Broad City, Skate Land

There’s a scene from “Gnarly in Pink”, Kristelle Laroche and Ben Mullinkosson’s short documentary about the Pink Helmet Posse, where a tiny blond girl in a pink tutu attempts to plant her deck, but loses her balance and falls. We hear her sobbing and crying out in pain as she rolls over and picks herself up. The camera follows her as she runs to an adult, standing at the other end of the pool, just watching. He didn’t come running when she fell and he doesn’t even say anything ’til she gets to him.

This little, seemingly innocuous detail makes a huge difference when it comes to teaching young girls to just get back up if they fall: there is no other way to learn not only how to help yourself or what your body is capable of enduring. You will just have to get back up.

I’m really breaking my own heart (and bank account) right now because when I get back to Manila, I’ll have to wait another year to train with the league, and it will be god knows how long before I can qualify to teach something that is completely absent in all of Southeast Asia (save for a short-lived league in Kuala Lumpur).

I’m still having trouble understanding why derby only exists in some parts of the world, but I guess it’s pretty obvious that in a place where femininity is represented in the mainstream by tight vaginas, pouffy gowns, and tiny arms, there would be no place for an image of a girl in a helmet and hot pants, going at 25 miles per hour, with the goal of getting ahead of the pack and knocking over anyone standing in the way. There is no place either for a sporting event that does not make room for men or associate skill or talent with performing “like a boy”.

So back to this thing about breaking my heart: it just has to be in the place where I grew up that we are inundated with pictures of women, but this other image is completely absent. Side note: I spent four years teaching in an institution that perpetuated this kind of image and ran along this thread of biological essentialism. Of course I have issues that came to this*.

I’ll admit I was one of those people who saw derby as a subculture rather than a sport, and it meant joining the league and buying additional insurance to understand the issues and difficulties that come with getting it recognized as a legitimate sporting event. I’m 28, and for my whole life, I have never taken anything athletic seriously. On the bright side, this made the decision to join ACRD an easy one. I didn’t think that I was “sportsing”, initially I approached it as ethnographic research that would keep me occupied while I hung out with my sister for the first time in two years.

I was an idiot to think my body wouldn’t be paying the price, and this is also one of derby’s biggest issues: even with thousands of women joining leagues, and simultaneously training, drafting, and competing with each other, all that energy and time spent still runs the risk of getting dismissed as a silly little girls’ hobby rather than something that irreversibly alters the way we move, the way we are built, and the way we relate to each other. A lot of this is because of derby’s resistance to abandoning feminine archetypes in favor of the typical, masculine imagery associated with anything athletic. It refuses to give up the pageantry, the booty-shaking, and the make-up, but there’s so much more to it that you only learn firsthand. You learn that living in your skin, actually showing your skin’s been lived in, means risking injury, and that doing so doesn’t make you “like a boy”, you’re just another kind of girl.

With every practice, I better understand why this is not only beautiful, but necessary – something that was communicated so well in “Gnarly in Pink”. It makes space where women compete based not on the usuals, rather it rewards speed and strength and sportsmanship. It also shows that there is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing a tutu**, whether in the rink or on the half pipe. By all means, show how there are other ways to rock a tutu.

*Other weird details include studying fashion in college, teaching fashion to college students, and accompanying my lawyer dad to the preliminary screenings for Binibining Pilipinas (tr. Miss Philippines) where he made sure everyone was of legal age and a Filipino citizen. There were other messed-up guidelines about having scars or stretch marks, but they didn’t need lawyers to sniff that kind of bullshit out.

**…or heels, or make-up, or any other indicators of so-called female frivolity that stand in the way of being taken seriously on terms you never had the chance to set.

Perpetual Tomboy

Earlier tonight, I learned to shuffle around on my skates. Shuffling is awkward. It makes you feel awkward because it means galloping from side to side on a 3-inch high platform shoe. With wheels. Today is also the first time I managed not to fall by accident, but I did land on my knee the wrong way when we did exercises that involved dropping to the floor. Nevertheless, it feels good to get something right.

Aside from my sister and the rare moments I actually get any grad school work done, derby is my only real reason for being in Texas. I lucked out because my sister’s job and apartment are close to the skating rink. When I tell people about what I’m doing out here, they usually ask if it’s anything like it is in “that movie” – that movie being Whip It. I can’t actually remember enough of Whip It to make any substantial comparisons because my first encounter with Derby was in that Luscious Jackson video, so that’s what stuck.

