So, This Is America

by Philippa Snow

I’m not sure I agree with Didion’s claim that Vegas is ‘the most extreme and allegorical of American settlements,’ mainly because I believe this is actually truer of Florida, Florida being a place where one can buy a local paper whose cover describes a cannibal murder (‘CAUSEWAY CANNIBAL HAD BIBLE WHEN HE ATTACKED’), but also the place they built Disneyland.

In Which We May Honour Our Boats

I let Glissant’s words wash over me, underlining this phrase as if gasping for air. He will elide, repeat, interject his own streams, tracing the rhizomatic fibrils of his thought. It frustrates and enlivens.

The Kardashian Decade

What is odd about the Kardashian lifestyle is exactly, notwithstanding the money, how not odd it is. A lot of this show involves them fighting in restaurants; much is about whether mothers have actual favorite children — the difference being that here, the answer is: “yes, but for fiscal reasons.”

Soft Things

Ever since I found the group’s ASMR YouTube channel in 2013, I had felt I should be one of them. I wanted to know what they looked like. I wanted to have it confirmed that they were just like me, and normal.

Literary Quartet

We’re in a labyrinth of ladders, arcing and curling around one another, following others’ routes, occasionally being given a hand over treacherous rungs. Some ladders lead to dead ends, others to platforms from where we can shout down encouragement, or ignore all beneath.

Traum

In the video for her song Criminal, I watch Fiona Apple’s body and wait for it to tell me how I should feel about her, or towards her, and in this video, the messages are mixed.

An Incomplete Taxonomy of Sexually Desperate Women in Pop

The Oilfield Allegorist: Dorothy Ellis — Drill Daddy Drill (1952) Thirty-six years before Dallas brought us the oil-centric Ewing family, there was Drill Daddy Drill, an ode to oil extraction that’s really an ode to sex, and is also not to be confused with the (Republican, therefore deeply unsexy) slogan Drill Baby Drill!

Britney Spears, Pop's Final Girl

No piece of famous-girl gossip has ever surprised me less than learning that the night before her Vegas wedding to Jason Alexander, Britney Spears watched The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

I'll Start with a Line

I got my first tattoo the weekend before my 22nd birthday. I decided – while sitting on the floor of a bathroom stall that I should’ve been cleaning, at the job I worked full-time when I wasn’t in school – on the word “bluets”. Or the title of Maggie Nelson’s lyrical talisman of a book. It was only later that I found out about its cult-object status.

The Volcano Lover

Everybody does it. Watch from the bottom of the escalator at Naples’ Toledo metro station and you see heads stop turning from side to side like loose bottle caps and pivot upwards. They’re looking at a portal into another dimension, or more precisely, station architect Oscar Tusquets Blanca’s perfect cone-shaped tunnel cut deep into the ceiling ...