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Proof the Fleabag Jumpsuit Deserves Its Own Award (and 8 More Instagram Happenings of Note)

If you include Friday, according to Screen Time, I spent over five hours on Instagram this weekend. Considering the weather (mid-80s, sunny), my schedule (free as a bird), and my location (New York City), this figure is jarring. But—to employ one of the internet’s only remaining defenses—I did learn some stuff. And now, in lieu of spending, say, five hours in Central Park, I present you with the below: 10 things that made the scrolling worth it.

1. This photo of Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Jonathan Van Ness

Have you heard of the Television Critics Association Awards? I had not but I’m a new/ardent fan for three reasons: 1. They presented Phoebe Waller-Bridge with an award for Individual Achievement in Comedy last night, 2. the two journalists who introduced her were wearing The Jumpsuit (which, btw, is $45), and 3. this photo of a beautiful budding friendship (JVN also won for Queer Eye):

2. This quote by young Anthony Bourdain, care of one of my favorite IG accounts

@historycoolkids is an Instagram account dedicated to sharing fascinating, weird, or lesser-known facets of history. It is genuinely educational content, but fun, like when you get to watch an entertaining movie in history class. This Bourdain post from over the weekend is good (I also recently listened to Marc Maron’s interview with Anthony Bourdain, which is good, too):

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Anthony Bourdain with his kitchen staff, NYC, 1980.⁣ ⁣ “So who the hell, exactly, are these guys, the boys and girls in the trenches? You might get the impression from the specifics of my less than stellar career that all line cooks are wacked-out moral degenerates, dope fiends, refugees, a thuggish assortment of drunks, sneak thieves, sluts and psychopaths. You wouldn't be too far off base. The business, as respected three-star chef Scott Bryan explains it, attracts 'fringe elements', people for whom something in their lives has gone terribly wrong. Maybe they didn't make it through high school, maybe they're running away from something-be it an ex-wife, a rotten family history, trouble with the law, a squalid Third World backwater with no opportunity for advancement. Or maybe, like me, they just like it here. ” – Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential (2000)

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3. This Tierra Whack look + caption

I love Tierra Whack, and this outfit she wore to a show over the weekend in Montreal (which is apparently by @studiojudywo) is now seared into my mind. Also the caption is perfect, educational, and up for philosophical debate in the comments. Two related videos worth clicking: her “Unemployed” music video and Cardi’s recent endorsement of her.

4. This slanderous illustration of White Claw

As a self-proclaimed spiked seltzer bitch, I found this illustrative assertion that White Claw is the new Juul to be offensive but also harrowingly accurate, because if I’m honest, my love of White Claw is as ironic as it is earnest, which, really, is the unfortunate way of the Juul (although not for me personally).

5. “School of Life” is putting out a book!

School of Life, founded by the genius Alain de Botton, is one of the most charming YouTube channels I’ve ever discovered. It’s an educational channel focused on being alive, and it covers simple and complex concepts in a consistently digestible and entertaining way. (I particularly enjoyed the 101 series on western philosophy or this video on the importance of melancholy.) Anyway, I’m excited for the team over there because apparently it’s all been distilled into a single tome: The School of Life: An Emotional Education, avail now for pre-order.

6. Jerry Saltz’s lesson on nudity in art

NYMag’s senior art critic, Jerry Saltz, is always stirring up controversy on Instagram. If you’re interested in the art world (or art as it relates to culture), he’s an interesting follow if only because he’s super passionate about art and uninhibited enough to say whatever the fuck he wants about it. Even if I don’t always agree with him, I find his place in culture interesting (I also loved his Longform interview). Over the weekend his topic of choice was nudity as it relates to the meaning of art. It started with a post of this painting, which he described as “100% generic kitsch,” and was followed by the below, which breaks down what he thinks distinguishes good art and bad art. Obviously, people are talking.

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Lesson 355: One of the most important essences of art. ▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️ What would you say if I said: ▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️ 1. Subject Matter is often the least important part of your work. ▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️ 2. It is HOW you MAKE your Subject Matter. The HOW determines the WHAT your Subject Matter will convey. ▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️ 3. This is why all crucifixions DO NOT look all the same; why all nude images of women don’t look the same. ▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️ ▫️▫️▫️ ▫️4. This is the difference between Subject Matter and what is called CONTENT. ▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️ 5. CONTENT is how you embed ORIGINALITY, thought, feeling, imagination, desire, everything INTO your material. This is what will make your work either CONVINCING or unconvincing. ▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️ 6. A work of art need ONLY be CONVINCING. That is all. Once you have that – good or bad – you are there. Out beyond simple Subject Matter. Into the erotics of art. Now discern the content between the first three nudes. ▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️ 7. CONTENT is what makes your work either CONVINCING or unconvincing. 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 I learned this from Roberta Smith in 1986. I have used this ever since. ▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️▫️ Images: 1. Lisa Yuskavage 2. #TamaraDeLempicka ; 1932 (I love her work) 3. Anthony Christian; “Selt Portrait with My Model and a Pomegranate”, 2019 (I forgot the Tracy Emin nude- damn; sorry) 4. Mark Rothko. The CONTENT of a Mark Rothko might be it is like a Buddhist TV.

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7. My new favorite musician just dropped her debut album

I’ve been obsessed with Clairo since I first heard the song “Bags,” so when I saw that her debut album, Immunity, just dropped, I stopped what I was doing and immediately listened. And, ugh, it’s so good I can’t even be mad she was born in 1998. If you like Phoebe Bridgers you will love Clairo. (You can read more about her here!)

8. Coco Gauff met her hero Michelle Obama

I’ve been super into following Coco Gauff’s career after her impressive rise in tennis this year (also, she’s 15, but who’s counting?). I think I stared at these two photos of her meeting Michelle Obama for five solid minutes, wondering why it made me want to cry. Sharing in case you care to do the same:

9. This blessed video

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Where can I find a melon like this?! 🍉🍉🍉

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While this column is usually about news in the most lighthearted sense, it’s impossible to do an Instagram roundup without mentioning the number of posts on my feed this weekend dedicated to the horrifying shootings in El Paso and Dayton. If you’re looking for ways to contribute to the fight against gun violence, you can donate to Everytown here, or visit this link to send a message to your senators ASAP.

Feature photo by Steve Schofield/Amazon.

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