Our first meeting was spent discussing insurance, monthly dues, and protective gear – in that as a beginner, it would make more sense to invest in protective gear than in skates. With that, I left the rink with a second-hand pair of skates (which I would later find out cost $300 brand new), and plans to visit the skate shop in Lewisville, where I would be fitted with extra small wrist guards and medium knee pads.

“I did not realize I was a medium in the leg department,” I told Chris, the salesguy, after jumping off chairs and landing on my knees to see if I would break anything (I don’t know how this became a smart thing to do, but I was told to test everything before buying it).

“I don’t know about that, maybe it’s because our legs let us do such awesome things, like running and jumping on stuff”…And that’s how I was convinced to spend over a hundred dollars in protective gear alone, on a sport I would have to fly to the states to compete in. This guy, in pajama pants covered with flying pigs, had given me a reason to feel a little less ashamed of my calves, as well as to feel ridiculous for even thinking that extra small was some kind of triumph.

Because we play in hot pants and fishnets, it’s hard to avoid how derby gets fetishized and commonly associated with catfights and angry, man-hating women. From my experience with the league though, I’ve never seen something so civil and so professionally handled. There’s none of that crap about scratching your opponent’s eyes out or pulling their hair. It’s already difficult enough without any of that foul play.

It seems silly, and one of my more convenient explanations for doing this is “Boredom”, which is far from the truth. Derby was something I just spat out when asked what I planned to do while visiting my sister for two months; but what I eventually wanted out of it was to immerse in an alternative description of femininity, one I used to get out of listening to Courtney Love (before she became super ridiculous) and Kim Gordon. One that didn’t involve competing based on appearance or the hypocrisy inherent in the way we’re taught to use our sexuality.

I had (and still have) endless issues from feeling alienated and constantly having to assert that I was a girl (I can only imagine how shitty it would have been for me, had I grown up in the age of tumblr), that I’m female–as if having a vagina is not enough–because I was never comfortable with the code of conduct that came with it. Even now, I still feel a little awkward or a little shy around women who are more graceful or more demure, who take up less space and don’t wobble around like drunken hobos. And while I’ve long accepted that I am not and will never be like that, there will always be that longing to outgrow my inner tomboy.

What a waste of time though, and strapping on knee pads and skates is just an extension of saying fuuuuuck it. I mean, “Tomboy”, who the fuck cares? The term shouldn’t even hold any water when you’re doing something that matters only to you and the women on your team, which is pretty much all women. I wish I didn’t take so long to figure that out.

Date a girl who reads: Leisurely Panstless edition

This post was made possible by free McDonald’s WiFi

Holy shit, I LOVE McDONALD’s! This is cool, right? I am free to declare my love for an international fast-food chain that has served billions and sustained many living on minimum wage while remaining complicit in their exploitation? But oh man, pancakes, guys. I want cheap pancakes and a caramel sundae on the side, because butter is for losers. I’m talking to you, Paula Deen.

Anyway, it’s been TEN MONTHS since I let go of the guardrail (aka mom’s house) and struck out on my own by moving down the block. Just kidding, I’ll never be able to afford living in my mom’s neighborhood. They used to dump bodies in the open sewer before the sidewalks were built. I was an undergrad then, and on the way to the corner to catch the jeep, I’d pass the candles left by mourners. Then sidewalks, because that’s how you move up in the world! And now I can’t afford to live in the neighborhood I grew up in.

Speaking of moving up in the world, I found a place that literally has a window for a wall in the middle of Celadon Manila. That’s what they’re calling the strip between Sampaloc and Quezon City now, and it’s kind of hilarious, the way extreme wealth rubs up so closely against extreme poverty in these parts, and how neatly I fit in the middle. After rent, I kind of scrape by, happy with every small purchase, but this place is awesome. I had a few months to find a place, and this was the only one that was a walk-up (because who wants to have to ride an elevator just to get home?) which allowed pets. I am writing this from an armchair made entirely of soft, soft kittens.

