Valerie August


‘I believe in the radical possibilities of pleasure, babe. I do. I do. I do.’

🎶 Bikini Kill – I Like Fucking 🎶

I have an annual tradition. On New Years eve, I like to collect together a folder of the best photos of the previous 12 months – a year in review. I try and keep it reasonably concise, which can feel like a daunting task when I’m staring into my iPhoto library (I took 17,000 iPhone photos in 2017, apparently) and cutting it down to about one hundred photos takes a while. I then like to send a link to a folder of the shortlisted images to every friend that features among them, as a way of recognising and celebrating the memories we shared together throughout the year.

It’s a truly clarifying exercise. No matter the tedium of everyday life, or the struggles of a year that may have been filled with weather, people or politics that we’d rather forget; I always look back via these images and think ‘now that was a fun year.’

On New Years Day, after I’ve kissed goodbye to what came before, I go to my playlist of all time favourites and listen to it while I make my list of resolutions for the year. I’m not really a fan of heavygoing or po-faced resolutions – repeatedly promising myself i’ll finally learn some German or calculate my macros properly or file my own tax return is a bit joyless and seems like setting myself up for a fall.

At any rate, it’s hard to come up with anything boring when listening to songs like ‘I Like Fucking’ by Bikini Kill, which makes me want to promise to myself that i’ll take pleasure and joy more seriously than ever; that 2018 will be my most fun-filled and hedonistic year yet. I love how fearless Kathleen Hanna’s vocals are, how she finds pleasure in not just saying the unsayable, but shouting it. I love how this song makes me feel like I can take on the world, no matter how sensible and grown up it demands we all be sometimes.

A very happy – and pleasurable – new year to all of you ❤