The Bog Girl by Karen Russell //
Having disinterred a body whilst out cutting turf, a young man falls for the quiet, semi-preserved smile of the bog girl. Due to single mother not wanting to discourage her son’s romanticism and newfound interests, and a high school priding itself on openness and acceptance, the bog girl becomes a feature of the community’s everyday life, and a never-ending source of the boy’s deep fascination. Where love’s light shines however, there must be a border of darkness. Set in a land a variant of Ireland – decidedly rural and ever so gothic – Russell blends humour and horror in a tale of adolescent love and obsession.
The plants section in IKEA //
Lush agaves, Jade trees, cacti and succulents, all for half a handful of yoyos? Yes please. Makes trekking across the motorway for a new pan and towels very worthwhile.
A discussion more sociological than sartorial, this instagram is slowly unearthing the madness that was costume on SATC saying so much about our hunger to know and emulate our four heroines. All in all, a celebration of an important show about complexly written female characters being deadly and human, wearing whatever the hell they want.
Children making beautiful music //
I cannot wait for someone to create a weepy Oscar-winning film fictionalising how this video came to be, and for it to then be shown to every transition year Music class across the country inspiring a revival in xylophones and glockenspiels. Anne Hathaway to play the renegade music teacher in a puritanical Footloose-esque town with Helen Mirren as the stoney reluctant Principal whose heart is eventually warmed. Never let is go unsaid: Carl Orff, You’re So Cool.
John Rock’s Error //
The discovery of Malcolm Gladwell’s clever (if a little earnest) podcast series Revisionist History gave rise for me to revise what I knew of his work already. I came across a collection of his works for the New Yorker in the backseat of a car whilst boomeranging between LA and Las Vegas over the course of a weekend, and I found this piece dating back to March 13th, 2000.
John Rock was an American scientist and medic, responsible for creating and championing the contraceptive pill. He was also a devout Catholic. In his exposition, Gladwell discusses the logic with which Rock reconciled his craft and his faith: that hormones being introduced to trigger biological processes in the uterus was the ushering of a natural phenomenon, and thus not against God. Safe to say his church weren’t happy with his argument. Wrapped around this debate Gladwell shapes the larger question to be asked: how do we know what is a ‘natural’ for a woman’s body?
In this masterful piece of longform, Gladwell covers much ground. Tracking over 50 years of medical and anthropological research, Gladwell cleverly delineates a misconception the world (and Rock, with all his best intentions) fell foul of for generations: the presumption of a ‘normal’ frequency of women’s menstruation. This piece is vibrant and vast, brilliant, allegorical and informative. Gladwell writes with humour and sincerity, all the while uncovering a history of women’s healthcare, one which for many would otherwise gone unknown.
Illustration: Sarah Moloney