Before turning in tonight, I’m gonna crack open this beer to celebrate updating this little space I’ve carved out, not in “Celadon Manila”, but online. WordPress tells me that it’s this blog’s anniversary, so hooray! 9 years, blog! We made it! Why aren’t we famous? Where are my sponsored posts where I get to talk about car wax and how big a fan I am of Arm and Hammer products (no shit though, I love Arm and Hammer. Hands down. The only brand I will, in good conscience, name drop the shit out of Arm and Hammer Arm & Hammer Armie Hammer Hammer Time Hammer Museum WHAT Armand Hammer)?

Whatever, that’s okay. Let’s talk about BOOKS! I’d pose with a bunch of books I’m holding, but I’d rather talk about shit I read, because that’s how I kind of distract myself from the loneliness of living alone in a neighborhood where I can go through a whole day without hearing a single word of English. YAY! BOOKS!

  1. Zeitoun, Dave Eggers
  2. Isn’t it great that Dave Eggers’ by-line is “Dave” and not “David”? It’s like we could be friends, and I shouldn’t hesitate to shoot the shit with him through email. But I also should, because since YSKOV, and bits and pieces of How We Are Hungry, Eggers has made a mission of being more relevant to humanity after torturing his readers with that chapter in AHWofSG about his audition for The Real World. Also, acronyms.
    Anyway, why did I pick up Zeitoun? I’ve been wanting my own copy for a while, but I didn’t get one ’til my friend Karlo came along and was like, “Happy borthday!” (I stand by borthday). And like all birthday gifts, this came with the additional pressure of being something I have to slog through, rather than just letting it decorate my shelf, showing people about how cultured I am. Zeitoun felt like a logical choice when it came to, a) grief, and b) shitty weather; which is what we’ve/I’ve been having, especially in these parts where we/I get rained in pretty regularly. The worst that has happened though was being waist-deep (well, my car’s waist…if cars could have waists) in floodwater that nearly ripped my plates off (again, the car’s plates).
    So that’s what Zeitoun is, or was, to me: an extended account of recovery after some form of exclusion or betrayal, in the wake of a natural disaster.

  3. Before She Met Me, Julian Barnes
  4. If you make stuff, my conditions for liking you are hinged on whether or not your sadness surfaces in your work. My formative years were spent listening to fucking Mad Season and Nirvana, so when it comes to writers, I tend to gravitate towards dudes like Raymond Carver, Richard Ford, and Hanif Kureishi (who’s basically British Richard Ford). I don’t know why theirs are the kinds of relationship stories I fall for so easily because they reflect very weakly in my own relationships, so it’s not as if I can actually relate to anything that these men are saying. But they say things so beautifully, and I’d quote directly from the Barnes book, but my copy’s with THE ARTIST, Rob Cham, so we’ll have to make do with this bit from Kureishi’s Intimacy, which I’m currently in the middle of:

    I have been trying to convince myself that leaving someone isn’t the worst thing you can do to them. Sombre it may be, but it doesn’t have to be a tragedy. If you never leave anything or anyone there would be no room for the new. Naturally, to move on is an infidelity – to others, to the past, to old notions of oneself. Perhaps every day should contain at least one essential infidelity or necessary betrayal. It would be an optimistic, hopeful act, guaranteeing belief in the future – a declaration that things can be not only different but better.

    I’m not saying it’s the same book, but there’s something about the opening lines from Before She Met Me in which Graham and Anne, a professor and a fashion merchandiser, turn his wife, Whatserface (because every wife in these stories is reduced to “Whatserface”), into a casualty of the small victory that comes with their having met and hit it off. It’s both specific and familiar and I like writers who can make the boredom of everyday life seem compelling. This felt more like an extension of another work, “Complicity” (from Pulse), than his other stuff that you can find here, like Arthur and George (a fictionalized account of the the relationship that develops between Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and George Edalji) and The Sense of an Ending. While the former deals with mutilation and the latter has a suicide at its center, the characters in Before She Met Me stammer through their conversations and exit scenes with dick and fart jokes, before Barnes just kind of blows everything up, making him the Michael Bay of sad British contemporary fiction.

  5. Lost Cat, Caroline Paul
  6. This one holds a special place in my heart because a friend sent it around the same time my cat, Sandwich, went missing and I had to go door-to-door, flyering my mom’s neighborhood, and yelling “Sandwich! Sandwich!” through tears. Anyway, Sandwich was found, Lost Cat arrived in the mail, and all is well because I now have a better understanding of love through obsessive pursuit of small animals who are unable to express themselves verbally. Lost Cat opens with the words, “Once I was in a plane crash…”, and if you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, you know exactly what that means.

