A Belated Celebration Of The Weird & Beautiful Romance That Is Jack White & Meg White


Last weekend while watching the White Stripes documentary Under Great White Northern Lights for the first time in three years, I had three very important revelations:


She's the quietest girl in the world and I think that's wonderful. She's so soft-spoken that in Under Great White Northern Lights, almost everything she says is subtitled.

The thing about being exceptionally quiet is people often give you shit about it -- I guess because it makes them uncomfortable? It's easy to feel bad about being quiet, but Meg White makes me feel really good about being quiet. She just seems serene and strange in a lovely sort of way, like she's got a lot happening in her head and some of it's sad but she's mostly all right. There's a part in Under Great White Northern Lights when Jack starts yelling at Meg for being quiet; he says something about how "quiet people got no reason to live." But I think Jack White knows better than almost anyone that there's a place in this world for smiling hyper-introverts and for cantankerous loudmouth hotshots. 

Speaking of smiling, I love how Meg smiles all the time. There are so many shots in the movie where she's just quietly smiling at Jack:

And her hair's always in her face, like this:

Meg White's hair is full of secrets. If I played drums, I'd want to play drums just like her.


I don't love his new record, and I don't understand why he looks like a clown now, but White Stripes Jack White is one of my 25 most fave rock stars in the history of the world. I love that he took Meg's name when they got married; I love when he does this. A few years ago I started writing an essay titled "Why I'm Giving Up Devendra Banhart and Reclaiming Jack White As My Spirit Guide" and it was all about how I value and feel intensely supported by Jack White's serviceable crankiness. I never finished it, but I absolutely still claim Jack as my "crankiness spirit guide."

About a half-hour into Under Great White Northern Lights Jack tells the interviewer: "Once you have a moment where something beautiful happens, if you go back and try to repeat it the chances of it being beautiful again are almost zero."

And I've seriously thought about that sentence/concept almost every single day since the first time I saw the movie. So I love Jack White for saying it.

And the other night I got stuck in a situation that was boring and deeply unsexy and the complete opposite of everything I long for in life, and to keep myself from scratching my eyes out I had a nice long think about Jack White and his cool and imaginative take on divorce. Not so much the divorce party thing, though that's pretty fun, but just the fact that he and his ex-wife started a band and played together for 14 years and it was great. If I were Rob Brezsny or whatever I'd probably say something like, "I see the coming week as a time for you to adopt a similarly offbeat and joyful approach to emotionally toilsome matters, dear Capricorn." And it'd be really good advice -- not just for Capricorns in the coming week, but for everyone, for life.


I love when Meg plays drums with one hand and puts her other hand on her hip and cocks her head to the side and just sorta stares at Jack and lip-syncs along to whatever he's singing; I love when Jack stands by Meg's drum kit and works her name into the song lyrics. And I love all the scenes where it's just the two of them sitting around, like when "Dirty Robber" by The Sonics is on the radio and Jack's playing piano:

One of my favorite parts is when Jack keeps hitting Meg head with a big stick and the stick gets caught in her hair and he keeps hitting her on the head and she just keeps on smoking and ignoring him. He really is her little brother.

But my favorite is the last scene. Last year I did some work for the dude who directed Under Great White Northern Lights and one time when we were on the phone there was this moment when I was like "OH MY GOD THE LAST SCENE OF UNDER GREAT WHITE NORTHERN LIGHTS!!!!!! I LOVE THE LAST SCENE SO MUCH!!!!!!!!! THE LAST SCENE OF UNDER GREAT WHITE NORTHERN LIGHTS IS SOOOOOOOO BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!", and it was all very chill and professional of me.

I first saw Under Great White Northern Lights around the same time that I started writing the story that would eventually turn into my book, and then I totally ripped off Jack and Meg's last-scene dynamic and hair for my two main kids, and it was one of the smartest moves I've ever made. This is it:

And these are a bunch of stills from the last scene, because I love it so much and it's so beautiful and makes me cry a tiny bit every time. That little "tsk" sound Jack makes at the very end -- oh my god.


  1. I seriously dig those pics you chose to close out this post. Meg White seems super photogenic. Not in "OH man she's so hot way," but more like even still frames of her from the video look really good, despite being mid-action/candid/whatever whatever. She's just... good at being in pictures, which sounded way smarter before I had to type it out.

    1. yeah, no, i get you. yesterday i spent a really long time looking at pictures of meg white and wanting to share every one and be like 'IT'S JUST SO BEAUTIFUL!!!'

  2. I love Meg, wherever she is I hope she is happy, healthy and doing well.

  3. thank you for writing it. it puts in words things i always knew but never quite knew. every white stripes fan should read it. i’m saving it and will read again many more times, i’m sure. thank you, thank you and thank you!