The January 2019 list.
What I read
- Book: Skypirate by Justine Davis – I read this book when it first came out in the 90s. Twenty years and a reread later, I enjoyed it still.
- Book: Codename Villanelle (Killing Eve #1) by Luke Jennings – Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s interpretation is outstanding and Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer are phenomenal.
- Book: White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo – Read this book. This book should be embedded in the school curriculum; that’s how necessary this message is.
What I watched
- TV: Jack Ryan S1 – I’m a big fan of the previous Jack Ryan movies. I am, however, tired of TV/movies depicting brown people as the enemy and America and its white males being the big white saviors of the Middle East when we all know differently; this looked to be no different. The story never really caught hold of me till around episode 4. There were several instances where I rolled my eyes. Hanin’s story was compelling, but ultimately, I’m uninterested in seeing these kinds of narratives anymore.
- TV: Travelers Season 3 – I love this show. The philosophical ethics alone are mind-bending and would be great discussion points. The last few eps felt like they were trying to quickly wrap up the storyline so I guess this is the last season?
- TV Limited Series: Black Earth Rising – A complex fictional story of the very real Rwandan genocide and the role Western colonialism played in the country then and now, Michaela Coel and John Goodman—as well as showrunner Hugo Blick of The Honourable Woman (another good series)—do an excellent job in delivering a complicated narrative that leaves you riveted till the end. Noma Dumezweni and Abena Ayivor do an admirable job as supporting characters. The illustrations are beautiful and Leonard Cohen’s theme song is fitting. At only 8 episodes, this story is an emotional troubling educational ride that left me infuriated for the Rwandans and hoping they would share more of their stories. The western world needs more African narratives in television series form; a good start would be a women’s empowerment series on how Rwandan women rebuilt their government. And while Hugo Blick does a great job, let the African people tell their stories.
- Movie: Bird Box – I liked this more than I thought I would. Sandra Bullock’s character was compelling and complex. Not showing the monster was a good directorial move that led to the intensity of the story. Susanne Bier did a great job.
- Movie: Destination Wedding – Starring Winona and Keanu in a quirky romance with lots of awkward cuteness. Here’s hoping every one of us weird challenging complex personalities find our own Keanu and Winona—or both.
- Movie: Solo: A Star Wars Story – This was a fun movie. Enjoyed it. I dunno what the haters were talking about. Loved it. Han’s origin story is full of surprises that tell a much larger narrative that brings his story full circle right back time and again to the empire. I’m excited to see where Emilia Clarke’s story goes.
- Movie: Miss Sloane – Starring Jessica Chastain. Great movie and currently apropos, you need only look at the one-star reviews to see why it is so significant and riveting. Jessica Chastain is outstanding and the intricacies of the plot are meticulous.
- Movie: Avengers: Infinity War – I’ve grown to love these characters and stories and will miss them even if Marvel in and of itself is an enormous problematic capitalist authoritative creative behemoth along the lines of Amazon, Google, Apple, etc. that feels like an unethical formidable requirement in order to exist and thrive nowadays. Chris Evans’ look in this movie is his perfect look.
- Movie: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – I had to grit my teeth through the more sexist parts of this—the ring on her finger equates and objectifies her to an object belonging to him and other sexist patriarchal bullshit gripes I have about women in historical times that I perceive to be reality for the time, but still get upset and bitch about. I would’ve enjoyed it more had it been a series and portrayed more about living during a Nazi occupation. Michiel Huisman is sexy as hell.
- Movie: 22 July – Paul Greengrass’ direction of Norway’s worst terror attacks from a white nationalist felt apropos given the present world stage. Anders Behring Breivik’s warning that the worst was yet to come is damning and anathema and shows the extent of how the vile xenophobic bigoted mindset pollutes and weakens nations across the world resulting in not only the loss of lives, but the loss of progress.
- Movie: Hereditary – Terrifying and outstanding in all its complexities. The narrative brilliantly interweaves the dark complexities of psychological character elements and transforms them into actual heightened nightmarish fears and a metaphorical horror story that peels paint off your walls. Ari Aster is someone I plan to put on my ‘must watch all’ list. Toni Collette is outstanding and gives a phenomenal performance on the complexities of the mother/daughter relationships and motherhood in general; her facial expressions alone should earn her an Oscar. Alex Wolff is stunning; you feel his vulnerability and fear and trauma at being a child in such disturbing familial situations. How Hereditary, Ari Aster, Toni Collette, and Alex Wolff did not garner any major award nominations shows how ridiculously obtuse the awards process is for the horror genre. This movie is easily one of my favorites of all time.
- Movie: Annihilation – The theme of this movie is the evolution of who you are as a person and how everything around you changes you in some form or another. I wonder if I can finally read the book and understand it after having seen and understood the movie? I have a crush on Oscar Isaac and Tessa Thompson.
What I listened to
- Rachel Maddow – A dedicated discerning erudite study and exposé of today’s political happenings with the most beloved talented and brilliant television hosts and political commentators of the 21st century along with her resourceful and diligent crew.
- How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan – I got through Chapter One of this audiobook and enjoyed it so much I went out and bought the hard copy of which I’m still reading.
I got opinions
- #ImpeachtheMF!! Hoorah, muthafuckers. Stop policing what women say, do, wear, etc.
- Michel Houellebecq is another overrated mediocre white man.
- The day after the Golden Globes: I had a dream that Hollywood was still filled to the rim & run by old rich white men that are employing the guise of being “woke” women & POC supporting allies as a neocapitalist patriarchal ruse.
- If you don’t see the amount of sexism being thrown at AOC & Elizabeth Warren in the media right now, YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM.
- The Gilette ad is beautiful.
- As a lifelong registered Independent, I would NEVER vote for Howard Schultz and find the idea of any billionaire campaigning for a government position to be repugnant. Billionaires should have no place in our government, at all.