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The Lifted Brow Mixtapes, Happy Endings, Things I Didn’t Expect (When I Was Expecting)

ListenThe Lifted Brow Mixtapes

What better way to celebrate a music edition of a magazine than by inviting writers to create mixtapes? That’s what those crafty minxes at The Lifted Brow have done, and I’ve been devouring the various them over the past few days. It’s fun to get a listen to what people listen to as they write, or the music that keeps them motivated. My favourites thus far have been from Anna Krien and Lawrence Leung. Get stuck into them.

Watch: Happy Endings

Hmm… how to describe Happy Endings? It’s most ofted described as a modern Friends, but that is a massive disservice to this comedy series. It focuses on a group of friends in Chicago and yes, there are the usual archetypes; the ditzy blonde, the gay man, the black dude, the type A personality… but there’s something magic about the way they have been turned on their heads. The gay dude isn’t a stereotypical ‘screaming queen’ there to be an a-sexual counterpoint to the straight characters. The black dude doesn’t have his race ignored as if, somehow, by being placed in a primarily white cast he too is white. In fact, the gay dude talks about stereotypical representations of gay people both in television and in life. The black dude openly discusses being black in the context of his white friendships (and being married to a white woman). Best of all, these likeable characters are given superb, razor-sharp one-liners to offset the excellent, quirky storylines. It’s consistently discussed as one of the most underrated comedy shows on television, perhaps because it’s slow to start, but once you’re half a dozen episodes in you’ll be hooked.

Read: Monica Dux, Things I Didn’t Expect (When I Was Expecting)

This book is good. Like, really, extraordinarily good. This is the book you want to read when you’re about to have a baby and you feel like nobody will tell you the truth. Here is that truth, in all its gory detail. Shitting during birth, hating pregnancy, the strange sensation of your life shifting and you transforming into a parent. It’s all in here. Monica Dux has written a pregnancy memoir which, with its feminist perspective, is a welcome change from the usual pregnancy tomes. Too many pregnancy books are afraid of scaring women by stating the obvious; pregnancy and raising children is equal parts terrible and terrific. Pregnancy can be wonderful, but it’s also torture for many women (all the more so because you’re expected to live up to the idea of a glowing, radiant miracle of nature). Dux is able to do justice to this duality, and to talk about the nuance of her experiences adjusting to pregnancy and parenthood.

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