Things You Will Love: January/February 2017
- How To Build an Autocracy: David Frum's sprawling cautionary think piece is the best thing from the Atlantic since A Case for Reparations.
- President Obama on What Books Mean to Him: Michiko Kakutani's interview with the then President is a testament to the power of great literature to shape one's ideology, and a testament to what may be the most eloquent leader the U.S. will ever see.
- Creativity Creep: An oldie but goodie by Joshua Rothman that sustains my interest in ideas of creativity as an internal pursuit or as means for production. (New Yorker)
A message to my doomed colleagues in the American media: A must-read by Alexey Kovalev on the war between journalists and fascist leaders. (Medium)
Postmodernism- For Kids: Lenika Cruz breaks down Lemony Snicket's introduction of postmodernism to young people. (The Atlantic)
How Jokes Won The Election: A fascinating review of the state of comedy in the wake of the 2016 election by Emily Nussbaum. (New Yorker)
How to escape the overthinking trap (stop judging yourself): Mark Rice-Oxley serves up some real talk. "You’re not who you think you are. You’re so much more than that." (The Guardian)
- @annettelabedzki: My new Insta obsession is Annette Labedzki, a Canadian artist who displays swirling paints and oils in hypnotic and miraculous videos.
- @albumplusart: Eisen Bernardo combines pieces of classical art with famous album covers for spectacular results.
- @abstractsunday: Christoph Niemann nifty pieces of abstract art are sure to brighten up your feed. Also, be sure to catch Niemann's episode of the excellent Netflix series Abstract: The Art of Design.
- @pastelpaperplane: If you like hand-made, maps, typewriters, aesthetics of the hand-written, look no further.
- @bymariandrew: Mari Andrew's twee illustrations are a good reminder of the tiny, beautiful things in this world.
- @obviousstate: I have a bookstagram fetish, and Obvious State fulfills 100% with its' "modern art Inspired by classic lit and provocative language."
- @mylittlebooktique: Books, coffee, bliss.
- @tortus_copenhagen: A gorgeous man making gorgeous ceramics. Enough said.
Much of my February was spent catching up on the 2016 Oscar race, finally coming to a place where I felt comfortable declaring my favorites of 2016. Here are the others that I am gaga about:
- Sicario (2015, d. Denis Villeneuve): I re-watched this master thriller, available on Amazon Prime, and was reminded of how tightly wound Taylor Sheridan's screenplay is. Of all the working screenwriters today, his work is one I will definitely flock to.
- Sudden Fear (1952, d. Denis Miller): Joan Crawford stars in this melodramatic noir film that is endlessly entertaining, a testament to Miller's mastery of style and Crawford's enduring capabilities as an actress.
- The LEGO Batman Movie (2017, d. Chris McKay): As a longtime Batman devotee, and an ardent admirer of 2014's The LEGO Movie, I was bound to be endeared to this wacky, pop animated flick. And boy, was I. Get tickets.
- The 1975: My new-found obsession. I haven't stopped listening to their 2016 album i like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it, particularly the haunting hypnosis of "Somebody Else" and the tangy, quirky "Paris". While we're on the subject, their new single, "By Your Side" is a lush drop of synth romance.
- "Chained to the Rhythm": I would be remiss if I didn't mention Katy Perry's new candy pop tune that should be on your running mix ASAP.
- You all know by now, but if you don't, John Mayer's new EP The Search for Everything- Wave Two is phenomenal.
- Dear Evan Hansen (Music Box Theater): Yes, I know you already know. Pasek & Paul's endlessly catchy score pairs so beautifully with this heart-tugging story and Ben Platt is performing on a level all his own.
- Auditioning by Joanna Merlin: The audition space can be a scary one to approach. Joanna Merlin demystifies some of our assumed insecurities about the whole thing and gives secrets to help you conquer rather than be beaten down.
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin: Aided by the occasion of Black History Month and Raoul Peck's excellent Baldwin documentary I Am Not Your Negro, I decided that it was high time I invested in my first Baldwin. What I discovered is an indispensable writer, a visionary American author who's dissection of race in America is, unfortunately, as vibrant and necessary today as it was in 1963. Looking forward to diving into more of his oeuvre.
- The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton: This Pulitzer prize winning novel was my pick for my book club last month, and I was so drawn in by this account of New York high society, and its notions of societal ennui and lovers caught between each other and the world.
- Abstract: The Art of Design: Netflix's new docu-series highlights the worlds of some of our most imaginative minds. Each episode is vastly different but uniformly inspired.
- Batman: The Animated Series: I was delighted to discover that Amazon Prime now includes seasons 1-4 of this excellent series. I was skeptical because of my undying love for it as a kid, but luckily, it holds up remarkably well.
- Pod Save America: This is one of my few must-listens every week. From the guys previously behind Keepin' It 1600, this politics pod is a great way to stay up to date on what's happening in a fresh and funny format. Fav episodes so far have been their interview with the Atlantic’s Julia Ioffe on all things Russia and their episode with the inimitable Katie Couric.
- The Read: Another must listen every week, Crissle and Kid Fury break down the week's pop culture news and answer listener advice letters. The results are always the realest and the most hilarious. Fav episode is their recent discussion of the Grammy's and how Blue Ivy is the baddest bitch that ever lived.'