone sang “Puff The Magic Dragon” in kindergarten, right?—but I was well past the age of listening to Peter, Paul and Mary. They just sang kids’ music, right? I thought she was like Raffi.
But when Mary Travers spoke and performed that night at Fairfield University—wow! Travers wasn’t a kids’ music singer; she was one of the icons of America of the 1960s. Her music and her activism literally helped change the way we are in America today. Travers was an ally in the Civil Rights Movement, was arrested for protesting apartheid in South Africa, and sang songs about social justice, like “Blowin’ In The Wind,” whose lyrics, I’m sorry to see, are timeless. Here was a woman who was intellectual, creative, passionate, and compassionate who bravely stood up for what she thought was right regardless of its personal consequences to her — and yet still seemed like a happy person!
It truly was a life-changing experience for me, one of the first times I had a template for what kind of person I truly admired. Mary Travers was the first adult woman I looked to and thought, “I want to be you when I grow up.” Keep reading »
More sad news today: Connecticut police have arrested a Yale lab technician, 24-year-old Raymond Clark III, for grad student Annie Le‘s death. Clark, who mostly did janitorial work in the same building as Le, was arrested this morning at a motel. Police said Clark failed a lie detector test and had scratch marks on his body. Keep reading »
Raymond Clark III, a 24-year-old lab technician, was taken into custody for DNA samples last night (and subsequently released) as a suspect in Yale grad student Annie Le‘s death. Le, who had planned to marry Columbia grad student Jonathan Widawsky last weekend, went missing on Sept. 8th. She was seen on video entering, but never exiting, her lab and her body was later found stuffed inside one of its walls. Clark, who lives with his fianceé, Jennifer Hromadka, works the same laboratory as Le did, allegedly failed a lie detector test and had scratches on his body. Police said they will either arrest Clark or rule him out as a suspect this week. Meanwhile, a medical examiner pronounced Le’s cause of death was “traumatic asphyxia.” [NY Daily News, Fox News]
A high school in England banned female students from wearing their uniform skirts because girls were showing too much leg in them. The assistant headmaster of Bingley Grammar School told the Daily Mail it tweaked the dress code after some girls apparently rolled their skirts up higher and parents complained because “they felt their daughters were increasingly vulnerable.” All but the eldest girls in school are now required to wear black pants with their uniform instead. [UK Daily Mail]
—How typical, punishing the girls for their sexuality. What about making all the male students wear blinders instead? Keep reading »
Poor Beyoncé is having a rough week! First, everyone thought she was involved in some kind of conspiracy with Kanye West and Taylor Swift at the VMAs. Now Abercrombie & Fitch is suing to stop the diva from naming her forthcoming fragrance “Sasha Fierce,” for which Beyoncé filed a letter of intent with the U.S. Patent office back in September. But as it turns out, that lingering stink on your clothes the last time you got within a 60-foot radius of an Abercrombie & Fitch store could have been one of their men’s colognes called “Fierce.” (Can you see where this is going?) A&F filed its lawsuit yesterday, saying Beyoncé has ignored their cease-and-desist letter and has proceeded to develop “Sasha Fierce.” Methinks this lawsuit is just an A&F publicity stunt though, since no one would seriously wander into the temple of suburban preppydom searching for Sasha Fierce’s perfume. Still, one wonders if Beyoncé will buckle and change the name of her parfum to something else? “Bootylicious,” perhaps? [WWD] Keep reading »
Forever 21 debuted their “Twist” line online today, which they call “Fashion With A Twist Of Punk!” I love shopping at Forever 21 so I checked it out. I found a very cute swing-y, satiny gray skirt ($19.80) I love and a shiny, black-and-gray striped strapless dress ($24.80) that’d be cute to wear out dancing. But really, the Forever 21 Twist clothes are about as authentically “punk” as Avril Lavigne is … which is to say they’d have Sid Vicious rolling in his grave. Let me tell you how it is, young mall rats: Real punks would and do not shop at Forever 21. Real punks ripped their own clothes up. Real punks pierced themselves with safety pins and didn’t cry about it. Real punks rolled in their own piss on the floor at CBGB. Got it? [Forever 21 Twist] Keep reading »
Confession: I once had a black belt in ways to get out of doin’ it. Until something “snapped” at age 24 and I finally enjoyed sex, I Dreaded having intercourse with a capital D. Don’t get me wrong; I was plenty sexual—I just loathed the part where a guy’s penis entered me and moved around. What was there to enjoy about something that felt like a probing gyno exam where you’re trapped in the stirrups? Lucky for me, something changed last February and I began to desire sex for pleasure, commencing a joyous slutty phase to make up for lost time. But if you’re still stuck in that dark tunnel of crappiness where I was, ages 17 to 24, trust me, I feel for you. Who’d have thunk not many guys in their early 20s would want a sexual relationship with no intercourse?
So, I read with interest the Daily Mail‘s list of the top 10 excuses women give to get out of sex, like “I’ve got to get up in the morning” and “You need a shower.” It’s a good start, but I can think of quite a few other ways … Keep reading »
Filament magazine, a for-women-by-women porno from England, ran into a spot of trouble recently. Quite inconveniently, their prudish printer refused to publish pictures of erections for fear of offending their other clients. How rude! Unfortch, that printer was 30 percent cheaper than other printers, so Filament‘s hands were tied—and not in a good way. But Filament just announced on their blog they were able to sell 328 copies and raise enough money to switch to pricier—and more liberal—printers. Hooray! You catch a preview of Filament‘s second issue online now and order a copy if it strikes your fancy.
I must say, the absolute best part of this story, however, isn’t that the porno mag can now print its peens. It’s how Filament posted a pic of a sexy guy sleeping in bed with a big black warning label over his crotch, which read “MAY OFFEND WOMEN.” Perhaps if you’re a woman who is easily offended by erections, you shouldn’t be looking at porn? [Filament Magazine] Keep reading »
After years of envying Kate Moss‘s seemingly infinite closet and Gisele‘s parade of bang-able boyfriends, a girl would be right to think the hardest part of a model’s life is choosing whose yacht in Ibiza to sunbathe topless on today.
But a few years ago, “America’s Next Top Model” began to peel back the layers of the modeling industry (well, with a weird, Tyra Banks-ian spin), and then a blogger called Tatiana The Anonymous Model chimed in on Jezebel about her take on a model’s life. But the piece de resistance on the Ugly Side Of Modeling canon is Hungry: A Young Model’s Story of Appetite, Ambition, and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves by plus-size model Crystal Renn. Keep reading »