The saddest sight I ever saw was in a Montmartre boîte at about 5 o’clock of an autumn morning. At a table in the corner of a hall sat three young American girls, quite unattended, adventurously seeing life for themselves. In front of them, on the table, stood the regulation bottle of champagne; but for preference – perhaps on principle – they were sipping lemonade. The jazz band played on monotonously; the tired drummer nodded on his drums; the saxophonist yawned into his saxaphone. In couples, in staggering groups, the guests departed. But grimly, indominably, in spite of their fatigue, in spite of the boredom which so clearly expressed itself on their charming and ingenious faces, the three young girls sat on. They were still there when I left at sunrise. What stories I reflected, they would tell when they got home again! And how envious they would make their untravelled friends. “Paris is just wonderful…”
— Aldous Huxley, Along the road
(Now that Tomorrow Museum is offline —lives on, but on Internet Archive—I realized this quote is nowhere to be found online. Corrected some of my original spelling errors in transcription.)
"Pop stars traffic in symbology, so when white girls like Miley, Katy, and Lily Allen hide behind the claim that they just didn’t know any better, it seems insufficient. Maybe they didn’t, but somebody around them at some point should have. Which is why it felt tone-deaf when Taylor Swift put out a music video for her new single that featured a couple of scenes in which she used black dancers as props to offset her own clueless whiteness."
"Into this humid cultural climate strolls Nicki Minaj, whose new video for “Anaconda” isn’t technically a response video to “Shake It Off,” but might as well be. The “Anaconda” video is an extremely self-aware deconstruction of twerking as a trend. Nicki inverts the Miley paradigm, putting her own body front-and-center and surrounding herself with dancers of all races. “Anaconda” turns Nicki’s butt into a literal force of nature, causing earthquakes in a jungle setting. After parodying the idea of exoticism by opening on a jungle scene, she shifts into a workout setup with comically small weights. All of these setups make the same point: Nicki’s body is the modern ideal. And because Nicki is spitting rapid-fire jokes the whole time she is onscreen, it’s impossible to feel like she’s been reduced to a mere body."
Molly’s Nicki piece x Ayesha’s Nicki tweets