Archive for the 'good stuff online' Category

Good Stuff Online: Eve Ensler on gender diversity and THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES

November 16, 2015

Playwright and activist Eve Ensler has long been a courageous and articulate advocate for the rights of women facing oppression and physical violence from every direction. Recently, there has been some brouhaha generated by students at Mount Holyoke College who have objected to Ensler’s play The Vagina Monologues on the grounds that it fails to affirm transgender experience. Ensler has responded with an essay published on Time magazine’s website, of all places. In it, Ensler models with exceptional grace the art of responding to criticism with engagement, intelligence, respect, and not a shred of defensiveness. Check it out here and let me know what you think.


Good stuff online: Calvin Tompkins’ profile of Mark Bradford in the New Yorker

June 18, 2015

Mark Bradford isn’t a newcomer — he received a MacArthur Foundation fellowship in 2009, and his paintings fetch up to a million dollars apiece — but I’d never heard of him or seen his work. Thanks as always to the masterful Calvin Tompkins, one of The New Yorker‘s most treasured veteran staff writers, for his fascinating and detailed portrait of this 6’7″ gay black AIDS-aware politically conscious former hair stylist turned painter-sculptor-multimedia artist.

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Good stuff online: Deborah Eisenberg on PEN America and Charlie Hebdo

May 19, 2015

I’ve only belatedly caught wind of the exchange of communications between PEN America’s Executive Director Suzanne Nossel and novelist Deborah Eisenberg about PEN America’s decision to bestow an award for courage in freedom on expression on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo at its annual literary gala May 6 at the Museum of Natural History. PEN America’s decision was highly controversial and caused a number of prominent writers to distance themselves from the event and from the organization, which in turn brought other writers to the defense. I have felt very uneasy about this particular honoring of Charlie Hebdo myself, for reasons I couldn’t put my finger on. Eisenberg, in her brilliance, nails it.

Much is made these days of exposing snarky exchanges, especially those not meant for public consumption. The exchange between Eisenberg and Nossel (pictured below) doesn’t fall into that category at all. Instead, these two women model thoughtful, respectful, extremely nuanced dialogue on a topic about which they fundamentally disagree. If you’ve ever wondered how to manage that trick, this document is worthy of study. Check it out and let me know what you think.

These letters (and others about the PEN America controversy) were posted on The Intercept, the website co-founded by the journalist Glenn Greenwald, whom Eisenberg correctly cites as a good example of someone who truly exercises courage in service of freedom of expression.


Good stuff online: interview with the director of DICK: A DOCUMENTARY

January 24, 2015

When I met Brian Fender many years ago, he had completed one short film about LGBT youth (xyQ), and he was just beginning the process of making a documentary about men talking about their penises. I heard from him occasionally over the years and knew that he’d been diagnosed with ALS, a seriously debilitating illness. So I was pleased to read this EdgeMedia article online by my friend Killian Melloy to learn that a) Brian has completed his new film, DICK: A Documentary and that b) he is hanging in there, despite all the difficulties of living with ALS. In this interview, you can see a trailer for film, read about the making of it, watch xyQ in its entirety, and learn about the nonprofit organization Brian is funneling his energy into called Artists Lend Support.

brian fender

Good stuff online: Chrissie Hynde Q&A in the New York Times Magazine

June 15, 2014

I love Chrissie Hynde — so blunt and honest and funny. Check out the delicious Q&A with her in today’s New York Times Magazine.

chrissie hynde

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