The Weekly Yell: The Cruellest Month Edition

Happy April, folks! It may be the cruellest month, but on the plus side, if you’re a fan of reading or writing or listening to poetry, there’s no better time to discover new voices. We’ve got a poetry thread emerging on our Twitter, and hope you’ll chime in with your faves!

Meanwhile, we’ve been a bit uneven in our pop culture consumption these past few weeks – I blame the Mercury retrograde! – but we’re back with some Thoughts and Emotions about TV, skincare, and celebrity breakups. Onward!

Skincare Redux

If you’ve been following The Ordinary on their social media pages, then you might have noticed that their posts have been rather… erratic lately. The Cut has an excellent summary of the latest drama surrounding The Ordinary’s founder Brandon Truaxe, but the more pertinent question I have is – how do we feel about consuming products from brands that are morally compromised? Do we separate the product from the founder (which in The Ordinary’s case, is nigh impossible)? Do I have to (gasp) give up my $10 niacinamide serums? This is a quandary that I am still pondering over, but what the Lord taketh, He giveth as well. For those of you looking for alternatives to The Ordinary’s products, this extensive list from good ol’ Reddit has got you covered. – C

Exclusive footage of me contemplating the ethics of skincare. (credit)


After wandering through a pop culture desert for awhile, I’ve blessed with TV shows finally returning to my life. I’ve always loved Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events books (and feel compelled to acknowledge the discomfort of this position in the wake of allegations against Daniel Handler). The series was the reason, I think, that I went on to study literature: it’s littered through with allusions I’m still picking up on, literary Easter eggs on every page, and full of words I never read in other kids’ books at the time – ersatz, flaneur, inordinate. The first season of the Netflix adaptation was fantastic, and the second season, which dropped last week, has continued to delight. It has all the things I loved about the books, is the only adaptation since the “I Capture the Castle” film where everyone looks exactly as I’d imagined, and adds to the canon in surprising, always fulfilling ways. Even if you haven’t read the books, watch this for, among other things, the incredibly truthful story for our times, where the kids are all perceptive and resilient, and the adults cruelly incompetent. This season also includes some truly fantastic digs at [theatre voice] The Theatre, and a phenomenal turn from Lucy Punch as Esme Squalor. Watch it NOW (a word which here means the very second you can).

Count Olaf is objectively a villain, but unfortunately he is also deeply relatable. (credit)

Pop Culture

Firstly, and most implausibly, C sent us a link to an incredible tweet about how Richard Siken made a Twitter account and has been replying to the Siken bot’s tweets of his poetry:

I really liked Alyson Stoner’s emotional, sincere coming-out essay on Teen Vogue. I have to say that I was not exactly familiar with her work (apparently she’s a former Disney star and starred in the Step Up movies!), but I’ll definitely be rooting for her from now on. – C

00s style icon, tbh. (credit)

I’m TOTALLY OBSESSED with Slate Magazine’s The One Fight series, which interviews couples about the one major fight that they keep having over and over again in their long-term relationships. It is gloriously meta-narrative, requires an extreme level of self-reflexivity, mutual communication and introspection, and to my absolute delight, often ends up with couples fighting the one fight during the interview itself! What does it mean to tell yourselves this overarching story about your entwined lives? Does it become deterministic (“we are doomed to fight this one fight forever”) or does it free you (“we know why we are fighting this fight”)? More importantly, which one are you in the relationship? Are you the sharer or the withholder? Are you order or chaos? Are you the pitcher-inner or the scorekeeper? -K

Speaking of relationships… Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan have split up. (T: April really is the cruellest month.) We shouldn’t care beyond “aw, no!” and yet we DO, because some foolish part of us possibly STILL BELIEVES IN LOVE. I said, “if John and Chrissy break up, I’m quitting pop culture” and T said, INSTANTLY and all in caps, “DO NOT EVEN PUT THAT THOUGHT OUT INTO THE UNIVERSE.” -K

(OMG I FORGOT THIS HAPPENED!!! Let us all mourn by watching their lip sync battle episode. She gave him a lapdance on national TV to Ginuwine’s Pony!!!! If their marriage can’t stay intact after that, there is truly no hope for the rest of us. -C)

Honestly, us about John and Chrissy. (credit)

And that’s all from us this week, folks!

Cover image credit: Netflix.
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