Archive for the ‘pop culture’ Category

The constant reminders that we are watching a performance serve to reinforce the sense that we remain between reality and the dream, always prompting the question about what the meaning of the performance is.

Twin Peaks is also — far more than Lynch’s other work — preoccupied with communication, or, more accurately, non-communication, and not merely because of the reverse-talking of the Lodge inhabitants.

From Bernard Keane’s “I’ll watch you again in 25 years: a return to Twin Peaks” in Crikey. 

This is great analysis.

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This documentary film, Hotel Coolgardie, looks amazing and somewhat terrifying.

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Great stripped down hip hop with wonderful archival footage from Aboriginal political history for the video clip.

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Set aside an hour for a real lunch. Not food. Ingest the ambient sounds of your workplace.

Interpersonal Connection

Who was your first friend? Dial tech support and whisper his or her name until the I.T. person hangs up. Relationships are important for well-being.

From Krithika Varagur’s “Self-care tips from Yoko Ono” in The New Yorker. 

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This is a good response to Jia Tolentino’s “The personal-essay boom is over” in The New Yorker from Susan Shapiro in Forward with “Taking it personal: A feminist defense of the first-person essay”.

While Tolentino and others espouse the simplistic, paternalistic view that women mining their intimate lives in public could be somehow exploitative and exploited, I quote Nora Ephron: “Everything’s copy” and try to emulate her grace and sense of humor. I always found revealing secrets in print cathartic and liberating, repeating my shrink’s mantra that, to stay healthy, you should “lead your least secretive life.” Indeed, I owe the career my conservative Midwest family hates to this form. I was originally compelled by this so-called 2008 “first-person industrial complex boom” decades before, as I devoured the audacious confessional poetry of Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Ted Hughes, Robert Lowell and Nikki Giovanni in the staid Michigan Jewburbs in the sixties. Getting my MFA at NYU in 1981, I noticed one could turn poetry subjects into essays and books (like the brilliant Mary Karr, Carol Muske-Dukes, and Katha Pollitt.) After working at The New Yorker for four years, I wrote for The New York Times Lives and Hers columns, Newsweek’s “My Turn,” Cosmopolitan’s “Outrageous Opinion,” along with Glamour, New Woman, Marie Claire, which, at the time, paid $1,000 or more.

Tolentino attributes the shifting essay market to politics (a response to Trump’s election) but as her own piece demonstrates, it’s economics. She quotes former Salon editor Sarah Hepola saying the personal essay “boom” of her day was motivated by an online climate where content was needed and budgets were slashed. Yes, after Apple’s iTunes destroyed the feasibility of music albums, the Internet devalued paper tomes with e-books and hurt print. Cheaper shorter faster online essay versions did proliferate, along with internet trolls and pop up adds. Instead of 1,600 word, $1,600 carefully curated Jane Magazine pieces, suddenly XOJane paid $25 or $50 for quick takes, many silly, which I blame on editors (who are, after all, our bosses) and the higher ups in charge, desperate to keep their businesses afloat. I didn’t love all the Tampax and cat hair pieces or prompts from Hearst’s The Mix. Yet it seemed a worthy experiment since it gave young writers I knew clips, exposure, and literary agents. Cream rose, as always.


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From Baker Boy with Cloud 9. Rapping in the Yolngu Matha language of his homelands.

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This is a GREAT read. I read it to my man while he lay on his sick bed.

Miley Cyrus is a good listener. I was skeptical of her writing a song called Malibu, but I wanted to give it a chance.
Cyrus’s Malibu has a sort of Laurel Canyon-y sound, but not ’70s music Laurel Canyon so much as Lisa Cholodenko’s 2002 movie, Laurel Canyon. It has the same dreamy, blooming openness as the Mercury Rev song that plays over Laurel Canyon’s opening credits, and there’s a similar aesthetic feel too, of pretty colors behind haze. This is really what LA feels like, so, I mean, it’s not like anyone is copying anyone. They’re just reacting to the feeling of living in LA, which is the feeling that makes you want to stare at bougainvillea all day until someone miraculously appears with a large check and a drink and fucks you by a pool.

Cyrus’s video opens with a shot of balloons, then quickly takes a turn, a left turn, up the 101 towards Malibu Country Mart. Malibu Country Mart is a luxury mall “nestled against the majestic mountains and just a stone’s throw from the beach,” at which Cyrus seemed to have purchased her wardrobe for this video. There are white gauze pants gathered at the ankle and a white bikini top, there’s a whole bikini, by itself, there’s an unstructured midriff-baring turtleneck, some gypsy-influenced white dresses. The turtleneck at one point gets playfully/cozily pulled down over her knees, a sort of whole-body version of that thing women do when they snuggle into their sweater cuffs to indicate vulnerability/low body weight/happiness.


From Sarah Miller’s “Instagram has no terroir: Miley Cyrus’ “Malibu” versus Hole’s “Malibu”” in The Awl. 


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