So…. I’ve been traveling. Two weeks in South Korea / Japan and four weeks in Nepal. I’ve been home in the States about three weeks so far and figure it’s time to get back into the swing of things, so…
Young Marble Giants were a band in the late 70s from Wales and frankly I dig their sound. Minimalist, repetitive, drone, but with a low-fi, punk leaning and lyrics that are interesting. Their set up kind of reminds me of Girlpool (also two guitars). Some of their songs – like “Colossal Youth” – sound rather poppy, while others – like “Credit in the Straight World” – have more of a edge to them. And then songs like “Wurlitzer Jukebox” lie somewhere in between. Also, Kurt Cobain named Colossal Youth as one of his top 50 albums.
I watched A LOT of films over the past two months, partly because I was on several plane rides over 4 hours and that meant watching films. Also now that I’m back in the States, I’ve been binging Netflix. I’m not going to go into every film I watched, but just highlight a two: The Lobster (Lanthimos, 2016) and Selma (DuVernay, 2014).
I’m embarrassed that it took me so long to watch Selma, but better late than never. The performances were amazing and, probably because of the present racial struggles in America today, it all felt incredibly relevant. Even the smallest moments in the film are imbued with such weight. Oprah’s character – Annie Lee Cooper – tried to register to vote. She’s rejected. She goes back. Rejected again. I recently went to register to vote and it was so easy and so pleasant and while I was city in the county clerks office chatting with her, I was recalling that scene in Selma and thinking about how easy I have it now. Every American should watch this film.
The Lobster is the second Lanthimos film I’ve seen, the first being Dogtooth (2010). Dogtooth is a very very f*cked up film and so I don’t know why I expected The Lobster to not be super weird. But I think I just really appreciate Lanthimos’ style and his ability to make these completely ridiculous worlds. The Lobster and Dogtooth end very similarly – the main characters in both films is left with making a difficult choice – although The Lobster is ambiguous about what Colin Farrell’s David chooses.
FUN FACT: The Lobster actually came out in Taiwan a long time before it came out in the States, but I wasn’t able to catch it in theatres.
I have been reading NOTHING. This is not true, of course. I’m reading this sentence as I type it. But I haven’t been reading books. I’ve been reading through the Bitch Magazine subscription that I purchased last year but have been unable to read because I’ve been living in Taiwan! So three magazines full of “a feminist response to pop culture.” It’s very cool. One article – “Rewriting Reality: A Forthcoming Speculative Fiction Anthology Asks Transgender Authors To Imagine New Worlds” – has this amazing quote about writing that is so true but that I’d never thought of before:
The powerful thing about fiction—what makes it more powerful than nonfiction, always—is that it asks what an author is thinking about in the middle of the night when they could be thinking or talking about literally anything else, and this is what’s on their mind. -Casey Plett
I know feminism and gender and analyzing pop culture are not topics most people seek out to learn more about, but I’d encourage you to check out their website if you feel so inclined!