Carousel: Goodbye, 2013!


Christmas is over and hopefully you’re feeling relaxed and well-rested, eager to jump into the new year with both feet. This is the last Carousel of the year, and if this isn’t quite enough reading for you, be sure to click on the Carousel tag for more!

My interest in Louis Theroux’s documentaries led me to researching him. Among other things I learned: Louis Theroux is a cousin of Justin Theroux (Jennifer Aniston’s beau), and his father is Paul Theroux, famous travel writer. And because everything is somehow connected to Michael Jackson, you won’t be surprised to hear that Paul Theroux used to receive phone-calls from the King of Pop himself. The call he’ll never forget.

Oh, Charlie. Rolling Stone went into prison and interviewed Manson. It’s pretty weird, as you might expect.

I vote a hearty yes to glow-in-the-dark sidewalks!

Meet the Woman Who Waged an Artistic War Against Her Street Harassers. Brooklyn oil painter Tatyana Fazlalizadeh got fed up with dudes invading her space. So she started telling them.

Russell Brand rips Rupert Murdoch a new one.

Here’s why productive people get up insanely early.

And when I asked our Philosophy PhD-turned-VC why I felt most productive on a plane, he opened his Moleskine to the opening cover where he had this quote from Pascal pasted: “The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.” In other words, not being able to go anywhere cuts away the need to think about new stimuli–and finally allows us to focus.

Florida’s Strange and Beautiful Mermaid Theme Park! I can’t believe this exists!

Love this… Dear Dudes… What Good Women want to say to Good Men

Oh, TLC. Best Funeral Ever is a truly bizarre concept for a show…

10 personal finance tips from hip-hop lyrics. Yes indeed!

So, Elon University is offering a self-pleasure course to teach students how to masturbate.

My main babe Helen and her husband, Vasely, underwent some massive changes in 2013. She losing 66lbs by eating fat, and Vasely has dropped over 145lbs. It blows my mind! It was fantastic to see Helen in November, and she is feeling so much happier and more confident.

This recent interview with Paris Hilton is fantastic!

Oh my: the uncomfortable racial preferences revealed by online dating.

Haha! Here are the most perfectly-timed pictures of 2013.

John Saward is one of my absolute favourite writers. His stuff makes me laugh and think and swoon a little bit. Informerciless is a brilliant piece (see below), and I also really enjoyed pick-up artists, man caves, bad yearbook photos and Kanye West, and requiem for my hairline.

Watching television at four in the morning is to be profoundly, exhilaratingly free and alone, occupying a kind of fourth dimension where you can become everything but don’t have to become anything. Where you can get rid of your acne with six easy payments, where you are a renegade Godbro listening to Big Tymers in your Jeep Grand Cherokee as you peel out of the high school parking lot, but where you are also still sitting there, semilucid, eating waffles with your hands in the flickering glow of three blonde women nodding and applying creams to each other and trying to change their lives. It is a last salvation; you are safe to dream of plastic, homogenized American vanity without the realities of mirrors and fluorescent lights and people who think your thighs look like stegosaurus feet. Those people exist, but they are not here, only you are, triumphant and scared at the same time.

Carrageenan is scary. Kristin wrote all about it, because it’s in everything! (I can’t have it anymore, it messes up my stomach too much!)

Aw. The most awkward dogs of 2013.

Seth Godin on not trash-talking your own important work.

If you’re psyched to be productive in 2014, this might help you: Energy, Time, Priority, Work/Life: 4 New Ways To Organize Your To-Do List.

What if you don’t want or feel anything? Ask Polly: My Life Is A Beige Pointless Hellscape!

We imagine glory for people in the spotlight, but if they’re not balanced, what they mostly achieve is an anxious state of perpetual pursuit.

Beyonce and Jay-Z went vegan for 22 days.

It’s socially acceptable for women to identify as bi-sexual, but men seldom get the same courtesy. Why Should Fluid Sexuality Be Women-Only?

Research on women’s sexual desires (as opposed to their behavior) reveals the female libido to be, in the words of author Daniel Bergner, “omnivorous.”

Alexandra Franzen has a gift to give you: the gift of focus and clarity.

Wow. This is special! Porn Hub comments on stock photos.

The 14 Habits of Highly Miserable People, or how to succeed at self-sabotage. Total truth!

Huh! The First 24/7 Porn Channel for Women Is Coming to the U.S.

Cleaning: The Final Feminist Frontier, or why men still don’t do their share of the dirty work.

…a women’s desire for a clean home has deeper origins than just marketing. Cleaning, Hoschild says, is not simply physical work. It’s emotional work. “Letting the house go is in a way letting something deeper go. … You get a sense of safety in an orderly home,” Hochschild says.

