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This is Dahlia’s Blog

I Choose Olivia

One of my favorite things about the TV show Scandal is when it has its soapbox moments, when the show seems to be a vehicle for political or feminist insight, for arguments in favor of gun control or women's rights, when the writing is just so good that I feel like...

Nikki Sudden, The Coolest Man in the Room

[I was recently asked to write a short essay about Nikki Sudden for a book about him. So even though he died back in 2006, in some ways, this is my first time really coming to terms with it. Here's a brief ode to a great man.] The first time I met Nikki Sudden, I sat...

Why National Coming Out Day is Really No Big Deal

For the last few days, I've been telling myself that I should write something about National Coming Out Day, which is, after all, today. I figured I should write something personal and timely and maybe a little emotional. After all, it is National Coming Out Day --...

What’s Really Missing in Gone Girl

[WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW IF YOU HAVE NOT READ OR SEEN GONE GIRL.] Judith Butler may have famously said that gender is performed, but what Gone Girl tackles so emphatically is that, these days, almost everything is performed, but most especially and most oppressively,...

No, But Are You REALLY Gay?

In what would otherwise be a charming love story, Lauren Morelli, one of the writers from the TV show Orange is the New Black, fell in love with one of the stars of the show, Samira Wiley. One of the reasons why the situation is not exactly perfect is that Lauren had...

On Being Queer and Jewish — And Why Neither Should Matter

I never thought of my Jewishness as a political statement. Until now.Honestly, I never thought much about my Jewishness at all. Until now.I went to a private Hebrew school for two years as a kid, but that was mainly because my mother also taught there. I also went to...

Armour and Artifice

My essay on accessories and Office Killer is out in the current issue of FM magazine. Here are some screenshots if you're curious! You can find the book here.

How Many Deaths Are Enough?

There have been many, MANY anti-Israel posts zipping their way around the Internet. Facebook, in particular, seems to breed them, the venomous hate seeping through comment threads, trollers determined to push their particular agenda. For the most part, I make a...

This Is Personal

It has been recently brought to my attention that I post too much about Israel on Facebook. I guess it's a real downer to be reminded that half a world away a vicious and deadly conflict is taking place. Perhaps somewhere a memo has circulated that Facebook is best...

I Am Hated For Who I Am

I thought it would be better when I got back to LA. In some ways, it is. I haven't heard an air raid siren since Saturday. Shrapnel isn't likely to fall from the sky. The concept of war is not as aggressively in my face. I can no longer hear my mother's nightly news...

If Only I Could Be So Brave

I grew up in America. My family may have spent summers in Israel, but I grew up American. When I finished high school, it did not cross my mind for a minute whether I should enlist in the Israeli army. Not for one second. So off I went to college. I didn't have to, so...

When There Is Nothing Left To Say

My work ethic keeps telling me that a blog post is long overdue. But as much as I try to bring myself to write one, I can't. I'm in Tel Aviv right now, and it's hard to bring myself to go to the beach. It's hard to walk the streets, to shop, to be a tourist, when the...

Pictures of You, 20 Years Later: A Goth Flashback

The Cure's "Pictures of You" came on last night, and instantly I was propelled back in time twenty years, to my senior year of high school. I remembered those late night drives, alone in my car, alone with The Cure, the sound of those keyboards, that jangly guitar,...

The Very White (and Very Male) Face of Late Night Television

I had a couple of immediate reactions to this recent article in The Daily Beast: "With Arsenio Hall Out, Late Night Becomes All White and Male—and So What?"1. I didn't even know Arsenio Hall had a show, much less that people were even thinking about renewing it for a...

Dear Johnny, Rest in Peace

Dear Johnny, When I met you at Niagara Bar, so many years ago, I had no idea that our friendship would stick, much less last over a decade. You were so cool, so gorgeous (the hottest guy on the Lower East Side seemed to be general consensus), that it seemed...

How Alive Are You Willing To Be?

To paraphrase something I read recently by Anne Lamott: Have you asked yourself lately, "How alive am I willing to be?" "It's time to get serious about joy and fulfillment," she writes, "work on our books, songs, dances, gardens. But perfectionism is always lurking...

The Not-So-Magical Secret to Making Time to Write

In a perfect world, I wake up in the morning and make some tea, walk the dog, and then sit down in front of my computer to write. In a perfect world, I have all day to myself to read and write and think and create. In a perfect world, my email box is primarily empty,...

Kurt Cobain Twenty Years Later: Moments of Silence

My memories of Kurt Cobain are complicated. I remember being shocked by his death, thinking, in my high school naivete, that rock stars live forever, forgetting that "forever" is long after the abandonment of this mortal coil. I also knew that if I was shocked, many...

Kurt Cobain Twenty Years Later: After the Nevermind

A guest post from Julie in Baltimore: Twenty years ago tomorrow, I learned of the death of Kurt Cobain.  I’m ashamed to say I don’t remember how I learned about it exactly, whether it was a news flash on broadcast TV, or MTV’s day-long elegy, or songs played in...

On HBO’s Girls and Hannah and Why She Matters

I am one episode away from finishing season 3 of Girls.To be honest, I have not been a huge fan of this season, until recently. The first half of the season seemed to lack the mastery that seasons 1 and 2 oozed. There was a floundering, a lack of intentionality and...

