Sady Doyle

Wrote a book.

Season of the Witch: The Guardian

It was the strangest thing: simply by calling herself a witch in public, [Azealia] Banks had managed to evoke real fear. Rightwingers treated her as if she were actually planning to blight crops and hex her enemies, all the while claiming that they didn’t believe in witchcraft.

Given the strength of the reaction, you would think that Banks was the first woman to cross over to the dark side. You would be wrong. Witchcraft – and the embrace of “magical” practices, like reading tarot cards – has recently experienced a resurgence of sorts among young, creative, politically engaged women.

Read more at The Guardian. 

Learning From Kanye: The Baffler

Being a Kanye West defender in 2015 is a thankless task. Yeezy makes it hard: he's frequently offensive and (I'm told) deeply unlikable. He's been called arrogant, narcissistic, materialistic, pretentious, rude, insensitive, and insane. But this is exactly why I like him. Kanye West, more than any more wholesome celebrity, speaks to me about how to exist as a political person in the public eye. 

Read more at The Baffler.

This Is What Anti-Capitalist Virtual Reality Art Looks Like: In These Times

Silicon Valley touchstone and media theorist Marshall McLuhan once noted that the real effects of technology are never noticed until it's too late. Any machine we use, also uses us; the real impact of tech, then, is not what it does, but how it changes our thinking.

“The serious artist is the only person able to encounter technology with impunity,” McLuhan wrote, “just because he is an expert aware of the changes in sense perception.”

If this is true, then it’s one more reason to be grateful that Erika M. Anderson is a serious artist. 

Read more at In These Times

The Woman In The Room: The Baffler

Every woman who’s worked in an office knew that Sony co-chair Amy Pascal was going to lose her job. Though the announcement only came last week, we knew it was coming months ago, when the Sony hacks first hit and an unprecedented wave of stolen emails started flooding entertainment-gossip blogs.
From day one, it was clear that Pascal had a target pinned to her back; in fact, it had probably been pinned there decades earlier, when she rose from the lowly position of personal secretary to a producer and began her climb toward becoming the head of a major motion picture studio. Women aren’t supposed to climb that high, in an industry that notoriously male-dominated. It was only a matter of time until someone found a way to knock her back down.

Read more at The Baffler. 

Why 2015’s Pop Music Scene Looks a Lot Like 1995’s: In These Times

Beyoncé made feminism fashionable. Lorde, Charli XCX, Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift have since claimed the term; even the nominally apolitical Meghan Trainor made her name with a song about fat-shaming and Photoshop abuse, topics that used to be the exclusive province of feminist blogs.
All of this—coupled with pop culture's 20-year nostalgia cycle—has created the perfect climate for legacy feminist musicians to get more serious attention than they have in years. We’re only a month into 2015 and already, Sleater-Kinney has released its first album in ten years, Björk unexpectedly dropped a new album, and PJ Harvey began recording a new album as a live exhibit in Somerset House, a London art space.
But feminism's dominance can be a precarious thing. 

Read more at In These Times. 

My Quest To Find the Great American Perfume: The Guardian

If you see scent as art, a perfume is less like your favorite shirt than it is like your favorite movie, less about public attraction than about private entertainment. A good perfume, Brosius says, “should always speak directly, and very, very clearly, to the person who wears it”.
From this angle, the search for a great American perfume is not only reasonable, it’s necessary. We have great American novels. We have outstanding musicians, ground breaking directors, dancers and chefs. But American perfumes?
They do exist, but finding them is difficult. To explain this, we have to dive into the complicated relationship Americans have with smell.

Read more at The Guardian.

Page by Sady Doyle. Photos by B. Michael Payne.