The Units were a synth punk band in San Francisco in the late 70s, early 80s. The lead track off their first LP Digital Stimulation* – “High Pressure Days” – popped up on my Spotify Discover and I just couldn’t get it out of my head. Just the energy and aggression mixed with the poppy synth. It’s so great!
Similarish acts include The Normal, Los Microwaves, Joy Division / New Order, Minimal Man. Anyway, because I’m jiving off this music right now, I made a lil’ Spotify playlist for when I’m feeling like this kind of music. Check it out here.
I’ve been watching loads of stuff, but I’ll highlight only a few: Big Trouble in Little China (Carpenter, 1984) which my friend Matt and I watched and reviewed on our podcast Matt and E Matinee. I enjoyed it more than I thought it would! It’s the first John Carpenter film I’ve seen, but I know he is a cult auteur and I plan to see more of his now. But in terms of Big Trouble in Little China, I am interested in how Asian-Americans feel about this movie because although it has a lot of problems, it seems not as bad as I would expect, not saying it should be praised, just saying it’s like the person that was against slavery in the 1700s but also wasn’t sure black people should have equal rights. Better than its time but still not great.
Anyway, what I liked about Big Trouble in Little China was Kurt Russell’s butt; the fact that while there is a female object character (and sadly she’s the only Asian-American woman in the film), there are two pretty active female characters (played by Kim Cattrall and Meredith Grey’s Mom!); Kurt Russell is not white savior, he’s white helper and together a coalition of white and Asian-American characters save the day; Meredith Grey’s Mom ends up dating one of the Asian-American guys so yay shattering that stereotype that Asian-American men aren’t sexy!
So yeah, I would say definitely better than I expected but very strange and ridiculous at times. Probably the best thing I got out of this was coming up with the idea for a spoof called Big Trouble in Little Bucktown, which has a similar premise as Big Trouble in Little China. One friend in a friend group is captured by the owner of a microbrewery while they’re on a tour and the friend group has to save him. Hilarity ensures. Hipster jokes. You get the jist. So if you want to watch that short film, hit me up with some film contacts (directors, producers, actors) and I’ll send them the script and we’ll get the ball rolling!
I started reading Audrey Young’s What Patients Taught Me: A Medical Student’s Journey. She details her time spent training at the University of Washington Medical School. The program there allowed her to spend time in urban Seattle hospitals in addition to traveling to rural sites in Idaho, Montana, and Alaska. So far I find it very interesting, especially as a person who was thinking about becoming a physician, decided against it, but probably would’ve wanted to do wilderness/rural stuff like she does at some point in my career (had I kept with that). The vignettes of her experiences at these different sites are succinct and compelling snapshots into how a medical student really learns how to be a doctor.
*Get it? It’s masturbation. I don’t know if The Units meant it in that way, but I’ve definitely heard people use that phrase to describe masturbation as “digits” are another term for fingers.