An Artist’s Manifesto

Being an artist requires an excessive amount of confidence. Some might even say ego. Because who else is foolish enough to create something out of nothing? Who else is foolish enough to create something out of nothing and believe that it matters -- that somehow the...

Fuck You Pink

My favorite color is fuchsia. I call it fuck you pink. (Get it?) I didn't grow up in one of those households where everything I had was pink. I didn't have twinkly stars on things, or pink glittery streamers on my bicycle. My mother never wore makeup so no one taught...

I’m Back, Bitches — And I’m Bossy

I'll confess I'm a little late to the party on this one, but I had to finish three term papers and two courses and attend a conference, so accept my apologies. But better late than never, right? It's been a couple weeks since Sheryl Sandberg launched her campaign to...

It Takes Two (to Watch TV)

I recently received this letter from one of my readers: I haven't had much success with men and, the majority of the time, I thought it was them. Granted, there were several men who were legitimate assholes that deserved to be dismissed. However, there were definitely...

Love is a Peculiar Thing

Love is a peculiar thing. So many people want it, so many people crave it, so many write about it and sing about it and commodify it—and yet it remains elusive, hard to find while also seemingly everywhere. There is the love between mother and child, between pet and...

In Real Life, Images Are Larger Than They Appear

The sexual revolution, for better and for worse, has been superseded by fears of HPV and HIV. And thanks to technology, people have continued to disappear, sending out blips of communication through Twitter posts and Facebook status updates. In-person communication...

Danger, Danger! Red Flags Ahead!

When you start dating someone, everyone always warns you about red flags. Watch out for the red flags, they say, in that condescendingly cautionary tone. So what are red flags? Red flags are those little things someone does that signal huge problems lurking just under...

Hey Guys, Carpe That Fucking Diem Already

Want to know what's wrong with dating in LA? Well, here's one of the things that's wrong with dating in LA -- and I think it's a guy thing. In the last couple days, one guy told me that I was intimidating. And another guy told me that, while he thinks I'm totally...

Can You Be Friends (with Benefits)?

One of my readers wrote in recently with this query: What's your stance on friend's with benefits? Yay or nay? I've done it twice in my late 20s and ended up getting emotionally attached after doing the deed. This led to heartache (on my part) and the end of the...

New Year, New You: Just Own It

It’s not that I don’t like resolutions. I think resolutions are great. I make them on a regular basis. I’m all about self-improvement and transformation, recognizing your faults and actively working to change them. What I’ve never been a fan of are New Year’s...

Tom of Finland and the Politics of Sex(uality)

Tom of Finland, Untitled, 1962, ToFF Cat. #62.27, Collection of Volker Morlock, © 1962 Tom of Finland Foundation There is a scene in Dallas Buyers Club where Matthew McConaughey’s character goes into a gay bar to conduct some business. As he’s standing in the...

I’ll See You Maybe: Our Culture of Unaccountability

So there's this thing that everyone else seems to think is okay, which makes me feel like I'm a bitch because it bugs me, but I suspect that it actually bugs other people, we've just gotten so used to it that we don't think to complain.When I first moved to LA,...

Get Off Your Ass

During my first term at UCLA, I had the privilege of taking a class with Howard Suber. For anyone interested in how stories are told --be they in books or on the big screen -- or merely in human nature and the patterns of human behavior, his perspective is...

Dear Perks of Being a Wallflower: Thank You

Yesterday, I saw a movie called The Perks of Being a Wallflower. In typical fashion, I had dragged my heels on seeing it in theaters, because I’m often lazy about that. And it had been on my Netflix queue for a while, but I’d sort of avoided it, because even though...

In Praise of Selfies: Work It, Girl

While I freely admit that the word “selfie” makes me cringe, this article made me cringe even more. According to Erin Gloria Ryan, “Selfies aren't empowering; they're a high tech reflection of the fucked up way society teaches women that their most important quality...

A Self-Portrait in Stages: Part Five, Willkommen in Berlin

[As I go through massive change in my life at the moment, I am reminded of those other moments of massive change in my life, when I left NYC for Berlin, and then when I left Berlin for LA. I'm revisiting those changes partly out of nostalgia and partly as a way to...

A Self-Portrait in Stages: Part Four, Leaving NYC

[As I go through massive change in my life at the moment, I am reminded of those other moments of massive change in my life, when I left NYC for Berlin, and then when I left Berlin for LA. I'm revisiting those changes partly out of nostalgia and partly as a way to...

A Self-Portrait in Stages: Part Three, In Love with Berlin

Photo from my first tour in Berlin. [As I go through massive change in my life at the moment, I am reminded of those other moments of massive change in my life, when I left NYC for Berlin, and then when I left Berlin for LA. I'm revisiting those changes partly out of...

A Self-Portrait in Stages: Part Two, En Route to Berlin

[As I go through massive change in my life at the moment, I am reminded of those other moments of massive change in my life, when I left NYC for Berlin, and then when I left Berlin for LA. I'm revisiting those changes partly out of nostalgia and partly as a way to...