Quarantine Newsletter #8

Hello gorgeous!

Celebrate all the accomplishments since protesting. Keep doing the work to make this country equal for all its citizens. Don’t forget to check your city on 8cantwait.com and reach out to your representatives here. Confronting and resolving the twinned issues of racism and police brutality is not solved by an IG post, a protest march or a single vote. We must keep the pressure on our legislators to achieve lasting change.

Fun Internet Corner

Has anyone been on JSTOR since college? Ya know, the scholarly repository where we found all the articles for our poorly researched papers in high school? Anyway, it has apparently gotten real cool. Sign up for their newsletter to get neat scholarly takes on modern events. Right now they are writing about racial education, the linguistic and cultural functions of idioms , and the plant of the month. (Holly, I know you will love this site) 10/10 great site to spend a rainy afternoon learning.

Book Recommendation

I apologize in advance. This is going to be link heavy. Im going to talk about one of my favorite authors who was an editor for The Toast back when the world was better. The Toast closed down a few years back and nearly removed all sources of joy from my heart at that time. But everything remains online and I hope you spend some time walking through the archives today. It’s Sunday, why not enjoy some mid 2010s writing?

P.S. Nearly every word in the above paragraph links to an article written by Daniel Mallory Ortberg. I realize it is too much and you should just enjoy finding the articles yourself but basically? I just sat here and read my way through my favorites and linked them above. Pretty much for my own amusement. Send me your favorites.

ANYway, the book(s) I’m recommending are written by Daniel Mallory Orthberg. He has written three books. 1) Texts from Jane Eyre : And Other Conversations With Your Favorite Literary Characters. This novel will make you nostalgic for English class and perhaps encourage a reread of an old classic. With his trademark dry wit, Daniel succinctly captures how your literary faves would text. Something about modern vernacular highlights the twisted dysfunctional relationships that make up the western literary canon. Every time I read this, I read it out loud to whomever is nearest and I always get the giggles. 11/10 I never knew I needed this book until I found it.

2) The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror (an NPR review) is common fairytales filtered through Daniel’s weird brain. Now, I always love fairytales retold and in their original format. What other form of story telling has stuck with humanity for so long? Cinderella is 2,000 years old. I love them for their insights into humanity and I love the modern retellings for their insight into us. This retelling is explores gender (seemingly inadvertently), codependency, and the obligations of love and relationships. Also the angel who wrestled Jacob fills out an incidence log and its extremely funny. Look, Daniel is a master of passive-aggressive, of irony, and seeing past the obvious story. That is a perfect beach read. Just enough depth that you can feel smart, amusing enough to hold your attention on a relaxing day. 8/10

3) Something That May Shock or Discredit You Look I bought this two weeks ago and I’ve been carefully rationing it out like the last pint of ice cream in a world that has lost cows. It’s so good and I’m so excited I can’t read it straight. I have to let each chapter sit and age before I move on to the next bite. I can’t write out a full recommendation yet so here is a quote from the Amazon blurb, “Daniel Mallory Ortberg is known for blending genres, forms, and sources to develop fascinating new hybrids—from lyric rants to horror recipes to pornographic scripture. In his most personal work to date, he turns his attention to the essay, offering vigorous and laugh-out-loud funny accounts of both popular and highbrow culture while mixing in meditations on gender transition, family dynamics, and the many meanings of faith.

From a thoughtful analysis of the beauty of William Shatner to a sinister reimagining of HGTV’s House Hunters, and featuring figures as varied as Anne of Green Gables, Columbo, Nora Ephron, Apollo, and the cast of Mean GirlsSomething That May Shock and Discredit You is a hilarious and emotionally exhilarating compendium that combines personal history with cultural history to make you see yourself and those around you entirely anew. It further establishes Ortberg as one of the most innovative and engaging voices of his generation—and it may just change the way you think about Lord Byron forever.”

Read this and then please call me so I can have someone to talk about this with. Also, Em and Eddie, if you aren’t already reading him, I will fly to your respective locations and fight you. He writes like our HS conversations.

Movie Recommendation

Have you watched 13th yet? You should.

TV Recommendation

I haven’t really watched anything this week. Maybe we should all check out When They See Us.

Podcast Recommendation

The Dream available on all podcast apps and you can listen from the stitcher website. The Dream is the kind of podcast that make you pause, rewind and replay so the absolute magnitude of the nonsense that someone just said can really sink in. This podcast has prompted more emphatic yelling from Sam and me than any other. The first season covers MLM from a deeply empathetic POV of Jean Maire, whose whole family is entrenched in various MLM schemes. If you only listen to one, let it be the second episode where she goes home to interview family and friends currently selling. This podcast thoughtfully walks from the big picture causes of MLM to the little picture consequences in interviews with the FTC, actual executives in the business, successful and unsuccessful sellers. They also join a MLM called LimeLight and actively try to make money. Season two is exploring the multi dollar wellness industry. It doesn’t shine as much as the first season (i.e. Sam and I don’t pause it to yell about it to each other) but it takes the same top to bottom approach. Vulture did a write up as did Vanity Fair and Slate if you want to read reviews written by actual writers. It is incredibly well produced and while it will make you angry…Well what doesn’t right now? This podcast is worth your time. 9/10

Check out the Real Black News podcast, episode 86 as they interview a former cop and explain what change needs to happen with policing. And, hey, take a minute and reflect on your interactions with police. How has your skin color or wealth or gender influenced those interactions? I once drove around for nearly six months with expired plates.

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