  7. The Everyday: Documents of Contemporary Art, ed. Stephen Johnstone
  8. Sometimes I just wish I had a TV.

  9. Mourning Diary, Roland Barthes
  10. Beautiful, earnest, heartfelt, delivers everything it promised, and unlike Joan Didion’s Year of Magical Thinking, or the first part of Eggers’ Heartbreaking Work… it actually gives you time to catch your breath by letting the grief retreat to your head.
    Filed under: “Why do you do this to yourself?”

  11. Barefoot Gen: A Cartoon History of Hiroshima Book 1, Keiji Nakazawa and Hiroshima Notes, Kenzaburo Oe
  12. I read somewhere about a book which compiled sketches done by those who survived the blast. I can’t remember where or who talked about it, so I’ve kind of been chasing it by picking up anything that has Hiroshima as its subject. This began with Little Boy which traced the origins of the Super Flat movement to Japan’s 1945 surrender and the ensuing infantilization of its military capacity–which thus resulted in the country arming itself by developing nuclear power for “private consumption”. There are many ways to build a bomb, but I’m more interested in how this reflects in a society’s cultural expressions, and the legacy it leaves on aesthetics.
    Barefoot Gen was a really stressful read though; unlike Oe’s account, it literally leaves nothing to the imagination, even with the images relegated to manga, it still hits pretty hard. Rick Poynor has an essay up on Design Observer about whether or not we should look at corrosive images, I think it was an offshoot of another article about the falling man (from 9/11), but all the same, there is something equally corrosive about images that allow your mind to fill in the blanks. I don’t think I’ll actually be seeking out the rest of the series, at least not for now.

  13. Rick Poynor, Obey the Giant
  14. Maybe this shouldn’t be here, because it’s one of those leisurely pantsless reads that constantly crosses over into un-fun academic territory. But I used to bookmark Poynor’s work, and I ordered this and waited for my mom to go to my sister’s place in Asscrack, Texas to pick it up for me, because I’m too cheap to pay for international shipping. And once it got here I read it and then I read it again. Which is something you do with books, but this is the kind of glossy, picture heavy shit that you’d be happy to just allow to sit on your shelf. Kind of like Infinite Jest which is basically a bunch of pictures made of words, lots of words, but does great work for any #shelfie…Wait, this is not a review…ANYWAY, Obey the Giant! As an undergraduate, I followed Wooster Collective, copying and pasting a lot of the stuff there into my Multiply blog (still the most underrated blogging platform, in my opinion. Fucking Multiply had to get overrun with…ANYWAY!) and that nurtured the beginnings of my fascination with Museum 2.0 and questions of bypassing traditional tastemakers and gatekeepers, especially when it came to contemporary art. Poynor very eloquently articulates the commercial aspects of this, of how consumer culture provides an outpost for counter-appropriating elements of the contemporary art world. The discussion shifts around a lot, so it’s not always easy to tell which side he’s on, but that doesn’t make it any less engaging; which brings us to…

  15. Vermeer in Bosnia and Everything That Rises, Lawrence Weschler
  16. I don’t even remember how I first came across Weschler, but I remember wanting to be him the minute I read his work. It was an excerpt from something about Robert Irwin. I think it may have been an article I jumped to after reading an article on Walter de Maria’s Lightning Field. When I was a freshman in the Ateneo FA program, Fr. Rene Javellana showed us a picture of Christo and Jeanne Claude’s Surrounded Islands and I remember thinking, well what the fuck, right? Because who does that? But if no one asks, who does that, then no one’s going to do anything new, and we’ll be stuck here being boring and instagramming our breakfasts like boring people. But even instagramming breakfast is done in the grand tradition of “Who the hell does that?” Thanks Christo, it all makes sense now.
    So Weschler, like Poynor, is one of those hybrids who is both a leisurely and a bizness read. One of the most embarrassing things about me, which I will now openly admit, is that my CV used to have the words “To be Lawrence Weschler.” typed under “Career Objective”. What’s more embarrassing is I used a template that had my “career objective” (just one) in the header. The point is nothing that I’m doing now would make sense had I not come across his essays first.
    Now I just want to be a roller derby star. But Lawrence Weschler, still; I’m not done until I learn to write in counterpoint. The problem is I can’t organize my thoughts that way, at least not yet.

