books and reading · pop culture

What I’m Reading and Thinking About This Week

These are the things I read this week that got me thinking.  Pretty straightforward, yeah?

Movie Yelling with Shrill and Mallory: Jupiter Ascending (The Toast)

The article is basically just a transcription of what (I assume) is a Gchat between Mallory Ortberg and her friend (who’s known as Shrill on Twitter and writes under the pen name Ezekiel Kweku for The Toast) about the movie Jupiter Ascending, which they saw together.  It’s long and hilarious, and they pose many of the same questions and concerns about the movie as I did when I saw it a few weeks ago.

Mallory: okay so like
speaking of nonsensical
I feel like we have to talk about the society/economy that apparently exists in this movie
because there are roughly four UNIVERSAL PHARAOHS
who are each flanked by lizard-dragons who wear leather jackets (WHY WOULD YOU WEAR LEATHER JACKETS IF YOU ALREADY HAD SCALES)
a handful of robot slaves
and planets of cattle people (us)

The article is full of gems and works whether you’ve seen the movie or not (but it’s better if you have, and you should because it is so DUMB):

Shrill: there was more sexual tension between Channing Tatum and his metal-working machinery in the trailer for Magic Mike XXL
than the entirety of his relationship with Mila Kunis
Shrill: even his PHYSIQUE was muted, he took off his shirt and it was “yawn” instead of “I feel simultaneously inadequate and quite possibly not entirely straight”
Mallory: Sean Bean/Channing Tatum
Any of the sexy evil alien wizards with each other (any configuration)
Mallory: The weird robot on Bureacracy Planet and his clone

It’s really great and made me laugh a lot, which was needed this week (February is rough, man).

Is Rudy Giuliani for Real? (Dame Magazine)

There are few people who are alive or dead on this earth that I hate as much as I hate Rudy Giuliani.  I’ve felt this way for a long time, but he keeps making it worse every time he opens his garbage chute of a mouth, spilling more vitriol and racism with every breath.  This article over at Dame Magazine takes a look at Giuliani’s upbringing and past to help shed light on what makes him such a garbage monster of a person:

Despite claims about his desperation or his race to bottom, this is a window into Rudy’s entire career. Giuliani has always been bitter, resentful, mean, and openly racist. His love of the 1950s, racism and sexism and all; his efforts to bring Jim Crow policing to streets of NYC; his red-baiting have been longstanding. But the man himself is not the main point. It would be a huge mistake to individualize this dynamic by focusing on one person, and let a whole lot of people and institutions off the hook while denying the bigger picture and the real dynamics at play.

This is Republican propaganda—the party line—based on their strategy of opposing whatever President Obama says or does, no matter what. This is White male rhetoric, from Tillman to Giuliani.

It’s important to note that even though I joke about how much I hate Giuliani and what a monster garbage person he is, he’s also indicative of a larger trend related to white supremacy and one that I’m terrified about.

To Rudy and his pals, American exceptionalism is not only a truth, but one resulting from the contributions of White men. In their constricted vision of the America they profess to love, there is no room for diversity, varied opinions, compassion or empathy for others. Their love is not for America but White America because, in their mind, exceptionalism is truly White male exceptionalism.

Definitely a disturbing and worthy read this week.

Ask Polly: How Do I Stop Being So Obsessed with My Boyfriend? (NY Mag)

It’s no secret that I love Heather Havrilesky and think that her Ask Polly column is one of the best things on the internet, hands down.  This week’s question is interesting, but Polly’s response is one  for the books.  It’s applicable to pretty much everyone:

DO NOT SETTLE FOR SAD. DO NOT SETTLE FOR A SOGGY LIFE. Keep trying. Make adjustments. Keep doing new things. You will find who you are. Stop looking at him and stop looking in the mirror.

She offers practical and applicable advice about how to make changes and to work on being happy and full and amazing:

I kept writing, to survive, and then one day I woke up and I thought like a merciless visionary, I thought like a conquistador, I thought like Wonder Woman with brass knuckles. Not every single day, of course, and not everyone loves me, no way. But I am my own rickety-ass invention, and every day I try to find my swagger all over again. I know how to find it most days. I don’t always look inward to find myself. Sometimes I just put on Vince Staples’s “Blue Suede.” Sometimes I just drink an extra cup of tea and do a dance and think about how good it is to stand tall, to be a monster instead of a dull girl, to not have to ask or apologize just for existing anymore.

So, so good.  Read it.

What did you read this week that got you thinking?


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