Paul Jarvis doesn’t live up to his online self. And hey, none of us do!

This is pretty genius and I am seriously considering giving it a try in my own life: The Notecard System for rembering, organising and using everything you read.

Absolutely loved this interview with Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame, on how she writes. I agree with what she says 100%!

We say we love creativity, but we actually don’t.

Ouch: ‘Thinspiration’ Packages Eating Disorders as a Lifestyle Choice.

“Eating disorders have always been a competitive sport, but social media just increases the number of people you are competing with.”

Attention, writers! Writing a book won’t change your life.

Here’s some unsolicited career advice for the Gossip Girl crew.

It’s better to run towards things, rather than away from them.

Beyonce Broke the Music Business and I love her for it.

On, you pick your problem, then let art solve it for you!

I really enjoyed Autumn’s interview with Kate on being a new mother, and how body image plays into all that.

Women aren’t good at being arrogant self-aggrandizing jerks, even when it would help them.

On the rising intonation (or “uptalk”) that is so prevalent in New Zealand (and among valley girls).

In such instances, uptalk, rather than suggesting insecurity, may in fact signal confidence, paternalism, coercion or faux conviviality.

This is awesome: Nearly 25 Years of Fathering — and All I’ve Got Are These 3 Lousy Tips.

Higher resolutions. Can you commit to doing something every day in 2014?

Mike and I have been marathonning old episodes of American Horror Story (starting at season one) and I’m loving it. I also adore Taissa Farmiga, and I wish I knew how to pronounce her name. Check out these American Horror Story tarot cards!

This made me laugh until I cried.

Here are ten mind-blowing facts about yoga. Makes you wanna get out your yoga mat, no?

On Canonization, Demonization, and Reluctant Stars

When you step onstage (literally or metaphorically), many people will cast you in a role of their own imagining. You will become, in their eyes: A guru – or an egomaniac; a role model – or an example of what not to do; super cool – or coldhearted… you see where I’m going with this?

Austin Kleon on 10 Things Every Creator Should Remember But We Often Forget. ‘Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started’ and ‘be boring’ are two important ones…

If you’re terrified to turn 30 (or to age in general), this is a must-read.

Celebrities pose with their younger selves! Cute.

Here’s why your name matters. Fascinating stuff.

In Which The Author Receives A Drake Tattoo And Realizes He Hates Drake.

Drake innately understands how to live in public in the post-post-post-modern era. Though he is a musician, he’s a pitchman first and foremost, and the product he’s pushing is himself, his narrative, his life. True fans of Drake don’t just consume the music. They consume him, and he, symbiotically, consumes them. It’s like being taken over by The Thing.

This concern with pleasing others over the self can, if you let it, consume your life to the point where suddenly everything you do is somehow performative. This isn’t Drake’s fault, but it sort of is. In the age of social media, anyone can become a public figure, simply by virtue of screaming loud enough and reminding enough people that you exist, to distract yourself from the inevitability of death by creating a hermetically sealed bubble in which you seem to matter. I live on Twitter, to the point where if I don’t tweet for three days, someone will text me to make sure I’m not dead. My friends and I can’t just have fun, we have to tweet about our mishaps, instagram ourselves having a good time, or else we haven’t instilled the requisite amount of FOMO in our peers so it doesn’t count. Doesn’t matter if we were too busy proving to others that we were having fun to fully appreciate the experience for its own inherent worth.

You can buy an urn that turns your ashes into a tree when you die.

You’re not a large corporation. Thank god.

Happy Birthday, Brain Pickings: 7 Things I Learned in 7 Years of Reading, Writing, and Living.

Seth Godin says, when you’re offered precisely what you were hoping for… say, “yes.”

The Most Important Thing You’re Not Doing to Start 2014. Instead of setting goals for 2014, do this.

Keep the fear out by counting your blessings.

James Franco wrote a piece about the art of the selfie. It’s pretty silly… But some of it is on-point.

Here are 31 Things I’d Have Told Myself Before College.

I love what Alain de Botton has to say on making resolutions.

And finally, this is one of the best things I read all month. When Your Mother Says She’s Fat.

As you sat in front of that pathetic scoop of mince, silent tears streamed down your face. I said nothing. Not even when your shoulders started heaving from your distress. We all ate our dinner in silence. Nobody comforted you. Nobody told you to stop being ridiculous and get a proper plate. Nobody told you that you were already loved and already good enough. Your achievements and your worth — as a teacher of children with special needs and a devoted mother of three of your own — paled into insignificance when compared with the centimeters you couldn’t lose from your waist.


Photo of Charli-XCX.