  17. The Best American Nonrequired Reading (2005), ed. Dave Eggers
  18. Date a girl who reads (just kidding, don’t click that link, it’s awful. Just stay here and be my friend). I rarely finish anthologies because I…ran…out of…Ritalin. That is a lie. I finish anthologies because I try to respect the choices of editors and the pain that comes with shortlisting and rejecting. Eggers is one of the names I stand by–like Arm and Hammer–even if he lied when he said that Daniel Clowes is in this book. Either I’m really stupid or I bought a misprint (like my copy of Manhood for Amateurs which I’d also talk about here, but my copy’s with Karlo the Cletoris Cleto [since I’ve mentioned him twice, I guess we’re best friends]) or the Clowes entry was a big dopey mistake. All the same: Clowes is not in this book.
    But William T. Vollmann and Stephen Elliott are, and that is more than enough because along with Eggers, I will also hit anything written by these two. But it also kind of shows how overwhelmingly male and Caucasian the contents of my bookshelf are, which kind of makes it like the rest of the world, right? Haha? “Sorry, colonialism, I know,” This is actually a line I heard on a date because I go out with the BEST PEOPLE.
    I wonder when Philippine literature will be lucrative enough to allow writers to dwell for extended periods on their own self-initiated research, but that’s another story altogether and has nothing to do with what writers like Vollmann have contributed to the craft. “They Came Out like Ants,” is a product of his obsession with La Chinesca, or the Chinatown of Mexicali (“Which I guess is not the same as Calexico?” – Alice–bad at geography–Sarmiento), upon hearing the urban legends of a subterranean metropolis carved beneath international borders, from which Chinese immigrants emerged “like ants” after a “great fire”.

    I just got an email from one of my past editors that their publishing house was going to let go of all their titles, and one of the responses to this was a solemn electronic goodbye to “the oldest magazine in the country.” I’ve been keeping it a secret, but I used to write for MOD. The pay was shitty and the articles they made me write were equally shitty 450-worders, so it should come as no surprise, but wow. Even that, with the little effort that it’s worth, had to go. What’s worse is that it’s not really going to be replaced by anything, except maybe crappy McCrap done in the same vein as “Date a Girl Who Reads”. Stuff that harps on reading without actually talking about what’s on the page.
    So what’s on the page, flipping to a random one we get:

    We waited for the doors to open, then stepped inside the car. In her own at once vulnerable and sassy way, Ginger had been trying to seduce me for weeks, but I had resisted, mainly because I couldn’t understand her attraction to me and thought–admittedly in a paranoid way–that if our bodies ever coupled she would never have anything do with me again and I would lose my glimpse into the American aristocracy once and for all.

    Those were just two sentences from Douglas Trevor’s “Girls I know” (from the Best American Nonrequired Reading) and when someone opens the first sentence with waiting for doors to open, and closes the second one with a bit about losing one’s glimpse into the way the other half lives, you know you’re looking at someone who has mastered the craft, but knows better than to take you out of the character’s meandering thoughts by actually punctuating them properly.
    This is the kind of self-consciousness I’ve adopted by being too preoccupied with academic writing over the past few months (basically, since I started living here), and try to let go of from time to time by returning to this space. I used to blog on Livejournal, and it’s comforting to see that some of my friends are still there. I think I was happiest on Multiply, because it coincided with my lowest point in my professional (read: disgruntled employee) life.
    Hug the internet because it’s pretty much the asscrack your brain farts out of. Thanks, WordPress, for the little dongle you placed in the corner of my browser, reminding me of just how long I’ve been stinking up this little space. I never had to delude myself into thinking my shit smelled like roses because there were always people who were better at the craft than I was, and that’s one of those little notes I’ve had to pin to the inside of my head, as a perpetually precarious freelance writer: that there is productivity in perpetual insecurity.

“Please, be careful.”

There were girls found in dumpsters, behind truck stop diners, off the side of the road on truck turnarounds—the national database listed over five-hundred Jane Does in or near rest areas and truck stops alone. Some of these were the very truck stops I was now passing through, and yet I couldn’t uncover even rumors of past murders. The strangeness of this crystallized when I visited a Pennsylvania truck stop where I knew for a fact that two women had been killed, one found only yards from where the woman I was speaking to worked. Still, she “had never heard of anything like that.”

