No Complaints #41: Fenty, Frisby and Miss Fisher

Today, we celebrate one entire year of this newsletter with me sending it late because I still don’t really know how to use google docs. Thank you for all your reading, clicking and replying — let’s keep doing it, shall we?

Things to read

“Her lips were bright red, her long nails were pale iridescent lavender, her mascara was both white and black in a way I didn’t really understand. A rhinestone necklace against her chest read ‘FENTY’, her last name. Oumarou wasn’t the only person I had grilled about what makes Rihanna great. A lesbian art history professor told me that she’s ‘the real deal’. Others used the words ‘magic’ and ‘epic’. But when I tried to get anyone to pinpoint things she had said or done — particular interviews or incidents — everyone became lost in inarticulacy. Yet another friend, referencing an episode of ‘Style Wars’ that Rihanna had appeared on, concluded, ‘You could just tell she’s a good person.’ None of this was all that helpful.”

I think Miranda July probably held it together a lot better than I would if I met Rihanna. Email to Pocket.



“As it happens, there are many reasons why I don’t have children: I am very good at birth control; though I love children and adore aunthood, I also love solitude; I was raised by unhappy, unkind people, and I wanted neither to replicate their form of parenting nor to create human beings who might feel about me the way that I felt about my begetters; I really wanted to write books, which as I’ve done it is a fairly consuming vocation. I’m not dogmatic about not having kids. I might have had them under other circumstances and been fine — as I am now.”

Rebecca Solnit on motherhood. What more can I say? Email to Pocket.



“Miss Fisher occupies a space rarely seen on television: the woman who is neither an ingenue nor a matron. Essie Davis, who portrays Phryne, is 45. Miss Fisher’s age is never specifically mentioned, but she seems to be in her 30s or 40s. ‘She’s an age that you don’t usually see as a female lead on a TV show,’ says Jenna Scherer, a pop culture critic based in Brooklyn. ‘You get a twentysomething, or you get an older woman like Miss Marple or Murder She Wrote.’”

It’s always good to have your Netflix comfort-watching choices validated retrospectively, I find. Email to Pocket.



“I’m 33, and for 14 years, I have sold my naked image. I have made my body public. At this point, I have been a whore for nearly as long as I wasn’t one. I’ve spent my entire adult life hustling. Pornography has made me who I am. I am Lorelei Lee — and also, I am not. I’m big sister to four siblings, 33-year-old child of a single welfare mother. I’m a queer woman, a porn star, a dominatrix, a stripper. I’m a wife in Saturday lipstick. I’ve done nearly everything a person can do without clothes on. I am paid to lie to you, but I often tell the truth. ”

Never mind that stupid game; this is how you really get your porn star name. Email to Pocket.



“‘When we knew that the boat was definitely going to sink, me and my three friends from Syria jumped into the sea. We didn’t have any life jackets, just two children’s rubber rings between four of us. We gave them to the two youngest who were only 15 and 17 because they couldn’t really swim,’ he told the International Rescue Committee after landing. ‘Three Iraqis wouldn’t come. They said ‘we can’t swim’. One of those who stayed used Viber to phone his Dad from the boat. He said ‘Hello Father, the boat is sinking so I will die.’ It was his last message.’”

A really clinically simple explanation of how people trafficking across the Mediterranean works, and how it’s possible for an entire boat load of people to vanish without a trace. Email to Pocket.


Things to listen to

“Sometimes the truth is more frightening than fiction”, says the tagline to Lore, a history podcast with a sideline in sending chills down your spine. It really, really works as a format — straightforward documentary-style delivery backed up by serious research from host Aaron Mahnke, all dealing with things like werewolves, ghosts and elves. I particularly recommend this episode, “The Bloody Pit”, about the construction and haunting of a tunnel in Massachusetts. Sound like your sort of thing? Well, the good news is that this usually fortnightly podcast is going weekly during October, so it’s a good time to stock up on spooky stories.

+Bonus thing: Remember that Anne Hathaway article we had in NC#38? Well, we talked in much more depth about it on this week’s SRSLY podcast and you should listen to it.  

Things to watch

Terry Gilliam’s deleted scenes.

This woman is clearly a witch.

I like to watch things burn (slowly).

Compulsory medieval thingamabob

Want to play frisby?

The guest gif

Me, sharing links to things I like with all of you:

THE END. See you next time*!
*Next time will probably be next Friday. If you want to suggest things I should include in the next one of these, please do reply and send me links.