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Darcie Wilder Wants You To Know That Literally No One Is Healthy

Culture
Photo by Steve Levine

“I don’t mean to brag, but nothing matters”

Sit down with Darcie Wilder and prepare to meet two people. First, there’s @333333433333, the Twitter user whose snarky tweets about pop culture and identity represent the slick new voice of MTV News. Then, there’s the other side of Wilder, a quiet author whose first novel, Literally Show Me a Healthy Person, demands we look at social media, Twitter in particular, as a literary art. “We don’t give our generation enough credit,” says the 27-year-old New Yorker, iPhone in one hand, fork in the other. “We’re telling stories through Twitter accounts.”

She’s right. Wilder’s first book, hailed by alt-lit peers and indie wordsmiths like Melissa Broder and Sadie Dupuis as the future of writing, has arrived during a particular and specific time in media consumption—young adults are now reading more than ever. We spend all day interacting with, engaging, and analyzing text, even though scrolling through news feeds may not feel like it. Short texts in the form of tweets, posts, and comments dominate our everyday lives, yet no one seems to want to call it reading, let alone writing. According to Wilder, “Just because its lowercase, doesn't mean it's not a novel.” 

Written primarily in type speak and bursts of flash fiction, Literally Show Me a Healthy Person is required reading for anyone who grew up using AIM or texting on a keypad. (Wilder mentions how the Microsoft Word Paperclip always reminds her of her parents' divorce.) By taking short texts to new heights, the book, released last week by New York Tyrant Press, uses a fractured format to explore the way we process our trauma and anxiety in a digital age. “I’m doing good,” Wilder writes in a passage that sums up not just the book but an entire generation. “This is just how I sound when I’m doing good. god grant me the serenity to find an outlet to charge my phone.”

Literally Show Me a Healthy Person isn’t a book of tweets, though,” emphasizes Wilder, brushing her black and pink bangs to the side, showing off her striking pale blue eyes, both jarring and awash. She speaks slowly and deliberately over the chatty Brooklyn, New York, brunch rush. Wearing all white, she blends into the wall; it's a good look for someone whose brand is social paranoia. “Some men were laughing at me on the train,” she insists. Is this real? Wilder says it doesn’t really matter. 

However, she stresses that intentionality is what differentiates her art from her Twitter. “My tweets are of the moment, but when I put it down as a line in a book, I’m organizing five years of my life into a novel, where things don’t happen for a reason.”

For Wilder, that’s especially true. She lost her mother as a teen, an event that became the filter through which she has come to express a bleakly ironic picture of youth. In a manner we often call “too real,” Wilder uses casual lingo to address heavy topics—“Its going 2 be so annoying 2 mourn my dad ugh”—and her searing self-awareness: “i don’t mean to brag but nothing matters.” 

As tweets, or blunt clauses in a book, Darcie’s words are just digestible enough not to send you into an existential tailspin. The longer paragraphs, however—unpunctuated blocks of prose—speak to the whirlwind nature of trauma and open floodgates of memory that sometimes go for pages at a time.

Straightforward narratives make Wilder uncomfortable, and you can see it in her writing. “Cognitively, I don't really like narrative plots. It seems kind of gross to fit everything in a pretty package. Life is messy. We don’t necessarily process our memories in order.” The book has no chapters, breaks, or sections, and instead relies on changes in mood to delineate time, using abrupt new thoughts to punctuate the one that came before it.

“I think that someone with a history of trauma could feel drawn to Twitter,” she muses. “I was drawn to it because it merged meeting new people and communicating with them at a large number at once by pure sentences.” She claims she’s much more comfortable in front of a computer, with the option to disengage when she pleases. “I can measure and quantify my thoughts into value,” says Wilder as she picks up the check. It's time to go.

Literally Show Me a Healthy Person is available for purchase here

Cara Delevingne, Ashley Benson, and Agyness Deyn also star

Elisabeth Moss is trying to keep it together as punk rock artist Becky Something in the trailer for forthcoming movie Her Smell. She's surrounded by iconic faces who make up her band Something She, Gayle Rankin as Ali van der Wolff and Agyness Deyn as Marielle Hell, as she grapples with the fact that her musical prowess just doesn't draw as big a crowd as it used to.

In addition to the wavering fame, Becky is "grappling with motherhood, exhausted bandmates, nervous record company executives, and a new generation of rising talent eager to usurp her stardom," according to a press release. "When Becky's chaos and excesses derail a recording session and national tour, she finds herself shunned, isolated and alone. Forced to get sober, temper her demons, and reckon with the past, she retreats from the spotlight and tries to recapture the creative inspiration that led her band to success." And what's clear from the trailer, Moss is absolutely meant for this role, transforming into the punk on the brink of collapse.

Rounding out the cast are Ashley Benson, Cara Delevingne, and Dan Stevens. Watch the official trailer, below. Her Smell hits theaters on April 12 in New York and 14 in L.A., with "national expansion to follow."

Her Smell | OFFICIAL TRAILER HD www.youtube.com

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Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

In an acceptance speech at the BRIT Awards

As The 1975 accepted the BRIT Award for Best British group, outspoken frontman Matty Healy shared the words of journalist Laura Snapes as a way of calling out misogyny that remains ever-present in the music industry. Healy lifted a powerful quote from Snapes' coverage of allegations against Ryan Adams for The Guardian: "Male misogynist acts are examined for nuance and defended as traits of 'difficult' artists, [while] women and those who call them out are treated as hysterics who don't understand art."

Snapes reacted almost immediately on Twitter, saying she was "gobsmacked, and honoured that he'd use his platform to make this statement." Snapes had originally written the line for an interview she published with Sun Kil Moon singer Mark Kozelek back in 2015, in response to Kozelek publicly calling her a "bitch" who "totally wants to have my babies" because she requested to speak in person rather than via e-mail, which she brought up in the more recent piece on Adams. Kozelek's vile response, and the misogyny that allowed it to play out without real consequences, it could be argued, could have easily played out in the same way in 2019, which makes her reiteration of the line, and Healy's quoting it on such a large platform, all the more important.

It should be noted that back in December, Healy caught a bit of heat himself on Twitter for an interview with The Fader in which he insinuated that misogyny was an issue exclusive to hip-hop, and that rock 'n' roll had freed itself of it. He clarified at length on Twitter and apologized, saying, "I kinda forget that I'm not very educated on feminism and misogyny and I cant just 'figure stuff out' in public and end up trivializing the complexities of such enormous, experienced issues."