Vanessa Veselka, on “The Lack of Female Road Narratives and Why It Matters”

Kae Davantes was 25; managed accounts for McCann Erickson; her body was found beneath a bridge in Silang, Cavite, in a position beyond dehumanizing. I spent all day listening to her case on the radio, following its developments. She will be buried tomorrow, but her name must never be forgotten.

It is unfortunate and appalling to have to speak of Kae Davantes in the past tense, yet it is an undeniably familiar story, one that repeats itself in every type of cultural expression, both popular and esoteric, exploited and/or given justice by famous names from Capote to Caparas.

Today’s iterations should come with hashtags: #girl, #alone, #found, #dead; followed by the familiar cries of outrage for justice, for safety, and the typical legacy: a cautionary tale rife with the contradiction of a man’s presence in a woman’s life as both protection and threat. Louis CK even has a routine about it.

I have dangled tear gas, pepper spray, and mace; taken classes where I had to learn to kick a gun out of someone’s hand or use my hips to push away someone who has me pinned down by the shoulders. I still regularly deal with comments about my clothes, warning of the kinds of responses any amount of exposed flesh may elicit–the same goes for anything that might signal weakness or wealth or both. My mom put it most succinctly when I told her of my plans to house-sit for my dad (who’d been robbed several times) that I should “Imagine what ‘they’ would do if they found out a girl was living in that house alone.

“Then why does he (meaning my dad) have to live there alone?” I shot back. And she said, “That’s different.” Meaning he isn’t a woman, meaning his vulnerability, unlike mine, was negotiable.

My mom still tells my sister to “Be careful walking from the parking lot to your apartment,” and my grandmother used to tell us not to go out at night–ever. I tend to forget how deeply we’ve confused paranoia with pragmatism because of how normal it feels to be afraid all the time. Pressed between the fingertips of a #girl #alone, i.e. me, a lighted cigarette becomes a weapon–albeit a pathetic one, but a weapon nonetheless, granting but not guaranteeing some illusion of safety.

Each time a story like the Davantes case found its way into the headlines was a warning. Imagine if the stories of women who’d met similar fates were granted just as much attention. If the newspapers were more faithful to the actual statistics, would the outrage increase proportionately – enough to eradicate the threat? Or would this dull our senses, allow us to accept violence and the disposability of human life as normal, as a means to justify our well-intentioned warnings to “Please, be careful,” when what we really mean is to be aware of a world that will take no accountability for tagging you as dispensable, of its unspeakable atrocities, and of the men behind them.

We really need to talk about Miley Cyrus’s vagina

Yes, you can and you will stop

  1. Let’s stop talking about these young girls and what they are willing to do with and broadcast about their vaginas. All the slut-shaming in the world will not change the even more disturbing fact that Miley’s vagina (like Taylor Swift’s) is technically not even hers to begin with; it may have been her we saw on stage, tongue out, grinding up against some dude dressed as Beetlejuice. But what is a pop star’s body, if not a front for the promise of sex or the thrill of the empty glimpse into the private lives of public people.
  2. If it’s a song you’re selling, all “We Can’t Stop” really has to offer is the startling clarity of how little it takes to write a good song or make good music. Then again, who still goes into the music industry to make music?
  3. All this only signifies a career so concerned with turning a profit that Miley Cyrus’s vagina becomes the precious commodity at the heart of the transaction. Watching her “grow up” only means seeing more of it.
  4. Before going into what’s wrong with Miley Cyrus’s VMA performance, it also helps to ask what on earth would that performance would look like without the tongue and the twerking. (Which is nothing.) Without any allusions to coke, without the appropriation of what other minorities have suffer through, by a white body that never has to suffer the consequences, without the usual things that get people talking, “We Can’t Stop” is derivative, overproduced tripe that sounds like it was written using madlibs and a Nokia 3210 (and it probably was). It’s not even bad enough to merit negative attention, it’s just a mediocre song that happens to be dripping with coke snot.
  5. To glamorize drug use diminishes the reality that when addiction hits, it hits like a train, as both truth and consequence. But to justify the issue–to sensationalize it through addiction alone, at the expense of reducing yet another celebrity’s life into a train wreck–also ignores the equally important discussions surrounding what drugs are without addiction, without criminality, and how without drugs, both Miley Cyrus and “We Can’t Stop” are, again, nothing.
  6. The only people who can glamorize drug addiction are those who can afford to buy their way out of getting killed by it.