Ali Barthwell

Happy Fourth of July, Tonto! by Ali Barthwell

Summer has officially begun and that means the arrival of the summer blockbuster. Several movies have already premiered to big box office returns: Fast & Furious 6, Man of Steel, Star Trek Into Darkness, World War Z.

Fourth of July weekend has always been an important movie release weekend. Classic, enduring, and larger than life stories make box office history being released on this patriotic holiday. Famous Independence Day releases include Men In Black I and II, Spiderman 2, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and Transformers. Movies released during this weekend are often larger than life action movies that deal with such powerful and distinctly American themes of independence, patriotism, exceptionalism, singlehandedly saving the entire world, and cowboys. Ex: The Patriot, Wild Wild West, Independence Day, Kit Kittredge: American Girl.

Blockbusters like Despicable Me 2 and Kevin Hart’s Let Me Explain will burst into theaters this weekend and thrillers like White House Down hope to keep raking in the dough. But there’s one more very special film opening this holiday: The Lone Ranger.

The film revitalizes the Lone Ranger character, popular from TV and radio. Armie Hammer (The Social Network) stars as the masked ex-Texas Ranger and Johnny Depp (Anything by Tim Burton) appears as his Comanche companion, Tonto.


As we prepare our grills and pools for fun in the sun and line up to buy a ticket for The Lone Ranger, I have one thing to say : Are we fucking serious, America?

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Sonnets I Wrote at Age 17 About Boys by Ali Barthwell

On The Boys, The Men, and Those Not Quite Either

Ali Barthwell, Age 17, River Forest, Illinois

I. The Smart One
1. His arms are made of ginger ale:
Mama’s failsafe cure for a stomachache
I’ve been aching for someone like him.
He’s what they should put in college
Viewbooks, but pictures can’t capture how
his lips smell of bone: something older
and stronger than me. His mouth feels like
Nail polish: thick, smooth.
We’ve been waiting for someone like us.
A girl in glasses ardently seeking
boy made of the stuff schools like this are
built on to sit under unused lights in a room
Where a life like the one we need can bloom.

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Times I Wish I Had a Boyfriend & Times I’m Glad I Don’t by Ali Barthwell

I Wish I Had a Boyfriend when:

  1. I’m sick and want someone to bring me hot & sour soup and watch episodes of Daria on the couch
  2. We need to fill seats at a show I’m in or our run will get cancelled
  3. I want a drink but don’t have any money
  4. I want dinner but don’t have any money
  5. I have to go to a wedding
  6. My family asks “When are you going to find someone?”
  7. I’m coming home drunk on the train and need someone to wake me up when it’s my stop
  8. My life is full of friends, family, work, and personal growth but I could use a snuggle buddy
  9. I realize just how much I’m spending on condoms a month
  10. I want to get laid but don’t want to work for it
  11. I want to see a movie starring Vin Diesel or “3D” in the title
  12. It’s cold outside
  13. I think that everything I’ve been doing is all for naught and should just go back to grad school because doesn’t that make sense? Oh god, am I really considering taking out student loans to go to grad school? Someone talk me out of going to grad school
  14. I’m reading a cookbook and none of the recipes serve one
  15. I want to get laid but I’m on my period


I’m Glad I Don’t Have a Boyfriend when:

  1. I need more time to figure out if this is a dress or a shirt in the dressing room at Forever 21
  2. Everyone is so cute
  3. Anyone is talking about Lebron James. Yes, he’s talented but a possible ego maniac and betrayed the poor people of Cleveland. Can we move on as a people?
  4. Game of Thrones is on and that’s Cersei, she’s the queen regent. She’s the blonde one; oh my god, you don’t remember? Jesus, this show is NOT that complicated. Why are you texting right now? You’re not even watching
  5. I read an advice column and someone signs their letter “Cheating in Chicago” and I live in Chicago
  6. A movie theater is doing a midnight showing of Spiceworld
  7. There’s a new cute guy working at the bar around the corner from my apartment
  8. Rompers are so comfortable
  9. I know I will get laid by a stranger tonight because I’m wearing my sexy dress and every other girl in this bar is a plain-ass brunette
  10. I see my friends latch on to doomed relationship after doomed relationship because they’re terrified to be alone

How to Get Ready for Your OkCupid Date by Ali Barthwell

  1. Fake an illness so you can leave work early to get ready
  2. Check OkCupid in case you want a Back-up Date
  3. Turn on the shower as well as your “Queen Bee” Beyonce-themed Spotify playlist for feminine inspiration
  4. Stand in the running water for one minute holding your razor pondering whether or not to shave your legs
  5. Decide against shaving because it means you’re more likely to try to have sex with Your Date to take advantage of leg smoothness. Also because having sex on the first date is slutty
  6. Get angry as a feminist for thinking that wanting to have sex on the first date is slutty
  7. Shave your left leg
  8. Cut yourself shaving
  9. Resign yourself to wearing pants on this date Continue reading