- The Unlikely Philosophy of Joe Versus the Volcano. I stumbled across Joe Versus the Volcano on television this weekend and promptly re-fell in love with it. The aesthetics! Meg Ryan playing three different characters! Tom Hanks when he was still being goofy in movies! The weirdness of it! This movie is a delight – but polarizing. My husband, for example, does not enjoy this one. I think he’s wrong.
- Why Donna Tartt’s The Secret History Never Became a Movie. Basically because it’s never been high enough on anyone’s priority list. I love The Secret History. Not every book needs a movie made from it.
- Hollywood Meets Hickory. A lovely story about a successful small-town North Carolina film festival.
- Why the World’s Best Mathematicians are Hoarding Chalk. This video was a delight, especially if you know or have known any mathematicians.
California Against the Sea. Even if a miracle occurs and we manage to get climate change under control by 2040, global warming and its effects are already happening. And people are neither willing nor ready to deal with it.
On a much lighter note: JFK Jr and Carolyn showed us the right way to be famous for being famous. Elegant refusal is going to be my new motto.
Men Know It’s Better to Carry Nothing. I actually have A LOT of thoughts about this, but they boil down to: yes, women, especially moms, are the pack animals of the family and IT SUCKS. But I enjoy my small-ish cross-body bag – I can’t stick a book in my back pocket, but I can in my purse.
I Wanted to Know what White Men Thought about Their Privilege. So I Asked. So, so frustrating.
Modern Media is a DDoS Attack on Your Free Will. It is the attention economy; as I sit here, the laundry needs to be tended to and the beds need to be made. But instead of taking care of my chores, I am catching up on my internet reading. It’s taking me out of my everyday reality onto web pages where the companies want my attention so they can make money. But it’s also not that simple. I’m reading more about issues that will and do affect my life: climate change is going to f*** up my retirement and my child’s life; theoretically all people are created equal, and society falls SO SHORT of that reality and that affects me and my friends. How do we fix these things? Is reading more really going to change anything? What can I do to fix these issues? Not to mention funding places that are doing important work investigating the state of the world. But I still need to get clean sheets on the beds.
How to get back up and keep running. Not so much a how-to as an inspiration to make art as a way to keep your sanity when the world continues to be its current hot mess.
One of my favorite tidbits from the championship parade of the USWNT today is that they were drinking Veuve Clicquot champagne, a company whose success was because of a woman in the 1800s.
The Importance of Photographing Women in Sports. Some stats from the article: “The overt lack of media representation fuels the divide. While four out of 10 athletes are female, just 4 percent of sports-related media coverage is devoted to them. They get only 5 percent of Sports Illustrated covers and a paltry 2 percent of airtime on ESPN’s SportsCenter.”
The Lingering of Loss. This is heartbreaking.
The False Narratives of The Fall of Rome Mapped onto America. The rise of Rome is so much more interesting than its fall to me. Especially when its fall is so often twisted to ill purposes. From the article: “Interest in the decline of the Roman empire became a subject of popular fascination, particularly for White colonial men who lived in fear of losing their own grip on power and took his narrative as a cautionary tale.”
My mother was killed in a car accident. So I care very, very much about this: Americans Shouldn’t Have to Drive, But the Law Insists on It.
25 French Brands You Can Buy in the US. We just got back from a Paris trip, and I’m holding onto that Paris feeling any way I can.
- The girl who executed Nazis after seducing them in bars dies aged 92. Pour one out.
- Meet five of the women racing in this year’s Iditarod. Yes, one is Blair Braverman.
- ‘Reality Bites’ captured Gen X with perfect irony.
- Remembering the ‘Fellini Summer’ of Julia Roberts. I knew almost none of this, but what a story.
- The modern trap of turning hobbies into hustles.
- You have the founding mothers of champagne to thank for the bubbly you drink today.
- Since I just went to Death Valley, know that a bunch of Star Wars: A New Hope was filmed there. We didn’t know until after we got back.
- McDonald’s is Suddenly a Leader in Public Health.
- If you, like me, are a GenXer, please read these two essays from Brad King, and then follow him on twitter. I feel seen in a good way.
- Speaking of GenX, read this twitter thread if you haven’t already.
- Ghostwriting, Plagiarism, and the Latest Scandal.
- A Critic for All Seasons.
- The woman who turns Hollywood men into style icons.
I’ve saved up a lot of reading for today. Here’s the best of what I read:
- Otis Redding: Remembering His Life 50 Years After His Death. There used to be a plaque in Madison that commemorated that plane crash. I wonder if it’s still there?
- Why Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox should scare you. Seriously world, Disney doesn’t need to own everything. Or even most things.
- Meet the Gettys! Wow, that’s a LOT of family drama.
- I will confess to only looking at the pictures and not reading the article but: what would modern animals look like if they were drawn like dinosaurs (that is, from their skeletons only without all the parts that wouldn’t have fossilized).
- Watch the trailer for American Crime Story: The Murder of Gianni Versace. I am not, repeat, NOT a true crime fan. But I remember the day this murder was reported so very distinctly, and it came during 1997, which is the year that defined the next section of my life… It was weird and memorable and I can still hear the person who told me about it pronouncing his name “Johnny” because “the i softens the g in Italian, it doesn’t get pronounced on its own.” She was Canadian and a hoot and I wish I could remember her name.
- On Being Midwestern: The Burden of Normality. “Our bland, featureless Midwest—on some level, it is a fantasy. The easiest, most tempting tack for a cultural critic to take with fantasies is to condemn them. Given what ideas of normalness, in particular, have done to this country, to its nonwhite, nonstraight, non–middle-class, nonmale—and also to those who are all of those things, and are driven slightly or fully crazy by the effort to live up to the norm that is their birthright—it is tempting simply to try to fumigate the myth away.” (The Midwest, by the way isn’t flat. The Plains states are flat. The Midwest has hills and forests and lakes – some of them Great – but it isn’t flat.)
- A short history of capes in the movies. Man, now I want to have an excuse to swan about in a cape. (I do own one, so that part’s done.)
- There is a Lego house and you can stay in it.
- Something is wrong on the internet. I only made it partway through the underlying article which details how automation and showing people content like what they’ve consumed before may constitute abuse (which maybe falls into the “way harsh Tai” category). It’s interesting to think about though. Please kids, remember to curate your own media consumption and do read people you disagree with sometimes.