(Liya Rechtman)– Since the end of school I’ve had some leisure time to take in the world as pleasure. In the short span of three days I have discovered two things, which are making my head spin too much to not write about. Therefore, this post is devoted (as its title suggests) to beautiful things:
3. Humans Of [New York] , – originally, I thought that this site was too douche-y to merit my attention. However, my little brother was persistent enough in sharing HONY pictures on Facebook that I eventually clicked. Turned out to be cooler than I expected. Every day, the photographer posts a couple of pictures of people he sees in New York who look happy, or at the very least, dynamic. He also always asks them a couple questions about themselves. The point is, as far as I can tell, to human urban existence.
What’s especially cool about Humans Of is that it’s spread to other cities too. Humans of Tel Aviv, for example, is fairly new, but just imagine the potential that the photo-journal has. Humanizing the citizens of the gay capital of a country torn from its founding by a religious identity war in the middle of the Middle East? – c’mon, those are some epic shots waiting to be taken. I’m just saying…
2. Y Tu Mama Tambien – is a movie about a road trip that two best friends take with a semi-enigmatic older woman in 1999 Mexico, at the cusp of their own burgeoning sexualities, which is mirrored by the political upheaval in the country. The critic Roger Ebert wrote :
It is an exuberant exercise in interlocking stories. But these interlock not in space and time, but in what is revealed, what is concealed, and in the parallel world of poverty through which the rich characters move.
In Mexico it was hailed as one of the greatest erotic art movies ever made, and while it certainly is erotic, its also honest. There’s a lot of loving sex, but its not necessarily good sex – its true and alive and short-lived sex, just like the 17-year-old boys who are having it.
YTMT is one of those movies that kind of leaves you gasping at the end and reminds you of every regrettable leap you never took for lack of courage, and every best friend you’ve lost contact with just by nature of the years.
1. Colette – is an early 1900s French writer. Every year I chose one writer to read all summer I randomly stumbled upon her and I think she’s The One. (Ha, get it. No? Then go read her.)
Colette is The New Woman. Colette is the sexual libertine and career woman, the epitomic bachelorette and divorce, the famous dancer, journalist, national traitor, and stepmother in an incestual scandal. She is a “voluptuous” (her word, not mine) bisexual writer of novellas and memoir all in one. She’s not exactly a feminist, in the traditional sense, and she’s certainly not a perfect role model. Colette saw herself as the exception – always the exception – rather than the rule. This means that there’s no room for me, her reader, to follow in her footsteps. Colette is no feminist, that much about her is certain. (She writes, “A female I was and, for better or for worse, a female I find myself to be.”) Despite that, the ease with which she talks so candidly about her choices, not to mention the sheer artistic mastery of her prose, made me fall in love with her on my first novel.
In The Vagabond, she chronicles a fictionalized version of her life right after her first divorce. She wrote it while on tour for her dancing and mime work, meaning that it’s perfect at this weird moment as I prepare to leave Amherst for a year because she, too, is leaving. And leaving with Colette doesn’t seem as hard as leaving by myself.
Here’s a fairly arbitrary snippet (to clarify: arbitrary because you could pick out any sentence and it would be worth reading on its own)
But at least I am leaving with a troubled mind, overflowing with regret and hope, urge to return and reaching out towards my new lot with the glorious impulse of a serpent sloughing off its dead skin.
Dearest She-Bomb readers, I hope you find your selves relaxing at the lazy start of summer.