An Almanac For The 21st Century

Welcome to This you Need. Allow me to help you find that one perfect thing that will solve a problem or simply bring you joy. 

Wear, Watch, Want #44: The Mysterious Activism Obsession Edition

Wear, Watch, Want #44: The Mysterious Activism Obsession Edition

WWW 44.png

Wear: ACLU Membership Card

This week I got my ACLU Membership Card in the mail, and while I'm not pinning it to my chest (making it a true "wear"), I'm proud to be supporting an organization I've always admired, especially now, during the End of Days. This is also my way of casually reminding you that you can support the ACLU (or any organization you want) with a donation of any amount. I've worked with a fair few nonprofits and when I saw donations of $5 I wouldn't think, "What a cheapskate," I'd think, "Oh wow, this person could only afford to give $5, and they did." Or that they were a child, in which case, "Awwww." Don't avoid donating your time or money because you only have a small amount to give. Every time missionaries came to our door when I was a kid, trying to share the Good News with our family, my mom would tell them that we weren't interested in their specific message, but she would make sure she sent them on their way with a cold drink in the summer and (if they could accept it) a warm drink in the winter (once she gave them an umbrella!). In that spirit, if you can't give money or don't want your name on a petition, tell the people working that you support them! Go get them all waters from Starbucks if they're all standing on a hot street corner for hours. I've been that person on the street corner asking for signatures and it sucks. Those people have been verbally harassed and at best ignored all day. If you don't want to sign, fine. Get them an ice water and tell them they're doing good work. It will make a difference. Ok. I'm done for now. Let's talk about Hot Archie.

Watch: Riverdale

You may have heard about the new gritty CW mystery series set in the Archie universe, Riverdale, or as I and many others call it Archie After Dark. I've read many pieces comparing the show to Twin Peaks, which in my opinion is misleading. If you ask me the defining characteristic of Twin Peaks I'm not going to say, "Oh, that Pacific Northwest setting, of course!" or "A murder mystery!" I'm going to say, "David Lynch being David Lynch-y all over the place." Riverdale has the first two things, it is most definitely lacking in the third. It's still supremely goofy fun though.

Riverdale has all the classic Archie characters, but with some twists. The story is narrated by Jughead, who is doing his best Veronica Mars (and is doing a pretty good job), as he writes a "novel" (AHEM. A novel is fiction, professional writers of this show. Jughead seems to be writing more of a true crime memoir). Jason Blossom, twin brother of Cheryl Blossom, has been murdered. GASP! I mean, they did find him washed up on the shore a la Laura Palmer, but until you can draw a clear parallel between Josie and the Pussycats and the Log Lady I'm not convinced. One of the Fug Girls, in a tweet that I will surely be unable to find, wrote that the guy that plays Jason manages to be a terrible actor despite never having any lines, and she was spot on. The actors that play both Jason and Cheryl are some real casting mysteries. Those slip ups are saved, though, by the shining beacons of hope that are Betty and Veronica. May future seasons lead to a B and V road trip that lasts, oh, 6 full episodes. I have seen some great Tumblr gifsets that are just Betty and Veronica scenes and it really highlights how perfectly cast the two are and how Lili Reinhart (Betty) and Camila Mendes (Veronica) are carrying more than their weight on Riverdale.

I think in this first season Riverdale is finding it's footing and trying to be a gritty, groundbreaking show, but still making sure it follows the rules enough to guarantee a second season. This backfires pretty regularly. There was early backlash from the asexual community when fans of the comics (in which Jughead is asexual) realized that Jughead would not be immediately introduced as asexual on the show. It was never announced that he wouldn't be asexual, just that it wouldn't be a part of the show right away. Cole Sprouse, who plays Jughead, has said that he would like the character to be asexual, and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Riverdale's creator, has never spoken explicitly about the topic. I personally think it's going to happen, they just want to feel like they have some secure ground under their feet first, and a show's first season isn't that time. It wouldn't hurt, however, to let your audience know that, particularly when not everyone studies and writes about television like this here dork. (Here's a fantastic article from an asexual writer about why Jughead kissing Betty isn't something to lose your cool over. Read it.)

There were also storylines that made it to air that weren't fully developed, like one about slutshaming. The issue was that none of the shamed girls were sexually active with the boys in question, and therefore wanted to, in a way, reclaim their purity. Why not make it that these young women just wanted to live their private lives privately? Some of the girls would have hooked up with one of those dirtbags. And it's their right to keep it to themselves. That's the story you should have told, Riverdale. It was a good issue to bring up (and the writers even threw in references to actual assault cases which I thought was jarring but some critics applauded), but the actual execution was not as "woke" as the cool, hip writers imagined.

All in all, I think Riverdale is super silly and so, so addictive. Every Thursday when I realize Riverdale is on I go, "Ooooh, Archie After Dark!" It was just announced that Riverdale has been renewed for a second season, and I'm excited to see how the show develops now that they have a little more security.

Want: All The Phone Cases

How many phone cases does one person with one phone need? ONE, SARAH. One phone case. I was shopping for a new phone case forever and couldn't find one that I liked, and then I discovered the SkinnyDip London website and oooooh man was I in trouble. I loved this beetle one but I was out of stock, so I signed up to be emailed when it was back in stock and of course promptly forgot about it. I eventually settled on this lovely diamond one (which I found on sale at ASOS. God loves a bargain and so do I). I'd never seen a SkinnyDip case in action and I can now say that they're great. They're thin, so your phone isn't all hulked out and cumbersome, but they feel very protective and sturdy. I drop my phone about three times a day, so this is important to me. I also don't like when the buttons are covered by the case, and SkinnyDip cases have cutouts for the buttons. My headphones and power cord plug in perfectly too. All that, and I've received compliments on my cute as hell case. Now here's the issue. I got an email that not only is the beetle case in stock again - it's on sale. And there are other adorable phone cases that are on sale too. One of my personal favorites that makes me smile every time I see it is this one that says "Satan's Main Bitch." I've also made the mortal error of looking at SkinnyDip's handbags, makeup bags, and pins. I have spent thousands on that site in my imagination. SkinnyDip, are you looking for a US ambassador? May I volunteer? I'm clearly an insane fan and I will work for merch.

My Teen Vampire Books Can Beat Up Your Teen Vampire Books

My Teen Vampire Books Can Beat Up Your Teen Vampire Books

Adventure Forever With Shoes That NEVER Come Untied

Adventure Forever With Shoes That NEVER Come Untied