LISTENING

Many things, but I want to highlight Siouxsie and the Banshees Join Hands. One of the tracks from this album – their second, released in 1979 – popped up on my Spotify Discover Weekly and I just played it on repeat constantly. I don’t know why I hadn’t heard any Siouxsie and the Banshees before, but I hadn’t. I had assumed they were like pop-post-punk, like the Bangles. Bangles, Banshees. One can get that confused. But also this is why that kind of blanket categorizing of “oh this is a female band so they must sound like the other female bands” is always bullsh*t. Join Hands sounds much more like no-wave / goth rock. My particular fave track is “Icons” and I’ve been obsessed these past two weeks, playing it on repeat constantly and trying to figure out the chords on guitar (but they’re not on the guitar tab/chord websites!).

 

WATCHING

Orange is the New Black Season 4. I read a review of the new season from Vanity Fair before I started watching it, in which the reviewer claimed this was the best season yet, despite being slow to get going. To be honest, at the beginning of the season, I did find it rather slow, probably because of the huge ensemble cast that requires everyone get adequate attention (and this season some of them definitely didn’t get enough *cough cough Sophia Burset). But still. This is supposed to be engaging television, so just having a large cast shouldn’t mean each episode isn’t packing a punch. Compared to Wentworth, which I had just finished bingeing, it was like nothing happened in the first several episodes of OITNB. It was like child’s play compared with the stuff of Wentworth’s end of season 1 and onward. In addition to number of characters, I think OITNB suffers somewhat because of the fact that all the episodes are released at once. Writers know people will binge it, so they don’t necessarily need to hooks a weekly show (like Wentworth) needs to get people to actually tune in next week.

I think, for that reason I enjoy watching Wentworth more. BUT I think Orange Is The New Black is a more important show because Orange Is The New Black deals with race. Race was mentioned once during season 1 of Wentworth; race is at the center of all the issues in Orange Is The New Black, especially in this fourth season. When I finished OITNB Season 4, I felt physically sick. I couldn’t really sleep. The final episodes made me feel uncomfortable, unsettled. To me, that makes it good art. It’s not something you can forget. Neither is the drama in Wentworth, but Wentworth drama is fueled by individual vengeance or personality flaws, interpersonal communication mishaps, and general psychotic behavior, OITNB drama comes from (all those things, in addition to) systemic injustice, particularly racial.

So I finish watching Wentworth and it’s good television because it’s entertaining. I finish watching Orange Is The New Black and it’s good art because it makes me want to do something, it makes me want to help end this corrupt, for-profit prison system the U.S. has set in place. It makes me want to help people.

 

READING

Postal, Vol. 2 from Image Comics. Story by: Bryan Hill and Matt Hawkins; art by Isaac Goodhart. It’s fun. It’s about a town where everyone is a violent criminal. The FBI leaves the town alone and lets all the issues be dealt with internally, which I guess has worked up until now. But NOW the mayor’s husband (a psychopath) is threatening to shake things up. Oh, and it’s told from the perspective of the autistic postman, son of the mayor. So that’s cool!

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