|Aug 18, 2019|
* Tomorrow my favorite boulangerie goes back to work post-vacances (they will still take their dimanches off throughout August). I'm impatiently waiting, as they have the most incredible feta sandwich, and I am compelled to recall my very first sandwich in French territory. I crossed the border from German Strasburg into the French one (I remember the taxi driver saying: "in Germany we invest in cars. People go from work to their home in a beautiful, expensive car. Here the cars are pretty lousy, but the people don't stay at home"). I was hungry. I spotted a small storefront with a line of people stretching out on the street. Later I understood this was my first boulangerie - as the genius institution was foreign to me at the time. The line made it seem like a decent choice, and so I walked in to order a sandwich. I have never tasted something like this before. It was just bread, cheese and some vegetables, but I remember my brain instantly resetting, alerting me gently: "ummm excuse me, we're gonna have to recalibrate a bit here. What the hell is this?" It was not about the food itself, nor the actual taste - it was the intimacy with a completely refined object in its natural context.
* I wish Lena Dunham would leave Instagram and just go back to write. Just write. First this summer came her funny Guardian essay - a passionate love letter to a reality show if there ever was one - then this week breezed in her Vogue 'beauty article', where she again succeeded to hunt down a pop theme and pound it out of all its trite and clichés, birthing her own pop insights which feel new, or at least equipped with 'feeling'. OK, strike that, feeling. This is a true achievement in its own right, but even more so when you consider which pop culture essayists are receiving constant clapping this summer. Here, I must credit The Guardian again, because had they failed to publish an episode out of Jia Tolentino's new book - a book which earned her a the title “the best young essayist at work in the U.S.”, no less - I might have actually been persuaded to purchase it. "The ideal woman looks beautiful, happy, carefree and perfectly competent. Is she really?" Yes, this is a real quote. Along this kind of groundbreaking thoughts, Tolentino mushes in terms like 'optimisation' and inspirational t-shirt slogans, and it's perfectly clear that she's more than ready to crown herself as Barthes 2020. Geez.
* This newsletter used to host a healthy dose of screenshots. I am saddened to say that like many forms of visual commodity, this too has gone off to feel passé and worn out. In the same vein, I'm scared to look at meme accounts out of fear to find another art-history meme which will forever ruin for me the artwork. I despise myself for watching films while giffing scenes in my head. But then I remind myself that it's thanks to The Glory of Internets that I get to watch Fassbinder in less than 5 minutes from the second I get the urge to, and the misery of excessively-giffed, immoderately-memed and overly-screenshotted world seems to melt away.