Category: Pop Culture

Weekend Links

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.” 
― A.A. Milne

Happy weekend, kittens! This week I think I cracked a freelance challenge and think I’ve made major progress on a number of items on my main contract To Do list. This weekend we are on the hunt for a vintage jacket for Jeff, the house is a ruin which must be set to rights, and a great deal of food shopping must be done. We are currently making at home brunch and preparing ourselves for some major adulting!

Let me know what you’re getting up to this weekend in the comments, and enjoy the early fall day (for you northern hemisphere dwellers).

Glossier launched in the UK and of course I put in an order. Skincare is life. However I got an unexpected treat in a sample of their upcoming fragrance which, you will probably not be surprised to hear, I really like. Get thee to the website if you want to try it out.

Victoria Beckham’s Top Shelf post is worth a read. And note taking.

Learning to want less.

And it’s super attractive! (See also, my athletic, intelligent, queer-and-female-ally, and all around decent person husband.)

*Takes deep breath.* MAKING PEOPLE UNCOMFORTABLE IS THE POINT OF THE BOOK.

I am not a person who has protected her writing time, so I needed to read this.

This piece on the (general) mid-life crisis state of Gen X women is…quietly harrowing.

Necessary to my cold weather daily bath habit? Possibly.

Wakanda forever! (I am so excited about this movie.)

I teared up reading this story, and I am not ashamed to admit it.

Sali Hughes unleashes and I cheered aloud to read her thoughts. Because a bunch of middle school boys once surrounded me, the only middle school girl on the bus, and told me to “shut [my] mouth and spread [my] legs” when I asked them to cut out the explicit talk. Because a middle school teacher, praising my work ended the conversation with, “If only you were five years older!” Because the last time I had to complain about inappropriate speech in the workplace was last month. Because I was aggressively catcalled walking home from work yesterday. I have two decades worth of these stories, and almost every women I know does too. #MeToo

Be good, men.

This is joy inducing.

Album of the week: Mr. Davis, by Gucci Mane

Weekend Links

“Our major obligation is not to mistake slogans for solutions.” 
― Edward R. Murrow

I had to take a semi-break from news this week, kittens. There’s just too much to process and take in and too much of it is making me angry. What did I do with all those feelings? I channeled them into work and avoided Twitter; it did a lot of good. In spite of hurricanes, missile launches, racists amuk, and all the rest of it.

Here are your links, let me know what you’re doing for the long weekend, kittens! I’ll be doing some work, alas, but also watching the Game of Thrones finale through narrowed eyes (see below for more thoughts), cleaning the house, enjoying a fun brunch thanks to the kindness of a friend, and generally lazing about. I’m really looking forward to it!

It’s summer, let’s learn about seersucker!

I have a lot of thoughts about the current season of Game of Thrones (has time travel been invented in Westeros now? How the hell are people moving thousands of miles in mere minutes?), but of all the subplots I’m not enjoying, the most unenjoyable is how six seasons of character development for Arya and Sansa have been apparently been unraveled because some men seem to struggle writing female strength and growth narratives without turning them into rape victims or un-women. /rant.

Full disclosure, if this plot all turns about to be an elaborate plan to get rid of Littlefinger, I will gleefully eat my words. About the character arch I mean. Not about dudes struggling to write about women. That stands.

Ooh, yes, let’s talk about monstrous female archetypes.

Let’s be real, I am not here for this latest iteration of Taylor Swift. She got caught lying, she’s borrowing from Beyonce. Nope.

Man Repeller summarizes in case you are out of the loop on this one.

Super late to the game but here’s a new to me artist I discovered this week and have been digging.

I cannot wait for this film.

There is one Civil War pensioner still receiving checks!

Sit down, Cameron.

The Fug Girls wrote a hilarious thing about the topic in which they reign unquestionably supreme: royalty.

 

Album of the week: Legacy by The Cadillac Three 

Keeping Up With the K—er, Pop Culture

“In fact, pop-cultural references have become such potent metaphors in U.S. fiction not only because of how united Americans are in our exposure to mass images but also because of our guilty indulgent psychology with respect to that exposure. Put simply, the pop reference works so well in contemporary fiction because (1) we all recognize such a reference, and (2) we’re all a little uneasy about how we all recognize such a reference.” 
― David Foster Wallace

Kittens, leaving aside news for a moment, there is too much pop culture at the moment and it can be bizarrely anxiety-inducing. At the moment I’m catching up on The Handmaid’s Tale and American Gods, I have three audiobooks and a two week backlog of podcasts on my phone, and have five books checked out from the library. I’m following along the new season of Game of Thrones, and eagerly anticipating a bunch of films and new Netflix series. It’s a lot to keep up with.

A few weeks ago I found myself in a familiar situation: I had reached my limit on both checkouts and holds from my library and was nearing the end of my check out period on several books. I read fast and normally have at least two books going at any one time, but this time I was behind on my reading and I actually felt stressed at the prospect of not finishing books before I had to return them. Not only that, I had been on a waiting list for many of these books for weeks and if I didn’t finish them now, I’d have to wait weeks again before I could get my hands on them. Consequently, stress. Stupid stress, yes, but stress nonetheless.

Too much screen time, not enough walks!

I’m a finisher, almost constitutionally incapable of leaving a book, TV show, or movie only partially consumed. This doesn’t always serve me well as it means that I’ve struggled through pop culture that I have rushed too much to enjoy, wasn’t quite to my taste, and even downright hated all with the aim of just finishing it. For example, Jeff made me watch Twin Peaks with him, a show that I completely missed in its original run and knew only through casual references. Sacrilegious as it may be to say for some, I didn’t like it at all. It simply wasn’t for me. And yet, almost every night for a couple of months, I grudgingly insisted that we sit down and watch an episode just so I could say I had finished the damn thing.

This is, of course, ridiculous. Nevertheless, to solve my book backlog, I signed out of most social media and didn’t log in to Netflix or YouTube for a week so I could finish five books back to back, which made me feel quite cultured and au courant…until I noticed I’d nearly reached my storage limit on my phone because I had not kept up with my podcast feed.

Help!

I hear and read everywhere that we are living in a moment of “peak TV,” but you could also insert any other media platform into that statement quite comfortably. This weekend alone several trailers for upcoming films or TV shows that I’m genuinely excited about dropped. We are downright spoiled for choice when it comes to entertainment. Not only that, new technology and disruptive new platforms means that we have an almost constant stream of new ways to consume media, as well as very often whole new types of media itself.

Part of me thinks this is fantastic as there is so much stuff out there, you are bound to find a program, book, show, podcast, vlog, or feed that seems tailor made to cater to your personal interests and likes. On the other hand, it’s very easy want to consume everything and feel disappointed or frustrated when you can’t. It’s also not nice to feel like you’re out of the loop when friends or people you enjoy talking all things media with are in the know about something you’ve never heard of. The positive upside to this moment of peak pop culture, though, may be the fact that there is so much out there that it is impossible to even attempt to consume everything. Meaning that consumers can find what they actually like and disregard what they don’t.

This is the tack I have taken at least. I’ve given myself permission to not finish books I don’t like, drop shows that don’t appeal to me, and just tap out of pop culture I don’t care about. It’s such a dinky thing, but it’s been weirdly liberating to “give up” on media rather than slog through it or race to catch up with the rest of society.

Is there any pop culture out there that you genuinely love? What about something that you’ve given a total miss because you just aren’t interested? Have you ever felt guilty for not being able to keep up, or is this a weirdly C-specific problem?