Rampant Media Consumption #5
Here’s what we uploaded to our brains this week:
I watched a documentary on James Brown celled, Mr. Dynamite. It follows his career from childhood through the early 70’s. It’s a pretty impressive onslaught of explosive live footage and social history. Say what you will about the ignominy of his latter career, this film made abundantly clear to me why he’s known as the GFOS (Godfather of Soul).
Absorbed some exciting matches in the Bundesliga.
Read through Dream Whip #’s 11-13 by Mr. Bill Brown. He pours his heart all over America and shares it with us in his zine. Every issue is an adventure chock-full of honesty, innovation, and humanity.
I’ve re-visited The Knife album, Silent Shout. I’ve always liked The Knife, I probably liked Karin Dreijer Andersson’s solo work, Fever Ray more so, however, after more than three listens this week, I found the music dreamy and well executed.
Eyes Wide’s When It’s Raining
Title Fight’s Hyperview
Cloakroom’s Further Out
Once I’m deep in a very specific music-hole, it’s hard for me to crawl out. This week it was shoegazey alt/emo. Ironically, no tears were shed.
I’ve also been really inspired and intrigued by Kyle Hilton‘s work. He mainly works in pop culture and media, and his stylistic execution had me interested in something I normally felt apathy for.
I’ve also been binge-watching The X-Files.
While waiting in line for the bathroom at Powell’s on Sunday night I found Betsy Lerner‘s book The Forest for the Trees. It’s ostensibly advice for writers but actually has a great deal of excellent lore about being a book editor, agent, or anyone else who works with authors. Tragicomically, it’s been remaindered, so I forked over $7.95 and have been gobbling up Lerner’s anecdotes and observations from the New York edge of the publishing wilderness. In her evaluation of writerly personalities she quotes a ton of unbearably pompous manspressions from great male writers of yore, including Gore Vidal, so I was hesitant to agree to watch a documentary about him when Joe suggested it the next day. But the documentary is good, and anyone who was willing to go on TV in like the 1950s and say things like “homosexuality is entirely normal” must have needed a giant ego to survive at all, so hats off to him.
In a hilarious turn of events, I have found obligation to read something each week rather than state the sad reality that I just watch reruns of Bruce Campbell’s Burn Notice to unwind after work.
Of course, to most people something like The Responsible Company isn’t reading that you’d do to unwind, but I found Yvon’s light and simple advice to be really encouraging. He creates these neat checklists and it was heartening to discover that we are doing 90% of each of them already at Microcosm, basically everything but organizing the staff to do group volunteer activities in the community. The book has nice production values for a self-pub and I appreciate that it’s the right length.
I got a stack of zines to review for the new Xerography Debt but you’ll have to wait six months to read about those when the new issue is published.
Elly and I watched The United States of Amnesia about Gore Vidal, which thankfully seemed to effectively demonstrate the ways that he’s not just another babbling old white guy in the spotlight, but willing to talk shit to power in ways that even rich people! I took in The Wolf of Wall Street as my chaser. I get it that it’s Scorcese’s style, but almost every scene could be cut in half so the movie could be under two hours. All of the historical exposition is interesting and helpful to understand the people that both ruined the American economy and created capital without labor to substantiate it or make it stable. Perhaps it’s the fact that half of the movie is watching the staff do drugs or hiring prostitutes or the main character, Jordan, cheating on his wives that make it interesting to certain audiences, but that stuff literally put me to sleep.
Also, last week’s episode of This American Life and this Guardian article detail a fascinating story of an angry man troll and his obsession, a fat-positive comedian who is happy with her life. Best of all, they interview each other in a way that is awkward but gives closure.
I went to another Powell’s book reading, for Sarah van Gelder’s Sustainable Happiness. Which ties into several of our “happy” books. But, more important, it fits right into our ethos of promoting “simple” living which pretty much covers all of our Urban Homesteader collection as well as many other DIY titles we sell. :o)