The TueDo List: Bowie Doc + Belly Naming + Cats at Work
And a happily-ever-after story about a Madonna song
📖 READ: I had a baby at 46, and it was freaking awesome. A portrait of David Bowie as an alienated artist. The Queen’s death is an opportunity to talk about colonial history. Jane Roper named her belly Sheila. How Queen Sugar reimagined the Black family drama. Grace Jones is designing candles now. The women of Wakanda Forever.
👀 LOOK: A fun way to organize your books: Make poems with the titles. For ska fans, a fantastic mini-documentary about the transgender woman who inspired the iconic “Beat Girl” image from the 2-Tone days.
🛒 ADD TO CART: Kahlana Barfield Brown’s new collection for Target. A box set for Joe Strummer fans. Ruby Bridges’ new children’s book. Yesterday Samantha Irby announced her new book, Quietly Hostile. It doesn’t come out until 2023, but we are pre-ordering it now so we can get a signed copy.
Now: Queen Latifah stars in End Of The Road (Netflix).
Wednesday: Season 5 of The Handmaid’s Tale. (Hulu)
Thursday: The final season of Atlanta premieres (FX), and the Bowie Moonage Daydream documentary hits theaters, and over on TikTok, Dolly Parton and Doja Cat are debuting a satirical musical about Taco Bell’s Mexican pizza. (We had to read that several times, too, and it’s still hella confusing.)
TUENIGHT 10: Angel James, Storyteller & Content Creator
Basic bio: Angel James is a former TV news producer who now runs a social media content creation business. She’s an empty-nesting, 80s-music-loving, midlife “crisis-ing” mom, who in the last year: Sent her son to college, sold her house, gave away just about everything in it, moved across the country, and started over in the NYC area.
Beyond the bio: For most of my life, I based my value on my productivity. When I quit TV news, my son asked me, “Who will you BE if you quit TV?” That hit me hard. TV news is what I did. Not who I am. I lost my sister this year. What I’ve learned is you should work to live, not live to work.
What makes you a grown-ass lady? I no longer need validation from others. Validation is for parking.
Here’s her TueNight 10:
On the nightstand: A book. Always a book. Mostly, historical fiction.
Can’t stop/won’t stop: Being exactly who I am.
Jam of the minute: “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears.
Thing I miss: Rom-coms.
'80s crush: Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid and Glenn Scarpelli in One Day at a Time.
Current crush: I’d have to say Jeff Goldblum, because I've met him and he's as nice in person as you would imagine.
Last thing you lost: Deciding to move to the East Coast at age 50 left a lot of people thinking I’d lost my mind.
Best thing that happened recently: Being with my son, who just finished his first year at college.
Looking forward to: Finding myself. To quote Emily McDowell, “You are not a ten-dollar bill in last winter's coat pocket. You are not lost. Your true self is right there, buried under cultural conditioning, other people’s opinions, and inaccurate conclusions you drew as a kid that became your beliefs about who you are. ‘Finding yourself’ is actually returning to yourself. An unlearning, an excavation, a remembering who you were before the world got its hands on you.”
STORY: Madonna’s Most Beautiful Love Song
In 1985, I was 16 years old and spent my weekend nights cruising the streets of Kansas City in my 1979 Fiat Strada. I realize now that a four-door hatchback is not every teenage girl’s dream, but I loved that car because it was mine, because it gave me freedom, and because it had a really great stereo system.
I spent most of the money from my part-time job on cassette tapes that would become the soundtrack of my teenage years — The Bangles, the Go-Go’s, Cyndi Lauper and Madonna. I was a straight girl back then, though my interest in the women of pop music should have probably been a clue. It wasn’t, however, and it took me years to figure it all out. Now, when I look back on my deep feelings for each of those women, I ask myself one question: Did I want to be them or did I want to do them? This is a very important distinction. Upon much reflection, I can say without a doubt that I wanted to do Belinda Carlisle, but I wanted to be Madonna.
We see you and celebrate you, TueNighters!