Howdy! Despite any rumors you might have heard and the confession you’re about to read, the only reason this week’s newsletter and new episode are a few days late is because life got in the way. As my Hinge profile said once upon a time, “My mantra is…that’s show biz baby.”
Let’s take it anywhere.
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The pace of change. I’m writing this on a Monday afternoon, nearly a full 48 hours after I attended disco night at a music venue near my apartment that I once frequented as a new New Yorker. Two days later, I remain violently hungover.
I had three drinks Saturday night. Three and a half if you count the meager cocktail I made myself and never finished as I got ready. Not that this is something to be proud of (in fact, if you’re my parents please stop reading), but I used to pregame nights out with my fellow 23-year-old girlfriends with four shots each. And that was before rolling up to one of the seven or so carbon copies of the same post-grad bar populated by girls who looked stunning and boys who looked like they needed a shower or a hug and ordering at least two more vodka sodas with lime.
Back then, I’d go to bed at 4am and wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 8:30 on Sunday morning to write a certain business newsletter that went to about 2 million people the next day. I was invincible…and now I’m not.
My tolerance is severely, severely less formidable than it used to be. My post-drinking days, once characterized by a “pop an Advil and walk it off” laissez-faire kind of attitude, are now firmly in the ghastly and fabled realm of the overwhelming late-20s hangover. I wished for the sweet release of death on more than one occasion Sunday.
My body and its chemistry have changed. But my mind has not followed at pace. I still think I can hang. But I cannot by any stretch of the imagination hang. I cannot (trigger warning: tequila) screech “does anyone want a shot of tequila?” over the ABBA blaring from the DJ stand. I cannot suggest we stay for one more song just in case they play “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” again. I cannot function on four hours of sleep and a chicken bacon ranch slice from Bleecker Street Pizza.
I can do a lot of things I never thought possible a few short years ago. But I cannot do that.
The lesson here? Changing, regardless of what kind of changing it is, isn’t linear. Sometimes it takes this uncertain period of adjustment to recognize that a change has happened. Sometimes you need one more brutal hangover to get the message—that your body is ready for a different experience than the one you’re giving it. And sometimes you just really need a bagel and a LiquidIV.
Some other thoughts I had this week. Continuing in our new tradition of Writing It All Down™ we have this week’s list:
I’ve also been thinking a lot about what y’all might have to say once you hear the episode of Thinking Is Cool I just released. It’s one of those that’s super short but could have been, I don’t know, the length of a semester-long thesis. Which brings me to…
In media as in life, sex sells…but why? And how? And should it? This week on Thinking Is Cool, let’s take a traipse through critically acclaimed movies and television with a very important question in mind: How much sex is too much?
In the age of this HBO-ification of all the media considered “good,” we have to wonder whether graphic onscreen sex is ever a truly indispensable mechanism for moving plot forward. I can (and in this episode will) argue both yes and no—but at the crux of this conversation is an honest assessment of the over-sexualization of the characters on our screens.
I want to think more about why and how we got to this point (this point, of course, being the Sydney Sweeney of it all).
What are we vouching for, agreeing to, or upholding when we hit play on an episode rife with nudity, graphic sex, and utterly troubling sexual relationships? Perhaps something; perhaps nothing at all. Let’s think about it…and let’s do it with some superbly intelligent guests, Maggie and Jasmine from the podcast Culture Club.
One important note: This episode speaks pretty explicitly about sex, both healthy and unhealthy, onscreen. If you find conversations like that to be triggering, please sit this one out! I promise I understand. And if you’re looking for more resources helpful for survivors of sexual trauma, check some out here, here, and here.
Finally, here are some good reads I read while I was procrastinating writing this newsletter and also some things worth sharing:
Thanks for listening and reading and (crossing my fingers and toes) responding with your thoughts about this week’s episode! On that last one: I want to hear from you—Thinking Is Cool has taken a new path lately and as much as I’ve been enjoying it, I work for you…and I want you to enjoy it too. So let me know what you think. As I’ve told you before, I am a retired competitive dancer who was also really not very talented, so I can take the heat. Give me your worst (but also your best I’d like that too).
And don’t worry, the potential feet pics exposé episode didn’t win last week’s future episode poll. Consider yourselves safe. For now.
See you soon or more likely immediately if you’re on TikTok,
What if we all stopped to think a little harder? To have conversations with each other? What might the world look like? I’m Kinsey Grant and together, we’re gonna find out.