Metadata is a love note to the future.
Sometimes a story just rips you apart. This one, of Liz, once the life of the party, and the sister given power of attorney, did. [Content note: brief mention of an eating disorder, extended discussion of suicide.]
Because there weren’t enough things that are bad for you, here’s another: social isolation.
Coming-of-age stories tend to portray young adulthood as a time when we “find ourselves,” whatever that means. But that model ignores the fact that, for better or worse, the very stuff of our selves—our personalities, our preferences, and even our core values—has a remarkable capacity for change. Our task is to make sure that some semblance of self stays intact as we age. It’s hard because we tend to renounce our Past Selves (those haircuts!), and we have a hard time envisioning our Future Selves at all. In real life, this proliferation of selves can cause continuity problems. (Certainly I don’t recognize the Me who once owned a pink pleather skirt.) On Buffy, despite the limitations of its 45-minute format, the characters juggled multiple versions of themselves all the time, constantly grappling with the contradictions, anxiety, and consequences surrounding who they had been, who they were, and who they would become in a surprisingly cogent way.
Vampire-slaying as a better model of life than most television teen stories.
Being gay is not an insult, but accusing a straight man of being gay to pressure him to fuck you is right out of the Verbal Abuser’s Handbook of Unsavory Sexual Pressuring Tactics. Does that scare you? It should.
Damn if I don’t love Captain Awkward.
Speaking of which, last week my dearly beloved friend Miri moved to New York City to start her graduate degree. So, for Miri and all the lovely friends in your lives, dear readers, a reminder about grilled cheese valentines.
The neuroscience of social influence…is really interesting. It appears that social influence (that is, being able to spread ideas), has little to do with ‘traditional intelligence’, and more to do with being able to display the right emotions, be motivated, and consider how other people will react.
Alex has 10 alternatives to the ‘coming out’ narrative of queer identities. Numbers 2 and 4 are my favorite.
And finally, Criptiques, a planned anthology of disability stories.