Vanessa DisPlaced |Racism vs. Censorship

Vanessa DisPlaced | Racism vs. Censorship Poet Vanessa Place trades sincerity for triggering text only to find herself in the art world’s own Bermuda Triangle. A heated debate over whether Vanessa Place’s poetry is “racist,” “insensitive,” “ignorant,” “uninteresting,” or “important” has erupted via social media, becoming the topic for many a long form essay and op ed, making everyone a critic. What has brought Place’s poetry so much media attention, though, is the systematic censorship… [read more »]

Ask Natasha | How do you art?

Q: How do you art? —Stephanie, 22 A: Other #AskNatasha Natashas include @natashacalis—“I play Claire in the TV series The Firm and Emily in The Possession”—, @natashabure (daughter of Candace Cameron Bure, or Full House’s DJ Tanner)—“…CALIFORNIA. 16. JOY”—, @inatashamarie—“HWIC of Natasha’s Nook™ | Militant WOMANIST | Being Colored is a metaphysical dilemma I have yet to conquer. I KNOW YOU CARE!™”—, and @natashafarani—“Maaf, ada yang bisa dimantu?” I am not jealous of these other… [read more »]

Ask Natasha | Who am I supposed to look up to anymore?

Who am I supposed to look up to anymore? —Kim, 30 A: As females, we’re supposed to read/watch fem-genre entertainment. Let’s look past the gender-normative and diminutive titles we’ve given Chick Lit and Chick Flicks and instead look at the trends within these groupings and how they describe us. No longer are we choosing a SATC character to be, or a Liz vs. Jenna (or for the younger generation, a Liz Lee from My Life… [read more »]

Ask Natasha | Is everything an expression?

Q: Has honest journalism come to an end? Jeff, 18 A: Short answer: Yes. Long answer: As Vladimir Nabokov said during an interview with Herbert Gold for The Paris Review, “How can I ‘diminish’ to the level of ciphers, et cetera, characters that I have invented myself? One can ‘diminish’ a biographee, but not an eidolon.” And all biographees are diminished, and the more so the better, for entertainment purposes. There are arguments that reality… [read more »]


In 2006, the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, Mike Jeffries said that sex appeal is “almost everything.” He went on to say: “That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that. In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go… [read more »]

Ask Natasha | Solipsism and (Un)Certainty

First off, let me say: And: Q: How are u? — Abdur Rouf A: It might interest you to know that I am in a recurrent phase, which, perhaps ironically, means I am tired of postmodernism and all of its iterations. I mean recurrent in the way a dream is described; I have returned to a nostalgia for melodrama and teenaged feelings. The glittering value of an icy post-post artform is clear, but its… [read more »]

NYFW = LAFW / Sammi Sweetheart’s Fake-Fit / Avril Does Edgy / Daisy Fuentes is DISplaced

Regarded as one of the best, or at least the most commercially viable, and if not that than the somethingest of all fashion weeks, New York’s has risen above all that pressure lately. Have you seen LAFW? Did you know there are FWs in basically every city in the world? And what makes ours so much better than the rest, and how could it possibly compete with that many? No longer is NYFW so desperate… [read more »]

Ask Natasha | Pathos, Perichoresis, Platony, Precautions

Q: I am already sexy/ hot… But I’ve had trouble finding love the past four years; what can I do to make myself more socially available without the Internet? PS I’m not a crazy bitch so WTF? Can I also say that I’ve attracted everything from twinks to married men but nobody who will commit. Kim, 26 A: I will let you in on a secret if you promise not to tell anyone. I, although… [read more »]


Scambaiting is a term used to describe the action of scamming a scammer, in particular a “419” or Nigerian fraud perpetrator. Websites like Scamtacular and 419 Eater provide open forums for scambaiters to discuss and post evidence of the humiliation inflicted on primarily Nigerian scammers. It’s difficult to parse out who is being victimized in these scenarios. Even the rhetoric used on Wikipedia and mission statements on the above-mentioned websites gets conflated, questioning its own… [read more »]

Ask Natasha | Language Barriers and Loveless

Q: I live in a basement. Is this cool? Sam, age 28 A: André Martinet writes, in his essay, “Structure and language,” that structure is “not a matter of the building itself or the materials of which it is composed, from foundation to roof timbers, from facade ornamentation to the refinements of interior installations. Neither is it even a matter of certain of those materials considered more essential: supporting walls and roofing trusses in old-fashioned… [read more »]

Ask Natasha… She Practically Lived Through Everything

Q:Why do all of my friends want to be famous? Adam, 26 A: You probably think I’m going to say something about fame being the best possible thing. You probably want me to tell you that fame is the bread and butter of the internet, that the world spins because it is counting one and another and another fifteen minutes, that anyone who ignores this basic instinct to gain as much attention as possible is… [read more »]

Behind, Beneath, and Between: Tracing the Thong

I can still remember being confused by the thong when seeing it in stores. Once, in Victoria’s Secret, as a teen, I asked a clerk how one should wear an example of the strand- of-pearls thong. “You just, put it on,” she said. There was something too real about the way those pearls would have to expand the crevices about which I was conditioned to try to forget. The thong brings up anxiety. Like all… [read more »]

Ask Natasha… She Practically Lived Through Everything

Q: Is there such a thing as “nice” flip-flops? I’ve seen people wearing them to restaurants and it seems just one step removed from the double-wide? Vicente A:The closer you are to the ground, the faster the earth rotates. The tale of the princess Rapunzel was originally intended to be an allegory for enlightenment. Instead of reaching higher, she had to grow her hair long enough to gain access to the bottom of her tower.… [read more »]

Khaki wishes and khookie dreams…  from Prague

There is nothing like a tourist city in a central European country in a summer month for a reDIScovery of khaki. My latest thoughts on this summer’s wackiest color-scheme: 1. We think of khaki as safe because we think of Target. But what is safe about Target (in this economy)? 2. Khaki is the color, soft rubber is the feel, and Christian Audigier champagne is the drink. Think about anti-fame, air conditioning, and skipping class… [read more »]