July 21-29, 2015

So yeah, this week in a nutshell: Cops kill unarmed civilians. White dudes with guns kill unarmed civilians. Midwestern dentist kills beloved lion. Only one of those things is remotely unusual, sadly.

Other than that: work. We go to corporate headquarters in 2 weeks for our big end-of-summer expo, so everything is kind of frantic right now.

As per usual, I will refer you to my Twitter  for the blow-by-blow of this week’s momentary diversions and microaggressions.

Thursday night we went to this after-hours thing at the Museum of Life and Science, which was billed “The Science of Sour” but was mostly kind of like a trade show for local pickle makers & other vendors of fermented stuff. Lotta little tables, a lot of long lines, too many people. Would have been cool enough except it cost $25. Had we been more in the mood, we could have had comprehensive access to all of the cool interactive museum displays, so next time, that’s what we’ll do.

Friday night M demanded that we watch Point Break (the 1991 original, not the 2015 remake). By now I have seen it at least 3 times, probably more. She believes it’s Keanu’s finest & most nuanced performance. I haven’t seen everything he’s been in, so I really couldn’t say.

I tried to claim that Point Break marked the beginning of the sharp decline in Kathryn Bigelow’s auteurist period. Last week we watched Blue Steel (OMG, I think I forgot to mention that), which is a huge mess, plot-wise, but it’s extraordinarily stylized and has all sorts of weird sexual politics fluttering under the surface. I can see a weird but distinct through line from Bigelow’s debut, The Loveless (one of my favorite movies EVAR) to Blue Steel, but it’s harder to trace it through to Point Break.

M says I’m crazy & that KB is all about intense homosocial bonding, which I guess is totally true, and which makes Blue Steel the anomaly.

Anyway. Apart from movie-watching we mostly read & eat. I started Sarah Jeong’s The Internet Of Garbage, and the new Ta-Nehisi Coates. I enjoy Jeong’s tweets, and she makes some important points in her book, but she kinda writes like the lawyer/journalist that she is. I may finish it at some point (it’s really short, after all) but not until I finish the Coates, which is devastating and brilliant and just utterly beautifully written. Heartbreaking.

Reading it, it’s hard to imagine that there are people in this country — a majority of white people even — who literally don’t get it, who are, as he puts it, in a beautiful dream that denies that the fundamental history of the United States is one of bloody oppression, raping, pillaging, and enslavement.

This is the sort of book that should be required reading in every book club in America. I don’t care if y’all mostly read romances. Or graphic novels. Bump this to the top of the list.

It’s also exactly the kind of book that colleges across America are going to put on their freshman reading lists, and cue the outraged speeches on the floor of the nation’s state legislatures in 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1. Good. The more debate, the better, although his points aren’t really open to debate.

July 21-29, 2015