Democratic candidates are toothless if they can’t disagree.

Photo by Daniel Sandvik on Unsplash

I will admit upfront that I did not watch the Democratic primary debate on Thursday (nor the two that preceded it); I’ve already decided on my first and second choice candidates, and unless both of them leave the race it’s unlikely that I’ll entertain voting for someone else. But I was surprised and frustrated by one of the prevailing media narratives following the debate. It involves my first choice candidate, Julián Castro, and the candidate I am perhaps least likely to vote for, Joe Biden.

“Disqualifying.”

This is the word many pundits used to describe Secretary Castro’s pointed call-out of…


Why I miss the golden age of blogging

Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash

Agathe was a fashion blogger from Sweden with a flair for mixing vintage and high street clothes to create her own unique personal style. Anabela was a designer and lifestyle blogger from Toronto with a romantic photography style. Amy was a florist in New England who blogged on the side about the beauty of everyday life. Diana was a web designer from South Africa who blogged about art, fashion, and everything in between, sharing mixtapes every now and then.

These are just a few of the women around the globe whose blogs I followed religiously from around 2007–2014. Some of…


A nostalgic look back at Apple’s pioneering music software

A glimpse of my extensive Sufjans Stevens collection

Apple announced this week that the company will be phasing out its iTunes software and moving forward with separate apps for Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple TV to align with the current iOS strategy. While I’m aware that many people find iTunes clunky and outdated, I’m extremely sad to see it go, and nervous for what changes the new app may bring. It got me thinking about my journey with iTunes over the years — from childhood to adolescence to early adulthood — and how important it’s been in my life.

My parents were always early adopters of Apple…


The KonMari tidying method is a reaction to the cycle of consumerism, not the cause — and it can help us break it.

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

In the months since the release of Marie Kondo’s popular Netflix show Tidying Up — a reality show adapted from her best-selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up — there have been a lot of misguided (and often racist) opinions about the show, Kondo’s tidying method, and Kondo herself.

First there was a flurry of tweets warning Kondo to “stay away from my books!” from people who had completely misinterpreted her stance on books. Other people assumed that Kondo was advocating for a strictly minimalist lifestyle and would make them reduce their belongings to reach a certain acceptable amount…


More than just the ultimate competitor, Ginobili was the emotional heart of the San Antonio Spurs

Manu Ginobili, NBA legend and all-around great human being, retired today after 16 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs. This moment was a long time coming, but still shocked fans and sparked an outpouring of love and memories about the Spurs’ most popular player. Yes, most popular.

NBA fans outside the city might wonder how Manu earned that distinction over other Spurs greats like David Robinson or Tim Duncan. And it’s true that most Spurs fans would call Duncan the “greatest-ever Spur.” But if you asked a random Spurs fan who their favorite player was, the odds are high that…


Virginia Woolf’s seminal feminist text continues to be relevant in unexpected ways

by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

When Virginia Woolf penned her 1929 essay (originally a lecture), A Room of One’s Own, the creative landscape was much bleaker for women than it is today. Women were banned from many educational institutions and cultural spheres, and lacked the financial independence of their male creative counterparts. Woolf created her “room of one’s own” concept to illuminate the lack of opportunity for women in her day to achieve the state of creative solitude needed to write successfully.

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

But now in 2018, the question…


Democrats should know better than to cede to a double standard

Photo by annie bolin on Unsplash

The political landscape is growing increasingly bleak to those on the left side of the aisle — there’s the family separation crisis at the border, and the loss of a key ally on the Supreme Court. The stakes could not be higher, and the grassroots are rising to the occasion. Activists are protesting, engaging in civil disobedience, and making life uncomfortable for those complicit in the injustices of the Trump administration. …


Remembering the golden age of Livejournal, and the life-saving power of online community

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

I wanted to write a nostalgic piece about how the Internet used to be idyllic — a place of learning and connection and light-hearted fun. It’s hard to remember these days, when social media is overrun by neo-Nazis and bots, and fake news drowns out any meaningful content. But in light of the recent deaths by suicide of two widely beloved celebrities, I’m thinking instead about how the Internet was once (and still can be) a safe space, and a life-saving connection between those who hurt and those who help heal them.

Like most introverted teens in the early aughts…


Sebastián Lelio’s masterful film stands apart from the pack of recent queer cinema with its ambivalent ending

Ronit, Esti, and Dovid in the 2018 film Disobedience

Disobedience, the new film by 2017 Oscar-winning director Sebastián Lelio, shows the messiness of real life in a way that other mainstream queer films have not. It concludes with a complicated ending that is neither fully tragic nor fully triumphant. Although the film takes place in a very specific community, it nonetheless represents a more universal queer love story than films that portray queer relationships as necessarily doomed for heartbreak or synonymous to straight relationships.

(spoilers ahead)

The film follows the reunion of old friends and one-time lovers, Ronit (Rachel Weisz) and Esti (Rachel McAdams). The death of Ronit’s rabbi…


“Would you work with [known abuser] again?” misses the point.

Jessica Walter and Jeffrey Tambor

The recent conversation around Jeffrey Tambor’s harassment allegations has highlighted some of the most unproductive reactions to #MeToo moments. Too often we keep the focus on abusers, when we should be proactively supporting the abused.

Jeffrey Tambor’s abusive on-set behavior is in the news again thanks to an emotional NY Times interview with the cast of Arrested Development. Tambor revealed in a previous interview with The Hollywood Reporter that he had verbally harassed his co-star Jessica Walter on the set of the show. Or to put it in Walter’s words, “In like almost 60 years of working, I’ve never had…

Caroline Grace Stefko

Bookworm, foodie, music snob, fangirl, and all-around enthusiast. I write about pop culture, film, literature, sexuality, and politics.

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