Frankly, my dear…
That was not the inspiration behind this title, believe it or not. If you know me, you don’t I don’t give a fuck about Gone with the Wind. If you don’t know me, I’m Ira Madison III and this is my newsletter. I used to do a lot of culture writing for places like GQ, Vulture, The Hollywood Reporter, The Daily Beast, and many other places. I’ve written about Brad Pitt and masculinity. I’ve written about the erasure of the black working class on television. I’ve written about how forgiveness of homophobia from black celebrities (lol, Kevin Hart) by white ones (hi Ellen) are a detriment to the black LGBTQ+ community. I’ve profiled Travis Scott, Issa Rae, Chadwick Boseman, Taika Waititi, and others.
Now, I mostly write for television (Daybreak, Nikki Fre$h, and the upcoming Q-Force) and film. And I host a podcast on Crooked Media called Keep It where I talk about pop culture and politics alongside the incredibly quick-witted Aida Osman and Louis Virtel. But I’ve found myself missing a place to go deeper on the weird shit I’m obsessed about. Stuff we don’t get to on Keep It or stuff that truly only interests me and so there’s no reason to discuss it with my co-hosts. But I truly hated being a hired gun as a pop culture writer and wince every time I look at some of the stories I was assigned just because they were “trending.” So I figured, why not start a newsletter? Where I can truly write about whatever I want solely for people who’ve signed up to read whatever I send them each week.
When Substack approached me about starting a newsletter, I jumped at the chance. I’ve already been suspended from Twitter once so I might as well create a new community (one without white supremacists!!!) that reminds me of the spaces I frequented in my teenage years online to discuss the latest episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Passions.
So, welcome to Frank.
Frank is a newsletter about my pop culture obsessions and as I said above, frank conversations about pop culture as it was, as it is, and where it’s going. If you’ve followed any of my writing for the past six years of my career, then you know what to expect. Which is to expect, as Julie Chen says, the unexpected! If you’re new to my writing, just know that Stephen Colbert called me a “pop culture expert” on The Late Show and I have decided to always talk about that until I die.
This is my brain on any given day:
That was my response to the new that Armie Hammer allegedly drinks blood as a fetish. If you wanna come on this journey with me, then baby, go ahead and subscribe!
Frank will consist of a weekly post on a myriad of cultural topics; and it will be free to all subscribers. These pop culture dispatches will always be free to all subscribers. For paid subscribers ($6 for a month; or $60 for a year), you’ll have access to even more content. My hope with the subscriptions is to build a community where I’ll go deeper on pop culture and share conversations with people whose work I love, share reviews and recommendations, and host discussions with readers to hash out what we’re obsessed with any given week. There’ll also be plenty of candle recommendations. Here’s your first one: my favorite scent in fragrance and candle form: Jazz Club from Maison Margiela. And when this damn pandemic is over, a lot of food and travel content. Every Tuesday and Friday.