Did anyone miss me? I’m sorry. I’m not a very consistent person. I blame impostor syndrome and ADHD. I’m trying to be better. Since the last time I sent one of these out, I have challenged myself in other ways. I actually managed to write an almost-complete first draft of a fiction book with Camp NaNoWriMo, which I am now procrastinating editing. Writing this is part of that procrastination. My wish is that it will sell and I’ll land a deal to write a sequel and/or it will be adapted for TV or the big screen. I’m trying to get better at speaking the things I want for myself.
Anyway. We’ve been in this pandemic for MONTHS now and time is flying by. I am usually quite down about this, but yesterday as I was scrolling through old photos, trying to find some pictures from a Beach Boys concert I went to with my parents in 2016, I looked at all the fun things I did (concerts, festivals), cool things I accomplished (going back to school and graduating), and places I traveled in the last 5 years (all over Italy, Paris, Manchester, London, California) and I felt very inspired. 5 months feels like a long time, but in perspective, it’s not so bad. Not to mention, hey, I managed to write a lot in all this time at home, I watched Season 5 of Love Island (which is easily the best season), and umm… well, that’s basically it. And if you only watched Love Island, too, then that’s fine. A global pandemic isn’t a productivity contest to or an opportunity to see how much you can accomplish in a few months at home. Whatever you did or didn’t do, that’s okay. I’m just happy you’re still here and (hopefully) healthy.
That being said, I hope you’re all trying to protect yourselves and others and wearing your masks. I doubt that I have to remind any of my readers to do this (and that I have to tell you that masks aren’t a way that the government is trying to control us) but just in case, wear a mask.
I know that things seem like they’re getting “back to normal” but I hope people are still thinking of others, thinking outside of their own bubble. Schools are re-opening soon in New York and it’s not a decision I agree with. The rollout of schools in other states opening up has already shown us that the virus is still around and spreads quickly when people are together all day in close quarters. I don’t think it’s fair to be using teachers and children as the test subjects to teach us what we already know. If you or someone you love has to return to school soon as a student or staff, I hope that you can do your best to stay safe and keep everyone else safe, and I’m sorry that you have to put yourself in this possibly dangerous situation.
A lot of people have been out and about in the city, filling the streets. While I don’t think this can be safe, I’m not judging anyone anymore. It’s exhausting and not worth it. If the government decided to reopen bars and restaurants and encourage outdoor dining, and people are taking advantage of it, I’m not going to be mad at them for doing what they’re allowed to do. The government cares more about the economy than public health which is no surprise. I just hope you’re tipping your hardworking servers and bartenders well!
The sentiment of not judging each other and instead keeping our focus on staying angry at the system is an important one. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t judge others for having shit morals but it does mean that we can give each other grace and not jump down each other’s throats when a problem that’s put in the place by the system is presented to us and we have differing opinions. I think about voting, and this upcoming election. A lot of people are at ends with each other over the criticism of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the Democratic ticket. I am definitely one of the people who is disappointed and I’ve voiced my frustration and my understanding for people who feel like they can’t morally vote for anyone in this election. Did I ever compare either of them to Trump or suggest anyone even consider voting for him? Hell no, and I never would. I’m also committed to getting him out of office but at the same time, I don’t really believe I have much of a say in it. That doesn’t mean I’m going to skip voting or that I suggest anyone else does. I do understand that I’m biased when it comes to this issue and that people who live in red states are a lot more concerned with voter turnout. I wish that those people also understood that people are allowed to voice their opinions and frustrations about the Democratic ticket without it meaning that they aren’t going to vote for it anyway and without believing that any criticism of Joe and Kamala is going to sway people on the fence to either not vote or to vote for Trump. I wish people were more critical of the system and not each other.
In general, I think that we tend to judge each other and criticize each other because we have an innate need to feel better than each other. I really implore everyone to reject that feeling. I would say it’s not easy…but it is. No satisfaction of being “holier than thou” feels as good as the peace that not judging each other people and just being your best self brings you.
Also, I implore people to stop idolizing any political figures, really. Besides AOC.
But really, any self-respecting punk has always known anarchy is the aspiration. I’d settle for communism.
Enough about that. Let’s talk about the important stuff: art.
On Sunday, I woke up wanting to listen to the Beach Boys. That’s typical. They make Sunday morning music. I played a couple songs on Spotify and then played my Bookends vinyl while I had coffee. But I missed the Beach Boys (and I don’t own any of their records on vinyl which is honestly a sin), so I listened to a Spotify radio station that played Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, Velvet Underground, The Kinks, The Monkees and The Beatles. It was perfect Sunday listening.
I decided it was finally time to watch Love & Mercy that night and I was so glad I did. It made me appreciate the genius of Brian Wilson even more. Do people really think about how much it takes to make a perfect pop song? The amount of work that went into the harmonies on a Beach Boys song is astronomical.
What to watch this week:
Love & Mercy on Hulu and Prime
You knew this was coming. Something of a biopic about Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, how he created one of the best albums of all time, his struggles with his mental health and his autonomy over his own life, this was a truly rewarding and insightful watch. The scenes in the studios are some of my favorites, but I also loved John Cusack and Elizabeth Banks’ chemistry and all of their scenes together. This movie was also expertly cast and full of familiar faces. Paul Dano was affecting as young Brian Wilson and I enjoyed the cameos from his brothers + bandmates who have played roles in some of my favorite teen comedy/drama shows. I thought this movie had a perfect ending, which I don’t say often. Even better that it’s a true story. Watch it and listen to Pet Sounds and feel grateful that we get to exist in a world where it exists.
Pose on Netflix
This was one of my first quarantine watches and I don’t think I ever wrote about it on this newsletter but I have missed it so much since I finished it a month or so ago. The way that I hyped Schitt’s Creek and said I’d never loved a fictional family so much before - this is how I also feel about Pose. The stories told on this show - of love and community and found families and loss and death and heartbreak - are stunning. The cast is incredible and they deserve the world (and a hell of a lot more Emmy nominations than they received.) You will laugh, cry, question yourself and your worth, and want to hug yourself and everyone else.
People Just Do Nothing on Netflix
I’m so tired of this show not getting the respect it deserves. This is easily one of the funniest shows to come out in recent times with a great ensemble cast. I don’t know how fans of comedy mockumentaries (*cough* The Office) aren’t obsessed with this show. MC Grindah and Beats are a DJ + MC duo known as Kurupt FM, joined by DJs Decoy, Fantasy, and Steves, who is more of the group drug enthusiast (whose supplier is his nan). They’re managed by Chabuddy G, an entrepreneur who is also a cuck and delivers some of the best one-liners. Perhaps my favorite character though is Miche, the blissfully un-self-aware longtime girlfriend of Grindah. Every episode is belly-achingly funny and the journey that the 5 seasons take you on is actually quite emotional. Watch it, and if you don’t like it, try again.
Okay, that’s all I have in me for now. And honestly, that took a lot. I hope everyone enjoys the recommendations and listens to some of the artists mentioned and takes care of themselves this week. Enjoy the weather cooling down and get ready for the Fall-themed treats rolling out at your favorite coffee chains and grocery stores. We already got apple cider donuts over here. (They’re actually quite dry.)
All my love,