september stuff

I’ve been joking with friends that you can practically smell the panic in the air, and it’s manifesting in a whole slurry of activity and obligations from the past few weeks, as if everyone is trying to get their final kicks in before winter shuts us down again. Do you feel it, too? 

Like I had this one week involving back-to-back media parties (Gawker’s had nice bites, but Defector’s was way more fun and involved DDR; you heard it here first) (more on the former below) plus working my first Met Gala (online, thankfully) and wearing $25 pants to my first fashion show (the one where Larry David was spotted! Unfortunately he was the only celeb I recognized besides this dog that was in front of me in line). It sounds glam as fuck but was also totally nuts; I have been sleeping like 10+ hours/night for the two weeks since and still feel completely wiped. Did we really use to do this all the time?

At VF, I’ve been formulating a proper “beat” around covering new media and internet culture, articulated informally for myself as “Our Content And Ourselves.” It’s led to some interesting places in covering things like our fixation with the Gabby Petito case, the gated internet, and climate change doomscrolling. Do let me know what you think! 

Things I’ve enjoyed:

  • Have you guys seen CODA yet? It’s a coming-of-age film on Apple TV+ and very heartwarming, sort of like Glee meets Booksmart, featuring Marlee Matlin as the hot mom and a stirring rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “Clouds.” (the latter led me to this great HuffPost piece: The Agony And Ecstasy Of Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now,’ An Inescapable Soundtrack Song)

  • “Enjoy” is not the right word here, but a few weeks ago I was the subject of a post on a subreddit that’s notorious for harassing/doxxing Asian-American women, and it was very terrifying (if you noticed I went private online for a bit, that’s why), mostly because I was simply...not aware this corner of the internet existed! But Aaron Mak just came out with this piece, “Men’s Rights Asians” Think This Is Their Moment, for Slate that gave a really comprehensive look at the subreddit / this toxic ideology and movement. (For further reading, my lovely agent Jade Wong-Baxter directed me to this paper from Angela Liu in February’s Journal of Asian American Studies)

  • Sally Rooney discourse!!!!! Have you all read Beautiful World, Where Are You already or what???? To be honest, I loved it but potentially not as much as all the discourse. I talked to the Styles section about the general merch mania around it, but I think the New Republic’s review is my favorite so far.

  • Jeremy Gordan’s piece on 88rising for the NYT, timed to the release of Shang-Chi’s soundtrack, pairs perfectly with Hua Hsu’s 2018 piece on the formidable Asian-American arts collective that’s moving quickly from iykyk status to the mainstream.

  • Also, if you’re in NY, the Wong Ping exhibit at the New Museum is absolutely worth your while (albeit definitely Not Safe For Work Or, To Be Fully Honest Here, A Second Date).

  • If you’re nearish NY, I finally visited the Glass House in New Canaan, and had possibly the two most peaceful hours of my life tramping around Philip Johnson’s grounds in a light rain and then gossiping with one of the curators about the Soros wedding held there earlier during the pandemic. A day trip that gets you in and out of Connecticut within six hours = a pandemically agoraphobic person’s dream.

  • Finally read this CJR special report on Teen Vogue from Clio Chang, and the quotes about/from Anna Wintour are truly amazing, in the most traditional sense of the word.

  • This tenacious sunflower (sound on!) 

Some other things I’ve written:

that’s all for now. ttfn! xoxo